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and Bacchus and dancing fauns and Tragedy Queens, Cupids and Furies Venuses and Hobgoblins, etc., a green curtain would rest the eye better after all the gay and tawdry finery of an Italian Opera. The first act was near over when we came in, the opera was La Molinarella, the music is very pretty, one actor pleased me greatly, Morelle, he plays with a vast deal of ease and hums and sings pleasantly; there was one beautiful scene of a mill going, and another of the inside of the Miller's House most beautifully designed and executed; the last dance was beautiful, I could not nor would not think till I had seen it that I should be entertained with a thing of the sort it was la siege de Cythere; the scenery, machinery, and dresses are most beautiful, particularly some dear little children who acted Cupids; little Teadore dances charmingly. At last after waiting a great while we got away; I was so tired I thought I should have died. When we came home we found a note from Lady Salisbury with two tickets for the ball at Almacks the next night.
Wednesday 18th.-Mrs. T. Dawson came in the morning and went into the city with us, where we went to shop, we met Mr. Leycester in our drive and took him into the coach and set him at home; we then came home ourselves. Mother dined at Lord H.'s but I was obliged to stay for the hair dresser. Mother came home to dress at nine and at half past eleven we called on Lord H. at Lady Salisbury's and then went to the ball. The room is very large and a charming one for the purpose but not ornamented with taste, though there was a great number in the room when we went in I was surprised at seeing so few fine women, there were some very pretty to be sure, but I have seen one or two in Ireland much more elegant than any here, and this ball was an extraordinary thing, almost all the people of fashion were there; it was patronised by the. Duchess of Gordon; when I had said I had seen more beautiful women than any there I forgot the Duchess of Rutland who was beyond anything, and Mrs. Fitzherbert who was there. I think her handsome, she has a fine animated countenance, the Prince was not there, the Brownlows and Mr. R. Stewart were there; as I knew no one I did not expect to dance but Lord Hillsborough asked me just as we got up; before we began to dance we were called to supper but afterwards we danced a set and I found it full enough as it was long and crowded; there was a bad supper but we were very pleasant; about four we got away; our own coach could not get up so Lord H. sent us home in his ; indeed there was never anything like his good nature on every occasion. It was daylight and a charming morning when we came home.
Thursday 19th.-Awakened with a dreadful headache and was too ill to go out with my mother in the morning; when she returned found myself too ill to dress to go to Lord Clanbrassils, where we had been long engaged to dinner; mother went out again to buy me a 3 H
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book and then went to dinner at Lord C.'s, from which she went to Lady Salisbury's who sees company every evening. With sitting quiet pouring over my book and drinking coffee I had got well when she got home about ten o'clock and sat and worked and supped afterwards.
Friday 20th. In the morning the two Mr. Dawsons Mr. Leycester, and Lord Erne came, we then went out in the coach, dined at Lord H.'s, where dined also Lady Stowell and the two Mr. Knowles'; in the evening went to Mr. Leycester's and accompanied Mrs. Leycester to a party of a friend of hers, a Mrs. Lawrell, the two Miss Leycesters were ill and could not come; there were some strange figures, but I had no one to make remarks to; we were introduced to Mr. Mrs. and Miss Lawrell. Mrs. Lawrell seems a pleasing woman; we met here Mrs. Gardner, Miss Porter, that was she, whom we had known at Sir Richard Johnstone's; mother sat down to cards; Mrs. Leycester was so good as not to play but walked about with me and introduced mother and me to Mrs. Lushington, and Mrs. Blackshaw, her daughter; we came home rather early.
Saturday 21st.-Mr. W. Lushington came in the morning; we went out shopping and dined at Mr. Leycester's; there was a great deal of company; I did not know any of them except Mr. Lushington, he gave us his tickets and box for the Haymarket Opera; he came with us himself and Mr. Mrs. and Miss Leycester; all these are violent Haymarket people. Without prejudice or any regard to party, for I should be very sorry to let party blind my judgment in anything, I think the Pantheon much the best; the Haymarket is much the larger, indeed its size astonishes you but it is not fitted up either as comfortably or as elegantly as the other. The scenery is I think far inferior too, but I have heard great people, even of the court party, say it was better for the other was abominable but that I don't mind as I liked what I saw at the Pantheon much and great people are apt to fancy they are connoiseurs because great and ought to be so and their cleverness generally consists in abusing everything indiscriminately; there is no opera but the singers come out in their everyday dresses and stand behind a low screen and squall a parcel of Italian songs; the dancing at this house is what they pride themselves on and I hear everyone say it is better than at the other, but for my own part I am no judge of the mere dancing, and the decorations and the plot of the ballet I saw at the Pantheon pleased me much more than the Vestris and the Helesbery Haymarket; even Mrs. L. who was at both houses with us and is a violent partisan of the latter place agreed that she was more entertained with the former. What entertained me most here was Cupid in a little surtout, a most agreeable figure; after it was over we went into the coffee room for some time, and found it very difficult to get
Sunday 22nd.-Did not go to Church. We went out in the coach to pay visits; was let in at Lady Lushington's, found Mr. R. Leycester; liked lady L. mightily, a comical lively pretty woman; dined at Mr. Leycester's, where dined Mr. H. Leycester; went in the evening to Lady Salisbury's found three or four card tables, sat some time, and came away. There Lady S. gave us four tickets for the King's box at Westminster Hall for Hastings's trial the next day; returned to Mr. L.'s; Mrs. L. made us stay supper.
Monday 23rd.-Went to Hastings's trial at Westminster Hall Mr. Leycester and Mr. Dawson met us there. This hall is not fine but venerable from its antiquity, the roof is all arched and carved wood and one end of the hall is almost entirely casement, through which you see into another apartment which is lighted by a large gothic window. We were a great while there before the procession began, which was as grand as a parcel of ugly old Dukes, Lords, and Bishops could make it; they were all of them dressed in their robes, which are magnificent, and in my opinion graceful; the Duke of Gloucester came in the procession with his train held up by two attendants in scarlet and black; he looked very much like a Prince and I should have known him by his likeness to all the halfpence and guineas I ever saw to be one of the Royal Family. The trial was opened by Mr. St. John, who stated the charges against poor Hastings; this was very dull, as the subject was very uninteresting and it was delivered in plain language without much choice of words or any cadence, but I am told those who understand this sort of thing say that it was done very clearly. Mr. Hastings himself then got up and spoke; in an instant all were silent; he seemed greatly agitated; his language would have been good had he been more collected; he contradicted himself once or twice and spoke very low, he complained of the delays and said he saw no prospect of an end to his trial, indeed that he never expected it would come to a close; a little after he said he now hoped his torments were near at an end that he had every reason to suppose that his cause would soon be decided on, whether for or against him; one part of his speech was very affecting where he said that if his memory did not fail him he was then in his sixtieth year, that the last four had been wasted in the most painful situation that any man could be in, indeed he could date his torments still earlier from the very hour he landed in England when he was told that an attack of this sort was meditated against him; he also observed that there were differences of no less than sixty Lords since they first sat on his trial who had died in the meantime; Mr. Burke then got up and from the beginning of his speech I expected something very great but he got into such a passion that it was nothing but a continuation of abuse to poor Hastings and cavilling at his speech; he called him a murderer on which one of the counsel for the prisoner got up and attempted to interrupt him by saying he ought not to call him a
murderer without bringing proof of it; this made Mr. Burke very angry; indeed he said that when the gentleman chose to speak he certainly would not interrupt him, therefore would by no means allow himself to be interrupted. Mr. Fox afterwards got up and he spoke much more gently than Burke and with a good deal of compassion for poor Hastings; at the same time he said he perfectly agreed with all his honourable friend had said; that he thought that the public had as much reason to complain as Mr. Hastings if there had been any unneedy delays made, and as they had been deputed by the House of Commons as managers in this business he did not think they were answerable to any one else, nor would they answer at any other tribunal. His speech was short. Mr. H. then got up and made a short apology and said that he did not mean to offend either the Lords or any of the gentlemen. A clerk then got up to read the evidence and we came away, as there was to be no more speaking. We took a peep through a casement into the Court of King's Bench and the Court of Chancery which are exactly the same. I saw nothing remarkable but a parcel of old ugly figures; nobody could tell me who they were; we also peeped into the House of Lords, a large room hung with dirty old tapestry. We dined in the evening with the Leycesters and came home early.
THE PRISONS BILL AND
PROGRESS IN CRIMINAL TREATMENT
Of the changes which will be effected by the Bill which Sir M. W. Ridley has introduced to amend the law relating to prisons, the most important are the following: (1) It repeals all the statutory rules under which local prisons have been governed since 1865, and empowers the Secretary of State to make rules in place of them, and in relation to the subjects they deal with; (2) it also repeals the clause of the Act of 1865 which ensures that all adult male prisoners (with exceptions) sentenced to hard labour shall be employed on laborious bodily work; (3) it introduces the principle of a remission for good conduct and industry of part of any sentence of imprisonment over nine months, on the same principle as remission has been given on a sentence of penal servitude; (4) it also enables a person sentenced to imprisonment as the alternative of not paying a fine to purge a part of his sentence by paying a part of the fine; (5) it adds a third class to the two into which misdemeanants not sentenced to hard labour may be placed by order of the court, so as to give greater latitude in the treatment of persons convicted of certain offences; (6) it gives certain local and unpaid visitors, to be appointed by the Secretary of State, to convict prisons, the same powers as the visiting committees of local prisons, powers hitherto exercised only by the directors of prisons; (7) the repeal of the statutory rules of 1865, among other things, allows of a change in the treatment of persons committed by county courts for contempt of court in wilfully omitting to comply with an order to pay a debt, who have hitherto been treated under the Act of 1865 as debtors, although imprisonment for debt was abolished after that Act was passed.
The 1st and 2nd of these are effected by clauses 2 and 4, and by the repeal by clause 14 of section 19 of the Prison Act, 1865, which defines hard labour, and of the rules which form Schedule I. of that Act. These clauses may have far-reaching consequences, for they involve the fundamental principles on which a prison system ought to be conducted. They make it possible and not difficult to effect an entire revolution in those principles at the will of a Secretary of