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The Subterranean Brotherhood
by Julian Hawthorne
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There is dry rot or something worse everywhere; and it is difficult to believe that anything is gained by it either for the convict or for the country. It is to be sure punishment for the former, and a bad form of punishment, but it would be grotesque to assume that it is inflicted by design of our lawmakers. It cannot be that the government deliberately proposes to destroy convicts, mind and body; on the contrary, we must suppose that it wishes to reform them and render them again useful agents in the community.
In the cell over mine at night A step goes to and fro From barred door to iron wall-- From wall to door I hear it go, Four paces, heavy and slow, In the heart of the sleeping jail: And the goad that drives, I know!
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