Then comes the statelier Eden back to men;It was but after the usual order of our discordant life. —where Purgatory lies so nigh to Paradise,—that she should thence be summoned to pass a Sunday with the prisoners at Sing-Sing. This was the period when; in fulfilment of the sagacious and humane counsels of Judge Edmonds, a system of kind discipline, combined with education, was in practice at that penitentiary, and when the female department was under the matronly charge of Mrs. E. W. Farnum, aided by Mrs. Johnson, Miss Bruce, and other ladies, who all united sisterly sympathy with energetic firmness. Margaret thus describes her impressions:—
Then reign the world's great bridals, chaste and calm;
Then springs the crowning race of human-kind.
We arrived on Saturday evening, in such resplendent moonlight, that we might have mistaken the prison for a palace, had we not known but too well what those massive walls contained. Sunday morning we attended service in the chapel of the male convicts. They listened with earnest attention, and many were moved to tears. I never felt such sympathy with an audience as when, at the words ‘Men and brethren,’ that sea of faces, marked with the scars of every ill, were upturned, and the shell of brutality burst apart at the touch of love. I knew that at least heavenly truth would not be kept out by selfcomplacence and dependence on good appearances. After twelve at noon, all are confined in their cells, that the keepers may have rest from their weekly fatigue. But I was allowed to have some of the women out to talk with, and the interview was very pleasant.