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per and behaviour depends the uninterrupted maintenance of our social order and happiness.
Before I dismiss you, I will just remind you of the necessity of “ turning out” with alacrity, when called in the morning, either to wash decks, or persons, or clothes. Let there be no hindrance or annoyance in this particular. The petty officer who calls you will give you “a good rouse ;” but let its repetition be wholly unnecessary.
Five minutes are an ample allowance of time for a whole division to turn out, and appear on deck. And should any one be absent
time from muster-morning, forenoon, or evening-or neglect to appear on deck within ten minutes after he is first called in the morning, his name will be entered in the book of reports. Nothing is a greater annoyance to me, or operates as a greater hindrance to the despatch of business and the preservation of order, than drowsy indolence and sluggish tardiness. I do ardently trust, then, that your petty officers will never have occasion to report any of you for "hanging back” when you ought to be all activity, and each more anxious than another to be first at his post. The cooks will perceive that punctuality with them, in cooking and serving out the people's appointed meals, is absolutely indispensable. The schoolmasters, too, must be most attentive in assembling and breaking up the schools at the hours appointed. Every messman, or mess-carrier, will also be held responsible to his mess for punctually attending to his name, or the number of his mess,
when called by the ship's officer who serves out provisions and water from the hold. The members of messes will themselves observe that their messmen are at their posts when the word is passed for their attendance; and, as it cannot be expected that the ship’s officer should lose his time by waiting beyond a reasonable period (a few seconds at most) for the messmen to make their appearance, they and their respective messes may be deprived for the day, through their negligence, of the ration which they neglected, when called, to receive. In order to prevent such occurrences, the second captain, or some other petty officer appointed by him, will muster the messmen at the proper periods, according to their numbers, close to the barricade, that they may be in perfect readiness to answer to their mess-number when called. The serving-officer will begin with number one, and proceed with the numbers in succession. And he must not be expected to encourage inattention or negligence on your part, by returning to any number he may have passed, and which was distinctly called and repeated by the petty officer in attendance. The messman who neglects any portion of his duty to his mess, shall be put into the “ book of reports.” But if your conduct be what it ought to be, and what I anticipate it will be, our “book of reports” will remain—what it now is—a blank, so far as impropriety of conduct is concerned. It will then be the record of good and superior behaviour, and exhibit evidence of the happy reformation of every individual prisoner on board.
Working of the system-Court of investigation-On the enactment and
enforcement of laws—Punishments.
A VERY short time suffices to familiarise the people with the daily routine, and the required duties are speedily executed with a regularity and precision which cannot fail to gratify every enlightened and benevolent observer. No sooner is the machinery put in motion, than it seems to work by an inherent power, as if, indeed, its primum mobile were nothing short of a vital principle. Every hour brings with it its own duties; and the only thing required is, that the petty officers should be occasionally reminded of the demands which the approaching hour will make upon them, and that the people should sometimes feel the influence of my voice, in order to secure that punctuality and despatch so essentially requisite to the “ carrying on," with efficiency and comfort, “ of the public duty."
The working of the school system” is, if possible, more delightful and interesting than “the plan of management.” Much, however, depends on the character of the schoolmaster. The difference in the effects produced on the same class of pupils, by
teachers of different degrees of skill and zeal, is great, and shews the value of efficient instructors, and their vast influence on the acquirement of useful knowledge, and therefore on the future character and destinies of men. The pupils of a dull and indolent teacher betray, in a marvellous degree, the unhappy characteristics of their master; and the spirit and life of the ardent and industrious schoolmaster are as visibly imbibed by the pupils committed to his care. I am of necessity shut up to the choice of such teachers as the people themselves supply. All that I can do myself personally, is occasionally to instruct them how to proceed, and to lecture them seriously on the momentous character of their duties. Charged as is the surgeon-superintendent with “ the entire management of the prisoners," and the whole of the medical duties of the transport, unassisted,—all he can daily attempt is an occasional, and often hasty visit to the schools, the influence of which is perhaps increased by its being always expected by the people, and liable to be made at any moment. However brief and rapid these visits are, they help to maintain a constant intercourse between himself and the schools; they afford him an opportunity of making observations both on teachers and pupils, giving them a word of direction, reproof, or encouragement; and of manifesting a proper interest in the people and the work in which they are engaged.
In order to prevent my time from being occupied with the minute investigations connected with cases of petty delinquency, (an evil of no ordinary magnitude, considering the important purposes to which the time so consumed might be applied,) I have found it necessary to form a “Court of Investigation,” whose prerogative it is to hear all the complaints forwarded by the chief captain and inspector of schools. This court consists of five members; namely, four of the most intelligent, judicious, and trustworthy of the petty officers; and my clerk, who acts as clerk of the court. They are empowered to cite before them the parties accused, and to call and examine witnesses, in order to ascertain the nature and extent of the alleged offences. They are entrusted with the power of administering exhortation, warning, admonition, and reproof ; and of remonstrating closely and solemnly with such as may be brought before them; with a view always to the improvement of the offender, and the prevention of all impropriety of conduct in future. When the offence, upon inquiry, seems to be of a minor character, and attended with palliating circumstances, and the culprit appears penitent, the court are authorised to dispose of the case, by the administration of reproof and advice, as their judgment may direct; the reprimand constituting the punishment. When the accused exhibits a state of mind not quite satisfactory to the court, besides being reproved, duly advised, and cautioned, he is given to understand that he must consider himself in a state of .probation, under close observation ; and is dismissed for the present with the assurance, that his