7 OCTOBER 1882, Page 3

The Doctors are getting dreamy. Dr. Richardson' on Friday week

delivered a lecture on cleanliness before the Sanitary Science Association, in which he laid down a most astounding proposition. After telling his audience that the proverb " Cleanliness is next to godliness " is not in the Bible, but is in " a Jewish tractate, the Mishna," which is not a tractate, bat a body of legal com- mentaries, he proceeded to say that, "If by some magic spell England could wake to-morrow physically clean, she would wake pure also in spirit, and godly in comprehensiveness of goodness." Now, though Englishmen will not wake clean to- morrow, some Englishmen will. There is a class which is kept by law perfectly clean, with clean rooms to inhabit, and clean clothes to wear, which lives in the purest air, and, from. a sanitary point of view, reaches very nearly up to Dr. Richardson's ideal. That class is the population of our con- vict prisons. Are they pure iu spirit and godly in comprehen- sion of goodness P Are they as much so as the dirty, unwashed, lice-covered monks of the Thebaid ? The tub is a good institution and the broom a useful instrument, but when Dr. Richardson talks of them as moral regenerators, he talks as much nonsense as an old friend of ours did who always maintained and 'believed that the Scotch were the ablest people in the world because their brains were fed with porridge. "Moses, Munoo and Mohammed, made cleanliness religion," writes Lord Beaconsfield ; but they did not thereby establish either purity or godliness.