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The Unjust Incarceration?

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  • The Unjust Incarceration?

    Shattering the Silence

    Some time ago I met a clergyman who had been a chaplain at a famous prison, and he began talking about the prisoners he had met and their various offences.

    There was one, a Scotsman, and a very dour one, who, during several visits refused altogether to converse. The clergyman was inclined to the opinion that the man was taciturn because his crime was weighing heavily on his mind, and he questioned him as to its nature, assuring him of every assistance to overcome his propensity.

    At last the prisoner revealed, with bitterness, that he had been imprisoned for playing the bagpipes in a silent zone of London!

    Many people will consider that the punishment was deserved, even if he had not chosen a silent zone, but the Scotsman was bursting with indignation. He said that it was only what could be expected of the English, to put a musician in prison. But what, he asked the padre fiercely, could such a stupid people know about good music. And he relapsed into dourness again.

    The Irish Times, 6 December 1937.