6 OCTOBER 1866, Page 3

Mr. C. J. O'Donel, the stipendiary magistrate who recently :sentenced

a child of three and a half to fourteen days' hard labour, has explained himself. He says he let the child off -once, but found that the mother forced him out to beg, and seeing lam look naked and half-starved sent him to prison, where he would be fed and cared for. The hard labour was a form which lie was compelled by the Act to insert in his sentence, but he mover dreamt of its being exacted. Further, " when the children learnt where they were going to they cheered with delight, as if the greatest boon had been bestowed upon them." Injustice, it .seems clear, has been done Mr. O'Donel in the matter, though for all this he could have punished the mother instead of the child. But is it not a great country where a child of three " cheers " at the pleasant thought of prison, yet it is illegal to send him forcibly to school ?