Page:A lecture on the evils of emigration and transportation.djvu/10

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page has been validated.


less, nay, as an incumbrance to the land; how those who had daughters grown up were compelled through dire necessity to sacrifice their virtue, and become in that land of wretchedness prostitutes to satisfy the cravings of nature; how fathers, and mothers, and children, who could not administer to the lustful passions of those Colonial gentlemen, were left destitute of shelter for the night. Yes, it is true the magistrates told the keepers of the watch-houses in Hobart Town, that they might allow them to remain in these dungeons for the night, but to turn them on the streets in the morning. I myself received the above authority. But I will not shock your feelings by tracing them through their various scenes of misery, for death soon relieved the major part of these victims of a thoughtless Government, from their earthly troubles.

But some will say, surely feelings of humanity would plead for their unparalleled misery, but do not imagine such; pity there is none; all the finer feelings of our nature were completely destroyed by the cold-blooded cruelties that were daily exhibited to the public view. And very few who visit that part of the world are susceptible of one tender feeling for their fellow-creatures; for previous to leaving their native land, their minds are made up to realize a fortune if possible, even though it should be out of the blood of their fellow-man. There are exceptions to this general principle, but very few indeed, and those few are objects of persecution to the others, who are devoid of feeling. For it is a general rule that any person who can entertain one pang of regret for the sufferings of others is not fit to live in a convict colony, as the most unrelenting severity and torture is considered absolutely necessary for the reformation of the ill-fated beings sent out there.

Even the Government acts upon this abominable principle; for unless their minds are completely shut against all ideas of humanity, the lowest situations in the Colony would not be entrusted to their charge; whilst on the other hand the most illiterate and abandoned wretch in the island would be protected and supported in any act of tyranny and oppression that his diabolical heart could suggest. Do not think that what I have just stated of the Colonial Government is too highly drawn, for I solemnly assure you it is an indisputable fact. But some may imagine that Englishmen are not like the wild savage accustomed to