Page:A lecture on the evils of emigration and transportation.djvu/25

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


dreadful lash—for such is the fate of a wretch convicted, although his crime be of the slightest die—abused and scorned, and by men depicted the vilest creature beneath the sky.

263 Invalids.—Those are poor enfeebled old men, and cripples. Government's attention to those unfortunate beings is truely benevolent, and reflects the highest credit on the Christian feelings of the chief authorities.

912 Penal Settlements.—It is, I am sure, utterly impossible to convey even a faint picture of these horrible places, where the ill-fated convicts are cut off from all hope; they know nothing of the world nor its inhabitants, being doomed to continual thraldom and misery of the most agonizing description; my soul recoils within me when I reflect on those abodes of wretchedness and despair, and calls to recollection the dark deeds of murder that have been perpetrated in them. The inquisitions of Spain and Portugal in their worst days were nothing in atrocity and diabolical sacrifice of human life to these earthly hells. Speak of the wheel, the rack, and the torture, in mild language, for they were mild in operation, and somewhat quicker in dispatching their victims. Yes, the supporters of these infernal machines had to take the victims from amongst their friends and relatives, consequently had sufficient stimulants to cause them to be expeditious in satisfying their bloodthirsty souls, in the agony and excruciating tortures of their dying victims. But not so with the Van Dieman's Land monsters; they have their victims 16,000 miles distant from their country, home, and kindred;—they have them in these slaughter houses, locked up from the voice of humanity, and the soul-piercing shrieks of the tortured wretches is only responded to by the hellish grins of the unfeeling flagellator. The prayers and groans of the dying creatures are drowned in the bustle of renewed tortures and the rattling of chains attached to their unfortunate companions, and the soul of a miserable being burst through its earthly tabernacle, leaving the cold and heavy irons round the legs of the lifeless body to appear before the Throne of the Eternal Jehovah, as a witness of the tender mercies of man. Others, whose lives have become insupportable, wreak their vengeance on those instruments of hell, for the purpose of being executed in Hobart Town, where they hope to have an opportunity of disclosing the sickening