Page:Australia an appeal.djvu/13

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

just and dignified. It is a thousand times less expensive than that which is marked by deceit and rapine, which, generating a deep sense of injury and a bitter desire of revenge, require an armed force to secure the ill-gotten wealth, and effect either the conquest or extermination of a people driven to madness by wrong and oppression.

Suffer no man, My Lord, to persuade you that indifference to this momentous subject will end auspiciously. Let Spain, now suffering for the cruelties she practised on the American branch of the family whose cause I plead—Spain, groaning under the deadly fruits of her inquisition, and bleeding at every pore during thirty years of internal war and revolution,—once, one of the most rich, powerful, and respected—now the most impoverished, weak, and contemptible of European nations, possessing not a remnant of her former grandeur and glory—nothing but her pride, her ignorance, depopulated cities and desolated fields—still cursed, too, with the infatuation of clinging to Rome, the promptness of her misdeeds and the authress of all her misfortunes—scowled by Heaven, become herself her own tormentor, writhing under the agonies of amputation in the loss of her colonial possessions, and presenting a picture—not yet indeed a full and perfect similitude, but one sufficiently admonitory to other states—of the misery she inflicted on the people she found beyond the Atlantic—let Spain, avaricious, cruel, and blood-thirsty Spain, with these bitter reminiscences of Mexico and Peru, her Corteses and her Pizarros, be a warning to the British ministry and the British people. Nations may, for a time, recklessly pursue schemes of spoliation, flattering themselves that they will escape consequences; but they indulge a vain hope. The eye of the Eternal is upon them. And though Justice, at the intercession of Mercy, may pause, till they have deliberately taken their iniquitous resolves, steeled their hearts against remonstrance, and committed themselves in their mad career, it will neither linger nor relent in the infliction of punishment; for the Omniscient has sternly and irrevocably decreed—it is the law of eternity—that as reward is the never-failing accompaniment of virtue, so certainly shall punishment follow in the wake of crime, even without the intervention of human tribunals. They who prefer the shedding of blood to a trifling expenditure in money, will ultimately find an ocean of the one and a mountain of the other insufficient to extricate them from the difficulties and troubles ever attendant on such a line of conduct. The mines of the Western world could not shield the spoilers from Divine displeasure. A violent policy cost Van Dieman's Land, in the course of a few months,