Page:Australia an appeal.djvu/22

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xxi

rible truth. The place was fifty miles from the nearest police station. The whole of the villains were apprehended, and their own admissions, and conduct previous and subsequent to the horrid work, added to a chain of circumstantial evidence, left no doubt of their guilt. It chanced, too, that on the night previous to the murders a heavy rain had fallen, and traces were thus discovered of horses' feet, as well as of the naked feet of the wretched natives on the way to the field of death. Every possible pains were taken to save these monsters from condign punishment—subscriptions were made for their defence, and counsel retained, but in vain. Their guilt was established beyond a doubt, and Sir George Gipps suffered the law to take its course.


FOURTH LETTER
TO THE RIGHT HONORABLE THE SECRETARY OF STATE FOR THE COLONIES.

My Lord

It appears from The Colonial Gazette of the 19th of June, that the public lands in the colonies—meaning I presume those belonging to the Aboriginal inhabitants, for there are no other—have been pronounced by Mr. Ward in the House of Commons, "the birthright of every British subject—an inheritance—a trust which the government is bound to administer for the public good!" When or how did the lands of foreign nations become the birthright and inheritance of the people of the British isles? Never did a more iniquitous declaration issue from the Vatican in the dark ages, when his holiness was in the habit of granting to whomsoever he thought proper, and resuming at pleasure, all countries discovered and undiscovered on the habitable globe. I rejoice that the schoolmaster is abroad; but it will damp my pleasure not a little, if the Pope, Voltaire, and Tom Paine, are to be the professors of the university in which he qualifies himself for office. The march of intellect, is a fine, a captivating expression. It is enough to fire the world with enthusiasm. But if its fruit is to be plunder, it will end not in joy but in sorrow, and prove an illusion fraught wth misery to millions.

The House, it seems, approved of the marauding declaration, differing with the honorable member only as to the mode of disposing of the spoil. One step more and we gain the revolutionary precipice—an equal division of property throughout the empire. Nothing will then be wanted but Robespierres and guillotines to dispose of the lawful proprietors. In this there will be no difficulty. It appears from the papers of this morning that Robespierres in full training are now carrying on the work of murder here and ridding themselves of the rightful owners of the soil the Aboriginal inhabitants, not by the guillotine but by arsenic. After seizing the country, they create a famine by the destruction of the game, and then complete the work of extermination by administering poison to the victims of their avarice. This information I think it also my duty to communicate to your lordship.