Page:Australia an appeal.djvu/82

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To your own people, when charged with the commission of crime, ye allow the benefit of Trial by Jury. They have thousand times more reason to claim the privilege, since they are utterly ignorant of the moral character of the act of which they are accused, or the guilt attached to it in your estimation. And if they are to have what the privilege implies, trial by their peers, the Jury should be selected from their own countrymen. If ye would allow them any show of justice, one half, at least, ought to be Derbalese. When ye are asked by whom ye will be tried, ye reply: By God and my country. Alas for the Derbalese! they are tried by neither. They are left to the mercy of any ruffian who chooses to level his gun at them. What is this? It is murder. To kill British subjects, without trial by either Judge or Jury, can be designated by no other term.

But if ye have taken their country from them, and they refuse to acknowledge your title to it, ye are at war with them; and, having never allowed your right to call them British subjects, they are justified by the usages of war in taking your property wherever they find it, and in killing you whenever they have an opportunity. Ye are the aggressors. The law of nations will bear them out in repelling force by force, They did not go to the British isles to make war upon you; but ye came from the British isles to make war upon them. Ye are the invaders of their country—ye are the plunderers of their wealth—ye destroy the natural productions of the soil on which they live—ye devour their fish and their game—and ye drive them from the abodes of their ancestors.

Tell me not of the absence of local attachment in the hearts of roving savages. Where is the record from which ye learn that nature was ever unfaithful to the law of her creation, and forgot to impress her offspring with regard for the spot where they first inhaled the breath of life? The monster that disregarded the land of his nativity never yet beheld the light. The very bird loves the nest in which it was hatched. In man, whether civilized or savage, the inborn passion is still stronger. The lawns and the woods, the hills and the dales, even the rocks and the deserts, attach the soul to the place of her birth like the enchantments of Elysium. Nor do they quit their hold on her affections with increase of years. On the contrary, the natal fire burns brighter as the shades of evening advance; and old age, rolling on with its grey hairs, feeds the flame and makes her cling closer to objects consecrated by time and endeared by a thousand recollections. Ye may vent your fury upon her till she become broken hearted, but ye cannot turn the current of her feelings—she cannot turn them herself.