Page:Australia an appeal.djvu/87

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wronged either you or yours, find in you no compassion, no trait of a kindred humanity, nothing but tigers, bears, wolves, and beasts of prey? By laying the foundation of the colony in blood, ye will not only treasure up wrath to yourselves against the day of wrath, but invoke a storm of vengeance on the heads of your children, which a just and retributive Providence may one day cause to burst in full measure for the iniquity of their fathers in rendering Australia childless. Rest assured, if ye refuse to be admonished, the usual lot of the wicked at the last day will not be yours. When dragged before the tribunal of Heaven, unable to lift your guilty eyes to behold the great original parents of your race, abhorred too by every tribe and every nation of the human family, the just decision of Him who will render to every man according to his works, will not allow you to mingle with the common damned, but will assign to the murderers of their species a place of torment far apart by itself in the shades of darkness.

Man, in a state of nature, may be ignorant of the manners of civil life, but he has as keen a sense of right and wrong as the most polished of his kind. Talk to the savages of Australia about the jurisprudence of civilized nations, and legal means for the redress of wrongs and injuries!—about laying their complaints before a magistrate of whose language they are ignorant, whose authority they do not acknowledge, and whose residence they dare not approach! What do they know about Courts of Justice, or your laws for the punishment of crime? Among them, as in the patriarchal state, every man is the judge and the avenger of his own wrongs. Nor do they deem it presumptuous to carry the principle still higher, and consider themselves in their collective capacity, as competent as you to judge and avenge their national wrongs.

How hard is the fate of this people! They may stand to be slaughtered; but they must not throw a spear in their own defence, or attempt to bring their enemies to a sense of justice by the only means in their power,—that of returning like for like. If they do—if they dare to be guilty of an act which in other nations would be eulogized as the noblest of a patriot's deeds they are outlawed; a reward is set upon their heads; and they are ordered to be shot, as if they were so many mad dogs! Thus, in the most barbarous manner, ye practice what in them ye condemn, the law of retaliation.

Let it be borne in mind that these people have never had any intercourse with the rest of mankind. While Ninus founded the Assyrian empire, and Cyrus gained that of Babylon; while Asia poured her overwhelming millions on Europe, and the valor of Sparta bled at Thermoylæ; while Philip of Macedon