Page:The Irish in Australia.djvu/165

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151
IRISH IMMIGRANTS IN THE COLONIES.

of prosperity, but to secure such desirable results, perseverance, fortitude, and wisdom must lead the way and govern your conduct. In this incipient stage on the highway to your future greatness and renown, all the religious and moral virtues should be encouraged and cultivated. Of the latter class, I hold temperance and the absence of all excesses to be of paramount importance."

Answering the question, what is the cause and source of crime in Australia?—an Irish-Australian judge,[1] in his address at the opening of the first circuit court at Brisbane, now the capital of the flourishing colony of Queensland, gave his personal testimony and experience in very startling language. "I think," he said, "I may claim some authoritative right to answer that question correctly, as a person having had an experience second to few in this or any other country in the administration of criminal law. The result of that experience supplies to the question just asked this answer—Intoxication is the hot-bed from which crime springs. Directly or indirectly, all crime is traceable to it, the exceptions being so few as to establish the general rule. If a dray is stopped and robbed on the highway, what is the first object of search?—the keg of spirits. If there be no spirits, the plundered property is converted into cash, speedily to be spent in intoxication. If a store in the country is robbed, the first plunder is that of the cask or the bottle that contains some intoxicating liquor. A quarrel that after a short time, with a little reflection, would be forgotten by sober minds, is renewed and revived with fresh exasperation in the mind at a moment of intoxication, and a thirst created for the most disproportionate and dreadful revenge. At

  1. Mr. Justice Therry.