Page:Transportation and colonization.djvu/113

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wealth has been amassed by persons of this description by other and less laborious, though more questionable means.

The acquisition of large fortunes by such persons and by such means, has, doubtless, had a powerful and direct influence in frustrating one of the great ends of transportation—the prevention of crime in the mother country—by holding out the colony as the paradise of criminals to the whole class in England; it being consistent with the nature of man to look only to the prizes in the grand lottery of crime, and to disregard the blanks. It has had an equally pernicious influence, however, on the whole class of transported felons; the acquisition of wealth by individuals of that class being so much more frequently the result of successful criminality, or of those practices of extortion and chicanery that are nearly akin to it, than of honest industry and steady perseverance. Besides, it has established an esprit de corps among the whole class of emancipated convicts—a spirit fostered by ill-gotten wealth, and maintained and supported by yearly increasing numbers—which has manifested itself in a degree of arrogance and presumption, sufficient, on the one hand, to demonstrate that wealth in the hands of such individuals is no evidence of a thorough reformation; and directly calculated, on the other, to obliterate from