Page:Transportation and colonization.djvu/116

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102

TRANSPORTATION

large proportion of the convicts of inferior grade. I say enormous evil; for the mischief that has arisen from this source, in the settlement of New South Wales especially, has been of incredible amount. It was repeatedly stated in evidence before the Committee of the House of Commons on secondary punishments, in the years 1831 and 1832, that the disposal of convicts of the higher or educated classes of society had always proved a subject of difficulty and embarrassment to the colonial government. They have hitherto been generally employed as clerks in government-offices; as clerks and book-keepers in the employment of lawyers, merchants, and petty dealers; as tutors in the families of respectable colonists, to train up the youth of the colony to useful knowledge, to virtue, and religion! or as editors or sub-editors of colonial newspapers,—dictating, forsooth, to "all and sundry," how convicts ought to be treated; passing censures or encomiums ex cathedra on governors, judges, and magistrates,—and ever and anon animating the convict and emancipist classes generally, with the most hostile feelings towards the free emigrant population! Of the prodigious evil which individuals acting in these capacities have at all times done to the colony of New South Wales, I shall enumerate three instances from three different periods of its history.