Page:Transportation and colonization.djvu/146

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convicts ought to be assigned on any account: for as convicts in the service of such settlers find themselves in all other respects on a level with their masters,—being engaged in the same labour, living on the same fare, and sitting at the same table,—they lose all sense of degradation and criminality, and not unfrequently corrupt those to whom they are thus assigned, provided they have any good principle remaining. Besides, it is equally practicable for the tenant or proprietor of a small agricultural farm in New South Wales to cultivate his land by his own labour, and by that of his family, with perhaps one or two hired servants, as in the mother country. It is true, there are settlers of the first respectability in New South Wales, who still cultivate extensively by means of convict labour, and who uniformly discourage the formation of an agricultural tenantry on their estates; but this state of things has arisen and is still continued from necessity, and not from choice: an emancipated convict tenantry, which has hitherto been almost exclusively the only sort of tenantry procurable in New South Wales, being generally a prodigious nuisance to the neighbourhood; as tenants of this class are, for the most part, receivers of stolen goods, and sellers of ardent spirits to the convict servants of the neighbouring proprietors. But if a reputable free emigrant