Page:Transportation and colonization.djvu/147

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AND COLONIZATION.

133

tenantry could be procured, so as to afford eligible terms to both proprietor and tenant, very few settlers of respectability in New South Wales would continue to cultivate their own land, especially if the assignment system were discontinued.

As to the third class of the free inhabitants of New South Wales, I mean the inhabitants of towns, it is just as preposterous to continue to assign convicts to such persons, to be employed, as they almost uniformly are at present, as house-servants, as it would be to assign them for employment in the same capacity to the inhabitants of any town in Great Britain or Ireland, provided there were the same means of preventing their escape in the mother country as there are in New South Wales. The punishment, if it can be so called at all, is by no means adequate to the criminal's offence, in ninety-nine cases out of every hundred; and, to speak of it as a means of preventing crime in England, and of reforming the transported criminal, is downright mockery. Besides, assigned servants in the town of Sydney have a thousand ways and means of procuring money, and all those unhallowed indulgences that money can purchase every where, without the knowledge or permission of their masters: or, at all events, they have the means of passing the term of their servitude in com-