Page:Transportation and colonization.djvu/251

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AND COLONIZATION.

237

accumulating wealth, and acquiring the spirit of personal independence which wealth induces, should either find or fancy His Majesty's government indifferent to their moral welfare, and determined to maintain their adopted country as the mere dunghill of the empire, they will doubtless appeal directly to the nation by means of paid agents traversing the country, from the Land's End to the Orkneys, as was lately done with so powerful an effect by the enemies of negro slavery, and thereby arouse the people of Great Britain and Ireland to petition for the immediate discontinuance of transportation altogether.

Such a consummation would, in the present circumstances of the mother country, be calamitous in the extreme. The gradual accumulation of criminals in her prisons and penitentiaries, at the rate of five or six thousand annually; the enormous expense of their maintenance, and the unprofitableness of their labour; the contaminating influence of their society, and the hopelessness of their reform—^would at length be felt as intolerable evils by the nation at large; and the formation of another penal colony in some other part of the world would be the ultimate result. And in what part of the globe, I ask, would the formation and maintenance of a new penal colony cost less than ten times the amount for which the present trans-