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been properly exhibited in governing criminals, it has not failed, but has succeeded in its object. And not only is the divine view that the law of overcoming evil with good, is the noblest power which can be exerted in subduing criminals, but a large portion of the civilized world is assenting to the fact, that we should “love the enemies” of State as well as of individuals. That such a fact is the genial dew to fertilize the barren heart, the key to unlock the hidden feeling, the magnet to attract the love of the hardened soul, there are many touching incidents to prove; some of which will be introduced.
During the Irish Rebellion, in 1798, Joseph Holt, one of the rebel generals, was taken by the government authority. In consequence of his goodness of character,* which excited even the respect of those against whom he rebelled, he was saved from capital punishment, and was transported to New South Wales. After his arrival, he was employed as overseer on the estate of a Mr. Cox, and had forty-five convicts and twenty-five freemen under his guidance.
*The commutation of his sentence from death to transportation, was brought about by the kindness which Holt extend. ed to a captive officer, who was about to be slain by the rebels; Halt interfered, and saved his life. The influence which the officer possessed, enabled him to deliver Holt from a disgraceful execution.
These convicts met at his hands nothing but kindness and confidence, and the result is given in his memoirs, published in London, in the
“ As to the convicts, there was
a certain quantity of work, which, by the government regulations, they must do in a given time, and this may be given to them by the day, week, or month, as you pleased, and they must be paid a certain price for all the work they did beyond a certain quantity. If they were idle, and did not do the regulated quantity of work, it was only necessary to take them before a magistrate, and he would order them twenty-five lashes of the cat on their backs, for the first offence, fifty for the second, and so on : and if that would not do, they were at last put into a jail-gang, and made to work in irons from morning till night.
"In order to keep them honest, I paid them fully and fairly for every thing they did beyond lheir stipulated task, at the same time I paid the freemen; and if I thought the rations not sufficient for their comfortable support, I issued to each man six pounds of wheat, fourteen of potatoes, and one of pork, in addition. By this means the men were well fed, for the old saying is true: Hunger will break through stone walls ;' and it is all nonsense to make laws for starving mer. When any article was stolen
from me, I instantly paraded all hands, and told them that if it was not restored in a given time, I would stop all extra allowances and indulgences: ‘the thief,' said I, is a disgrace to the establishment, and all employed in it; let the honest men find him out, and punish him among yourselves ; do not let it be said that the flogger ever polluted this place by his presence. You all know the advantages you enjoy above gangs on any other estate in the colony; do not, then, throw them away. Do not let me know who the thief is, but punish him by your own verdict.' I then dismissed them.
“The transports would say among themselves, that what I had told them was all right.. • We won't', they would reason, 'be punished because there happens to be an ungrateful thief
They then called a jury, and entered into an investigation, and on all occasions succeeded in detecting and punishing the offender. I was, by this line of conduct, secure from plunder; and the disgusting operation of flaying a man alive, with a cat-o'-nine-tails, did not disgrace the farms under my superintendence. Mr. Cox said one day to me, 'Pray, Joseph, how is it that you never have to bring your men to punishment? You have more under you
I believe than any man in the colony, and, to the surprise of all, you have never had
one flogged, or indeed have made a complaint
of many more men in my own country, and I was always rigidly just to them. I never oppressed them, or suffered them to cheat their employers or each other. They knew, if they did their duty, they would be well treated, and if not, sent to the right about. I follow the same course with the men here....I should think myself very ill qualified to act as your overseer, were I to have a man or two flogged every week. Besides the horrible inhumanity of the practice, the loss of a man's week or fortnight's work, will not be a trifle in a year, at twelve and sixpence per week ; for a man who gets the cat, is incapable of work till his back is well; so, in prudence, as well as in Christian charity, it is best to treat our fellowcreatures like men, although they may be degraded to the state of convict slaves.'
Mr. Holt also gives an account of Colonel Collins, who was governor of the settlement at the Derwent river, in Van Dieman's Land, from 1804 till his death in 1810, whose conduct furnishes a most admirable illustration of the influence of kindness. “This gentleman had
the good will, the good wishes, and the good word of every one in the settlement. His conduct was exemplary, and his disposition most humane. His treatment of the runaway convicts was conciliatory, and even kind. He would go into the forests, among the natives, to allow these poor creatures, the runaways, an opportunity of returning to their former condition; and, half dead with cold and hunger, they would come and drop on their knees before him, imploring pardon for their behaviour. • Well,' he would say to them,
you have lived in the bush, do you think the change you made, was for the better? Are you sorry for what you have done ?' Yes, Sir.'
• And will you promise never to go away again ?' *Never, Sir.' 'Go to the storekeeper, then,' the benevolent Collins would say, "and get a suit of slops and your week's ration, and then go to the overseer, and attend your work. I give you my pardon; but, remember, that I expect you will keep your promise to me." All this was genuine kindness, and the result was peculiarly pleasing and excellent. “I have been assured," says Mr. Holt, “ that there was less crime, and much fewer faults committed among the people, under Governor Collins, than in any other settlement; which I think is a