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2-080 (Raw)

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I think you will be constrained to admit that a punishment by which the offender is stripped of all his property - deprived of his liberty - shut out from intercourse with his family, totally separated from them, - denied every comfort, placed on board a transport - subjected there to the most summary discipline - exposed to ill usage from criminals still worse than himself - conveyed to a distant country in the condition of a slave - then assigned to an unknown master, whose disposition, temper, and even caprice he must consult at every turn and submit to every moment, or incur the risk of being charged with insubordination, which, if proved before the magistrate, will be followed by corporal punishment, or removal to the service of the Crown, where his lot will be still more severe according to the degree and nature of his offences. He has indeed, by the regulations of the government, sufficient food and clothing, but the dread of his master's frown is to him what the drawn sword was, over the head of Dionysius's courtier! [...] [149]
The spirit of the convict however is not subdued by unmingled Severity. Encouragement forms part of the plan by which he is reclaimed; and the circumstances under which he is placed, are very favourable to his reformation as well as to his punishment. His mind is not dissipated by the example and advice of idle and wicked persons, not under a similar restraint with himself. There is presented to him the choice of two opposite paths. The one after patient endurance of fatigue, and a resolute continuance in its course, will lead him to the possession of a ticket of leave. The other on the contrary will conduct him by a short cut, to the government gang or the penal settlement where he will be subjected to every privation compatible with the maintenance of his health.
Thus it is that every man has afforded him an opportunity of in a great measure retrieving his character and becoming useful in society, while the resolutely and irrecoverably depraved are doomed to live apart from it for the remainder of their lives.