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comparative perfection: but all these concurrent circumstances would have been utterly ineffectual in bringing about the present comparatively superior state of things in that island, had its colonial executive not enjoyed, in the enforcement of a well-regulated system of penal discipline, the advantage of a point d'appui, which was utterly unknown to the governors of New South Wales for the first thirty years of the existence of that colony, in the form of a comparatively numerous and virtuous free emigrant population.

From the entire want of such a population in New South Wales, the tone was originally given to society in that colony by convicts and emancipated convicts; who, being uncontrolled by the voice of public opinion, and having no stimulus from without to induce them to pursue a more reputable course, speedily presented one grand scene of enormous profligacy; in which, indeed, the very officers of government, so far from interposing in the way of prevention or counteraction, for the most part took the lead, and set them the example. In such a state of things, the reformation of the convict population was utterly hopeless; insomuch that, in process of time, the very word reformation had almost entirely lost its English meaning in New South Wales; the reformed emancipated convict of the era of Governor