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‘ [225] of “getting into trouble,” or, in other words, of being taken up for their crimes, to ascertain if any who might betray them were present; and another intention of this scrutiny was, to give those assembled, who naturally would feel considerable fear, a fuller confidence in opening their minds.’

What a novel conference between the extremes of modern society! All that is beautiful in refinement and education, moral symmetry and Christian grace, contrasting with the squalor, the ignorance, the lifelong depravity of men living ‘without God in the world,’—the pariahs of civilization,—the moral lepers, at the sight of whom decency covers its face, and cries out, ‘Unclean!’ After a prayer had been offered, Lord Ashley spoke at considerable length, making a profound impression on his strange auditory as they listened to his plans of emigration, which offered them an opportunity to escape from their miserable condition and enter upon a respectable course of life. The hard heart melted and the cold and cruel eye moistened. With one accord the wretched felons responded to the language of Christian love and good-will, and declared their readiness to follow the advice of their true friend. They looked up to him as to an angel of mercy, and felt the malignant spirits which had so long tormented them disarmed of all power of evil in the presence of simple goodness. He stood in that felon audience like Spenser's Una amidst the satyrs; unassailable and secure in the ‘unresistible might of meekness,’ and panoplied in that

noble grace which dashed brute violence
With sudden adoration and mute awe.

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