Herald (14)

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The Herald continued with its reports of the KellyGang and Glenrowan.


Sir,- Now that the excitement caused by "the siege of Glenrowan"-where at a gallant army of trained and well-equipped men, under experienced leaders, gained a victory over four desperadoes - has somewhat abated. It may perhaps occur to some people that there is far more ground for public humiliation than for national exultation. No sensible man can deny that every expedient was justifiable against such deeply-dyed scoundrels as those upon whom the Nemesis of fate has inflicted so terrible a punishment, and that to sympathise with them - would evidence a mind lost to all sense of right.

But, Sir, I contend that this now famous fight will be for ever a foul blot on our fair frame; a spsolmen of iniquity, sanctioned in high places, paralleled only by the infamous massacre of Glencoe a deed that should bring a blush of indignation to the face of every brave man in the land and call forth the emphatic condemnation of every right to thinking man and woman. It is a principle of our English law that ninety-nine guilty persons should escape a rather than one righteous man should suffer. What then in Heaven's name, are we to think of men to riddled width of their shot from safe cover, a frail tenement in which they knew there were forty innocent men, women and children, who had been penned up of by four desperate outlaws?

No excuse, Sir, can justify the police in firing a single bullet whilst any life other than that of an outlaw was imperilled. The life of the poor little child, whose death is recorded in today's issue, outweighs in importance the necessity of punishing a whole legion of outlawed villains, and his blood cries shame upon the authorities to allow the writes "coward" on the brows of those who perpetrated, the cold blooded, wonton, unnecessary massacre. To protect the weak and innocence against injury and oppression is of the paramount duty of every Government, a duty beside which every other, of the principle or expediency, sinks in to absolute insignificance. It has been exemplified by permission being a given to some sixty men to file upon forty undefended people, in the hope of hitting four scoundrels.

Fear of trespassing upon your space prevents me from dwelling further upon this revolting episode of our colonial history, and I must conclude by expressing a hope that this most foul, unnatural slaughter may receive a searching investigation at the hands of competent persons. In place of sending messages of congratulation upon the gallant deed - Heaven save the mark! - let us appoint a day of prayer that the innocent blood has been shed may not call forth from the offended Deity, who fixed His cannon against murder, some terrible and well merited visitation, -

Yours, &c.,

H. J. L. Batten

1st July

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