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Writers of fiction, says the Home News, are not always sufficiently alive to their responsibilities. They exercise an Influence for good or evil, tco often the latter, for the novel that is didactic is generally voted dull, and the writer', who can describe graphically actions the reverse of virtuous is the more certain of readers. It is a well-authenti-cated fact that Ainsworth tempted many weakly-balanced minds to imitate Jack Sheppard, while it is more than possible that Mr Fagin’s academy for young gentlemen may have fired the ambition of honest lads to turn pickpockets and imitate the skill of Charley Bates or the Artful Dodger. A more recent and more authentic case has just occurred, in which the colonies are to some extent interested. This time * it is Captain Mayne Reid who is responsible, and if it is gratifying to that veteran novelist to note the effect he can produce he must feel rather guilty at having driven a hitherto well-behaved farm servant into evil ways. It appears that a Lancashire lad who was a voracious reader of Indian novels was seized with a longing to follow in the footsteps of some of Captain Mayne Reid’s heroes. It was his ambition to transport himself to the Far West and there adopt the jovial life a buccaneer. He chose Canada as the scene of his future exploits, and in order to provide himself with the necessary funds for the voyage began his new line of life by laying hands on his roaster’s money-box. With the seventy pounds thus obtained he made his way to Liverpool, secured a passage to Quebec in the steamship Parisian, and then laid in a stock of arms necessary for his proposed profession. By this time the police were on his track, and he was presently arrested for the theft from his master. But when the police took him he was found to be in possession of a couple ot revolvers, a dagger, two bowie knives, and a stiletto. : The account does not go on to say whether he had a false beard, a slouch hat, and other necessary properties for the stage buccaneer. Probably his career would have been promptly cut short, but it is quite clear that emigrants of this class are not wanted in Canada.

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Bibliographic details

CRIMINAL EMIGRANTS., Ashburton Guardian, Volume III, Issue 654, 5 June 1882

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CRIMINAL EMIGRANTS. Ashburton Guardian, Volume III, Issue 654, 5 June 1882

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