Obrazy na stronie

It is highly desirable that this subject of of trade. How does this hold as to China ? the opium trade should be temperately and No question just now can be of more urgent quietly considered ;-viewed on the open significance than this. From the Company's ground of commercial policy, and of inter- dealings in opium with China, thus far, have national right. It is, while taking our stand sprung sideways a useful result of this sort : on this lower ground, that we advert to a -A flagrant and shocking inconsistency has connected subject, which the readers of the presented itself in the view of the more inNorth British Review, for the most part, are telligent and shrewd among the Chinese little accustomed to think of otherwise than people, when the nation which, for the sake in connection with reasons and motives of a of gain, is seducing and destroying helpless far loftier range. But let them give us a millions among them, comes to propound to few moments indulgence. We need not them, and to entreat their acceptation of, a offend the sacred associations of any sound religion-a religion which, so far as appears, mind.

authorizes and prompts to the most flagi. The Jesuit missions in India, in Japan, and tious conduct. The Christian missionary, upon the South American Continent, met alive as he is to the mortifying imputations their deserved ruin on this ground, when, to which he is open on this ground, has been abusing the opportunity which their mission driven to seek exculpation by marking off had given them, they laid a greedy hand the ground on which he stands, by a broad upon trade, and made “a gain,” a vast gain, border, from that occupied by his country“ of godliness,” or of its shams. A repeti- men, the dealers in opium. To some extent tion of this fatal error is not likely to be he may have succeeded in clearing himself risked in these times. Any such mistake of the stain ; and so far as he has done this, would quickly be noised at home, and would so far as he has persuaded the people to meet a loud condemnation ; this, we think, is whom he addresses himself that he disallows certain.

the acts of these traders, and would put a Equally certain are two correlative prin- bar to them if he could, so far he has set ciples, which have come to be recognised in missions and trade clear the one of the a sort of spontaneous manner as the com- other. If this needful preliminary work be mon results of the modern missionary enter- done, or done to some extent, then things prises of the Christian commonwealth. The are in the most favourable position for givfirst of these laws of international intercourse ing legitimate effect to the reciprocity of is this that Christianity, while on some Christian missions and of trade in China, lines it follows in the wake of trade, on other if only this one stone of stumbling, the lines it is the forerunner, the pioneer of opium chest, were taken out of the way. trade, and has proved itself to be the most We do not know that any course of things simple and the most auspicious means of could be imagined more propitious than this, making an inroad upon regions which that the Christian missionary should find could have been opened before us in no himself at liberty to address his hearers by

the way-side in this manner :-“We told Now this beneficial reciprocity, if it is to you that we had no connection with the maintain itself in vigour, and if it is to be real, opium trade, but abhorred it; our countrymust be carefully held clear of any designed men at home disapprove and disallow it too; relationship, or any explicit compact;—at and at length those who have made their least it must do so on one side, if not on gain in this way have been persuaded to both. Let the merchant recollect himself as abandon it, and to betake themselves to law. a Christian man, and do his duty as such when ful and useful lines of trade; henceforward, he has opportunity to send out the Gospel therefore, they will deal with you in those as well as his bales. But the Christian mis- articles only, the exchange of which is bene sionary plunges himself into an abyss ficial on both sides !" It will be an era in wherein souls are lost, if he allows himself, missions to China when the missionary shall even in the most remote manner, to be used be allowed thus to lift up his head, and when as a tool for opening the door of commerce. he may boldly say as much as this. All this we take to be immovably and uni- But a new era in missions is not just novo versally certain

our theme. To the British merchant we Meantime, the law above named stands say, and we would say it if we had access to good—that Christian missions (whether we the “Honourable Court”-Put no obstacle intend it or not) have it in their nature to do, in the way of Christianity in China. Be glad unconsciously, that which they should abhor if you see the zeal of the missionary carrying to do wittingly, or of set purpose ; they him far inland, where the trader has not yet will, if not hindered, macadamize the wastes been, or would not venture to go. Christianof the world, in preparation for the advances ity, with its inherent expansive forces

other way:

with its proper dynamics, its solvents, its induce every reader who professes Christian soul, its fire, its martyr resolution-its rea- humanity to read it for himself. The author, diness to suffer and to die, so that it may win General Alexander, who is honorary secre. souls-Christianity will at length open China tary of the Society for Suppressing Opium to Europe-will soften the mass-will split Smuggling, is not only perfectly master of the rock—will mellow and leaven the lump. the question, but he is a master also of him. Christianity will interpret China to Europe, self;-we mean, that he writes with feeland Europe to China. Its electric fire will ing indeed, but entirely without vehemence, bring these countless millions of men into or undue excitement; and this is a comnear correspondence with western industry. mendation not always merited by the humane Are you asking how shall you get at the when they undertake the task of bringing people of China ? The Gospel shall show enormous wrongs into notice, and under you the way. But on what condition shall reprehension. it do so ? This is the one condition, namely We cannot come to a close without direct-the opium chest must be taken out of the ing the attention of our readers to the “ Ocway of the missionary.

casional Paper” of the Edinburgh Medical To bring about so desirable a result, the Missionary Society--the paper last named British people must stand ready to do their at the head of this article. It contains a letter part in this, as in many similar well-remem- by a medical missionary at Canton; and bered instances. They must inform them- while it exhibits a personal acquaintance selves on the subject ;-they must convince with the subject--the opium trade, and opium themselves of the urgency of the case, and smoking in China—it gives evidence also of of the intimate connexion of the smuggling the writer's freedom from that excitement, trade in opium with, at once, the welfare, and that tendency to exaggeration, which too the very existence of the people of China-- often betray themselves in the style of benewith the spread of Christianity, and with the volent men, when they are endeavouring to extension of British commerce in the East-“ write down" an evil of any kind. This ern world. When thus convinced and in- medical writer, from whom we should quote formed, the English public must sustain the if our space allowed, advances opinions as to efforts that are now making to press the the effects of opium smoking which do not subject upon the attention of Government. quite accord with the evidence we have cited For unless it be known in Parliament that from other writers. Nevertheless, he strongthere is a strong feeling to that effect in the ly urges the adoption of measures adapted country, nothing will be done beyond the to the diminution of the practice, which he appointment of a Committee. Whether at admits to be extensively prevalent, and to this time any progress beyond this of "get- be in the last degree injurious. We do not ting rid of the question,” shall be made, attempt to adjudge the question of fact as depends, we might say, entirely upon the between this writer and others, whose testistrength of the conviction which pervades mony we have cited above. Let the truth the thoughtful portion of the public. A day, in this instance be known—the truth, nothing however, will come when the people of Eng- less, and nothing more. Let the facts, as land-slow as they are to move, but irresist- far as they can be ascertained, be persever. ible when they have come to be of one ingly brought before the British public; and mind-shall condemn this wickedness as no the issue, sooner or later, will be, the extinclonger tolerable, and shall give judgment tion of the British opium trade with China. accordingly. To carry out such a righteous The recent events at Canton give a deep decision will be found a far easier work than meaning to the Opium Trade question ; the in most cases is the removal of extensive explanations which will forthwith be heard wrongs.

in Parliament will show how deep that The papers and pamphlets named at the meaning is. head of this article are, most of them, easily procurable; and they will be sought for by those who shall feel it a duty to inform themselves authentically and thoroughly Art. IX.-1. The Crime against Kansas. upon the opium traffic question. They will Speech of Hon. CHARLES SUMNER, of Mas. read General R. Alexander's clear and very sachusetts, in the Senate of the United temperate pamphlet, “ The Rise and Progress States, May 19, 1856. of British Opium Smuggling,” &c., of which 2. A History of the Struggle for Slavery an enlarged and revised edition has just now Extension or Restriction in the United appeared. From this able statement of the States, from the Declaration of Indepenquestion, we might have made large extracts; dence to the Present Day. By HORACE but would rather so speak of it as shall GREELEY. New York, 1856.


3. The Republican Campaign Songster. | Treasury of United States, the agricultural New York, 1856.

and manufacturing productions of the Union 4. Smith's Handbook for Travellers through had more than doubled in fifteen years. Or,

the United States of America. New York, to give an individual instance of fabulous 1856.

increase, let us take Chicago, on the Lake 5. American Slavery: a Reprint of an Art- Michigan, in Illinois. In 1830 it consisted

icle “ Uncle Tom's Cabin,” of which a of less than twenty houses; it now contains portion was inserted in the Edinburgh sixty churches and seven banks, besides all Review (No. 206); and of Mr. SUMNER's other public buildings appertaining to a large Speech of the 19th and 20th May 1856 ; city. The population in 1849 was 23,047; with a Notice of the events that followed in 1855, 83,509.* That the population of that Speech. London, Longman and Co., the New World will go increasing till the 1856.

whole of its vast territory shall be occupied

by the same bustling and active race, hardly THERE are certain things which custom admits of a doubt; but the same law of nacannot stale and which we never cease to ture which enjoins them to go on and mulwonder at. We catch ourselves almost tiply, will eventually compel them to break every day reverting in our own despite to abroad, and separate into as many distinct the miracles effected within living memory and independent communities, with contrastby steam and electricity. A journey from ed and conflicting forms of government, as London to Edinburgh in ten hours is seldom the kingdoms and republics of Europe. Proif ever made without the familiar expression jects of universal empire, to be attained by of self-congratulation and surprise to our a combination of two or three hundred mil. fellow-travellers; and a telegraphic message lions of freemen, actuated by one will from from Berlin or Vienna still almost infallibly a common centre, are simply preposterous; elicits an ejaculation of astonishment. The and a very superficial knowledge of geografabulous rise and portentous greatness of phy may suffice to dissipate the delusion the New World belong to the same range of that Great Britain must prepare to surrender topics. We are never tired of speculating her boasted dominion of the seas. The on the past, present, and future of the Ame- American seaboard is obviously ill calculated rican continent. Yet nearly an entire cen- for the formation of sailors, although, when tury has rolled away since Burke's famous the coasts alone were occupied by the coloapostrophe was placed in the mouth of Lord nists, the marine part of the population neBathurst's angel: “Young man, there is cessarily bore a large proportion to those America—which at this day serves for little who lived farther inland. When the whole more than to amuse you with stories of sa- interior shall be filled up, the maritime chavage men and uncouth manners; yet shall, racter will no more preponderate in the before you taste of death, shew itself equal American than on the European continent; to the whole of that commerce which now and it is a remarkable fact, that during our attracts the envy of the world. Whatever last war with the United States, several England has been growing to by a progress- thousand British seamen were serving in ive increase of improvement, brought in by their navy. They were unable to man even varieties of people, by succession of civiliz- their limited number of vessels of war from ing conquests and civilizing settlements, in a their own homebred and native stock of series of seventeen hundred years, you shall sailors. see as much added to her by America in the So much for their dreams of conquest and course of a single life. If this state of his supremacy on this side of the Atlantic; and country had been foretold to him, would it quite independently of these natural and not require all the sanguine credulity of obvious limits to extension, they seem likely youth, and all the fervid glow of enthusiasm, to have quite enough to occupy them at to make him believe it ? Fortunate man, home for some time to come. If ever a he has lived to see it! Fortunate, indeed, people were destined to atone for the crimes if he lives to see nothing that shall vary or errors of their forefathers, it is the people the prospect, and cloud the setting of his of the United States ; and clear-sighted must

be the statesman who can point out any The subsequent progress of the United practicable or available mode of relieving States has been little less astounding; and if them from the corroding cancer, the plaguethe angel were to reappear and address an spot, the blight, the curse, of slavery. We inhabitant of Boston or New York, the ce-are not speaking of its unchristian character, lestial visitor might conclude with the same felicitation and the same warning. Accord- * See Captain Douglass Galton's masterly Report ing to the last Report of the Secretary of the on the Railways of the United States.

day !

nor of its palpable sin, but of the singular for Mrs. Stowe's vivid picture of their suffercomplication of causes which render it fatal ings, when they are endowed with ordinary to concord, good government, and national sensitiveness, and much more when it is morality within the limits of the Federation, quickened and refined by education, can and of the apparent impossibility of getting hardly be overdrawn or exaggerated. It is rid of it without a civil or a servile war painful to dwell upon the scenes which must (perhaps both) of a thoroughly internecine be of almost daily occurrence in a slavekind. The feature which so fatally distin. breeding state, where sensitive beings are guishes it from the analogous institution literally treated like every other description amongst the ancients, has been placed in the of domestic animals, endowed indeed with most striking light by M. de Tocqueville. The instincts and appetites, but utterly destitute Greeks and Romans made slaves of their of parental or filial affection, beyond the captives, without regard to race. When period when it is required for the conthese were ransomed or manumitted, they tinuation or preservation of the species. resumed their pristine rights and former The exports in this sort of live stock from place as freemen, and soon became blended Virginia, from 1840 to 1850, have been with the rest of the population. Instead of computed to exceed ten thousand head a being intentionally degraded below the intel- year. How many cherished ties were ruthlectual level of their masters, they were lessly severed, must be left to the imaginataught accomplishments, and encouraged to tion. Assuredly when philanthropists were distinguish themselves by the cultivation of struggling to abolish and stigmatize the Af their talents of which Terence and Plastus rican slave trade, with its middle passage are examples. Something of the same sort horrors, they little thought that one direct takes place in the East, where slaves have result of their successful exertions would be frequently risen to the highest places of to create or encourage a commerce which, authority. In the United States, on the con- in some respects, is even more heartless and trary, the slaves are all negroes, and a negro, demoralizing than that which they imperbe his condition what it may, is regarded as fectly suppressed. It is not unusual for an inferior animal, condemned by nature and slave-owners to turn their own sensuality predestined for oppression and contempt. and profligacy to account by sending their The smallest infusion of negro blood in a own children to market; and this brings us family is a taint which nothing can erase or to what ought to touch all clear-headed and compensate. Emancipate the whole of the long-sighted Americans, namely, the irresistiblacks to-morrow, and a new difficulty would ble and hourly increasing influence of slaveconsequently arise, namely, how to deal with ry not only upon the morals but upon the them, for they would still remain a distinct material prosperity of the whites. and subjugated caste. They would We agree with M. de Tocqueville, that watched with never-ceasing jealousy, and the comparison of Kentucky with Ohio, is most probably be forbidden either to meet quite decisive upon this point. These states and remonstrate, or to bear arms. How long are only divided by the river Ohio, and are could such an anomaly endure? Would on a par as regards natural advantages. On they succeed in vindicating their equality, the right bank in Ohio) may be seen all or rise at intervals to provoke and justify the outward and unerring signs of industry renewed acts of injustice, or be gradually and enterprise; whilst everything on the exterminated by the wearing and tearing left (Kentucky) betokens neglect and indotyranny of centuries! The possibility of lence. The slave-holding state is outdone their getting the upper hand has been con- and outshone by its free neighbour in popustantly present to the minds of the proprie- lation, in buildings, in cultivation, in capital, tary class; and to prevent such a catastrophe, -in short, in everything that indicates prothese have accumulated law upon law to gress and prosperity. The reason is obviplace and keep their slaves on a level with ous. Labour is honoured in the one, and the brute creation. It is sufficient to name regarded as a badge of inferiority in the the law forbidding them to be taught to read other; and the effects extend beyond the or write, which has been judged a politic personal habits of the class of masters, who precaution in the South, where the numbers compose a kind of indolent, pleasure-loving, of the slave population are sufficient to excite partially refined, and extremely self-satisfied alarm.

aristocracy. The emigrant will avoid setShuddering humanity may be excused for tling in a country where he cannot earn his occasionally giving utterance to a wish that bread by the sweat of his brow without per the unhappy victims of this soul-destroying sonal ignominy; and the free labourers who legislation could be rendered entirely dead chance to be settled there, partake of the to the finest feelings of our common nature; general deterioration and degradation. Al


though “ the poor whites of the South,” as The maxim is as true of ambition as of vinthey are called, outnumber their slave-hold- dictiveness. We have had in this country, ing fellow-citizens in the proportion of three and may have again, ample experience of to one, their wishes and interests are almost what may be effected by an unscrupulous uniformly despised and trampled upon. section against the convictions and interests

Here, then, is an institution which drops of a better educated and more enlightened moral poison on all beneath its shade, majority. O'Connell's well-disciplined band which curses both him who tortures and made him virtual ruler of Ireland for a him who suffers through its instrumentality, period. Could Lord Derby and Mr. Disraeli -which contains within it the germ of a terri- keep their diminished and disheartened ble retribution, which is the direct negation troops together, they might again force of the grand principle that pervades and un- themselves into the temporary possession of derlies the whole system of republicanism, power, despite of their proved deficiencies as and which hourly threatens the dissolution statesmen, and the ludicrous incapacity of of the Union. Yet, instead of losing, it has their subordinates. The American slave. been gradually gaining ground; slowly and holders have been playing for a more imsurely it has won its way forwards : those portant stake than the English Protectionwho have been bred up in it or under it, far ists. Their lives and property are at stake ; from dropping to leeward, take the lead; at all events they think so; and minor difand although, according to all the rules of ferences are never permitted to distract sound reasoning, they ought to have been their attention from their paramount aim. worsted in the contest, there they are, and They care not what price they pay for indisthere they have been, for more than half a pensable support; and they will vote for or century, the real rulers of the Federation. against anything or everybody upon condition If

we look to the present, we see them in that their own unrighteous cause shall be possession of both the incoming and the out- upheld. Let it be observed, moreover, that going head of the executive, and command their interests and prejudices agree in some ing a majority in each branch of the collect- essential particulars with those of a large ive legislature. If we turn to the past, we portion of the Northern voters, who like find that, starting from the very commence-them, are jealous of the interference of Conment of American independence, they have gress in the internal affairs of the confedersupplied or obtained more than two-thirds ated states, and, like them also, have an inof the main objects of American ambition. veterate contempt for blacks. Recent events, Of the sixteen Presidents of the United States, however, have brought on a crisis which eleven have been actual slaveholders, and promises to be unfavourable to the tactics of three others wedded to their policy. They the slaveholders, by unmasking them. From have also named 61 out 77 presidents of the moment they exchanged soft sawder” the Senate ; 21 out of 33 speakers of the for bludgeons, and attempted to bully the House of Representatives; 15 out of 20 at- North, their chances lessened apace; and torneys-general: 17 out of 28 judges of the unless they make a temperate and conciliatsupreme court; and other high officials in ing use of their electioneering triumph, it proportion. The slaveholders of the United will be their last. At the same time, their States cannot, on the most liberal estimate, position is a very embarrassing one; for if be more than 350,000; and of this number they do not go forward, they will speedily only the adult males can exercise political be stripped of all the advantages they have privileges. The total number of voters in won. Unless they can secure a permanent the Union exceeds 3,000,000 ; and the North working majority in Congress, they will is pre-eminently the fountain of enterprise, have no alternative but to submit to see the seat of intellectual activity, and the that body rapidly reverting to the doctrines swarming hive of industry. What, then, is of its founders, or to execute their oft-repeatthe solution of the problem thus presented ?ed threat of breaking up the Union. It is to be found in a complication of causes;

Hitherto their strength has gone on in. and amongst the most prominent may be creasing at a constantly accelerated ratio. ranked the unity of purpose, clearness of It was vainly thought that what is called view, and tenacity of will with which the the Missouri compromise had placed a defidominant minority has seen and pursued its nite limit to their usurpations. This ends. According to Byron

was an agreement by which Missouri was

admitted into the Union as a slave State, “ There never yet was human power

upon an understanding that slavery should That could escape, if, unforgiven,

be excluded from all the then (1818) fede. The patience and endurance long ral territory west and north of the new State.

of him that treasures up a wrong." This compromise was effected between the VOL. XXVI.


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