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AFRICAN AND ASIATIC SOCIETY.
This Society, the public have been already informed, was instituted for the benefit of the natives of Africa and Asia, and their descendants, resident in London and its vicinity,
It provides religious instruction for those connected with it, a public lecture being regularly carried on, every Lord's-day evening, expressly for their benefit ; and schools being provided in their respective neighbourhoods, where they are taught to read, to write, and to cast-up accounts, &c.
It induces a habit of economy and foresight, by receiving from its members a small sum weekly, on the principle of a benefit society. Out of the fund thus raised by their individual contributions, they become, on certain conditions, entitled to receive regular assistance and relief in seasons of distress, and in time of old age.
It assists in providing employment for such as are out of situations: the Committee using their individual exertions towards this end, and places being opened as registers, where their applications may be lodged and attended to, viz. No. 421, Oxford-street, and No. 29, St. James's-stree'.
It contributes to the relief of distressed Africans and Asiatics, whether enrolled as members or not; the Committee regularly meeting once a mouth expressly for this purpose.
Such are the leading objects proposed by the African and Asiatic Society.
Since the commencement of the Society, 375 persons of colour have joined themselves
to it as subscribing members, most of whom have occasionally, and many of them regu larly, attended public worship. Some of them are said to give the most satisfactory evidence of repentance towards God and faith in our Lord Jesus Christ, and good hopes are entertained with regard to others, Several of those who have been patronised by this Society have died rejoicing in the Lord Jesus.
Since the last annual meeting, about one hundred and eighty cases of deep affliction have been relieved, and the number of cases of distress continues to multiply; a circumstance which the Committee trust the benevolence of the public will enable them ade quately to meet.
The Committee express a hope that the time may come when the funds of the Society will enable them to erect an Asylum for their aged pensioners, and enlarge the sphere of their benevolence to an extent commensurate with the necessities of the distressed natives of Africa and Asia. In the mean time, they are desirous, if possible, to take from the street those miserable objects among them who are found begging. With this view they have thought of engaging some person to receive and employ them according to their several abilities, at a given sum per week for each individual.
Subscriptions and donations to this Society are received by D. Niven, Esq. Treasurer, 15, King-street, Soho; the Rev. George Greig, Secretary, 10, Villiers-street, Strand; or by any Member of the Committee,
**We exceedingly regret our inability to insert a tithe of the Religious Intelligence which loads our table.
VIEW OF PUBLIC AFFAIRS.
FOREIGN INTELLIGENCE. As official dispatch from Lord Wellington announces the capture and demolition, on the 19th of May, of the works at Almaraz, on the river Tagus, which the French had thrown up to defend the bridge at that place, By this bridge the communication between the army of Soult and that of Marmont had been chiefly maintained. Almaraz is in the heart of SPAIN, about 90 or 100 miles east of the Portuguese frontier. The attack was planned by Lord Wellington, and executed, in a masterly manner, by Sir Rowland Hill, The difficulties of approach were such, that he was under the necessity of advancing without his battering cannon. He was not,
however, de erred from the attack by this circumstance. He stormed and carried, at the point of the bayonet, fortifications defended by heavy artillery, and with a loss comparatively trivial, consisting in 32 killed, and 144 wounded. About a month's provisions for 3000 men were found in the magazines. The number of French prisoners taken was only 259; a part of the garrison escaped; the rest were either killed in the assault, or drowned in attempting to escape. The great object of the expedition was, however, the destruction of the bridge and of the tête-du-pont, and other fortifications, by which it was defended; and this object was fully accomplished. The communication bos
tween the northern and southern armies has thus been rendered much more circuitous.
The head-quarters of Lord Wellington continued at Fuente Guinaldo, in the neighbourhoood of Ciudad Rodrigo; but it was supposed that he would be encouraged, by the success of Sir R. Hill, to make a forward movement towards Salamanca, where the army of Marmont had established its headquarters.
The dispatches of Lord Wellington speak in very high terms of the efforts of the Spanish Guerillas. They have succeeded in capturing several rich convoys, and cutting off considerable detachments of French troops, in different parts of the Peninsula. General Mendizabel had taken possession of Burgos, on the high road from Madrid to Bayonne, though he probably would hold it only temporarily; and in Catalonia the Baron d'Eroles had continued to make occasional incursions into the French territory, and to lay it under contribution.
The distress for want of provisions is said to be great, and rapidly increasing, in every part of Spain.
The question of peace or war between FRANCE and the kingdoms of RUSSIA and SWEDEN, had not been decided when the last accounts left the Continent. Bonaparte had arrived at Dresden in the month of May, and was met there by the Emperor of Austria, the Kings of Prussia and Saxony, and other dependent princes. He quitted Dresden, and proceeded to Thorn, on the 2d instant. It is believed that the advance of his armies has been retarded by the want of provisions. In France itself, it is said that
this want is most severely felt; and that there have been very considerable tumults in consequence, which the military have been engaged in repressing.
The UNITED STATES have adopted a succession of hostile measures towards this country. Not content with their non-intercourse law, and their embargo, they have entertained measures for avenging on the British creditor the impressment of American seamen, sad the issue of letters of marque and reprisal has been openly talked of. `It is probable, however, that no very decisive step would be taken in the way of declaring war before the expiry of the embargo, which would take place on the 4th of July; and before that day arrived, the intelligence which must have been received from England would probably give a new colour to the American policy.
SOUTH AMERICA and the WEST INDIES have been visited with the calamity of ans earthquake. In the province of Caraccas, no less than 10,000 persous are reported to have perished. The island of St. Vincent's has suffered under a similar visitation. In the island of Cuba there appears to have been an insurrection of the slaves, which the government had succeeded in subduing. When the immense importations of slaves from Africa, which have taken place into that island in the course of the last five years (not less, it is calculated, than 200,000) are considered, we cannot wonder at any explosion of this kind which may have occurred.
PARLIAMENTARY PROCEEDINGS. 1. It was not before the 10th instant, after an interregnum of about three weeks, that an administration was at length formed. This administration consists of the following persons, viz.: The Earl of Liverpool, First Lord of the Treasury; the Right Honour able N. Vansittart, Chancellor of the Exchequer; Lord Sidmouth, Secretary of State for the Home Department; Lord Castlereagh, Secretary of State for the Foreign Department; Earl Bathurst, Secretary of State for the War and Colonial Departments; Earl Harrowby, President of the Council; and the Right Honourable Bragge Bathurst, Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster: the other officers remain as before. From this list it will be seen, that the government continues in nearly the same hands in which
it was placed previously to the address of the House of Commons to the Prince Regent, praying his Royal Highness to form a strong and efficient administration.
Parliament has been put into possession of the particulars of the negotiations between the leading political characters in the country, which followed that vote of the House of Commons, and which have terminated in this unlooked-for result. A brief view of them may not be unacceptable to our readers.
Lord Wellesley, on the 22d of May, having received the commands of the Prince Regent to form an Administration, proceeded to ascertain the views of the two great political parties, in respect to the removal of the Catholic disabilities, and the more vigorous prosecution of the war in the Penin sula, Lord Liverpool and the persons asso
ciated with him in office, declined to take any part in an administration formed by Lord Wellesley. This they appear to have done on the ground that the Marquis WelMesley had given publicity to a statement highly injurious to the memory of the late Mr. Perceval, a few days after the death of that lamented statesman; and that he had also given an unauthorised publicity to the communications which had passed between himself and Lord Liverpool on the subject of his being invited to unite with the remains of Mr. Perceval's administration.
Lords Grey and Grenville signified to Lord Wellesley their disposition to concur in any arrangements which might be likely to produce a strong and efficient administration. On the Catholic question their sentiaments were well known. With respect to the war in the Peninsula, they conceived that that must be regulated by circumstances. They felt very strongly, however, the advanAages which would result from a successful termination of the contest in Spain, though they entertained doubts as to the practicability of any very increased exertions.
On the 1st of June, Lord Wellesley received full authority from the Prince Regent to form an administration, and was specially authorised to communicate with Lords Grey and Grenville; but the pleasure of his Royal Highness was signified that Lord Wellesley should be First Lord of the Treasury; that Lord Moira, Lord Erskine, and Mr. Canning, should be members of the Cabinet; that Lords Grey and Grenville should nominate, without any exception on the part of his Royal Highness, four other members of the Cabinet besides themselves, if the Cabimet should consist of twelve, or five other quembers, if it should consist of thirteen persons; and that the remaining members of the Cabinet should be nained by Lord Wel Jesley, either from persons now occupying stations in his Royal Highness's councils or from others.
This proposition Lords Grey and Grenville declined, on the ground that an Administration so formed, instead of being united in principle and strong in mutual reliance (as the times required they should be), contained within itself the seeds of disunion and jealousy, and established a system of counteraction within the Cabinet, inconsistent with the prosecution of any uniform and beneficial course of policy.
In consequence of the failure of this negotiation, Lord Wellesley, on the 3d of June, resigned his commission into the hands of the Prince Regent.
On the 5th of June, Lord Moira proposed to Lords Grey and Grenville an interview, in order to ascertain, by a confidential but unauthorised communication, the probability of their agreeing as to the forming of an adniuistration. The proposed interview was declined by Lords Grey and Grenville, on the ground of Lord Moira's having no authority to treat with them.
On the 6th of June, Lord Moira obtained full powers from the Prince Regent to form an administration, and he had an immediate interview with Lords Grey and Grenville, After agreeing on the several great questions of national policy which respect the Roman Catholics, the war on the Peninsula, and the Orders in Council, Lords Grey and Grenville inquired whether Lord Moira's authority extended to the consideration of new appointments to the great offices of the household. He replied, that he was not shackled in this respect; but that he deemed it objectionable, on public grounds, to make the power of removing the great officers of the household a positive and indispensable preliminary in the formation of a new administration. The Lords Grey and Grenville thought differently: they deemed it necessary to give to a new government the character of efficiency and stability, that the connection of the great offices of the Court with the Administration, should be clearly marked. On this difference of opinion the negotiation broke off.
On the 8th of June, Earl Moira resigned the commission with which he had been entrusted; and, on the same day, the Earl of Liverpool was appointed First Lord of the Treasury. The remaining appointments, which have already been noticed, took place soon after.
The circumstances in these negotiations which strike vulgar observers like ourselves, as extraordinary, are the unbusiness-like method (if we may so express it) in which they appear to have been conducted, and the very trivial points on which they are broken off. A little well-timed concession and forbearance, or a little frank and ingenuous explanation on both sides, would have been likely to remove all the difficulties, and obviate all the misunderstandings, which have taken place. We certainly should have been glad, on many accounts, to have seen a strong aduinistration formed at the present critical moment. As the hopes entertained on this subject have been frustrated, through no fault of the present ministers, we deem it to be the duty of every loyal subject to give them, his support as far as he conscicutiously
can; and we are sure it is the duty of every Christian to pray for them, that under their administration we may be " godly and quietly governed;" and that, by their endeavours, "peace and happiness, truth and justice, religion and piety, may be established among us for all generations." They may fairly claim, as an administration constitutionally appointed, to be judged by their measures, and not by the distinction which they may have acquired us parliamentary orators, or by the preconceptions which may have been formed, perhaps erroneously, of their capacity to conduct the affairs of the nation. For our own parts, though we highly value great talents and splendid eloquence, as gifts designed by God to promote the happiness of man, though they are often miserably perverted to other purposes, we are disposed still more highly to value the unostentations qualities of good sense and sound judgment, especially if joined with pare and upright intentions, and more particularly still if they be combined with reverence for the authority of God. Whether in public or in private life, we believe it to be the blessing of the Lord which "maketh rich."
2. The newly appointed Government have at least shewn a strong disposition to do all in their power to conciliate their opponents both at home and abroad. They have anLounced to Parliament, that the salary affixed to Col. M'Mahon's situation, of private secretary to the Prince Regent, would no longer be a charge on the nation, as had been intended, but would be paid from the Prince's private purse: They have likewise signified" that the plan of erecting extensive barracks in Mary-le-bone, and at Liverpool and Bristel, which had caused much dissatisfaction on account of the largeness of the expense, would be abandoned for the present. They, have consented to take into consideration; during the recess, the claims of the Roman Catholics, in order to ascertain how far they may be complied with, without compromising the safety of our church establishment. They have agreed to consider also, the state of the tithe laws in Ireland, with a view to determine, whether any mode can be devised by which the rights of the clergy may be secured, and the inconvenience admitted ou all hands to be sustained by the Irish peasantay lessened and they have, moreover, professed themselves friendly to the adoption of some plan, for diffusing education generally among the poor in Ireland.
3. In addition to these measures of conciliation, the Orders in Council of January 1807, and of April 1809, have been revoked, as they respect America. The intention to revoke
them was announced in Parliament on the evening on which these Orders were to become. “ the subject of debate. The act of revocation has since appeared. It states, that a de cree of the French Government, dated in April 1811, having been communicated by the American minister, which declared that the Berlin and Milan decrees had been withdrawn, as far as they respected America, Government is disposed to overlook the obvious defects in this instrument, and, conformably to the recent declaration of the Prince Regent (see No. for April, p. 258), to remove the existing restrictions on neutral commerce. It is therefore ordered, that the Orders in Council of January 1807, and Aprik 1809, shall be revoked, as far as regards American ships and property, on the 1st of August next. If, however, the American Government should not, as soon as possible after the notification of this order, revoke their acts of exclusion and interdiction against this country, then this revocation, after duenotice given, shall become null and of no effect. All American vessels captured since the 26th of May, for a breach of the former orders, and which shall not have been condemned before the date of this order (the 23d of June), shall not be proceeded against till farther orders; and in the event of the present order being confirmed, they shall be restored, on the payment of reasonable expenses. A right is reserved of restoring after reasonable notice; the Orders in Council of January 1807, and April 1809, if circumstances should require it, or of taking such other measures of retaliation against the enemy, as may appear just and necessary.
Those who have been accustomed to read our pages, will not be surprised that we should consider this revocation as a measure of very questionable policy. Indeed, we fear, that, whatever relief it may afford for
the moment to certain classes of our manufacturers, it will have the ultimate, and not very remote effect, supposing that Bonaparte is determined to enforce what he calls his continental system, of materially abridging British commerce. We will not, however, now enter on that question. It perhaps had become necessary for Government to yield this point to the clamours which had been raised in every part of the kingdom (raised, we admit, hy gross delusion and misrepresentation), and to the impression which these clamours, however unreasonable, had made in Parliament. And the concession being made, we shall, for our own parts, rejoice in its producing all the benefits which its most sanguine advocates have anticipated from it We shall rejoice, if it should remove in any
measure the distress felt by our manufac turers. We shall rejoice if it should prevent a rupture with America, though on this point we have our doubts. We shall rejoice if it should abate the violence of irritation, which has arisen in the minds of many persons at home, and tend to concord and union. And we shall no less rejoice if all our own apprehension of future evil from this measure should be disappointed, though at the expense of our political sagacity; and it shall be found, by the test of experience, to be productive only of pure undefecated good.
4. The budget for the present year, has been opened by Mr. Vansittart. The total charge is nearly 62 millions and a half, of which nearly 55 millions and a half is for England. To meet this charge, a loan of 15,650,000). in addition to nearly seven millions of Exchequer Bills funded, has been requisite. There is also a vote of credit for three millions of Exchequer Bills; and a further loan of 2,500,0001. has been raised, under the sanction of Parliament, for the East-India Company. The terms on which the loan was negotiated, were, that for every 1001. sterling, the subscribers should receive 1201. 3 per cent. Reduced, and 561. 3 per cent. Consols. The amount of taxes required to meet this new charge is 1,900,000). Those which have been proposed, are as follows: A saving of the bounty allowed on the exportation ofprinted cotton, L.308,000 An additional tax of 14d. per lb. on leather..
No objection appears to have been made to any of the taxes, excepting to that on leather.
5. Mr. Bankes's bill for the abolition of sinecures has passed the House of Commous..
The health of his Majesty continues in the same hopeless state in which it has been for many mouths.
Major-general Bonham has been appointed Governor of Surinam; and Col. Ainslie of Dominica.
The special commission appointed to try the rioters in Lancashire, has terminated its labours. Eight persons were left for execution; thirteen were sentenced to seven years' transportation, and one to six months' hard labour. May the example prove salutary!
We greatly fear, that the spirit of insubor dination in the northern counties is by no means subdued, though kept down by the presence of a military force. Nothing can more clearly prove that distress is not the cause of the outrages that have been committed, but that they originate in a spirit of anarchy and disorder, than this, that the persons who have been apprehended have been persons in full employment, and that some of the districts in which these outrages havo prevailed have experienced but comparatively little of the pressure arising from the stag nation of trade.
We mentioned in our last, the mischief which had been done by a small squadron of two frigates and a sloop, sent out on a cruize from some port in France. They were returning into the port of L'Orient, laden with booty, when they were intercepted by one of our men of war, the Northumberland, and completely destroyed. The two frigates, of 44 guns each, were burnt, and the sloop L.1,903,000 sunk.
A regulation of auction duties An additional duty of 1d. on letters going more than 20 miles...... 220,000 An increase in various items of the assessed taxes, amounting to. .. 517,000
ANSWERS TO CORRESPONDENTS.
To A CONSTANT READER, who wishes for some popular tract on the nature of the Church of England, we would recommend a sinal tract by the late Rev. Mr. Drewett, entitled "Why are you a Churchman?"-another by the Rev. Mr. Robinson of Leicester, entitled "A serious Call to a constant and devout Attendance on the stated Services of the Church of England"—and the Sermons of the Rev. Mr. Simeon on the Liturgy, which have recently been published. On the subject of Christian faith and practice, we know nothing better than the Homilies of the Church of England, which may be had in separate tracts, at a very low rate. But there is an endless variety of excellent tracts of this description.
For remaining Answers, see 2d page of blue Cover.