Obrazy na stronie

a court of justice ; but no one has yet con- blind in reality-or affecting blindtended, that, till he can FEEL THE OB- ness, in order that the tricks of lynxLIGATION OF AN OATH, till you HAVE like perspicacity, as to self-interest, at least FOUND SOME SYMBOL FAIRLY may not be suspected by the ignorant TO SWEAR HIM BY, his evidence shall be

multitude, for whom alone their style regarded as credible. What will the slave

of procedure, their tone of language, then have gained ? The MOCKERY of being produced not to be believed. Bet. their reach and grasp of intellect, are

is in any measure adapted. These men ter for him that he should remain as he is, than exchange a technical disability for a

are all, take their word for it, so many public exhibition of his incompetence." HOWARDS. Yet, has any one of them

Nothing can be more sensible than all either visited the regions of which the more general observation of the they all talk so much, in order to same writer, that,

check, by personal examination, the “ Moral improvement is the hinge on risk of false information? or, in point which everything must turn. When that of fact, paid one jot of price in the is sufficiently advanced, civil rights may shape of personal pain and privation, be freely granted, and emancipation will for that all-adorning, that all-sanctihave no danger. But moral improvement fying, that all-subduing, all-silencing will not be accomplished by vain recom NAME of peerless philanthropy, to mendation to the colonies to do what they

which every one of them conceives have not the means of effecting. " Nothing, indeed, could be easier than

himself to have as good a right as any for the colonies to pass specious laws, which

one of the uninitiated conceives he has would remove every reproach from their

to the character of an honest man, or statute books; but if, from existing cir.

of a loyal citizen-and in which, best cumstances, these laws could not have any

of all jokes that ever were jested, practical effect, it were better that the evil THEY, (never dreaming but that they should remain open to public view, than may, without impiety, say, “whoever that it should be ihus disguised.”

is not with us is against us,") will alWe have already said a great deal low no man whatever to have either more as to these matters than we in- part or lot, except he bas kissed tended when we began; and yet we their private symbols of coherence and have, comparatively speaking, done co-operation, and renounced virtually nothing in the way of detail. We every other principle of social compact, have referred, however, abundantly to but theirs ? the sources whence the most accurate We apprehend that we have done and most overwhelming information enough to justify these expressions ; may be derived by any one who will but to attack individuals we have no take the trouble of looking for it, and wish whatever, nor is there, we are having done this, and having most as- persuaded, the slightest necessity for suredly said nothing but what we have our doing so in this instance. The satisfied our own minds is true and truth is, that the knowledge is everyuncontrovertible, we now call upon where and in every hand : the only our readers to say, what is their opi thing that is needful, is, to call upon nion of the Mitigation and Institution men of common understanding to turn Agitators? These people profess to be their eyes outwards and inwards, and the best Christians in the world; in consider what has been going ondeed they will allow nobody to be a what they themselves know to have Christian at all but their own set; they been going on. Time has been when profess, also, to be the very princes of the House of Commons would have philanthropy. Has their conduct been been the natural sphere for such dissuch as might be expected from the cussions to take place in, and for such open assumption of such characters ? hints to have emanated from. But Have not these Christians—these par there, as we hare said ere now, and excellence Christians-been deliberate- as all that have sense to feel anything ly, and are they not now unabashedly, have felt long ere now, things of this the suppressors and distorters of facts ? sort are in these glorious days of smooth Are they not helpless as children in speaking entirely out of the question. logic-are they not beggers of the There, every one is the honourable question, and putters of the cart be- member fore the horse at every turn they “ So are they all, all honourable men." make? Are they not idle, irrational There, MOTIVEs must not be even leclaimers--frothy exaggerators- glanced at: there, if the Lie be given, the word, the honest word, is only these representations were collected, to uttered to be eat again in the fast- ascribe much weight to them, and he con. coming qualm of the all-levelling en- jured the Right Honourable Gentleman, demic. It is on paper only that TRUTH

as a Minister of the Crown, not to be led can be hinted. The only comfort is,

away by petitions so got up.-(Only con. that when truth is hinted anywhere,

ceive of Mr CANNING really led away by there is a principle not yet entirely

these things !)- They were signed by per.

sons, few of whom-(mark the few !)—had eradicated, which renders that one any means of information, and mostly by golden atom more powerful than a those, who were in the habit of annually thousand tons of the blown-up soul- quieting an over-timid conscience by a sub. sickening verbiage that would fain scription to missions and to some petition oppress and smother it.

about slavery, of the nature of which they The truth is, then, that slavery knew nothing, but from the distorted exag, wherever it exists is an evil-an odious gerations of enthusiasts. When it was conevil ; but that the slavery to which the

sidered that these petitions were, as is well negroes are subjected in the West Indies

known, brought in such loads to the table is as nothing compared with the slavery

of the House, in consequence of a plan or. to which all negroes are born in the na

y ganized by a few persons in the metropolis,

gentlemen would ascribe to them only the tive country of their race: that in respect

in respect weight they deserved.of physical comforts, the West Indian negroes are superior to almost all the

In regard to the interests of the colabouring peasantry of the Old World: lonies themselves, and their English and that in those matters wherein proprietors, the TRUTH may be stated these negroes are inferior to the la almost as briefly. Whatever may be bouring classes of European countries, the sin of slavery, it is no more theirs the inferiority is not by any means than it is that of Mr Wilberforce or even take the worst times and the Mr Buxton, or of any other given man worst places, so great as it would have or men now residing in England, and been had they remained in Africa.

eating the fruits of English manors, That the moral condition of these to say nothing of English breweries. negroes ought to be improved, is evi

The slave-trade was not the child of dent: that it must be improved ere our West Indian colonists. It was they are made free to do as they

established in the reign of Queen Elichoose, is as evident ;--that is to say, zabeth, (who took a personal share in if any regard whatever is to be paid it,) before we had any of these coloeither to the welfare of our colonies,

nies at all. James I., Charles I., as parts of our empire and instruments

Cromwell, Charles II., James II., but of our wealth ; or even, laying these

above all, William III., did their ut. matters altogether out of view, to the

most to extend the slave-trade. * Wiltrue interests, moral and intellectual, liam was the king, and the great Lord of the negroes themselves. This, in

Somers the minister, who concluded so far as the negroes are concerned,

the Assiento treaty, with which our •is the truth. Have the Wilberforces, colonies had nothing to do, but by the Buxtons, the Macaulays—have the

which England bound herself to furBroughams, acted as if this were the

nish the Spanish colonies with 141,000 truth? Have the Ellises, the Mar

slaves, at the rate of 4800 per annum. ryatts-ay, has even Canning, the ora. During all this time, the West Indian tor and the statesman of the time colonists of England did nothing but primus absque secundo-has even he buy slaves from the British merchants, answered these men as if it were so ?

the said merchants being “ encouraNo.-The only man in the House of ged” in the said traffic by a regular Commons who has ventured even to sequence of Acts of Parliament. Nay, come within a hundred miles of any. farther, however much the dupes may thing like the indication of his true

start, the fact is certain, that the said feelings, is Mr ALEXANDER BARING. colonies began the attack on the said Observe the parliamentary style

traffic, so favoured by the Govern* With every respect for the motives of ment and Parliament of England. the numerous petitioners on this subject, Three different acts were passed in the he must confess, that he had witnessed too colonies for the restriction of the slavemuch the tricks and calumnies by which trade between 1760 and 1774, and all

• See Mr Barbam.

these acts were negatived by the Eng- man must really be, as to the matter lish Parliament-the Earl of Dart- of intellect, almost worthy of adding mouth, President of the Board, decla- one more to their phalanx. He must ring, on the last of these occasions, be the very same sort of person who We cannot allow the colonies to check lifts up his eyes in a pious tremor when or discourage, in any degree, a traffic he hears HEXRY BROUGHAM, Esq.!!! 80 beneficial to THE NATION," All this -Yes, BROUGHAM ! talking in St was done because this traffic was sup- Stephen's Chapel, about “an indige posed to be highly advantageous to the nant Providence,” and “ the awful shipping and commerce of England. curse of Heaven on colonial iniquity !"* England was the guarantee to her co- Euge! euge! eugel-We shall have lonies. What she sanctioned, they him sporting a View of CHRISTIANIdurst not call in question ; how could Ty of his own inditing by and by. they judge it to be wrong? The Mi, Mr Barham, from whom we have tigation Society say, that the West In- already quoted several conclusive pasdians ought to remember that they sages touching the misrepresentations have had “ the advantage and the usu- of the Wilberforce and Buxton party, fruct of the slaves." Not so: not is the only writer on the subject who they only. The shipping interest, the has ventured to draw out a specific general commercial interest, the reve- plan, whereby, according to the supponue, the political power of England, sition, all the difficulties of the case have all been equally gainers. But at are capable of being surmounted. Imany rate, the nation patronized the mediate emancipation, he agrees with trade the nation created the slave po- every rational being in considering to pulation. The Acts of Parliament told be, what Mr Pitt once called it, “ sheer the colonists that they were safe in insanity,"-(by the way, the Mitigabuying—the Acts of Parliament en- tion Society chooses to render these treated, almost commanded, them to words of Mr Pitt by“ an extremely debuy. The Acts of Parliament of those licate measure.") Ere any emancipadays must be interpreted by reference tion can take place without the grossto the mind of Parliament in those est injury to the negroes themselves, days; and, doing so, no human being he says, as all must say, that a long can suspect that any one of thosc Par- course of moral and religious instrucliaments ever contemplated negro sla- tion is necessary. But what is his very as a thing which ought not to be, plan? Neither more nor less than that or the contracts perfected under their the Government of this country should, eye in regard to that traffic as less en- de plano, buy up the whole land and titled to the perpetual protection of claves of these colonies, at a cost, as he their authority, and their successors' estimates it, of, at the least, one huNauthority, than any other species of DRED AND TWENTY-EIGHT MILLIONS contracts entered into at the same STERLING. This trifling addition betime about land or stock in England ing made to the national debt, he proitself. It is clear, then, that the na- poses that the Government shall intion is bound to protect these colonies demnify itself by commencing a mo. from danger, and to compensate them nopoly of the trade of raising sugar, if they sustain loss. Whatever expe- coffee, &c. in the West Indies. The riments, therefore, are made, must, in Government, he says, (but what says common justice, be made at the ex- history?) will be the cheapest and pense of the nation. The Mitigators thriftiest, and therefore the most thri-even they—are indeed compelled to ving and flourishing, of farmers and admit something of this; but it is al- sugar growers. In short, we shall ways attended with a hesitating, de- make immensely rich by our speculatracting, envious, hypocritical sneer; tion, and out of our overplus of reveinsomuch, that the man who reads the nue be enabled to provide adequate Edinburgh Review or their Reports, means for improving the moral and and believes that they are speaking religious, and thence, by consequence, bona fide, without any mental phari. and at no distant period of time, the saical reserve that they speak freely, political condition of the negroes. and are ready to act fairly,—any such M r Barham is a man of clear views,

• Vide Mr Brougham's harangue in the debate on Mr Buxton's motion.

and an excellent writer ; and, accord gar trade free and open, but only for ingly, whoever turns to his book will admitting the East Indians to a share find this plan laid down in all due in the monopoly which already exists. detail, and the thing made to wear a But, secondly, we really are blind to feasible enough aspect, prima facie. the justice of the plan. What you take But although it is at present impos- from the cotton manufacturers of Insible for us to go into the matter, we dia, pay back from the pockets of the suspect our readers will really have no planters of Jamaica. That is the simgreat difficulty in excusing us. To ple proposition. Had Mr Whitmore say the truth, we have mentioned the proposed to restrain the manufacturer thing not so much with a view to the of England from competing with the detail and merits of the plan itself, as manufacturer of India, as to the Inwith the view of letting plain people dian market, we should have been comsee what sort of difficulties they really pelled to admit, that there was at are that environ a subject of which so least a greater semblance of equity in many idle and ignorant fools are eter- the scheme. But the West Indians, nally chattering, without seinblance or what have they done about the East shadow of anything like modesty or India cotton? Do they not themselves diffidence. An addition of one hun- clothe every negro man, woman, and dred and twenty-eight millions to the child, they have, in cotton goods of national burden under which we al English manufacture? -and if you ready labour! The prospect of Mr take from them the sugar trade, whereCanning turning farmer-general of the in, at the present moment, from a vaWest Indian islands, and of our making riety of circumstances over which they rich by means of his stewardship! have as little control, as the Hindoos And then the patronage and the Whig have over the machinery of Soho, they outcry!-But, ohe, jam satis !-And are not prospering, will no recompence yet we cannot but smile at ourselves be due to them in their turn, and will for having omitted to state, that it has the East Indians be willing to pay that been suggested, even by Mr Barham, recompence exclusively out of their that we might have a company of own pockets? West Indian Directors ! Perhaps the But what is the truth? The EngEast Indian Directors would be kind lish cotton manufacturers are strongly enough to volunteer this slight addis represented in the House of Commons, tamentum to their present toils ! and the West Indian planters can

Mr Whitmore (the maker of the scarcely be said to be represented there motion of the 23d of May) came to the at all. support of the East Indian free-traders, This is the true root of all this evil. &c., and to the attack of the West In- We have established these colonies dedian colonists, on grounds and with liberately- and we have given them coarguments of an avowedly commercial lonial governments and assemblies character. This was all as it should and we have invested these with privihave been : nothing could be fairer leges and powers, which they have, for than the principle of action which he, ages, exercised under our eyes, and with like others, acted on, and, unlike others, our approbation. Withthese colonial go avowed in the House. But to what vernments weare now beginning to deal does his argument amount? Our steam- exactly as if they were possessed of no engines, and other machinery, have, lawful character or power whatever ; said he, enabled us to bring the cota and what the consequences of this intop of the East to England-manu- terference may be, is a subject far facture it into cloth-send it back to above us. Will nothing, however, be Hindostan-and, after all, undersell accepted as a lesson? Have we mathe Hindoo manufacturer on his own naged all our colonies wisely and well? soil. For this, says the logical gen- Have we kept them all? Is there notleman, we owe some reparation to the thing in the past history of our emHindoo ; and that reparation ought to pire, to teach us prudence at least, if be made, by enabling him to come we must say nothing of justice? Are into the sugar market of Europe, on we prepared, either to see these coloequal terms with the West Indians. nies turned into negro-land, or in

Now, in the first place, be it obser to dependencies of some other Chrisved, that in spite of fine phrases, this tian power? These are, at least, queswas not a motion for making the su- tions to which our rulers ought to be meditating an answer. Or if they be authority of bis name, have already already resolved to answer both in the been productive of most fearful dannegative, what avails all this idle and gers--that ere these pages see the timid tampering? Why not speak out light, they may have been productive NOW?

of much worse and that at all events In regard to the personal character, there is no farther need for interference and for many of the former acts of Mr of any kind-these are propositions to Wilberforce, we entertain feelings far which we anticipate no dissent from more respectful, than some of the ex- any rational mind, that has conde pressions into which circumstances of scended to bestow due attention upon more immediate influence may have the important matter before us. betrayed us, might seem to correspond We would fain hope, that whatever -with. We allude to the deep and most pertinacity self-interest may dictate serious fears which we have been un- elsewhere, Mr Wilberforce at least able to throw aside, both as to the wel will take warning, and deny to the fare of the British colonies, and the true chicaneries of the next session that interests of the West Indian negroes. support that not much less than faIt may be very true, that government tal support-which, from whatever was too long of taking up some of these combination of ignorance and zeal, he matters, and that in so far thanks are was led to bestow on those of the last. due to those who urged and impelled The public cannot be dangerously afthe government., That the method of fected by the declamations, any more this interference, however, has been than by the calculations, of mere mere most unwise that the benevolent spi- chants; but there are others who rit of Mr Wilberforce has suffered sound a trumpet, to which the Enge itself to be made both the dupe and lish ear is and ever should be alive, the tool of people, with whom he and who unfold colours that can nehas no natural bond of connection- ver be too reverently honoured, proof whose real objects he even now, vided only they be displayed under the perhaps, will entertain no suspicion— guidance of Reason. that their machinations, backed by the


Dear Mr Nortu,

poisons which faction of the worst deYou know it has been said by some scription is continually scattering in one, “Let me make songs for a people, the way of the heedless, through the and I care not who makes their laws.” channel of a licentious press. In this If a song can be supposed to be so ef- beneficial labour the pen of your fective on the opinions of the public, friend Tickler is eminently conspi. how much more potent an engine is a cuous. Like the Roman moralist, to popular Magazine! That your politi- whom I have already made allusion, cal lucubrations, diffused as they are he exposes his adversaries to ridicule. far and wide throughout the British He excites, indeed, the smiles of his empire, have done the state service, I friends, but his touch is sharper than well know ;-as an Englishman, I ac- that of the Bard of the Sabine Villa ; knowledge the useful labours of our he brandishes the scalping knife of the northern brethren with gratitude, and Poet of Aquinum; and if he tickles, I willingly offer my tribute of praise. it is with a cat o' nine tails. Your essays on these subjects have an After this ample adınission of the meenergy of expression, and a happy rits of this and other able contributors adaptation of humour, which, at least to your respectable miscellany, as well as long since as the days of Horace, has as those of your own composition, Icanbeen observed to cut down an advere not refrain from taking the liberty of sary with more effect than the most pointing out one particular, in which weighty arguinent. By these means, I think that you, he, and all the rest aided at the same time by forcible of your critical and political fraternity, reasoning, the public mind has been have fallen into an egregious error. guided in the right way, and a salutary Let us calmly argue the point, and I antidote has been afforded to those do not despair of convincing you that

« PoprzedniaDalej »