صور الصفحة
PDF
النشر الإلكتروني
[merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors]

There are still some parts of the subject on which, if this article were not already too long, we should wish to dwell. Coercion, according to Major Moody, is necessary only in those tropical countries in which the population does not press on the means of subsistence. He holds, that the mul. tiplication of the species will at length render it superfluous. It would be easy to show that this remedy is incompatible with the evil; that the deadly labour, or, as he would call it, the steady labour, which the West Indian sugar-planter exacts, destroys life with frightful rapidity; that the only colonies in which the slaves keep up their numbers are those in which the cultivation of sugar has altogether ceased, or has greatly diminished; and that, in those settlements in which it is extensively and profitably carried on, the population decreases at a rate which portends its speedy extinction. To say, therefore, that the negroes of the sugar colonies must continue slaves till their numbers shall have greatly increased, is to say, in decent and humane phraseology, that they must continue slaves till the whole race is exterminated.

At some future time we may resume this subject. We may then attempt to explain a principle, which, though established by long experience, still appears to many people paradoxical, namely, that a rise in the price of sugar, while it renders the slave more valuable, tends at the same time to abridge his life. We may then also endeavour to show how completely such a system is at variance with the principles on which alone colonization can be defended. When a great country scatters, in some vast and fertile wilderness, the seeds of a civilized population, fosters and protects the infant community through the period of helplessness, and rears it into a mighty nation, the measure is not only beneficial to mankind, but may answer as a mercantile speculation. The sams which were advanced for the support and defence of u fuw emigrants, struggling with difficulties and surrounded by dangers, are repaid by an extensive and lucrative commerce with flourishing and populous regions, which, but for those emigrants, would still have been inhabited only by savages and beasts of prey. Thus, in spite of all the errors which our ancestors committed, both during their connexion with the North American provinces, and at the time of separation, we are inclined to think that England has, on the whole, obained great benefits from them. From our dominions in New South Wales, if judiciously governed, great advantages

may also be derived. But what advantage cau we derive from colonies in which the population, under a cruel and grinding system of oppression, is rapidly wasting away? The planter, we must suppose, knows his own interest. If he chooses to wear his slave to death by exacting from him an exorbitant quantity of work, we must suppose that he gains more by the work than he loses by the death.

But his capital is not the only capital which has been sunk in those countries. Who is to repay the English nation for the treasure which has been expended in governing and defending them? If we had made Jamaica what we have made Massachusetts, if we had raised up in Guiana a popu lation like that of New York, we should indeed have been repaid. But of such a result under the present system there is no hope. It is not improbable that some who are now alive may see the last negro disappear from our Transatlantic possessions. After having squandered a sum, which, if judiciously employed, might have called into existence a great, rich, and enlightened people, which might have spread our arts, our laws, and our language from the banks of the Maragnon to the Mexican sea, we shall again leave our territories deserts as we found them, without one memorial to prove that a civilized man ever set foot on their shores.

But we must absolutely conclude. This subject is far too extensive to be fully discussed at present; and we have another duty to perform. With the Major we began, and with the Major we mean to end. That he is a very respectable officer, and a very respectable man, we have no reason to doubt. But we do, with all seriousness and good-will assure him, that he has no vocation to be a philosopher. If he has set his heart on constructing theories, we are sorry for him; for we cannot flatter him with the faintest hope of success A few undigested facts, and a few long words that mean nothing, are but a slender stock for so extensive a business. For a time he may play the politician among philosophers, and the philosophier among politicians. He inay bewilder speculative men with the cant of office, and practical men with the cant of metaphysics. But at last he must find his level. He is very fit to be a collector of facts, a purveyor of details to those who know how to reason on them; but he is no more qualified to speculate on political science, thar bricklayer is to rival Palladio, or a nurseryman to con fate Linnæus.

[merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

THE PRESENT ADMINISTRATION.'

(Edinburgh Review,) June, 1827.

WE ought to apologize to our readers for prefixing to this article the naine of such a publication. The two numbers which lie on our table contain nothing which could be endured, even at a dinner of the Pitt Club, unless, as the newspapers express it, the hilarity had been continued to a very late hour. We have met, we confess, with nobody who has ever seen them; and, should our account excite any curiosity respecting them, we fear that an application to the booksellers will already be too late. Some tidings of them may perhaps be obtained from the trunk-makers. In order to console our readers, however, under this disappointment, we will venture to assure them, that the only subject on which the reasonings of these Antijacobin Reviewers throw any light, is one in which we take very little interest- the state of their own understandings; and that the only feeling which their pathetic appeals have excited in us, is that of deep regret for our four shillings, which are gone and will

return no more.

It is not a very cleanly, or a very agreeable task, to rake up from the kennels of oblivion the remains of drowned abor.. tions, which have never opened their eyes on the day, or even been heard to whimper, but have been at once transferred from the filth in which they were littered, to the filth with which they are to rot. But unhappily we have no choice. Bad as this work is, it is quite as good as any which has appeared against the present administration. We bave looked everywhere, without being able to find any antagonist who can possibly be as much ashamed of defeat as we shall be of victory.

The New Antiacobin Review. Nos. I. and II. 8vo. London, 1827

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

The manner in which the influence of the press has at chis crisis, been exercised, is, indeed, very remarkable. All the talent has been on one side. With an unanimity which, as Lord Londonderry wisely supposes, can be ascribed only to a dexterous use of the secret-service money, the able and respectable journals of the metropolis have all supported the new government. It has been attacked, on the other hand, by writers who make every cause which they espouse despicable or odious, by one paper which owes all its notoriety to its reports of the slang uttered by drunken lads who are brought to Bow Street for breaking windows-- by another which barely contrives to subsist on intelligence from butlers, and advertisements from perfumers. With these are joined all the scribblers who rest their claim to orthodoxy and loyalty on the perfection to which they have carried the arts of ribaldry and slander. What part these gentlemen would take in the present contest, seemed at first doubtful. We feared, for a moment, that their servility might overpower their malignity, and that they would be even more inclined to flatter the powerful than to calumniate the innocent. It turns out that we were mistaken; and we are most thankful for it. They have been kind enough to spare us the discredit of their alliance. We know not how we should have borne to be of the same party with them. It is bad enough, God knows, to be of the same species.

The writers of the book before us, who are also, we believe, the great majority of its readers, can scarcely be said to belong to this class. They rather resemble those snakes with which Indian jugglers perform so many curious tricks: The bags of venom are left, but the teeth are extracted. That they might omit nothing tending to make them ridicu lous, they have adopted a title on which no judicious writer would have ventured; and challenged comparison with one of the most ingenious and amusing volumes in our language. Whether they have assumed this name on the principle which influenced Mr. Shandy in christening his children, or from a whim similar to that which induced the proprietors of the most frightful Hottentot that ever lived, to give her the name of Venus, we shall not pretend to decide; but we would seriously advise them to consider, whether it is for their interest, that people should be reminded of the cele brated imitations of Darwin and Kotzebue, while they are

MINISTRATION

4uence of the press

A

deed very remat Wab

poses, can be ac -service mocey, the ale ta sposto nave all supported a stacked, on the other hall

me which they espour ch
which owes all to t

d by drunken als va in
ung windows -- by mar
on intelligence from bases
ers. With these are justel
laim to orthodoxy unde
ey have carried the ana
rt these gentlemen wat
hed at first doubtulit
servility might overpowe

uld be even more car
mniate the innocess I
and we are most tha

ugh to spare us the not how we should have them. It is bad

us, who are also, we be ders, can scarcely be d er resemble those sas so many curious tids. the teeth are exca ing to make them ra hich no judicious wrat ed comparison with Glumes in our langu are on the price stening his childres, or faced the proprieta lived, to give her the end to decide; but w sider, whether it is reminded of the cele

tzebue, while they ar

reading such parodies on the Bible as the following: - "In those days, a strange person shall appear in the land, and he shall cry to the people, Behold, I am possessed by the Demon of Ultra-Liberalism; I have received the gift of incoherence; I am a political philosopher, and a professor of paradoxes."

We would also, with great respect, ask the gentleman who has lampooned Mr. Canning in such Drydenian couplets as this

"When he said if they would but let him in, He would never try to turn them out again,"

whether his performance gains much by being compared with New Morality? and, indeed, whether such satire as this is likely to make anybody laugh but himself, or to make anybody wince but his publisher ?

But we must take leave of the New Antijacobin Review; and we do so, hoping that we have secured the gratitude of its conductors. We once heard a зchoolboy relate, with evident satisfaction and pride, that he had been horsewhipped by a Duke: we trust that our present condescension will be as highly appreciated.

But it is not for the purpose of making a scarecrow of a ridiculous publication, that we address our readers at the present important crisis. We are convinced, that the cause of the present Ministers is the cause of liberty, the cause of toleration, the cause of political science, the cause of the Deople, who are entitled to expect from their wisdom and liberality many judicious reforms, the cause of the aristocracy, who, unless those reforms be adopted, must inevitably be the victims of a violent and desolating revolution. We are convinced, that the government of the country was never inrusted to men who more thoroughly understood its interest, or were more sincerely disposed to promote it- to men who, in forming their arrangements, thought so much of what they could do, and so little of what they could get. On the other side, we see a party which, for ignorance, intemperance, and inconsistency, has no parallel in our annals,which, as an Opposition, we really think, is a scandal to the nation, and, as a Ministry, would speedily be its ruin. Under these circumstances, we think it our duty to give our best support to those with whose power are inseparably bound up all the dearest interests of the community, the

« السابقةمتابعة »