Imatges de pÓgina
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MONTHLY RETROSPECT of PUBLIC AFFAIRS;

OR,

The Christian's Survey of the Political World.

THE explosion has taken place which the slave is to look up to the authority of bas been so long dreaded. Every one con- this island, and to conceive that he has a nected with the West Indies bad prognosti- party in the House of Commons in bis cated that the efforts used by Mr. Wilber- favour, if Mr. Wilberforce is to be his force and his friends to get a bill passed by patron and the local legislature to be set the parliament of the empire to enforce at nought, it will be in vain to expect any certain regulations respecting the blacks, thing but what has already taken place must produce some fatal effects in the co- the burning of plantations and the delonies. The language used by the favourers struction of life. of the measure was of a most unhappy ten- The error of Mr. Wilberforce consists in dency. It raised expectations in the slaves not attending to the state of society which that there was an authority here bighly pa- exists in that country over which be atramount above that of their masters, and tempts to regulate. He does not recollect that Mr. Wilberforce was so great a man, that slavery existed at the first propagation and so much their friend, that their ser- of Christianity, and that it took several ages vitude was soon to be broken, and a ge- before the maxims of our holy religion could neral emancipation was to take place. prevail over the principles of the world. In Highly culpable indeed was the language this state, however, no violent efforts were of some of the writers upon this question. used by the apostles and first teachers of They took a delight in representing the Christianity. They did not attempt to explanter in the most odious colours, in ex- cite an outcry against the holders of slaves, aggerating every instance of ill-treatment nor to use any irritating langyage respectthat might have occurred, concealing all ing slavery. They saw clearly that the the kindness that is continually displayed, emancipation would be produced in a better and has for many years been increasing in manner by teaching slaves to obey their the islands; and in fact doing every thing masters, not from eye-service, but from a to excite a spirit of discontent in the minds regard to duty, and in like manner by inof the slares, and depreciating the character culcating on the masters the duty of being of the masters.

kind to their slaves. Thus gradually both That man in every part of the world, what- parties were brought acarer to each other, ever may be his colour, should attain to the and at last slavish services were exchanged dignity of his nature, should be free in the for a better tenure the compact between highest sense of the word, is the great master and servant. object of Christianity, and the desire of Tbe abolition of the slave trade and the every reader of this Miscellany. But till emancipation of the blacks are two distinet. * his mind is improved and he is capable of questions, and they ought to be kept enunderstanding and appreciating the bless tirely distinct in our minds. On the first ings of this freedom, it is in rain that be is question the parliament of the kingdom released from certain yokes laid upon him Thad an undoubted right to interfere, for it by the rules of civil society. Many a king night assuredly dictate that an Englishman upon his throne is as much an object of should not carry on a trade in the persons our pity as the slave under the lash of his of blacks, as well as it prohibited his trading driver; and who would wish to enjoy the iu other articles. To this law the West liberty of the savage in the wilds of Ame- Indians submitted equally with all other rica' It is an old and a good adage, Na- subjects; and the advocates for the abolition tura nihil facit per saltum. A greator of the slave trade having gained this point, evil could not possibly befall the blacks, were interested only in seeing that the law than that they should be instantly declared was not broken. But the emancipation of free, for the only result of this freedom the blacks involves a variety of questions would be the tearing of each other to pieces on which the residents of England are not and the destruction of the masters. In competent judges. There are three condiwhat manner they are best to be brought tions in the West Indies, that of the white, forward to a higher degree in the scale of who must be the ruler-the freed mannature, is a problem worthy of the consi- and the slave. The white enjoys all the deration of the true politician; but of this privileges of Englishmen, the other two we may be sure, that Mr. Wilberforce and parties are necessarily deprived of some of his friends are taking the worst methods them; but all are under certain laws liable possible for the attainment of this end. If to be changed at the discretion of the go

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State of Public Affairs.

371 vernor of the two houses of assembly in the ment, the holders of property in the Wes island. Here as in England is a proper Indies are in fear for its security, as well place for improvement: and it is unjust to as for the lives of their friends and relasay that great improvements have not been tives in those regions. The mischief that gradually taking place under the local le- has already been done will make the legislatures. All has not been done that the gislature pause before it gives its counsanguine emancipator may expect; but it tenance to a set of persons so little acwould be time for Mr. Wilberforce and his quainted with our West India islands and friends to call on a superior authority deriving their information from very suswben, having proposed to the colonial le- picious quarters. gislatures a regulation, it bad been rejected The spirit of discontent has appeared in by them without cause. The rude attempt our own country. Great outrages have to legislate for all the islands is such an been committed in the isle of Ely; the attack upon the local legislations as can- alleged cause--the distresses of the poor not but excite dismay and distrust; and if from want of work and want of proper pav. a similar thing bad been attempted in By a due degree of spirit these infatiEngland, interfering with all our corporate ated people were brought under, and a bodies, the table of the House of Commons number of rioters were committed to priwould have been overwhelmed with peti- son. A special commission was appointed tions from every part of England.

of two judges to sit with the judge of the The spirit of insurrection first appeared isle of Ely upon this occasion, and after in the island of Barbadoes, aod it displayed the trial and condemnation of a few of itself in tbe burning of plantations to a the ringleaders, the crown very humanely very great extent. From the energy of stopped farther prosecutions, letting the the whites the misled blacks were brought rest go out upon recognizances for future into subjection, but not without consider appearance and bail for their good behaable slaughter of the latter in the field, and viour. the execution of others by the hand of jus- An occurrence has taken place of a sintice. The island, however, is in that gular nature, which might give room for state that the whites are compelled to keep many comments. A meeting of the county a strict watch over their dependents. The of Kent took place at Maidstone for the proclamations issued by the governors of purpose of congratulation on the late royal other islands indicate that a similar watch- marriage. An address was moved and sefulness is necessary in them; but it is conded, but on taking the show of hands hoped that as the wbites are now every scarcely any hands were held up in its fawhere on the alert the intended mischief vour and the meeting was dissolved. The may be prerented.

principal geatlemen retired to an ion and In this state of things Mr. Wilberforce's requested the High Sheriff to take the chair, motion was coming forward, but it was wbich he with great propriety declined, and delayed til government had received its the company resolved that copies of the addispatches; and after they had arrived, dress should be sent to the principal towns Mr. Wilberforce made a long speech tend- for signatures. Addresses so signed want ing rather to inflame than to appease the the legitimate stamp and can convey ouly existing troubles. He was replied to by a the sentiments of individuals; and the gentleinan connected with the West Indies, expression of popular feeling at the meetwho contented himself with a plain repre- ing cannot be construed into any intended sentation of facts, which pointed out the affront to the young couple, in whose hap: inevitable loss of the colonies unless speedy piness all must be interested, though it is measures were taken to make it clear to indicatory of a discontent which it will be the blacks that no such measure was in the duty of government to examine, and agitation as their emancipation. He pro- if there are just causes for it to endeavour posed that an address sbould be presented to remove the grounds of it. to the Prince Regent to request that the la France all is quiet, if we are to begovernors of the islands might be directed liere government reports. The principal to issue proclamations testifying his bigh instigators to the insurrection in Dauphiny displeasure at the late outrages and the hare been executed. The court has been insidious attempts of those who were ex- occupied with two grand events-the marciting hopes of emancipation, since no riage of the Duke of Berri and the celebrasuch measure was in contemplation, though tion of their grand feast called by thein every effort should be encouraged which the Feast of God. On the day for this had in view their moral and religious im- feast processions are made

in every parish provement. All sides of the House saw of the Catholic world. The wafer god is the necessity and propriety of this measure, paraded about the streets-altars are erectwhich was unanimously voted, and we trusted at various places and the deluded that it will have the desired effect, though multitude falls prostrate as it passes before it must not be concealed that, at this mo- this miserable emblem and other abomi

nations of their strange idolatry. The an end to these disorders, and it is indeed
whole represents a heathen rite. During a melancholy thing that the fine shores of
the reign of Buonaparte such exhibitions the Mediterranean should be subject to a
were prohibited, but they are now revived race of men little better than pirates.
with all their ancient folly and superstition. · Germany goes on very slowly in its new

Symptoms of some new regulations with constitution. Spain indicates no amelio-
respect to the Barbary powers have made ration. It has had some successes in its
their appearance. They have for too long colonies, but still it remains doubtful whe-
a time been permitted to exercise a tyranny ther its ancient influence can be restored.
over their captives in war, which is dis- Wherever its power extends its march is
graceful even to the religion they profess. disfigured by cruelty. Vast emigrations
The Americans have shown what may be are taking place from all parts of Europe
done with them, and England has inter- to America. There is land enough for all,
fered to procure the liberation of a num- and it is to be hoped, that in quitting this
her of Christians from a wretched captivity supposed civized part of the world, they
in which some of them bad been held for will leave behind then the vices by which
many years. A project was on foot for it is peculiarly distinguished.
the union of the Christian powers to put

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CORRESPONDENCE.

Our correspondent Liberus is informed that the article of Public Affairs is always written by the same gentleman, who expresses in it his own sentiments without assuming to represent those of the Editor, correspondents or readers. The Editor is too sensible of his obligations to this gentleman to attempt to interfere with the free statement of his views of public events. The Slave Registry Bill is a measure to be decided not by the feelings but by a cool judgment on the state of the West India Islands. To such as wish to understand the question, we recommend an able pamphlet just published, entitled, " The British Legislature's Interference respecting Slaves in the West India Islands deprecated."

The paper on Poetical Scepticism, with various other articles, was too late for insertion the present month.

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Biographical Account of the Negro An- especially of his first attempts to draw gelo Solimann.

the bow, in which he surpassed his [Translated from " Literature des Negres,” companions, the remembrance of the by M. Gregoire. (p. 180.) Paris, 1808.] simple manners, and the fine sky of

his country often produced in his Angelo Solimann mind a pensive pleasure, even to old age. never published any thing, * he He could never sing his country's merits one of the chief places among songs, which his excellent memory Negroes distinguished by a high de- had retained, without being deeply afgree of cultivation, and extensive fected. knowledge, and still more, by moral

It appears, from the recollections of excellence.

Angelo, that his nation had then atHe was the son of an African prince, tained to some degree of civilization. the sovereign of Gangusilang, and his His father possessed many elephants, family name Magni-Famori. Besides and even horses, which are rare in the little Mmadi-Maké, (which was those countries. Money was unAngelo's name in his own country) known, but the commerce of exa his parents bad a younger child, a change was regularly conducted, and daughter. He used to relate with they had sales by auction. They worwhat deference his father was treated, shipped the stars

, and practised cire being surrounded by a great number cunicision. Two families of whites of servants. Like all the children of resided in the country. princes in that country, he bad Authors who have published their characters imprinted on each thigh, travels inention perpetual wars among and long, did he indulge the hope the nations of Africa, of which the that he should be known by those objects are revenge, plunder, or the characters and discovered to his pa- most shameful species of avarice, the rents. The recollections of childhood, conqueror haling his prisoners to the

nearest marko, to sell them to the • It is my duty pnblicly to mention the whites. A war of this kind, against names of these to whom I owe the biogra- the people of Mmadi Maké, broke out pby of this estimable African, who was first so unexpectedly that his father had mentioned to me by Dr. Gall. On the no suspicion of danger. The child, at application of my countrymen of Hautefort, the age of seven years, one day, standattached here to the forcign relations, and ing by the side of his mother, who was Dudan, first secretary to the French legation suckling his sister, they suddenly perin Austria, great zeal was discovered to sa- ceived the clash of arms and hurling tisfy my curiosity. 'Two respectable ladies of arrows. The grandfather of Mmadi of Vienna, Madame de Stief and Madame Maké, seized with terror, rushed into de Picler paid the greatest attention to it; the house crying out the enemy is at carefully collecting the accounts furnished hand. Fatuma started up alarmed, by the friends of the deceased! Angelo. the father seized his arins, and the From these materials this interesting narrative has been compiled. In the little boy, terrified, fled with the swift

His mother called French translation it loses much elegance ness of an arrow.

to him loudly, where are you going of style ; for Madame de Picler, who drew it up in German, possessed the rare Imadi Make? The child answered, talent of writing equally well in prose and there where God wills. In advanced verse. I have great pleasure in expressing age he often reflected on the important to these obliging persons my just grati- meaning of those words

. Having fied tude.

from the house he looked back and saw YOL, XL

з с

his mother, and many of his father's He fell dangerously ill, the marchio people, fall under the blows of the ness, his mistress, felt for him all the enemy. With another boy he crept anxiety of a mother, so that she sat, under a tree, terrified and covering his up with brim a part of every night. eyes with his hands. The tumult The most skilful physicians were callincreased, the enemy who already as- ed in. His bed was surrounded by a sumed the victory, seized and held crowd of persons who waited his hun up in token of triumph. At this orders. The inarchioness had long sight the countrymen of lImadi Maké wished that he might be baptized. inade a last effort and rallied to recover After repeated refusal., one day during the son of their king. The combat his convalescence he hinself requestwas renewed around the child. In the ed baptism, when his mistress, bighly end the enemies remained conquerors, gratitied, ordered the most magnificent and he became unquestionably their preparations. In a saloon, a richly prey. His master exchanged him with embroidered canopy was suspended, another Negro, for a fine horse, and over a bed of state. All the family the child was conveyed to the place of and friends of the house were present. embarkation. He there found many Mradi Maké reclining on this bed, of his countrymen, all, like himsell, was consulted on the name he would prisoners, and condemned to slavery. hæve. Froin gratitude and friend They recognised him with unavailing ship to the Negress Angelina he sorrow, but were even forbidden to wished to be called Angelo. "His wish speak to him.

was gratified and for a family name The prisoners, having been thus he had Solimann. He annually celeconveved in small boats to the sea, brated the 13th of September, the day Miradi Maké saw with astonishment of his entrance into Christianity, with large floating houses, into one of which she same pious feelings as if it had he entered and found a third master. been the anniversary of his birth. He conjectured that this was a Spanish His good conduct, complaisance, vessel." After escaping a tempest, they and excellent inderstanding, endeared came on shore, and his master pros him to all. The Prince Lobkowitz, mised to conduct him to his mother. then the imperial general in Sicily, This delightful hope soon vanished, frequented the house where this child on finding, instead of his inother, his lived, of whom he became so fond master's wife, who received him affec- that he requested him of the marchitionately and treated him with much oness. From hier regard for Angelo, kindnesss.' The husband gave him she reluctantly yielded to considerathe name of Andre, and employed tions of interest and prudence, which bim to lead the camels to pasture and determined her to make that present take charge of them.

to the general. Many tears were The master's country is unknown shed by her on parting with the little or how long the boy remained with Negro, - who entered with regret him. Angelo has been dead twelve into the service of a new master. years, and this account has been lately The functions of the prince were collected from the information of his incompatible with a long residence in friends. It is only known that after that country. He loved Angelo, but à considerable time his master pro- his manner of life, and perhaps the posed taking him to a country where spirit of the times, induced him to his condition would be improved. attend very little to his education. Mmadi Maké' was well pleased, but Angelo became wild and choleric. his mistress parted from him with re- He passed his days in idleness and gret. They embarked and arrived at childish sports. Ăn old house-stew. Messina. He was brought to the ard of the prince, perceiving his house of a rich lady who was expect- good disposition and other excellent ing him. She treated him with much qualities, notwithstanding his idleness, kindness, had him instructed in the provided him a tutor, under whom language of the country which he Angelo learned, in the space of seveneasily acquired. His affability con- teen days, to write German. The ciliated the affection of the numerous grateful affection of the child, and his domestics, among whom he distin- ' rapid progress in every branch of guished a Negress, named Angelina, knowledge, amply rewarded the old for her gentleness and kind attentions. man's care.

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