Imatges de pÓgina
PDF
EPUB

a

ficcess. The exclufion of artificial referred to in the parliamentary de credit, a practice so averfe to the ideas, bates. The opinions he delivered conof Europeans, would not shock the cerning the abolition of the Naveprejudices of Africans, among whomtrade, and the eltablishment of phithe rights of property are vague and lanthropic colonies, gave rise to the indeterminate; and peculiarity of settlements of Sierra Leona and Bou. cuftoms, when once introduced, would lama, which inay be considered as be the most powerful support of the monuments erected to humanity, by institution. A system, approximating the friends of mankind. During his to equality of property, could have stay in London, the war between produced in an infant colony none of Russia and Sweden commeoced, and thafe violent convulsions that have deprived him of all hopes of assistance deprived the French of every possible in his colonial project from that quar- .' advantage that could have accrued ter; but, at the same time, a much from the deftruction of despotism, more favourable prospect opened in and united the name of liberty with England, Waditrom's applications to every epithet of horror and detefta- the British miniftry were fo effection.

tually supported by persons of the first Charles Berns Waditrom was born respectability, that, in 1789, a vessel at Stockholm in the year 1746. After was ordered to be equipped for an finishing his academical studies, he expedition to discover the beft fitoa. entered as engineer into the service tions for colonies on the western coaft of his Swedish Majesty. From his of Africa. This voyage was interknowledge in mechanics and minera. rupted by the conteft with Spain conlogy, a part of the works that were cerning Nootka Sound; and after ere&ting, in order to render navigable. Captain Roberts had waited a confithe cataract of Trochaitta, was confi. derable time for orders, he was ordered ded to his care, in 1767 and 1768. to fail on a secret expedition. In In 1769, he was employed in con: 1789 he published a finall tract, comducing the working of the copper- piled from his journals, entitled, mines at Arvidaberg. He was after. * Observations on the Slave-trade, wards engaged in the direction of “ in a voyage to the coast of Guinea,' various eftablishments, and had fre- containing much interesting informaquent personal intercourse with the tion concerning his African expediKing of Sweden, before his African tion. From the year 1790, to the expedition. At his return to Europe, commencement of the Republican Arrhenius went directly to Sweden; war, the precarious state of European but Wadstrom, with his friend Sparr. politics prevented him from forming

went to London, where the any new colonial arrangements, and question of the abolition of the slave. death terminated all his plans before trade had begun to be agitated in the peace of Europe was restored. Parliament They were summoned But during the interval between his before the British Privy Council, and death and his return from Africa, he repeatedly examined.

Waditrom, did not renounce his favourite scheme who had obtained permission to re- of colonization Having, while he main in England during this import: refided in Africa, been ftruck with ant discussion, produced the journal the inclination of the Negroes to spin of daily transactions which he had and weave cotion, and having been kept in Africa, to vouch for the fic furprised at their perseverance and delity of his report. His evidence success, with the most imperfect mawas considered as highly curious, chinery, he engaged in the cottonuseful, and interefting, and frequently manufacture at Manchester, in order

man,

to

[ocr errors][subsumed]

to acquire such a knowledge of the pectations and fimplicity of heart, bufinais as might qualify him for in. often made him the dupe of his own structing the natives of Africa. In credulity. It is' now the fashion to 1794, he published, in 4to, “ An ef- decry, with every term of virulence, " lay on colonization, particularly and in one indiscriminate mass, all " applied to the western coast of a those who approve, or have approved « frica, wiih tr.me free thoughts on of the French Revolution Yet,

cultivation and commerce, and brief surely, there were many persons of « descriptions of the colonies already the purest benevolence, of the moft “ formed, or attemp.ed.” Of this humane and upright views, persons work, Buonaparte is raid to have whose fouls were fickened by concarried a copy with him, when he de. templating, with vain regret, the mi. parted on his Egyptian expedition. series and wretchedness which they As the difficulty of communication could not relieve, who beheld its combetween France and England render- meacement with supreme pleasure, ed it almost impossible to procure a its progress, at first, with anxiety and copy, he was presented with the only chagrin, and afterwards with deep remaining one in the possession of deteftation and abhorrence. It is the author, then refiding at Paris. equally injurious and unjust, to conThis expedition, which in future found these humane and benevolent times will be censured or applauded, men, who credulously expected an according to its ultimate success, equality of happines, instead of an abwhich the laws of nations and the furd equality of property, to be produfaith of treaties must condemn, but ced by the revolutionizing fyftem, which the laws of that aggrandizing with those votaries of anarchy and patriotism, which, in ancient tiines, confufion, whose rapacious hands, characterized the Romans, and, in and unfeeling hearts, have 'marked modern, the Ruffians, must approve, the paths of Revolution with murder was beheld with triumph by Wad.' and blood. With the former class, ftrom, who believed that the civiliza. few will scruple to rank the benevotion of Africa, and the liberty of Asia, lent Waditrom, though he seems to depended on its success. He saw the have retained, to the last, his ideas of French in poffeffion of Egypt, but the ultimate confequences of the his days were terininated by a pul. French Revolution, with the same monary consumption, in less than a credulous fimplicity which is faid to year after the arrival of Buonaparte have prompted him to seek for the in that country.

New Jerusalem of Swedenborg, amid Those who condemn, with the the unexplored regions of Africa. greatest bitterness, the political opi. His essay on colonization contains an nions of Wadstrom, muft, in their immense collection of materials on hearts, venerate the active benevo- that subject, with a particular refelence of his character. His errors rence to Africa, combined in no juwere, the diseases of too tender a sen- dicious or luminous order, but confibility, the exceffive confidence of taiņing almost every

observation, new too liberal a spirit, the unbounded or old, trite or original, which seemed benevolence of too warm a heart. His to be intimately connected with the heart seemed more enlarged than his subject. Theoretical speculations, understanding his feelings were always practical observations, original docu. in the right, though his judgment was ments, and citations from authors, often in the wrong. His philanthro- are immethodically produced, and pic schemes were generally romantic, lose much of their value from their and often delusive; his fanguine ex. inartificial arrangement. His style is

loose,

[ocr errors]

a

loose, tedious, and full of repetition, slavery, he was purchased by a mu. his reflections are often original, but latro trader of Grenada, and brought the relations of his ideas are feldom to England, which was beginning to accurately defined. Yet Waditrom, be agitated by the queition concernin contributing to the emancipation ing the abolition of the flave-trade. of the Negroes, was likewise the be. But, as this merely mercantile ipe: nefactor of the Europeans: “for," culation disappointed the projector, as Helen Maria Williams remarks in he was taking measures to convey her eloge, 6 the dignity of human na- the unfortunate African prince back

ture, violated in the perfon of the to the West Indies, when the design “ lave, is avenged by the consequent was discovered by Wadftrom, who

depravity of his master. Even the redeemed him at his own coft. The si softer sex, who seem born to foothe young man was placed in an academy

with sympathizing tears, the mi. at Mitcham in Surry, to be inftruc“series of humanity, in those regions, ted in the rudiments of Christianity, " where slavery prevails, display the and such branches of education as he " monstrous contrait of weakness and could comprehend, and was baptiz. -- ferocity, of voluptuous indolence ed, Dec. 25, 1768. He continued * and active cruelty, of a frame en- at Mitcham two years and a half, servated by the refinements of lux. but died of a consumption in Oct.

ury, and a heart hardened by fa- 1790, about the age of 19 or 20 « miliarity with crimes." This ac- years. count of Waditrom may be properly He was obedient and docile, closed, with the following instance of though not endowed with extraordihis active benevolence. A son of nary powers, fond of agriculture, and the king of Mesurado had been base a moderate proficient in reading and ly decoyed from his father by an Eng, writing. Though acquainted with lish vessel, and carried first to Sierra European customs, he retained an inLeona, and afterwards to the West vincible propensity for those simple Indies. Upon being recognized by manners to which he had been achis countrymen and companions in customed in his native country.

a

ACCOUNT OF THE SECOND SIGHT.

THE Second fight, in the Erfe, cal. at work about the house, fees him

, led Taisch, is a mode of seeing bleeding on the ground, commonly super-added to that which pature with a landscape of the place where generally beltows. This gift of fa. the accident befalls him. Another

. culty, which is neither voluntary nor feer, driving home his catile, or wanconftant, is in general rather trouble. dering in idleness, or mufing in the {ome than agrecable to the posseffors sunshine, is suddenly surprised by the. of it, who are chiefly found among appearance of a bridal ceremony, or the inhabitants of the highlands of funeral proceffion, and counts the Scotland, those of the Western Illes, mouroers or attendants, of whom, of the Isle of Man, and of Ireland. if he knows them, he relates the It is an impreffion made çither by the names ; if he knows them not, he mind upon the eye, or by the eye can describe the dresses. Things disupon the mind,

which things dif tant are seen at the instant when they tant or future are perceived, and feen, happen. as if they were present. A man on Of things future, Johnson fays that a journey, far from home, falls from he knows no rule pretended to, for his horse ; another, who is; perhaps, determining the time between the Ed, Mag. Jan. 1890.

fight

D.

fight and the event; but we are in. bours of agriculture; the mournid formed by Mr Groft, that in ge dething of waves along the friths neral the time of accomplishment and lakes that intersect the country; bears some relation to the time of the portentous noises which every the day in which the impreffions change of the wind and every in. are received. Thus visions scen tarly creased diminution of the waters is in the morning (which feldom happen) apt to raise in a lonely region, full of will be much sooner accomplished rocks and caverns ; 'the grotesque than those occurring at noon; and and ghaftly appearance of such a those seen at noon will take place in landscape by the light of the moon : a much shorter time than those hap. obj. As like these, diffuse a gloom pening at night : fometimes the ac. over the fancy, which way be comcomplishment of the latt does not patible enough with occasional and fall out within a year or more. social merriment, but cannot fail to

These visions are not confined to tincture the thoughts of a native in folemn or important events ; nor is the hour of filence and solitude If it true, as is commonly reported, that these people, notwithstanding their to the second light nothing is pre- reformation in religion, and more sented but phantoms of evil. The frequent intercourse with strangers, future visit of a mountebank, or pip- do itill retain many of their old lu. er; a plentiful draught of fiih ; the perftitions, we need not doubt, but arrival of common travellers; or, in former times they must have beea ií pollible, still more triling matters much more endlaved to the horrors than these, are foreseen by the seers. of imagination, when beset with the A gentleman told Dr Johnson, that bugbears of popery aud paganism. when he had once gone far from his Most of their superstitions are of a own island, one of his own servants melancholy cast. That of fecond fight, predicted his return, and described by which some are fil supposed to

, the livery of his attendant, which be haunted, is considered by themhe had never worn at home ; and selves as a misfortune, on account of which had been, without any pre. the many dreadful images it is said vious defign, occasionally given bin. to obtrude upon the fancy. It is

As many men, eminent for science said, that fome of the Alpine regions and literature, bave admitted the re. do likewise lay claim to a fort of leality of this apparently useless gift, cuud fight. Nor is it wonderful, that we shall, without interpofing our own persons of a lively imagination, imopinion, give the rifle ciions of two mured in deep folitude, and surroundof the firft characiers of the age upen ed with the ftupendous scenery of it, and leave our readers to form clouds, prccipices, and torrents, their own judgment.

should dream, (even when they think By Dr Beattie it is thus account. themselves awake) of those few triked for: The Highlards of Scotland ing ideas with which iheir lonely lives are a picturesque, but a melancholy are diversified: of corples, funeral juotry. Long tracts of mountain proceflions, and other lubjects of ter

Velert, costred with dark heath, ror: or of marriages, and the ars'ten obscured by milty weather; rival of ftrangers, and such like matj" valleys, thin' inhabited, and ters of more agreeable curiclity.

d by precipices, resounding Let it be observed also, that the the fall of corrents; a soil fo ancient Highlanders of Scotland had ed, and a climate to dreary, as hardly any other way of supporting many parts to admit neither the themselves than by hunting, fishing, ments of pasturege nor the la. or war : professions that are continu

ally

ally exposed to fatal accidents. back. Add but a lively dream to And hence, no doubt, additional hor. this sumber, and (which is the fre.' rors would often haunt their solitude, quent effect of disease) take away

the and a deeper gloom overshadow the consciousness of having been aileep, imagination even of the hardiest na- and a superstitious man may easily tive.

mistake his dream for a waking viA sufficient evidence can hardly fion; which, however, is soon forgotbe found for the reality of the second ten, when no subsequent occurrence fight, or at least of what is common. recalls it to his memory; but which, ly understood by that term. A trea- if it shall be thought to relemble any tise on the subject was publihed in future event, exalts the poor dreamer ihe year 1762, in which many tales into a Highland prophet. This con.' were told of persons whom the au- ceit makes him more recluse and thor believed to have been favoured, more melancholy than ever; and fo or haunted, with these illuminations: feeds his disease and multiplies his · but most of the tales were trifling visions: which, if they are not dilliand ridiculous: and the whole work pated by business or society, may betrayed, on the part of the compil- continue to haunt him as long as he er, such extreme credulity, as could lives; and which in their progress not fail to prejudice many readers a• through the neighbourhood, receive gainst his system.

fome new tinctures of the marvellous That

any

of these visionaries are from every mouth that promotes their apt to be swayed in their declarations circulation. As to the prophetical by finister views, we will not say; nature of this second fight, it cannot but this may be said with confidence, be admitted at all. That the Deity that none but ignorant people pre. Mould work a miracle in order to tend to be gifted in this way. And give intimation of the frivolous things in them, it may be nothing more, that these tales are made up of, the perhaps, than short fits of sudden arrival of a stranger, the nailing of Teep or drowsiness, attended with a coffin, or the colour of a suit of lively dreams, and arising from some clothes; and that these intimations bodily disorder, the effect of idleness, should be given for no end, and to low spirits, or a gloomy imagination. those persons only who are idle and For it is admitted, even by the most folitary, who speak Gaelic, or who credulous Highlanders, that as krowe live among mountains and deferts, is , ledge and industry are propagated in like nothing in nature, or providence, their country, the second fight dif- that we are acquainted wi:h: and appears in proportion: and nobody must therefore, unless it were confirmever laid claim to the faculty who ed by fatisfactory proof, (wbich is was much employed in the intercourse not the case) be rejected as absurd of social life. Nor is it at all extra. and incredible. ordinary, that one should have the These visions, such as they are, appearance of being awake, and may reasonably enough be ascribed fhould even think one's self so, during to a distempered fancy. And that i bese fits of doling: that they mould in them, as well as in our ordinary comc on suddenly, and while one is dreams, certain appearances should, engaged in some busineis. The same on some rare occasions, resemble cer. thing bappens to persons much fa- tain events, is to be expected from rigued, or long kept awake, who fre. the laws of chance ; and seems to quently fail asleep for a moment, or have in it nothing more marvellous, for a long space, while they are stand- or supernatural, than that the parrot, ing, or walking, or riding on horse- who deals out his fcurrilities at ranD 2

dom,

[ocr errors]
« AnteriorContinua »