« PreviousContinue »
ject; let it suffice, that she continued so at the Largs. Confound us, if we ever long in the same state, maintaining a saw in print anything at all resembling mere animal, or rather vegetable existence, some of your female fancies; and if that it was judged proper, and agreed to you go on at this rate, you will be by them'all, that she should be conveyed called before the Kirk Session. This to a private asylum, established for the
may be thought vigour by many of accommodation and treatment of persons your friends in the Auld Town, and of distinction suffering under the most originality, and genius, and so forth ; dreadful of all human privations." deal it out to them in full measure
Gatty remains in the Asylum for over the gin-jug, or even the tea-cup; some years, and is delivered of a child but it will not do at a Public Enterthere, who afterwards becomes a tainment. It is impossible to know Highland nobleman, for MʻIon, it you, James, and not love and admire seems, is a chieftain. She finally is you; and we frankly tell you of your cured of her sad distemper, and the errors, before your books are sent to book ends happily; and this is Love, Coventry. You are a man of an orithe first Peril of Woman !
ginal mind; a shrewd, noticing, inNow, James Hogg, Shepherd of telligent man. Nay, more than that, Ettrick, and would-be author of the a man of fancy and imagination. What Chaldee Manuscript, and of the mur- is the use of sickening you with our der of Begbie, this style of thinking eternal praises? You are worth twenand writing will not by any means ty score of Stots and dogs ; and have enable your pot to boil, as we wish it to written what will make your name redo. The public taste is not very re- membered with respect ages after the fined, not over-delicate ; but there broad laugh on your honest counteare things innumerable in these three nance has been extinguished. But volumes, which the public will not you know little or nothing of the real bolt. You have no intention to be an powers and capacities of James Hogg, immoral writer, and we acquit you of and would fain be the fine gentleman, that; but you have an intention to the painter of manners, and the disbe a most unmannerly writer, and of sector of hearts. That will never do that you are found and declared guil- in this world. Your book will sell; ty. You think you are shewing your we know that, else we never had inknowledge of human nature, in these dited the good matter of this article. your coarse daubings; and that you But only take our advice, and your are another Shakespeare. But con- books to come will make you a Cocksider that a writer may be indelicate, Laird. So let us see you at Ambrose's coarse, gross, even beastly, and yet not before the first fall of snow, and we at all natural. We have heard such
will put you in the way of getting five vulgarity objected to even in Glasgow; hundred gold guineas for your next and it is not thought readable aloud
THE WEST INDIAN CONTROVERSY.
There are few things we have been ing, as his coach-horse. Everybody accustomed to regard with greater sus- knows that the old ladies whose tens picion than those great money-collect- and twenties of guineas appear in the ing Associations, the flourishing ex- subscription list, are guiltless of comistence of which is so frequently held prehending anything more intricate up as a distinguishing honour and than the moves of Pope Joan. Everyglory of our time. The great objection body appreciates the intellectual glance to them all is, the total irresponsibilic of the “ few friends at Doncaster ty under which they act. If they do “ the deceased Mr A. B., of York;' good, it is well ; but if they do evil, “ Jeremy Jolter, Esq. Bath;" “ the there is no redress. Everybody is a- Rev.
and congregation, ware, that what figures as the act of Paisley.” Nobody imagines that all such or such a society, institution, or these inkle-weavers, or that any of association, is in truth the act of one, them, have the capacity to take in, in two, or more busy individuals. Every- all its bearings and consequences, any body knows that the Royal Duke in great question of any kind whatever. the chair is as innocent of any under. Every one knows, that be the thing standing about the objects of the meet- good, bad, or indifferent, the mass of people who subscribe for it, under- ought to characterize men who dash stand nothing whatever about it. The on adventures such as theirs- Men blazon-loving herd of dowagers, and who volunteer to manage the concerns, the more modest herd of initialists, are and some of the very greatest conacquitted with equal ease by the can- cerns, too, of this great and enlightendour of a Christian public such as ours. ed empire ? Are these “fine bodies” But if this Association, thus propped, (as Dr Chalmers would call them) the thus fed, errs—if it libels you or me sort of people to ride the whirlwind in its Report—if its agitations fill you and direct the storm of polity?-No or me with rational fear for our lives, -no. They have totally mistaken the or our fortunes-what is to be done? matter; nature and education have What is the use of indicting all the qualified them for vestry meetings and letters of the alphabet, or what avails tavern dinners. They have stepped a claim of damages brought by one in- “ ultra crepidam,” and it is high time jured individual against a purse which they should retrcat again to their own is as inexhaustible as the widow's sphere. cruize, because all the wealthy wi- What insane ambition is this that dows, from Land's-End to John-o'- agitates these worthy philanthropists ? Groat's, think they do God good ser- Why is it that they must meddle vice by clubbing their mites to re- with everything?-Why is it that they plenish it? Parliamentary privilege is neglect the Strand, and its myriads of not à surer shield than this privilege street-walkers, to sigh over the “liof HUMBUGS. The evil has increased centiousness” of Barbadoes? Why, qis increasing—and must be dimi- within smell of St Giles's, do they nished.
howl about the degradation of the Far, however, be it from us to at- children of Ham? Have they no bowels tribute seriously any bad intentions to for the tread-mill? Have they no symthose who have been chiefly active in pathies for Smithfield ? No horror the establishing and supporting of the for the hulks? Are not the Irish still greater proportion of these institutions. fed on watery potatoes, and the Latin it is not deliberate evil intention that Bible? Do not peat-reek and crowdie we dream of ascribing to them-it is still load the atmosphere of the Highthe mere evil of dulness- the sin of land cabin, and mock the stomachs of narrow views and violent prejudices its unfortunate inhabitants ? the exaltation of shallow brains—the The subject is truly one of the deeptyranny of some one particular set of est gravity--the consequences to be feelings unopposed by any capacity apprehended from this craze are most for understanding the range of cir- appalling; and yet, when one looks to cumstances by which their operation the men rather than the thing, it is ought to be bounded. This is the really a matter of no inconsiderable sort of sin which we must lay more es- difficulty to adopt any other tone than pecially to the charge of " the Afri- one which may easily be mistaken for can Institution,” in some of the recent that of levity. We are conscious of operations, and, above all, publications, this, however, and we are not unconof that very extensive and very for- scious that another line must be amidable association of names and pure dopted, if any serious good is to be
done ; and we shall therefore do our Mr Wilberforce and Mr Zachary best endeavour to keep our eyes fixed Macaulay are the two leading cha- rather on the magnitude, the tremenracters in this Institution. Nobody dous magnitude, of the danger, the can doubt that these are two most existence of which few can be so blind worthy men. Nobody can doubt that as not to see, than on the benevolent one of them at least has done much imbecility of the individuals in whose good in his generation. But does any- proceedings (unless they be speedily body dream of attributing talents of and effectually checked) this peril is any extraordinary importance to both involved. or to either of them? Nobody what- There is no need, surely, that we cver. Good worthy Mr Wilberforce should say one word in explanation of -excellent Mr Macaulay. These are our views concerning the great question the epithets they are known by, even of the abolition of the slave trade. We among their own warmest worshippers. feel--and we demand it as our right, But are these the only opithets which that we shall be believed to the very
letter when we say this--we feel as or in pamphletsthese men are the much pride in that great event as any ministers and the representatives of of our readers can be disposed to do. England, and their speaking should We regard it as one of the greatest and always have action at its back-efmost glorious achievements of the spi- fectual action, national action-thearm rit of the age in which we live. Nay, and the strength of an empire, not the we go fartlier than many even of those jingle of ten guineas. who sympathize most warmly with us We are well aware that some part as to this matter, may as yet be pre- of this language may appear unbecopared for accompanying us.
ming in us; but really it seems to us word, we conceive that the English that the distinguished, enlightened, and Government ought to declare the traf- philanthropic statesman, who now refic in slaves piracy. Good Heavens! presents his Majesty's Colonial Governare we to be told that there is that vir- ment in the House of Commons, owes tuous, confessedly virtuous, thing in it to himself, and to the country, to be this world, which the Government of a little more careful than he has been, the United States of America has da- in regard to the maintenance of some red to do, and which ours dares not apparent consistency of conduct reset its face to? We cannot suffer this specting this great and important quesdegrading chimera to stand unrebu- tion of policy. When we turn to the ked before us. We demand of the Mi. African Institution, what do we see ? nisters of England, the pride as well We see a host of “pamphlets,” “Reas the benevolence of the English spi- ports,' Appendices, ,” Statements," rit. We laugh to see Mr Canning and * Views," "Appeals," and what not, Lord Liverpool subscribing their ten all proceeding from the same quarter guineas a-piece to the African Institu- -all characterized by the same glation-an institution which has, or ring specimens of rashness and fanatiought to have, nothing at all to do cal zeal--all abounding in incorrect with the polity of this great nation. narration of facts, and teeming with We smile to see them giving the sup- diatribes of the most inflammatory port of their names even to this ex- iendency. We see these, and the just tent, to an Association which dares to feelings of distrust which necessarily meddle with things so totally beyond arise within us, do not indeed prevent us its province. If these statesmen are from believing that the two or three sincere enemies, as who can doubt they individuals, in whom alonc the wholecf are, to everything in the shape of a these things originate, are well-meanslave travle, let them say so within the ing, good, worthy, benevolent peoplewalls of Parliament, not in the Appen- not at all—but we certainly do see quite dix to Mr Wilberforce's pamphlet.- enough to satisfy us, that these wellLet them say holdly, Is it the sense of meaning, people are treading upon the British Senate, that such or such most delicate and dangerous groundthings ought to be done-Ay, or no? that they are outstepping their own No fear for the answer. But let not sphere, and violating every principle THEM at least countenance this system of rational prudence. We see all this, of irresponsible Parliaments, without and we turn to the end of any one of the walls of the responsible place. Let their Reports ;-and there, at the not them compromise the character of end of these rash and ill-advised prothe offices with which they are invest- grammes of impracticable polity and ed, and, through that, the character of mistaken zeal, we see the name of The the nation by which they are trusted. Right Honourable George Canning," Let others speak, if they will. It be- duly blazoned, as an annual subscricomes these men, and such as these, ber to the fund, by which all the cxto remember, that in their case, speech- penses of this perilous paper-battery ification never is, at least never should are defrayed. We see this, and we be, the end, but the mean that their turn back to the file of last winter's own dignity, and, above all, that the newspapers ; and what do we find majesty of the empire whose first ser- there? Why, do we not find a long vants they are, requires at their hands series of columns, occupied wish the something very different from the particulars of a most solemn debate in conduct in which private individuals the House of Commons- debate, in may occasionally be indulged. Let the course of which there Leading Men others speak, if they will, in taverns of the African Instirution spouted all
their own old pamphlets over again, that an effectualstop has been put to the in the shape of speeches ; and in the introduction of any new slaves into any course of which, all these pamphlet- of his Majesty's West Indian colonies. speeches were most beautifully, clear. This being the case, the only remainly, and convincingly proved to be fill- ing subject for rational consideration ed with flagrant inaccuracies, and is that of the condition of the slaves pregnant with appalling dangers-by actually there. It is admitted on all whom ?-Why, by this very man, this hands, that it is much to be regretted very statesman, who allows his eminent there should be eight hundred thouname to figure, year after year, in the list sand human beings living in this conof those by whose contributions alone dition within the dominions of the these rash men are enabled to do what King of England. This was admitted requires the utmost exertion of his —or rather, we should say, this was parliamentary eloquence and autho- taken for granted, in every speech that rity, and that of his colleagues, to was delivered, either on the one or the counteract and keep within any tole- other side of the question, in the course rable limits. Such is, really and sim- of the debate on Mr Buxton's moply, the true state of the case; and tion in the last session of Parliament. we certainly have a great deal too much At the conclusion of that debate, Mr respect for the character of this pre- Buxton withdrew his motion; and a eminently accomplished statesman, not series of counter-resolutions, proposed to be anxious for the disappearance of by Mr Canning, were unanimously a circumstance which, it is impossible adopted by the House of Commons. to deny, furnishes his enemies with a These resolutions embody an admisfair pretence for charging him with sion, as large and full as any human the fault of personal inconsistency, being can desire, that the condition of a fault from which we know of no slavery is an evil. They embody also public life that is, upon the whole, the solemn belief of the British House more proudly free than his glorious of Commons, that the existence of this
condition cannot be done away with in But to the question-and, after all, the West Indian colonies of this emit is, in the shape recent events have pire, under any circumstances, or by given it, a very narrow one. It is ad- any other means, than those of a most mitted on all hands that SLAVERY is, deliberate, gradual, and sober charac, in its essence, a bad thing. It is ad- ter. And, to conclude, the circummitted on all hands that the abolition stances under which these resolutions of the slave trade confers honour on were brought forward, and under this age of British legislation. That which they were unanimously adoptabolition, followed up by the registryed by Parliament, render it absoluteenactments (of which it is unnecessary ly impossible for any sane man to deto say anything more at present) has, ny that the British Ministry has given in spite of all the insinuations of the its most solemn pledge to the British African Association agitators, put an Legislature, that everything which Goend, completely and effectually put an vernment can do, will be done for the end, to the introduction of new slaves gradual improvement of the condition from Africa into the British West In- of the slaves for the gradually bringdian colonies. Mr Wilberforce and ing of them into that state wherein his brother pamphlet-writers do insi- freedom may be beneficially conferred nuate that this is not so—but their in- on them—due regard being had, by sinuations are made, not only without careful preparations, moral, political, the slightest support in the shape of andeconomical, to the bringing of these facts, but in the teeth of an array of colonies at large, and everything consolemn assertions, which have convin- nected with them, into such a state as ced all the rest of the world except the may admit of that change being effects few who will not believe that black is ed, without the infliction of patrimo
ack, if they see the converse of that nial injury upon those who possess proposition maintained by Messrs Wilproperty-vested under the eye, the berfore and Macaulay, and enforced patronage, and the protection of the with quatations from the Pentateuch Crown and Parliament of England-in and the Aprealypse, in the sage and au- the soil and shipping of these ancient thoritative
pages of their organ, “the and valuable appendages of this emChristian Observr.” We say that it is pire. proved to the satisfaction of the world, This is the state in which the conclusion of that most interesting dis- alter-who are they? - Alter et idem. cussion in the House of Commons The patron and president of both is left this matter. Messrs Buxton and the Duke of Gloucester. Mr Buxton, Wilberforce both spoke largely in that a vice-president of the one, is a direcdebate. They were both of them par- tor of the other. Mr Wilberforce ties to the solemn act in which it con- stands in the same relation to both. cluded. And what has happened since? So does Mr Macaulay. In short, everyIn the course of the debate, the differ- body who glances over the lists of the ent reports of the African Institu- managers of these Associations, sees at tion were continually quoted by the once that they are in fact the creatures speakers on Mr Buxton's side. The of the very same people—that they speech of Mr Wilberforce was almost are, in other words, just two different a literal copy of a pamphlet which had names for the same thing. Now these been published shortly before, under great characters have done this. The the express patronage of the African fact is clear, certain, undisputed, and Institution. The African Institution, indisputable, that they have acted in therefore, appeared there in the per- this manner. Beaten down in the sons of Wilberforce and his coadju- House of Commons by the rational tors. They came as its representatives eloquence which Mr Canning wielded, and advocates—and mouth pieces. and by the judicious remarks with They came, and they went away—if which Messrs Baring and other merthere was any meaning or faith in their cantile members of the highest chavotes-satisfied-and good reason that racter, reinforced the Right Honourthey should.
able Secretary, they found that they But what has happened since ?- could do no better than submit with a Why, the African Institution could good grace at the moment. They did scarcely with any face come forward submit--the pledge was offered-acagain. That institution could scarce- cepted. It was offered by Mr Canning, ly stir immediately after its great in the name and on the behalf of the leaders and organs had professed them. British Government, and it was acselves to be satisfied. The treaty had cepted by these men in their own been signed and sealed, and could not names; and, if there was any meanbe with any decency broken at once, vi- ing in one word they uttered, on the sibly and openly broken, ere any time behalf of that Association, which had whatever has been allowed to the Min all along been completely identified nistry for shewing by what means they with them-which, not to waste words, designed to redeem the solemn pledge everybody knew and knows never had they had so recently and so generous- any existence, except in their persons ly given. No-but there is another and operations. society-another Institution-another With this pledge in their pockets, Association, which had not been they took their departure from the brought so prominently forward in House of Commons; and, within two that debate, or in the pamphlets by months after they so took their deparwhich the public mind was so elabo- ture, a Report of this very debate was rately prepared for its occurrence. published by their “ Society for the There was still the “ Society for the Mitigation,” &c., with long appendices, Mitigation of Slavery”-this body had stuffed with relentless reiterations of not been compromised—this body had all the old matter-with laborious been no party to the treaty—this body attacks upon Mr Canning, and all the was still free to speak and to publish. other speakers on his side-with pon
It has done so.—Under its patron- derous buttresses to the shaken-down age, a new tribe of pamphlets has been, arguments of the Buxtons and the from month to month, showered upon Wilberforces. In short, this Slave' the public. In these productions all Trade, at least, has been unblushingthe same blunders are reiterated in ly renewed with greater vigour than almost the same words-in them all ever-renewed in the same bottomsthe same inflammatory cant has been and renewed with scarcely the semdealed out again in fifty new shapes, blance of hoisting a new set of colours. and with, we blush to speak it, fifty --Is such conduct worthy of British new exaggerations. And who are the statesmen ? Are these restless, incon people that preside over this Second sistent, unreasonable mortals, the proAssociation ? Uno avulso non deficit per guides for the English mind ? Vol. XIV.