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and so closely packed the wretched cargo), were offered a bribe of two hundred dollars to conceal it; but they were so indignant at the shocking spectacle, that they instantly told their otficer.
Amongst the many shocking circumstances of this infamous traffic in the human race, there is one marked with a peculiar feature of cruelty, by which these traders in men, not content with the corporeal sufferings of their victims, appear to have stretched their ingenuity to torture so as to reach the apprehensive mind of their suffering animated merchandize. These poor beings were taught to expect that the English would, upon discovering them, kill or eat them: their complaints, nay, almost their vital respirations, were thus caused to be suspended while the search after them in their concealed holds in the vessel was going on, lest by reaching the ears of the British seamen they should be discovered, and the punishment which their masters had told them would take place, would be the consequence.
• About five or six days after this, another male black, about the age of fourteen, was discovered concealed on board L’Eclair by a seaman belonging to the Astrea, who was sent to do some duty below. This boy was first bought at Madagascar by one of the crew of L'Eclair (and who was very active in attempting to hide him) for sixty-five dollars, and was brought up, as the owner of this boy says, for sale, and with the full knowledge and consent of the captain of L'Eclair.' p. 76.
The brig Industry, also under English colours, was captured soon after the L'Eclair. She was about the size of a Margate hoy, or little bigger, her register burthen being only seventythree tons ; yet were there crammed into her, besides a cargo of 5 or 600 bags of rice, and a crew of nineteen men, no less than two hundred and eight blacks. It is needless to remark, that this was almost twice as many as the slave carrying act allowed; and that they were crowded together, without any of the precautions there laid down, before the trade was wholly abolished. But human nature shudders at the thought of such complicated suffering as these miserable persons must have undergone during their confinement, while literally built into the floors and bulk-heads of the ship.
The third vessel was the President, which seems, at first, to have eluded the search ; but, after a great deal of examination, two seamen employed, discovered a concealed place under the cables, but curved so as to escape detection. A bribe was now offered, as they were supposed to be on the scent; but they rejected it, and continued the search, when they found a plank not quite fixed ; and, on opening it, they were led to a hole where nineteen male negroes and one female were concealed. France may
The cables were so stowed away with rice and wood; and a hide-stretcher under all, as to make it scarcely possible to get at the slaves, much less to suspect, on a careless inspection, that they were concealed there.
Here, then, we find three several vessels, within less than a week, engaged in this horrible traffic, at a settlement under the English government-with English troops, officers, placemen, a governor and secretary at the port to which the vessels were bound. But the public functionaries were deceived by the slave traders? Alas! we cannot say so.
Two of the vessels (Industry and L'Eclair) had on board a certificate of permission, or license to export, from Mr Rondeaux, the civil commissary at Madagascar; and one of these two, the Industry, by far the worst case of the whole we believe one of the worst that ever has occurred in the history of this accursed commerce had actually on board licenses from Mr Rondeaux, and Major Barry, chief secretary to the government in the Isle of France, for the importation of one hundred and sixty-two slaves ! It is devoutly to be wished that the government of the Isle of
be able to explain this affair in a satisfactory manner. To us no possible mode of accounting for it occurs. If a British governor and his secretary have been parties to so glaring a violation of the law, which they were bound by every exertion of their authority to support and enforce, there can be but one, opinion as to the conduct fit to be pursued by the Government at home. Indeed, as the facts now stated must have come with- , in the cognizance of the King's ministers, and as no step has been taken by them, it is possible that they may have received some satisfactory defence. We cannot believe that they could , connive for an instant at such proceedings, unless the real state of the case is very different from that which now appears before the public.
It would be unjust not to add, that the conduct of Admiral Stopford and Captain Irby, the former upon the Madagascar station, the latter on the western coast of Africa, has been such , as to entitle them to the warmest thanks of every person who , feels interested in the execution of the Abolition laws; and this is undoubtedly stating their claim to the gratitude of all whose good opinion is worth having.
The facts which have been stated in the course of this article, suggest another train of observation, into which we have on former occasions entered ;-the infinite importance of a careful selection of public functionaries in those distant dominions of the Crown, where the law must either be a dead letter, or be faithfully enforced, according as the governors and judges are honest
and courageous in the performance of their duty. In these kingdoms, the character of the persons who fill high stations, is not nearly so decisive of the conduct they may pursue. Tlrey are under the perpetual control of public opinion ; and they dare not, for any length of time, lean towards oppression or corruption. In the colonies, public opinion must be boldly resisted, --for it means the interests and prejudices of a few hundreds, against the rights and bappiness of thousands; nor can any man in authority honestly discharge his duty, who does not at once place himself between the unfortunate negro race and their oppressors. Is it to be conceived that they are the most likely to take this decided part, who, belonging to the body of the planters, are subject to all their prejudices, and participate in their interests? Nay, can a judge, for example, be viewed in any other light, than as a party in every cause wherein the conficting rights and interests of the two colours are involved ? While the rule too frequently followed in this country is transferred to the colonies, and men are promoted, not because they are suited to the offices, but because the offices are suited to them, we may make laws against oppression, until our statutebook is as heavy as the Roman code before Justinian's time,“ multorum camelorum unus.” The oppressor will be little affected by our legislation, and the victim will rather be mocked than relieved. The only effectual remedy must be sought for in the strict adherence to a rule once before suggested in these pages, and from which, we believe, almost every departure has been traced in its effects,-that no planter or colonial proprietor should ever, on any pretence, be named to a civil or military office, unless in the case of an officer whose regiment may be on service there. An addition to the salaries of some offices may be ne cessary, in order to induce persons imconnected with the settlements to remove thither; but we venture to assert, that no money was ever raised in this country for a more just and righteous purpose ; and we trust that, even under all the difficulties of the times, vo increase that could be imagined to our burthens, would be more cheerfully borne.
Art. IV. A Charge delivered to the Clergy of the Diocese of
Lincoln, at the Triennal l'isitation of that Diocese in May, June, and July, 1812. By George Tomline, D.D. F.R.S. Lord Bishop of Lincoln. London. Cadell & Co. 410.
It is a melancholy thing to sec à man, clothed in seft raiment,
lodged in a public palace, endowed with a rich portion of the product of other men's industry, using all the influence of his splendid situation, however conscientiously, to deepen the ignorance, and inflame the fury of his fellow creatures. These are the miserable results of that policy which has been so frequently pursued for these fifty years past, of placing men of mean, or middling abilities, in high ecclesiastical stations. In ordinary times, it is of less importance who fills them ; but when the bitter period arrives, in which the people must give up some of their darling absurdities;-when the senseless clamour, which has been carefully handed down from father fool to son fool, can be no longer indulged ;--when it is of incalculable importance to turn the people to a better way of thinking; the greatest impediments to all amelioration are too often found among those to whose councils, at such periods, the country ought to look for wisdom and peace. We will suppress, however, the feelings of indignation which such productions, from such men, naturally occasion. We will give the Bishop of Lincoln credit for being perfectly sincere ;—we will suppose, that every argument he uses has not been used and refuted ten thousand times before; and we will sit down as patiently to defend the religions liberties of mankind, as the Reverend Prelate has done to abridge them.
We must begin with denying the main position upon which the Bishop of Lincoln has built his reasoning - The Catholic religion is not tolerated in England. No man can be fairly said to be permitted to enjoy his own worship who is punished for exercising that worship. His Lordship seems to have no other idea of punishment, than lodging a man in the Poultry Compter, or flogging him at the cart's tail, or fining him a sum of money ;-just as if incapacitating a man from enjoying the dignities and emoluments to which men of similar condition, and other faith, may fairly aspire, was not frequently the most scvere and galling of all punishments. This limited idea of the nature of punishment is the more extraordinary, as incapacitation is actually one of the most common punishments in some branches of our law. The sentence of a court-martial frequently purports, that a man is rendered for ever incapable of serving his Majesty, &c. &c.; and a person not in holy orders, who performs the functions of a clergyman, is rendered for ever incapable of holding any preferment in the church. There are indeed inany species of offence for which no punishment more apposite and judicious could be devised. It would be rather extraordinary, however, if the Court, in passing such a sentence, were to assure the culprit, that such incapacitation was not by them considero ed as a punishment; that it was only exercising a right in• herent in all governments, of determining who should be eligi• ble for office, and who ineligible.' His Lordship thinks the toleration complete, because he sees a permission in the statutes, for the exercise of the Roman Catholic worship. He sees the permission--but he does not chuse to see the consequences to which they are exposed who avail themselves of this permission. It is the liberality of a father who says to his son, 'Do as you please, my • dear boy; follow your own inclination. Judge for yourselt,
you are free as air: But remember, if you marry that lady, I • will cut you off with a shilling.' We have scarcely ever read a more solemn and frivolous statement, than the Bishop of Lincoln's antithetical distinction between persecution and the denial of political power.
• It is sometimes said, that Papists, being excluded from Power, are consequently persecuted ; as if exclusion from Power and religious Persecution were convertible terms. But surely this is to confound things totally distinct in their nature. Persecution inflicts positive punishment upon persons who hold certain religious tenets, and endeavours to accomplish the renunciation and extinction of those tenets by forcible means : Exclusion from Power is entirely negative: in its operation-it only declares that those who hold certain opinions shall not fill certain situations ; but it acknowledges men to be per. fectly free to hold those opinions. Persecution compels men to adopt a prescribed Faith, or to suffer the loss of liberty, property, or even life: Exclusion from Power prescribes no Faith ; it allows men to think and believe as they please, without molestation or interference. Persecution requires men to worship God in one and in no other way: Exclusion from Power neither commands nor forbids any mode of Divine Worship-it leaves the business of Religion, where it ought to be left, to every man's judgment and conscience, Persecution proceeds from a biggotted and sanguinary spirit of In. tolerance : Exclusion from power is founded in the natural and rational principle of self-protection and self-preservation, equally applicable to Nations and to Individuals. History informs us of the mischievous and fatal effects of the one, and proves the expediency and necessity of the other.' p. 16, 17.
We will venture to say, there is no one sentence in this extract which does not contain either a contradiction, or a misstatement. For how can that law acknowledge men to be perfectly free to hold an opinion which excludes from desireable situations all who do hold that opinion? How can that law be said neither to molest, nor interfere, which meets a man in every branch of industry and occupation, to institute an inquisition into his religious opinions? And how is the business of religion left to every man's judgment, and conscience, where so powerful a bonus is given to one set of religious opinions, and such a mark of intamy and degradation fixed upon all other