« ForrigeFortsett »
facturing, and maritime, to dimensions to which it would not be easy to affix limits.'
390-93. Speaking of our national debt, Mr. Rush remarks, that, as an absolute sum it must strike the world as enormous ; but that it loses this character when viewed in connexion with the resources of Great Britain, which have increased in a ratio greater than her debt. In proof of this position, he adduces the fact, that in the face of this debt, our Government could, at any moment borrow from British capitalists fresh sums, larger than were ever borrowed before, and than could be raised by the united exertions of the Governments of Europe.
• Credit so unbounded can rest only upon the known extent and solidity of her resources ; upon her agricultural, manufacturing, and commercial riches; the first coming from her highly cultivated soil and its exhaustless mines, not of gold
and silver, but iron and coal, for ever profitably worked; the second, from the various and universal labour bestowed on raw materials, which brings into play all the industry of her people, suffering none to be lost for want of objects; the third, from a system of navigation and trade, followed up for ages, which enables her to send to every part of the globe the products of this vast and diversified industry, after supplying all her own wants. This system of navigation and trade is greatly sustained by a colonial empire of gigantic size, that perpetually increases the demand for her manufactures, and favours the monopoly of her tonnage. These are the visible foundations of her incalculable riches ; consequently of her credit. Both seem incessantly augmenting.' pp. 248, 9.
These remarks would suggest matter for extended comment, but we waive any reflections of our own, and shall proceed to give a specimen or two of the lighter portions of the Journal. The splendours of the English Court appear to have had a fascinating effect upon the Writer's imagination, without, however, putting him out of conceit with the simpler habits and customs of republican society. The following description is given of the Queen's drawing-room.
· The doors of the rooms were all open. You saw in them a thousand ladies richly dressed. All the colours of nature were mingling their rays together. It was the first occasion of laying by mourning for the Princess Charlotte, so that it was like the bursting out of spring. No lady was without her plume. The whole was a waving field of feathers. Some were blue, like the sky; some tinged with red; here you saw violet and yellow; there, shades of green ; but the most were like tufts of snow. The diamonds encircling them caught the sun through the windows, and threw dazzling beams around. Then the hoops! I cannot describe these. They should be
To see one is nothing. But to see a thousand- and their thousand wearers ! I afterwards sat in the ambassadors' box at a coronation. That sight faded before this. Each lady seemed to rise out of a gilded little barricade, or one of silvery texture. This, topped by
her plume, and the face divine' interposing, gave to the whole an effect so unique, so fraught with feminine grace and grandeur, that it seemed az if a curtain had risen to show a pageant in another sphere. It was brilliant and joyous. Those to whom it was not new, stood at gaze, as I did. Canning for one. His fine eye took it all in. You saw admiration in the gravest statesmen ; Lord Liverpool, Huskisson, the Lord Chancellor, every body. I had already seen in England, signs enough of opulence and power; now I saw, radiating on all sides, British beauty. My own country I believed was destined to a just measure of the two first; and I had the inward assurance that my countrywomen were the inheritresses of the last. Matre pulchra filia pulchrior. So appeared the drawing-room of Queen Charlotte' p. 103.
We must select, as our last specimen, an account of a dinner at Jeremy Bentham's.
• From my house north of Portman Square, I was driven nearly three miles through streets for the most part long and wide, until I passed Westminster Abbey. Thereabouts, things changed. The streets grew narrow. Houses seemed falling down with age.
The crowds were as thick, but not so good-looking, as about Cornhill and the Poultry. In a little while I reached the purlieus of Queen Square Place. The farther I advanced, the more confined was the space. At length turning through a gateway, the passage was so narrow that I thought the wheels would have grazed. It was a kind of blind-alley, the end of which winded into a small, neat, court-yard. There, by itself, stood Mr. Bentham's house. Shrubbery graced its area, and flowers its window-sills. It was like an oasis in the desert. Its name is the Hermitage.
• Entering he received me with the simplicity of a philosopher. I should have taken him for seventy or upwards. Every thing inside. of the house was orderly. The furniture seemed to have been unmoved since the days of his fathers ; for I learned that it was a patrimony. A parlour, library, and dining-room, made up the suite of apartments. In each was a piano, the eccentric master of the whole being fond of music as the recreation of his literary hours. It was a unique, romantic little homestead. Walking with him into his garden, I found it dark with the shade of ancient trees. They formed a barrier against all intrusion. In one part was a high dead wall, the back of a neighbour's house. It was dark and almost mouldering with time. In that house, he informed me, Milton had lived. Perceiving that I took an interest in hearing it, he soon afterwards obtained a relic, and sent it to me. It was an old carved baluster, from the staircase, which there was reason to think the hand of the great bard had often grasped -so said the note that accompanied the relic.
• The company was small, but choice. Mr. Brougham, Sir Samuel Romilly, Mr. Mill, author of the well-known work on India, M. Dumont, the learned Genevan, once the associate of Mirabean, were all who sat down to table. Mr. Bentham did not talk much. He had a benevolence of manner, suited to the philanthropy of his mind. He seemed to be thinking only of the convenience and pleasure of his guests, not as a rule of artificial breeding, as from Chesterfield or Ma.
dame Genlis ; but from innate feeling. Bold are his opinions in his works, here he was wholly unobtrusive of theories that might not have commanded the assent of all present. Something else was remarkable. When he did converse, it was in simple language, a contrast to his later writings, where an involved style, and the use of new or unusual words, are drawbacks upon the speculations of a genius original and profound, but with the faults of solitude. Yet some of his earlier productions are distinguished by classical terseness.
Mr. Brougham talked with rapidity and energy. There is a quickness in his bodily movements indicative of the quickness of his thoughts. He showed in conversation the universality and discipline that he exhibits in Parliament and Courts of Law. The affairs of South America, English authors, Johnson, Pope, Swift, Milton, Dryden, Addison, (the criticisms of the last on Paradise Lost, he thought poor things); anecdotes of the living Judges of England; of Lord Chancellors, living and dead ; the errors in Burrow's Reports, not always those of the reporter, he said ; the Universities of Oxford and Cambridge ; the Constitution of the United States--these were topies that he touched with the promptitude and power of a master. He quoted from the ancient classics, and poets of modern Italy, (the latter in the original also,) not with the ostentation of scholarship, which he is above, but as if they came out whether they would or no amidst the multitude of his ideas and illustrations. He handled nothing at length, but with a happy brevity; the rarest art in: conversation, when loaded with matter like his. Sometimes he despatched a subject in a parenthesis ; sometimes by a word, that told like a blow. Not long after this my first meeting with him, one of his friends informed me that a gentleman whose son was about to study law, asked him what books he ought to read. “ Tell him to begin with Demosthenes and Dante.”—What, to make a lawyer ?” said the father.—“ Yes,” he replied, and “ if you don't take, we won't argue about it.” Mr. Mill, M. Dumont, and Sir Samuel Romilly, did their parts in keeping up the ball of conversation. Sheridan being spoken of, Sir Samuel Romilly, who has often heard him in the House of Commons, said “ that nothing could be more marked than the difference between the parts of his speeches previously written out, and the extemporaneous parts. The audience could discover in a moment when he fell into the latter. It was well known,” he added, “ that all the highly wrought passages in his speeches on Hastings' impeachment, were prepared beforehand and committed to memory.”.
After we rose from table, Mr. Bentham sought conversation with me about the United States. Keep your salaries low,” said he ; “it is one of the secrets of the success of your Government.-- But what is this," he inquired, “ called a Board of Navy Commissioners that you have lately set up? I don't understand it.” I explained it to him. “ I can't say that I like it,” he replied ; the simplicity of your public departments has heretofore been one of their recommendations, but boards make skreens ; if any thing goes wrong, you don't know where to find the offender; it was the board that did it, not one of the members; always the board, the board !” I got home at a late hour, having witnessed a degree of intellectual point and strength
throughout the whole evening, not easily to have been exceeded.'
Art. VII. 1. Wages or the Whip. An Essay on the Comparative
Cost and Productiveness of Free and Slave Labour. By Josiah
pp. 92. Price 2s. 6d. London, 1833.
Planters, shewing that it may not only be lent with perfect safety but with immense advantage both to the West Indians and to the
people of England. By James Cropper. 8vo. Price 6d. 3. A Letter from Legion to the Right Hon. E. G. Stanley, &c. &c. &c.
Secretary of State for the Colonies, upon his Scheme for the Abo
lition of Colonial Slavery. 8vo. pp. 32. Price ls. London, 1833. OF the first of these pamphlets we shall say nothing more, than
that it comprises a mass of documentary evidence abundantly attesting the correctness of the proposition, that Slavery is a political blunder. Slave labour is shewn to be dearer in its prime cost, dearer from its inferior productiveness, dearer from the waste and bad economy to which it uniformly leads, dearer from the capital sunk, and dearer from the state expenditure which it entails. The enormous expense of uncertain profits of cultivation by slave labour are shewn to be, according to the highest authorities, from Bryan Edwards down to Earl Belmore, the main cause of the present distressed state of the planters. And finally, the practicability of securing a regular supply of free labour in the sugar colonies is established by facts drawn from official documents and other sources, relating to the effects of emancipation on manumitted negroes, and to the success with which plantations are worked by free labour in the Spanish colonies. Slavery, however, it is remarked, must be abolished, with the burdens it entails before the motive to employ the cheaper labour of the freeman or to economize the dear labour of the slave, can come into operation. No plan of emancipation can be either effective or safe that is not of a decisive character.
• It must not attempt to combine the two opposite and incompatible systems of free and slave labour. It must not superadd the cost of free labour to the waste and burden of slavery. It must not destroy coercion, by a plan which supplies no motives for labour ; which precludes alike the stimulus of competition, the sense of gratitude, or the immediate prospect of advantage. It must not detain upon the plantations that redundant portion of labour which might be altogether economized by a better system. It must not continue to hang a dead weight upon the elastic springs of human industry, while the machinery is yet expected to work without embarrassment. The sub
stitution of free labour for bond labour of every description can alone indemnify the planter for the loss of his living capital, and redeem him from the effect of the standing economical blunder in which he has so long and so fatally persisted. Slavery must be abolished. Its total abolition will carry compensation with it. Any thing short of entire and immediate emancipation will fail of its object; will be ruinous to the planter, unjust to the slave, unsafe to the colonies, and, in a word, not merely impolitic, but impracticable.'
Mr. Cropper takes a similar view of the necessity of a total abolition of slavery in order to the realizing of any of the advantages to be derived from the proposed loan; but slavery being abolished, he proves by the logic of arithmetical calculations, that the advance may be made without hazard, and with great benefit to all parties, which is designed to relieve the planter from his present embarrassments, and to enable him to disentangle himself at once from the expenses of slavery and of his commercial bondage. Mr. Cropper has shewn, that what would be saved to this country by the abolition of slavery, with the burdens it entails, would enable Government to deal liberally with the West India Colonists.
Mr. Stanley's plan of emancipation is an ingenious one ; and twenty years ago it might have been possible to make the experiment he proposes ; although, in the working, it would assuredly have failed. In the present state of things, it would be alike perilous and impracticable. ' It is founded, as the Author of the Letter from Legion remarks, on two propositions, each of which
is self contradictory in its enunciation, and iniquitous in its ' operation. 1. The slave is entitled to his freedom, and there'fore he shall redeem himself. 2. The slave is unfitted, by long
and brutal coercion, for the discharge of spontaneous labour, and therefore, for twelve years to come, he shall be compelled to
three parts of his labour by coercive means.' With legal acuteness, this Writer, who is generally understood to be the son of the late distinguished philanthropist James Stephen, Esq. dissects the ministerial plan, and exposes its illusive, crude, unjust, and visionary character. Even the best, because the most specific part of the plan, the liberation of the children, is shewn to be open to fatal objections, the very principle of the condition with which it is encumbered being unjust and cruel.
Slavery is offered as the alternative of maintaining them, when the very means of maintenance are taken away. E.c hypothesi the parent's wages must be accumulated to redeem his own freedom. If he takes one sixpence from the sacred hoard, his own emancipation is deferred. All the time which can reasonably be exacted for labour through the day, is appropriated to his master, or to his own redemption. Yet you most ingeniously propose that he shall find means to clothe and feed his child, under the penalty of exposing that child to a longer