« AnteriorContinuar »
drivers, were not the most likely methods Christianity. Yet, no thanks to Stephen's to give them exalted views of Christianity, murderers, but to Stephen's God, who in and to create in them a desire for Christian this, as in the case of the men-stealers, “ baptism, and the other blessed sacra. made the wickedness of man to praise Him. meni.” For the comfort of Philaleihes, But we must not do evil that good may however, let me say, that he need not yet come-we must neither murder vor steal hang his harp on the willows, for, though men, nor bold innocent men in chains, the slave trade is by law abolished, yet because these things bare, in some instances, there continues to be large importations of been overruled for good. If Philalethes be pagans into many of the good Christian sincere in his regrets for the spiritual loss islands.
of the poor Africans, let him manifest bis But, seriously, let me ask that writer in sincerity, by contributing to the support of the Morning Post, what slave-trade men, and some Christian missionaries, who shall visit the friends of slavery, have ever done to them, not with manacles, but with the convert their pagan slaves to Christianity ? gospel of peace, the divinely appointed Has their example promoted it? Have and authorised instrument of conversion, they supplied them with Christian schools that gospel which casts down the strong masters, or catechists, or ministers? Have holds of satan, and which is the power of they allowed them time for the public ex- God to salvation, to all that believe. ercises of religion, on the Christian sabbath? Among slave-proprietors and managers, Let him answer these questions, but let it is pleasing to remark, that there are some him answer them truly. If he be ac- who attend to the spiritual interests of their quainted with the moral and religious his slaves, and who contribute liberally towards tory of the West India islands, for the last the support of Christian missionaries; men century, and will faithfully exhibit the truth to whom that kind of property has deof that history, I know what his answer will scended from their predecessors; and who, be. He will tell you, that till towards the it is believed, would throw no obstacles in latter end of that century, the slave popula- the way of the total and speedy abolition tion was almost universally neglected ;* of slavery; men who are humane and be. that, between forty and fifty years ago, some nevolent, and pious, and who form a per. Christian missionaries went to those islands, fect contrast to such libels on humau nature to devote their labours chiefly to the reli- as Parson Bridges, and his worthless assot gious instruction of the slaves; in which ciates; and men who, should the British benevolent work they met, not with sup- parliament much longer delay the extine port, but with violent opposition, and, in tion of slavery, and thus provoke the some cases, with imprisonment, from the coloured and black population to insurrec slavery-men. That, since that time, many tion and self-emaneipation, would have other Christian missionaries, some Metho- little or nothing to fear. Whilst the indig. dists, some Moravian, some Independents, nant insurgents would visit their tyrants and some Baptists, have been actively em- and oppressors with vengeance, they would ployed in endeavouring to Christianize the be as a wall of fire round about the per slaves, though often maligned and perse. sons, and families, and property, of those cuted, and, at least in two instances, mur- benevolent individuals, who had treated dered by the traffickers in the “muscles them, in the period of their bondage, with and the bones of men," whose advocate, in something approaching to patriarchal kinda: this very paper, whimpers and cants about the spiritual interests of the slaves.
Every philanthropist must deprecate the It is, indeed, true, that many of the poor probable evils of self-emancipation, an Africans have, notwithstanding all the op- event which, should the abolition of slavery position of the slavery men, been, not only be much longer delayed, is, in the very baptized, but “ turned from darkness to nature of things, inevitable. It therefore light, and from the power of satan to God." becomes the solemn duty of the humane But, after all, no more thanks are due to and religious constituency of this country to the traders in human blood, than to the elect only those members to represent them murderers of St. Stephen. The death of in parliament, who will give a solemn Stephen occasioned the disciples to be scat- pledge to vote for the speedy and total tered abroad, and was the proximate cause abolition of slavery. Should the reform of of a very rapid and extensive spread of parliament, so much talked of, take place,
the constituency of this country will be
greatly enlarged ; a thing which, it is calcu-u With the exception of those who resided in Antigua, where the Moravians had laboured with
lated, will have a powerfully beneficial opens great success, from the year 1732.
ration upon this question. Let Britons,
ANCIENT VAULT AT ROTHWELL.
who themselves are free, and whose gene- any subterraneous vault or cellar. beneath
. There are shall be delivered out of the hands of their many thousand bones contained within the oppressors. Already the sword is drawn vault, some of them in good preservation, from the scabbard, now let the scabbard be and of an unusual size. But those that thrown away; and never abandon this war have observed them for years, say they have of aggression, till the last link of the last sunk more than twelve or fifteen inches, chain of slavery be broken.
since the beginning of the present century,
ABEDNEGO. and that those nearest the door, where the Weymouth, May 26, 1831.
current of air draws the strongest, moulder almost as fast again as those that lie at the
other extremity. The dimensions of the SOME ACCOUNT OF AN ANCIENT Vault, place are, eleven yards in length, and five
in breadth. The roof is considered a By Thomas Royce.
perfect masterpiece of the kind. The There is to be seen at Rothwell, North- arches are formed of durable materials, amptonshire, in an old excavation under and constructed in a very strong and the parish church, a remarkable curiosity, singular manner; the centres are about nine at once interesting from its antiquity, and feet in height. singular from its obscurity. It contains one It has never been accurately ascertained of the most awful and venerable assemblages how long these bones have been deposited of human relicts, in fact, a depository of in this dreary cemetery, or by whom thus bones, larger, and more ancient, perhaps, carefully laid; but they have evidently lain than any of a similar kind, whose origin here for many hundred years; and it is cannot be ascertained, in Great Britain. It probable they were the bones of Roman is
supposed that it was not originally built Catholics, (the architecture being decidedly for the purpose to which it has since been gothic,) who were slain in those sanguinary appropriated, but was primarily intended wars that so often in by-gone days ravaged as a place for religious retirement, or a cell our native land. This place, perhaps, being in which to incarcerate offenders, as there contiguous to the scene of action, offered is a passage adjoining, which some say the readiest means for the interment of the once communicated with a nunnery in the dead; though it is not improbable that, neighbourhood, of which the foundations prior to this event, it might have been used still remain, although the building is now for other purposes. Or, as it was the pracdemolished.
tice of those times to carry the remains of According to the tradition which prevails their forefathers along with them, when respecting this singular vault, it was acci. they travelled in large bodies to any condentally discovered about one hundred and siderable distance ; perhaps, when an enemy fifty or sixty years since, by some workmen was heard of a sudden to be rapidly adengaged in repairing or exploring the lower vancing upon them, they might have placed part of the church, through an aperture, them in this strong-hold, to protect them and, on further investigation, was found from the wanton insults of the invading to be nearly filled with human bones, piled foe. up in regular layers. The entrance, pre- In several of the skulls I observed a kind vious to that time, was ingeniously closed of perforation, or square bole, evidently up, so that it was never suspected there was inflicted by some weapon now becco 20. SERIES, No. 9. – Vol. I.
153,- VOL. )
obsolete amongst the implements of war, which brings its quota to prove, that they
SPIRIT OP REFORM IN INDIA, were the bodies of those that fell victims in In our preceding number we stated, that, a conflict with the enemy, whether their through the reformation which had taken own party were victorious or not. But all place in Ceylon, the natives were raised 10 suppositions, from this distance of time, an equality with the English in similar must necessarily be vague, as it is very situations in life, and that slavery had been likely the precise cause will never be satis- entirely abolished. The same spirit has now factorily determined ; and, that the gloom extended itself to India, as may be ga. of unravelled mystery, in which this in- thered from the following article
, which teresting piece of antiquity now remains appeared in the Times Paper for Juve, involved, will never be dissipated.
1831. It is a place which inspires the reflective An arrival from Bombay has brought » mind with the most intense thought, England the copy of a document of rey awakened by the tangible evidence stationed great interest, and closely connected with around, to proclaim the universal mortality a subject of the highest political importance
, of our race. To this, both the darkness and It is the petition to the House of Comthe silence, which hold undisturbed domi- mons of the Christians, Hindoos, Parsee, nion here, most awfully contribute. It is Mahometans, and Jews, natives of the an abode which the thoughtless and the gay British possessions in India, on the grietmight visit with much advantage.
ances they suffer under the administratice Directly as you step on the floor, a scene of Government, as at present constituted, in bursts on the view, calculated to impress that part of the world; the remedy of those the beholder with the most profound awe, grievances; and the rights and advantages to strike and appeal to his mind with the to which they aspire, and claim from the most solemn convictions of the extreme humane and prudent consideration of our vanity of all worldly distinctions, if he but Legislature. This petition is understood for a moment pause to consider that he, too, to speak the sentiments of no less than shortly must mingle and lie undistinguished 60,000,000 of human beings, all subjeck in some such motley group, and to think of the British empire in India. It comthat these were the bones of those who once mences with a grateful acknowledgment of trod the earth, that they were exposed to the benefit derived to the natives from the accidents, and familiarized with misery; establishment of the Supreme Court of that pleasure allured, beauty fascinated, Judicature at Calcutta, and those which and riches engrossed their thoughts, and have sprung from it, the Recorder's Court occupied their time: that they were pos- at Madras, and the Supreme Court of Jusessed of the finest susceptibilities and the dicature at Bombay, and combats the strongest emotions; that some revelled in notion that such courts are either incompoetic visions, and soared aloft through the patible with their habits and feelings, of bright heaven of imagination; some, the that they are incompetent to sustain their rich scenery of nature charmed ; and that share in them, either as jurors or as witothers the din of war, and the strife of arms, nesses. For proof of the contrary, they delighted. Yonder skull
, perhaps, was the appeal to the experience of the last five favourite abode of genius, and its cavities years at all the three Presidencies. They were lit up with intellectual fire, that shone complain, however, that the administration with a steady and splendid blaze on the of justice on a system at all adapted to republic of letters; which, by the thunder their feelings is confined to the three Pre. of its eloquence astonished, by the subtlety sidencies, and that beyond them, throughout of its reasoning powers convinced, and, by the whole interior of the country
, it is the brilliant coruscations of its wit enlivened grossly neglected or perverted, and the mathe world, of which it was the glory and nagement of their courts such as to stamp the ornament. Now, all is mute and mo- on them the character of a distinct, tionless, compressed within small limits, quered, and a degraded people. where the silence of the sepulchre reigns, object also to the criminal code prepared and the monotony of the grave pervades its for them, as vague in its language, as well peaceful inmates; all noiselessly, yet elo- as too severe in its punishments, and left quently and emphatically, conspiring to generally too much at the discretion of those assert the melancholy truth,“ dust thou art, who administer it. This discretion is left
, and unto dust thou shalt assuredly return; too, to men who have little knowledge of, all evincing to man, with irresistible evi- and no sympathy with them. Their dedence, these are his prototypes, and the cisions consequently are charged with being grave is his final goal.
constantly arbitrary and unjust. Most of the
ANECDOTES OF HAROON AL RASHEED.
persons to whom these judicial functions are
ANECDOTES OF THE CALIPH HAROON AL intrusted are, as the petitioners affirm, wholly RASHEED, THE GRAND VIZIER GIAFFAR, e incompetent; being sometimes introduced
AND THE FAMILY OF THE BERMEKI. Lo abruptly from the civil service into the ad2. ministration of justice, and generally allowed
(Concluded from p. 378.) to remain so short a time at each station, To place the ingratitude of Haroon in a that, however able and intelligent, they stronger light, it may be as well to state, that
have not the opportunity for acquiring the this Caliph owed not only his education and 12. requisite knowledge.
taste for literature to Yiah Bermeki, but also The petitioners anticipate that a reform his life and crown. His elder brother, the st in the Indian provincial courts of justice Caliph Hadi, jealous of Haroon's favour
will be extremely unpalatable to their with the people, had resolved to put him to native princes, who have availed themselves death, and to raise his own son to the throne.
of them as a means of oppression and vio- Yiah, who was Grand Vizier to Hadi, findElence; but assume that such a consideration, ing that the Caliph was determined to take
so far from influencing the British Legisá his brother's life, informed Haroon the even2 lature, will form the stronger inducement ing previous to that fixed upon for his murfor granting the reform they solicit.
der, and urged him to provide for his safety
ority of the British rule, but that all" ad- sion of God, or the wickedness of man, the
That these were not sentiments for fair They suggest also, as a further means of weather only, Yiah plainly shewed by his promoting this attachment, that the culti- behaviour in prison.
“ How comes it,” vation of the English language should be said his son, who was confined in the same as much as possible promoted, and that prison, “ that having served God and the a competent acquaintance with it should, state with the utmost zeal and application, after a period of twelve years, be made one having loved to bestow favours on all men, of the conditions of the admission of the and having done nothing against the Caliph, natives into office. For this the foundation for which we can be justly blamed, we is already laid, as, through the establishment should yet be reduced to so wretched a conof schools, and general diffusion of edu- dition?" “ It is perhaps," answered Yiah, cation, great numbers have already learnt " the voice of some distressed person, who the language.
hath cried aloud to heaven for vengeance This petition, of which copies have also against us : perhaps we have unwittingly nebeen forwarded in the Goozeratta and Mah- glected to administer justice to some person Tatta languages, which are those most in under oppression; if the crime is involunluse in Bombay, is signed by 4,000 of the tary, the Divine mercy will pardon us. Permost respectable inhabitants of that presi- haps it is an effect of God's goodness, to dency, and will be presented to the House shew us the instability of the riches of this of Commons in the course of a few days. world; he may be pleased to try our faith, to
Inishment the discretiny his discrete little konto
1. them. chandant
un jose do
see if we love him more than ourselves; if we insensibly repeated the verses already menadore him in prosperity and in adversity, tioned, when the youth instantly fainted away. equally just in all conditions in which he I called in the master of the bath, who de may place us, he will obliterate all our faults, clared he had never seen him troubled with and make us worthy of him.”
such a fit till the present; upon which I was To some of his friends who came to astonished, and, when he came to himself
, condole with him in his prison, he said, inquired what had affected him. “Alas! “ Power and riches are only loans, which said the unfortunate youth, the verses you fortune trusts to man; we must be contented recited were composed on my birth, for I with the use of them for a season. She hath am the son of Fuzzul. When I heard them, chosen us for an example to such as shall the misfortunes of my unhappy family so come after us, that they may learn not to be pressed upon my heart, as to make me faint. proud of her gifts, but to make a prudent When I heard this, (continues the poet,) I use of them. God doth no wrong to man, sympathized with the youth, and said, My | in withdrawing the favours he hath in a plen- dear son, I am stricken in years, and have teous manner bestowed on him. He owed no offspring. Whatever I possess, was from him nothing; he hath gratified him there- the bounty of thy revered parent. Come, with, according to his appointed time; it is then, and reside with me, and I will, before now his pleasure to confer them on others; proper witnesses, make over to thee, after it is our duty to submit to his will. The my death, all that I have.' The wonderwise man ought not to covet riches, but he ful youth burst into tears, and said, "God may receive them, in order to employ them forbid that I should take away from thee for the good of the state, and should enjoy what was given by my father, however the residue only as a traveller enjoys his rest wretched my condition.' I reiterated me for a night at his inn on a journey.” request, but in vain; nor would he accept of
At the death of Yiah, a paper in his me even a trifling present." own hand-writing was found in the bosom of The following anecdote is from the same his dress, containing the following words :- history, as related by another person. “Going “ The accused is gone first; the accuser will once to pay congratulations to my mother, soon follow him; they must both appear be- on a grand festival, I found with her a very fore that tribunal where false pleas and illicit old woman, meanly dressed. In the course proceedings will not avail.”
of conversation, my mother inquired if I moved even to tears on reading it, but it knew who she was; to which I answered, produced no change in his conduct towards No;' when she informed me she was the surviving branches of the family. Attaba, the mother of Jaffier Bermeki. I
In the history of Imaum Yafee, the fol- saluted the unfortunate matron with the most lowing anecdote, of the Bermeki family, is profound respect, and begged she would rerelated in the words of the poet Mahummud late to me some of the wonderful events she Bin Yezeed of Damascus. “ Fuzzul Bermeki must have witnessed. The venerable but (the eldest brother of Jaffier,) one day sent unhappy lady replied, "My son, I refor and said, “ Last night the Almighty member, that on this very festival I used blessed me with the birth of a son, and many to be waited upon by four hundred slaves, poets presented me with congratulatory and yet accused my son of illiberality in verses, but none of them pleased me; there. his allowance for my expenses; but now, fore I wish an ode from thee.' I replied all the furniture I possess is two goat-skins
, (says the poet), that the splendour and one of which serves me for a bed, the other crowd of his court was unfavourable to the for a covering. What can I tell thee more contemplative mood requisite for composi- wonderful than such a reverse of fortune !' tion ; but he would accept no excuse, and Upon hearing this, says the narrator, I was insisted on my giving somewhat, if only a moved with awe and compassion, and preline. Remediless, I composed two couplets, sented her with a purse of five hundred with which Fuzzul was so pleased, that he deenars; on receiving which, she had nearly presented me with ten thousand deenars, expired with joy. Be warned, oh ye men with which I purchased an estate, that in of understanding! O child of fortune, time yielded me great wealth.
though from the breast of avarice and care “Some years after the lamented destruc- thou imbibest the milk of riches and prostion of the house of Bermeki, I was one day perity; on the couch of affluence be not too bathing in the warm bath, and desired the secure of thy possessions, but recollect the keeper of the hummum to send me a rubber, days of the ancestors of the Bermekies.'” which he did. While the lad was perform- Haroon, not content with having mura ing his office, the generosity and virtues of dered the unfortunate Jaffier, and reduced the Bermeki occurred to my mind, and I this distinguished family to such a state of