« AnteriorContinuar »
the country into hatred and contempt, and that they have not proved, as far as can be ascertained by the strictest inquiry, in the slightest degree injurious, which has very lately been acknowledged in one of the most respectable English Missionary works. So far from obtruding upon Government groundless representations, Native authors and editors have always restrained themselves from publishing even such facts respecting the judicial proceedings in the interior of the country, as they thought were likely at first view to be obnoxious to Government.
knowledge of the admirable system of government established by the British, and the peculiar excellencies of the meaus they have adopted for the strict and inpartial administration of justice. Another evil of equal importance in the eyes of a just ruler is, that it will also preclude the natives from making the Government readily acquainted with the errors and injustice that may be committed by its executive officers in the various parts of this extensive country; and it will also preclude the natives from communicating frankly and honestly to their gracious sovereign in England and his council, the real condition of his Majesty's faithful subjects in this distant part of his dominions, and the treatment they experience from the local government: since such information cannot in future be conveyed to England, as it has heretofore been, either by the translations from the native publications inserted in the English newspapers printed here and sent to Europe, or by the English publications which the natives themselves had in contemplation to establish before this rule and ordinance was proposed.
After this sudden deprivation of one of the most precious of their rights, which has been freely allowed them since the establishment of the British power, a right which they are not and cannot be charged with having ever abused, the inhabitants of Calcutta would be no longer justified in boasting that they are fortunately placed by Providence under the protection of the whole British nation; or that the King of England and his lords and commons are their legislators; and that they are secured in the enjoyment of the same civil and religious privileges that every Briton is entitled to in England.
Your memorialists are persuaded that the British Government is not disposed to adopt the political maxim so often acted upon by Asiatic Princes, that the more a people are kept in darkness, their rulers will derive the greater advantages from them; since, by reference to history, it is found that this was but a short-sighted policy, which did not ultimately answer the purpose of its authors. On the contrary, it rather proved disad-' vantageous to them; for we find that, as often as an ignorant people, when an opportunity offered, have revolted against their rulers, all sorts of barbarous excesses and cruelties have been the consequence; whereas a people naturally disposed to peace and ease, when placed under a good government, from which they experience just and liberal treatment, must become the more attached to it in proportion as they become en
While your memorialists were indulging the hope that Government, from a conviction of the manifold advantages of being put in possession of full and impartial information regarding what is passing in all parts of the country, would encourage the establishment of newspapers in the cities and districts under the special patronage and protection of Government, that they might furnish the supreme authorities in Calcutta with an accurate account of local occurrences and reports of judicial proceedings, they have the misfortune to observe that, on the contrary, his Excellency the Governor General in Council has lately promulgated a rule and ordinance imposing severe restraints on the press, and prohibiting all periodical publications even at the presidency and in the native languages, unless sanctioned by a licence from Government, which is to be revocable at pleasure, whenever it shall appear to Government that a publication has contained any thing of unsuitable character.
Those natives who are in more favourable circumstances and of respectable character, have such an invincible prejudice against making a voluntary affidavit, or undergoing the solemnities of an oath, that they will never think of establishing a publication which can only be supported by a series of oaths and affidavits, abhorrent to their feelings and derogatory to their reputation amongst their countrymen.
After this rule and ordinance shall have been carried into execution, your memorialists are therefore extremely sorry to observe, that a complete stop will be put to the diffusion of knowledge, and the consequent mental improvement now going on, either by translations into the popular dialect of this country from the learned languages of the East, or by the circalation of literary intelligence drawn from foreign publications. And the same cause will also prevent those natives who are better versed in the laws and customs of the British nation, from communicating to their fellow-subjects a VOL. XIX.
lightened and the great body of the people are taught to appreciate the value of the blessings they enjoy under its rule, Eyery good ruler who is convinced of the imperfection of human nature, and reverences the Eternal Governor of the world, must be conscious of the great liability to error in managing the affairs of a vast empire; and therefore he will be anxious to afford every individual the readiest means of bringing to his notice whatever may require his interference. To secure this important object, the unrestrained liberty of publication is the only effectual means that can be em ployed. And should it ever be abused, the established law of the land is very properly armed with sufficient powers to punish those who may be found guilty of misrepresenting the conduct or character of Government, which are effectually guarded by the same laws to which individuals must look for the protection of their reputation and good name.
Your memorialists conclude by humbly entreating your Lordship to take this memorial into your gracious consideration; and that you will be pleased, by not registering the above rule and ordipance, to permit the natives of this country to continue in possession of the civil rights and privileges which they and their fathers have so long enjoyed under the auspices of the British nation, whose kindness and confidence they are not aware of having done any thing to forfeit, CHUNDER COOMAR TAGORE. DEWAR KUNAUTH TAGORE. RAM MOHUN ROY. HUR CHUNDer Ghose, GOWREE CHUrn Bonnergee. PROSSUNNU COOMAR TAGORE.
nance so passed. Under these circam stances, 1, the least of all the human race, in consideration of several difficul ties, have, with much regret and reluc tauce, relinquished the publication of this paper (Mirat-ool-Ukhbar). The difficulties are these:
It was previously intimated, that a Rule and Ordinance was promulgated by his Excellency the Honourable the Governor General in Council, enacting, that a daily, weekly, or any periodical paper should not be published in this city, without an affidavit being made by its proprietor in the police office, and without a licence being procured for such publi cation from the Chief Secretary to Go vernment; and that after such licence being obtained, it is optional with the Governor General to recall the same, whenever his Excellency may be dissatisfied with any part of the paper. Be it known, that on the 31st of March, the Honourable Sir Francis Macnaghten, Judge of the Supreme Court, expressed his approbation of the Rule and Ordi
First. Although it is very easy for those European gentlemen, who have the honour to be acquainted with the Chief Secretary to Government, to obtain a licence according to the prescribed form; yet to an humble individual like myself, it is very hard to make his way through the porters and attendants of a great personage; or to enter the doors of the police court, crowded with people of all classes, for the purpose of obtain ing what is, in fact, already in my own option. As it is writtenAbrooe kih bu-sud khoon i figur dust
Bu oomed-i kurum-e, kha’juh, bu-durban
The respect which is purchased with a
hundred drops of heart's blood Do not thou, in the hope of a favour, commit to the mercy of a porter.
Thirdly. After incurring the disrepute of solicitation, and suffering the disho nour of making affidavit, the constant apprehension of the licence being recalled
the regular Numbers.)
Friday, April 4, 1823. (Not included in by Government, which would disgrace the person in the eyes of the world, must create such anxiety as entirely to destroy his peace of mind. Because a man, by nature liable to err, in telling the real truth, cannot help sometimes making use of words and selecting phrases that might be unpleasant to Government. I, however, here prefer silence to speaking out : Guda-e goshuh nusheenee to Khafiza
Secondly. To make affidavit voluntarily in an open court, in presence of respecta ble magistrates, is looked upon as very mean and censurable by those who watch the conduct of their neighbours. Besides, the publication of a newspaper is not incumbent upon every person, so that he must resort to the evasion of establishing fictitious proprietors, which is contrary to law and repugnant to conscience.
Roo mooz muslubut i khesh khoos-rowan dauund.
with their patronage, that in consideration of the reasons above stated, they will excuse the non-fulfilment of my promise to make them acquainted with passing érents, as stated in the introductory remarks in the first Number; and I earnestly hope from their liberality, that wherever and however I may be situated, they will always consider me, the humblest of the human race, as devoted to their service.
Negro-Slavery in the West Indies.
BESIDES the interest we take in this subject as Christians and friends of humanity, we are also implicated in the discussion now carrying on by having first given to the world Mr. Cooper's evidence ou the state of the Negroes. (Vol. XVII. 217, 297, 492, 751, and XVIII. 231.) We are well pleased that the Monthly Repository should be reckoned amongst the periodical works that are devoted to the Negro-cause, and fully satisfied that there is nothing in Mr. Cooper's statements which he will have to retract, or which he cannot justify to the letter. The persons interested in the continuance of Slavery are attempting to throw a stain upon this Gentleman's credit, but we are certain that all their efforts will be harm less. They seen even desirous of wound ing Unitarianism through Mr. Cooper, but here also we are persuaded that whatever be in their will, nothing is in their power. The Unitarian doctrine can bear the reproach of not being a fit religion for a population whose masters dare not allow them to be taught to read, lest they should become acquainted for themselves with the New Testament. Let the subject be properly investigated, and we doubt not the result will be the full con viction on the part of the English public, that in the present state of Negro intellect nothing can be taught this unhappy people that is worthy of the name of Christianity, and that, in fact, they consider conversion as nothing more or better than exchanging African for European Obeah or witchcraft, or than taking up a preserving, in order to lay aside a destroying superstition. (See Mr. Cooper's third letter, XVII. 495.)
The whole subject will in a few days come before Parliament, and in order to prepare our readers for the discussion, we will explain what has been done and what is proposed.
A "Society" was instituted last year " for mitigating and gradually abolishing the state of Slavery throughout the British Dominions." To shew the character of the Society, it needs only be stated that the Duke of Gloucester is President; that
amongst the Vice-Presidents are the Marquis of Lansdowne, Mr. Brougham, Mr. Wilberforce, Mr. William Smith, Mr. Buxton, and Mr. Clarkson; and that amongst the Committee are Mr. Wm. Allen, Mr. Babingtou and Mr. Macauley. The object of the Society is to circulate information upon the subject, in order to arouse public attention, and to procure petitions to Parliament. Supported by the petitions which the Society had caused to be sent in, Mr. Buxton made the following motion in the House of Commons, on the 15th of May last, "That the state of Slavery is repugnant to the principles of the British Constitution and of the Christian religion: and that it ought to be gradually abolished throughout the British Dominions, with as much expedition as may be consistent with a due regard to the well-being of the parties concerned." Mr. Buxton stated in his speech, that if his motion were agreed to, he intended to follow it up, by moving for leave to bring in a Bill, or Bills, which should embrace the following specific ob. jects-viz.
"To remove all the existing obstructions to the manumission of Slaves ;
"Fo canse the Slaves to cease to be chattels in the eye of the law;
"To prevent their removal, as Slaves, from colony to colony, and, under certain modifications, their sale or transfer, except with the land to which they might be attached ;
"To abolish markets and compulsory labour on the Sunday; and to make that day a day of rest, as well as of religious worship and instruction; and also to secure to the Slaves equivalent time in each week, in lieu of Sunday, and in addition to any time which independently of Sunday is now afforded them, for cultivating their provision grounds;→
"To protect the Slaves, by law, in the possession and transmission of the property may thus, or in any other way, acquire ;~
"To enable the Slave to purchase his freedom, by the payment at once of a fair price for his redemption, or of a fifth part of that price at a time, in return for an additional day in the week to be employed for his own benefit ;
The Society depend for their means of usefulness upon donations and subscriptions, aud they confidently appeal to the friends of humanity throughout the nation for their co-operation and support. Communications may be made to the Treasurer, Samuel Hoare, Jun., Esq., 62, Lombard Street, or to the Secretary, W. L. Hanbury, Esq., 18, Aldermanbury.
"To make the testimony of Slaves available in Courts of Justice, both in civil and criminal cases ;
"To relieve all Negroes and persons of Colour from the burden of legally proving their freedom, when brought into question, and to throw on the claimant of their persous the burden of legally proving his right to them ;
"To provide the means of religious instruction for the Black and Coloured population, and of Christian education for their children ;
"To institute marriage among the Slaves; and to protect that state from violation, and from either forcible or voluntary disruption ;
"To put an end to the driving sys. tem ;
"To put an end also to the arbitrary punishment of Slaves, and to place their persons as well as property under the guardianship of the law ;
"To provide that all the children born after a certain day shall be free,-care being taken of their education and maintenance until they shall be capable of acting for themselves ;
The sincerity of the Government in these designs is proved by the instructions which Lord Bathurst has sent out to the Colonies. These, as well as the Resolutions carried into Parliament, have alarmed the West India Planters and Proprietors, and the most violent resolutions have been passed in the parishes of Jamaica, and tumultuary proceedings have been resorted to in other colonies.
"1st. That it is expedient to adopt effectual and decisive measures for meliorating the condition of the Slave population in his Majesty's colonies.
"2nd. That, through a determined and persevering, but judicious and temperate, enforcement of such measures, this House looks forward to a progressive improvement in the character of the Slave population; such as may prepare them for a participation in those civil rights and privileges which are enjoyed by other classes of his Majesty's subjects. "3d. That this House is anxious for the accomplishment of this purpose at the earliest period that may be compatible with the well-being of the Slaves, the safety of the Colonies, and with a fair and equitable consideration of the interests of all parties concerned therein.
"4th. That these Resolutions be laid before his Majesty."
At Barbadoes, on the 19th of October, Subsequent communications with his the Wesleiau Methodist Chapel was en
On the 18th of August there was some resistance amongst the Slaves in Demerara to some act of the local authorities. The military were called in, and blood was shed. Messrs. Smith and Elliot, Missionaries from the London Society, in the Colony, were taken up on the charge of promoting insurrection. Elliot was soon discharged, but Smith was brought to trial before a Court Martial, and it is reported has been adjudged guilty, and sentenced to death. The sentence, however, awaits the approbation of his Majesty's Government. In the mean time, the Missionary Society have published their confidence in Smith's entire inno
tirely destroyed, and the Missionary (Shrewsbury) obliged to fly, with his family, for his life. Upon this outrage being committed, the Governor, Sir Henry Warde, issued a Proclamation, offering a reward of £100 for the conviction of the offenders. A counter proclamation was sent forth by the incendiaries, or their friends, threatening that persons coming forward to impeach shall receive the puuishment which they deserve, and observing that "the reward is offered on conviction, which cannot be effected whilst the people are firm to themselves." This document states that the midnight rioters were not the rabble, but that the majority of them were persons of the first respectability.
At Berbice, also, the Missionary Chapel, occupied by Mr. John Wray, from the London Society, was, on the 22d September, destroyed by fire, but it does not yet appear whether the fire was accidental or wilful.
The West India Interest at home are very active, and have engaged a part of the daily press in their service. How far they will prevail upon the Government to alter its purpose remains to be seen, but it seems on every account desirable that the hands of his Majesty's Ministers should be strengthened by the expression of the public feeling by means of respectful and temperate petitions.
The usual arts of misrepresentation have been adopted by the friends of perpetual and unmitigated slavery. It is said, for instance, that the advocates of abolition, contemplate the universal immediate emancipation of the Negroes, but this must be known to every wellinformed man to be entirely false. No such mad project was ever entertained by any one connected with the Society. All that the most zealous have ever stated as their wish, is, that means should be taken for eventual abolition, which, they have never forgotten, can be safe only by being gradual.-With as little regard
Batavian Anthology, or Specimens of the Dutch Poets: with Remarks on the Poetical Literature and Language of the Netherlands to the end of the 17th Century. By Johu Bowring, Honorary Correspondent of the Royal Institute of the Netherlands, &c. and Harry S. Van Dyk. Foolscap 8vo. Matins and Vespers: with Hymns and
to truth, it is charged upon the abolitionists that they meditate the destruction of the immense mass of West India property, guaranteed by numerous Acts of Parliament: for one of the chief arguments for a gradual and safe abolition is, that under the present system the value of property in the Colonies is sinking, and must ultimately be as nothing; and the abolitionists bring forward facts to shew, that in all cases free labour is cheaper than compulsory. Whether they be right or wrong in their reasonings, their bitterest adversaries must know and feel that they have no evil intentions. And we earnestly hope that the clamours of a body of men, whose falsely-calculated interests are viewed by themselves to be endangered, will not deter the Government from pursuing the great measures of justice and humanity, to which it stands pledged before the world.
It is proposed to publish by subscription, a volume of Sermons, selected from the manuscripts of the late Rev. Dr. Boog, with some account of the excellent and minister of the Abbey Church, Paisley : learned author, by Professor Mylne. The Rev. B. Mardon, of Glasgow, will be happy to receive the names of subscribers.
NEW PUBLICATIONS IN THEOLOGY AND GENERAL LITERATURE.
THE Annual Sermon for the Relief of the Necessitous Widows and Children of Protestant Dissenting Ministers, will be preached on Wednesday the 7th of April next, at the Old Jewry Chapel, removed to Jewin Street, in Aldersgate Street, by the Rev. T. BINNEY, of Bedford. Service to begin at twelve o'clock at noon precisely. The subscribers and friends to the Society will afterwards dine together at the Albion Tavern, in Aldersgate Street.
Occasional Devotional Pieces. By John Bowring. 2nd Edit. Altered and Enlarged. 18mo. 4s. 6d.
Civil Disabilities, on Account of Religion, as they exist in England, Scotland and Ireland, considered with Reference to the Christian Dispensation, History and Policy. 2s. 6d.
An Inquiry into the Doctrine of Origi