Imágenes de páginas




THE GLORY AND SHAME OF ENGLAND: in two volumes; by C. Edward Lester. Harper & Brothers.-This, if not a labor of revenge, is at least the work of retaliation. It mother country with interest the abuse heaped on us by her mischievous tourists for one half century. If its statements are


slanderous, the two nations are now even-if true, England is left alone in her shame; for no other political community on earth perpetrates such wrongs upon the human family. We shall present the reader with extracts, and permit the author to make his own report of the enormities which came under his observation, and were testified to him by competent and credible witnesses. First, in regard to her own home subjects, the author says, in a letter to Dr. Channing:

"I think Americans, generally, have no adequate idea of the wretchedness of the poor of this island. Tourists have passed in stage-coaches, or in private carriages, over the smooth roads and along the hawthorn hedgerows of this beautiful land; they have seen the gray towers and pinnacles of old castles and churches rising from verdant lawns or crowning green hills; they have told us much about parks and pleasure-grounds, gardens and ruins; they have spoken of the moss-covered cottages of the peasantry-'trellises nailed betweer. the little windows; roses quite overshadowing the low doors; the painted fence inclosing the hand's breadth of grassplot; very, O! very sweet faces bent over laps full of work, beneath the snowy and loopedup curtains: it was all home-like and amiable; there was an affactionateness in the mere outside of every one of them; and the soul of neatness pervaded them all;' and, to crown the picture, rosy-cheeked children were sporting away life's early morn amid fragrance and flowers. At every step the traveler witnessed some new landscape of rural peace and beauty. We have dwelt upon these descriptions till the very heart ached to gaze on scenes of so much loveliness for ourselves.

"But it has been well said by an Englishman himself, that 'to talk of English happiness is like talking of Spartan freedom-the Helots are overlooked.'

"But the mass of hearts beat in the bosoms of the poor, (the) Helots of this country,) whose every desire is ungratified but the wish to hide away in the still, kind grave, from

"The oppressor's wrong, the proud man's contumely.' In no country can such wealth be acquired. But it is the one who grows rich by the labor of the hundred; and that hundred as wonderfully fashioned by nature; with hearts which can feel as deep anguish and as pure joy; all made by the same kind Father; and regarded with the same love by 'Him who is no respecter of persons.' To enrich the few, the many are sacrificed.

"One of the chief elements of slavery mingles in the condition of the English operative: he does not receive a fair equiv. alent for his labor; and, in addition, unjust legislation places a tax upon the necessaries of life so high, that a very large proportion of his scanty wages goes to his oppressors.

"The life of an English operative is a perpetual scene of suffering and wrong. He enters upon his task-work while he is yet a child. In his infancy he begins to fall under the curse which this state of society inflicts. Let me here quote the words of Southey in Espriella's Letters-a work with which you are familiar: 'They are deprived in childhood of all instruction and all enjoyment; of the sports in which childhood instinctively indulges; of fresh air by day, and of natural sleep by night. Their health, physical and moral, is alike destroyed; they die of diseases induced by unremitting task-work; by confinement in the impure atmosphere of crowded rooms; by the particles of metallic or vegetable dust which they are continually inhaling; or they live to grow up without decency, without comfort, and without hope; without morals, without religion, and without shame; and bring forth slaves, like themselves, to tread in the same path of misery.'

"The ignorance, vice, disease, deformity, and wretchedness of the English operatives, as a body, almost exceed belief. The philanthropists of England should relax nothing in their exertions for the emancipation of the millions still held in bon


dage in their foreign possessions; but I am persuaded the physical miseries of the English operatives are greater by far than the West India slaves suffered before their emancipation. "The hundreds of thousands of a tender age employed in all these various branches of manufacture, are in all cases the children of the poor: many of them the children of paupers, apprenticed to the proprietors of factories by the parish authorities; for when the father goes to the workhouse, he has no longer any voice in the management of his children. They are separated at the will of the parish. It is said that this class, which is very numerous, fare harder than any other, which can readily be believed.

"They are, to all intents and purposes, as absolutely under the control of their masters as though they were slaves. There is hardly an instance in which the law ever interferes for their protection, let the abuse be what it may. They are too ignorant to understand their rights, and too weak to assert them; they are trained up to one single branch of labor, and for ever disqualified for every thing else; they are neither instructed in science, religion, nor the common business and economy of life."

Second, the author gives the following representation of the enormities enacted by British agency in India:

"We should probably search the chronicles of the world in vain for an instance in which a civilized nation has inflicted deeper wrong upon any portion of the human race than has been inflicted by England upon the millions of India. If the true history of the British dominion in Asia, with all its injustice and oppressions practiced upon a prostrate and unoffending race, could be read by the world, it would form some of the blackest pages in the whole catalogue of human suffering and wrong. Mr. Burke exclaimed, in one of his speeches more than half a century since, that the British empire in India was 'an awful thing.'

"A short time since, Parliament published an estimate of the extent and population of the territories of British India, by which it appears that the East India Company have at the present time control over nearly 150,000,000 human beings.

"The entire population of this vast empire are subjected to the most degrading servitude. Millions of them, it is estimated, are held in the most cruel bondage, while a vastly greater number are, in different forms, reduced to a condition of abject vassalage, bringing with it, in innumerable instances, a deeper degradation than any produced by West India or American slavery.

"It is said that in 1837 a famine in India swept off half a million of people, and that it was brought on chiefly by robbing the population of the produce of their soil, to fill the coffers of the East India Company. It is well known, indeed, that multitudes starve to death every year in India, because of the terribly oppressive land-tax.

"Another mighty evil has been inflicted upon India; and it has grown almost entirely out of this system of land robbery. During these famines uncounted multitudes sell themselves and their children into slavery for bread, to prevent their dying by starvation. Says Mr. Colebrooke, in one of his celebrated minutes on the subject of East India Slavery, (Parliamentary Papers, 138, 1839, p. 312,) The government permit parents and relatives, in times of scarcity, to sell children.' 'The number of slaves continually diminishing, a demand constantly exists for the purchase of them, which is supplied chiefly by parents selling their own children in seasons of scarcity and famine, or in circumstances of individual and peculiar distress.'

"The East India Company have not only sanctioned and upheld the Hindoo and Mohammedan systems of slavery, but also the enslavement of multitudes of free and innocent persons, and that of their posterity after them, by means of which the slave population has been vastly increased; and all this in open violation of Hindoo, Mohammedan, and British law.

"In regard to the treatment of slaves in the East Indies. On this subject Mr. Garling, a resident councilor in Malacca, says. 'Before I can believe that the slaves here are treated humanely, I must cast from my mind the remembrance of the cries which I have heard, and the mental degradation, the rags, the wretch

[blocks in formation]

edness, the bruises, the contused eyes and burns which I have | from the town, which, with a little winding she got from Messrs. witnessed; I must blot out adultery from the calendar of vices; I must disbelieve the numerous proofs which I have had of obstacles opposed to regular marriages, and the general humiliation of females. I must put away every idea of the modes of punishment of which eye-witnesses have given me account, and the short jacket must no longer be deemed a badge of slavery.

"Perhaps there is no feature in the whole system so painful to contemplate as the degradation it brings upon woman. It is said there is no part of the world where slavery entails so many direful consequences upon females. It is known that immense numbers of female slaves are kept for the vilest purposes by very many of the resident English in the service of the Company.

Hardy and Andrew, of this town, was all that she had had to subsist on for sometime past. Latterly, when she had a little work, she has been known by her neighbors to sit up all night that she might take home the work in the morning, and so procure food for breakfast. A few weeks since she said to Mrs. Grimes, her next-door neighbor, "I believe I shall be starved to death, Betty, for I have only got fourteen pence in the last fortnight; and, if that will do, any thing will do." She had had no work for the last three weeks, and was supposed to have been dead about a week, when the door of her miserable room was broken open by her neighbors.

"The only food in her room was a hard crust and four cold potatoes, and all the money, one halfpenny. An inquest was held at Warren Bulkeley Arms, when a verdict of "Died from want" was returned.'"

"There are some persons who pretend to say that even the Imperial Parliament (whose power is supreme) has no right to SERMONS ON VARIOUS SUBJECTS: by Rev. Thomas A. Morabolish slavery in the East Indies: 'It is a civil, a social insti- ris, one of the Bishops of the Methodist Episcopal Church. tution; a matter of caste; something which had its origin in Cincinnati: Wright & Swormstedt.-These discourses are Hindoo and Mohammedan legislation.' But neither the Board designed for family and closet use. They are writtten in a of Control nor the Court of Directors have any scruples about plain style, intentionally dispensing with rhetorical ornament. sanctioning the abuses of which I have spoken: they seem to They convey rich instruction, and pointed and forcible admothink they can invade the homes of 150,000,000 of the Asiatic nition. None can read them in a right spirit without profit. people, and unceremoniously deprive them of their 'unaliena-The whole Church is under obligation to the author for this exble rights' all this they can do, and violate no law!

merit of his work!

tra service rendered to her members. May the benefit confer"At present, when we look at India, we see 150,000,000 mis-red be equal to the benevolent wishes of the writer and the governed human beings, natives of the most productive climates on the face of the earth, who ought to be in prosperity and comfort, and under the British banner enjoying freedom, but who are actually in a worse condition than that of slaves, and rendered beggars by oppression."

Third, the state of Ireland, or of its poor under the oppressive burden of the Corn Laws, is seen in the following extract: "What is the effect of these laws upon the laboring classes? STARVATION!

John T. Brooke, Rector of Christ Church, Cincinnati.—This DEBT, OR THE MORALITY OF THE CREDIT SYSTEM: by Rev. is a brief discussion of the text, "Owe no man any thing." The author teaches that the text does not prohibit every species of debt, but merely debts of dishonesty-of avaricious specu|lation-of vanity, and of imprudence. The discourse is in the usual chaste and faultless style of the author, and its doctrine concerns all persons of business.


which commences the second volume, is in some respects imTO OUR READERS.-It will be perceived that this number, proved. We refer particularly to the paper and engraving. Several of our best correspondents have agreed to continue their contributions, and others are pledged to our aid. We think there will be no falling off in this respect.

This number contains part of a discourse by President Tomlinson, on the occasion of the National Fast. Although the particular occurrence to which it relates is many months gone by, yet the sentiments of the address are weighty at all times, and are especially suited to lead our meditations at the commencement of the year.

"The following extract from a letter written from Connemara last year, will show how these laws operate in Ireland. They enrich the idle absentee landlords and starve the people: 'I regret to inform you that famine still prevails, and is increasing to a frightful extent in this district, even among those who were considered above want. The poor people are coming in hundreds here, to see if any thing will be done for them. was present this day when application was made to stating that they were existing by bleeding the cattle and boil. ing the blood till it became thick, when they eat it, and also eating seaweed and small shellfish. I knew cases myself where the children resorted to weeds in the fields to allay their hunger, being so for twenty-four hours, and another large family of children having no food for two days: one of them, a boy, dreading a return of hunger, took away the two sheep that were spared to pay the public money or cess, which, to add to the misfortune, is now collecting, and sold them for half price. "Others are known to have, by night, taken away the carCRITICISMS. Many have noticed this periodical in a manner rion of a cow drowned by chance, and unskinned for two days, which was calculated to lighten our toil, and promote its circuand picked the bones that the dogs had feasted on. Many fam-lation. Indeed, from the periodical press it has met with unusuilies are lingering through fever, and will feel want a long time, as their manure remains at their cabins, not being able to sow; and what is worse, the misery is not likely to end with many when the harvest returns, which will be late in this country, as they are now compelled to root out the potatoes before they arrive at one-eighth of their growth. So that in a week there will be as much destroyed as would serve for two months, if full grown. I need not name one village, for every one round about shares this awful situation. There are many actively endeavoring to relieve this distress; but, alas, it is only like a drop of water to the ocean.'

al favor. What renders these favorable notices more valuable, is the fact they were often from the most respectable sourcesfrom gentlemen who had no interest to promote by any opinion they might express concerning the Repository, and who were the very best judges of literary merit. We have not deemed it proper to crowd our cover with extracts from these favorable notices. This is customary; but we have chosen to submit the Repository to its patrons with the belief that they would be competent to decide whether it is worthy of their continued support. It is the only monthly authorized by the General Conference. Of course it is exceedingly desirable that it

"The following instance of starvation I take from the Bolton should be of so much merit as to obtain general circulation. Free Press:

"A poor widow, named Ellen North, sixty years old, who resided in Lead yard, Middle Hillgate, was found starved to death on Sunday morning last, without either sheet, or blanket, or any thing worthy to be called clothing, in a room for which she paid 8d. per week.

TO CORRESPONDENTS.-Articles intended for insertion in the

Repository should reach us two months before the time of publication. We are under the necessity of arranging the matter thus early in order to issue the numbers in time for distant subscribers. The article from D. P. K. is too late for February. Several other articles are laid over, and will appear in subse

"The poor creature had been in the receipt of 1s. per weekquent numbers.

[graphic][merged small]
[merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small]
« AnteriorContinuar »