« 이전계속 »
tors of these islands are the missionaries who have taken np their residence among them, and the greatest blessing that has ever been conferred upon them, the religion which the Saviour of mankind has commanded to be propagated iu bis name among all nations.
It is surprising with wbat a spirit of malignity the successful and most beneficial labours of these self-denying men have beeu reprobated in some of the current literature of the day. Even " The Family Library," as if determined to rob Chris tianity of its exclusive honours as a divine religion, in order to gratify the most vulgar intolerance against those who do not belong to the dominant Chorrh—" The Family Library" has set itself in battle-array against the missionaries, and has found a compiler foolish enough to weave into his account of the mutiny of the Bounty the following shameless statement. Speaking of the Tahitiaus this writer observes:—" All their usual and innocent amusements have been denounced by the missionaries, and in lieu of them these poor people have been driven to seek resources in habits of indolence and apathy: that simplicity of character which atoned for many of their faults has been converted into cunning and hypocrisy; and drunkenness, poverty, and disease have thinned the island of its former population to a frightful degree: there is too much reason to ascribe this diminution to praying, psalm singing, and dram drinking." The missionaries are farther accused of " taking from them wbat little trade they used to carry on, to possess themselves of it; lh.it they have their warehouses, act as agents, and monopolise all the cattle on the island; but In return, they have given them a new religion and a Parliament, (risnm teneatis?) and reduced Ihem to a state of complete pauperism; and all, as they say, and piobably have so persuaded themselves, for the honour of God and the salvation of their souls." In all this statement there is not an iota of truth. The innocent amusements which were intimately associated with the grossest licentiousness, the most ferocions cruelty, and the most loathsome superstition, necessarily gave place to the pore dictates of the Gospel, which bids every man respect himself, love his brother, and honour God with the reverence of one who aspires to the enjoyment of his favour and the possession of immortal life beyond the grave. When did the writer of this calumny ever discover simplicity of character in savages? Is not cunning the vice of their barbarism? Were there greater hypocrites upon earth than the uncivilised Tabitians while they were idolaters? Dram drinking was likewise the all-destroying habit of their lives long before they were visited by the missionaries. At that time it was the general character of the people; now, It is the exception, and is regarded as in the highest degree disreputable. Disease, the consequence of depravity, has almost been banished from the island by the introduction of the Gospel; and never did greater improvements mark the progress of a people from barbarism to civilization, than have gladdened the heart of the Christian philanthropist in contemplating the changes which have taken place at Tahiti and the Sandwich Islands. It is not true that the population has decreased; it is not true that pauperism prevails; it is not true (hat the missionaries sustain any other character than that of the teachers of a pure faith*
and the friendly advisers both of chiefs and people in any case of emergency in which it is deemed expedient to consult them. The missionaries have usurped no property; their families are unprovided for, and must depend upon their personal exertions for their maintenance. Alt the cattle oa the Island the property of the missionaries! What can we think of the moral feelings of a man who could, in the teeth of the strongest evidence to the contrary, venture upon such an assertion as this! We refer to Mr. Ellis's " Polynesian Researches" for the code of laws, which the assembled rulers and their people unanimously adopted for the regulation of their social slate. It would be well for civilised Europe if its various nations possessed laws as equitable, and institutions as conducive to public good, as those which distinguish the government and jurisprudence of these islanders of the south.
Mr. Stewart's volumes are in perfect corroboration of what we have thus ventured to otter iu justice to those who have been so wantonly abused. We were struck with the following sensible and just observation which a womau of rank in Tahiti made to Mr. Stewart on these very topics. *' Speaking of the wealth and power of England and America, in comparison with the islands, she remarked, that they were a poor people, but in the arts ot reading and writing, and in a knowledge of the word of God, they still had the highest blessings; adding, that all the people, however, did not love these, and that she supposed it was in America and in England as it was with them—some were good and some were bad—some regarding and some disobeying the laws of God."
The letter of Queen Pomare I. to the President of the United States Is highly characteristic, and the remarks on the contrast between the former and the present state of the islanders are worthy of the euligblened mind of the Author. He observes:—
"If the aspect of the people in general, and the animated declaration and lively sensibility, even to tears seemingly of deep feeling, of those who have a full remembrance, and who largely shared in their own experience of the evils of heathenism, are to be accredited, the islanders themselves are far from being insensible to the benefit aud blessing of the change they have experienced ; and would not for worlds be deprived of the light and mercy they have received, or again be subjected to the mental and moral darkness, and various degradation from which they have escaped.
"Yet there are those who have visited the Sooth Seas—men bearing the Christian name, with a reputation for science, and holding stations of honour, who have affected to discover a greater decree of depravity, and more wretchedness, at Tahiti and Raiatea, than was known in the reign and terror of idolatry; and have ventured to proclaim to the world, that Christianity has here, for the first time in eighteen hundred years, had the effect of rendering the inhabitants vindictive aud hateful, indolent and corrupt, superstitious and unhappy, and more pitiable in all their circumstances, than when fully in a pagan state 1 And that the wars introduced and encouraged by the ■ KS8KNGKKS Of Pkace, have nearly exterminated the race!
"Whence (be data for rach a sentiment could have been drawn, most for ever remain a mystery, ai least to ill who, like ourselves, have Iwt the advantage of a personal observation in lb* case.
* The last wars in the islands were previous to aay influence gained by the missionaries over either chief* or people. Since the establishment of Christianity there has been an uninterrupted peace; and as to other bloodshed, the Rev. Mr. Nott assured me, that he had not heard of a murder among the nitives for fifteen years.
M Theft is occasionally known, though we met with no evidence of it; and Instances of secret *icc snd licentiousness doubtless occur; and may, when diligently sought, be found—though not openly hoasu-d of—by foreign visitors; bat do these facts justify the assertion of a general and nttrr depravity? and do they forfeit the claim of the nation to the epithet, pure morals, and genome piety of a Christian people T As well might the traveller, in visiting New York or London, because he has suffered from a thief or discovers a haunt of debauchery, gravely state in his journal, that there is not an honest man or a virtuous woman in the I'nitcd States or in Great Britain—■ so assertion which I have heard made of the Society Islands—and that the state of the one nation is worse than in the time of the Druids, and of the other, than when the red man alone prowled in her forests.
"Such a presentation of the state of this people can arise only from gross ignorance of their original condition, and from a very limited personal experience of the high happiness connected with the moral habits and spiritual affections of sincere piety. What were the characteristics, I woaid ask—not now discoverable in the islanders —to be seen when they were in a state of heathenism I Only finch as would be exhibited Sn connexion with facts, sneb as the following—facts to which I hive, at the Sandwich Islands, when they were in a similar condition, myself been an eye-witness. A vessel wonld scarce have dropped ber anchor before she would have been surrounded and boarded by crowds of hooting and shoutin* savages—men and women, almost, if not entirely, in the nakedness of nature, testifying their joy in a prospect of gain from the visitor, by every variety of rude noise and levity: and this only in prelude to a licentiousness of intercourse, extending frequently from the cabin to the forecastle, too gross to be named, while pilfering and dishonesty in every form—filth, vermin, and disease, followed In the train. Such would be the exhibitions on shipboard—and what wonld be the character of those on shore?
"No neatly whitened European cottage would meet the view, beneath the foliage of their groves, Bot lofty temple invite the admiration of the eye, while it raised the thoughts to heaven ; the hum of no thriving school would come like music on the intelligent ear, nor the hymn of devotion be hewd floating on the breeze: but the putridity of i corpse, lying in cruel sacrifice before an idol of wood or stone, would direct to the altar of their gods, while the shouts and wild sounds of the song and dance, and the beating of drums, would proclaim a scene of revelry and sin.
"And conld the veil be removed from all the iniquity of the system under which they dwelt, besides the terrors of superstition by which tbey
were burdened, and the many goading evils arising from a slavery both of mind and soul, abominations would be disclosed against which the eye would revolt in iuvoluntary disgust—while the shrieks of victims torn from their midnight slumbers to be hurried to a terrific death, and the plaintive moanings of infants, writhing in the agouies of dissolution, beneath the murderous grasp of an inhuman parent, would
* Wake the nerve where agonies are born,'
and fill the soul with a horror not readily to be
The gross misrepresentations on this subject, to which we have referred, and for which certain voyagers have made themselves responsible, Mr. Stewart has accounted for very satisfactorily, in some measure exonerating them from the guilt of having deliberately invented the falsehood} which tbey have propagated.
We make no apology for the un.isual length of our quotation from the present work: it is, we are aware, a deviation from oor almost con. stant practice. But the extract speaks for itself.
Traditions of Lancashire. Second Series. 2 vols. By J. Roby, M.R.S.L.
We are again debtors to Mr. Roby for a very interesting work. It is not often that a " second series" equals a first. We suspect and with some reason that the more valuable materials had been previously employed—and form our expectations accordingly. In the present instance we have been mistaken; Lancashire is a romantic county, and its store of traditional wealth is not so speedily exhausted as we bad imagined. We doubt. Indeed, whether the volumes now before us are not more valuable than those by which they have been preceded. A mingling of history with fiction is at all times pleasant and profitable; more especially so when there is a plain and prominent line drawn between both. Mr. Roby is a skilful collector of legends—he exhibits first the naked truth, and then arrays it in the garb of fancy, but always so as to excite the attention and curiosity of his reader. His style is clear and comprehensive where it ought to be so, but strange, wild, and dramatic, where it is but just that imagination should be permitted free licence. We have read some of his stories, until we have actually trembled, our lamp has burned bine, and we have desired a nightly sojourn among the Harts mountains rather than amid the cheerfullooking villages and the joyous peasantry of I*incashire. To produce such an effect, is, we donbt not, the end and aim of Mr. Roby, and he has fully succeeded. Those who love the wild and wonderful, and in a time of long nights and short days, look upon a blazing hearth and a terrible talc as the chief blessings of the season, will read bis traditions of Lancashire with deep delight. They have, however, higher claims upon the critic. The march of intellect is rapidly destroying the character of gone-by-days. Our grandfathers and grandmothers have told their tales of mystery or magic to those who will not repeat them to their descendants. In a few years old women's talcs will be of rail-roads and steam-boats; and it will be necessary to analyse a spirit and a deathcandle before we may believe in having seen them. To preserve such legends is, however, not unworthy a man of (he greatest talent—they are not only amusing, bnt they often illustrate the character and habits of a people of whom they are, it may be, the only records; anil it requires no very deep -kill in philosophy to know that what we are to be depends greatly upon what we have been. We have not space to enter at greater length into the work of Mr. Koby, and must content ourselves with recoinmemliug it as one of ihe most interesting we hive ever read. A very learned introduction adonis proof that lie has bestowed much thought and labour upon his task, and that while catering for our amusement, he has considered it an essential patt ot his plan, that he should add 10 our information.
The volumes are embellished with considerable taste. Each description of scenery is accompanied by au illustrative engraving from the burin of Edward Fiuden, and the legends have their wood cuts descriptive of Mime passage in the text.
Letters on the State of Ireland in 1831.
A temperately written pamphlet about Ireland, in a series of letters, from au lnji Innm travelling in that country. The conclusion at which the writer arrives is, that the great physical distress which generally pervades the agricultural population of Ireland, is occasioned, not by inisgovernluent, nor by any acts of the legislature, but by the domestic system which has crept into the state of society in Ireland, and especially as regards the relation between lanilord and tenant. The evil, in his opinion, and he seems a reasonable, well-judging man, who has taken much pains to inform himself correctly on the subject, consists chiefly in the general exorbitance of the rent of land, and the smallness aud insecurity of the tenure*. He holds that the whole of the state of Ireland would assume a new aspect, Ihe people become couteuted, orderly, aud flourishing, if the condition of the farmers, the large and really important class in that agricultural country, could be improved, so that they might become, in a greater or less degree, capitalists, instead of living from hand to montii, or starving, as they do now.
If this view be correct, and in the main we think it is, the remedy cannot come from Government, or from the legislature, at least not in the shape of direct enactment. It can only be effected by affording the tenantry encouragement and advantages which they do not now possess, so as to enable them to become the instruments of their own prosperity: in the words of our Author, *' My lowering their rents considerably, aud by enlarging and prolonging their tenures. That the landed proprietors can afford to make this sacrifice may be inferred from the fact, that they are in the receipt of high rents, while they are liable to little or no drawbacks, no taxes, no poor-rates, no repairs of farm buildings, or other outgoings, that reduce, to so great a degree, the value of an English rent-roll." Now we verily and indeed believe, that the cause of Ireland's most unhappy coudiiion is greatly attributable to the indolence and appeteucy, and other omissions and misdoings iif her lauded proprietary. But it is a capital detect of the cure here proposed, that it l.es wholly in the hands of the very persons who, in the first instance, at least, must sutler in their (iiiim's by its adoption. The dominion of regtna ptciuaa is,of all others,the Diustdilhculi to be over
come. Will the time ever arrive when men will be wise, and consider the happiness arising from making others happy more precious than Bitver and gold 1
Considerations on the Necessity and Equity of a National Banking and Annuity System. Second Edition.
It is impossible for us, within the brief limit* necessarily assigned to a literary notice, to give any thing like a detailed or satisfactory account of a system which is intended by its author, evidently a man of ability and reflection, as the means of regenerating and permanently ameliorating the whole state of society. We have already had occasion to mention, in our last number, a plati for effecting a similar object, by a Mr. John Gray, of Edinburgh. The principle of his project seemed, as far as we could understand it in a cursory perusal, to form the whole nation into one great company, acting with such unity of pnrpose, under the guidance of a superintending body, appointed for that end, that the proceedings of no one individual should ever interfere with those of another; and the distribution, both of employment and of reward, be such, that each sboulJ have enough, And none t»o much. The same desirable object is proposed to be attained by the Author of the pamphlet now under consideration, by means, apparently, at least, less restrictive of individual iuterest and enterprise, by establishing a National Parish Bauk System, aud engrafting thereupon the system of cash credits, or loans on security, which have been long practised in Scotland with the most beneficial results. To this an Annuity System ia proposed to be annexed, and by both combined a lar^e revenue is to be reaped by the State. Of the sanguine expectations of the writer, from the adoption of his proposed change in our monetary system, some notion may be formed from the following declaration:—"There ran be no doubt tint, if the impulse were once given, such a rcnovatiou would succeed in Britain, as would give her people for ever the pre-eminence among the nations; and if any secondary cause, more than another, will have any effect in bringing about the millennial age, it will he the adoption, among aU Curia i.in nation?, of a system of finance similar to what this essay briefly points out."
However this be, whatever may be thought of the pretensions of this or that particular plan of improvement, we are rejoiced to see the minds of thoughtful and ingenious men earnestly turned towards so great and so truly noble a subject. Sure we are, that great and crying necessity exists for searching inquiry into the present diseased and unhappy Mate of our social system, and for vigorous remedies to promote the well-being and happiness of the great mass of the community in these kingdoms, where, with plenty to satisfy the wants and wishes of all, and plenty to do in satisfying these wants and wishes, many are involuntarily idle, and most are discontented, and not without ciu-e.
The Chameleon. By Thomas Atkinson, of Glasgow.
A very clever little volume—a complete Mosaic of prose and verse, which is well worthy of finding a place in the cabiuels of the curious, aud which, we hive no doubt, like its namesake in the fable, will have twenty dissimilar opinions pa««ed upon it, etch awarding It a different, though not less attractive hoe, arising oat of the particular points of view in which they have seen it. Like, the great Volume of Life, viewed at the onset, and only externally, it appears all conieur de ro*e; though, turn we over bnt a few pages, and lo! there are clouds as well as sunshine, teais as well as smiles. Yet, opon closing the book before a*, even its very clones and tears blend so happily with its snnlight, as to form a perfect rainbow of " bright and pleasant memories." Like the annuals in its appearance, with its pretty silk vest and golden letters, it is very nntike them in reality—those literary pic-nics being, in many iBManc-is, not unlike Matthews* Pic-Nic, where each individual being ignorant of what the other meant to contribute, the tiling terminated in fourteen legs of mutton, which left the expeclant guests no alternatives hnt indigestion or starvation; whereas Mr. Atkinson, like an hospitable host, tarnishes the whole banquet himself, and in truth with sufficient variety to please all palates. Of his entertainment «*e, however, confess that we prefer the viands to the confectionery; that is to say, the prose to the poetry; though we must, in justice, extract the following, which is very simple and touching :—
"THK SILENCE OP THE QRAVK.
** There *s quiet where the dead are laid,
There *s silence where they sleep;
There peace will vigil keep,
A canopy of gloom;
Above the tomb!
The bay'net-scooped and slender grave.
Filled ere the battle 's o'er;
That heaves with sullen roar—
Yet silence droops iis head-
The voiceless dead!
Yon church-yard In the noisy street,
With many a lie pqved o'er,
Oh no I bnt it hath more—
Between each fitful sigh
Then, where the flowers their odour* throw,
All noiseless in the air,
Oh! be my last rest there I
I fain would quiet be;
To one like me!"
In " The Focus" there is much shrewdness and originality, and many true and clever observations: and all who suffer from conjugating the vert) n ennui" cannot do better than peruse "The Chameleon."
letters from the North of Europe; or a Journal of Travels in Holland, Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Finland, Russia, Prussia, and Saxony. By Charles Hoileau Elliott, Esq. of the Bengal Civil Service, of Queen's College, Cambridge, and Member of the Hoy.il Geographical Society.
One striking evidence of the rapid progress which we are making in civilization is the constant and increasing demand for travels a.* I voyages. We are no longer contented *to live within ourselves. The whole world is our theatre. We explore all its region9; nor is there a spot visited by the sun that is wholly unknown to us. Our enterprising countrymen go forth to collect their intellectual treasures, and return home to enrich us with their stores. Every month adds some* thing valuable to the general stork. We enjoy the benefit without encountering the peril. We sympathise with danger, while we feel that It is past, and luxuriate In pleasurable emotion-, while our hearts thrill with the interest which the daring adventurer has thrown round himself. This species of writing has also a charm for every render. The man of science and the rustic, the scholar and the mechanic, sit down with equal zest to participate the mental feast; nnd thus knowledge is widely diffused — knowledge which invigorates the inward man, enlarging his capacity, and extending the sphere of his enjoyment, and which prepares a whole people for liberal institutions, which invests them with political and commercial importance, and thuB raises them high in the scale of nations. The success of works of this description stimulates enterprise, and opens the largest field for the nsefnl employment of energies which might otherwise be wasted, or spent In equivocal or dangerous undertakings.
Mr. Elliott justly ranks among the most enlightened and intelligent of his class. His unpretending volume discovers an enthusiastic love of Nature, and the most liberal views of man In all his diversified conditions. We scarcely ever read a work in which there is so little to censure and so much to approve. Unlike many of his brethren, he is a good writer: his style is pnre and classical. He is likewise a philosopher and a Christian. We first become his willing associates, and our intercourse soon ripens into friendship. \\ e close the book with reluctance, and take leave of him with a sigh of regret. We wish to detain our accomplished companion, who imparts to us so much amusement and instruction, and would feel happy, as we have travelled with him so far, to go with him another and another stage. The most interesting portions of the volume are his descriptions of natural scenery in Norway, and his observations on the Russian character, as displayed on bis sojourn at St. I'ctersbnrgh. From the latter we select the following passage, which, on several accounts, is highly important to the civilized world, awl especially to our own country :—
"I have long been convinced of the improbability of our Indian possession* being endangered by a war with Russia. This conviction is confirmed by observations during my short sojourn here. There is a want of system in every public department; in none, perhaps, more than the military; and there Is :i surprising icnorancc of every thing connected with the east. Between Russia and Persia tberc ia no cordiality. It is not to be expected that it should ever exist: bat even coidd the latter be induced to favour an Invasiou of India by Russia, could the difficulty of procuring sustenance for an army on the route be overcome ; and could the constitutions of the soldiers be fortified against the climate? Yet Russia is not furnished with resources to enable her to carry an efficient army through the territory oecapied by the warlike nomade hordes of Afghaniatas, and of neighbouring countries. National power consists neither in money nor men, but in the relative proportion of these to the territory occupied, and in the ability to apply them to practical purposes. Tried by this test, the wealth of Russia will be found to be less, and her disposable military force smaller, than that of any of the kingdoms with which she is likely to be embroiled, and greatly inferior to that against which she wonld contend in the event of her ambitious band grasping at India. Soch is the case at present; but who shall venture to conjecture what may be her power a century hence V
"It is impossible to visit this country, and to think of what she was a hundred years ago, without being astonished at what she is now. The rapidity of her progress is extraordinary. Every new invention in mechanics, and every improvement in manufactures, in whatever corner of the world originated, is immediately adopted or tried at St. Petersburgh. An absolute monarch never wants money, and many expensive failures weigh little in the balance against one successful experiment. With arts and manufactures, the moral condition of the people Is undergoing a change. There can be little doubt that improvement of the intellectual families is the first step to moral elevation. Education must precede a change of habits, and the mind's fetters be struck off before moral obligations can be fully appreciated."
A Sermon preached at Hull on the 13th of November 1831, on the Unknown Tongues. By R. M. Beverly, Esq.
A sermon by a layman—that layman, too, a man of considerable distinction—a Beverly of Beverly! This gentleman is well known to the public as the author of a celebrated Letter to the Archbishop of York, in which he exposes the evils resulting from a secular establishment of Christianity, and suggests the necessity of a complete divorce of the Church from the State. He has consequently been denounced either as a heretic or a fanatic: one party accusing him of Socinlanism, and another branding him with insanity. Of his orthodoxy he has given the most decisive proofs in his subsequent publications; and that he is of sound mind the present discourse Is a most conclusive evidence. He has proved himself to be both a scholar and a divine. The notes are admirable: in these he has shown np the fanitics, the impostors, and the dupes of the Scotch Church in Regent-square. But what ia sober reason when opposed to inspired absurdity! Mr. Irving, we fear, is incorrigible, The gifted sisterhood have caught him In their toils, and the poor man is shorn of his strength, though, it must be owned, his raven locks coutinue to dangle as heretofore. He is truly a fearsome
object—certainly not an angel bleat. What is he, then !—not '* a goblin damned;" for he wields the thunderbolts of Heaven—is in the secret councils of the Almighty—and renders blasphemy oracular by the assumption of super-human power. We think be is bewitched or befooled. What can Dr. Chalmers now think of his protege f and will the Church of Scotland suffer herself to be any longer disgraced, and one of her noblest edifices desecrated by the nauseous exhibitions which profane every Sabbath, and present an inoculating station for madness till it become an epidemic I
An Essay on the Elective Right and the Rejected Bill. By George Condy, Esq., Barrister-at- Law.
A sound jurist, an acute rt-asoner, and a writer of considerable strength and command of language, Mr. Condy appears in the lists as one of the most able disputants who have yet turned their attention to the important question which continues to occupy to large a share of popular attention. His essay will be considered by the rational party a complete refutation of the sophisms and snbtleties, which the opposers of the great measure of Reform with an obstinate pertinacity, worthy of the schoolmen of former times, have exhausted their energies to prepare, while even those who may differ from him in their views of the point at issue, will at least look upon him with the respect due to a skilful and honourable antagonist. His chief object is to prove the elective right to have been originally vested in all payers of scot and lot, and to trace the gradual perversion of this undoubted poputar privilege through the various stages of corruption of the shrievalty, municipal monopoly, Quo Warranto writs, and aristocratic nomination, until we arrive at that epoch which may be considered as the full brightness of the golden cycle of Lord Tenterden, and the season of the free operation of that well-working system, whose effects under our own observation may be briefly expressed by two hundred millions of debt, and something more than a quarter of a century of continued convulsion. The melancholy fruits of this triumph of might over right are next successively traced in the corrupt administration of Sir Robert Walpole, the expulsion of Lord Chatham from the direction of public affairs, the American war, and that consequent upon the first French Revolution, a schedule of events which might be thought quite sufficient in itself to answer the impudent assertions of those who allege the utility of the present plan of representation, were it not well known that self-interest is as obstinately blind, as it is hypocritically specious. The author then proceeds to comment upon the principal features of the lately rejected Bill; and the disfranchisement of decayed boroughs, the throwing open of close corporations, and the limitation of the right of being elected as a representative to actual residents, are ably vindicated. He. lastly, considers the measures which may safely be adopted to secure the ultimate success of a Reform Bill, in the event of Its second rejection by the House of Lords. The remedies proposed are various, and all apparently effectual. We shall merely mention the creation of peerages for life; the withholding of the issue of writs to certain boroughs,