hostile to Ministers, is the opposite extreme that of the learned, the thoughtful, and the meditative-better disposed to their support? Are the clergy, the universities, the learned professions, more favourable to them than the incendiaries of the Bull-ring, or the conspirators of Newport? Confessedly they are, if possible, still more hostile; though their hostility, found ed on deeper feeling, and based on nobler principle, is more measured in its expression. The fact of the whole university members being returned by the Conservative interests, by immense majorities, and of the established clergy being everywhere, notwithstanding all the influence of Government, in decided hostility to them, is but a slight indication of the all but univer. sal and profound feeling of indignation which pervades all the highly educated classes at the reckless and unprincipled system which Government have for ten years pursued. All the influence of Ministers, and of the Whig bishops whom they have appointed, has been unable to prevent an overwhelming majority of the Church from resolutely opposing their principles; and all the multiplication of commissions and endless Whig legal jobs, has been unable to hinder an overwhelming majority of the bar, both in England and Scotland, from passing over to the Conservative ranks. Decisive evidence of this has recently been afforded by the strong language in which the petition was drawn, signed by five hundred and fifty barristers, for the liberation of the Sheriffs of Middlesex, imprisoned by order of the House of Commons.

Destitute of support from any other interest in the community or class of politicians, it may perhaps be said that the conduct of Ministers is at least approved by their stanch friends, the low Radicals. Let the sentiments of this section, of which Mr Wakley and Mr Ward are the representatives, be judged of by their words. The former of these gentlemen said last autumn, that "the conduct of Ministers had excited one universal feeling through. out the country, which was that of disgust;" while the latter, in his address to his constituents in Sheffield, stigmatized in yet stronger terms the depth of political baseness to which they had descended: Observe, we use the language of the strongest supporters

of Ministers-of that small section of the Liberal party which they have, par excellence, in a manner appropriated to themselves. We have no wish to stain the pages of honest independent warfare either by the application of such epithets, or the imputation of such motives.

Are the colonies more favourable to the Government as at present constituted? Let Canada answer, which has twice broken out into a fierce and fatal revolt, without material grievances of any kind, or any peculiar cause to have inflamed the present frightful spirit of discontent, but the supercilious haughtiness of the Colonial- Office, and the total disregard by Government of all the interests and remonstrances of the colonists. Let the West Indies answer, whose discontents, arising from their protracted injuries and sufferings, have long been so excessive, that nothing but the state of impotence to which they have been reduced by ten years of Whig legislation, has prevented them from breaking out into open revolt. The Cape of Good Hope, Australia, the Mauritius, are all convulsed with grievances of their own, for which they can get no redress from Government, and which have laid the foundation of a discontent which, when they become more powerful, will assuredly cause them to break off from the empire. East India merchants are perfectly frantic at the enormous confiscation of their property which has taken place in the Chinese Seas, and the unpardonable tardiness of Government either to assert the dignity of the empire or prepare the means of resistance. It is notorious that such was the discontent excited in the Indian army by the Whig cry for economy, and the ruinous consequences of the reductions of Lord William Bentinck, that it shook our Indian empire to its foundation, and excited a spirit of discontent in the East which provoked the intrigues of Russia for our suppression, and rendered unavoidable the perilous chances of the Affghanistan expedition. Even the Ionian Islands have evinced such a refractory spirit, that the Lord High Commissioner was obliged suddenly to dissolve the House of Representatives; and the Maltese became so obstreperous, that the Governor of the island was obliged to suspend altogether the liberty of


the press. In short, one of the Cabinet correctly described the condition of the colonies after nine years of Whig government, when he said that Heligoland was the only colony we had which was in a state of quiescence. Nor is it surprising that there should be such an universal feeling of contempt for the Whig Government through every party, interest, and colony of the British empire. There is not one of them which has not in turn been sacrificed by them to the Moloch of mob-popularity, or the cravings of revolutionary passion. The aristocracy they have bereaved of their just and necessary influence in the state, and in lieu of the ancient, self-poised, and admirably adjusted British constitution, substituted a strange compound of royalty and democracy, checked by an aristocratic veto, which they themselves confess is incapable of carrying on the business of the country, and under the government of which, useful legislation has for the last five years, by the admission of all parties, been brought to an absolute stand-still. They have taken every opportunity of degrading and insulting the Church, not merely by strenuously resisting every attempt at its enlargement to keep pace with the rapid increase, enormous spiritual destitution, and fearful augmentation of crime among the people; not merely by taking part on every occasion, both in and out of Parliament, with its enemies and maligners; not merely by supporting with the whole weight of Government a scheme of education avowedly framed for the purpose of confounding religious truth with falsehood, obliterating all the old landmarks on the subject, and leaving no possibility of avoiding the inference, that their principles are, in the words of Gibbon, that to the "vulgar all religions are equally true, to the philosopher all equally false, and to the legislator all equally useful;" but by having attacked religion in its very cradle, and social happiness in its birthplace. They have not only made no attempts to check, or discourage, the abominable licentious sect who have recently made such progress through the land under the name of Social

ists, whose leading principle is the irresponsibility of all men for crime, whose leading maxim the division of all property, and leading passion the promiscuous concubinage of all men with all women; but they have actually gone the length of patronizing and promoting this very sect, whose tenets are too well calculated to inflame the human heart, ever to want numerous and active supporters in every highly civilized and corrupted society. Their avowed head was ushered into the presence of the Queen by the Prime Minister, to present an address to the Virgin Princess from this band of "rational religionists; while a leading member of the fraternity has been appointed by the Home Secretary to the important and responsible situation of Registrar of Marriages at Birmingham. surprising that a Government evincing such a total disregard not merely of that faith which has hitherto proved the blessing and salvation of the empire, but of those institutions which all nations, even the most barbarous and uncivilized, have invariably regarded as the bond and cement of society, should have awakened the most intense feelings of alarm, not merely among all persons attached to the Church of their fathers, but all who feel an interest in the purity of manners, the salvation of property, or the existence of their country?

Is it



Turn to the landholders. they any more reason to feel confidence in the Ministry who have now for above nine years swayed the sceptre of the British empire? Truly, if they measure their attachment to, or interest in their welfare, by their deeds, they have little cause to repose with confidence on their exertions. only has the land been despoiled, by their organic change in the constitution, of its just share in the direction of government, by giving 364 members to the boroughs in Great Britain, while the counties have only 189, being nearly two to one, although the annual produce of the land is nearly double that of the whole commerce and manufactures of the united kingdom put together, and the hands employed in agriculture* are more nume

* Produce of agriculture in all its branches, Of manufactures in all their branches,

L.246,000,000 148,000,000 -Pebrer's Statist. Tables, 350.

rous than those employed in manufactures; but on every occasion on which it was possible to show a preference, they have evinced their predilection for the urban masses in preference to the rural interests. They have left the Corn-Laws an open question; and every body knows what open questions mean-it is leaving the door open to let the spoiler come in. The agricultural interest of the empire, therefore, have good cause for the decided hostility which they have evinced to our present rulers; for they first forced upon them-by pushing the nation, as they now themselves admit, to the very verge of insanitya constitution which did not give them a half of the weight in the legislature to which they were entitled by their numbers, nor a fourth of what was due to them by their annual addition to general wealth; and they are now taking advantage of the power thus unjustly conferred upon their opponents, to leave their dearest interests in jeopardy, and expose them to the imminent hazard of having a vast legislative change thrust upon them, which avowedly will throw a third of the lands of the kingdom out of cultivation, and reduce half the landholders to a state of bankruptcy. Nor can the British landholders, in the imminent hazard to which they are now exposed, lay the flattering unc tion to their souls, that on occasion of the division on the Corn-Laws they had an overwhelming majority in their favour, and that it is impossible to suppose that any government could be so utterly reckless and insane as to lay their suicidal hands on the first and greatest interest of the empire. They have only to look at the West Indies, and there they will behold what may be done, even against a once-overwhelming majority in Parliament, by the persevering efforts of a single party, acting on the generous though deluded


feelings of the urban masses. the accounts now presented to Parliament, and given in the last number of the Colonial Magazine, it appears that the produce of the West India islands has fallen off, since the emancipation question was agitated, considerably above A THIRD; and as the year 1838 was the one in which the idleness consequent on total emancipation first commenced, and sugar canes require two years to come to maturity, it may with confidence be anticipated, that next year the defalcation will be at least a half. As this is a matter of the very highest importance, and in which the authentic evidence of the effects of Negro emancipation has for the first time become apparent, we make no apology for their insertion in this place.

Deliveries of Sugar and Rum from the West Indies into the British Islands :


Sugar. Hhds.



Rum. Puncheons.



271,700 259,500 266,600 Emancipation passed.


58,300 71,800

1835, 1836,

230,350 225,850

48,700 44,750


204,150 228,300 179,800





43,400 *

Thus it distinctly appears that sugar and rum, the staple produce of the West Indies, has fallen off just a third since the Emancipation Bill passed; and as it is only next year that the great effect of the idleness consequent on the total emancipation of 1838 will appear, it may with confidence be expected that then the defalcation will be a half. Now, the average value of West India produce before the emancipation was £22,000,000 yearly; consequently a loss of above £7,000,000 a-year has already been inflicted by

[merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small]

the Liberal Ministry on the West India proprietors, which next year will be £11,000,000 annually. Thus the whole compensation they received, which was not at the time half the value of the negro property they lost, was not equal to two years' loss inflicted on them by the difference between free and compulsory Negro labour. This memorable example of successful spoliation should always be in the view of the British landholders in estimating the way in which a great agricultural interest may be effectually destroyed by the efforts of the urban masses, urged on by political agitation in the dominant island of Great Britain; and unquestionably, if the Corn-Law abolition is carried, at least a third will be cut off from the produce of British agricul. ture, or above eighty millions a-year from the income of the British empire. Has Canada any reason to repose more confidence in the present Ministry than the West India proprietors, who have been the victims of this unparalleled spoliation? Truly, when the statistical documents come in to establish the consequences of their actions in that unhappy colony, it may with confidence be expected, that losses fully as great as those already sustained by the West India interest, will be proved to have resulted from the mischievous effects of Whig management and government on the banks of the St Lawrence. In the mean time, two great sources of Canadian prosperity have been almost dried up by the Liberal Government. It appears from the official accounts of emigration published, that the number of British subjects who landed at Quebec and Montreal in the year 1837, preceding the insurrection, was 28,340; and in the following year 2100! Thus the stream-the prolific golden stream-of emigration, which was flowing with so rich a current to the shores of North America, has been almost entirely turned aside by that fatal insurrection; and as it has now been diverted to New Zealand and Australia, it is all but certain that the loss thus incurred has been rendered irreparable. The diminution of a third in the produce of the West Indies has, to a proportional extent, reduced, of course, the lumber trade coastwise to those islands, which hitherto has been a staple branch of Canadian industry; while the re

maining source of their property, the wood trade to Britain, is openly threatened with destruction by the equalization of the duty on Baltic and Canadian timber. To show the people of that colony how much they have that great change at heart, and to prepare them, it must be supposed, in some degree, for its speedy announce. ment, they have made Mr Poulett Thompson Governor-General of the North American provinces; a gentleman long connected, it is well known, with the Baltic trade, and who has uniformly advocated with as much energy the equalization of the duties on foreign and Canadian timber as the total withdrawing of the Corn-Law protection from the British farmer. Thus, in addition to having had two fearful insurrections breaking forth in their once peaceable and happy territory, and seeing their frontier every where threatened and ravaged by American sympathizers, the inhabitants of the British province in North America find themselves suddenly deprived of the prolific and enriching stream of British emigration, stripped of a third of their timber trade to the West Indies, and threatened with a total loss of the grand artery of their prosperity-the export of their timber on the favourable duties adequate to compensate the remoteness of their situation to the British empire.

All these dreadful evils the Cana. dians charge, and rightly charge, to the account of the present Ministry of Great Britain. It was they who, by first exciting when in opposition the senseless and premature cry for Negro freedom, rendered the public mind absolutely insane on the subject; and afterwards, as Ministers, in 1834, carried through the awful measure of general emancipation of men utterly unfit for freedom; and again, in 1838, forced on the West India proprietors the immediate termination of the appren. ticeship, even a year before the short period allowed by the contract of 1834 for its termination. It was they who, by promoting sedition, patronizing agitation, dallying with treason, and evincing imbecility in command, for years before the insurrection broke out, rendered rebellion inevitable in the North American provinces ; and it was they who, by reducing the military force in North America, when they knew or should have known that

general resistance was organizing in the lower province, to three thousand five hundred men, both provoked rebellion, paralysed resistance, and brought the existence of our empire in North America to depend on the accidental mildness of the season, which, contrary to all former experience, enabled reinforcements to reach the capital from the coast in the depth of winter. It is the liberal Ministry who have deprived them, by their monstrous legislation in the West Indies, of nearly a half of their lumber trade; it is the panic which the rebellion which their disregard of all rational principles of government in the North American provinces necessarily produced, which has turned aside, probably for ever, the fertilizing stream of British emigration: and it is their culpable and blind subservience to the urban masses, and the cry for cheap wood at home, which now threatens them with the loss of the only remaining source of their prosperity, the timber trade with Great Britain. Truly, it is not surprising that the British race in Canada have need of all their hereditary loyalty to withstand such rude shocks to their feelings and their interests; and that that noble colony, an empire in the cradle, with its six hundred thousand tons of shipping, and boundless ultimate blessings to Britain, hangs by a thread from the British crown.

The Negro race of Africa, unhappily, are not represented in the British Parliament, save by the members for the populous towns, who to their sorrow have cursed them by their pernicious patronage, and raised all the delusive cry in their favour. But if they had such representatives, and could give vent to their feelings, curses, loud, deep, and universal would be uttered by them, against the men whose weak compliance with popular delusion has brought on them the hideous and unheard-of calamities which now afflict their race. By the admission of Mr Clarkson, the humane advocate of the abolition of the Slave-Trade, the Negro captives who now annually cross the Atlantic, amount to the stupendous number of Two HUNI RED THOUSAND, or double the number which were transported across when

Wilberforce began his enlightened ef-
forts to stop that infernal traffic, and
four times the amount of those who
were annually torn from their homes
when Brissot and les Amis des Noirs,
in 1789, originally commenced the
agitation at Paris, which led to the
frightful atrocities of the St Domingo
revolt. * This awful multiplication of
captives, this heart-rending increase
of suffering, is evidently owing to that
monstrous innovation, which, blasting
the stationary negro race in the Bri-
tish West India Islands with indo-
lence and impotence, has left the gap
thus made in the tropical produc.
tions of the globe, to be filled up by
foreign slave-states, and the foreign
slave-trade. The hundred thousand
hogsheads of sugar, and thirty thou-
sand puncheons of rum, by which the
produce of the British West India Is-
lands has been diminished by Negro
emancipation, has given so prodigious
an impetus to foreign slave sugar, and
the foreign slave-trade, that it has
more than doubled in amount within
these few years; and as the sugar in
our islands still further declines, and,
as has occurred in St Domingo, becomes
extinct, it will ultimately come to mo-
nopolize the whole sugar market of
the globe. Thus, this fatal change
has at once destroyed our own colo-
nies, where the Negroes were compa-
ratively happy, enormously augmen-
ted the foreign slave-states, where
they are utterly wretched, and doubled
the horrors of the mid passage, and
the slave-trade throughout the globe!
This effect was distinctly foreseen-it
was foretold again and again, during
the emancipation mania, in the pages
of this miscellany; but the Ministry
were deaf to all argument-they yield-
ed to their masters, who cannot err,
the urban masses-and these have been
the results of their obedience.

Have the East India merchants any better reason than those of the West Indies to feel confidence in the wisdom and energy of the Whig Administration? We will allow the holders of East India Company stock, the East India Directors, and the free traders at Bombay to answer the question. Never, perhaps, did our Indian empire go through so perilous a crisis, as on occasion of the late expedition to Affghanistan-with

* Clarkson on the Slave-Trade, 1839, p. 27.

« ElőzőTovább »