Oldalképek
PDF
ePub

flow from the most deep-rooted national antipathy. The court of Spain, from a refinement of distrustful policy, cherishes those seeds of discord, and foments this mutual jealousy, which not only prevents the two most powerful classes of its subjects in the New World from combining against the parent state, but prompts each with the most vigilant zeal, to observe the motions and to counteract the schemes of the other.

“ The third class of inhabitants in the Spanish colonies is a mixed sace, the offspring either of an European and a negroe, or of an European and Indian, the former called Mulattoes, the latter Mestizos. As the court of Spain, solicitous to incorporate its new vassals with its ap. cient subjects, early encouraged the Spaniards settled in America to marry the natives of that country, several alliances of this kind were formed in their infánt colonies. But it has been more owing to licentious indulgence, than to compliance with this injunction of their sovereigns, that this mixed breed has multiplied so greatly, as to constitute a considerable part of all the population in all the Spanish settlements. The several stages of descent in this race, and the gradual variations of shade until the African black, or the copper-colour of America, brighten into an European complexion, are accurately marked by the Spaniards, and each distinguished by a peculiar name. Those of the first generation are now considered, and treated as Indians and negroes ; but in the third descent, the characteristic hue of the former disappears; and in the fifth, the deeper tint of the latter is so entirely effaced, that they can no longer be distinguished from Europeans, and are entitled to all other privileges. It is chiefly by the mixed race, whole frame is remarkably robuit and hardy, that the mechanic arts are carried on, and other active functions in society discharged, which the two higher clafles of citizens, from pride, or from indolence, disdain to exerciie.

“ The negroes hold the fourth rank among the inhabitants of the Spanish colonies. In several of their lettlements, particularly in New Spain, negroes are chiefly employed in domestic service. They form a principal part in the train of luxury, and are cherished and carelled by their superiors, to whose vanity and pleatures they are equally subfervient. Their dress and appearance is hardly lets splendid than that of their masters, whose manners they imitate, and whole passions they imbibe. Elevated by this distinction, they have assumed tuch a tone of fuperiority over the Indians, and treat them with such infolence and scorn, that the antipathy between the two races has become impiacable. Even in Peru, where negroes are more numerous, and employed in fieldwork as well as domeitic fervice, they maintain their aliendant over the Indians, and their mutual hatred subsiits with equal violence. The laws have industrioully fomented this aversion, to which accident gave rise, and by moit rigorous injunctions, have cndeavoured to prevent every intercourse that might form a bond of union between the two races. Thus, by an artful policy, the Spaniards derive strength from that which is the weakness of other European colonies, and have fecured as associates and defenders, those very persons who ellewhere are objects of jealousy and terror."

The

1

The last and lowest order of citizens are those, whose ances tors were the first poffeffors of the country, the Native Indians; of whose present depressed condition, the historian gives a particular description ; by no means according with tiiat original fpirit of inhuman policy, by which they were first reduced. Ön this occafion our historian himself, indeed, makes the following reflections.

“ In those regulations of the Spranith monarchs, we discover no traces of that cruel system of extermination, which they have been charged with adopting; and if we admit, that the neceility of securing subhstence for their colonies, or the advantages derived from working the mines, give them a right to avail themselves of the labour of the Indians, we must allow, that the attention with which they regulate and recompence that labour, is provident and fagacious. In no code of laws is greater solicitude displayed or precautions multiplied with more concern for the preservation, the security, and the happiness of the fubject, than we discover in the collection of the Spanish laws for the Indies. But those later regulations, like the more early edicts which have been already mentioned, have too often prored inetfectuat remedies against the evils which which they were intended to prevent. In every age, if the same causes continue to operate, the fame effets stust follow. From the immense diítance between the power entruited with the execution of laws; and that, by whose authcrity they are enacted, the vigour even of the most absolute government must relax, and the dread of a superior too remote to observe with accu. racy, or to punish with dispatch, muit insensibly abate. Notwithftanding the numerous injunctions of the Spanish monarchs, the Indians ftill suffer, on many occasions, both from the avarice of individuals, and from the exactions of the magiftrates, who ought to have protected them ; unreasonable talks are imposed; the term of their labour is prolonged, and they groan under all the insults and wrongs which are the lot of a dependent people. From fome information on which I can depend, such oppression abounds more in Peru, than in any other colony. But it not general. According to the accounts, even of thofe authors who are most disposed to exaykarate the fuffering of the Indians, they, in several provinces, enjoy not only eale, but affluence ; they poliels large förms; they are masters of numerous herds and flocks; and, by the knowledge which they have acquired of European arts and induttry, are fupplied not only with the neceflaries, but with many luxuries of life.”

After displaying the advantages which Old Spain at first deduced from colonies to politically and successfully cítablished, our author draws a masterly picture of the several causes contributing to the loss of them.

* It is with nations as it is with individuals : when wealth sows in gradually, and with moderate increase, it feeds and nourishes that activity which is friendly to commerce, and calls it forth into vigorous aind well-conducted exertions; but when it pours in suddenly, and with too full a stream, it overturns all fober plans of industry, and

brings along with it a taste for what is wild and extravagant, and daring in business or in action. Such was the great and sudden augmentation of power and revenue, that the pofletion of America brought into Spain, and fome lymptoms of its pernicious influence upon the politicat operations of that monarchy soon began to appear. For a considerable time, however, the fupply of treature from the New World was scanty and precarious, and the genius of Charles V. conducted public meafures with such prudence, that the effects of this influence were little perceived. But when Philip II. ascended the Spanish throne, with talents tar inferior to thofe of his father, and remittances from the colonie: became a regular and vast branch of revenue, the fatal operation Cthis rapid change in the state of the kingdom, both on the monarch' ani los reope, was at once conspicuous. Philip, pofleffing that fpirit Guantain; alliduity, which often characterizes the ambition of inen or moderate ralents, entertained such an high opinion of his own resources, that he thought nothing too arduous for him to undertake. Shur himselt in the folitude of the Escurial, he troubled and annoyEd all the uations around him. He waged open war with the Dutch arj En lith ; he encouraged and aided a rebellious fiction in France ; he conquered Portugal, and maintained armies and garrisons in Italy, Africa, and both the Indies. By such a multiplicity of great and complicated operations, pursued with ardour during the course of a long re:ga, Spain was drained both of men and money. Under the weak cdomination of his fucceffor, Philip III. the vigour of the nation Lotioned to decrease, and funk into the lowest decline, when the incontiderate bigotry of that monarch expelled at once near a million of his mit industrious lubjects, at the very time when the exhausted State of the kingdom required fome extraordinary exertion of political wifdum to augment iis numbers, and to revive its strength. "Early in the lerenreenth century, Spain telt such a diminution in the number of her people, that from inability to recruit her armies, she was obliged to contract her operations, Her flourishing manutactures were falien into detay. Her Heurs, which had been the terror of all Europe, were ruinel. Her extenfive forciyin commerce was lost. The trade betwetin different parts of her own dominions was interrupted, and the thips which attempted to carry it on, were taken and plundered by enemies, wbum they once defpi ed. Even agriculture, the primary object of induttry in every prosperous fiate, was neglected, and one of the most fertile countries in Europe hardly raised what was sufficient for the fup. port of its own inhabitants,

" In proportion as the population and manufactures of the parent ftate deciined, the demands oi her colonies continued to increate.' The Spaniards like their monarchs, intoxicated with the wealth which pourtd in annually upon them, deterred the paths of industry to which they had been accustomed, and repaired with eagerness to those regions f101!! which this opulence iflied. By this sage of enuigration, another druin was opened, and the strength of the crionies augmented by exhausting that of the mother-country. All thole emigranıs; as weil as the adventurers, who at first tettled in America, depended abfolutely upon Spain for almost every article of neceflary coníumption. Engaged in more alluring and lucrative purfuit, or prevenied by refraints which yo

yerminent

vernment imposed, they could not turn their own attention towards el tablishing the manufactures requisite for comfortable fubfiftence. They received (as I have observed in another place) their clothing, their furniture, whatever ministers to the ease and luxury of life, and even their instruments of labour from Europe. Spain, thinned of people and void of industry, was unable to supply their increasing demands. She had recourfe to her neighbours. The manufactures of the Low Countries, of England, of France, and of Italy, which her wants called into existence, or animated with new vivacity, furnished in abun. dance whatever the required. In vain did the fundamental law, concerning the exclusion of foreigners from trade with America, oppose this innovation. · Neceflity, more powerful than statute, defeated its operations, and constrained the Spaniards themselves to concur in elu. ding it. The English, the French, and Dutch, relying on the fidelity and honour of Spanish merchants, who lend their names to cover the deceit, sent out their manufactures to America, and receive the exorbi. tant price for which they are sold there, either in specie, or in the rich commodities of the New World. Neither the dread of danger, nor the allurements of profit, ever induced a Spanish factor to betray or defraud the person who confided in him; and that probity, which is the pride and distinction of the nation, contributes to its ruin. In a short time, not above the twentieth part of the commodities exported to America was of Spanish growth or fabric. All the rest was the property of foreign merchant, though entered in the name of Spaniards. The trea. sure of the New World may be said henceforward not to have belonged to Spain. Before it reached Europe, it was anticipated as the price of goods purchased from foreigners. The wealth, which, by an internal circulation, would have spread through each vein of industry, and have conveyed life and activity to every branch of manufacture, flowed out of the kingdom with such a rapid course, as neither enriched por animated it. On the other hand, the artisans of rival nations, encouraged by this quick sale of their commodities, improved so much in ikill and industry, as to be able to afford them at a rate sa low, that the manufactures of Spain, which could not vie with theirs, either in quas lity or cheapness of work, were still farther depressed, This deitructive commerce drained off the riches of the nation faster and more completely, than ever the extravagant schemes of ambition carried on by its monarchs. Spain was so much astonished and distressed, at behold ing her American treasures vanish almost as soon as they were imported, that Philip III. unable to fuprly what was requisite in circulation, illued an ediêt, by which he endeavoured to raise copper money, to 4 value in currency nearly equal to that of filver; and the lord of the Peruvian and Mexican mines was reduced to a wretched expedient, which is the last resource of petty impoverished states.

“ Thus the poffeffions of Spain in America have not proved a source of population and of wealth to her, in the same manner as those of other nations."

But we must here take leave of this well-compiled and, in general, well-written performance,

S.

Letters on the Beauties of Hagley, Envil, and the Leafowes. " With

Critical Remarks : and Observations on the modern Talte in Gardening. By Joseph Heely, Ef. 2 Vols. Sınall 8vo. Baldwin,

" Architecture and gardening," as Mr. Heely juitly obserres, " may be called fiter arts, though diametrically oppolite in their principles; the excellencies of the first are founded in a mathematical exactaels, and regularity: in the larter, on an assemblage of fienery without either: yet when both unite, each graces the other so polverfully, and affords so striking a contrast, that, it is much to be lamented, they are ever seen bur in an infeparable connection.

" Though it be well known, during the empires of Greece and Rome, that architecture fourished in the most sublime perfection, the true characteristics of taste, in the other respect, were unknown.-Will it be said, that the ancients were fo peculiarly fond of nature unadorned, that they preferred her in that state, to all the various embel. lishments art could possibly give her imitue suppose this to be the case, we have a right to suppoie neither Greece nor Italy had one fingle garden in either, that thewed (as now) it was possible for art to bring into the area of two or three hundred acres, in miniature, almost every charın nature holds up to our view. It is plain then, that brricula ture in those days, was confined within the pale of a small compaís, tending chiefly, to supply the luxuries of the table; and their gardens, little more than what our elegant kitchen ones are at this time." To prove this, our author cites Homer's account of the

garden of Alcinous, and Virgil's defcription of that of the old Corycian. Our English Homer, Milton, he remarks, seemed to dip into the just rules of modern practice in his paradilaical picture of nature delineated in his Paradise Lost.

Bur," says he, “ the time approached, when poor nature was to be intirely kicked out of doors; and in her ruon, to be substituted, every ridiculous absurdity, the caprice of low invention could fuggelt. -Le Nutre, that celebrated, but cruel spoiler, flourished, I think, about William the Third ; and being looked upon as a man of the first reputation in taste, was fucceilingly employed, in the execution of the fineit gardens, in France and England; and he manyled the tighiny earth, with all thar fire ut genius which was then the prevailing mode, absurdly following, or perhaps beginning, the miserable tathion, of , mutilating the trees, and in thort, inverting the beauty of every thing he approached,

* His detigns certainly were extensive in his way, but surely they were contempriblý puerile-he never consulied nature burto rob'heror her charms ; eternally fondling the rule and line, ihofe banenud imitru. inents, with the musit ridiculous distinction : nothing could be done without thein; nothing pleated, but what had the air of uniformity and magnificence; fimplicity was, his avertion, and he banithed is tor ever. The blessed effects of his genius, were, long avenues, frai: ht canals, ponds square; sound, or oblong; mounts conically regular; temples, statues, and vales without dumber; while the coriured holiv, VOL. VL.

0

the

« ElőzőTovább »