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“ Is it then fitting that one soul should pine
For lack of culture in this favoured land?
Perish, like seeds upon the desert sand ?-
The State must this state-malady redress!
The path of duty, leads to happiness,
The children in the way that they should go.
How large a part were banished from below?
An inbred taint disposing it for ill?
And discipline by love the pliant will !
Two female personages called Speranza and Charissa (Hope and Charity we suppose), next pass in the procession, and pausing before the throne, unfold earth's melancholy map," to shew how great a space is yet covered with the darkness of ignorance and idolatry. Speranza represents the duty of this country to diffuse “ the sacred word of Heaven,” calls upon the Redeemer to speed the work, and concludes by invoking a blessing on “ this happy island.”
“ A strain of heavenly harmony ensued,
Such as but once to mortal ears was known,
Who in their orders stand around the Throne ;
And hid my face, unable to endure
In fear and yet in trembling joy, for sure
My soul that hour yearned strongly to be free,
But in the air appeared a form half-seen,
And indistinct and dreadful was bis mien :
As in administering this mighty land
The will of Heaven, so shall my faithful hand
My name is DEATH: THE LAST BEST FRIEND AM I!” Thus terminated the body of the poem, and in the Epi. logue Mr. Southey apologizes for introducing this last character in a Carmen Nuptiale : indeed we do not perceive any sufficient reason for it, since the promise of reward might have more fitly been delivered by any of the characters before mentioned. Surely Death was a most unwelcome visitor at a marriage entertainment. The author then again reverts to himself (a theme he is rather too fond of), and delivers a mixture of piety and adulation in the form of a prayer, from which however we must in justice admit that patriotism is not excluded : the following short specimen is from the conclusion :
“ He prays, that when the sceptre to thy hand
In due succession shall descend at length,
Truth be thy counsellor, and Heaven thy strength;
heart in secret bless thy name.
The wise laws handed down from sire to son:
be added which is left undone,
Brute man may be to social life reclaimed;
The saving Faith may widely be proclaimed
This is his ardent hope, his loyal prayer.
“In every cottage may thy power be blest,
For blessings which should every where abound;
May bring forth good where'er the sun goes round;
Surpass our great ELIZA's golden name.”
in a manner neither novel nor striking. Throughout the various lectures read to the Princess by the personages presented, much good advice is given upon the general maxims of policy and
government, and so far we highly approve of the work before us; but we must say, that from beginning to end very little poetry is to be found in it, even of the descriptive kind; it is any thing but a Carmen Nuptiale, and a prose discourse upon the duties of a Princess would have been quite as appropriate to the occasion. The verse however may in some respects be considered an ex• cuse for the advice, the intrusion of which is an innovation upon the ordinary functions of the Laureate; but Mr. Southey recollected no doubt the adage, that the morals of the Prince make the manners of the times;
“For Princes are the glass, the school, the book,
* Shakspeare's Tarquin and Lucrece.
Art. IV.-A Defence of the Bill for the Registration of
Slaves. By JAMES Stephen, Esq. in Letters to W.Wilberforce, Esq. M. P. Letters 1. und II. London, for
Butterworth and Son, 1816. Pp. 50 and 218. The contest between the friends of the Abolition of the Slave Trade and the Planters of the West Indies who are inimical to it, at no period since the commencement of the struggle has been carried on with greater warmth than in the last session of parliament. For about eight years after the final victory of the cause of humanity, a cessation of hostilities took place, occasionally disturbed however by the efforts of Sir Samuel Romilly, Mr. Brougham, and other members, to repel the enemy whom they saw making daily encroachments
the line of demarkation. Those who were acquainted with the real state of things in the West Indies, and with the local advantages most of the islands possessed for carrying on an illicit trade in negroes, were scarcely sanguine enough to hope that the abolition law would be completely effectual: without casting any heavier imputation upon the planters, than that they would be influenced by the same motives that actuated other men, it was foreseen that the Act would be evaded, because the promoters of it were not then able to introduce, or perhaps to devise all the provisions calculated to secure its strict observance. They therefore trusted to the con. tinuance of that feeling which had passed the Abolition Bill, for the adoption of subsequent ineasures when it should be found that those measures were necessary. The advocates for the amelioration of the condition of the negroes, now contend that the time has arrived when that necessity is evinced—when all who trusted that the first law would be sufficient are undeceived, and when none but the Planters of the West Indies themselves can maintain that no other regulations are required. Under this impression, Mr. Wilberforce introduced his measure for the registration of slaves, by which it was to be provided, not only that books should be kept in the West Indies, ascertaining precisely the number of slaves in each of the islands, but that duplicates of those books should be transmitted to Great Britain, with periodical authenticated returns, in order that all changes in the property of slaves might be known, and their increase or diminution by importation or otherwise, with accuracy ascertained.
For several reasons, more particularly on account of the state of our negociations on the continent and in the Peninsula, he refrained from pressing his measure during either the last, or the preceding session of parliament, and in the mean time his antagonists collected their forces to oppose him with the utmost obstinacy. Pamphlets of all dimensions and of all degrees of ingenuity have been launched at him and his friends, and even the Legislative Assemblies of some of the islands, and particularly of Jamaica, have not scrupled to engage in the conflict. They had the powerfully impelling motive of temporary and personal interest to urge them, while the supporters of the registration, actuated by the present principles of humanity, found many who concurred in their benevolent project, but comparatively few who were willing to afford them any zealous assistance: their antagonists were firmly united in a common resistance, and aided by all the influence of wealth ; they on the other hand had only the goodness of their cause to support and combine them, and their only reward was the consciousness of deserving it.
All the misrepresentations that before the passing of the Abolition Bill, for twenty years, were heaped upon its friends and were constantly refuted-all the calumnies by which they were assailed so ineffectually, have been revived within the last two years, and the Registry Bill, which only has for object to render the abolition effectual, has been attacked, as if its effect were to be the instantaneous emancipation of the slaves on our plantations. The truth is, that a measure of this kind is rather calculated to postpone than to accelerate such an event, for by promoting the comforts of the negroes, and rendering them contented in their stations, it will tend rather to secure, than to endanger the property of the West India proprietors. To repel these attacks and accusations, the two letters, whose titles are given in the commencement of this article, have been written by Mr. Stephen, who long was an active member of the House of Commons, and the motive for whose retirement from his ostensible duties does him as much credit as if he had been able, by remaining, to accomplish the most commendable designs.
Since they were published, indeed within the last few weeks, their interest has been considerably augmented by a discussion in parliament of great importance upon the subject of the Registry Bill, and as in the usual vehicles of intelligence of the kind, only the speech of Mr. Wilber