« PreviousContinue »
to hear and bless those who heartily love and study of the Holy Scriptures. They are so juliuniformly obey him, should be indelibly impressed cious, that no apology need be offered for adding upon the soul; as it will prove an unfailing source them to the many quotations already taken from of consolation, strength, and fortitude, a preserv- her excellent work :ative against all groundless terrors and alarms. “ The first step towards inspiring your chil.
As the intellectual faculties expand and strength- dren with a veneration for the Sacred Writings, en, the moral attributes of the Eternal may be and with a desire of knowing something of their unfolded to their view ; His justice, His holiness, contents, must be the observations they will natuHis mercy, His unfailing loving-kindness, as rally and voluntarily make upon your own frebeing all exercised in His Government of the quent perusal of them. While they see other world, and the providential care which He extends books read and dismissed, and the Bible alone to all creatures.
remaining the constant companion of your serious The pleasing association supposed to be pre. hours, the subject of your daily and delightful viously formed in the youthful mind, will facili- meditation, they will associate the idea of supetate the admission of these ideas, and render rior excellence with the Bible, before they are them more acceptable. Hence we may proceed to able to read. But, on the contrary, if they see conduct our children to the sublime truths of re it only brought out upon a tedious and gloomy vealed religion ; the rational, grand and delight- Sunday, and then read as a duty, merely, and a ful representations it gives of the Almighty ; the task, the prepossession that will take place in dispaternal character which it assigns Him in con- favour of its contents, will probably never be erajunction with that of Creator, of Redeemer, of dicated. Preserver, of Ruler, and of Judge; the present
“ As soon as a child can read so well as to be state of man, as his infancy of being ; the certain- able to understand something of what it reads, its ty of another very different and far more exalted imagination and curiosity ought to be excited by state, for which we are now to prepare, and in the mention of some passages in the Old Testawhich our powers and our felicity will advance to ment, which are most likely to amuse and gratify their maturity. These views and principles will the fancy ; these, afterwards, as a favour, it ought be potent aids in the formation and cultivation of to be permitted to read. By a repetition of this, all amiable, generous, noble dispositions.
as often as occasion offers, a pretty accurate know“The power of the affections,” says the amiable ledge of the Old Testament history will be acquired, authoress of Elementary Principles of Education, and acquired at a period when the purity of the “ in influencing our opinions is obvious to com.
mind is incapable of being soiled by an account of mon observation. Where the associations of reli- manners, which, though suitable to ancient simgion have produced secret antipathy and disgust, which will pass unnoticed, where no train of ideas
plicity, appear gross to modern refinement; but the powerful principle of self-love may be considered as enlisted on the side of infidelity. The upon improper subjects has been previously fixed very contrary of this must be the case, where all in the mind, so as to be called up by the perusal. the affections of love, esteem, and complacency, As the understanding opens to the perception of have been engaged on the side of religion, Those
moral truth, the sublimer doctrines, events, and who have been taught to view the wonders of examples of virtue contained in the New Testa. creation as the work of Divine wisdom, and to ment, should, in the same manner, be impressed enjoy every blessing of existence as the gift of upon the heart, at such times and seasons as the infinite goodness, will embrace, without repug
impression is likely to be most favourably receivnance, the doctrines of Christianity. These, as
ed.” the capacity unfolds, ought to be presented in the
“ The counsels of religion,” says the venerable simplest forms, divested as much as possible of all and pious Bishop Taylor, are not to be applied scholastic terms, and all incomprehensible articles to the distempers of the soul, as men take helleof belief, however we may ourselves venerate and bore ; but they must dwell together with the spirit respect them. A knowledge of the Scriptures 1 of a man, and be twisted about his understanding look upon as a very essential part of religious for ever. They must be used like nourishment, education ; but to render this knowledge useful, not like a single medicine, and upon the actual it is not sufficient that their contents be impressed pressure of a present necessity. For counsels and on the memory; the lessons they contain must wise discourses applied to an actual distemper, at reach the heart. Where the knowledge of Scrip- the best, are but like strong smells to an epileptic ture is forced upon children as a task, where they person ; they may sometimes raise him, but they are compelled to recite long portions of it from
never cure him.” memory, in the same manner as they decline Instruction upon religious subjects should be nouns and conjugate verbs, the passages learned administered, as daily bread, in such portions as may be retained by the memory, but we may rea
the appetite calls for and nature can digest; and sonably doubt whether they will ever impress the not as a nauseous medicine, which children must be heart.”
forced to take for the good of their souls. The same enlightened writer gives the follow
I am, &c. ing directions for introducing children to the
A FRIEND TO EARLY EDUCATION.
sermon which he preached before
veared with handkerchiefes and flagges streaming on the
top, they strawe the ground round about it, they bind “ On the calends or first of May,” says Bourne, 6 com- boughs about it, they set up summer halles, bowers and ar. monly called May-day, the juvenile part of both sexes were bours hard by it, and then fall they lo banqueting and wont to rise a little after midnight and walk to some neigh- feasting, to leaping and dauncing about it, as the heathen bouring wood, accompanied with music and blowing of people did at the dedication of their idols. I have heard it horns, where they break down branches from the trees, and crediblie reported, by men of great gravity, credite, and se adorn them with nosegays and crowns of flowers; when putation, that of fourtie, threescore, or an hundred maides this is done, they return with their booty homewards about going to the wood, there have scarcely the third part of the rising of the sun, and make their doors and windows to them returned home again as they went.", triumph with their flowery spoils; and the after part of the In the churchwarden's account for the parish of St Helen's day is chiefly spent in dancing round a tall pole, which is in Abingdon, Berks, dated 1566, the ninth of Elizabeth, is called a May-pole; and being placed in a convenient part the following article : “Payde for setting up Robin Hoode's of the village, stands there, as it were, consecrated to the bower, eighteenpence;" that is, a bower for the reception Goddess of Flowers, without the least violation being offered of the fictitious Robin Hood and his company, belonging ta to it in the whole circle of the year.”
the May-day pageant. This custom, no doubt, is a relic of one more ancient,
THE LORD AND LADY OF THE MAT. practised by the Heathens, who observed the last four days in April, and the first of May, in honour of the goddess bration of the May-games
, to elect a Lord and Lady of the
It seems to have been the constant custom, at the cele Flora. An old Romish calendar, cited by Mr. Brand, says, on the 30th of April, the boys go out to seek May-trees. May, who probably presided over the sports. On the thir. “ Maii arbores a pueris exquirunter.” Some consider the
tieth of May, 1557, in the fourth year of Queen Mary, May-pole as a relic of Druidism; but I cannot find any and guns, and pikes; and with the nine worthies who meet
was a goodly May-game in Fenchurch-street, with diuina solid foundation for such an opinion.
It should be observed, that the May-games were not al. and each of them made his speech, there was also a morriceways celebrated upon the first day of the month ; and to dance, and an elephant and castle, and the Lord and Lady this we may add the following extract from Stow : “ In the
of the May appearing to make up the show." We alsu month of May the citizens of London of all estates, gener- read that the Lord of the May, and no doubt his Lady also, a ly in every parish, and in some instances two or three pa
was decorated with scarfs, ribands, and other fineries rishes joining together, had their several Mayings, and did Hence, in the comedy called “The Knight of the Barrin fetch their May-poles with divers warlike shows; with good Pestle," written by Beaumont and Fletcher in 1611, a citi. archers, morrice-dancers, and other devices for pastime, all
zen, addressing himself to the other actors, says, “Let Ralph day long; and towards evening they had stage-plays and
come out on May-day in the morning, and speak upon a bonfires in the streets. These great Mayings and May- conduit, with all his scarfs about him, and his feathers games were made by the governors and masters of the city, and his rings, and his knacks, as Lord of the May." Ha together with the triumphant setting up of the great shaft request is complied with, and Ralph appears upon the stare or principal may-pole in Cornhill before the parish church
in the assumed character, where he makes his speech, begin of Saint Andrew,” which was thence called Saint Andrew ning in this manner : Undershaft.
With gilded staff and crossed scarf, the May Lord here I stand. No doubt the May-games are of long standing, though The citizen is supposed to be a spectator, and Ralph is kiša the time of their institution cannot be traced. Mention is apprentice, but permitted by him to play in the piece. made of the May-pole at Cornhill, in a poem called the “ Chaunce of the Dice,” attributed to Chaucer. In the haps still earlier, the ancient stories of Robin Hood and be
At the commencement of the sixteenth century, or per te time of Stow, who died in i605, they were not conducted frolicsome companions seem to have been new-modelice, with so great splendour as they had been formerly, owing and divided into separate ballads, which much increased to a dangerous riot which took place upon May-day 1517,
their popularity; for this reason it was customary to per in the ninth year of Henry VIII., on which occasion several foreigners were slain, and two of the ringleaders of the dis associates, and add them to the pageantry of the Mara
sonify this famous outlaw, with several of his most noted urbance were hanged. Stow has passed unnoticed the manner in which the May- rather, perhaps, a man habited like a female, called the
games. He presided as Lord of the May; and a female er poles were usually decorated ; this deficiency I shall supply Maid Marian, his faithful mistress, was the Lady of the from Philip Stubs, a contemporary writer, one who saw
May. His companions were distingnished by the litle of these pastimes in a very different point of view, and some may think lis invectives are more severe than just; how- priate dresses ; their coats, hoods, and hose were generall,
“ Robin Hood's Men," and were also equipped in appa ever, I am afraid the conclusion of them, though perhaps green. Henry Vill., in the first year of his reign much exaggerated, is not altogether without foundation. morning, by way of pastime, came suddenly into the chan He writes thus : “ Against Maie-lay, Whitsunday, or some other time of the year, every parish, towne, or village, as
ber where the queen and her ladies were sitting. He w semble themselves, both men, women, and children ; and of Kentish kendal, with hoods and hosen of the same; caue
attended by twelve noblemen, all apparelled in short 1 either all together, or dividing themselves into companies, of them had his bow, with arrows, and a sword, and : they goe some to the woods and groves, some to the hills buckler, “like outlawes, or Robyn Hode's men, and mountaines, some to one place, some to another, where they spend all the night in pleasant pastimes, and in the
queen, it seems, at first was somewhat affrighted by ther! morning they return, bringing with them birche boughes appearance, of which she was not the least appriser. Thus
gay troop performed several dances, and then departed."
But their chiefest jewel they bring from thence is the Maie-pole
, king Edward VI., relates the following anecdotes elles they have twentie or fourtie yoake of oxen, every oxe having ing" says he, a to a certain town on a holiday so.proaches! a sweete nosegaie of flowers tied to the tip of his hornes, found the church door fast locked. I tarryed there haliza and these oxen drawe home the May-poale
, their stinking houre and more, and at last the key was found, and openen hearbes, bound round with strings from the top to the bot-Witch us, we cannot hear you ; it is Robin Hoode's day edhe tome, and sometimes it was painted with variable colours, parish are gone abroad to gather for Robin Hood a porno having two or three hundred men, women, and children
you let them not. I was fayne, therefore, to give plaer ! following it with great devotion. And thus equipped it was
Robin Hood. I thought my rochet would have been garded ; but it would
not serve, it was faine to give place * Strutt's Sports and Pastimes of the People of England. Robin Hood's men” In Garrick's Collection of oid Plast
is one entitled, “A new Playe of Robyn Hoode, for to be ting a few additional questions to the jurymen anil witnesses played in the May-games, very pleasauut' and full of Pas- assembled once a year for a special purpose, the legitimate tyme," printed at London by William Copland, black depositories of both kinds of knowledge In examining the letter, without date. This play consists of short dialogues document alluded to, we find that wheat, in the year 1824, between Robyn Hode, Lytell John, Fryer Tucke, a potter's cost £2, 173. 6d. per quarter; barley very nearly the same; boy, and the potter. Robyn fights with the friar, who after common oats £1, 8s.; and oatmeal £1, 12s. 8d. per 280 lbs. wards becomes his chaplain; he also breaks the boy's pots, avoirdupois. Every year since, the prices of grain have vaand commits several other absurdities. The language of ried considerably, sometimes mounting and sometimes fal. the piece is extremely low, and full of ribaldry.
ling; and so late as last year are given as follows:- wheat
£2, 15s. fd. ; barley £1, 7s. ; common oats £1, 9s.8ld.; and " It is at this time," that is, in May, says the author of meal £1, 3s. 8d. ; which since the introduction of the new one of the papers in the Spectator, “we see the brisk young weights and measures in 1826, is now calculated by 280 wenches, in the country parishes, dancing round the May- imperial lbs
. ; and by eight imperial bushels
. During the pole. It is likewise on the first day of this month that we same period that is from 1824 to 1832 the variations in we the ruddy milk-maid exerting herself in a most sprightly the rate of wages have been exceedingly trifling, namelymanner under a pyramid of silver tankards, and like the for day-labourers ls. 4d. in summer, and 1s. 2d. to 1s. ld. virgin Tarpeia, oppressed by the costly ornaments which in winter. In 1826 a farm servant, living in the house, ker benefactors lay upon her. These decorations of silver got £10, 4s. ; in 1827 £10, 10s. ; in 1828 £11; in 1829 cups, tankards, and salvers, were borrowed for the purpose, £10, 10s. ; in 1830 £11; in 1831 £11; and in 1832 £12 and hung round the milk-pails, with the addition of flowers per half-year. In 1829-30, the wages of a cottar were and ribands, which the maidens carried upon their heads £25; in 1831 they mounted to £26; and in 1832 fell to when they went to the houses of their customers, and £25. These are rather striking results, which contrast danced in order to obtain a small gratuity from each of singularly with the statements made by Mr. Attwood, and thein. In a set of prints called Tempest's Cryes of London, seem to strengthen the position we have often assumed, that there is one called the merry milk-maid's, whose proper after allowing for the seasons of prosperity that occasionally name was Kate Smith. She is dancing with the milk-pail dawn on the manufacturing districts, the balance of hapdecorated as above mentioned, upon her head. of late piness is in favour of what the old Scots Acts call the years the plate, with the other decorations, were placed in a “poor tillers of the soil," and that the agricultural, beyond pyramidical form, and carried by two chairmen upon a all other classes, give steadiness and stability to the social wooden horse. The maidens walked before it, and per- | machine. An isolated, is generally a virtuous population; formed the dance without any encumbrance. I really can and those who rarely meet in numbers, excepting at church, not discover what analogy the silver tankards and salvers or at fairs once or twice a-year, escape many temptations can have to the business of the milk-maids. I have seen which beset the paths of those who congregate in masses them act with much more propriety upon this occasion, every day in the year, and partake by the force of circumwhen in place of these superfluous ornaments they substi- stances of that species of denizenship which Rousseau likened inted a cow. The animal had her horns gilt, and was to dwelling in tents of sin. There are five inillions of sheep nearly covered with ribands of various colours, formed in Scotland, and from two to three thousand shepherds, into bows and roses, and interspersed with green oaken all of whom we firmly believe are happier among their mouleaves and bunches of flowers.
tains than a monarch is on his throne. In summer partici
larly, their labours are light excepting at stated seasuns; payTHE RURAL POPULATION.
ment in kind gives them an interest in the flocks they tend ; By Mr. Macdiarmid of the Dumfries Courier,
in good years their wages may be £40, under all circum
stances they are allowed a cow's grass; and if an unmarried Por a number of years there has been little variation in shepherd lodge with them, they are permitted to keep two; the wages of rural labour ; and here we cannot help glanc- the kine have an extensive gang, crop herbs as well as mg at the steadiness that distinguishes the agricultural from grass, and every body knows that a shepherd's butter is the manufacturing districts. How often, within the last better than his master's in the valley, and brings a higher eighteen years have the public read, with pain and commis price in the market. The family rear poultry and pigs, rationi, of the appalling distress that had overtaken the and manufacture butter and cheese ; wool is spun and hand-loom weavers--the depression of the silk, the glove, carded, to be woven into plaiding and other articles; potathe lace, the stocking, and other trades. Repeatedly the toes are planted and peats cast; the garden yields its tribute town and the crowded mart have been convulsed and well of herbs and even fruit; and whether in summer, when to high shaken to their centre, while the country remained be abroad is a privilege, or in winter, when the “ carey" perfectlý tranquil; che farmers might be suffering from bad indicates a storm, none save those who have seen and share years and the more limited demand which distress gene- it, can appreciate justly the happiness which obtains in a rates, but the condition of their labourers remained nearly shepherd's sheiling—the door barred upon frosty winds, the the same -a very beautiful state of things, which acts as a ingle blazing, and the hirsels, from their position on the corrective to many evils and makes us cherish more fondly weather-side of the hill, secure against the keenest drifts the aphorism of the poet
that may blow. The intelligence and urbanity of these **1 And a bold peasantry, their country's pride,
men are proverbial; they not only read, but, what is better, When once destroyed, can never be supplied.”
reflect; and we know no class that can so well be desigNor is this idle speculation. We have at this moment be- nated gentlemen by nature, and moralists by habit. In fore his an oficial account of the Fiars prices of the county directing attention to the true state of the Scottish peasantry, of Wigton for the last eight years. Wigtonshire is divid we are far from denying that great distress exists in towus; ad into two districts the upper and lower ; and in both, that land is too high rented in many instances ; that nuuthe jurymen and witnesses that fix the fiars prices, deter-bers of farmers make a bare living of it: that agricultural mino also the wages of labour. This is an excellent sys- capital is not improving; that even proprietors feel the tem, the advantages of which we have more than once pressure of the times; and that the capitalist's, or money pointed out while recommending its adoption in other quar- lender’s, is the most thriving of all trades. At the same terny. But the Act anent fiar-rents, minister's stipend, and time, were some bold and healing measure adopted, such as #choolmaster's salarý, 'is silent as regards the wages of la a properly graduated property tax, as a substitute for the bours and it is unfortunately true that the majority of burdens which press so severely upon industry, and bind, men are slow to move in any thing ont of the ordinary as Lord Althorp once said, commerce to the earth, so far track of business. The relative value of remuneration lies from despairing of the fortunes of our country, we would at the very root of political science; and where the machi. say that matters might again come round, and predict the nery is so simple, it is strange that the Sheriffs and Fiscals probability, in the course of twenty years or less, of a new of every county in Scotland should grudge the labour of put. and better era dawning on the weary destinies of Britain.
SLAVERY NECESSARILY A SYSTEM OF CRUELTY. | property began. The Africans, when evening closed around BY JAMES DOUGLAS, ESQ. OF CAVERS.
their native village, were happy and free. Did the slave.
dealers acquire a right over them by burning that villar, SLAVERY must be a system of cruelty and terror; there slaughtering a portion of its inhabitants, and dragging away fear, not hope,—pain, not profit,-are the only inducements the still more wretched residue to a hopeless captivity to labour. The most benevolent man on earth, whose head Or, if it be owned that the manacles which were placed upteens with projects for ameliorating the condition of slavery, on their limbs could not efface the natural and inherent must at last have recourse to the whip. There is no alter- freedom of the mind, nor wrong, merely because it was es. native between freedom and the lash. Man cannot act cessive and intolerable, be changed into right, shall we only without a motive. The slave can have no motive but fear. date the period of the loss of liberty to the African from the And the sense of terror would soon become extinct, if it
moment when he no longer trode his native soil? Is this were not for the frequent repetition of pain. It is useless ruffian-right of property established, when the trader has to censure individuals,-it is the system itself which is packed his cargo of human beings into less room than would pitiless. But if, even under the most benevolent taskmas. be allowed for so many coffins, scarcely affording them s ter, the horrors of slavery cannot be greatly alleviated, but much food as will keep them alive, and condemning them only plausibly disguised, how deep must be the atrocities of to endure all the miseries of want of air and water, so that this inhuman system, when, in addition to its natural hor- tivo-thirds of their original number often perish on their rors, is added the gloom of those supernumerary evils which passage ; and the few who have survived this horrid treatevery baneful passion can inflict! when avarice and cruelty, inent, when a slave-ship arrives in port, have been seed to like the defied fiends of Milton, Mammon and Moloch, rush upon deck like so many maniacs, lolling out their have come to torture the human race before the time, and parched tongues with eager desire to obtain a drop of water are joined by a third demon, “ Lust hard by Hate." to quench their thirst? If atrocities like these constitute a
In the West Indies all things are reversed, -women and right of property for the man-stealer, it is such a property men are less considered than “horses and mares."
as Burke might claim in the victims whom he massacri cording to the Barbadoes legislature,” says Lord Brongham, and sold for anatomical purposes ; and the circumstance et “any slaves guilty of quarrelling, or swearing, or drunken- | the miserable Africans being sold alive does not alter the ness, or riding faster than a walk, or cruelly beating any nature of the claim, thongh it much increases the amou! horse, mare, &c., or of any disorderly conduct,” shall re- of sutferings inflicted. If such be the right of property in ceive, at the discretion of a magistrate, not more than the trader, what better title can he transfer to the planter thirty-nine stripes. Here we see profanity and cruelty are who purchases his human cargo, even though there be exreserved as the peculiar prerogative of the whites. The acted from the latest purchaser the trebly advanced price, whites, with the tender mercies of fiends, are humane to the blood-money, which must cover the loss of their comwards beasts, in order that they may be bestially cruel | panions? And does the planter improve and confirm wz towards men.
supposed right in his purchased victims, when he urges them But the slaves are claimed as the property of their owners. to unremitting toil by the cart-whip, and withholds set Man can have no property in man.” The very claim to only the wages due to labour, but all the civil rights gral such a property strikes at the root of all property whatso- privileges of man? God is the proprietor of all things, because he is the
Upon which link in this chain of iniquity will the slar Creator of all things. Labour stamps a right of property holder establish his claim to this species of property, and upon the objects on which it is exercised, because it creates
pronounce it sacred and inviolable ? the value. God having only given the raw elements, and
It has been said, that slavery existed in Africa befizere having appointed that the art and labour of man should Europe was guilty of the traffic of slaves. And this is true. work them into their useful applications, has thus given to
Where, indeed, has slavery not existed, what nation under man a right of proprietorship, by making him a fellows the whole heavens has not been polluted in some former worker with himself. God creates, and man forms. But age with the tears and groans of slaves? This proceeds from no man can assert a right of property in the involuntary the miserable condition of our fallen nature, and those ware abour of other men, without vitiating the title on which and fightings which have been ever occasioned by the bene all his own property rests. By such a claim he shakes the and unruly passions of men. Slavery, in the early ages of foundation upon which civil society is built, and introduces the world, was a necessary evil, so far as war was a bett a universal system of robbery and wrong. Man can have sary evil; it was the only method of disposing of the prino property in man. The slave-holders are therefore men.
soners reserved from the sword. It was an improveme! stealers; for wrong, by repetition, can never become right, upon the former method of warfare, since it arose from but, by continuance, is only a more intolerable and exces sparing the lives of the vanquished. Strictly speaking, it sive wrong.
We are aware that the hereditary arbiters of was not slavery, in the first instance : it was a voluntary right and wrong, the Peers of Britain, in several instances, compact, by which he who surrendered himself to the vic derive no inconsiderable portion of their income from the tor, surrendered his liberty as a ransom for his forfeited lik. involuntary labour of slaves ; but their eminence and their
West Indian slavery has no such excuse to plead: it has bee privileges cannot alter the nature of things. They are in- well ascertained that many of the barbarous wars that real volved in the same guilt with every kidnapper who carries the interior of Africa, and desolated her villages, were a human prey from the coast of Africa; nor will their kindled for the express purpose of supplying the European titles or privileges exempt them, more than other slave. slave-market while the slave-trade flourished. holders, from the indelible brand of being stealers of men.
CONDITION OF SLAVES AMONG THE JEWS. It is one of the dark stains of Britain, that there are men Again, slavery as it existed in the early ages, though alaround the throne, not distantly connected with Majesty ways an evil, cannot be put in comparison with the barba: itself, who must be called upon to advise upon the great rities of the colonial system. The case of Abraham, as it subject of Colonial Slavery, and who yet can give no im- affords the earliest authentic example of slavery, she partial advice, because the luxury with which they are sur- likewise how very mild that slavery was, so as to be impo rounded is in no small degree procured by the sufferings of perly designated by the same term which is applied to ld their slaves--men, whose delicacies and refinements lave victims of West Indian avarice and folly. The servants of all the stain of blood upon them, and whose voluptuous Abraham, though bought with his money, might more time repose is purchased by the groans and tears, and by the perly be termed Abraham's family; they differed little from often sleepless, and always unrequited, labour of human a clan under their patriarchal head. If Abrahain had 1.0 brings, whom they persevere in holding in the most iniqui. son, one of his slaves was considered as his heir. There is tous Gualdom.
no niention of stripes or of forced labour. Nrither evuld INQUIRY INTO TUE RIGJIT OT PROPERTY IN SLAVES. any of their tasks be considered even as severe, for Abraham
It would be well if the proprietors of slaves (as they call themselves) would fix the palod at which this pretended | The obedience of Abraham's servants was a willing one
and Sarah performed the same srorks as their servants
dience, for they were trained to war, and had weapons in tificates, touches the soil of the West Indian Islands, is, ac, their hands, and Abraham could only coerce them by the cording to the proper form, seized, put into “ the cage,' authority of his character, and by their devotion to him. advertised ten days, and,“ if no owver or claimant appear," The master and the slave fed on the same food, led the same is sold to pay the expenses ; so that, if he has no master life, observed the same rites, and worshipped the same God. upon his arrival, he is sure by this admirable process to And as they were the family of Abraham in the lifetime of find one sooner or later. the patriarch, so they were identified with his descendants; for no distinction is observable among the Edomites between
GRAFTED FRUITS, &c. the direct descendants of Esau and the children of those men
An opinion has taken root not only among gardeners, whom Abraham bought with his money, trained to the but also among botanists of high name, that grafted fruits services of peace and of war, and instructed in his own pure continue during their whole existence in some way depenreligion. The same noble feelings which made Abraham dent upon their parent stock. If the ancestral tree fall into prefer to be the father of his people rather than the tyrant old age and dotage, the young grafts which were taken of his slaves, led Job, whom we consider to be his illustri. from it in its vigour, sympathize with its infirmities, and ous, and not very remote, descendant, to express himself so decay with its decay, in spite of all the efforts of the stock beautifully in regard to those whom God had made depen- on which they have been grafted, to administer nourishdent upon his protection and care: “ If I did despise the ment. The old tree, and the transferred graft, are, accordcause of my man-servant, or of my maid-servant, when they ing to this theory, still as much the same individual as if contended with me, what they shall I do when God riseth they grew from the same root; and the connexion of the up? And when he visiteth, what shall I answer him? graft with another stock, is only an accident, which enables Did not he that made me in the womb make him? And
it to spread to a greater size; but which no more gives it did not one fashion us in the womb?"_" If my land cry power to live beyond the age of its parent, than the sup; against me, or that the furrows likewise thereof complain; port of a shred of cloth which allows its branches to extend if I have eaten the fruits thereof without money, or have farther on the walls, can enable these to live after they have caused the owners thereof to lose their life : Let thistles been cut asunder from the stem. To the advocates of this grow instead of wheat, and cockle instead of barley. The theory, we beg to recommend the following observations, words of Job are ended.”
extracted from a paper on the subject by Dr. Fleming of But again, it is argued from the Bible by the slave-owners Flisk: -who, alas! seldom quote the Bible to a better purpose • We are as yet but imperfectly acquainted with the nathat slavery is permitted, if not sanctioned, in Scripture, not tural term of life of our fruit-trees, which outlive us by many only by the example of the Patriarchs, but by the Mosaic centuries, and eannot, with any degree of propriety, refer the precepts.
decay of such plants to a cause, which the want of records, The truth, however, is, that the Bible does not sanction and our own limited existence, prevent us from comprehendslavery ; it only sanctions its mitigations and restrictions. ing. But we may adopt the cautious plan of reasoning from The legislation of Moses on this head, goes to this one point what we do know, respecting things analogous, which are
- not to establish slavery, but to temper it, and, in many yet obscure. There are many herbaceous plants, as the instances, to terminate it. God, by the hands of Moses, Scarlet Lychuis, the annual stems of which may be converted gave such a constitution to the Israelites, that even the into extensions; capable of living many years, and giving most mitigated form of slavery could exist to no extent rise to annual roots and stems like the stock from which it amongst them. By this constitution, after having once was taken. Cuttings from the wallflower, a plant limited settled in Canaan, they were disqualified from carrying on in its duration to two or three years, may, by cuttings, have offensive wars, till the changes in their government that existence prolonged ; nay, the very branch, which would occurred about the time of David, and had, consequently, have flowered and died in the course of a few months, may no prisoners of war to dispose of as bondinen; and, by the be made to strike root and flower, year after year, when the agrarian law of Israel, slavery was rendered altogether un. stock whence it was taken shall have closed its natural term profitable ; for who in his own hereditary garden would of life. Even the leaf of a potato may outlive the stem, employ the wasteful labour of the slave, when with ease he and be kept alive until the following spring. Not only could cultivate his own estate by his own free, intelligent, may the stems and branches of plants be made to outlive and productive efforts! Slavery can only be profitable in the natural term of life of the stock with which they were an ill-peopled country, and in a new soil ; but Canaan, be- connected, but the roots may likewise be made to prolong fore the Israelites entered it, was already fertile by artificial their functions. Thus I have kept a plant of oats alive for means, and, both before and after its conquest by Joshua, four years, simply by preventing it from producing flowerwas crowded with population. The slave-owners appeal ing stems, and the common bear, if subjected to similar to the Bible when it suits their purpose so to do; but they treatment, may exhibit a similar longevity. The natural would not, we presume, wish the laws of Israel revived, by term of life of the osier, in this country certainly very liwhich it was decreed, that “he that stealeth a man, and mited, is far exceeded by those extensions, everywhere proselleth him, or if he be found in his hand, he shall surely pagated for hoops and basket-work. The gooseberry has be put to death." And if Revelation has not abolished slaa been considered as subject to this sympathetic law, and many very positively in direct terms, it has done so in effect, com. meritorious efforts have been made to raise healthy plants manding every man to love his neighbour as himself.
from seed, to supply the place of those destined soon to The injustice, then, of the West Indian system is manifest perish, or which have already exhibited symptoms of decay. from this,—that man, by right, can have no property in But the extent of the useful term of the life of this plant man: but the whole West Indian system is founded on a may probably be underrated. In the garden at Pitlithie, in property in man; hence, with them, wrong must be right, the parish of Leuchars, Fite, the seat of Thomas Law 3011, and right wrong. The order of nature is perpetually re Esq., there is a gooseberry of the ironmonger kind, still in versed—the rule of eternal justice for ever violated. What vigour, which was planted in 1700, the fruit on which, two is praised in Britain is execrated in the West Indies ;-what years ago, exceeded twenty Scotch pints. is here the object of reward, is there the subject of punish “ The potato, it is well known, is subject to disease in
The very laws themselves are the worst part of the its present condition, by which the success of its cultivation system, being a violation of all law. There the innocent is greatly retarded. It has been asserted that the terin of become the victims, and the criminals are the judges and life of the parent stocks having arrived, the extensions can the legislators. Tyrants alone talk of liberty and indepen- no longer be propagated with advantage; that though a dence, and those who have the hearts of Tell and of Bruce, change of soil may for a time retard the tendency to dissomust either live branded as slaves, or be massacred like dogs. lution, renovation can only be effected successfully by raisIn Britain all presumptions are in favour of liberty,mining new plants from seed. It is kuown to all who have the West Indies of slavery. Whoever touches the soil of cultivated potatoes to any extent, that a chanye of seed, Britain is free; whatever Black, without the require dcer from a high, cold, and moist district, to a lower, warmer,