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on the spot where he committed the supposions que ces gens-là soient des wrong. Your pages, also, will be open hommes ; parce que si nous les supto “ the Honourable Member for Bris- posions des hommes, on commencetol,” and I shall be most desirous of roit à croire que nous ne sommes pas retracting any sentence or expression nous-mêmes Chrétiens.” See De by which, from erroneous information, L'Esprit des Loix, L. xv. ch. 5. De I may have misrepresented him. L'Esclavage des Nègres.
On Early Recollections. that, during the last night's discussion Weldon, Northamptonshire, in the House of Commons, “the
April 19, 1823. Honourable Member for Bristol” trans VARLY impressions are the most to the author of “ Negro-Slavery," exquisite in calling forth associations which he described as “a most noto connected with our youth and juverious book, full of unistakes and mis- nility. A tree that one has long representations,” and imputed an known-known from one's infancy, evil intention to the man who put it becomes an object of interest; and together.” This man, unfortunately, we cannot help cursing the unfeeling I think, for the credit of the Hon. axe which levels it to the ground, and Censor's discernment, was Mr. Ma mourn for it as for a departed friend : caulay, “ a name,” as Mr. Brougham for, perhaps, a thousand pleasing reremarked, “respected wherever it was collections are identified with it. We known.” We must, perhaps, except remember in our childhood to have the reception of that name among frequently loitered on the thick boughs Negro-Slave Holders, yet unawakened of an old fir-dale which stood contito their true interest, whose disappro- guous to a rivulet, and watched on a bation Mr. Macaulay has largely earned, sunny day the minnows playful beas I have frequently witnessed, by the neath its glassy surface-it remains unwearied, gratuitous labours of an there still, and we never pass it withactive life, in behalf of the injured out sensations of pleasure. Africans.
Early friendships are also exquisite. “The Honourable Member” is also Who ever met an old school-fellow reported to have “contended” that without a smile? He must be an “the statements of Dr. Williamson, iron-faced one, and we pity him.-instead of being disadvantageous, were
About six months back we passed highly creditable to the Planters of through the village where we received the West Indies.” Your readers, who our earliest education; a thousand have perused the descriptions of West little remembrances burst upon us India discipline, which I have quoted some of our favourite haunts remained with scrupulous accuracy from those as heretofore-others, fresh propriestatements, as extracted in Negro- tors had modernized. We were parSlavery,” will be prepared to discover ticularly attracted by a staring and the senses of disadvantageous and high- gaudy figure of a greyhound as a sign ly creditable, peculiar to a West-India for the village inn, where we rememvocabulary. “ The Honourable Mem- bered the more humble representation ber for Bristol,” however, felt himself of a malt shovel !--empty and un“bound in justice to declare” that neaning innovation ! for where is the among
“the West-India Planters he analogy between the qualities of a had found nothing but a disposition to greyhound and the beverage of Boniadvance, as far as they with safety face? There was some meaning in could advance, the comforts and inte- the malt shovel, and we are fond of rests of the beings committed to their meanings even in a sign. care.” If the report be correct, we: As we sauntered along the streets are left to guess whether these are recognizing many objects which were considered as human beings. I sus once familiar to us, we arrived at the pect that West-India Planters have not well-known residence of our late reyet quite forgotten the caution of Mon- vered tutor. Alas! the busy hum tesquieu given thein more than 70 years was silent; the artless merriment of ago : "Il est impossible que nous unsophisticated childhood had long
ceased to vibrate through those walls; and we thought we recognized her -no more the “boding trembler," features, although time had made culprit-like was arraigned before the some deep fissures and furrows in her stern and inflexible aspect of his of- countenance--we were not deceived, fended master. The unsparing hand and felt unusual pleasure in being also of time had swept from this sublunary recognized. She pressed us to take surface the venerable sage; and dire a survey of the old residence. We contagion with remorseless virulence did so; but who can describe our had also levelled his son and intended sensations ? They were a mixture of successor, in the prime of life and pleasure and pain, a kind of complivigour of manhood!
cated feeling, better innagined than Nothing could satisfy us but we described : not a nook or bole but our would walk over the grave of these curiosity led us to peep at. Ah! departed worthies. We felt an inde- here stood and still stands the deliscribable emotion as we surveyed the cious cherry and the vine, the fruit of narrow compass by which they were which we have often longed for, but bounded; our pride (of which doubt- dared not touch! There the bushy less we have our share) felt deeply evergreen that has often sheltered us wounded as we contemplated the from the meridian heat ; and there mouldering heap! And is it for this the majestic oak, upon the branches (thought we) mankind bestir them- of which we have cliinbed to our infiselves, and bustle and toil? Is it for nite satisfaction. this the proud tyrant wields the scep We found, on inquiry, that an old tre of despotism, and oppression forges school-fellow was residing in the neighher fetters? Is it for this that ambi- bourhood, and had established a tion strides from empire to empire, school. This intelligence gave us great subjugating all to her iron rule, wading pleasure, and we were grievously disthrough blood, and inflicting misery appointed on finding him from home ; on myriads and myriads of being3 ? we resolved, however, that if ehance Here the conqueror and tyrant, how- ever directed us there again, to enjoy ever proud or victorious, find an ene an hour or two in his company.--A my over whom they cannot triumph, few weeks back we again had occasion and one who limits their extent of to pass through the same village, and territory to a space insignificant in- were preparing to send for our early deed, over which their meanest vassal friend to take a social glass with us at can bestride! How short a period the inn. The hostess, of whom we has elapsed since Europe was menaced inquired, (and who seemed a kindby the famous continental adventurer, hearted person,) informed us with a whose victories seemed more than sigh, that our juvenile friend was no human; before whom empires bowed, more! He had died (she said) of conand at whose name kingdoms trem- sumption, six weeks before, and was bled-see him now! a remnant of deeply lamented. A tear trickled down mortality enclosed within a narrow our cheeks at the recital—and hastily confine, rotting on a foreign and in- paying for our entertainment, dejecthospitable rock, far distant from the ed and disappointed, we mounted our seat of his former splendour,-a rock, vehicle and drove off, sigbing, as we the very existence of which, when in passed, the zenith of his power, was scarcely known to him.
“Vanity of vanities, all is vanity.” We returned from this humiliating
E, D. spectacle with strong impressions of the vanity of all sublunary things;
Remarks on a Particular Providence : and our pride which caused us to walk
suggested by Mrs. Cappe's Mewith unusual erectness through the
moirs. village, as we went, was now so low
Birmingham, ered and crest-fallen, that we had Sir,
May 9, 1823. again arrived at the late residence of MONSIDERING you as responsiour lamented tutor, before we ven ble to the public for the moral tured to hold up our heads. A vene- tendency only of the papers you admit rable looking female was leaning over into your Miscellany, and by no means the pales, surveying us as we passed; for the sentiments or opinions of your
Remarks on a Particular Providence.
numerous correspondents ; I request but error may supply delusive hopes your insertion of the inclosed, leaving or feelings, as well as they can be it to the free exercise of your discre- communicated by demonstrable truth; tion, whether to admit or reject it. and in spite of my warm admiration If I am right in my speculations, why of her general principles and character, should you or I hesitate to divulge I think that in this opinion she was them, admitting the subject to be of wrong: Not, however, with the view the highest importance; but if wrong, of taking advantage of the impossihow can you render me or the world bility of her reply, was this particular a greater service than by means of case chosen, but because I cannot diyour liberal pages to invite the public vest myself of the feeling, that it beto their scrutiny or refutation ? trays a weak place in the argument
I have just finished the perusal of advanced, almost bordering on the luthe Memoirs of Mrs. C. Cappe, and I dicrous. Had the same incidents been feel no hesitation to declare that I recorded and animadverted upon in scarcely ever met with a work which the same manner by Voltaire or Carcommanded more of my unqualified lile, would not the common opinion approbation. Such a galaxy of wor of the world have attributed them to thies as is there displayed, is a re the spirit of irony or burlesque ? And deeming grace to the errors and enor the circumstances of their being commities too fatally subsisting in the mitted to the public in her name, or moral and political world. It is highly in any other, must allow their being a gratifying to find the delinquencies of subject for public discussion, without publie life, so counterbalanced by the any regard to individual reply. energies and virtues of domestic re That I may not be suspected of in. tirement; and we have here a noble tentional or careless misrepresentation, display of the power of sound princi- I shall transcribe the whole of the pies, to enable their possessors to passage to which I mean particularly make every sacrifice for the internal to allude, and then, Sir, your readers delight of an approving conscience, will best judge how far I have given and the plaudit of an omniscient and the subject fair play. merciful God. The leading features “ Dining at a gentleman's house in in the author's mind, as she herself Wakefield, I swallowed a piece of wished it to be observed, are an un- gristle of a breast of veal, which stuck bounded, constant and cheerful reli- in the throat so as entirely to comance on the wisdom and benignity of press the wind-pipe, and prevent the Providence; and well did this confi- possibility of breathing. It happened dence animate her to sustain a noble that Dr. Hird, of Leeds, had accidenand distinguished character, in the tally called upon the family, and been grand and interesting drama, sacred prevailed upon to stay dinner; and to virtue and public utility. From the thought struck bim, whilst all the such prolific and matured fruits, who rest of the company were running for can doubt the excellence of the cul- assistance in various directions, to dash ture? Who will call in question the a quantity of cold water into my soundness of the principles that pro- mouth, which producing a sudden duced such results ? What mind contraction, gave instant relief by discould even frame the wish to have lodging the gristle. In a minute or changed or weakened those opinions two more all would have been over, that forined so ardent and benevolent and I verily believe that this was the a character-so worthy of i.nitation, only expedient that could have been so commanding of universal love and effectual. Dr. H., therefore, was the esteem? If the great end of intelli- agent, under Providence, to whom I gence is virtue, and the moral means was indebted for the preservation of must ever be subservient to the per- my life. Had the accident happened fection of character, those means which the day before or the day after, both produce the effect, however inadequate of which I spent in the country, my or imperfect they may appear to ca death had been inevitable, likewise sual observation, must be the best for that it must have been equally fatal, the given purpose. In fact, the doc. occurring ivhen and where it did, had trine of a particular providence is the not Dr. H. that day called upon the polar star of her confidence and joy; family, and been prevailed on to stay
dinner, and also had he not possessed vance for a purpose so little requisite, the presence of mind to apply the will such preternatural cases always only possible remedy. Now when a produce the same effect; and if not, train of circunstances so minute, ap- to what other intention will they be parently independent of each other, yet ascribed, or to what improvement will operating as distinct causes, are every they tend? And is she not assuming one of them essential to the produc- a degree of personal importance ration of a given effect, must we not ther unwarranted ? She had a heart, conclude that not one of them hap- no doubt, susceptible of the warmest pened by chance? And am I not emotions of gratitude, which millions warranted in the firm belief that it under the same circumstances would was the intention of a gracious Provi- not have felt; but what is the differdence, by these means, at that time, ence in the estimation of perfect wisto preserve my life? So literally true, dom, between the highest state of huthen, is the assertion of our Lord, man refinement and its most humili
that not a sparrow falleth to the ating imbecility? They can be no • ground without our heavenly Father. Other than equal in his parental re
But it may be asked, could not life gard; and to suppose a being of infihave been preserved in a much shorter nite perfection to be swayed in his way, by simply preventing the acci- attentions to the improvement of his dent? 1 answer, undoubtedly; but creatures by such little, insignificant let it be remembered, that the mercy partialities, is sadly perverting all ideas would then have been wholly unper. of reason and propriety. We have ceived, and, consequently, that 'not no authority for the conclusion, and one of the salutary convictions would if we had, our limited comprehension have been felt, which similar dangers, could not trace the boundless conseand similar deliverances, are intended quences. If this supposed interference to produce. Do they not teach us is exercised occasionally, in behalf of in language not to be mistaken, that some individuals, all mankind must we and our affairs are at all times in be the subjects of its display, as varythe hands of God—that circumstances, ing circumstances may require; and apparently the most trivial, and ar this for evil as well as for good. For rangements the most minute, may be if one man's life is providentially preand often are employed as his agents, served from the pistol of a highwayto take away life, or to restore it, even man, how could the attack have been at the very moment when it is about warded off unless it was first made ; to expire ?"
and how could this train of cause and I dare not attempt to enter into the effect have been produced, but by detail of circumstances which force some secret impulse which should theinselves upon my imagination, operate on the conduct of the plunwhich are necessarily connected with derer? So with respect to the treachthe subject, and which Mrs. C. passes ery of Judas ; if his Master must be over in such general terms as to dis- betrayed by his means, and if without guise their fallacy; for the sake of this train of circumstances the designs my opponents it were well they should of Providence would not have been be omitted. Let any person who has accomplished—then the delinquency been accustomed to follow up the of the traitor becomes as necessary in link of mental association, let him the scale of events as the sufferings of trace these “ distinct causes every one the unoffending victiin. Such must be of them essential to the production of the result of such opinions; and hence a given effect”—and he may be safely it follows, that every event in human challenged to declare where he can life is preordained, and that we are stop. Let him penetrate but a step all as inuch under the controul of ciror two into this labyrinth, and he may cumstances as the fingers of a clock soon be glad to retrace his steps, and are subject to the internal movements. give up the pursuit. Our amiable There still, however, remains this difauthor calculates, that the circum- ference-in the one case the universal stance was appointed to impress her laws of necessity are alleged as the mind with an extraordinary degree of operating causes; and in the other gratitude for her preservation. Not every possible event must be regulated to dwell upon the roundabout contri- by the immediate volition and plea
Remarks on a Particulur Providence,
sure of the Almighty. Being who gave laws and regulations, as its Almighty existence to the universe--and to this Creator has undoubtedly and wisely latter opinion I wish to confine the appointed. present inquiry.
Here is a system perfectly rational Suppose, then, by way of illustra- and intelligible; which contradicts no tion, a coach to be overset, carrying deductions of human reason, nor any six passengers--two of them killed on real or supposed revelation from heathe spot, two maimed for life, and the Here we are all agreed; then remaining two totally unhurt. How why not remain satisfied, and not be will this case be explained ? I know anxious to make it a subject of dispute but of four solutions to which we can and contention ? Take the terms as resort to unravel the difficult problem. metaphors, or as expressive of geneEither—that the downfal was the ef- ral principles, and we see and feel fect of universal rules established by their truth and propriety; but if they Omnipotence as the permanent laws are to be interpreted literally,then of nature ; or that it was the act of every truant schoolboy who may rob some malevolent but subordinate be- a bird's nest of its young, must be ing; or that it was the special and an appointed agent, acted upon by immediate appointment of Providence an irresistible impulse; and then we for the particular occasion; or that not merely admit that Omniscience is the accident itself was in the common capable of numbering the hairs of our course of natural cause and effect, but heads, (which is perfectly within our that the Almighty interposed his power comprehension,) but we consider him to save the lives of the two who as absolutely occupied in such a deescaped, and left the other four to tailed exercise of his unlimited poivers; their fate : thus accounting for a and it then becomes a subject far too part of the case as involving a miracle deep for our scrutiny. We may conin favour of some to the exclusion of ceive, (for who shall fix bounds to others; and this solution is, perhaps, Omnipotence ?) that in every snow the general sentiment of the world. storm Omniscience should know to Admit the first cause, and all is intel- the thousandth part of an inch where ligible to our slender comprehension: every fake should be deposited; and but in what absurd and incompre- still more that this penetrating scrutiny hensible difficulties will not either of may have been exercised before the the others involve us ? Can a single world was formed, or even from all demonstration be adduced of any such eternity; but what can we possibly supernatural interposition? How then have to do with such an overwhelming can we resort to that as a proof where subject? And how puerile must be there can be nothing more than empty our highest conceptions of the emsupposition ? And why presume on ployment of the Divine attributes ! this system of favouritism, when the I once saw an old woman dug from very authority on which so large a the ruins of her house, under which portion of mankind rests its belief, she had lain buried three or four hours, has declared that “one event happens without the slightest apparent injury alike to all”? It is true, we have it whatever. A high wall contiguous to from the same source that “not a her tenement had been washed down sparrow falleth to the ground without by a deluge of water, produced by a our heavenly Father, and even the sudden storm; the house was levelled hairs of our head are all numbered.” with the ground, and the poor creature
- These are beautiful and inpres. was found under a beam which had sive illustrations of the doctrine that rested lengthwise on the board at the we are not in the vortex of a blind bed's head, and the other end on the and undistinguishing fatality — that bedstead at her feet. On her release what we understand by chance or ac. she walked some distance to the place cident has no reference to a state of appointed for her reception. Here things out of the government of a Sul was a signal proof of Divine interpopreme Intelligence-and that however sition, beyond the puny cavils of increwe may be unable to trace the infinite dulity! Another inch lower, and the connexion between causes and effects, beam would have missed its support, yet the whole universe is under such and death have been the certain conVOL. XVIII.