Imágenes de páginas
[ocr errors]

Q. Who encouraged and incited him? Abd-el-Kader, no doubthe whom you called the Sultan ?

• A. He commenced the war alone. His reputation soon spread, and after that he received letters from Muley Abd-errbaman, from El-Hadj. Abd-el-Kader, from the Sultans of Constantinople and of Tunis. These letters told him to go on; that he was master of the hour announced by the holy books; and that if he drove out the Christians, they would make him the Sultan.

Q. What tribes gave their word to your brother ? • A. [He names thirty-seven tribes of the Western coast.]

.Q. What reason had they to complain of the French ?--Robbery, exactions, injuries, injustice 2 Speak the truth without fear.

• A. Nothing of that kind. The Arabs detest you, because you are not of the same religion as they are—because you are strangers, who come to take their country to-day, and will demand their daughters and children to-morrow. They said to my brother, Lead us—let us carry on the war-every day the Christians get stronger-let us make an end of them at once.

• Q. Yet we have, yon know, many Arabs who are devoted to us.

• A. There is but one God; my life is in his hands, and not in yours. I sball, therefore, speak frankly. Every day you have Mussulmans coming to tell you they love you, and are your servants. Believe them not; they lie from fear or from interest. If you were day by day to give each Arab one of those kabobs they are so fond of, made of your own flesh, they would hate you none the less ; and whenever a Cherif comes who they think able to conquer you, they will follow him to the walls of Algiers.

• Q. How can the Arabs hope to conquer us, led by chiefs without an army, cannon, or money ?

· A. Victory is of God; when he pleases, he can exalt the weak and put down the strong.


[blocks in formation]

A. I am going to ask you a question which I hope you will answer with sincerity. You are in our power, falsebood can avail you nothing, but a frank avowal may interest our king, who is humane and generous, in your favour.

A. I shall answer the more frankly, as, although I am in irons, I know my

life is not in your power. It rests with God. Q. Well, then, what are the present relations of Abd-el-Kader and the Emperor of Morocco ?

' A. As bad as possible. Muley Abd-errhaman has often said to the Emir, “ Leave my country;" but Abd-el-Kader has told him he cared neither for him nor for the French.

Q. Why have they quarrelled ? A. The Sultan of Morroco is afraid the French will pursue Abd-el. Kader into his territories.

Q. How can Abd-el-Kader laugh at so powerful.a sovereign as Muley Abd-errhaman ?

* A. Since the Moors have learned that Muley Abd-errhaman bas

made peace with the Christians, they have almost all gone over to the Emir, who still carries on the Holy War. Since that peace, almost all the country from Sous to Rabat has risen; the Emperor is only obeyed in the towns. Even the Ouled Muley Taïb, who exercise so great a religious ascendency throughout the empire, will no longer exert it for him; and the Emperor is so well aware of his precarious position, that he is gradually transporting his treasures to Tafilelt, in the Sahara of Morocco.

• Q. These Muley Taïh are then very powerful?

• 1. No Sultan can be named without their assent. Sidi-el-Hanj-elArbi is now their head; and it is he who sends into Algeria the Sultans who invade it, after having read over them the Fatehah, or verse of the Koran which invokes victory,'

It cannot be doubted, that if ever the colossal project of forming a productive dependency, or European colony, in the North of Africa, be brought by the French to a successful termination, it will not be by force of arms. The Committee of the Chamber of Deputies, which has been sitting on this important question, under the able presidency of M. Dufaure, has solemnly disavowed the vulgar arguments by which the occupation of Algeria has hitherto been defended; whether as a rash enterprise, from which the honour and pride of France will not allow her to recede, or as a means of forming and exercising a formidable army. The undertaking, which now burdens the revenues of France with one hundred and twenty-nine millions of francs per annum, must be directed to a higher object than mere fighting, or it must be abandoned ; and, however strong any one's impression may be of the impracticability of the scheme, and its ultimate discomfiture, it is nevertheless certain that the most able and impartial men of France, in the Opposition as well as in the Government, who have closely and patiently examined the question in all its bearings, entertain a very different opinion. To the establishment of civil government in the country, the first and most obvious condition, is to investigate and to respect the usages of the native population. That task has been ably begun in the works before us; and we wish that the French occupation of Barbary had left no vestiges less honourable to France, than these contributions to the history of regions heretofore so imperfectly known.

The picture which has recently been drawn of the state of the Colony, by the Committee of the Chamber of Deputies, disguises none of the difficulties of the enterprise. Whilst Abdel-Kader was making his rapid and destructive incursions into the provinces of Algiers and Oran, the whole force of the army, and the whole intelligence of the Colonial Government, have been employed on the irksome task of ineffectual pursuit. The domestic administration of the country has been neglected ; no great or salutary institutions have been introduced ; and a society, brought together by mere accident, is formed without the control of law, or any unity of purpose. The effect of the French conquest on the native population of the towns, has been in the highest degree detrimental to its morality and well-being. The elements of their peculiar civilisation have been shaken to the foundation. The hubous property, or endowments for the various purposes of education, charity, and religion, have been confiscated or misappropriated; and the influx of European emigrants will, erelong, reduce the natives to the condition of helots in their own cities.

The principles laid down by the Committee, who acknowledge these facts, are humane and judicious. They recommend that the occupation of the country should be strictly confined to the region of the Tell; and that the French Government should confine its influence over the tribes of the Sahara, to the improvement of their roads, and the protection of the markets which they frequent. They are strongly of opinion that no wanton attacks, or unnecessary expeditions, should be made against the Tribes,—such as the Kabyles of Djerjera, to the south of Dellys—who have neither resisted nor acknowledge the French authority. But, above all, and as an essential preliminary to the reform of Colonial administration, they suggest the creation of a distinct Department of the Ministry, for the government of Algeria ; and recommend that the affairs of the dependency should be at once transferred from the control of the Minister of War, to that of an independent member of the Cabinet.

We are not sanguine that these reforms will be speedily or readily adopted. In addition to the natural difficulties of a most formidable enterprise, the government of Algeria is labouring under the effects of its own errors, and the inveterate abuses of an established system. The French have been deceived by the extent of their military resources ; for they have relied on military power to effect what is not to be accomplished by force, but by the cautious interference, controul, and influence of civil government. If Clive had landed in India with 70,000 men, and proceeded at the head of that

army to attack every race, every religion, and every prince of the Mogul Empire, he might have swept over the land at the head of such an irresistible force; but he would not bave ensured the pacific administration of the British Empire in India. That Empire is the splendid result, not of mere conquest, but of conquest guided, controlled, and moderated by policy and civil government; and in spite of the manifest differences between the population of India and of Barbary, policy and civil government, founded on the great principles of human nature and civilized society, are the only basis of lasting dominion.

Art. III.-1. A Journal of the Parliament begun November

3d, Tuesday, anno Domini 1640, anno 16 mo Caroli Regis. By Sir Simonds D'Ewes, Bart. Harleian MSS. 162 to 166.

Brit. Mus. 2. The Autobiography and Correspondence of Sir Simonds D)'.

Ewes, Bart. Edited by J. O. HALLIWELL, Esq. Two vols. 8vo. London : 1845.



should succeed in fixing the attention of our readers, for a short time, upon that memorable company of English gentlemen, which assembled at Westminster on Tuesday the 3d of November, 1640. History has assigned to them collectively the name of the · Long Parliament; and prejudice and ignorance have given to the majority of them, as individuals, other appellations less just and less agreeable : but time will relax even the adhesiveness of slander, and to its gentle influence we will leave them, whilst we endeavour to recall a few of the scenes and incidents in which they were engaged. An authority, too long overlooked, enables us to do so, with more particularity than any of those who have hitherto written upon the subject.

The Long Parliament proceeded to business on the 7th of November, 1640. Within a very few days afterwards, troops of horsemen, bearing petitions for redress of grievances, flocked into London, even from far distant counties;* and grave, sober men descanted with solemn earnestness upon many enormities in Church and State. Some poured out their lamentations over the attempts made in high places to 'evaporate and dispirit the

power of religion, by drawing it out into solemn, specious • formalities; into obsolete antiquated ceremonies new furbished

up :' others were indignant that all of the religion' were branded under the name of Puritans, so that “whosoever squares • his actions by any rule, either divine or human, he is a Puri

tan; whosoever would be governed by the King's laws, he is a • Puritan; he that will not do whatsoever other men would have • him do, he is a Puritan.'t Others, again, affected by more worldly considerations, exclaimed against the great and into




* Whitelocke's Memorials, 38.

+ Nalson, i. 452.

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

• lerable burden of ship-money,'* the imposition of which, at the mere pleasure of the crown, made the farmers faint, and the

plough to go heavy;'t against coat and conduct money; against the compulsory demand for arms,—people being threatened, if * you will not send your arms, you shall go yourselves;' and against the giant, the monster grievance of at least seven hundred Monopolies. These, it was said, like the frogs of • Egypt, have gotten possession of our dwellings, and leave 'scarce a room free from them. They sup in our cup, they dip in our dish, they sit by our fire; we find them in the dyevat, wash-bowl, and powdering-tub; they share with the • butler in his box; they have marked and sealed us from head ' to foot. They will not bate us a pin. We may not buy our

own clothes without their brokage.'I The House was appealed to for justice against the great oppressions practised in Ireland ; against the cruelties of the Star-Chamber; the open breaches of the privileges of Parliament, the illegal canons, the Etcetera Oath; the subserviency of the Judges who had overthrown the Law; the harshness of the Bishops who had forgotten the Gospel. Every member, as he rose, added his quota of complaint to the general mass; and as the sum-total of grievances gradually increased, the speakers glanced to the • Achitophels' and · Hamans' out of whose misdoings the mighty accumulation of wrongs had arisen.

The first blow was struck at the greatest of them all. Strafford was suddenly impeached and committed to the Tower; and this was done, and many Committees which were appointed to consider the grievances brought to notice, were all actively at work, in less than a week,-a proof of predetermination and preparedness altogether unparalleled in the history of popular movements.

A Fast-Day, with a general reception of the Lord's Supper in Westminster Abbey, followed ; and thus we are brought on to Thursday the 19th of November. If we could look down upon the House as it appeared between eight and nine o'clock in the morning of that Thursday, we should see a considerable number of diligent members already congregated.

Prayers have been said. Speaker Lenthall, a Barrister of small practice, returned for Gloucester, and very unexpectedly thrown into the position of the First Gentleman of England, is seated in a comfortable cushioned receptacle, surmounted by the Royal Arms. The House is sitting in St Stephen's

* 1b. 505.
# Nalson, i. 508.

16. 507.
§ Ib. p. 511.

« AnteriorContinuar »