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veral inhabitants of a village, assemble their slaves, and make them build themselves huts close to each other; this place is called a Rumbdé. They chuse a chief from among themselves: it his children are worthy of the distinction, they succeed io the post after his death. These slaves, who are so but in name, cultivate the plantations of their masters, and accompany them to carry their burdens, when they travel. They are never sold when they have attained an advanced age, or when they are born in the courtry: any departure from this practice, would cause the desertion of the whole rumbdé; but the slave who conducts himself improperly, is delivered up by his comrades to their master, that he may sell him.'
The communication between the Niger and the Nile, was again affirmed by some traders of this country who had visited Tombuctoo. M. Mollien effected his passage, with difficulty, through the small territory of Tenda Maié, and crossing Kabou, on the 19th July reached the Portuguese settlement of Geba, where he met with a most hospitable reception from M. Dioqui, the governor. This inland establishment is in the Mandingo country, sixty leagues north-east of Bissao, the nearest port on the coast, for which, after a short stay, M. Mollien embarked on the river of Geba, and, during three days, experienced the most brutal treatment from the negroes who navigated the vessel. M. de Mattos, the governor of Bissao, a man of coinmanding stature, dignified aspect, liberal sentiments, and immense fortune,' lavished the kindest attentions on his guest during three miserable inonths of disease and debility. When the dry season returned, health was imperfectly restored, and M. Mollien arranged his plans for crossing the country from Geba to the banks of the Gaabia, but the arrival of a French vessel determined hiin on returning by sea, and on the 15th of January, 1819, he reached St. Louis.
It will be seen from this summary, that the only very important feature of M. Mollien's discoveries, relates to the sources of the great rivers which he was directed to explore; and we confess, that on this point he seems to us to have been satisfied with incomplete evidence. We are not, by any means, prepared to say that he was incorrect in his inferences; but we yet require some corroborative particulars, before we can implicitly assent to the essential innovations wbich he has introduced into this part of the map of Africa. We are, indeed, aware that the accuracy of former representations, rests in very few instances, on actual inspection, and we admit that, on the whole, more credit may be due to the local observations and inquiries of M. Mollien; but it is impossi»le to lose sight of the fact, that his guide, Ali, was interested in deceiving him, since he was paid for pointing out the sources of certain rivers, and, if they were really at too great a distance, he might direct to others in their stead. perhaps, influenced in our hesitation, by the extraordinary prox
imity of these springs, which are all placed in a group of mountains, at a small distance from Timbo; the source of the Ba Fing, or Senegal, lying in 10. 10. north latitude, and 13. 38. west longitude from Paris ; that of the Falemé in 10. 20. north latitude, and 13. 20. west longitude; the spring of the Gambia in 10. 30. north latitude, and 13. 35. west longitude; and the sources of the Rio Grande in 10. 37. north latitude, and 13. 37. west longitude. These parallels are calculated from the itineraries, by compass, and estimated distances, of M. Mollien.
It would be improper to omit to state, that the book is published in a most absurdly expensive style. The original is, we believe, in octavo, and there is not the shadow of a reason for the adoption of a different and more highly-priced form. The plates are the most insipid and unillustrative of all that we have ever seen, and have, besides, the fatal defect of being at variance with the text. We are quite at a loss to explain the meaning of the phrase in the title page— Edited by T. E. Bowdich, Esq. Conductor of the Mission to Ashantee;' not having been able to discover the smallest sign of such' editing :' the half dozen brief foot-notes do not carry bis signature, and there is neither preface nor appendix with the addition of his name. We must suppose, then, that he is either the translator of the book, which we do not, for various reasons, believe, or, which is more proba. ble, that the corrected sheets passed through his bands, to give a colourable pretext for the insertion of bis name. In either case, this is, to say the least, trifling with the public.
Art. III. America and her Resources. By John Bristed, Counsellor
at Law. Svo. pp. xvj. 50+. London, 1818. WE have already said that this volume may be recommended
to the perusal of the general reader who is not in search either of precise statistical information, or of profound political reasoning. He will find in it a spirited rambling descant upon all sorts of subjects connected with American politics and American manners. The Author's loose, declamatory, and turgid style, must prevent bis taking that rank as a writer, which the tone he assumes would seein to solicit; his report, however, of American affairs, is, on several accounts, specifically valuable, and if his political principles were of a purer character, he might with some consistency receive the praise of being the professed champion of the cause of humanity and religion. One of the circumstances which give a value to this volume, is the apparent unfixedness of the Author's prejudices. The discriminating reader will, perhaps, gather up the truth, from the reports of a writer of this fitful turn more readily and surely than, even, from one whose impartiality is studied and la
boured. Mr. Bristed is neither a furious hater of England, nor a devoted worshipper of America : His affection for his adopted country, is, we imagine, a somewhat wayward passion, liable to frequent disgusts. Citizen Bristed is, indeed, an excellent patriot and republican in his closet, while roving among his own speculations, or poring, with prophetic eye, over the map of the continent that is to rule the world, but out of doors, jostled in the throng of Broad Way, he looks often much like the disappointed wanderer, and now and then betrays the irritability of one whose enthusiasm has been roughly cured.
The Author, we have said, professes to be the advocate of religion. Before the sceptical portion of bis countrymen, he boldly pleads the claims of Christianity; but in assuming this character, he only exposes himself to the severer reprehension on account of the profligate system of national policy avowed, without cover or apology, in every part of his work. He talks of humanity, of morals, of the Bible ; but he seems almost to seek occasion to stimulate the restless desire of national aggrandizement, and sometimes even to inflame the murderous passions of war. Passages might be cited, from the volume of a kind, to which, as the lovers of peace, we would not be accessary in giving a wider circulation. We are constrained to hope that Mr. Bristed calumniates, or at least, that be grossly misrepresents his countrymen, in attributing to them some of the sentiments which he retains with apparent exultation. The following quotations are of a less exceptionable character than others that might be adduced. After modestly anticipating the benefits that that shall accrue to Cuba, Mexico and Peru when they shall become integral parts of the United States, the Author adds :
• How strange and portentous is the contrast between the steady and progressive policy of the United States, and the supine indifference of the British Government! Britain has lavished the life's blood of a hundred thousand of her bravest warriors, and expended uncounted millions, in rescuing Spain from the yoke of France; and yet she cannot, or will not, acquire a single inch of territory, in any quarter of the globe, from the Spanish government; while the United States, without sacrificing the life of a single citizen, and at the expence of only twenty millions of dollars, have, within the course of a few years, obtained from France and Spain the exclusive sovereignty over a fair and fertile donfinion, at least twenty times the extent of all the British Isles taken together.
Why does not England,aspart of the indemnity due to her from Spain, transfer to her own sceptre the sovereignty of Cuba ; secing that the Havanna commands the passage from the Gulf of Mexico? Why does she not take possession of Panama on the south, and Darien on the north, and join the waters of the Atlantic with those of the Pacific occan, in order to resuscitate her drooping commerce? or is it her in.
tertion still to slumber on, until she is awakened from the stupefaction of her dreams by the final fall of Spanish America, and of her own North American provinces, beneath the ever-widening power of the United States; and by the floating of the Russian flag, in token of Russian sovereignty, over the Grecian Archipelago, and on the towers of Constantinople? Are all her national glories to be blotted out in one hemisphere, by a power but recently emerged from the snows and barbarism of the north ; and in the other hemisphere, to be trampled into the dust by the gigantic footsteps of her own child ? Is the heathen mythology of Jupiter and Saturn to be verified in then ineteenth century,' p. 96.
Again; after some absurd and yet mischievous vapouring which we pass over, Mr. Bristed says :
• The American rulers have become wiser by their own experience, have profited by their own blunders, have extracted strength from a sense of their own weakness. They are not likely again to plunge into a war, without funds, and without men: they are now preparing in the bosom of peace, the means of future conflict; by building up the finances of the country, by planting every where the germs of an army, by sowing those seeds which will soon start up into bands of armed warriors, by a rapid augmentation of their navy; and, above all, by attempting to allay the animosities of party spirit, and endeavouring to direct the whole national mind and inclination of the United States towards their aggrandizement by conquest alike on the land and on the ocean; by adding to their present immense empire the continental possessions of Spain and England, and the British insular domains in the West Indies.'
• The way of barter,' Mr. B. says, ' is a much easier, ' safer, and better mode of acquiring dominion than that of war ' and conquest.' No doubt, so far as the immediate transaction is considered apart from its motive and its remoter consequences, it is, if not always easier, at any rate, always ' safer and better,' to buy than to plunder; but it should be remembered, that there are some things which can never be honestly bought and sold, and also that bargains by which a third party may think bimself so far either injured or endangered, as to impel him to break the peace rather than acquiesce in the transfer, are justly chargeable with all the violence and outrage which they indirectly occasion.
If we are to take the account of the Writer before us, the Americans are far from being pleased with the irregular figure which the Republic exhibits upon the map. This and that corner of the continent must be bought (or conquered if it cannot be bought) in order to give a more handsome sweep to their periphery. But surely we have already heard enough of arrondissemens : in fact, their boundary line is never so exactly round to satisfy the nice eye of an ambitious people; the jagged polygon still needs here and there some trimming; but this perfect
ing of the figure is to be effected always by increments,-never by the retrenchments.
As to the means employed on such occasions, those are not to be feared the least which are the most silent and plausible. As for instance, the plan of buying territory, which, while it springs from the same restless spirit, is more base than the passion for military glory, and in every respect as hazardous to the repose of nations. It is really almost better that ambition should appear in its old and proper garb, than that it should take a new guise and walk through the earth in the character of a pedlar. Away then with the smooth-faced state trader, who coolly appraises islands and continents as if they were the chattels of a bankrupt, calculates to a dollar and a cent, what it will cost him to buy up the world, and then says- Is not my balance even ? -Am I not a man of peace ?
But it ought to be premised, that it would be rash and unfair to infer from the inconsiderate declamations of two or three lightheaded American writers, that this craving for territory,-not less preposterous than iinmoral,--affects the people of the United States generally. If Mr. Bristed, as every good patriot ought to be, is more concerned for the honour of his country, than solicitous for bis individual credit, he will thank us, and all his candid English readers, for persisting to hope that, at least on this subject, the mass of his countrymen far surpass himself in the possession of plain good sense and political morality.
But if for the sake of argument, it be supposed that the American people, forgetting the wise principles of the great founders of their liberty, are actually possessed by the mania of encroachment, and the passion for extended domination, their peculiar circumstances render this madness so eminently ciangerous to themselves, that their European rivals could do nothing better than quietly look on, while it works its own correction. No very profound political sagacity is needed, to perceive that nothing less than the very soundest and calmest condition of the public mind in America can promise the long continued acquiescence of the northern and the in-land states, to the present Virginian government of the Union. It is a fact that lies upon the surface of American politics, that their already exists such an essential and irremediable contrariety of interests and of feelings between the northern, southern and western states, as has never yet, in the history of the world, been brought into voluntary concurrence under the same government. This fact supposes, therefore, that there should be found throughout these wide nations, so artificially united, a greater degree of philosophical superiority to the pressure of immediate interests, more freedom from passion, more immobility of temper, in a word, a more undisturbed reign of reason, than bas ever yet been seen