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form; and, in fact, the whole work absolutely requires a very considerable previous acquaintance with Roman bistory to be intelligible. It is not merely the singular style, too faithfully preserved by his accomplished translators, but the whole composition of the book, which requires a long initiation into the author's way of seeing and of reasoning, before it can be comprehended by the ordinary reader. We know no more valuable service that could be rendered to the general reader, than the recomposition of the sounder parts of Niebuhr's book, skilfully blended and harmonized with a vigorous, animated, and easy nar. rative of events. It is not, we conceive, the real office of history to discuss, to investigate, to apply the principles of historical criticism in the body of the work itself, but to relate ; to give the results, not the process of profound inquiry ; never to abandon the primary excellence of history, a distinct and animated narrative, for that which, however invaluable in its way, antiquarian, philological, or philosophical comment, cannot supply its place. This unquestionably is the best, in our days perhaps an indispensable subsidiary to history, but it is not history itself. • Would Niebuhr have succeeded in the plainer and distincter course of the later Roman history? We sincerely regret that, at least, he was not permitted, by the inscrutable Ruler of all human events, to make the attempt. Is it not singular that of the most remarkable period in the annals of mankind,--that beyond all others fertile in great events and in great men, in great virtues and in great crimes,—that of which the consequences have been for ages and are perhaps still felt in the constitution of human society, the last century of the Roman republic, there should exist in no language a full, comprehensive, eloquent, and statesmanlike account? What great historian's name, in modern times, there is, we need not say, no connected Greek or Roman history of the period,) is associated with this time? In England we have the dry prolixity of Hooke,-Ferguson, perhaps, is the best,—but without disparagement to the fame of a work which certainly had great merit for its day, it cannot be esteemed equal to these times. Middleton's Life of Cicero is only one scene, as it were, in the great drama,—nor do we know how adequately to supply our own deficiency from the literature of France, Germany, Spain, or Italy. We searched anxiously for passages in the book before us, which might contain Niebuhr's opinion of the characters and events of that era. Unfortunately, these points seem scarcely to have occurred in his casual conversations with M. Lieber, we found hardly anything but the following observations, which, after all, are commonplace enough—and the latter of them not more commonplace than weak and prejudiced :
Marius and Sylla were not mere bloodhounds. The state of things, as so often is the case, brought them to what they did. Each of the two was in the right and in the wrong ; it is always so where parties exist. It cannot be denied that they were both actuated by ideas.'p. 205.
• Cæsar was a mighty but unbridled character, like Mirabeau. It is impossible to imagine Cæsar great enough. The good abandoned him; with whom could he associate, or on whom could he rest his lever except on the bad ? Such a mind could not possibly be at rest, nor could he remain alone. I have no doubt but that it would have been possible to approach Cæsar with entire confidence after he had firmly established himself. The act of Brutus was just: there cannot be a doubt about this; for a man who does in a republic what Cæsar did, stands without the law of this republic. He had forfeited his life according to the laws of his state. It cannot be otherwise. Men who bring a new time must act against the laws belonging to the past. Times would not have been so bad under Cæsar as they grew after his death. Brutus was, undoubtedly, a pure, noble soul; but times had changed. Cato died at the right moment ; for, however things might have turned out, no sphere would have opened itself for him after the battle of Actium.'— pp. 196, 197.
This is all, excepting a good sentence or two about the passion of the Romans for farming, and on the power of their religion. Nor do we hear that M. Niebuhr has left any collections for any later period than that comprehended within the third volume of his work. Who is there, then, who, even if he should reverentially avoid the ground already trod by Niebuhr, will fill up the vast chasm between the close of his work and the commenceinent of Gibbon? Of no period, perhaps, have such fine things been said and sung, in prose and verse; but where is the powerful mind which shall compose this grand historical picture, with the Roman world for its place of action, with all its groups, its Metelli and Luculli, its Marius and Sylla; its Pompey and Cæsar, its Cato and Cicero; ils Clodius and Catiline ; each in their proper proportion and becoming hue; with all the victories and triumphs, The massacres and acts of sincere devotion, in their due gradations of light and shade? To be sure the writer ought to be a scholar and a statesman, not unacquainted with military affairs, a philosopher, with something of a poet's imagination,-and the master of a pure, vigorous, and lively style. Whether Niebuhr possessed enough of these qualifications—especially of the last-whether the practice of writing, and the animation of the subject, might have developed powers which had no opportunity of displaying themselves in the earlier part of his task-it would be presumptuous, and now, unhappily, it is vain, to conjecture. Exoriare
aliquis, is our devout ejaculation,-in whatever country he may be born, or in whatever language he may write; but we shall, of course, feel greater pride and satisfaction, if the literature, which has already supplied Europe with the History of the Decline and Fall of Rome, shall likewise complete it by the received and accredited work on her Rise and Progress to Universal Empire.
Art. IX.-1. Correspondence relating to the Slave-Trade with the British Commissioners-Class A.—and with Foreign Powers—Class B. Presented to Parliament in 1830, 1, 2, 3,
4, and 5. 2. Present State of the Foreign Slave-Trade. London. 1831. 3. Colonial Commerce. By A. Macdonnell, Esq., London.
1831. 4. Notices of Brazil in 1828 and 1829. By the Rev. R. Walsh,
LL.D. London. 1830. 5. Remarks on the Sugar-Trade. London. 1834. 6. Letter to the Lord Glenelg, containing a Report, from personal
observation, on the Working of the New System in the British West India Colonies. By John Innes. Second Edition.
8vo. London. 1835. M HE British colonies have undergone a reconstruction of their
1 whole society; and the mother-country has charged herself with a heavy ransom: great sacrifices—the price of a great object. It is for her statesmen to take care that she be not defrauded of the purchase, after having thus largely paid the consideration. Let them look then to the foreign slave-trade.
The day has arrived when the aspirations of philanthropy are no longer in conflict with any claims of property. From this time forth, policy and sympathy coincide; for the West Indian planter, and the emancipated negro, and the English nation, have now one common cause. If, therefore, in the view which we are about to offer of the new circumstances, and of the new duties, resulting from the recent deliverance of the British slaves, we dwell chiefly on general considerations which respect the negroes and the mother-country, with only an occasional reference to those peculiar claims which we admit that the planters may very justly set up, we must not be deemed hostile or indifferent to the cause of the colonists: nay, on the contrary, we trust that the well-judging part of the colonial body will feel how much more substantial a service we are likely to render them with the public, by arging the broad arguments which rest on duty and
national policy, (and thus collaterally operate, as it will be found that such arguments do, to the necessary relief of the West Indians,) than if we were to press any separate rights of theirs, as opposed to, or even distinct from, the general interests of the community. The primary object which we now have at heart, and to which we mainly devote the following pages, is the abatement of that grievous, and we fear still growing curse, the foreign slavetrade; which to check, and if possible to crush, is not more a boon for Africa, and a point of duty for England, than a gain for the West Indian colonies. We must trace it through all its stages,from Africa, where it begins, over the ocean, which is its midway, to its ending place in the slave-plantations of foreign America.
The following quotation is from an account given by the late Richard Lander, the traveller in Africa, of the slave-inarkets there, at one of which he was long a resident :
• It not unfrequently happens that the market is either overstocked with human beings, or no buyers are to be found; in which case the maintenance of the unhappy slave devolves solely on the government. The expense incurred by this means is oftentimes murmured against by the king, who shortly afterwards causes an examination to be made, when the sickly, as well as the old and infirm, are carefully selected, and chained by themselves in one of the factories (five of which, containing upwards of one thousand slaves of both sexes, were at Badagry during my residence there); and next day the majority of these poor wretches are pinioned and conveyed to the banks of the river, where having arrived, a weight of some sort is appended to their necks, and being rowed in canoes to the middle of the stream, they are flung into the water and left to perish, by the pitiless Badagrians. Slaves, who for other reasons are rejected by the merchants, undergo the same punishment, or are to endure more lively torture at the sacrifices, by which means hundreds of human beings are annually destroyed.'- Present State, pp. 2, 3.
The commissioners at Sierra Leone, June 15, 1830, express themselves thus * :
"We lament to state that, whilst the natives are excited by slavedealers to furnish them with a human cargo, those natives are so infatuated with that trade, and with the large profits they thereby attain, that no inducement that will allow of profit to parties offering it will tempt them to turn their attention to the procuration of such articles as the British trader can lawfully purchase.
The consequence is, an encouragement of continual wars, undertaken for no real object but the capture of prisoners by one black sovereign from another, to be sold to white dealers as slaves. While such motives are brought to bear upon these wretched
* Parliamentary Papers, presented 1831, A. p. 7.
savages, it is in vain for humanity to attempt any improvement either in the social condition or in the moral feeling of Africa.
The beginnings then of the slave-trade are war, captivity, separation from family and country; fearful calamities, yet light, as compared with those which follow the embarkation,
Of the horrors of the middle passage, since the slave-trade has become illegal, we gave some account in October, 1821, in October, 1822, and again in September, 1826. Our readers will recollect the case of the Spanish schooner Vecua, in which, when captured, a lighted match was hanging over the open powder-magazine. It was seen by one of our seamen, who quietly put his hat under the burning wick, and removed it. One spark from that match would have blown up three hundred and twenty-five Africans ironed in the hold, and all the English sailors on board. The Spaniards had the audacity to express their disappointment at the failure of their plot.—Nor will the instance of the Rodeur have been forgotten, where, besides the slaves who in despair • threw themselves into the sea locked in each other's arms, thirty-nine became blind, and were cast overboard as useless. That the atrocities which we then deplored have not abated since we now bring dreadful proof.
The space into which the negroes are stowed for the passage is usually a sort of hold, less than three feet high: so that it is impossible for them, even in a sitting posture, to sustain their bodies upright. In the Desengaño (captured in 1833), the height was only twenty-eight inches.* Commodore Bullen describes a cargo (1828), among whom were many females with infants at their breasts, as crowded together in a solid mass of filth and corruption.'t.
The Cristina, a Spanish brigantine, was captured in 1831 with 348 slaves. The small-pox breaking out amongst them in a small vessel,' (for it is a small vessel that carries only 348 slaves,) • crowded together as they were, spread with rapidity through the whole number on board, and carried off 116 previously to their arrival, and 16 after they were landed.'I
In the Midas, a Spanish brig—(1830) • the number originally shipped amounted to 562; but they had been reduced to 400 at the time of the detention; and upon the fol lowing day, when the slaves were counted, that number was further reduced to 369, in consequence of several of the slaves, through fright, as it is supposed, having thrown themselves into the sea; it also appears that, prior to the arrival of the Midas at the Havannah, nine others had thrown themselves overboard, notwithstanding the utmost care had been taken on the part of the captors, and sixty-nine others died of the small-pox and other diseases.' ģ * Parliamentary Papers, presented 1833, A. p. 10. + Ibid. 1828, A. p. 7. Ibid. 1831, A. p. 21.
$ Ibid. 1830, A. p. 163.