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gift of God to the people He has brought into existence on its surface.
If ever the will of the Creator was manifested in His works, it is in Ireland, where the soil teems with natural fertility, only needing the labour of its ample and industriously inclined population to produce abundance of every comfort in life for all. God's will, we say, is manifest. He has filled the earth with plenteousness, that the people he has planted there might enjoy it in return for their labour. How has man perverted his obvious intention! A third of the rich soil lies yet uncultivated; the rest but half-tilled by a dispirited, starved, naked, beggarly, and discontented people, the bulk of the produce of whose industry, such as it is, is swept off to other lands to be sold for the exclusive benefit of a handful of men, whom the law invests with the unconditional ownership of this fair portion of God's earth, and with the power, if they so choose, of absolutely starving all its inhabitants! And this law, we wisely expect this unhappy population to cherish, venerate, and implicitly obey!
Shame! shame! we repeat, on that State which of all the civilized world shall be the last to recognize the claim of the orphan and the widow, the sick, the aged, and the crippled, on the charity of their wealthy neighbours—the right of every peaceable and obedient member of society to the means of existence, the duty which every government owes to the meanest of its subjects—to afford that security to the lives of the many which it lavishes on the property of the few! Shame on the past government of Ireland! Shame on those loud declaimers upon her wrongs, and professed champions of her rights, who have hitherto either openly opposed, or cunningly delayed and frustrated, that all-important measure of simple justice, the denial of which renders Ireland a spectacle of compassion and horror to the civilized world !*
. We remark that Mr. O'Connell has, with his usual versatility, turned once more into an advocate for an Irish poor-law, after virulently opposing it for three years past. We hail the reluctant change, as a sure indication of the general favour which the proposal meets with in Ireland, and to which the all-but omnipotent agitator himself must bow. His speech, to be sure, in the late session, on the second reading of Sir R. Musgrave's Bill, was a repetition of all the fallacies which have been constantly produced against the measure for which he on the same day voted! But on his return to Ireland, we find him once more renewing his promise to bring forward a poor-law! Him! It is now some years since we warned the British Government, that by delaying to bring forward this necessary measure, while Mr. O'Connell was obstinately opposed to it, they would give him the opportunity of eventually claiming and carrying off all the credit and popularity of it himself, and thus confirm his supremacy. Our anticipation is verified.
Art. III.-1. African Sketches. By Thomas Pringle. 12mo.
London, 1834. 2. Ten Years in South Africa, including a particular Description
of the Wild Sports of that Country. By Lieut. J. W. D. Moodie, 21st Fusileers. 2 vols. 8vo. London. 1835. THESE are interesting books, containing the history of expe
riments in South African colonization, made by two respectable persons, both excellently qualified for describing human manners and natural scenery, though neither of them, we suspect, so well fitted for the practical tasks which circumstances had induced them to undertake. We are sorry to say that one of the authors, Mr. Thomas Pringle, died not long after his .Sketches? were published. He was a man of great worth and of very considerable literary talents : an honest, warm-hearted man, in whom woeful physical deformities had been unable to chill the natural current of the benevolent affections-kind, generous, and high of spirit-an enthusiastic philanthropist—in the purest sense of the all-comprehensive word, a Christian. No one can consider either his earliest or his latest publications without feeling that he had in him some sparks of true genius; and yet such is the hurry and tumult of competition in these our days, that we fear his name, too, may soon be buried and forgotten. We discharge a pleasing duty in endeavouring, so far as in us lies, to keep the grass from his tombstone.
His father was a small farmer in Roxburghshire, who contrived, with the noble ambition so usual among that class of men, to give the youth, hopelessly lame from infancy in both his nether limbs, such an education as might qualify him for holding a place in some respectable sedentary profession. He passed through his academical studies with credit, and on their completion obtained what no doubt seemed to his friends a situation adequate to all his reasonable hopes—that of a parochial schoolmaster in his native district. Here, however, he soon wrote some poetical pieces, among the rest his “ Scenes in Teviotdale,' which attracted considerable notice, as they well deserved to do ; and in a particular manner interested one ever watchful to encourage rising ability—the “ Great Minstrel of the Border.” Elevated by such approbation, Mr. Pringle began to look on his position as unworthy of him. He removed to Edinburgh, devoted himself to literature as a profession—a step never taken, in this country at least, by any man who did not live to repent it-and, among other adventures, became successively the editor of two magazines. The first of these—that which afterwards took the name of its proprietor, the late Mr. Blackwood-did not remain long in his
hands; hands; the active and acute bookseller found him little fitted for the practical details of such a business—we suppose the two men soon discovered, moreover, that their feelings on political subjects were irreconcileable. On this rupture, Mr. Pringle assumed the management of a rival journal in the same city, which did not prosper under his superintendence, and has since been abandoned altogether. He, in short, became thoroughly disgusted with Edinburgh and with magazines, and was ready to embrace any prospect that might present itself of transferring his energies to a new country and a different species of occupation. In 1819 the government resolved to send out some 5000 new settlers to the Cape of Good Hope, and parliament voted 50,0001. to defray the charges of their conveyance. Mr. Pringle's father, though an old man, still in vigour, and perplexed with the difficulty of providing for half a dozen sons, all of whom, except Thomas, had been educated for agriculture only, was one of not a few heads of families in his condition of life who determined to take part in this enterprise. Thomas readily offered himself to accompany his kindred ; and his abilities and attainments soon pointed him out as the natural intellectual leader and captain of the emigrant band to which these exiles of Teviotdale attached themselves.
His description of the whole party, as they appeared when their disembarkation took place, is very good. Here they are on the beach, waiting for their route from the authorities of Cape-Town. Besides his own Scottish friends, he says :
• There were respectable tradesmen and jolly farmers, with every appearance of substance and snug English comfort about them. There were watermen, fishermen, and sailors, from the Thames and English sea-ports, with the reckless and weather-beaten look usual in persons of their perilous and precarious professions. There were numerous groups of pale-visaged artisans and operative manufacturers, from Loudon and other large towns-of whom, doubtless, a certain proportion were persons of highly reputable character and steady habits; but a far larger portion were squalid in their aspect, slovenly in their attire and domestic arrangements, and discontented and uncourteous in their demeanour. Lastly, there were parties of pauper agricultural labourers, sent out by the aid of their respective parishes-healthier perhaps than the class just mentioned, but not apparently happier in mind, nor less yenerally demoralised by the untoward influence of their former social condition. On the whole, they formed a motley and unprepossessing collection of people. I should say that probably about a third part were persons of real respectability of character, and possessed of some worldly substance; but that the remaining twothirds were composed of individuals of a very unpromising description -persons wbo had hung loose upon society-low in morals or desperate in circumstances. Enterprise many of these doubtlessly
possessed possessed in an eminent degree; but too many appeared to be idle, insolent, and drunken, and mutinously disposed towards their masters and superiors. And with such qualities it was not possible to augur very favourably of their future conduct and destiny, or of the welfare of those who had collected them in England, and whose success in occupying the country depended entirely on their steady industry.'— pp. 130, 131.
This band, the first detachment of the 5000, arrived in the colony early in 1820; and the “ African Sketches' give a lively and picturesque narrative of the fortunes of Mr. Pringle and his immediate connexions down to 1827, when he returned to Eng. Jand. The volume affords, moreover, a great deal of curious and highly-interesting information concerning the state of society and manners, with many beautiful transcripts both in prose and in verse of external scenery, in the wild and remote district where the author found his allotted dwelling-place, and which it would have been happy for him if he had never abandoned.
The Teviotdale detachment presently had their location assigned them, - and with Pringle in the van, after a fatiguing journey of several hundred miles, they at length reached it in safety:-
• At length, after extraordinary exertions and hair-breadth escapes —the breaking down of two waggons and the partial damage of others—we got through the last poort of the glen, and found ourselves on the summit of an elevated ridge, commanding a view of the extremity of the valley. “And now, mynheer," said the Dutch-African field-cornet who commanded our escort, “daar leg uwe reld—there lies your country.”. Looking in the direction where he pointed, we beheld, extending to the northward, a beautiful vale, about six or seven miles in length, and varying from one to two in breadth. It appeared like a verdant basin, or cul de sac, surrounded on all sides by an amphitheatre of steep and sterile mountains, rising in the background into sharp cuneiform ridges of very considerable elevationtheir summits being at this season covered with snow, and estimated to be from 4000 to 5000 feet above the level of the sea. The lower declivities were sprinkled over, though somewhat scantily, with grass and bushes. But the bottom of the valley, through which the infant river meandered, presented a warm, pleasant, and secluded aspectspreading itself into verdant meadows, sheltered and embellished, without being encumbered, with groves of mimosa trees, among which we observed in the distance herds of wild animals—antelopes and quaggas-pasturing in undisturbed quietude. “Sae that's the lot o' our inheritance, then?” quoth one of the party. “Aweel, now that we've really got tillit, I maun say the place looks no sae mickle amiss, and may suit our purpose no that ill, provided thae haughs turn out to be gude deep land for the pleugh, and we can but contrive to find a decent road out o' this queer hieland glen into the lowlands—like ony other Christian country."'?--p. 152.
It It was on a Saturday evening that they first outspanned (i. e. unyoked) on the turf of the valley to which Pringle gave the name of Glen-Lynden. The account of the next day is in our author's best manner.
'Having selected one of the hymns of our national church, all united in singing it to one of the old pathetic melodies with which it is usually conjoined in the sabbath worship of our native land. The day was bright and still, and the voice of psalıns rose with a sweet and touching solemnity among those wild mountains, where the praise of the true God had never, in all human probability, been sung before. The words of the hymn (composed by Logan) were appropriate to our situation, and affected some of our congregation very sensibly :“O God of Bethel ! by whose hand thy people still are fed ; Who through this weary pilgrimage hast all our fathers led : Through each perplexing path of life our wandering footsteps guide; Give us each day our daily bread, and raiment fit provide :0! spread thy covering wings around, till all our wanderings cease, And at our Father's loved abode our souls arrive in peace.”
While we were singing, an antelope (oribi), which appeared to have wandered down the valley without observing us, stood for a little while on the opposite side of the rivulet, gazing at us in innocent amazement, as if yet unacquainted with man, the great destroyer. On this day of peace it was, of course, permitted to depart unmolested.'— pp. 156, 157.
Such was their first peaceful Sunday,—now for the night that followed :
The night was extremely dark, and the rain fell so heavily that, in spite of the abundant supply of dry firewood which we had luckily provided, it was not without difficulty that we could keep one watclifire burning. Having appointed our watch for the night, (a service which all the male adults, masters as well as servants, agreed to undertake in rotation,) we had retired to rest, and, excepting our sentinels, were all buried in sleep, when about midnight we were suddenly roused by the roar of a lion close to our tents : it was so loud and tremendous, that for a moment I actually thought a thunderstorm had burst upon us. But the peculiar expression of the soundthe voice of fury as well as of power-instantly undeceived me; and instinctively snatching my loaded gun from the tent pole, I hurried out, fancying that the savage beast was about to break into our camp. Most of our men had sprung to their arms, and were hastening to the watch-fire with a similar apprehension. But all around was utter darkness; and scarcely two of us were agreed as to the quarter whence the voice had issued. This uncertainty was occasioned partly perhaps by the peculiar mode this animal often has of placing his mouth near the ground when he roars—so that the voice rolls, as it were, like a breaker along the earth: partly, also, to the echo from a mountain-rock which rose abruptly on the opposite bank of the