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with hope and confidence in the good work to' wbich we have set our hands. Let us look back to the Slave-Trade debates. It is cheering, at least it is consolatory, to see that the self-same opposition was raised, and nearly the self-same arguments, against the abolition of the Slave Trade, until the very hour when the slave-ships went down with the bloody flag still flying, went down amidst the cheers of a triumphant majority in Parliainent and a sym. pathising people; the Slave Trade, now named only among the foul crimes against which the laws of the land have vindicated those of God and nature; by declaring them felony by statute. The Slave Trade finds no one bole enough now to defend even its memory. And yet, when we hear the Slave Trade reprobated, and Slavery defended by the same persons, I must own I think the Slave Trade unfairly treated. The abuse of defunct Slave Trade is a cheap price for the abettor of living Slavery to pay by way of compromise. But we cannot allow thc Colonial party, on these terms, to cry truce with us, by stigmatizing the Slave Trade. There is not one general principle on which the Slave Trade is to be stigmatized, which does not impeach Slavery itself. If Slave Trade is spoliation, the liberty of the man is the spoil, and his fellow-man loses his title to the possession. If Slavery is more to be authorized on one account than any other, it is because it perpetuates, and always must, a Contraband Slave Trade. The Slave Trade abolition is incomplete, rapine aud murder are still carried on, and by English hands too, apon the defenceless shores of Africa, and the murderous horrors of the middle passage still abound, and must abound, while Slavery exists. It is with you, it is with the people of England, now to urge Parliament on to its duty. Great objects are in preparation for next Session. · But we must look to your Petitions for support. You have in your cause the gigantic powers of Mr. Brougham, the fascinating eloquence of Sir J. Mackintosh, the indefatigable activity and knowledge of Mr. Buxton and Dr. Lushington, and you have the veteran and honest zeal of Mr. William Smith. I would advert to the invaluable assistance out of Parliament, of one of the most distinguished supporters of this great cause whose name, I trust, we shall be honoured with

as a vice-president; but it would be the worst taste in the world of me to speak of him while his son (Mr. Stephen) is at my left hand, (Hear, hear.) I may bow

ever speak (how can we here be silent?) on the venerable and glorious example of his immortal kinsman, Mr. Wilberforce. May the calm evening of his pure and illustrious life be cheered and made truly happy by meeting the final consunimation of the great cause with which it is identified. (Cheers.) I glory in the position in which you have just placed me in this society. I only feel shame in the length of time I have trespassed upon you. Yet let me implore, in the name of your country, because of freedom—in the name of justice and of right, because of freedom in the naine of religion-of that Being “ whose service" at least " is perfect freedom," never to relax your efforts until they shall have obtained peace for Africa, liberty for those hundreds of thousands of fellow-subjects who are unrepresented here but by your sympathy; and, though long delayed, the unspeakable glory for your native land, of leading the way, before the old Nations at least of the earth (some parts of the New World have set us a noble example), in that great blessing for the whole of mankind, the full and entire abolition of Slavery. (This address was received throughout with great applause, which lasted for some time after its conclusion.)

Mr. Cockburn's Speech. My Lord, I hold in my hand a Petition, which I propose to submit to this meeting, as proper to be adopted ; and after what you have heard, I have little more than to say, that it embodies the resolutions which have now been passo ed, and that from the bottom of my heart, I do most sincerely approve of all that this Society has done

of all that it is now doing--and of the great work which I trust it is yet destined to accomplish. (Applause.) The fact is, my Lord, that we have now come to that stage in the history of this great question at which all doubts as to its material features are removed. I don't say that we have come to the time at which the railer is to be silent, or the selfish man is to avow that he is confuted. [During the meeting a slight opposition was attempted, but when an opportunity was offered to the opponent to speak, he slunk away.) But I do say tisat we are come to that stage in which no person, without plainly professing to resign his understanding, can say, “I am still a friend of Slavery." (Immense applause.) About a year or two ago, his majesty's government required the colonial authorities to send to

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parliament a statement of what they had done for the ame, lioration of their slaves. They have sent that statement; and we now see, under their own hand-writing, how true their former statements were and, if we only knew theni by their own accouuts, we should judge more candidly of them. We have it on the official reports of the local autho rities in the West-Indies themselves; and the essence of these reports is to be found in a book lately published, the name of which

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will all observe, for I beg you will all read it for yourselves : it is entitled, “A Picture of Negro Slavery, drawn by the Colonists themselves.' phlet any body may read in the course of about two hours; it consists of about 150 pages, of which I should suppose, upon a guess, not twenty of them are written by any person but the Colonists themselves. These pages contain the evidence by the West-Indian planters, why Great Britain should no more interfere. These pages contain the proofs that they are going on perfectly well. Now, my Lord, if there be one person in this room, who has not yet read every page of that terrible record, that person has not done --not what charity asks—but what justice demands in behalf of the family of man. (Applause.) Since the commencement of the long annals of human atrocity, I don't believe that such a picture ever met the human eye. There, was an old Italian poet, who had passed through many personal sufferings, and lived in the most troublous era of his country's history, who was possessed of a fertile and gloomy imagination, and who, with the pen of fiction, sat down to embody in words all the terrible conceptions of his, soul. This was a cause to exhaust his genius by supposing

his enemies and human criminals placed in an aërial region I of his own making, and in assigning to them all the dread.

fal punishments, all the terrible employments, by which'he, thought that guilt ought to be visited. It has always been imputed to that genius, that it is in some degree absurd, by the extravagance of his fictitious wretchedness.-Gentlemen, I assure you, upon my personal authority--for I have read the book—that all the horrors of the dark fancy of Dante are exceeded by the actual horrors which pass: every day in our own islands upon those wbom we have torn from their country to put them there, protected; by what we call our laws, shielded by what we term the charity of our religion, sprung from the same origin with ourselves, partakers of the same common nature, destined

cold;

to the same immortality. (Great applause.) I repeat, that if there be a person here who has not read that terrible and affecting record, let bim go home, and let him not stay till he has got and read it. I repeat the title again : "A Picture of Negro-Slavery, drawn by the Colonists themselves,"—what, in this presence, I could not read one wordd of; and I know that the hardest heart I addresss, cannot read one page of it without feeling that heart to beat quick; that ere he reads another, his blood will grow and that he will shut the book at last; astonished and confounded at the atrocities which he, by his silence and apa. thy, should be the means of committing upon those persons. (Applause.) And I trust that no squeamish delicacy will prevent any man or woman who hears me, going through from the beginning to the end of it: you will not spare yourselves the horror and laceration of heart, tlie sickness which its disgusting details inspire : go on to the end, and then refuse to sign this petition if you can. (Cheers.) The fact is, that contemplating what the Colonists themselves have told us is the improved condition of their slaves, it is to my mind one of the most humiliating pictures of the weakness of our nature that we can speak or bear so coolly, of such a subject. We are living in the midst of our peršonal and domestic comforts; we rise in the morning, and the sun shines on oar employments; we close the day in the midst of our pleasures, our business, and our families. But we consider not during these last twenty-four hours, how many of these Slaves have suffered all that tyranny can inflict-all that humanity can endure. We think that becanse we attend a casual meeting, and sign our name to à petition, we have done enough; and we do no more. And yet we meet every day with the most sensible and amiable persons, possessed with what is called a good heart ;-ask them to think of this matter, ask them to come bere, --they shake their heads, look grave, and give a few sighs for the sufferings of humanity; but they tell us, that they do not like to interfere,--they return to their owu selfish pleasures, wrapt up in the complacency of their own minds; though we tell them that we want no more than the expression of their roice, and that by their silence tiey are increasing the miseries of their fellow-creatures. (Applause.) Adam Smith, that most accurate analyser of our moral sympathies, puts this case :-Suppose a man, of what we reckon generous enough feeling, has some little

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ailment of his own, some scratch about the edge of his nail, he is as wretched as he can be; and he talks and thinks of nothing else but his scratched nail. Suppose a person were to meet this man, and to tell him, that certain * Dews had been received that the whole empire of China had been swallowed up by a wave, and that three hundred millions of his fellow-creatures had in a moment ceased to live -what does he do!--the case the learned Doctor has put with a perfect knowledge of, bnt with a severe sarcasm on, our nature-He will utter some well turned period on the precariousness of mortal life, look sad for a little, walk to the end of the division of a street, and then return to his nail, (Laughter.) Many of us exhibit ia our conduct the fancied case put by this profonnd philosopher. Here are we, an assembly met for the mitigation and gradual abolition of Slavery; and yet, notwithstanding the acknowledged benevolence of our designs, and notwithstanding the respectability of this Meeting, we cannot inuster as a society, more than five hundred contributors, to the extent of five shillings a year. But even with that small sam, what instruction has not been poured upon the minds of these poor benighted creatures! What shocks have not 'been, given to that system of tyranny by which they are oppressed! The mite multiplied becomes a treasure ; and if these mites were poured in from one end of the island to the other, how many thousands might we not save from the worst of possible degradations! Why, then, is it withheld? The truth is, it is the magnitude and enormity of the evil which prevents us from seeing it. If it was only a case of individual suffering, how easily would our sympathies be roused by it! for we could then hear every groan, and see every tear, and mark the quivering of every muscle in our fellow-sufferer. It is when we can follow him through his whole tale of family sufferings, that our sympathies become flattered, and we are all humanity. But, when we attempt to describe the wretchedness endured in distant islands of the ocean, and talk of hundreds, or thousands, or millions of sufferers; then our imagination is bafiled by the conception, and we fall back on the generality of our nature, and repose in thought upon the continuance of this eyil, as we do upon the continuance of some of those evils in the moral and natural universe, which we cannot account for, and which we know man cannot remove. But could we only see the real circum

VOL. XII.

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