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those, who have in the present day expressed their detestation of the diabolical traffic in question.*
The fibres twisting round a parent's heart
Torn from their grasp, and bleeding as they part." We add one more passage, as it contains an animated appeal against the injustice of this nefarious traffic.
“ What wrongs, wbat injuries does Oppression plead,
See Mrs. More's Poem, entitled The Slave Trade, * With respect to the claim of priority, or who first denounced the injustice and horrors of slavery, we believe the following is a correct historical narrative on this important subject.
The celebrated De Las Casas (born at Seville in 1474, and who accompanied Columbus in his voyage in 1493) was so deeply impressed with the cruelties and oppressions of slavery, that he returned to Europe, and pleaded the cause of humanity before the Emperor Charles V. This prince was so far moved by his representations as to pass royal ordinances to mitigate the evil; but his intentions were unhappily defeated. The Rev. Morgan Godwyn, a Welshman, is the next in order. About the middle of the last century, John Woolman and Anthony Beneret, belonging to the society of Friends, endeavoured to rouse the public attention. In 1754, the So. ciety itself took up the cause with so much zeal and success, that there is not at this day a single slave in the possession of any acknowledged Quaker in Pennsylvania. In 1776, Granville Sharp addressed to the British public his “ Just Limi
On all these accounts I judged it best to be silent and especially because I cannot doubt that some effectual measures will now be taken to alleviate the miseries of their condition, the whole nation being in possession of the case, and it being impossible also to allege an argument in behalf of man-merchandise that can deserve a hearing. I should be glad to see Hannah More's poem; she is a favourite writer with me, and has more nerve and energy both in her thoughts and language than half the he-rhymers in the kingdom. The " Thoughts on the manners of the Great” will likewise be most acceptable. I want to learn as much of the world as I can, but to acquire that learning at a distance;
tation of Slavery,” his “ Essay on Slavery,” and his “ Law of Retribution, or a Serious Warning to Great Britain and her Colonies.” The poet Shenstone also wrote an elegy on the subject beginning,
“ See the poor native quit the Lybian shores,” &c. &c. Ramsey and Clarkson bring down the list to the time of Cowper, whose indignant muse in 1782 poured forth his detestation of this traffic in his poem on Charity, an extract of which we shall shortly lay before the reader. The distinguished honour was, however, reserved for Thomas Clarkson, to be the instrument of first engaging the zeal and eloquence of Mr. Wilberforce in the great cause of the abolition of the Slave Trade. The persevering exertions of Mr. Fowell Buxton and those of the Anti-Slavery Society achieved the final triumph, and led to the great legislative enactment which abo. lished slavery itself in the British Colonies; and nothing now remains but to associate France, the Brazils, and America in the noble enterprize of proclaiming the blessings of liberty to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people.
and a book with such a title promises fair to serve the purpose effectually.
I recommend it to you, my dear, by all means to embrace the fair occasion, and to put yourself in the way of being squeezed and incommoded a few hours, for the sake of hearing and seeing what you will never have an opportunity to see and hear hereafter, the trial of a man who has been greater and more feared than the Great Mogul himself. Whatever we are at home, we have certainly been tyrants in the East, and if these men have, as they are charged, rioted in the miseries of the innocent, and dealt death to the guiltless, with an unsparing hand, may they receive a retribution that shall in future make all governors and judges of ours, in those distant regions, tremble. While I speak thus, I equally wish them acquitted. They were both my school-fellows, and for Hastings I had a particular value. Farewell.*
W. C. The trial of Warren Hastings excited universal interest, from the official rank of the accused, as Governor General of India, the number and magnitude of the articles of impeachment, the splendour of the scene, (which was in Westminster Hall,) and the impassioned eloquence of Mr. Burke, who conducted the prosecution. The proceedings were protracted for seven successive years, when Mr.Hastings was finally acquitted. He is said to have incurred an expence of £30,000 on this occasion, a painful proof of the costly character and delays of British jurisprudence. Some of the highest specimens of eloquence that ever adorned any age or country were delivered during this trial ; among which ought to be specified the address of the celebrated Mr. Sheridan, who captivated the attention of the assembly in a speech of three hours and a
TO LADY HESKETH.
The Lodge, Feb. 22, 1788. I do not wonder that your ears and feelings were hurt by Mr. Burke's severe invective. But you are to know, my dear, or probably you know it already, that the prosecution of public delinquents has always, and in all countries, been thus conducted. The style of a criminal charge of this kind has been an affair settled among orators from the days of Tully to the present, and, like all other practices that have obtained for ages, this in particular seems to have been founded originally in reason and in the necessity of the case.
He who accuses another to the state must not appear himself unmoved by the view of crimes with which he charges him, lest he should be suspected of fiction, or of precipitancy, or of a consciousness that after all he shall not be able to prove his allegations. On the contrary, in order to impress the minds of his hearers with a persuasion that he himself at least is convinced of the criminality of the prisoner, he must be vehement, energetic, rapid; must call him tyrant, and traitor, and every thing else that is odious, and all this to his face, because half, distinguished by all the graces and powers of the most finished oratory. At the close of this speech, Mr. Pitt rose and proposed an adjournment, observing that they were then too much under the influence of the wand of the enchanter to be capable of exercising the functions of a sound and deliberate judgment.
all this, bad as it is, is no more than he undertakes to prove in the sequel, and if he cannot prove it he must himself
appear in a light very little more desirable, and at the best to have trifled with the tribunal to which he has summoned him.
Thus Tully, in the very first sentence of his oration against Catiline, calls him a monster; a manner of address in which he persisted till said monster, unable to support the fury of his accuser's eloquence any longer, rose from his seat, elbowed for himself a passage through the crowd, and at last burst from the senate house in an agony, as if the Furies themselves had followed him.
And now, my dear, though I have thus spoken, and have seemed to plead the cause of that species of eloquence which you, and every creature who has your sentiments, must necessarily dislike, perhaps I am not altogether convinced of its propriety. Perhaps, at the bottom, I am much more of opinion, that if the charge, unaccompanied by any inflammatory matter, and simply detailed, being once delivered into the court, and read aloud, the witnesses were immediately examined, and sentence pronounced according to the evidence, not only the process would be shortened, much time and much expense saved, but justice would have at least as fair play as now she has. Prejudice is of no use in weighing the question, guilty or not guilty, and the principal aim, end, and effect of such introductory harangues is to create as much prejudice as possible. When you and I, therefore, shall have