Εικόνες σελίδας
PDF
Ηλεκτρ. έκδοση

and with his sword killed several of the assailants, while another sai. lor, named Andrew Van Portua, who had lost his right hand, and received a musket-ball in his shoulder, fought to the last with his left, dealing destruction around. When Almeyda's father heard of his son's death, he said, “ It is mine to sustain his place," and, brushing away the tear of mortal weakness, he proceeded with a fresh force to attack Hocenus, destroyed his whole feet in the harbour of Diu, took that important little island, and amazed the continent by his valour and humanity.

In this engagement the brave Nonpius Vasques Pereira was killed; he passed through the enemy's batteries that lined the shore with his single ship, and boarded Hocenus amidst his own fleet.

• Old Almeyda did not live to see the termination of his commenced success, for having fallen into disgrace with king Emanuel by some misunderstanding, he was recalled, and killed at the Cape of Good Hope, by a pointed stick having been run through his body, in an affray between some of the native and bis sailors. But Nonnius Acunia took the fort of Diu, and the fortified island of Betel, where the desperate Turks, having burned their wives and children, being determined to receive no quarter, rushed upon the Portuguese like lions, maddened by revenge, and were not destroyed till they had slaughtered seventeen officers and one hundred and Bfty men belonging to the force under Nonnius. pp. 173–5.

M. Say's pamphlet is written with the laudable motive of correcting the erroneous views entertained by continental politicians, on the subject of our Indian possessions. Vague notions of wealth and power, connected with the tribute and the commerce of Asia, seem to float in the heads of the eminent persons who direct the machinery of European governments, until they fix it in their minds as a settled axiom, that to assail England in the East is to strike at a vital point.

• There appears to me to be a general mistake on the Continent of Europe with respect to the British Dominion in India. The question is often asked-How did it arise ? Who exercises it? Is it the East-India Company--the military—or the parent state? It seems to be taken for granted, that India is the principal source of British wealth. Even governments most interested in entertaining correct ideas on subjects of political economy, share, in this respect, the opinions of the vulgar. They imagine that the nations of India groan beneath the yoke of England, and that they have only to appear in arms, and overthrow a hated and unstable power. This was Bonaparte's intention by the expedition to Egypt, and it has twenty times occupied the cabinet of St. Petersburgh.

Say, pp. 5, 6. With the design of counteracting these inaccurate opinions, M. Say gives a succinct but clear statement of the history and actual condition of the East India Company, and shews that, on a fair estimate of profit and loss, it is embarked in a losing concern, borrowing money to pay its dividends, accumulating debt instead of realizing property, and setting off fictitious credits against a real deficit. He makes it appear, that even the profits made by the servants of the Company, are of no advantage to the mother country, in as far as they are spent in India ; and in short, he presents our Asiatic concerns under such an aspect as is well calculated to deter hostile monarchs and ministers from entering on schemes for the invasion of Hindostan.

Supposing any foreign prince or usurper should procure a few willing or reluctant partizans, he would have still fewer means of resisting British power and intrigue than the princes who governed India before the English, and who, nevertheless, have been forced to submit to the superior tactics of Europe and the superior policy of England. A European army would appear in India under great disadvantages. It would not find a people incensed against their rulers, ready to second it, as has been asserted. The princes, rather than the people, were the enemies of the English; and independent princes no longer exist. European forces could only be sent by land; and let any one calculate the delay, the expense, and the loss which must attend an army in such an expedition ! Not to speak of the nations it would have to fight with on its road, of the men, horses, and artillery lost in the burning sands, the trackless swamps, and impassable rivers, it would have to encounter, on its arrival, a wellestablished power, defended by an army of 160,000 men, disciplined like Europeans, and with the facilities of receiving by sea all necessary reinforcements and supplies. Say, pp. 32, 33.

M. Say contends that British India is, on the whole, well governed; but we do not clearly understand him when he observes, that

• The English have totally abandoned all idea of correcting the prejudices of the Hindoos, or of converting them to Christianity. It is even their policy to prefer that they maintain their present opinions. They are either Mahometans or followers of Bramah. Mahometanism renders its votaries resigned and docile. The religion of Bramah, by the inflexible rigour with which it adheres to its hierarchy of casts, trains them to subordination. The most perfect religious toleration exists, therefore, in' British India; and if we add, that peace reigns over the vast countries formerly torn to pieces by a hundred despots, who pillaged them at their pleasure,-that industry is protected, and every one may now enjoy the fruits of his labour, and amass wealth in security, we shall be forced to admit, that the situation of Hindostan was never happier than at the present moment.” Say, pp. 30, 31.

To the greater part of this paragraph we can, of course, make no objection ; but the qualification of Mahomedism is beyond our comprehension. We should have supposed that, of all the classes of British subjects in India, the votaries of the Prophet would be found least entitled to the distinctive epithets, - resigned and docile:' On the general question as to the probable permanency of English supremacy, the opinion of M. Say leans to the affirmative; and we shall cite the closing paragraphs of his tract as giving a summary of his views on the ultimate condition of Asia.

. In every case the freedom of India seems impossible; but ought we to wish, for the interests of humanity, that Èurope may lose its influence over Asia? Ought we not rather to wish that it should increase? Europe is no longer what she was in the days of Vasco de Gama and Albuquerque. She is arrived at a state in which Asia has nothing to fear from her influence. With her despots and superstitions, Asia has no good institutions to lose, while she may receive many from Europe.

• The nations of Europe, from their enterprising spirit, and the astonishing progress they have made in all the branches of human knowledge, are, no doubt, destined to subdue the world, as they have already subdued the two Americas ;– I do not mean by force of arms. Military preponderance is, and ever will be, accidental and precarious. Europe will subjugate the world by the inevitable ascendency of knowledge, and the unceasing operations of her institutions. It is no longer necessary to employ arms against the American Indians. Asia needs longer time on account of her immense population, and the inertia which long-rooted and immoveable customs oppose to every species of innovation. But the march of events is inevitable. The religion of the Magi has given place to Mahometanism ; that of Bramah has lost half its votaries; and Maho. metanism will wear itself out in turn like every thing else. The facilities of communication by water are becoming every day more perfect. In our own times, the voyage to India by the Cape of Good Hope has been lessened one half, both in ease and celerity, since 1789. The other passages to the East will indubitably become more short and practicable. The liberation of Greece will lead to that of Egypt; and civilization, gaining ground, will level the obstacles to communication ; for the more civilized nations become, the more will they perceive that it is their interest to communicate with their neighbours. We may then have a faint idea of the future state of society; but time is a necessary element in all great revolutions.'

Say, pp. 34–6. We must recur to Mr. Wallace for the purpose of enforcing the necessity of a thorough revision and condensation in the event of a second edition. Such a work is so much wanted, that it is well worth while to take pains in its composition, since, without it, details are valueless. Accuracy is indispensible. We believe Mr. W. is incorrect in giving to Great Britain the possession both of the Isle of France and that of Bourbon. 'The Mauritius alone is ours: if we may trust our recollection, the other was restored. We shall trespass on Mr. Wallace's pages for one more extract, containing a most interesting statement.

• Bengal is bounded on nearly its whole eastern line by the wild and extensive district of Tiperah, the mountains of which are inhabited by savages, who have now scarcely any knowledge of the Brahmanical code, nor indeed of any other, although, in ancient times, this was the seat of an empire which brought armies into the field of 200,000 infantry. From this region and Chittagong, the government of India recruit their establishment of elephants, purchasing none under nine feet high, The inhabitants of Rajemal, a northern district of Bengal contiguous to this tract, are mostly of low slature, but stout and well proportioned. Many of them are not taller than four feet ten inches, with small eyes, Alat noses, and thick lips. These savage men were reclaimed and civilized by the noble exertions of Mr. Cleveland, their judge and magistrate, who has à monument in the form of a pagoda, erected to his memory near Boglipore: he died at the early age of 29. An idea of his worth may be entertained from the tribute paid to his memory by the governor-general and council of Bengal, and which remains for a testimony to future times, engraved over his mortal remains. There he lies Who, without bloodshed, or the terror of authority, employing only the means of conciliation, confidence, and benevolence, attempted and accomplished the entire subjection of the lawless and savage inbabitants of the Jungleterry of Rajemal, who had long infested the neighbouring lands by their predatory incursions, inspired them with a taste for the arts of civilized life, and attached them to the British government by a conquest over their minds.” To my understanding, this is one of the most honourable monuments that ever was erected, and worthy of being perpetuated till time shall be no more.'

We wish that such monuments as these were more thickly planted.

Art. V. The Christian Ministry: or Excitement and Direction in

Ministerial Duties. Extracted from various Authors. By William Innes, Minister of the Gospel. 8vo. pp. 358. Price 86.

Edinburgh. 1824. THE HE abridgement of some large works of practical divinity,

has communicated the essence of highly valuable books to a numerous class of readers, who could not afford the expense either of time or money which the originals would claim,' But the task of abridging is not without its difficulties, and, like that of translating, has frequently fallen into incompetent hands. Even at the best, he who has leisure to peruse an original work of merit, suffers loss, if induced by an abridgement to decline its perusal. We are therefore disposed to give the preference to that exercise of literary industry, by which the treasures of pious learning are explored with a view to selection and compilation. Such productions have not the same tendency to deter the reader from resorting to the originals when opportunity may offer. An abridgement, like an engraving, gives the outline and composition of its original; and, after examining il, we are. sometimes less concerned to become acquainted with that which, except as to its colouring, seems already known to us. But they who extract, bring us specimens from a mine : we cannot be sure that they have chosen the very best, or the most adapted to our particular use. If we are gratified and enriched by these, perhaps we might be yet more by others. And it is the more probable that we may be disposed to argue thus, when the specimens produced, as in the work before us, are chiefly of one particular kind. Indeed, we consider this mode of compilation, which brings into a distinct work what has been said by several writers upon one subject, as preferable to the miscellaneous extracts from one author that are often presented. At least, the great importance of the duties which belong to the Christian ministry, fully warrants the appropriation of one or more volumes to the production of the counsels of those who have eminently fulfilled it.

Mr. Innes states, that his design ' has been, to furnish a • volume as full of useful matter as possible; a volume which

may lie with advantage on the table of every minister of the

gospel, and into which he cannot even occasionally look with• out finding some useful hint, either in the way of direction or • excitement in the important work in which he is engaged.' This design is judiciously executed, by extracts from Baxter, Watts, Alleine's life, Witherspoon, Erskine, Martyn's Memoirs, Brainerd, Cecil, and Hall. No one who justly appreciates the characters of these divines, can doubt that the extracts are valuable. There will, indeed, in such a series of selections necessarily occur some repetition of the same thoughts in different forms; but this will be more than tolerated by the reader who wishes to have them practically fixed in his heart. The homestriking energy of Baxter cannot fail of producing some serious impressions, except on the most dull and thoughtless minds. Fine instances of it appear in the extracts, of which the following are portions.

It is a palpable error in those ministers that make such a dis.

« ΠροηγούμενηΣυνέχεια »