« VorigeDoorgaan »
From the United Service Magazine.
edy was to send out in 1820 several thousand English emigrants at the expense of government. These poor people were deluded into the belief
THE CONVICT QUESTION AT THE CAPE OF
SIR W. MOLESWORTH has in the House of of being allowed to settle at the spot of their deCommons so fully expatiated on the misgovern-barcation on the shores of Algoa Bay; on arrivment and manifold grievances of which the British ing there, to their consternation they discovered colonies have so long, and with so much reason, that they were to be sent at their own expense complained, that it would be superfluous here to recapitulate what has been by him so ably and so eloquently described.
But whatever may be the wrongs inflicted on our unhappy colonial dependencies, by official ignorance, official blunders, or official indifference, the colony of the Cape of Good Hope is, of all our foreign settlements, that which has ever been doomed to bear the greatest proportion of neglect, of grievances, hardships, and oppression.
far into the interior, to act as a barrier, or sort of advanced guard to the colony, against the constantly renewed aggressions of a set of cruel and blood-thirsty savages!
This was rather a pleasant predicament for a community of peaceful mechanics and laborers to find themselves thus suddenly placed in !
It will, no doubt, be taken for granted, that they were, in so perilous a position, fully protected by a watchful and paternal government, both Hemmed in on all sides by hordes of savage in rights and persons, against their barbarous barbarians inadequately guarded, and frequently neighbors; quite the contrary-they were left without any protection whatever from the everrecurring depredations of these sanguinary tribes; neglected and overlooked, misgoverned, detracted, and calumniated, its inhabitants have, from the very first period of its annexation to the British empire, been in turns the prey of fanaticism and of falsehood; of unmerited censure, and the most heartless system of oppression-a system now carried to an extent likely to exceed even the limits of the forbearing patience of its-spite of their wrongs-hitherto loyal and dutiful inhabi
Cast we a retrospective glance on the condition of the Cape, from the date of its annexation as a dependency to the British empire; our first act to commence with was so to oppress the Boers, and leave them so completely exposed to native depredations, as at last to drive them in despair to open rebellion. This outbreak subdued, we next proceeded to frame such puerile enactments as appeared purposely intended for the encouragement of Kaffir aggression. We next passed an act by which all wholesome restraint was removed from an unruly, idle, and vagrant native population; a measure which rendered property insecure, and moreover deteriorated in value, for want of requisite labor, the hitherto cultivated lands of the colony; but that deterioration was tenfold depreciated by the premature emancipation of the slaves, without any adequate compensation to their former owners; an act neither more nor less than a legalized felony, which brought to the verge of ruin every landed proprietor in the country.
entirely to the tender mercies of this so-called "gentle and inoffensive race of shepherds," who plundered our poor countrymen right and left, whilst the latter were by the most stringent regu|lations debarred from even the use of fire-arms in the defence of their persons and property! Were
Did they not complain? They did. not their complaints listened to? No. And wherefore? Because a set of interested and wily hypocrites had, under the specious cloak of religion and philanthropy, gained the ear of the British public, and British authorities. Because these mendacious traitors had aspersed with vile calumnies their injured fellow-countrymen, had represented their spoliators, these "irreclaimable Kaffir barbarians,' as more sinned against than sinning, and had thus succeeded in turning the current of public opinion decidedly in the latter; the colonists continued therefore to be plundered without redress.
And what was the consequence of this " 'philanthropic" forbearance on the part of the British government towards these banditti hordes of savages? The consequence was, that the Kaffirs, mistaking such forbearance for fear, looking with contempt on a power from whose functionaries constantly emanated the most childish, contradictory, and vacillating edicts, openly set that power at defiance, and, without even a declaration of war, rushed in overwhelming numbers across the border, their onward course fearfully marked by incendiarism, slaughter, and devastation. Hence the Kaffir war of 1834-5, followed by a renewed But all these oppressive enactments had hither-series of missionary misrepresentations, of conseto chiefly weighed on the Dutch colonial inhabi- quent false and injudicious measures on the part tants; it now became the turn of British-born of government, the result of which eventually led subjects equally to participate in those evils, to the last ruinous Kaffir war of 1846-47, and 48; which, under our rule, appear ever to have op-next followed a renewed persecution of the expapressed this ill-fated colony. triated Boers, and lastly that most flagrant of all
The Eastern Province had, from the above- former acts of injustice and oppression-the unmentioned causes, been deserted by its former just and unauthorized decree, which, if carried sturdy defenders, the Dutch Boers; the colony out, would eventually transform an innocent, a was now therefore laid open without defence to rural, and inoffensive population, into a race of the depredations of the Kaffirs-the urgency of felonious malefactors; for moral, like physical the case required some instant remedy; that rem-contamination, once communicated, speedily runs
through every part of the social as well as of the human frame !
Such is the fate at present-like the sword of Damocles-impending over this ever ill-used and much-to-be-pitied colony. Let England however beware; let her pause ere she carry into effect so flagitious a decree, for persecution may be urged at last beyond the powers of human endurance; even the writhing insect will turn on the heel that crushes it; the submission of the hitherto loyal and dutiful inhabitants of the Cape may be tested by too high a degree of pressure; they have now solemnly declared their resolution not to submit, whatever be the consequences, to this new and greatest indignity with which, amidst their manifold wrongs, they have ever had the misfortune to be afflicted; to a contamination by which, not they alone will be immediate sufferers, but involving likewise the fate of a rising generation, and of their still unborn posterity, thus doomed, by a single stroke of an official pen, at once to physical degradation and moral perdition.
This resolution has been passed at a monster meeting held at Cape Town on the 19th of May last, a meeting consisting of thousands of inhabitants of every class and color of which the colony is composed, and directed, moreover, by one of the most respectable and influential men of the colony. The organ of popular opinion at the Cape thus notices the sentiments expressed at this-it may be called-national assembly of the people of South Africa.
200 years' standing, into a convict settlement, in defiance of the universal protest of the inhabitants. No such power is inherent in the British crown. It is a usurpation.
They regard it with respect to their children, to the remotest generations, as a matter of eternal life, and eternal death. They will not witness with their eyes the children of their love, through the extinction of their moral life, delivered over, by an act of their rulers, to the bitter pains of eternal death. They, therefore, lift up their hands to heaven, and swear by Him that liveth forever, that they will not submit to this wrong.
Let, therefore, the minister-from whom has emanated such an act-pause, ere it be carried forcibly into effect; let him, ere too late, rescind this unjust, this arbitrary, this most ill-advised decree; for on his head will rest all the consequences which may ensue, if the inhabitants of the Cape be driven to commit some frantic act of despair.
From the Spectator, 8 Sept.
LOUIS PHILIPPE ON GOVERNMENT. EVERYTHING is true in its essence; falsehood lies in our imperfect knowledge. Louis Philippe's self-defence, as published in the Ordre, may be adulterated by error in the report, by self-deception on the king's part, or by the endeavor to give facts a twist in his own favor; still it is instructive; for much of it is too probable to permit entire disbelief; and, by whomsoever put into words, the reflections are sound. Taking it as we find it, the Three hundred felons, convicted of crimes for which the mitigated code of England awards the moral which we draw from it is, that the want of extreme penalty of transportation beyond the seas, openness and directness, which was commended as for the term of seven, ten, or more years, are al- a source of power in comparatively barbarous ready on their way to the Cape, here to be dispersed times, has ceased to be so, and now really derogates throughout the districts, to mingle with the popula- from the strength of political rulers. This contion, and to find their way to such fields of enter-clusion is suggested, whether we put implicit trust prize among the native tribes on the borders of the in the colloquy or not.
colony, the Kaffirs, Basutos, and Zoolahs, as may The king avers that he governed "constitutionally,"—that is, by the advice of his ministers, and not according to his own individual will; but the very arguments which he adduces to prove it show that he was much more active in council than an English sovereign is understood to be. He intimates that he, with the rest, submitted to "the majority" in council, but that he urged his own views with extreme energy and pertinacity. Thus he wished an authoritative contradiction to the tradition of 1830, that some programme offered to him by Lafayette at the Hotel de Ville received his assent; there was, he insists, no such docuand he drew up a denial, under the signa
be most agreeable to their temper and genius! And should the colonial government permit them to land, at any port or place within this colony, they will, without doubt, be only the advanced guard of an invading army of as many thousands. This colony, then, which has hitherto resisted all attempts that have been made to stain its character, to pollute its domestic life, and to blast its political prospects, by the admixture of European felony, is thus to be recklessly struck down at a blow, by the secretary for the colonies, into the mire of despair and ignominy! The colonists are now fully acquainted with the moral fruits of transportation in penal settlements, completely developed in Van Dieman's Land and Norfolk Island, from which a cry of agony has issued, befitting the lowest depths of eternal woe. And they know that from the peculiar constitution of society in this colony, and to publish in the papers. Imagine Queen Victoria among the tribes beyond, but in constant and daily-sending to the Times her version of the Bedchamincreasing intercourse with it, the introduction and dispersion of felons will speedily open up a lower depth, to swallow up all that is estimable, all that is desirable, all that is hopeful in their lot; and they now declare, in the face of heaven and earth, that they will not submit to this wrong. They deny the right of the crown to inflict it. They deny the right of the crown to convert a free settlement of
ture of "Un Bourgeois de Paris," which he wanted
ber affair, and offering to the right honorable gentlemen in council an autograph letter, signed "A Westminster Elector !" But Louis Philippe's "article" was never published; the cajoling ministers put him off with assurances that the contradiction should be made, and Casimir Perier put the manuscript in his pocket. How one realizes the
art of statecraft; but surely the revolutions of this century, in great part due to misconceptions, and owing their worst features to ignorance, or to the exasperation which attends the awaking from delusion, should teach statesmen that evasion and prevarication are not half such trustworthy reliances as plain truth and substantial fact.
whole scene!the ministers trying to rub on without any decisive declaration, and thinking more of some business immediately in hand; the alert, pursy, clever old gentleman, with his copia verborum, and his letter of" Un Bourgeois de Paris," always thinking of his own reputation-the Silk Buckingham of royal life--the inextinguishable "Mr. Smith." An exquisitely indiscreet man- There is a great deal of force in the ground on uscript it was, no doubt; painfully true, transpar- which Louis Philippe acquits the French people ently intelligible, and astoundingly candid. But, of blame: "For eighteen years they had been says the naïve Ulysses," my opinions were always taught to despise, to detest the personification of opposed, and freely opposed, by those of my minis- authority, that safeguard of the people;" because ters who did not participate in them; and I was we may add, the authority was disguised to them consequently, when in the minority, obliged to by the equivocations of statesmen, and by the equivyield." "This happened very frequently," not ocal demands for "dotations." Louis Philippe only on large questions submitted to the royal de-avers that he was not mercenary and grasping: cision, as coming within the direct exercise of the perhaps; but while his conduct was so misrepreroyal functions, but on "minor points." How sented as he declares it to have been by his minismuch does all this imply!-how busy a contest, ters, he should have held that he was precluded how importunate and bustling a combatant, how from asking for money. He complains that he diligent a canvassing of votes ! It is clear that was undefended, and there is something very disLouis Philippe's council was like a board of guar- gusting in the utter lack of chivalry which the dians or a common council, and that Mr. Smith was silence of his servants and professed friends imbusy as a borough magnate. Only it did un- plies. But why did he consent to act with such luckily happen, that "whenever he was on a jury, men? why did he suffer delicate demands to be it was with eleven obstinate men." made under circumstances so deceptive? why seem a trader when he was a patriot? Possibly there
In spite of all the possible fussiness and impracticability, there is something respectable in this is something more than self-deception in this retrowish to register an appeal to facts, and this desire spective assertion; but at all events, it exposes for openness; and the royal ingenuousness contrasts the extent of weakness which was entailed upon favorably with the official shuffling. The king the monarchy by the want of openness and subwas exposed to calumnious attacks, and demanded stantial truth as its basis. an open explanation. The ministers, perhaps, could not indorse the explanation; but then, they should have said so, and have ceased to be ministers under so unconstitutional a monarch. On the other hand, if the king's view was the true one, there was no reason for shirking a direct and faithful exposition of it. At all events, the perpetual cajolery, procrastination, and evasion, expose a miserably low sense of the ministerial position.
It does appear to be true, that part of the French rage against the monarchy was provoked by a hatred of effective authority-a common error of " republicans." They are trying to do without it now, and have a tyranny-King Log and King Stork in one-a log that bites-a crowned policeofficer, who is accounted harmless because he is called "President," and signs the ukase which is handed up to him by despots underneath the throne.
And was there, then, no "programme of the Louis Philippe admits that he did agree to one Hotel de Ville," nor any equivalent for it? Either point at the Hotel de Ville; although he disclaimed the assertion is wrong, in which case the king being "the best of republics,"—not on any score should have been called to account for making an of modesty, but because "the best of republics is unfounded statement, and therefore governing on a good for nothing." He consented to be "a monwrong tenure; or the fact is so, and not only was archy surrounded by republican institutions." the enthronement of 1830 managed in the most What does that mean? Assuredly, whatever ideas slovenly manner, but the whole subsequent reign may have been attached to the epigrammatic parawas conducted on a false and defective basis. dox, no one ever developed it in an authoritative Either the report of the colloquy makes Louis exposition. Philippe tell an untruth, or that very important
And that epigrammatic paradox was all the
element of stability, a clear understanding, was charter of the French nation! altogether wanting between him, his official servants, and his people. All had different ideas, and were acting on different notions of rights and mutual relations. The people thought there was, A CLAIM is made on behalf of Nelson's represenactually or virtually, a programme; Louis Philippe tative-Horatia, now the wife of an exemplary denied its existence; and the ministers suffered country clergyman, Mr. Ward, Vicar of Tenterden. their policy to rest on those two bases, false and Nelson left Lady Hamilton to his country, and a incompatible-the popular credulity, and the un- grateful country left her to beggary. The said uttered disclaimer; trimming between delusion grateful country accepted his services, which were and repudiation. To play these sleight-of-hand carried to the sacrifice of his life, and chose to enfeats with the truth, has been accounted a proper tertain a controversy with him on the point of mor
als after his death. Lady Hamilton was tolerated| 56,300,0007. At the same time, he contemplates on the deck of the ship that he was needed to com- an ordinary expenditure for 1850 of upwards of mand—nay, she was allowed to afford most mate- 47,000,000/., and an extraordinary expenditure of rial aid to his diplomacy; but when he was gone, upwards of 60,000,000l. We admit that this sum the virtuous country, by its public servants, began is not large for a population of 35,400,000, in comto entertain scruples. parison to the expenditure of our country, 52,000,It is a pity that this question was not settled before 0001. for a population of 28,000,000. But the reNelson committed himself to the battle of Trafalgar; sources of the two peoples must be considered, as but virtue winked at his victories. It may indeed well as what they are accustomed to. It has been esbe presumed that he would not have withheld his timated, for example-and though the estimate may sword from the cause of his country through any rest on no very accurate data, it is approximatively fear about the ultimate requital, although even correct, and may serve as a specimen of the whole Emma was to share the injury; no doubt, he would -that the number of persons in the United Kinghave gone in and won," even with the certainty dom who enjoy incomes of 401. a year and upwards of that crowning ingratitude. But, somehow, it is 2,750,000; while the number of persons who does appear to us that the absence of the man pre-enjoy incomes in France exceeding 367. is not more cludes this country from too nice an overhauling than 671,000. With a population of a fifth less of his little bill after death. It ought to have been paid in full, with a mere glance at the total.
The debt is due still, and, luckily, there is a representative of the creditor to receive the due. Spectator, 8 Sept.
From the Economist.
M. PASSY has laid before the Legislative Assembly his view of the finances of France, and it is not favorable to the government of Louis Philippe. "For the last ten years (is one of the first of his statements) the equilibrium of the budget has ceased to exist. Ever since the end of 1839,
there has not been a year that has not added to the
There was also a very rapid increase of expenditure. According to Mr. Porter's tables, the expenditure was, in 1829, 40,596,577., in 1830, 43,805,6847., and it jumped up in 1831 to 48,584,
It went down in 1834 to 42,542,3771.; but it subsequently increased, till it reached, in 1848, according to Mr. M'Culloch, the sum of 54,400,0001. According to M. Passy, the ordinary expenses of 1849 will not exceed 1,408,776,384f., or *This is the article to which the readers of the Living Age were referred, in connection with that from the Times on Mr. Gurney's speech, in No. 252.
than that of France, the number of persons whose incones are capable of contributing to the public revenues without excessive inconvenience, is four times as great; and, measured by that test, the burden of taxation in our country is much less than the burden of taxation in France. Moreover, a very large part of our taxation, all that which pays the dividend on the national debt to English subjects, is not taken and appropriated by the government for its own purposes; it is merely collected from the whole people to be paid back to a part of them, all the recipients being the inFrance, which at first sight appears light in reladividuals who pay the taxes. The taxation of tion to the number of people, is, in fact, extremely
onerous in relation to their fortunes.
Thus it is credita
What they have been accustomed to, seems to us a still more important consideration than the positive amount of taxation. served by M. Michel Chevalier, the skilfulness and ble to our statesmen; it marks, as has been obwisdom of our government, that a reduction of expenditure, after the conclusion of the peace in 1815, was rapid and continual. But it was not so in France. The number of persons employed under our government has been lessened; but both the number of persons employed under the French government has been augmented, and its expenditure, in relation to the time of the great war, has of the Histoire Parlementaire, the popularity of been much increased. According to the authors the emperor was much on the wane in 1808, on
account of the demands he made on the blood and treasure of the people for the aggrandizement of the dynasty of Napoleon. On examination, we shall find that the people have been more tormented by taxation to serve the purposes of the dynasties of the Bourbons, or keep up a great and mistaken system in which the sovereigns had no personal interest, than ever they were, with the exception of the three last years of the empire, under Boand resources of France, subsequent to his time, naparte. Though the increase of population might have warranted some increase of expenditure, our readers will perhaps learn with astonishment that the average of the taxes levied on the French under Louis Philippe was nearly three