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by the author, appears very plainly by his discourse to be none other than the angel of the British School Society. He makes a still better speech than his brother of the Church of England, and recommends the interests of education to the Royal Pair, in several very moving, though rather tedious stanzas,-which terminate in the following harmonious distich—
The heart of man is rich in all good seeds;
Neglected, it is choked with tares and noxious weeds.' We are next recreated with the presentation of Hope and Charity, who seem upon this occasion to sustain the character of the angels of the Missionary and Bible Societies, and exhort the Princess to spare no pains for the conversion of the Heathen. Speranza is the prolocutor, and ends her address, by repeating these two lines in small capitals.
THY KINGDOM COME! THY WILL BE DONE, O LORD!
AND BE THY HOLY NAME Through all the World aDORED!' -at which words the roof of the drawing-room opens, and a bright Cross is seen far up in the sky. The poet shuts his eyes on the splendour; and, on opening them again, sees the last of the allegorical company,-a dim, dreary looking figure, but with divinest beauty in his awful face.' He makes his compliment and speech like the rest; and the Dream ends with his last words, in which he announces to the bridal party— 'My name is DEATH-the last best friend am I.'
The Epilogue need not detain us very long.-It consists almost entirely of an apology for, or rather a zealous encomium on the flat stupidities of that part we have now hastily gone over. The poet ingeniously supposes that some frivolous reader may say
'Are these fit strains for Royal ears to hear?' and sets himself accordingly to show that they are the fittest and the worthiest, and the most precious that could possibly have been employed on the occasion. We have not patience to go over the dull prosing of this panegyric on his own genius and judgment. He has touched indeed, he confesses, upon awful subjects
Yet surely are they such as, viewed aright,
Lighter themes, he candidly admits, might have been more amusing-but then their delights would soon wither like spring flowers;-whereas his sublime strains are evergreens, and moreover of sovereign virtue
Yea, while the Poet's name is doomed to live, So long this garland shall its fragrance give.' and so on in the same vein of high poetry and lowly modesty through some dozen stanzas.-The work ends with one entitled,
'L'Envoy '-which breathes the very soul of silliness and selfcomplacency.
Go, little Book, from this my solitude, ..
I cast thee on the waters: .. go thy ways!
The world will find thee after many days.
Go, little Book! in faith I send thee forth.' p. 69.
It is impossible to feel any serious or general contempt for a person of Mr Southey's genius;-and, in reviewing his other works, we hope we have shown a proper sense of his many merits and accomplishments. But his Laureate odes are utterly and intolerably bad; and, if he had never written any thing else, must have ranked him below Colley Cibber in genius, and above him in conceit and presumption. We have no toleration for this sort of perversity, or prostitution of great gifts; and do not think it necessary to qualify the expression of opinions which we have formed with as much positiveness as deliberation.-We earnestly wish he would resign his livery laurel to Lord Thurlow, and write no more odes on Court galas. We can assure him too, most sincerely, that this wish is not dictated in any degree by envy, or any other hostile or selfish feeling. We are ourselves, it is but too well known, altogether without pretensions to that high office-and really see no great charms either in the salary or the connexion-and, for the glory of writing such verses as we have now been reviewing, we do not believe that there is a scribbler in the kingdom so vile as to think it a thing to be coveted.
ART. IX. A Letter to a Member of Parliament, on the Slavery of the Christians at Algiers. By WALTER CROKER, Esq. of the Royal Navy. London, Stockdale. 1816.
WE rejoice very sincerely in observing the disposition at length evinced by the Legislature, to urge the government towards the performance of a duty imperative upon this country, if all regard to character and consistency has not departed from among us. The discussion which took place at the close of last Session, upon Mr Brougham's motion, clearly evinces, that the day is not far distant, when the ignominious license, too long indulged to the Barbary Pirates, will be numbered, with the Slave Trade, among those monstrous departures from publick justice and policy, to which nothing but length of time could ever have reconciled the feelings of men, and in
the existence of which it will be difficult for them to believe, after they have once awakened to a sense of duty, and looked back, at the distance of but a few years, to the disgraceful usage of past centuries.
Already, indeed, it is little less than incredible, that the civilized nations of Europe should so long have endured the piracy of those bloody and despicable Barbarians, who ravage the fairest coasts of its southern regions, and daily commit with impunity outrages, the least of which, if offered once in twenty years, by one great power to another, must have proved the cause of instant war, and only been repaired by a prodigious waste of blood and treasure, almost all over the civilized world. The law of nations has seemed hitherto to visit with its penalties only the more rare and trivial breaches of its enactments; while, towards the constant perpetration of the blackest crimes in the catalogue, it has held forth the sure encouragement of a previous pardon,-not by connivance, for it took notice of the offences,but exhibiting the mock figure of perverted Justice, with her eyes open, her balance reversed, and her sword flung away.
It is scarcely possible to account for this anomaly. If we say that the law of nations is a Christian code, and has no sway over Infidels, the fact refutes us presently; for we maintain all the usual relations of political intercourse with the Turk; nay, we have consuls and vice-consuls in the dominions of the piratical States themselves. If it be pretended that the Barbarians never came into our notions of right, and have in all ages exercised the trade of spoliation; the answer is, that, beyond all memory, it has been the universal practice of nations to regard pirates as enemies of the human race, and to inflict summary punishment upon them whensoever they were caught; so that the right of the one party to punish, rests on the same prescriptive title behind which the other shelters his offending. If, again, an exception be alleged, by suggesting that the Corsairs are not lawless pirates, but vessels bearing a national flag, and recognized by their own government, which authorizes their proceedings; then we reply, that this only shifts the crime from the agent to the principal, or rather gives us a right to visit with punishment both the subject and the power which protects him. But we are wasting time in contending with such fanciful arguments. The true reason of that forbearance so long shown towards the Robbers, has been the mutual jealousy of the powers who should have united to extirpate them. There was always some notion of interest, either present or expected; some preposterous and shameful project of turning the friendship of the Barbarians to account, in a quarrel or a
rivalry with a civilized neighbour; some pitiful shopkeeper's calculation, that their traffic might yield exclusive advantages,-or some yet more contemptible speculation, that their hostility might be pointed against a competitor for power. If the archives of European diplomacy could be ransacked by some person of patience more than human, and of a perverted taste for the study of elaborate trifling mingled with infatuation and misconduct in great concerns, high among the monuments of incredible folly and wickedness, we will venture to say, would stand the despatches touching Algerine affairs. We make no doubt that, but a few years ago, would be found MOST SECRET AND CONFIDENTIAL' letters, reckoning upon the assistance of his Highness the Dey in provisioning a fleet or a garrison, and stating to your Lordship' the gratifying assurances of his continued good dispositions towards His Majesty,' and his hostility towards the persons at present exercising the government of France.' Indeed, the common belief in the Mediterranean is, that we rather encourage the piracy of these freebooters, for the purpose of opposing the commerce of other nations;-a most false charge undoubtedly in this extent, but so far founded in truth, that we might, by a word, have put them down long ago, and that we have always for one reason or another abstained from exerting our lawful means of destroying them.
At the present moment there is an end, for some time, of the deadly feuds which have so long disfigured the face of civilized society. It seems, therefore, to be the fittest period that could be imagined for redeeming our character, and rescuing all Christendom from the imputations which have so long lain upon it, of never waging war under the banners of the Cross, unless where cruelty or plunder were the objects, and fanaticism the cloak of the enterprize. The information contained in Mr Croker's letter, meagre as it is, suffices to augment the just and generous feelings which naturally impel every thinking mind towards such a purpose as soon as the subject is mentioned.
This officer was sent to Algiers upon service, in the command of a sloop of war attached to the Mediterranean squadron, in July 1815; and having thus had an opportunity of witnessing something of the interior of that piratical state, he tells us plainly and distinctly what he saw, with feelings of honest indignation. While he was there, a large body of Christian slaves were brought from the port of Bona; and he learnt, from the concurrent testimony of all the Consuls, the history of those wretched sufferers. They were the survivers of 357 captured by two Algerine corsairs, carrying English colours for the purpose of decoying their victims within their reach. They had been driven
like a herd of cattle' a journey of many days, and fifty-nine had died of misery during that time. One unhappy youth fell dead at the Dey's feet, while they were undergoing the usual ceremony of presentation. In the first six days after their arrival, nearly seventy more perished miserably. This is a mortality greatly exceeding that of the middle passage and seasoning in the worst periods of the African Slave Trade. Mr Croker saw the wretched survivers driven out in the morning promiscuously with the mules' to the public quarries, where they were worked together. He inquired the history of many of them, and was told that they had been captured while under the protection of English passports, and employed in purchasing grain for our armies. Another instance is added of the same kind.
'When the island of Ponza was added to the conquests of His Majesty's arms, the great addition of the English garrison, and our squadron, occasioned considerable anxiety for the means of maintenance of the inhabitants themselves, as well as of the necessary refreshments and supplies for their new masters and benefactors, as they called us. It was also a consideration of such moment to the commanding officer of our forces, that he encouraged the spirit of commerce, which had already shown itself in the natives, by requesting English passports to different places, for grain, for the use of the island. These passports were not only willingly granted, but an intended support was also given them; namely, a permission to wear the British flag.
Some of these poor unfortunate men, returning from one of their little enterprizes, were, within sight of their own island, boarded by six boats belonging to two Algerine pirates;-the colours which they vainly looked to for protection, were, by these assailants, torn in pieces and cast into the sea, and the unhappy crew were dragged to slavery. Such was the fate of poor Vicenza Avelino, and his unoffending crew of eleven or twelve men, who surely were as much entitled to English protection as the inhabitants of any other island which wore the English colours!
You will judge what an English officer's feelings must have been, when surrounded by these miserable men, who, with tears, inquired, If England knew their fate? or if they were to expect any mercy from our all-powerful nation?
'I own, I cannot but wish that some of those English gentlemen, who travel in search of pleasure in the Mediterranean, would pay Algiers a visit, even for one week; I am sure they could not fail to feel, like me, the degradation to which the Christian name is exposed, and to endeavour, on their return home, to exert their abilities and influence in a cause which no one doubts to be meritorious; but which actual inspection would make every man feel to be a solemn, religious, and moral duty.
'I should add, that on the arrival of these new slaves, our Consul sent his interpreter to the bani and hospital, to find out if