Imatges de pÓgina
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family had emigrated when he was a child, cne was a Prussian, one a Spaniard, 0

, one a Dane, and one an Englishman, who had been wrecked on our coast, and was working his passage home. The weather was no sooner clear, than a boat shoved off from one of the ships, and pulled towards us. We hid the Englishman in an empty cask, and the rest of the crew hunted up their evidences of national character. We were soon boarded and the crew was ''mustered: Much the finest man, and much the ablest seaman we had, the first mate excepted, was a' man from New Jersey, named Cooke. "The lieutenant picked him out by instinct. Cooke produced the usual American protection. « This will not do," said the Lieutenant, “I can buy one of these for two dollars in New York.” * Will this do?": asked Cooke, producing another document. He had a certificate of discharge from the British frigate Cambrian, signed by her captain, G. P. Beresford, I think, 'on account of his having satisfactorily proved that he was a native citizen of the United States, after having served in that ship some eighteen months, if my memory does not fail me!" The Lieutenant was staggered at this. Looking about him, and hearing so much broken English in answer to his questions, he soon" fastened on another man, the second-best of our crew. This man, whose name was-Gaines, was a native of the city of New York, He too brought forth his protection, but it was not heeded. Gaines had served long in the ship, and the officers interfered warmly in his behalf, when the Lieutenant very cooly answered that he would not have his trouble for nothing, and compelled the poor fellow to go, with him. We asked the name of his ship, and he gave us one, pointing to a vessel towards which his boat however did not steer. We could never find Gaines. Our ship soon went up to London, when Cooke asked me to go with him to one of the public offices to get some prize money for his service in the Cambrian. We went, and on account of some formality Cooke was required to leavé, until next day, his certificate of discharge, which contained the dates of his period of service. I remember the countenance with which he entered the street as if it were but yesterday." "Here I am without a paper, and six feet high," he said, “ for they have kept my discharge in this office, and the Lieutenant, who impressed Gaines, carried off with him my protection." I knew the latter fact

to be true. In less than an hour he was carried off from before my eyes by a press-gang. I never heard of him afterwards, for all attempts to trace him were fruitless

-« Of all the questions between the two countries, that of impressment is the most serious, and it is the one which the wise men of both nations ought to consider, 'now there is opportunity to do it calmly. The peace of 1815 left this cause of dispute just were it was. The American Government was blamed for apparently abandoning one of the principal rights for which it made war. But it abandoned nothing. The peace became a general peace, during which there would be no impressments, and it was wise to defer the settlement of the dispute, since every twenty-three years doubled the population, and quadrupled the other resources of the United States. But England has stood on the verge of a general war for the last twelvemonth, and is far from being assured of a long continuance

of peace.. As between the United States and England, there exist no serious grounds of dispute at all likely to lead to a contest. Their trade is immense, and although it is idle to expect that America will not become a great manufacturing nation, (and a great rival manufacturing, nation too,)the increase of that country is so rapid. that, by changing the nature of the articles, there must exist, for a long time to come, perhaps always, great motives for maintaining the present commercial intercourse. Is it discreet to leave the peace of two countries, so situated, at the mercy of third parties ?. The moment England is involved in a serious war, she will resort to im pressment, (unless the question be attended to previously,) and the moment her officers begin to impress, her sailors will begin to take refuge in other countries. One effect of an European war will be to; increase, and that suddenly, the tonnage of America, and of course to create an extra demand for seamen. In a country like ours there is never any great surplus supply of any particular branch of manual labour for a long period. When one pursuit is occupied men turn to another. The consequence will be that our merchants will avail themselves of their, unquestionable right of employing any seamen that offer, England and all nations practice this right, in war or in peace, as neutrals or as belligerents. The flag is the protection of the individual, unless it enter the ports of the nation claiming the services of the refugee.

“ Wise men will not consult their recollections, and their pride, and their wishes, on a subject like this, but the necessities of the case. To me it seems as certain, as that the sun which sets to-night will rise to-morrow, that a war with the United States will follow a war. between England and any other great maritime, power, unless this question shall be disposed of before hostilities are commenced. Writers in the Quarterly Review may believe it adds to their importance by treating this matter superciliously, but when the United States put afloat thirty or forty sail of the line, as I am prepared to demonstrate they could readily do, and as I am certain they would do, in the event of another, war with England, what avails these airs ? These, ships must be met, and fought, and taken--the question will not be in the least decided-ray, and all that might be sent to replace , them.

“ The statesman who shall dispose of this complicated question now there a calm and an opportunity to the mutual satisfaction of the i two nations, will merit general gratitude. Nauseous eulogies from the pen of interested writers will never settle the right of impressment. It must be treated by men of masculine understandings, and of simple, honest intentions, with a desire to avoid a great and threatening danger. All the sentimentalists in Christendom will never make of England and the United States anything but riyal nations ; but their rivalry need not degenerate into malignancy, unless one party betrays a domineering and the other a turbulent temper. The competition between men is frank, and generates, respect ;--it is the spirit of sycophancy that tempts one to presume, and which would induce the other to submit."

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THE SLAVE SHIP.

GAZE! Gaze! and tremble!-Hark!-dost hear that voice
Which talks amidst the storm, and will be heard ?
Who comes? Who rides upon the winged wind,
Driving the roaring ocean where he wills?
Whose fiery wrath darts forth from out the clouds
That hang above us, black and terrible?
'Tis He-the loved, the fear'd, the worshipp'd—HE,
God the Almighty! God the Infinite !
Look on him, and obey! Defy him not,
In wish nor action :-he is everywhere :
He hears thee ere thy thought doth spring to speech.
Yet, why this fiery vengeance? Hath the Deep
Anger'd its Master? Have the enormous broods
Grown mutinous within their watery homes ?
Nothing see I upon the turbulent waves,
Save one small speck—so small, it well might be
Some buoy or cork, which fishers leave at night
To catch their careless prey. That little thing
Can raise no anger, call down no revenge!
Peace! fool; there lies the cause! The sinful ones
Howl from that floating grave. Kuow, all within
Are bad, and all are doom'd :—the innocent
Have died beneath their whips and stifling bands,
And none, save tyrants, live ,—and they shall die!
—That is the Slave Sup! Some short days ago
She left the Gold-coast, where she sought to trade-
Not for sweet spice or gums, but-human flesh !
The brother bought his brother: men were torn
From those they loved; fond mothers from their babes;
And children, who had scarcely learn’d to weep,
Were slaughter'd. All was done with such remorse
As when we tread upon a weed, and cry
“ How pleasant is the green-sward !”

But now comes
The hour of vengeance :—the Avenger's near:
No eagle o'er the serpent half so sure.
Lightning and thunder, winds and bellowing seas,
Tell all, without the help of prophecy.
And, see !-more grim than Death, the ravenous shark
Follows in silence. Not a sound escapes;
But, when the worn ship cracks, the monster turns
His teeth against the sky, and waits his prey.
So must be die who builds on human blood
His swollen fortunes-whose vile scourges kill
The spirit of Freedom in the human soul!
On earth or ocean it shall be the same:
Death shall coine, pale with horror: Heaven's bright wrath
Shall fall upon him wheresoe'er he be:
No day of pleasant skies, no night of rest;
But burning, bad desires-eternal fears;
And, last-the hopeless grave!

B.

313

it was

THE FIRE AT PERA.—BY AN EYE-WITNESS. The district called Pera is a peninsular promontory, which stands on the side of the harbour opposite to Constantinople, and was called llepa by the Greeks of the lower Empire for that reason, because

on the other side." It is formed by the Bosphorus, and the harbour, that wash its base, from whence it rises to a high ridge. Along the spine or summit of this ridge runs the great leading avenue, called by way of eminence “ Pera Street." From this descend, at each side, sundry very steep and narrow lanes formed in many places into shallow steps or stairs, impassable for any kind of carriage, but frequently ascended by horses and every day by hummals or porters, bearing heavy burdens which have landed from ships or boats on the shores below. These steep narrow avenues, which resemble the “ Wynds” in Edinburgh, lead to Tophana, Galata, Tersanha, or the Arsenal, and many other important and populous places, either on the waters of the Bosphorus or of the harbour. At one extremity of the Peninsula is the valley of Dolma Bactché, through which the Turks dragged their ships at the siege of Constantinople, and above it are the great burying-grounds of different nations, where people of all countries and opinions at length repose together in peace: these occupy the broad Isthmus which connects the Peninsula with the country. At the other extremity is the Genoese city of Galata, still surrounded by a battlemented wall, enclosing a narrow semicircular town on the sea-shore, the convex part of the arch turned towards the sea. From the burying-ground to Galata is a continued town of about three miles in length, through the heart of which runs the Pera Street, with little deviation from a right line. As the view from this elevated street is very beautiful and extensive, all the Franks of opulence have here their town residences, and all the Ambassadors their palaces. It was therefore adorned with more extensive and goodly edifices than are to be found in any other part of the Turkish empire; the rest of the town, however, is mean and dirty, consisting of wooden houses crammed into lanes and alleys and crowded with people. The whole population of the Peninsula has been estimated at 200,000, and the number of houses at 30,000.

Of all the edifices which distinguished Pera, the most conspicuous and delightful was the British Palace, and the circumstances connected with it must have endeared it to the minds of Englishmen. The first residence of the Embassy at Pera was a small building which had been a private house near the Galata Seraé. But when we had rendered such essential service to the Turks by expelling the French from Egypt, they evinced their gratitude in a conspicuous manner, by providing a princely residence for the representative of his Britannic Majesty in the Turkish capital. There stood, in the most elevated part of the town, an open space with a number of small wooden houses scattered over it. These the Turks cleared away, surrounded the area with a substantial wall, and, while Lord Elgin was Ambassador, laid the foundation of a large palace in the centre, and when it was raised a few yards with solid stone, conferred it on the English, to finish it on the plan in which it was begun. The late Levant Company gave 10,0001. and the British Government con

Oct. - VOL. XXXII. NO. CXXX.

Y

tributed the remainder, so as to complete it in a style of correspondent magnificence. But the circumstance which rendered it particularly interesting was, the delicate compliment paid by the Turks to British feeling and opinion. When it was ready, they sent, on the day on which it was opened for the reception of the Embassy, a number of their slaves, who were emancipated on the spot, and given to understand they owed their freedom to English philanthropy; and it was particularly affecting to see many of these poor people, who had been thirty years in chains, bending in gratitude to their benefactors. Never perhaps was a higher compliment paid by one nation to the sentiments of another, or the opening of an edifice hallowed by a more impressive ceremony.*

The edifice stood nearly in the centre of a demesne, including a lawn and garden of about four acres, enclosed from the streets by a high and substantial wall. It was an oblong quadrangular building of three stories, surmounted on the roof by a lofty kiosk or square cupola, which commanded most extensive views of the Bosphorus, Sea of Marmora, Constantinople, and the surrounding countries—and lighted a large hall within, round which were the apartments. One of these was the grand hall or reception room ; at one end stood the throne, as the representative of Majesty, on the steps of which the unfortunate Caroline was often seen sitting and weeping when she made Constantinople her short sojourn. This room was lighted by very splendid lustres, and the floor was formed of inlaid mosaic of different woods, and, whether considering its size or its decoration, was certainly the finest in the Turkish empire. The others were in a style of corresponding grandeur : every Ambassador added something to the ornaments and decoration ; and Mr. Canning, it is said, expended 10,0001. in alterations and improvements while he remained at Pera. The garden, however, was the favourite object of care. Lady Liston caused exotics to be brought from every country; the woods about the Black Sea were searched for the most beautiful shrubs and trees, to form walks and plantations ; and it became not only the most ornamental, but the most delightful retreat in the centre of a dense and crowded city.

Pera, in common with cther Turkish towns, has been always subject to fires. The inflammable Moslem houses, the exceeding carelessness of the people, their impressions of predestination, an arid climate, and strong winds, produce more frequent and more extensive conflagrations at Constantinople, than in any other country in the world. Within ten years Pera has been ravaged by five dreadful fires, which have in succession burned down every house on the Peninsula. In March 1822, a woman in Tophana left a tandour burning, while she went to the mosque. On her return her room was on fire, and from this commencement the whole of Tophana and Foudekli was consumed, and not a house was left standing from Galata to Dolma Bactché; and for nearly three miles, the face of the city which looked down on the Bosphorus, was one continued blaze,

See Walsh's “ Account of the Levant Company;" also Clarke, who was present on the occasion.

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