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tical details, we could exhibit a picture from Parliamentary and authentic documents of progressive ruin in those noble establishments, which would amply bear out, and even exceed this
She next, practically speaking, shortened by two years the period of negro apprenticeship, and thereby completely disorganized all the plans which the planters had laid, for enabling them to wind up their affairs during the period of apprenticeship. And when it became manifest that the negroes would not work, and that a fresh supply of labourers became indispensable to maintain industry in the West India Islands, we passed Acts of Parliament prohibiting the introduction of free Asiatic labourers, I and promulgated regulations in the island, which, by giving the planters no security in the retention of the labour of free European workmen, have in effect cut off all means of supplying the place of the indolent negroes in the cultivation of the land.
What have we done during the same period in Canada? It would appear from our conduct to that noble colony, that we were desirous of disgusting it so completely with the rule of the mother country, as to throw it headlong into the arms of the United States. We first winked at and promoted republicanism and sedition to such a degree, as to fan them into ac$tual rebellion; and, though aware for years that an insurrection was rapidly approaching, we left the colonies with only 3500 British soldiers to protect them from destruction. When the first revolt was put down by this gallant handful of men, and the strenuous support of the loyal North American British population, we carried the system of conciliation, concession, and dallying with treason to such a length, as to cause the rebellion to break out a second time under circumstances of still greater horror, and when it required to be extinguished in oceans of blood. While the wintry heavens were illuminated by the light of burning villages, and the wintry forests were strewed with the carcasses of slaughtered peasants, we submitted quietly to the insulting inroads of hundreds of buccaneers and pirates from the American territory, in a way that never yet was done by the government of any independent state.
When the royal banner of the loyal inhabitants in Upper Canada had surmounted these various evils, and a second time restored peace to a distracted land, the sympathy of our rulers with their old allies-the republican party in America-was so strong, that they have never proposed a vote of thanks in either House of Parliament or from the Crown, to the brave soldiers and patriots who saved the empire from dismemberment! Lastly, to show our sympathy with the antinational party in our transatlantic possessions, in our total disregard to their vital interests, we placed at the head of the colonial department Lord Normanby, whose policy in Ireland was graced by the wholesale liberation of felons and anti-national convicts, and placed at the head of the Government in Quebec, Poulett Thomson, the President of the Board of Trade, who is chiefly known by his long established connexion with the Baltic timber trade, and his often avowed predilection for an equalisation of e duties on Baltic and Canadian timber.
Serious as these evils are, we much fear that greater and more heavy blows at our colonial interests are yet in the contemplation of our infatuated Government. Acting on the dictation of the urban constituencies, whose great object is to buy cheap, and still clinging to the blind system of foreign propitiation, there is little room for doubting that they will ere long, perhaps in the next Session of Parliament, bring forward ministerial plans for equalizing the duties on Baltic and Canadian timber, and Foreign and British sugar. Strong indications of these intentions have already appeared in the speeches of many of the supporters of Government, and the appointment of Mr Poulett Thomson to the viceroyalty of Canada may be considered as the official promulgation of their intention. Let no one imagine that these propositions are so obviously destructive in their effects, and bear so obviously the tendency to dismember the empire, that therefore they will not be attempted by a Ministry whose only principle seems to be to prolong their official existence, without any regard to the jeopardy which the means of accomplishing that object may place the existence or independence of the country. It is never to be
forgotten, that to procure the support of O'Connell's tail, they have surrendered the government of Ireland and the direction of the nation to the Popish faction, whose bond of cement is the repeal of the Union, that is, the dismemberment of the empire. True, by establishing a free trade in timber, we should annihilate the industry of our North American Colonies, and throw them at once into the arms of the United States, and cut off at once 600,000 tons of British shipping, and altogether extinguish both our maritime superiority and national independence. True, by equalizing the duties on Foreign and British sugar, we should utterly destroy our West India Colonies, and perpetuate that hideous tearing of 200,000 negroes from the shores of Africa, which we have professed ourselves so anxious to prevent. But what does all that signify?—the urban constituencies must be propitiated; a few stray seats at the next election may turn the balance in favour of the Destructive or Conservative party; and the cry of cheap sugar and cheap bread may catch these stray votes and cast the balance.
It is childish to descant always upon the weakness and imbecility of ministers, or suppose that a tortuous policy, so flagrantly dangerous and impolitic as that which we have just been considering, is to be ascribed to the mere recklessness or want of capacity of our present rulers. It is
perversity in the public mind which is the real source of the evil-it is the short-sighted views of the numerous constituencies that have so long rendered a remedy impossible. lonies are wholly unrepresented in the House of Commons; the ten-pounders have the disposal of the majority of the seats in that Assembly; to buy cheap is their immediate interest, and it matters little to the short-seeing masses what effect that cheap buying may ultimately have upon their own or the national interests. Here is the true secret of colonial misgovernment; we are governed by masses who think only of buying cheap, and the interest of the colonies is to sell dear. Eight years ago we foresaw, and distinctly predicted this effect, as necessarily flowing from the Reform Bill.
All the colonial calamities that have since occurred are but the accomplishment of our predictions in this particular.*
The colonies were not actually represented under the old constitution, but they were virtually so, because colonial wealth found an easy entrance into Parliament through the means of the close boroughs. The Whigs have destroyed that avenue for colonial representation in the House of Commons; time will show whether they have not destroyed with it the colonial empire and national independence of Great Britain.
* Blackwood's Magazine, September 1831, vol. xxx. p. 436.
"Now I believe the Troglodites of old,
Since every where, about these parts, in holes
How pleasant here to dream the hour away
Then shoreward to descend through whispering alleys,
Of that swift-gliding, coy, and arrowy stream;
Let lovely Devon now, reluctant Muse!
In the Trinacrian isle, where gloomy Dis
Loved her, nursed, rear'd with all a mother's care,
The Princess-ah! too soon, and not too late-
Much had she read in history's glozing page,
Mistrusting not her well-pleased ears and eyes,
And, while they cringed, threw treacherous meshes round her?
Alas that honesty should be deceived,
That flattery more than truth should be believed!
Alas that Argenis, the royal maid,
Should be by her false favourites betray'd!
Whilst yet the Sicels were in war engaged,
Amongst themselves no fierce contentions raged;
Oh crooked souls! down drooping to the ground,
Law was despised, and order overborne,
The first in favour and in place, not rank,
Was one whose age play'd many a youthful prank;
Too soon their mistress thought their converse sweet,
While they wink'd with their eyes, spake with their feet,
And to her ears their whisper'd scandal brought,