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distinction between the two cases. Here, at the commission of those enormities, you met no man who did not shudder at the mention of them---no man who would not have thought himself polluted by the touch, and degraded by association with such monsters of guilt. In the West Indies, Mr. Hodge, till the last scene of his existence, was received with courtesy in society, and occupied, without offending the feelings of any one, the honours and dignity of the colonial commonwealthTill the last moment, his fellow subjects never appear to have manifested any abhorrence of his guilt, or any disgust at association with him. Would an English judge have borne, for an instant, that it should be questioned whether murder was a punishable offence? Would an English jury, in a case where the evidence of guilt was demonstrably clear, and uncontradicted, have lingered two hours in returning a verdict of guilty ? Would an English jury have recommended the wretched Williams to mercy? Would popular indignation have been roused to the very verge of rebellion in the prospect of his execution ? Would English gentlemen, or English mechanics of the lowest class and station in society, have condescended to live with such a man on terms of familiarity and good fellowship for a single hour? And yet the guilt of this wretched being is scarcely remembered, when compared with that of Hodge --a man with whom, we repeat, the whole society of a West Indian Island lived for years in ease and intimacy, although, as was afterwards apparent, there was not one of them who had not a full knowledge, or the strongest suspicion, of his guilt.
Now we willingly allow, as indeed it is not to be disputed, that, among the white inhabitants of a slave colony, many men are to be found who would be the delight and ornament even of European society---men of active and energetic minds, of high spirit, and boundless gaiety in the intercourse of social life---distinguished beyond most men for their keen and rapid insight into all the varieties of human character---affectionate and hospitable, generous even to the verge of profusion, and gentle and humane to their inferiors and dependants. It is far from our purpose to indulge in indiscriminate censure, and we have made the preceding statement only to establish one conclusion to which we think it inevitably leads. That inference is thisa--that however qualified West Indian planters may be for the discharge of other legislative duties, they cannot safely be entrusted with the sole authority of making laws for the government of the slave population. Independently of experience, indeed, we might, with no great diffidence, have arrived at this conclusion. It is hardly in human nature that men should consult, with much solicitude, the civil rights and interests of those
whom they hold in domestic bondage. It is not consistent with the history of the world to expect that a class of persons, totally excluded from all participation in the legislative authority of a state---connected with that legislature by no identity of interest, by no tie of consanguinity.--at once despised and feared ---destitute of education, and ineligible to the meanest office conferring honour, rank or emolument---that such men should be treated by a legislative assembly, selected exclusively from the higher caste, with common fairness, liberality, or attention. This speculation, however, we are loudly told, is proved to be fallacious by an inquiry into the facts of the case. To those facts we have therefore appealed; and, to recur to the view of the whole question already suggested, we confess ourselves unable to discover, either in the constitution or in the proceedings of the colonial assemblies, any reason to anticipate, that the present race of negro slaves will, under their protection, exist for a longer period than that which European cruelty allotted to their predecessors the native Charih Indians. : We will fairly say, however, that we are not confident in the accuracy of this analogy---nor, in truth, are we very solicitous to prove that the particular view of the subject which we have taken, is unassailable by powerful objections. What then is the result which we propose to establish? In reply to this very pertinent inquiry, we say, in the first place, (to return oncé more to Mr. Sanderson) that it is a question of no light moment, whether we should extend to another colony that system of internal legislation, under which all these abuses have grown up, and by which (to say the least) they have not been controulėda--that, therefore, it behoves our author to furnish himself with something more than opinions and decisions, with some better argument than “Mr. Serjeant Marshall” can find in the recesses of his library, if he wishes to prevail in esta blishing in Trinidad the constitution of our other slave colonies. Let him shew that such an establishment would really promote the happiness, and
tend to maintain the numbers, of the present race of negroes. Let him produce some facts to convince us that his brother colonists, if exalted into legislators, would with more good faith than their neighbours exert themselves diligently to “ ameliorate” the condition of that class of our fellow-subjects, who form ten-fold the more numerous part of the whole population, and who, as destitute of any civil rights, or of any protection against domestic tyranny, are eminently intitled to the protection of the mother country. Till he does this, he must excuse us if we remain unmoved by his eloquence, and unconvinced by his law.
The only other conclusion to which we would, for the present, direct the attention of our readers is---that they should not suppose that, because the trade in slaves is abolished, all the evils of slavery have therefore ceased to exist. Never let it be forgotten that we hold at this moment some millions of our fellow-creatures in a state of the most degrading domestic bondage, and that such a state of things imposes ou us many duties, among which the obligation to extreme vigilance and jealousy, as to the conduct of the planters, is not the least. We will not now attempt to suggest any practical measures for the remedy of the evils we have pointed out ; but we shall not lose sight of the subject; and, as opportunity offers, shall endeavour, to the best of our very humble ability, to explain and support every wise, rational, and prudent measure, which may be proposed for the correction of the existing abuses in the West Indian system, or the amelioration of the state of that unhappy class of mankind who have so long groaned, in those islands, under European oppression.
Art. II. A Şeries of Plays : in which it is attempted to delineate the
stronger Passions of the Mind; each Passion being the Subject of a Tragedy and Comedy. By Joanna Baillie. 3 vols. 8vo. Longman
and Co. 1798, 1802, 1812. Art. III. Miscellaneous Plays. By Joanna Baillie. 8vo. Long
man and Co. 1804. Art. IV. The Family Legend, a Tragedy. By Joanna Baillie.
8vo. Longman and Co. 1810. MOST of our readers know that, about fifteen years ago,
Miss Baillie published the first volume of a series of Plays upon the Passions, in which it was intended to make each stronger passion the subject of both a tragedy and a comedy, and that she has been proceeding in her undertaking with two more volumes, suffering, however, the series to be interrupted, once by a volume of Miscellaneous Plays, and again by a single tragedy, called the Family Legend. It is our intention, in the present article, to speak of all her works together.
Before we enter upon the consideration of the plays themselves, however, we must detain our readers a little upon an old question, which Miss Baillie has brought forward anew in the preface to her first volume ; viz. how it comes to pass that tragedy can be agreeable ?---that a composition, the very glory of which it is to draw tears, should be the source of the most exquisite pleasure? Innumerable have been the hypotheses framed by crafty critics for the explication of this phenomenon, each contending for his own to the exclusion of every other. We are convinced, however, that the pleasure we receive from a well
written tragedy arises from many sources; and he who endeavours to derive it from one, may establish indeed a very ingenious theory, but brings forward, at best, a part only of the truth.
The love of simplicity which leads men to reduce things to few principles, and to conceive a greater simplicity in nature than there really is,' is justly reckoned by Reid among the idola tribús, as Bacon calls them, the errors that beset the whole human species.
We shall endeavour to point out the different powers of the mind which a tragedy interests, in the order of seniority. A child, we imagine, would only be induced to take up a play, whether tragedy or comedy, by the impulse of curiosity: his greatest pleasure, in reading Macbeth, would be to ascertain how the predictions of the witches were accomplished ; and, in Hamlet, how the Prince of Denmark ascertained the murderer of his father : yet he would read as eagerly as most grown people. Curiosity, however, is by no means confined to children; it is a feeling as universal and as strong, as it is useful; and there is scarcely any reader upon whom the interest of the fable is lost. Upon the interest of the fable, indeed, it is that dramatic critics are wont to spend their chief force. To what purpose are the Aristotelian beginning, middle, and end, of a piece, but to excite, to keep alive, and at length to gratify, the curiosity of the reader by the artful management and concatenation of the parts ? Or why is it that the Prometheus Vinctus and the Sampson Agonistes fail to interest us, but because the parts, having no connection, awaken no curiosity? This is one evil of mythological stories. The end is known to every school-boy from the beginning : and, lest there should remain any doubt, any pleasing suspense, as to the means by which that end is to be brought about, Euripides, in general, takes care to let some deity explain, in the prologue, every incident of the play---an artful expedient for keeping alive the interest of the audience. In this point of view, his rival" has a decided superiority; and there is, perhaps, no drama more perfectly constructed, more artful in the gradual developement of the mystery, or more successful in interesting the reader in the result, thạn the Ædipus Tyrannus of Sophocles.
This, however, it may be said, is not a pleasure, arising out of the tragical nature of the story. This is true. In fact, we believe, it will be found that all children, and perhaps the greater part of readers, would rather that every tragedy should end happily---in the discovery of all wicked plots, the shame and discomfiture of the plotters, and the union of some tender couple. Some of our readers may recollect the numerous petitions which Richardson received, when finishing his Clarissa,
praying him to spare his heroine, and, settling a handsome revenue upon her out of the inexhaustible exchequer of the fabulist, to make her a comfortable provision for life. Still, however, the pleasure we have been insisting upon is, undoubtedly, a pleasure arising from every tragedy in a greater or less degree; and the more delight we can trace to this obvious source, the less there will be to be derived from any more peculiar one.
The next mental faculty that would open in a youth to the enjoyment of tragedy would be the imagination. We, who speak the same language that Shakespeare spoke, shall be excused for believing that the finest flowers of poetry are to be looked for in the drama. Is it to be wondered at, that a “ highspirited” youth should throw aside the pastorals of his childhood, and all the odes and epics of this “laggard age,” for the inspiring harangues of young Henry on the field of battle, or Vernon's account of the royal army? or that he of tenderer feelings and a more sentimental cast, should find no poetry like the melancholy musings of Jaques, no beauty like the romantic loveliness of Miranda ? The finest poetry of the drama, however, is that which is wrought up of pity and terror; and this brings us more immediately into contact with the question which we originally proposed to ourselves. And here we must have recourse to the theory of one, whose metaphysics are almost always to be doubted, and whose principles are almost always to be reprobated ---We mean David Hume. In this instance, we think, he is right---though his theory is opened in the loosest and vaguest manner possible, We must explain it in our own way,
There is poetry too powerful for a mind in a listless, and acę quiescent state, just as there are sports and exercises too vigorous for a relaxed and languid body. To make the one and the other capable of these high gratifications, they must be braced and rouzed, the body by invigorating liquors, the mind in a manner suitable to its nature. There is a preparation necessary before it can effervesce on the application of these lofty fancies. The figures and images and expressions of a man under the domịnion of violent passions, seem insanity to him whose mind is calm and unagitated. He must be made to sympathize with the sufferer, must feel in a measure the agonies of grief, and the palpitations of terror, and the madness of rage, and then he may enter into the higher and grander beauties of the tragic strain; the feelings are then suited to the subject.
This theory Hurd appears in no wise to have understood; or he would never have written about it in the following
• But of all the solutions of this famous difficulty, that which we I have just now received from Mr. Hume is by far the most curious.