Imágenes de páginas

Deity, the various evils of poverty and ignorance which confront us ou every side. But it would be more reasonable, as well as more decorous, to inquire in the first place, how far such evils arise necessarily from the law of nature, and how far, on the other hand, they admit of easy mitigation, and only need that care and attention which the Christian religion enjoins every man to bestow upon his neighbour. When a South American Indian is seized with an infectious disorder, he is shut up in a solitary hovel, and abandoned to his fate. In our improved state of society, the sufferer under a similar calamity experiences the benefit of skill and care, and is probably recovered. But we must not be Europeans in our treatment of bodily maladies, and Americans as to the minds and morals of our fellow-creatures. The Author of our existence, when he did not exempt us from the civil or physical disorders of an imperfect state, ordained also that each should have their alleviations; without which mankind would live miserably or perish prematurely. Those alleviations, indeed, are not definitely pointed out or prescribed. Neither was it possible they should be; inasmuch as they depend on circumstances varying at every point of civilization, varying in every climate and country, and even in the same country according to its progress towards opulence. The human race, whose faculties are infinitely improved by a state of advanced civilization, is bound to employ them in discovering and applying the remedies of those evils which peculiarly belong to each condition of society.

It is a part of the system by which the Deity acts universally, to render man a free and spontaneous, but not a necessary instrument of his own welfare.

-Pater ipse colendi

Haud facilem esse viam voluit, primusque per artem

Movit agros, curis acuens mortalia corda;

Nec torpere gravi passus sua regna veterno.

This is as true of the natural as of the moral world. Neither soil can dispense with cultivation. But both are so constituted as to be cepable of excellent produce. Let that only be undertaken, which in our advanced stage of civilization is within the reach of practicable accomplishment, and the general state of society, like the country it cultivates, would on every side be full of "beauty to the eye and music to the ear."-(pp. 290—292.)

Having already, we fear, more than exhausted the patience of our readers, we shall only observe of the evils and advantages of uncivilized life, that its evils seem evidently intended by Providence to excite the sufferers to those exertions which are to advance them in the progress of society;—and that we cannot agree with Mr. Sumner in classing what he calls its advantages under the head of compensations for those enjoyments which might be acquired by fulfilling the purposes of Providence. Such a statement confounds all our ideas of the scheme of moral government displayed in the previous chapters of the Essay, and appears to us to involve the absurdity of supposing that the Creator has infused into

his own plan ingredients of a nature to counteract the salutary influences which he expects from its application. This chapter, however, like all the rest, contains many ingenious remarks, and illustrations; and though it requires to be read with caution, will afford subjects of useful and agreeable reflection to a contemplative mind.

The practical inferences most necessary for and useful to mankind,' which by the terms of the contract were to be deduced 'from the whole,' are confined by Mr. Sumner within a space of twenty pages; and even the greater part of these is devoted to the removal of sceptical objections against the Divine goodness and justice, founded upon the absence of the frequent and visible interference of the Almighty in the affairs of men ;- —a discussion evidently forming part of the main argument. At this scanty notice of so important a branch of the inquiry proposed, we cannot help expressing some surprize and regret. We should have thought that a more attractive subject could scarcely have been offered to a Christian divine and philosopher, than the inferences justly deducible from the dealings of God with man in the ways of providence and grace. Where He has done so much for us, that we should be ready to sacrifice all for him, is a position, which even insulated from every other, involves all the modifications of self-denial and of humility, introduced by the various relations of ranks, and of individuals to themselves and others, but which every individual of every rank is so averse from investigating, and from practising even to the extent of his knowledge. We admit that a full detail of these duties would have been inconsistent with the limits of the Essay, and perhaps unnecessary from the facility with which access may be had to the knowledge of them in the works of other writers. But a concise and eloquent summary, enlarging occasionally upon those points which are least obvious, most difficult of attainment, and most imperative in the times and nation in which we live, would have been both within the powers of Mr. Sumner, and consistent with the limits to which he was confined. We shall be glad to follow him through such a summary upon some future occasion, and if he will now undertake it, we shall be very far from regretting that its execution was delayed.

ART. IV. A Voyage round the World, from 1806 to 1812; in which Japan, Kamschatka, the Aleutian Islands, and the Sandwich Islands were visited, &c. By Archibald Campbell. Edinburgh. 1816.


N one of the steam-boats that ply on the river Clyde, the appearance of a poor young sailor, who was playing on the violin for the amusement of the passengers, attracted the notice of Mr. Smith,

the editor of the present volume. He had lost both feet; and, from the unskilful manner in which the amputation of them had been performed, the wounds were still unhealed. The answers which this poor man gave to some questions put to him, excited so much curiosity, that Mr. Smith took him home, with the intention of making a few memoranda of his story, for his own information. The modest and intelligent manner in which he told it, and the curious information which it contained, created a strong interest on behalf of the narrator; and the hope that an account of his voyage might be of service to an unfortunate and deserving man, and not unacceptable to those who take pleasure in contemplating the progress of mankind in the arts of civilization, gave rise to the present publication.'

Archibald Campbell was born at Wyndford near Glasgow, in the year 1787. On the death of his father, who was a soldier, his mother removed to Paisley, when he was about four years of age; here he received the common rudiments of education, and at the age of ten was bound apprentice to a weaver; but, before he had completed his time, a strong desire to see foreign countries induced him to go to sea: and in the year 1800 he entered as an apprentice on board the Isabella of Port Glasgow, in which he made three voyages to the West Indies; after this he sailed in a coaster, and then again for the West Indies. At Madeira he was pressed into the Diana frigate; ran from her at Portsmouth in 1806, and entered on board the Thames Indiaman, Captain Riches, bound for China. At Canton, the Captain of the American ship Arthur, bound to Rhode Island, endeavoured to seduce him from the Thames, by an offer of high wages and a bounty of twenty dollars; but he resisted his proposal. Being afterwards in company with a comrade of the name of Allen, they were met by another American captain, who also tried to seduce them by offering still higher wages: they, however, held out; till learning that the ship was bound to the South Seas, and the north-west coast of America, the temptation became irresistible; and they were concealed in the American factory till the ship should be ready to proceed on her voyage. This was the Eclipse, of Boston, commanded by Captain Joseph O'Kean, and chartered by the Russian American Company for their settlement at Kamschatka, and the north-west coast of America, with a cargo of nankeens, tea, silks, sugar, &c.; the crew amounting to twenty-eight, four or five of which were seduced from the Indiaman. Here we cannot help observing, that the base and dishonourable practice of inveigling seamen to break their engagements, and desert the flag under which they may be serving, is exclusively American: and that there is not a nation in Europe, from the White Sea to the Dardanelles, that would not disdain to resort to it;-nor a government that would permit its factors to abuse the privileges


of their situation, and secrete the kidnapped seaman till he can be safely smuggled on board;-but this, though disgraceful enough, is not all the temptation to a breach of faith being almost universally succeeded by defrauding the deluded seaman of his wages. The civil treatment which he experiences at first is exchanged towards the end of the voyage for the most brutal usage; should he venture to remonstrate, he is either turned adrift on the first land made, or threatened to be sent on board a king's ship; and if this should fail to make him quit the vessel, he is actually so sent, under the character of a deserter; and thus got rid of at any rate. In the present instance, as usual, Campbell, by O'Kean's desire, changed his name, and was entered on the ship's books by that of Macbride.

On the 6th June they entered the bay of Nangasaki, under Russian colours, and were towed to the anchorage by an immense number of boats. A Dutchman came on board and advised them to haul down the colours, as the Japanese were much displeased with Russia; and it was thought prudent to keep the Russian supercargo out of sight. The American produced his trading articles, but the Japanese told him they wanted nothing from him; and desired to know what had brought him there? He replied, want of water and fresh provisions; and to prove that this was the case, he ordered several butts to be started, and brought empty on deck! The next day a plentiful supply arrived of fish, hogs, and vegetables, and boats filled with water in large tubs, which the captain emptied on deck, stopping the scuppers, and allowing it to run off at night. For these supplies, thus fraudulently obtained, and wantonly wasted, he knew the Japanese would ask no payment. On the third day, when O'Kean found that nothing was to be gained in the way of trade, he got under way; the ship was towed out of the bay by nearly a hundred boats; and, on parting, the Japanese cheered them, waving their hats and hands-but, as they stood along the coast, the inhabitants made signs as if to invite them to land:-the editor thinks, and we agree with him, that Campbell is here mistaken, and that these indications were meant to repel them, as Captain Laris was, with Core core cocori ware,'-Get along, you falsehearted fellows!"

From hence they sail for Kamschatka, and in the beginning of August proceed on their voyage to the north-west coast of America. In the night of the 10th September, the vessel struck on a rock; the sea ran high, the rudder was unshipped, and the sternpost forced through the poop. In this condition she was lifted over the first reef, and soon drifted upon another, on which she beat with greater violence than before; and it was expected that, every moment, she would go in pieces. In a few minutes a tremendous sea laid her

on her beam-ends, and precipitated the whole crew into the water: about fifteen of them clung to the mast, in the most hopeless situation, it being quite dark and stormy, with a heavy sea running, and no land within several leagues. They were forced, while on the mast, across several reefs, and the passage of each put an end to the misery of some of them. Campbell was once so nearly washed away, that he only felt the spar with the tips of his fingers; and, in this situation, he heard the mate, who was next to him, say, Damn you, are you going to leave us, too?'-but another sea threw him back, and he regained his hold. When day broke, six only of the crew were left; but as the morning advanced, they perceived the bowsprit with eight others upon it. Before they reached the shore, three of their companions on the mast, overcome with cold and fatigue, were forced to quit their hold; but this, he says, gave the survivors little concern, as they expected every moment to share the same fate; however, the captain, the mate, and himself reached the shore; and shortly after the bowsprit took the ground, with four men upon it, two of whom were so exhausted as to be unable to walk.

The land on which they were thrown had a most dreary appearance; there was not a tree or a bush to be seen, and the ground was covered only with heath and moss; no trace of human habitation appeared. They gathered some large muscles, and carried a few to the two seamen who were not able to walk; but one of them was just expiring, and the other died about half an hour after his companion. Having eaten some raw muscles and passed an uncomfortable night, they collected the next morning a number of chests and other articles that had been driven on shore from the wreck ; and procured twelve or thirteen pieces of beef and pork which some large birds, like ravens, had picked up, and dropped, from the casks which were staved among the rocks. In a small bay they discovered the long boat, and a barrel of fine biscuit, which, though soaked with sea water, was a most acceptable addition to their store. Several bodies were found, and buried in the sand; some of the seamen's chests also, and among them his own, drifted on shore.

It contained,' says Campbell, only one shirt and my bible, which I had put into one of those squares common in sailors' chests for holding case-bottles, and in which it was firmly fixed, in consequence of having swelled with the water. I was at great pains in drying it in the sun, and succeeded so well that I could read any part of it. It was afterwards saved from a second wreck; and in my future hardships and sufferings, the perusal of it formed my greatest consolation. It is still in my possession, being the only article I brought with me when I returned to my native country.'

Well do we remember that affecting passage where poor Knox first


« AnteriorContinuar »