1 SEPTEMBER 1832, Page 18

T H E STSTILES Is an able exposure of the evils of

Slavery,. as it exists in one West India Islands. The doctrines are those- of the decided Abo-

litionist. It is curious to see to how many useful and important objects the dramatic tale is now being directed.. Who could haen expected to find the most effectual advocates of a great political

change in the condition of an oppressed population, in such stories as this and Miss MARTINEAU'S Demerara,—little books apparently addressed to babes, but from which the wisest of men may obtain both instruction and ample food for thought? The view here taken, is that of the WILBERFORCES and B'UXTONS; and perhaps too little allowance is made for the circumstances in which the Planters are placed ; perhaps too much virulence is felt and exerted against men who are and have been mere instruments in the hands of the Legislature; and perhaps, too, the condition of the slaves is looked upon too exclusively with reference to religious views. If any existing civil community were tried by religious tests—our own, for instance—we might be shown to be in a most benighted stet The Negroes of Jamaica are not the only Pagans in the world, nor are Planters and their slaves the only people who are dwelling within the reach of vital knowledge, and neither extend a hand to seize it nor accept it even when offered. Except in one very im- portant point, it is not impossible but the state of morals in our agri- cultural population might be found as bad as that among the planters of the West Indies. Let us do all the good we can, but let us do justice. A change must and will be made soon in the condition of the Negro of the West Indies ; and certain we are, that no class more devoutly wishes this change than the Planters. Reformers, however, ought to learn the exact nature of abuses before they tempt to make alterations. There is nothing so exasperating as to find a rude and ignorant hand thrusting itself into your affairs, which it is evidently utterly unable to understand or manage.

The scheme of the authoress of this interesting little work, and the manner in which she conducts her representation of the con- dition of the slaves, will be understood by the following extract. Sir William Belmont is an English baronet, on a visit to his brother, a proprietor and planter in Jamaica. Lilies is a girl of half-colour, the daughter of one planter (Mr. Seldon) and the former mistress of another planter, her owner, Mr. Green, who in a fit of pique has married her to one of his common slaves. Sir William had never before given utterance to his feelings in language so awfully strong; nor would he now have departed from his mild and quiet mode of expression, but •for the jeering manner of Greene, exulting in what others strove to palliate, if not to disguise. The loud, clear, solemn, yet most energetic tone of the Baronet's concluding remarks, or rather denunciations, thrilled through the frames of some present as the voice of supernatural warning: none felt it more deeply than George Bel- mont ; but Greene, hardened against reproof, and glorying in the championship of barbarity, met it with the scorn of a determined mocker. "Bravo ! Sir William—Sir Wilberforce, I might say. What would not thp pulpit, the bar, the senate, gain in so superlative a declaimer ! In truth, you are herelike a pearl cast among swine."

"That was the truest word that ever you spoke, Greene," said an elderly gen- tleman who sat near him.

"Say you so, my sage advocate? You, who have been veering these ten ee twenty years from one point to another? Who knows but this powerful blast of eloquence may settle you, and leave you pointing all your days steadily to- wards the due south of a red-hot abolitionist?"

"My remaining days can be but few," said the old man; "would to God they could be spent in atonement for the past—in preparation for the eternal future!"

"Why don't you embrace Popery, then ; take a trip to our neighbours in Mexico, and undergo the daily flagellation in some penitent brotherhood. qt monks?" said Greene.

The other shook his head despondingly, but made no reply. Sir William's interest and curiosity were awakened by the words and aspect of the old gentleman : the former led him into a train of thought that subdued his rising anger; and the recollection,of his intended suit to Greene, the proffer ef

purchase-money for Lilies and her spouse, checked himfrom any farther excitement of that individual's rude and ruthless spirit. During the evening, however, no favourable opening appeared for the intros duction of the subject ; but Mr. Belmont promised-to use his utmost MUM* with Greene, privately, for the attainment of the object. All was vain. He heard the proposal with a smile, and gave a careless nega- tive. Mr. Belmont persisted ; and then he drily said, " To save you all farther trouble, any dear fellow, I will tell you, that your estate, Seldon's, and Sir Wile Ham's fortune, with his title to boot, would not buy the articles for which you are treating."

"But why so determined on keeping them?" "Why ?—because I have a fancy to do so-; anal while this wicked oriler:ef things last% it must be that a man has a right to his,own slaves. I might, wit. equal reason, ask why you are so bent on deprivingeme.of them?"

" To be sincere with you, Greene, it is partly for your own sake. You are no stranger to the character of one nearly connected with Lilies; and--." -" And, therefore, I am to be intimidated? No, no, Belmont, you know me better. As to-the young ruffian whom you allude to, let him take his- awing; it may prove a very decisive one," pointing to his neck', aud iicitatiug, the antilak of hanging.

There was that in his countenance which bespoke more than &mere vaunt. Mr. Belmont read its significant expression, and with increased earnestness pleaded for Lilies, remonstrating on the cruelty-of punishing lee brother's faults in her person. "Why, l'in-not going to bang.hee," said greene. "You have done worse. She is basely

"As if I could not do that equally well ! Let madtroa Lilias-complain tome. in-short, Jean bear no more about it. Relmest, you ksovesie ; letatzest here.," "d doubt whether it will," said Mr. Belmont, icritated by ,hia imalavattll -temper. "This stretch of arbitrary power, Sir, may rast,you dear. Theforc.uu union of afree woman with &slave is- morZthan even coloniallaw will recoginet as allowable : and the whole proceeding tends to any, thing but the elevation ot your character." He departed witliout farther ceremony. Returning home he found his brother in- earnest conversation with the .011 lawyer, whose cha;acter had been, so aneesingly butoutimuscoulaly.podaffou, by Greene. He was a man of timid disposition, and naturally conscientious ; but during a long life passed in the colonies, he had ever found the voice of in- terest too powerful for the whispering monitor within, until the infirmities of age increasing fast, imparted an emphasis to its admonitions, and stripped of its specious attractions the world for Which alone he had lived. He never possessed a plantation ; and his principal ground of remorse lay in the misapplication of his legal and senatorial exertions to support the cause which his heart condemned. Sir William's language had terrified him : it was the audible sound of his most secret forebodings ; and he longed for, yet dreaded farther acquaintance with one who could so probe his inmost soul. An event, made known to him. in his official capacity, and which it was necessary to communicate to Mr. Bel- mont, occasioned this visit ; and he was listening to the persuasive converse of the Baronet when Ids brother returned. ic No success, nor hope of it," said the latter, in answer to Sir William's in- quiring look. "Mr. Dallas, I hope I see you well?"

"Ill at ease, Belmont ; and so will you be, when I tell you the news. Seldon has levied an execution at last against.poor Neale ; and all falls into his hands." " So much for female influence," exclaimed Mr. Belmont, as he flung himself on the couch. "And so much for 'the system,' as William will say." The Baronet inquired the particulars.

"Why, brother, this Neale was a man after your heart. He does not reside near us, his plantation being in a neighbouring island ; but he has abso- lutely sacrificed oil thought of self to his ardent concern for his negroes. Not only did he pay the closest attention to their comfort, but schools were established, a place of worship built, a teacher appointed, slaves baptized and married, the seventh day hallowed most strictly, and, in short, little of slavery but the name existed under his control. By no losses on this score was be embarrassed ; for, to say truth, his property was in a state of continual increase ; but in an evil hour, he became joint security to an enormous amount for a hypocritical rascal, who pretended that he would model Ids own estate upon NeaIe's plan. Salon was a principal creditor ; and, I understand, bought up the interest of the others, since his rich marriage : you hear the result ; and these privileged black people are now given over to the tender mercies of Mrs. Seldon and her deputies." " Most cruel!" exclaimed Sir William.

" Yes, Sir," replied Mr. Dallas, "and the enemies of the humane system exult in what they deem a proof of its folly and barbarity. They ask you if this reverse is not ten times more poignant to the slaves from the indulgences hitherto enjoyed ; and argue on the preposterous absurdity of thus attaching those to their soil and their master, who may lose both, and pass into far dir ferent hands, by the cast of a die, the loss of a cargo, the blight of a crop, or any of a hundred casualties." .

." Argue rather," replied- Sir William, "on the inconceivable cruelty of ren- dering them liable to such transition. Must they quit their homes ?"

" The choicest of them will be removed to Sehlon's estate here : the rest sold, without any regard to the tics of affection or consanguinity : it is a heart-rend- ing sight, Sir William ; but one at which your brother and myself must reluc- tantly be present, as parties in the business.' "I wish I could depute Greene," said Mr. Belmont ; " he would laugh at the whole proceeding." " When do you go ?" " Immediately,' replied Mr. Dallas. " Sehlon will not lose time." " Were it not for an indispensable engagement a week hence, I would accom- pany you," said the Baronet. He thought of the appointment with Ca-sir; but the very next day brought him a letter from that young man to recal his promise of then meeting Sir; William, and to defer it for a little time longer. In two (lays the party embarked for the island of , and landed after a short and smooth passage.

Proceeding to the house, they found it occupied by a crowd of noisy people, holding forcible possession in Mr. Seldon's name ; and were directed to seek Mr. Neale at the building which had served both for chapel and school-house. Here they repaired' and beheld the Planter, his chaplain, and several old negro women, whose loud complaints they were striving to repress. Mr. Neale's countenance was placid, but bespoke much inward suffering, while he kindly welcomed his friends; and Sir William, on his introduction in- stead of the distant bow of politeness, grasped his hand with the cordiality Of an old acquaintance.

"Regard me not as an intruder, my dear Sir ; but as one who would learn a Christian lesson, while he tenders the consolations that render the servants of God, though sorrowful, yet alway rejoicing." "When did Sir William Belmont neglect that part of the believer's office?" asked the teacher, approaching. " Kerffman! is it possible? you here!" " Yes, my honoured friend : an unworthy labourer in this quarter of my Lord's vineyard, where, alas! the wark is now indeed chiefly to bind -up the broken-hearted."

In Switzerland Sir William had known this zealous Moravian; and the warmest friendship subsisted between them. It may readily be simposed they were both overjoyed at their unexpected meeting, after five years' estrangement. A few rapid queries and replies explained the leading events that led each to the western shores ; and they rejoined the other gentlemen, as Mr. Neale re-

marked, "I expected this from the period of his marriage; and I warned them "Keeping near me the men of Mani whom I daily drilled in the manna - of it," looking, as he spoke, on the Africans near him. exercise, I ordered fifty of my porters will. were armed with muskets tofire. The poor creatures set up a lamentable cry. "We no believe it, massa; we At the first discharge, a score of the enemy were stretched on the ground, cry.- sorry too much for believe dat." ing dreadfully: the remainder exasperated then rushed upon my camp, with "But," said the teacher, "did you not believmthat•the Christian must bear clubs and axes in their hands. I received them with meg men of Bike, Midi'

his Master's cross ? " wounded a great number. My other Negroes, armed with knives or axes, feji "Yes, masse, yes, but no dat cross ;" and again they raised the cry, "0, upon the rest with such fury that they obliged them tmscamper .off. My people,

What we .do ?" who had time to reload their muskets, made a second discharge upon the fags. • "Alas !" said Kerffman, "did we choose our own crosses, they would be tives. Fifty-two-prisoners remained • with me, many of whom were wounded.. • light indeed !" He then drew the negroes to the farther side, and in a low voice As to the wounded of the enemy, Ikftihem on the field of battle, and carried

continued earnestly to address them. off thirty-seven women and children,". [whom, he says, he afterwards tacle] "To-morrow, all will be over," remarked ,Neale, "and I wish the parting were past,"