The Royal Commission of Inquiry into the Jamaica disturbances commenced
their sittings on the 25th January. The late Governor, Mr. Eyre, was examined at length, and if Mr. Renter's express may be trusted, had absolutely nothing to say in proof of his expectation of a general insurrection deliberately planned, except the old story—general rumour, letters from alarmist planters, "verbal communications," and Colonel Whitfield's subsequent observations on the physiognomy of the negroes whom he met in his rides. Mr. Eyre spoke of all hostile criticism on the Govern- ment as "sedition," and was particularly severe against Mr. Sydney Levien, still under trial for sedition. The reports of the horrible mutilations of the bodies of the white men murdered by the negroes are now conceded to be untrue, even by Mr. Eyre himself. The evidence of the tortures inflicted by way of reprisal had been partly taken, and it is as- serted that testimony was given of the use of piano-wire in the whips with which the negroes were flogged, and that even women were flogged by these instruments. If Mr. Renter's express be correct, the statement of Mr. Secretary Card- well at Oxford, that "comparative safety was speedily restored to all persons, of whatever race or colour, who desired to live in peace and orderly submission to the law," will apparently need some qualification. Hanging, and temporary flogging with whips made of "piano-wire," may no doubt be "comparative safety," but then the term of comparison must be, to say the least, eter- nal fire or everlasting floggings with piano-wire, and we are not
aware that the worthy burghers of Oxford have such horrible standards of comparison in their heads.