6 JUNE 1840, Page 12



Tile exhibition at Exeter Hall on Monday last was as skilfully and tastefully got up as if VESTR1S herself had been manager. There was the " King Consort " (as certain Whig scribes call the Queen's husband) begirt with Bishops and Barons bold. And there were ladies crowding the doors early in the morning, and, after enduring the heat and squeeze for hours, going away contented onobtainhig one " blink of the bonny blue ee" of Prince ALBERT. And there were crowds of well-dressed people hailing with inexpressible en-

thusiasm the Prince's safe arrival at the termination of each sea.

tense in his little speech without breaking down in his grammar. And there was Sir Routurr PEEL protesting that it had been his wish to take an " unostentatious " part in the proceedings,—rather all awkward confession of ostentation, by the way. And there was O'CoNsEm. dumfounded by the organ of Exeter Hall—the only in. strument yet discovered capable of silencing the Liberator. It was a glorious show I not the Lord Mayor's day—nor the Queen's din- tier at Guildhall—no, nothing was ever seen equal to it.

But what was it all about ? If the speakers knew, they were wonderfully successful in keeping the secret : no elucidation of the IlexToN scheme, no arguments in support of it, escaped from any one of them. As for the " gathering," one half went to get at sight of the Queen's limband, and having obtained their cud, or having ascertained that a peep was impossible, went away without listening to the talk ; and the other half went, and came away, with a vague impression that something was to be done to stop the Slave-trade and benefit the Blacks,—very proper objects, especially when pursued in the company of a Prince, surrounded by the dignitaries of the Church. Attending Exeter Hall on such an occasion, was felt to be fully as meritorious as going to church on Easter Sunday. And then the company was so genteel ! As for the details of business, they were properly left to Messrs. BUNTON, GURNEY, and HOARE, who understand them.

And yet a good deal of business was got over, although not above a dozen of the persons present knew what it was. For example, Sir RonEwr PEEL did the polite thing to Prince ALBERT, and paid his court to that numerous and influential body the allied Saints and Anti-slavers. The Tories are out of their wits with joy. In the popularity-hunting with which a leading Whig mouthpiece next day charged the leader, they discern symptoms of the party's pre- paring to " come in." They think, moreover, that by courting the philanthropists, he bas taken the wind out of the Whig sails. They taunt the Ministers for being absent one and all. Pooh! Mr. BUXTON struck his bargain whh the Whigs, lbr hard cash, long ago. Witness Lord JOHN Russur.r.'s alias Mr. STEPHEN'S official adhesion to the scheme, in a public despatch ; witness the " Niger Expedition" vote of 61,263/. in the Miscellaneous Estimates of the year.* By this substantial grant of 61,0001. odds, Ministers bought the hearts of the Anti-slavers—or thought they had; and now keep out of the road lest their presence should scare the To- ries front Mr. Iluvrox's lime-twigs. Sir BounaT and his party limey they have got before the Whigs, while they arc servilely walk- ing in their footsteps—swelling their train. In this view of the case, the Whigs would seem to have got the better of the Tories: but in reality, the tangible gain is with Mr. BuxroN's " Society for Civilizing Africa," alone. They have committed the leaders of the two great parties in the state to a grant of 61,0001. in the first in- stance, with the express understanding that in taking this step "we must deliberately make up our minds to large and long-continued ex- pense." Whoever be Minister, the Society have carried their point. It. does not appear that Lord A1EMIOURNE or Sir ROBERT PEEL have ever seriously asked themselves the question, what return is to be got for this " large and long-continued expense." Certainly the gay-dressed and fashionable throng, which on Monday cheered resolution after resolution, never troubled their heads with such a, perplexing inquiry. Perhaps, in the present flourishing state of our commercial relations, our redundant national income, and de- creasing taxation, the nation at large may be inclined to "dame

expenses" like a lord. There is no saying. It is vain to strive against the current : and yet we would respectfully suggest, that if 61,000/. is to be thrown away, the most expeditious mode, and the way least likely to be attended by disagreeable after-consequence!, would be to sink it in the Sea at once—or add it to Prince ALBERT S curtailed income.

We flainerly demonstrated, and we hold ourselves ready to en- large the proof' of, Mr. licx.rox's ignorance or misrepresentation

of the state of Atlica—the impracticable, ridiculous, and mis- chievous character of his scheme. For the present NYC only ask our readers to view it in one of its bearings.

The projected Niger settlement has been called " Sierra Leone the Second " : this is paying it a most undeserved compliment. if nothing has been done at Sierra Leone by our persevering waste of money and human life, nothing has been undone. If no trade, no incipient civilization, has been called into existence, none has been

destroyed. On the Niger this will not be the case. There. is a growing British commerce there, which is slowly but surely ths,so• minating the seeds of civilization ; and this the tampering of Go-

vernment, prompted by Mr. BUXTON, will destroy. Liverpool

The money was voted in the House of Commons last night. In Miscellaneous Estimates, "131,2631., Niger Expedition," stood "l6." , hell came " Education, Ireland, Foundling Hospital, Dublin," &c. In this way the grant was smuggled through the Committee of Supply without a word of remark from any quarter.

alone sends 15,000 tons of shipping to the Niger annually. The persons engaged in this trade load with goods suited for the market. Wherever they touch they show their commodities to the chiefs, and frankly say, " We give you such and such presents, but not gratuitously—we give them for leave to trade." This expenditure of presents enters into the merchant's calculation of his outlay and receipts : it is adequate, not extravagant. The chiefs see that trade is the real object, and have no jealousy of the strangers. They find their advantage in encouraging settled industry as a means of attracting the traders who give them these presents. Already, in sonic measure by the operation of this intercourse, has the raising of products for exportation superseded the slave-trade in the very spot which the planners of the Niger expedition have fixed upon for their first settlement.. This is the present aspect of minim : let us look to what will be the consequences of Government interference. Presents (which cost the donors nothing, and for which no return is expected) are lavishly distributed among the chiefs out of the Government store. The chiefs are deprived of the existing sti- mulus to promote habits of settled industry among their tribes. In addition to this, they see the emissaries of the British Govern- ment acquire territorial possessions, which they garrison with Black soldiers. The chiefs will not see this without alarm and distrust. One of the first inquiries made by BELLO to CLAPPERTON related to the progress of the British power in India. The proceedings of the emissaries of the British Government on the Niger will de- stroy the existing trade, and involve this country in a succession of little wars and conquests, and territorial acquisitions in Africa. To the growing industry and trade of the Niger will succeed beg- gary, extortion, war, anarchy. The immediate outlay of 61,0001. and the prospective " large and long-continued expense" will only enable us to do mischief. Good is doing, which our meddling can only undo; yet we cannot keep our fingers off. Perhaps it will be said, that all this is merely our opinion. If it were no more, we have at least stated along with our inference the facts from which we have drawn it, thus enabling every moan to judge for himself. But we arc strengthened in our conviction by a knowledge that the long-headed men who have created the com- merce of the Niger are of this opinion. If not already contracting their scale, they declare that if the BUXTON scheme be persisted in, they will be obliged to abandon the trade, in ordinary mercantile prudence. Thus it is when fine ladies and gentlemen take upon them to patronize the mischievous interference of sentimentalists with mat- ters they don't understand. Thus it is when men pretending to the character of statesmen stoop to conciliate votes, by counte- nancing schemes which in their own judgment they distrust. The public money is wasted in spreading misery, amid maudlin profes- sions of humanity. We flatter ourselves that we are an enlightened nation, because we can wonder at the folly which enshrined dogs, cats, or apes, in the colossal temples of Egypt : the hollow sacri- fice of the real interests of humanity to self-seeking and the pres- tige of fashion, amid the deep notes of the organ and the benedic- tions of mitred prelates, is every whit as mortifying to those who cultivate a rational respect for human nature.