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• SONG OF A SPIRIT. In the fightless air I dwell,
On the Noping sun-beams play ; Delve the cavern's inmost cell,
Where never yet did day-light stray : Dive beneath the green sea waves,
And gambol in the briny deeps ; Skim ev'ry shore that Neptune laves,
From Lapland's plains to India's iteeps. Oft I mount with rapid force
Above the wide earth's shadowy zone; Follow the day-ftar's flaming course
Through realms of space to thought unknown : And listen to celestial sounds
That swell the air unheard of men, As I watch my nightly rounds
O’er woody steep, and filent glen. Under the shade of waving trees,
On the green bank of fountain clear, At per five eve I fit at ease,
While dying music murmurs near. And oft, on point of airy clift,
That hangs upon the western main, I watch the gay tints passing swift,
And twilight veil the liquid plain. Then, when the breeze has sunk away,
And ocean scarce is heard to lave, For me the sea-nymphs softly play
Their dulcet shells beneath the wave. Their dulcet shells ! I hear them now,
Slow swells the strain upon mine ear; Now faintly falls—now warbles low,
Till rapture melts into a tear. The ray that filvers o'er the dew,
And trembles through the leafy shade, And tints the scene with softer hue,
Calls me to rove the lonely glade ; Or bie me to some ruin'd tower,
Faintly shewn by moon-light gleam, Where the lone wanderer owns my power
In shadows dire that substance seem ; In thrilling sounds that murmur woe,
And pausing silence makes more dread; In music breathing from below
Sad solemn strains, that wake the dead. Unseen I move-unknown am fear'd !
Fancy's wildest dreams I weave; And oft by bards my voice is heard
To die along the gales of eve.'
Several other poetic pieces, of at leat equal merit, are introduced in the course of the romance, particularly, Titania to her Love,-and Morning on the Sea-shore.
Art. XIII. Examination of an Appeal from the New to the Old
Whigs; to which is prefixed an Introduction, containing Remarks on Mr. Burke's Letter to a Member of the National Ar. fembly. By W. Beltham, Esq. Author of Effays Philosophical,
Historical, and Literary. 8vo. pp. 102. 25. 6d. Dilly. 1792. Not only the two publications mentioned in the title, but
also several passages in Mr. Burke's celebrated “ Reflections,” are here criticized, with spirit and ability. The greatest share of Mr. Belsham's attention, however, as might be expected, is bestowed on the Appeal : of which both the ar. guments and the authorities are shewn to have much less weight than is attributed to them by the author. Several of Mr. Burke's inconsistencies are pointed out; and, in particular, the absurdity of his sounding an aları both in and out of parliament, and affirming, in the most positive terms, that “ a wicked faction was incorporated for a purpose nothing short of subverting the whole constitution of this kingdom,” when, as Mr. Bellam remarks, Mr. Burke's own writings, formerly published, abound with language as bold and pointed, as any which he would now represent as being so factious, seditious, and even treasonable.
In the celebrated pamphlet entitled “Thoughts on the Causes of the present Discontents,” Mr. Burke, it appears, was once of opinion,
“ That the virtue, fpirit, and essence of the House of Commons, confifts in its being the express image of the feelings of the nation. An addressing House of Commons, and a petitioning nation : an House of Commons full of confidence, when the nation is plunged in despair ; who vote thanks, when the public opinion calls upon them for impeachments; who are eager to grant, when the general voice demands account; who, in all disputes between the People and Administration, presume against the people; who punish their disorders, but refuse even to enquire into the provocations to them; this is an unnatural, a monstrous state of things in this Conftitution. Such an Assembly is not to any popular purpose an House of Commons. This change from a state of delegation to a course of acting as from original power, is the way in which all popular magistracies in the world have been perverted." And he tells us, “ that, for his part, he shall be compelled to conclude the principle of Parlia. ment to be totally corrupted, and therefore its ends to be entirely defeated, when he perceives two symptoms :-first, a rule of indiscri. minate support to all Ministers; and secondly, the festing up any claims adverse to the right of a free election.”
Having Having observed that Mr. Burke undertook to prove that these two fymptoms did exist at that time, Mr. Belham asks, • if the principle of parliament is totally corrupted and its ends entirely defeated, what more can be wanting to justify any man in styling it “ a mockery of representation ?”
In the same work, Mr. Burke scruples not to affert, that
“ In the situation in which we stand, with an immense revenue, an enormous debt, and mighty establishments, he sees no o:her way for the preservation of a decent attention to public interest in the representative body, but the INTERPOSITION of the people, whenever it shall appear to be neceflary to hold the Conftitution to its true principles. The distempers of Monarchy were the great subje&is of apprehension and redress in the last century-in this, the dittempers of Parliament; and it is not in the Parliament alone, that the remedy for parliamentary disorders can be completed. “Hardly indeed can it begin there."-"It is not,” says he, “ support that is wanting to Government; it is reformation.''
“ Critical exigencies will arise. This, if I am not mistaken, is one of ihem. Men will see the necessity of honelt combination : buc they may see it when it is too late ; and they may at length find themselves under the neceflity of CONSPIRING, instead of consulting.”
On these sentiments, which, as coming from the author of “ Reflections upon the French Revolution,” must appear truly singular and extraordinary to every reader, Mr. Beilham very juftly observes :
• When I read these, and similar passages, I confess myself loft in indignation and astonishment at the matchless effrontery of a man, who, in his angry moods, can indulge himself in such unbounded licence of speech; and yet affect to apprehend danger from, and dare to impute criminal disaffection to, those who, in comparison with himself, may be considered as guarded and cautious writers. What a torrent of furious and malignant declamation would not this political Proteus have poured forth, had Dr. Price or Dr. Priestley talked of the probable necessity of conspiring againft the Government, or recommended an interposition of the people as the only means of restraining the unconstitutional innovations of the legislative body?
As we observed in our account of this author's Historic Me. moir on the French Revolution, so we must remark here, that, in speaking of Mr. Burke, he, at times, is rather too harsh and severe. We wish him to recollect that justice lofes none of its power, while it gains much in respectability, by being tempered
ART. XIV. Letters on the Slave-Trade, and the State of the Na
lives in those Parts of Africa which are contiguous to Fort St. Louis and Goree, writren at Paris in December 1789 and JaDuary 1790.
By T. Clarkson. 4to. pp. 81. 59. Boards.. Phillips. 1791. To reconcile the minds of the public to the odious traffic
prosecuted by Europeans on the coast of Africa, it has been asserted that the condition of the negroes is not rendered worse by the flave-trade : but if the information here conveyed merits any credit, this is very far indeed from being the truth; and it must be owned that the quarter whence it comes entitles it to belief. The circumstances which Mr. Clarkson relates in these letters from Paris, were carefully collected by him, as he tells us, from Monf. Geoffroy de Villeneuve, a gentleman of fortune and family who accompanied the Chevalier de Boufflers, in the capacity of aid-de-camp, during his refidence as Governor of Goree. Having a great curiosity to learn the cuftoms and manners of a people but little known, he undertook embassies and expeditions of observation, for the governor; and he penetrated a considerable way into the interior parts of the vast and unexplored continent of Africa. He was in this part of the world during two years, and had better opportunities of knowing the real state of things there, than most other African travellers. He kept a journal, as Mr. Clarkson farther informs us, of all that he heard and saw on the spot; and left he may be considered as biassed by party, we are assured that these facts were collected previously to the agitation of the question of the Nave-trave. Thus much as to the authenticity of the information.
As to himself, the reporter of this knowlege to the public, Mr. Clarkson says that he attended M. de Villeneuve several times on the subject; and that what he wrote down one morning, though, from his own mouth,' he submitted to M. de V.'s inspection on the second, and sometimes even on the third; and when any doubt arose, the journal was consulted. Such evidence we have no reason to hesitate in admitting; and yet it would have been more satisfactory, had M. de Villeneuve published his own narrative. This is however an abundantly more authentic testimony, than that which Mr. Lucas has exhibited in The African Researches; and it will be more readily received, because it is more credible. M. de V. saw nothing to corroborate the wonderful teftimony of Mr. Lucas's informant.
The facts related in these letters are designed as a reply to the two following queslions :
I. What are the different methods of making faves of such persons as come into the hands of the French, by means of their establifhments at Fort St. Louis and Goree?
II. What is the fate of society, in which the natives bordering on these establishments may be said to live?
The information collected by Mr. Clarkson, in his conversations with M. de Villeneuve, refers chiefly to 'the countries extending along the coast from the mouth of the Gambia to that the Senegal. It is asserted, that the grand mode of ob. taining Naves in the districts or kingdoms of Sallum, Sin, and Cayor, is the GREAT Pillage, which is executed by the military, at the command of their respective kings:
• It is so systematically practised, and it is a source fo much more fertile than any other of supplying slaves, that from the conftant experience of those resident on the coast of Africa, into whose hands' the flaves have usually fallen, the following has pailed into a rule. About one hundred and twenty may be contidered as pillaged oot of the two hundred from Sallum, about forty out of the hundred from Sin, and about one hundred and twenty again out of the two hundred from Cayor; that is to say, out of the five hundred sent from these countries in one year, iwo hundred and eighty may be confidered as having been reduced to slavery by means of the Great Pillage.
• The way of practising the Great Pillage is as follows: When any of these kings are in want of llaves, and intend to procure
them in this manner, they assemble their military, consisting of horse and foot. These are armed with sabres, lances, bows and arrows, pistolo and guns. The number they assemble is proportionate to their own ftrength, and the strength of the village to be attacked. The hour of calling them together for this purpose is uncertain. It depends on the distance of the village whose inhabitants are destined for the prey. This village is sometimes near. It is at other times far off, and perhaps at the distance of a journey of four days. The rule, however, upon such occasions is, to set out at such a time, as to come upon it in the dead of night. The villages in these countries are open, and have no breaft-work or defence.
• As soon as the military arrive at the destined place, which is as before described in the dead of night, they surround it, but never attack it at that time. They wait always till the dawn of day. It is then that the women rise, and employ themselves in pounding millet for the purpose of reducing it to cuscus, to serve as bread. The sound of the pettle is the signal for the attack. The military directly rush in and seize all they can. There are many reasons why they make their attack at this hour: first, because being dawn of day, they can see better: secondly, because though the women are up, the men are in bed, and the doors of the huis are opened : and thirdly, because the negroes in this part of the world, never like to perform any enterprize in the night.
• It fometimes happens that the kings accompany their troops in person. It is customary for them, however, not to enter the village, They remain always on the outfide till the business is over.
• As soon as the unfortunate inhabitants are captured, they are driven off. The inen and women are made to walk. The children