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for dangers. Enough, that a handful of Slave owners are scattered among myriads of Slaves. Enough, that in their nearest neighbourhood, a commonwealth of those Slaves is now seated triumphant upon the ruined tyranny of their slaughtered masters. Enough, that exposed to this frightful enemy from within and without, the Planters are cut off from all help by the
But to odds so fearful, these deluded men must needs add new perils, absolutely overwhelming. By a bond which nature has drawn with her own hand, and both hemispheres have witnessed, they find leagued against them every shade of the African race, every description of those swarthy hordes, from the peaceful Eboe, to the fiery Koromantyn. And they must now combine in the same hatred the Christians of the old world with the Pagans of the new. Barely able to restrain the natural love of freedom, they must mingle it with the enthusiasm of religion,—vainly imagining, that spiritual thraldom will make personal subjection more bearable ;-wildly hoping to bridle the strongest of the passions in union and in excess, --the desire of liberty irritated by despair, and the fervour of religious zeal by persecution, exasperated to phrensy. But I call
Parliament to rescue the West Indies from the horrors of such a policy; to deliver those mis
guided men from their own hands. I call upon you to interpose while it is yet time to save the West Indies; first of all the negroes, the most numerous class of our fellow subjects, and entitled, beyond every other, to our care, by a claim which honourable minds will most readily admit—their countless wrongs, borne with such forbearance-such meekness-while the most dreadful retaliation was within their grasp; next, their masters, whose short-sighted violence is, indeed, hurtful to their Slaves, but to themselves is fraught with fearful and speedy destruction, if you do not at once make your voice heard, and your authority felt, where both have been so long despised.
EXTRACT FROM A SPEECH
HOUSE OF COMMONS,
ON TUE DEBATE RESPECTING THE
TRIAL OF MISSIONARY SMITH,
JUNE 11th, 1824.
The motion conveys a censure, I admit; but; in my humble opinion, a temperate and a mitigated censure.
The law has been broken; justice has been outraged. Whoso believes not in this, let him not vote for the motion. But whosoever believes that a gross breach of the law has been committed ; that a flagrant violation of justice has been perpetrated ! is it asking too much at the hands of that man, to demand that he honestly speak his mind, and record his sentiments by his vote? In former times, this House of Parliament has not scrupled to express, in words far more stringent than any you are now required to adopt, its sense of proceedings, displaying the triumph of oppression over the law. When there came before the Legislature, a case remarkable in itself; for its
consequences yet more momentous ; resembling the present in many points; to the very letter, in some things, resembling it-I mean, the trial of Sidney—did our illustrious predecessors, within these walls, shrink back from the honest and manly declaration of their opinion, in words suited to the occasion, and screen themselves behind such tender phrases as are resorted to, “ Don't be too violent-pray be civil—do be gentle, there has only been a man murdered, nothing more—a total breach of all law, to be sure; an utter contempt, no doubt, of justice, and every thing like it, in form as well as in substance; but that's all: surely then you will be meek, and patient, and forbearing, as were the Demerara Judges to this
poor Missionary; against whom, if somewhat “ was done, a great deal more was meditated “ than they durst openly perpetrate ; but who
being condemned to die, in despite of law “ and evidence, was only put to death by slow " and wanton severity!” In those days, no such language was holden. On that memorable occasion, plain ternis were not deemed too strong, when severe truth was to be recorded. The word “murder” was used, because the deed of blood had been done. The word “ murder” was not reckoned too uncourtly, in a place where decorum is studied somewhat more scru
pulously than even here. On the journals of the other House, stands the appointment of Lords Committees, “ to inquire of the advisers " and prosecutors of the murder of Lord Rus“ sell and Colonel Sidney :" and their Lordships made a Report, upon which the statute is passed to reverse those execrable attainders.