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From Tlio Economist.
The Republic of Liberia, its Products and Resources. By Gerald Ralston, ConsulGeneral for Liberia. A Paper read before the Society of Arts, and reprinted from the " Journal of the Society of Arts," for May 23, 1862.
The little state of Liberia owes its foundation to that very questionable and halfhearted association of slaveholders known as the American Colonization Society. But, painful as is the episode which the history of that Society forms in the annals of the "Slave Power" in America, its one good deed beyond the sea promises to survive and flourish. The settlement of Liberia, founded in 1822, was, on the 24th of August, 1847, proclaimed a free and independant state, and regularly installed as the Republic of Liberia. Acknowledged speedily by England, and afterwards by France, Belgium, Prussia, Brazil, Denmark, and Portugal, it has now,
isfactory price. The chief solicitude has been to purchase the line of sea-coast, so as to connect the different settlements inuVr one government, and to exclude the slave trade, which formerly was most extensively carried on at Cape Mesurado, Tradetown, Little Bassa, Digby, New Sesters, Gallinas, and other places at present within the Republic, but now happily excluded—except in a recent instance at Gallinas, under peculiar circumstances." (We wish Mr. Ralston had explained this allusion, especially as we heard, some months ago, similar rumors of a painful nature, of which we would gladly hear the correct version.)
The population at present numbers 500,000, of which 16,000 are Americo-Liberians, and the remaining 484,000 aboriginal inhabitants. We infer from Mr. Ralston's statements that the Americo-Liberi&ns, or AngloSaxon negroes, as he calls them, act as pioneers and civilizers of thpir AfnVon
in its fortieth year, been at last recognized!' him and Charles I. in the lobby of the House by the United States. The paper before us) of Commons during those debates which is a brief sketch of its past history and pres-tI cost the king his crown. Here, too, in its ent condition by its Consul-General, Mr. Rak bands of red silk, is the correspondence of ston, which was read before the Society of (' the same monarch with his children, when Arts last May, and was followed by an in-> j they had taken refuge in France; and here, teresting discussion in which several coloredi , in sombre winding-sheets of black silk, and gentlemen from Liberia took part. On the^ seals to match, are the letters that passed whole, the impression we gain of this littlep I after Charles' execution. »Here are the corstate is favorable and promising. In mate-It' respondence of the parliamentary generals, rial and commercial development it is farji' the papers of the unhappy non-jurors; of inferior to Hayti, but it is, perhaps, capable^ Archbishop Sancroft, and of Bishop Ken, of a higher ultimate development. ItsProt-j- whose name lives forever in the Morning estantism will render it more acceptable toji and Evening Hymn. And here are the deAnglicized negroes than the French-Catho-js j tails of the Pretender's doings, and his secret lie republic of the West Indies; while itsje ' friends in England, in the reigns of Anne, position as an outpost of civilization on the*! j George I., and George IL And what else African continent is very important as ant,, there may be of curious lore and unrevealed influence for good upon the tribes of the in-s- i mysteries in that capacious and undisturbed terior, which it endeavors to draw to itselfit' receptacle of "Mighty Bodley," who shall by honest and conciliatory measures. Mr.r- i tell us?
Ralston tells us that " it has about six hun-?e , Of late some attempt has been made by dred miles of coast line, and extends backas the authorities of Oxford to sort and tabuabout one hundred miles on an average, butis late their treasures; and Mr. Hackman's with the facility of almost indefinite exten- catalogue, which we have until this late sion into the interior, the natives everywhereis I period in our article unconsciously omitted manifesting the greatest desire that treaties^. I to notice—rapt in reminiscences of Bodley should be formed with them, so that the lim-he j —is partly the result of these new efforts. its of the republic may be extended over alls- ) We wish to deal gently with Mr. Hackman's the neighboring districts. The LiberiarJa- j labors. His errors of omission and commisterritory has been purchased by more thanit.I sion in the execution of his task we will not twenty treaties, and in all cases the natives of censure heavily; for who that has had dealhave freely parted with their titles for a sat-ey, ings with manuscripts does not know how
ate for four. The President and Vice-President (who are elected for two years) must each be thirty-five years of age, and possessed of real property to the amount of six hundred dollars. "The judicial power is vested in a supreme court, and such subordinate courts as the Legislature may from time to time establish." "Such of the aborigines as have for three years previously adopted and maintained civilized habits, arc entitled to the elective franchise, and a considerable number exercise this privilege." "There are native [i.e., pure African, we conclude] magistrates and jurors." This is an extremely hdpeful feature, and the following facts are equally encouraging. "The English is the mother tongue of the Liberians, and they are extending its use along the coast and into the interior. Nothing is more common than for the native chiefs and the bead men and other important persons among the tribes within the jurisdiction of Liberia, and even far beyond, to place their sons at the early age of three, four, or five years, in the family of the Americo-Liberians expressly to learn English and to acquire civilized habits. Among the natives, to understand English is the greatest accomplishment and
advantage ; and with some of the coast tribes, a knowledge of English is beginning to be regarded as a necessary qualification for the ruling men of the chief towns."
Mr. Ralston's paper " was illustrated by a collection of the products of Liberia as sent to the International Exhibition. These consisted of specimens of cotton cloth, well manufactured, and dyed; of coffee, sugar, raw cotton, palm oil, rice, silkworm cocoons. Swords made by the natives from the iron of the country, with stone anvils and hammers, pouches, leather accoutrements for horses, and a great variety of fibres were also on the table." Iron ore abounds all over Liberia, and every species of tropical produce thrives there. Cotton grows spontaneously all over the country, and the Liberians, encouraged by the Manchester Cotton Supply Association, are now paying greater attention to its production than they have hitherto done. We rejoice to note all these hopeful tokens, and wish the fullest success to this brave little African Republic. A noble work lies before it, and we hope that every European influence that can accelerate its progress will be heartily exerted in its behalf.
The first Alfred while he was a refugee in Ireland became "deeply versed in literature, and enriched his mind with every kind of learning." His fourth successor Celwulf was also a scholar. "Bede at the very juncture when Britain most abounded with scholars, offered his History of the Angels for correction, to this prince more especiallv; making choice of his authority, to confirm by his high station what had been well written; and of his learning to rectify by his talents what might be carelessly expressed."
This Celwulf "thinking it beneath the dignity of a Christian to be immersed in earthly things, abdicated the throne after a reign of culu vears and assumed the monastic habit at Lindisfnrn," where he lived and died in the odor of sanctity.
Boniface wrote to Cuthbert, Archbishop of Canterbury, to remonstrate with the clergy and nuns on the fineness and vanity of their dress.
THIRD SERIES. LIVING AGE. 936
And Alcuin, writing to Cuthbcrt's successor, Athclard, reminds him thnt when he should come to Rome to visit the Emperor Charles the Great, he should not bring the clergy or monks, dressed in party-colored or gaudy garments, for the French clergy used only ecclesiastical habits.
A STORM AT NIGHT.
And either tropic now 'Gan thunder, and both ends of heaven; the
From many a horrid rift abortive poured
In rain reconciled; nor slept the winds
From The Spectator. RELICS OF SHELLEY.*
We regret the publication of this volume. It is evident that Shelley's most attached friends and relatives, while from delicate and honorable motives they refrain as yet from telling all they know of Shelley's—in some respects—unhappy life, lest it should give pain to surviving relatives of the persons involved, yet cannot help hovering round the subject of his more questionable actions, as the moth hovers round the candle, neither willing as yet to explain fully what might refute the worst reflections upon his conduct, nor able to let the subject sleep till the time arrives when they could do so. The literary worth of the fragments in these volumes is not such as to have demanded separate publication, even if it would have justified publication at all; and the little instalment of correspondence printed here, would have been of far more value if woven into the correspondence already published. There is, in fact, scarcely any motive for the book, except Mr. Garnett's rejoinder to Mr. T. L. Peacock, in reference to the conduct of Shelley towards his first wife: and this it would have been far more dignified to defer till it was possible to produce all the particulars to which so many mysterious references are made. Except a beautiful poem of Shelley which was published a few months ago in Macmillan's Magazine, and one of some merit of Mr. Garnett's own on the poet, written in the neighborhood of Mrs. Shelley's tomb, there is nothing in this book that has any literary unity or finish. It is a basket of literary chips and shavings, gathered up from the poet's workshop.
There is no writer in the whole range of English literature who will less bear this piecemeal treatment than Shelley. It is not the rich light of imaginative thought—as with Coleridge,—the passion of deep insight —as with Wordsworth,—nor the gleam of fanciful sentiment—as with Moore,—which takes hold of us,—all these might be to some extent preserved in fragments, and preserved even without loss of power. But Shelley's poems, whatever else they ore meant to be, are meant at least to be felt and seen as wholes—as melodies complete in themselves, expressing some one wave of
* Relics of Shelley. Edited by Eichard Garnett. London: Moxon & Co. 1862.
passion, which, if interrupted, is a mere spray of isolated drops,—if completed, adds another new movement to the few distinct vibrations of intellectual melody that permanently possess the imagination of youth. To have Shelley's poetry in disjointed particles is more disappointing than to have broken atoms of a rainbow; for though there also the whole beauty consists in the rare proportions of the continuous curve, the least arc will enable us to pursue the bow of promise in imagination up to the zenith and down again to the horizon, while every hiatus in Shelley's many-colored thought is simply beyond all human power to supply. For example, what is this dislocated stanza worth,—part of the shining ore of Shelley's mind though it evidently is,— without the whole movement of which it must have been an essential element ?—
"At the creation of the Earth
And many of the fragments are far more fragmentary even than this is; for example, the following excluded passage in the Adonais:—
"A mighty Phantasm, half concealed
Of thunder-smoke, whose skirts were chrysolite
The armies of the golden stars, each one
There is, we feel, far more pain in the sense of mutilation which such passages produce —the sense of a broken melody—than pleasure in the occasional gleam of Shelley's genius which remains there; for the breathless continuity of his song, which rolls onward to the end without rest or pause, was of the true essence of Shelley's genius, and to have shattered fragments of his music is like listening to a stammering lark.
Nor is the injury to Shelley's poetry in. volved in this fragmentary treatment greater than that to his biography. Never was any great poet made known to the world by more fitful and inadequate biographic hints; never was there any great poet whose story stood more in need of a continuous and frank narrative, or whose nature was more susceptible of a living and distinct portrai- , tnre in such a narrative, than Shelley's. His life was like one of his own lyrics,—eager to! breathlessness when the spell of action or emotion was on him,—faint to sickness in j the after-mood of reaction, when it had passed away; at all times penetrated with the glow of a temperament in which selfish calculation had absolutely no share,—at all times underrating law, or rather holding the law of impulse intrinsically higher than any other, and.chafing at what he called "the infinite malice of Destiny," when that which Wordsworth would have bowed before as the awful form of Duty, bade him imperatively curb the wayward impulse of the hour; —in short, a life in which the throbbingI pulses of intellectualized passion can be felt j distinctly at almost every point, and so unique as a whole, that his outward lot, whether as regards his errors, his persecu- j tions, his companions, or his strange death i and stranger funeral rites, seems almost the inseparable vesture of his marvellous nature.
Mr. Garnett has struck the true key to the character in the following lines:—
"That Soul of planetary birth,
And truly, Shelley, thine were strains
This "unearthly" form of earthly passions which marks itself so deeply on Shelley's poetry and fate, while it gives a singularly unique coloring to his whole life, was, no doubt, the real cause why there is so much both in his poetry and life which it is difficult to approach without some preconceived bias. No man of equal genius has been less adequately criticised either as a poet or a man. Even in these lines Mr. Garnett scarcely reaches the centre of the difficulty. Shelley's mysticism is not exactly of the kind which we can account for, even fancifully, by referring to its origin in another planet. It is quite true that his
"were strains At once to fire and freeze the veins ;"
but the rest of the suggested explanation seems to us scarcely to grasp the whole of the difficulty. The mysticism which runs both through his life and his poetry approaches, odd, as it may appear, very closely to a somewhat naked simplicity of nature. There was wanting in him that nameless "awe " which teaches men to feel the difference between the natural and the supernatural, and makes them hold even the most solemn impulses of their own nature in restraint. Byron, and many of Shelley's contemporaries, felt this awe and wantonly violated it. Shelley seems to us not even to have felt it. Hence the strange perfection of his pantheism. He could throw his imagination into all the forms and attitudes of natural life, and interpret them as if he were conscious c,f nothing higher than beauty or deformity,—without shrinking in any way from the most naturalistic view which they suggested. Hence all the marvellous passion of his poetry has about it a tone from which we shrink;—without any of the license of Byron, without anything of the erotic vulgarity of Moore, with the highest sense of the sacredness of passion, there is a bold, eager naturalism of tone, a complete absence of any sense of distinction between the supersensual and the sensuous, which gives to Shelley's writings something of the impression that they are the poetry of a man with no " spirit " in St. Paul's sense, though with a noble " soul" as well as a sensitive physical body. This seems to us one of the central features of all his poetry. It shows senses of ethereal fire, an intellect of wonderful subtlety, a soul of pure magnanimity, but no shadow of divine responsibility, no consciousness of living under an eternal eye and will, and none of the breadth of sympathy and judgment which that consciousness never fails to bring. But if this be the great negative feature of this wonderful poet's writings, the jar with which it strikes upon us is indefinitely increased by these fragmentary
publications of facts bearing on the one or two central errors of his life. There is much in Shelley's life, looked at as a whole, which relieves the naked naturalism of his theory of love. But to this one focus we are again and again drawn by these unwise publications of fragments all bearing on this point. Hence we trust that Mr. Garnett's may be the last. He is not unfit to write, whenever the time shall come, a complete and harmonious life of the poet, embodying all that has yet appeared, and laying no undue stress on controverted points,—and till he does so, we hope he will not again publish on the subject.