« ZurückWeiter »
body-guard of several of the emperors, and, on one occasion at least, exercised the prerogative of the Prætorian cohorts, in dethroning their master. * If negro slavery still exists in this state, it has little of the degradation connected with it elsewhere. Into Algiers France has already carried the benign principle of law - earlier recognized by her than by the English courts + - which secures freedom to all beneath its influence. And now we are cheered anew by the glad tidings recently received, that the Bey of Tunis, “ for the glory of God, and to distinguish man from the brute creation," has decreed the total abolition of human slavery throughout his dominions.
Let us, then, with hope and confidence, turn to the Barbary States ! The virtues and charities do not come singly. Among them is a common bond, stronger than that of science or knowlege. Let one find admission, and a goodly troop will follow. Nor is it unreasonable to anticipate other improvements in states which have renounced a long-cherished system of White Slavery, while they have done much to abolish or mitigate the slavery of others not white, and to overcome the inhuman prejudice of color. The Christian nations
* Ibid. p. 381.
+ Somersett's case, first declaring this principle, was decided in 1772. M. Schoell says, that “this fine maxim has always obtained" in France. — Histoire Abrégée des Traités de Pais, Tom. XI. p. 178. By the royal ordinance 1318, it was declared, that “all men are born free (francs) hy nature ; and that the kingdom of the French (Francs) should be so in reality as in name." But this “fine maxim" was not recognized in France so completely as M. Schoell asserts. -- See Encyclopédie (de Diderot et de D'Alembert), Art. Esclavage.
of Europe first declared, and practically enforced, within their own European dominions, the vital truth of freedom, that man cannot hold property in his brother-man. Algiers and Tunis, like Saul of Tarsus, have been turned from the path of persecution, and now receive the same faith. Algiers and Tunis now help to plead the cause of Freedom. Such a cause is in sacred fellowship with all those principles which promote the Progress of Man. And who can tell that this despised portion of the globe is not destined to yet another restoration ? It was here in Northern Africa that civilization was first nursed, that commerce early spread her white wings, that Christianity was taught by the honey. ed lips of Augustine. All these are again returning to their ancient home. Civilization, commerce, and Christianity once more shed their benignant influences upon
the land to which they have long been strangers. A new health and vigor now animate its exertions. Like its own giant Antæus, - whose tomb is placed by tradition among the hill-sides of Algiers, - it has been often felled to the earth, but it now rises with renewed strength, to gain yet higher victories.
FAME AND GLORY. AN ORATION BEFORE
THE LITERARY SOCIETIES OF AMHERST COLLEGE, AT THEIR ANNIVERSARY, AU. GUST 11, 1847.
But if there be in Glory aught of good,
FAME AND GLORY.
The literary festival, which we are assembled to commemorate, is called Commencement. To an interesting portion of my hearers it is the commencement of a new stage of life. The ingenuous student, who has passed his term of years — a classical Olympiad — amidst the restraints of the academy, in the daily pursuits of the lecture-room, observant of forms, obsequious to the college curfew, now renounces these restraints, heeds no longer the summoning bell, divests himself of the youthful gown, and here, under the auspices of Alma Mater, assumes the robe of manhood. At such a change, the mind and heart are open to receive impressions which may send their influence through remaining life. A seasonable word to-day may, peradventure, like an acorn dropped into a propitious soil, send upwards its invigorating growth, till its stately trunk, its multitudinous branches, and sheltering foliage shall become an ornament and a protection of unspeakable beauty. VOL. 1.