Page images

sponsibility; the electoral organisation is imperfect, and the judicial administration is hampered by the old legal forms. Some of these difficulties grow out of the very necessity of the case, and others betray a want of experience, if not of wisdom, in the legislative and executive departments. Springing from these sources, their natural tendency will be to correct themselves.

No favourable picture is given of the administration of justice.

The civil and criminal codes,' observes the author, 6 are little more than a collection of superstitions and abuses, under the names of Laws of Castile, Royal Ordinances, Laws of the Indies, and various other compilations of Spanish decrees, and colonial regulations, from which, to the vexation of the suitor, and benefit of the lawyer, contradictory decisions may be extracted on every possible point of litigation. This evil is felt and acknowledged by the government; it has been proposed to introduce the new Spanish criminal code. Trial by jury is happily established in cases of libel, and the legislature has declared in favor of introducing it generally, in all cases to which it is applicable.' p. 26.

Under the old colonial system, it is well known, that various distinctions existed between the European Spaniards, Creoles, Indians, negroes, and mixed castes, and that all but the first labored under many disabilities. These distinctions are now done away by the laws of the nation; every free native inhabitant is a citizen, possessing equal rights and privileges, whatever may be the shade of his skin, or the chronicle of his ancestry. The justice of this policy,' says Colonel Hall, 'has been rewarded by the exertions of the people of color, in aid of the independence of the country, of which they have been the firmest supporters, and Colombia reckons among her best and bravest officers, men, whom Spanish pride and tyranny deemed unworthy to sit at a white man's table.' On the 21st of July, 1821, a law was passed for abolishing slavery, and proper measures adopted for carrying it into effect. No slaves can be imported or exported, and a tax is levied for a gradual manumission of those now in the country. The children of slaves, born since the above date, are free, the owners of their parents being entitled to their services till the age of eighteen, as a compensation for their maintenance.

The author complains of the narrow policy, which the government seems inclined to follow, in regard to the regulations of commerce. Restraints and discouragements are thrown in the of way foreign merchants, whereas nothing is more plain, under present circumstances, than the wisdom of inducing as many to settle there, with their enterprise aad their capital, as may be tempted to do it, by reasonable prospects of an entire security of their property, and a fair competition in trade. Some of the laws, and the general tone of feeling, bear strong marks of the old jealousy of foreigners, which

existed in the colonies, and which must be rooted out, before the republic can reap the immense advantages of an unshackled. trade, and a free intercourse with all other countries.

The latter half of Colonel Hall's work is devoted to the subject of emigration to Colombia. He describes the advantages to be expected by emigrants, the character of the inhabitants as affecting their condition and success, the best modes of emigrating, and the preparations necessary for the undertaking. He also gives directions as to the choice of place, and recounts the difficulties to be apprehended, arising from difference of language, customs, and religion. These points are treated with brevity, but with much good sense, and in a manner which proves the writer to have been well informed on the topics he discusses. The extract here subjoined, touches on a subject, which will be likely one day to produce a deep sensation in all the South American republics.

"The matter of Religion requires more consideration. A law was published, dated August 22nd, 1821, to abolish the Inquisition, and restore to the ecclesiastical courts jurisdiction in matters of religion, according to the canons and customs of the Roman Catholic church; the 3d article of this law says; Juridical proceedings in such cases (in matters of faith) shall take place only with respect to Roman Catholics born in Colombia, their children, and those who, having come from other countries, shall have enrolled themselves in the parish registers of the Catholics; but not with respect to strangers, who may come to establish themselves temporarily or permanently; nor with their descendants, who can in no manner be molested on account of their belief, though they ought to respect the Roman Catholic worship and religion.

That Toleration is here established, as to the creed of foreigners, there can be no doubt, but it is not equally clear, that this toleration includes the liberty openly to profess and celebrate the rites of their respective forms of worship; in such a case the law would require interpretation, and in what spirit would the interpretation be made? As far as respects the opinions of the individuals who compose the government, and, generally, of all the enlightened men throughout the country, there is little doubt it would be favorable, but the interference of the clergy must in such a case be reckoned on; nor can it be denied, that the government, perhaps from an exaggerated calculation of clerical influence, bas manifested a disposition to humor the prejudice of this body, which may render it a problematical question, how far the liberality of its private opinions might control its public conduct. clergy, on the other hand, are no strangers to the contempt in which their doctrines are held by the enlightened part of the community; but, as long as this inward feeling is accompanied by no overt act of secession, they console themselves with the influence



Garnett's Lectures on Female Education.

[April, they possess over the ignorant majority, and the knowledge that this influence must insure them the consideration of the government. The toleration of a rival church would, however, prove a very different affair; here is not only division of opinion, but threatened division of pelf and power, and the resistance to such innovation would, doubtless, be proportioned to the interests jeopardised. Travellers have noticed the apparent liberality of the South American clergy towards strangers of a different creed, but their bigotry in such cases is only sleeping, because unprovoked; a solitary Protestant traveller may be an object of curiosity, but not of dread or suspicion. Not so, when individuals of the same persuasion appear in hundreds or thousands. The abuse of heretics has long been the favourite theme in the pulpits of Caracas, and this city has been repeatedly threatened with a second earthquake, in judgment of such abominations. Without pretending to foretell what course would be followed by the government, or sanctioned by public opinion, when a case of toleration, in the full sense of the word, practically occurs, we may observe, that if Colombia pretends to tread in the steps of the United States, and to grow powerful by the admission of foreigners into her bosom, some change in her religious system, either legally sanctioned, or conventionally allowed, must eventually take place. The ecclesiastical regulations, which at present interdict marriages betwixt Roman Catholics and heretics, are, of themselves, a barrier against the amalgamation of foreigners with the existing population, and exemplify the impossibility of combining religious intolerance with a liberal form of civil government.' pp. 94-97.

The volume closes with a series of itineraries very useful to the traveller, specifying the distances of places on some of the principal roads, with remarks on the aspect of the country through which they pass.

2.-Seven Lectures on Female Education, inscribed to Mrs Garnett's Pupils, at Elm Wood, Essex County, Virginia, by their very sincere Friend, JAMES M. GARNETT. Second Edition. 18mo. pp. 261. Richmond, T. White. 1824.

Ir the approbation of distinguished names be considered a proof of the merits of a book, these Lectures have no ordinary claims to the notice of the public. We insert the following extract of a letter from Chief Justice Marshall, as well on account of the opinion he gives of this work, as of the sentiments he expresses in regard to the influence of the female character on society.

[ocr errors]

I read the first edition,' says Judge Marshall, when first published, and was so well pleased with it, as to place it in the

hands of several of my young friends, for whose improvement I was particularly solicitous. The subject is, in my opinion, of the deepest interest. I have always believed, that national character, as well as happiness, depends more on the female part of society, than is generally imagined. Precepts from the lips of a beloved mother, inculcated in the amiable, graceful, and affectionate manner, which belongs to the parent and the sex, sink deep in the heart, and make an impression which is seldom entirely effaced. These impressions have an influence on character, which may contribute greatly to the happiness or misery, the eminence or insignificancy, of the individual.

'If the agency of the mother in forming the character of her children is, in truth, so considerable as I think it, if she does so much towards making her son what she would wish him to be, and her daughter to resemble herself, how essential is it, that she should be fitted for the beneficial performance of these important duties. To accomplish this beneficial purpose, is the object of Mr Garnett's Lectures, and he has done much towards its attainment. His precepts appear to be drawn from deep and accurate observation of human life and manners, and to be admirably well calculated to improve the understanding and the heart. They form a sure and safe foundation for female character, and contain rules of conduct, which cannot be too well considered, or too generally applied.'

We have also the testimony of Bishop Moore, that this work 'points out to females the high road to character and distinction ;' and of his Excellency, De Witt Clinton, that 'in reference to diction or sentiment, to manner or matter, it is a production of extraordinary merit, and ought to be generally diffused.' To us there seems a little extravagance in these terms of commendation, though we have been pleased with the perusal of the Lectures, and think they possess qualities, which will render them attractive and useful to many readers. The author treats his subject under the following heads. 1. The moral and religious obligations to a right improvement of time. 2. The best means of improvement. 3. Temper and deportment. 4. Foibles, faults, and vices. 5. Manners, accomplishments, fashions, and conversation. 6. Associates, friends, and connexions. Under these topics is made to be embraced the whole compass of female education, duty, and character; and, in discussing some of them, the author discovers no inconsiderable knowledge of the human heart, the workings of the passions and affections, and the moving principles of society. One of the best traits of his performance is the excellent tone of ingenuous and charitable feeling, which pervades it, and the strict VOL. XX.-NO. 47. 57

ly moral and religious tendency of all his precepts and reflections. The style is not remarkable for precision, or elegance of phraseology, but it is animated, perspicuous, and forcible.

3.-A General Outline of the United States of North America, her Resources and Prospects, with a Statistical Comparison, shewing at one View the Advance she has made in National Opulence in the Period of Thirty Years. Also, a Collection of other interesting Facts; and some Hints as to Political, Physical, and Moral Causes; including the Refutation of a Theory advanced with Respect to this Country by a London Writer, on the State of the British Nation. Being the Result of Letters addressed from Philadelphia, 1823, to a Friend in England; and some Additional Matter, Illustrated with Engravings, &c. &c. 8vo. pp. 238. Philadelphia. 1825.

A SPACIOUS margin, numerous blank pages, a large type widely spaced, beautiful white paper, and a titlepage of such ominous length, that our patience failed us before we could transcribe it to the end, these are the external attractions of this outline of the United States, so called, which in an evil hour has fallen into our hands. We say evil hour, because no task can give us less pleasure, than to censure the labors of any writer, who has the industry and enterprise to make a book illustrating the resources, condition, and prospects of this country. But really our stock of forbearance is not enough, to enable us to pass over in silence so poor an attempt at book making, as we have in this specimen, and especially on a subject, which ought to be treated with minuteness, dignity, and compass, or not at all. Our disappointment, at finding the promise of the titlepage so indifferently fulfilled, may perhaps have blinded our eyes to such merits as the work actually possesses, but we have looked it through, and candidly confess, that we have discovered nothing in it, which may not be found in the common repositories of information, or which would seem to require the trouble of recompiling, or any additional expense of ink and paper to set it in a proper light before the public.

But let us go a little into the book itself, that we may show on what grounds our opinion has been made up. We are presented with an 'outline of the United States of North America, HER Resources and Prospects.' Where did the author learn his grammar, or by what figure of rhetoric does he represent these United States under the similitude of a single person, and this a female? Again, he proceeds to a 'Statistical comparison, showing at one view, the

« ՆախորդըՇարունակել »