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THE CROSS OF CONSTANTINE,-EXTINCTION OF THE SLAVE TRADE.
THE CROSS OF CONSTANTINE.
SIR T. F. BUXTON'S PLAN FOR THE EXTINC.
TION OF THE SLAVE TRADE.
to CONQUER in this !'-Not unto thee alone
To a description of the extent and horrors of the The vision spake, imperial Constantine !
Slave Trade, the failure of our efforts for its supNor, presage only of an earthly throne,
pression, and an account of African superstitions Blazed in mid-heaven the consecrated sign.
and cruelties, (Sir T. F. Buxton remarks in deThrough the unmeasured tract of coming time
scribing his volume,) I have added some practical The mystic cross doth with soft lustre glow,
suggestions for calling forth the latent energies of And speaks through every age, in every clime, To every slave of sin and child of woe.
that quarter of the globe, and for exhibiting to its inhabitants where their true interest lies.
The principles of my suggestions are comprised « Conquer in this !' Ay, when the rebel heart
in the following propositions :Clings to the idols it was wont to cherish,
1. That the present staple export of Africa And, as it sees those fleeting boons depart,
renders to her inhabitants, at infinite cost, a miserGrieveth that things so bright were form’d to perish.
able return of profits. Arise, bereaved one ! and athwart the gloom,
2. That the cultivation of her soil, and the barter Read in the brightness of that cheering ray
of its productions, would yield an abundant harvest, Mourn not, O Christian ! though so brief their bloom, and a copious supply of those articles which Africa Nought that is worth a sigh shall pass away.
3. That it is practicable to convince the African,
experimentally, of the truth of these propositions, “Conquer in this !' When fairest visions como
and thus to make him our confederate in the supTo lure thy spirit to a path of flowers ; Binding the exile from a heavenly home,
pression of the Slave Trade. To dwell a lingerer in unholy bowers :
I despair of being able to put down a traffic, in Strong in His strength who burst the bonds of sin,
which a vast continent is engaged, by the few ships Clasp to thy bosom, clasp the holy cross !
we can afford to employ : as auxiliaries they are of Dost thou not seek a heavenly crown to win ?
great value, but alone they are insufficient. I do Hast thou not counted all beside as loss!
not dream of attempting to persuade the African, by appealing merely to his reason or his conscience,
to renounce gainful guilt, and to forego those in16. Conquer in this !!—Though powers of earth and hell human pursuits which gratify his cupidity and Were leagued to bar thee from thy homeward way, supply his wants. But when the appeal we make The cross shall every darkling shade dispel,
is to his interest, and when his passions are enlisted Chase every doubt, and re-assure dismay.
on our side, there is nothing chimerical in the hope Faint not, O wearied one ; faint not : for thee
that he may be brought to exchange slender profits The Lord of Righteousness and Glory bled,
with danger, for abundant gain with security and And his good Spirits influence, with free
peace. And plenteous unction, is upon thee shed.
If these views can be carried into effect, they
have at least thus much to recommend them :-«« Conquer in this !” When, by thy fever'd bed,
They will not plunge this country into hostility with Thou see'st the dark-wing’d angel take his stand,
any portion of the civilized world : for they involve Who soon shall lay thy body with the dead,
no violation of international law. We may cultiAnd bear thy spirit to the spirits' land,
vate intercourse and innocent commerce with the Fear not ! the cross sustains thee, and its aid
natives of Africa, without abridging the rights or In that last trial shall thy succour bring ;
damaging the honest interests of any rival power. Go fearless through the dark, the untried shade,
They require no monopoly of trade; if other nations For sin is vanquish'd and death hath no sting.
choose to send their merchantmon to carry on legitimate traffic in Africa, they will but advance
our object, and lend their aid in extinguishing that “Conquer in this !!-Strong is thy Saviour's might; which we are resolved to put down. When bursts the morning of a brighter day,
They involve no schemes of conquest ; our ambition is Rise, Christian victor in the glorious fight,
of another order. Africa is now torn in pieces. Arise rejoicing from thy cell of clay !
She is the victim of the most iron despotism that The cross which led thee scathless through the gloom, the world ever saw ; inveterate cruelty reigns over Shall in that hour heaven's royal banner be ;
her broad territory. We desire to usurp nothingThou last o'ercome the world, the flesh, the tomb ; Triumph in Him who died and rose for thee !"
and to conquer nothing—but the Slave Trade.
Finally, we ask of the government only that Lady Flora Hastings.
which subjects have a right to expect from their
rulers, namely, protection to person and property in their lawful pursuits.
AFFGHANISTAN. Here I must pause ; for I feel bound to confess, It is a happy characteristic of British conquests, much as it may tend to shake the whole fabric of that protection and improvement, not spoliation my views, that there is a great danger to which we and misery, generally follow in the rear of the Eng. shall be exposed, unless it be most carefully guarded lish flag. The limits of the Anglo-Indian empire against at the outset : the discovery of the fact, have been lately pushed from the banks of the that man as a labourer of the soil, is superior in Indus to the very frontiers of Russia ; a country value to man as an article of merchandise, may having a greater extent than England itself, has induce the continuance, if not the increase, of that been joined to her possessions, and a population internal slavery that now exists in Africa.
of 14,000,000 has been added to her subjects. A I hope we shall never be so deluded as to give new field is thus opened for the efforts of the misthe slightest toleration to anything like constrained sionary and the philanthropist. The Christian canlabour. We must not put down one iniquity by not but look with intense interest towards the spiabetting another. I believe, implicitly, that free ritual and moral condition of his new fellou-subjects; labour will beat all other labour; that slavery, be- while the historian will have to record that for the sides being a great crime, is a gross blunder ; and first time since the days of Alexander the Great, that the most refined and sagacious course we can a civilized army has penetrated the formidable pursue is common honesty and undeviating justice. barrier of deserts and mountains which separates
Let it then be held as a most sacred principle, Persia from Hindustan ; "and the prodigy has that wherever our authority prevails slavery shall been exhibited to an astonished world, of a remote cease ; and that whatever influence we may obtain island in the European seas, pushing forward its shall be employed in the same direction.
mighty arms into the heart of Asia, and carrying I have thus noticed several of the negative ad- its victorious standards into the strongholds of vantages which attach to these views, and I have Mohammedan faith, and the cradle of the Mogul frankly stated the danger, which, as I conceive, empire t.”—The following sketch of the country attends them. I shall now briefly allude to one and its inhabitants will enable the reader to estipoint, which, I own, weighs with me beyond all
mate the importance of this new acquisition. the other considerations, mighty as they are, which The inhabitants of mountain territories all over this great question involves.
the world are characterized by an invincible love Grievous, and this almost beyond expression, as
of freedom, and warlike, predatory habits. They are the physical evils endured by Africa, there is
are always troublesome neighbours to well-estayet a more lamentable feature in her present con
blished governments; a fact to which the annals of dition. Bound in the chains of the grossest igno- every country that includes, or is near to, highland rance, she is a prey to the most savage superstition. districts, supplies no exception. Sometimes disChristianity has made but feeble inroads on this turbing the peaceful inhabitants of plains, at others kingdom of darkness, nor can she hope to gain an
making war against each other, mountaineers will entrance where the traffic in man pre-occupies the mostly be found existing under popular governground. But, were this obstacle removed, Africa ments, whose institutions are continually altering, would present the finest field for the labours of whose territories are as often changing hands. Christian missionaries which the world has as yet These remarks apply with peculiar force to seen opened to them. I have no hesitation in Affghanistan and the surrounding districts. stating my belief that there is in the negro race a Bounded on the north by a portion of the stupencapacity for receiving the truths of the gospel dous Himalêh ranges which here give off various beyond most other heathen nations; while, on the subordinate chains, the country is situated in the other hand, there is this remarkable, if not unique, very heart of High Asia, and the inhabiting tribes circumstance in their case-that a race of teachers are accounted among the most hardy and restless of their own blood is already in course of rapid of this quarter of the globe. Hence the territory preparation for them; that the providence of God
now called Affghanistan has been subject to every has overruled slavery and the slave trade for this description of change. Now conquered by Alexend; and that from among the settlers of Sierra ander the Great to swell the empire of Persia : Leone, the peasantry of the West Indies, and the then gradually regaining liberty in small districts, thousands of their children now receiving Christian erected into detached kingdoms : lastly, joined to education, may be expected to arise a body of men the immense territories of British India, the bounwho will return to the land of their fathers, carrying daries, the people, and even the names of Affghadivine truth and all its concomitant blessings into nistan have had many vicissitudes. At one time the heart of Africa.
“ Ghiznee," at another “Cabû listan,” form the
* The sway of Shah Soojah, whom English arms have placed on the throne, is to all intents and purposes nominal.
† Blackwood's Magazine for February 1840, p. 247.
41 capitals of those petty kingdoms; finally it re- | portion of the Himaléh mountains known as tho ceives the name of Affghanistan, that being a Hindoo Coosh, which overlooks Balk or Bukhara, corrupted Indian word, expressive of the warlike the ancient Bactria ; on the east it is equally elecharacter of the Affghans*.
vated above the plains of the Indus (the Punjab The Affghan country, as at present marked out Sinde, &c.), by the Solyman hills—a branch of the by geographers, is bounded on the north by that Himalêh running north and south, and towering
far above the snow line ; on the south it overlooks runs between it and Beloochistan. It slopes graSewesteen, and on the south-west a deep valley dually to the west, and loses the appearance of * " In India,” says M. Klaproth, “they are known under the
elevation as it approaches Persia; whence its bounname of Pathani," (they call themselves Pooshtoon, in the plu- dary consists of a winding line drawn along the ral Pooshtauneh,) " derived from the verb paithná, to fall upon deserts of Kerman and Khorassan. These limits (se jeter sur quelque chose), to enter, to penetrate suddenly, to place it between the thirtieth and thirty-fifth demake invasion; for during a long period the Affghan tribes made themselves famous for their frequent incursions into the
grees of North latitude, and the sixty-second and various provinces of Hindustan." —Sur la langue des Afghans, seventy-first of East longitude ; and are indicated Mémoires relatifs à l'Asie, tom. iii. p. 418.
in our map by a dotted line.
The north-east corner of the country may be Herât occupy the north-western corner next to called the nucleus of its mountain system. The the Persian boundary. The valley constitutes Hindoo Coosh, which rises behind the city of Cabûl, their most important division, and may be about has so prodigious an altitude, that travellers com- thirty miles long, and fifteen miles broad. Southplain of the difficulty of breathing; the strongest ward of it, a dreary expanse of desert, seldom inmen suffering from giddiness and vomiting. Thou- terrupted by habitable soil, occupies the whole of sands of birds are also found dead on the snow from the western and part of the southern boundaries of the rarity of the atmosphere ; yet they are accus- Affghanistan, comprised, for the most part, in the tomed to higher elevations than men or quadru- province of Seistan. The sand of which this desert peds. “The greatest silence is preserved in cross- is composed being light, indeed almost impalpable, ing the Hindoo Coosh, and no one speaks loud, or is peculiarly subject to the sport of the winds, fires a gun, lest the reverberation cause a fall of which heaps it up in huge wall-like ridges, and snow *.” The city of Cabûl lies at an elevation of over them the traveller must climb in pursuance of six thousand six hundred feet above the level of his journey. the sea ; and some of the passes between it and The climate of Affghanistan varies considerably
plains of Tûrkistan are from twelve thousand (from its peculiar configuration) in different parts to thirteen thousand feet high, and covered with of the country. A day's journey from the perpesnow t. From this important branch of the Hima- tually frozen highlands into the plains, will bring lêh ranges, the mountains of Affghanistan branch the traveller to a climate where the heat is suffioff throughout the land in the directions already cient to mature the productions of the hottest parts indicated.
of India. The simoom sometimes passes over the For so mountainous a country, Affghanistan country to occasion great destruction of life and presents two peculiarities : it has few rivers, and property. The Cabûl district possesses the best experiences little rain. This has been accounted climate, that of the Peshawur plain being, by all for from the boundless mountain tracts by which accounts, unequalled. it is surrounded exhausting the clouds of moisture The inhabitants of this wild and varied territory before their arrival over the country. The hills appear to occupy a middle place in the scale behave, therefore, little drainage with which to fill tween civilization and barbarism. If, remarks river-beds. All the streams which intersect the Elphinstone,a European were suddenly transported country are fordable in some part of their course to Affghanistan, without having had his views during most of the year; the mountain torrents modified by the Turks, Persians, Tartars, or Hinbeing quickly drained off, either by absorption in dostanee tribes, the condition of the Affghanistan the deserts that abound-particularly in the western and its inhabitants would be startling to him. He districts—or diminished by the people for irrigating would discover a wild assemblage of wastes and the land. The Helmud river is one of the largest, hills, unmarked by inclosures, and destitute of all and with the Gizea (in Arrowsmith's map; the refinement of husbandry. He would be struck Furrah of others), falls into the only lake known to with the forlorn appearance of one part, and the exist, called the Zurrah. The other rivers are the populousness of another. He would find few restCabûl, the Turnuk, and Urghandab; the Eoomul, ing-places, and those he came to far from each the Zhobe, the Lorah.
other; but this would be balanced by the hospitable Thus deficient in the main element of fertility, disposition of the natives he might happen to fall the cultivated spots in Affghanistan, though not in with. The Affghans themselves he would find few, are far between. The most considerable of living in a state of rude independence, and disthese is the valley of Cabûl, in the north-east tributed, for the most part, over the open country ; corner of the land, and extending for nearly two while the towns and agricultural districts—inhahundred miles. It is divided into several districts; bited by Persians and other foreigners-exhibit in the chief of which are the cities of Ghiznee and a degree of industry and habitual order, equalled Cabûl, possessing the finest river; the most fertile only in China. plains in the country are situated in this valley, The Affghans are divided into several tribes, particularly the Peshawur and Lugmaun districts, who confine themselves to particular districts : the which are blessed with a delightful climate and principal of them are the Berdooranees, the Daproductive soil. The western section of the Cabûl maun, (occupying the eastern division,) and the valley is of a hilly character, and is called Kohis. central tribes. The Dooranees, Ghilgees, &c., are tan, or the highlands.
spread over the western provinces. These again Various other valleys, formed by the divergence are subdivided into numerous families, or smaller of the mountains, are distributed at wide intervals tribes, of which forty-six have been enumerated. throughout the whole territory. The plains of All testimonies agree in attributing to the whole
of these tribes, qualities befitting them for mighty * Burnes' Travels into Bokhara, &c., vol. ii. pp. 247, 248. deeds. They are robust in their persons, and so | Id. vol. ii. p. 240.
brave that they have long been known in the
43 armies of India as their most valiant soldiers under entirely upon tradition, and are more than questhe name of Patans
tionable. Elphinstone disallows them altogether, But the Affghans present points of consideration and is supported by Klaproth, than whom no oriento the Christian and to the philanthropist of the tal scholar is entitled to greater deference. In his deepest interest, especially at this time. Closely opinion, the account of their emigration from Paunited to Great Britain, they are, in a measure, lestine is a fable of no historic value, being a forour fellow-subjects. Can anything be done to gery of the Mohammedan traditions. There is no improve their social, moral, and spiritual condition? resemblance whatever between the Pushtoo and The question need not be hopelessly answered | Chaldaic languages ; the rudiments and a vocabuin the negative ; for when the darkness of Islam-lary of which Klaproth publishes. He also deism shall be dispelled by the light of Christianity, clares that the native documents he has seen prove it may be fairly anticipated that its beams will that the Affghans present a necessary link, as it first enter the minds of these people ; for of all were, in the long chain of Indo-Germanic nations, Mohammedans they are the least intolerant. which extend from the banks of the Ganges to the Although they have all the superstition of their frozen shores of Iceland; and that their original class, they have little of its bigotry, and freely country is that which they actually inhabit ; that extend the hand of friendship to those whose creeds is to say, the territory between Persia, Bukhara, are entirely at variance with their ownt.
and Hindûstan Another proof of their tolerance is, that although nothing is so hateful to a Mussulman as a Jew, the Affghans secretly claim descent from the ten tribes of Israel. This pretension is supported by many learned orientalists. “We learn from Esdras,"
INDIAN HOSPITALITY. says Sir William Jones, “ that the ten tribes, after
The virtue of hospitality in India, as elsewhere, a wandering journey, came to a country called prevails most in the milder and more unfrequented Asareth," (corrupted, this author conjectures, to districts. “I sometimes frequented places,” says Hezareth, the northern province,)“ where we may Forbes, “where the natives had never seen an suppose they settled. Now the Affghans are said European, and were ignorant of everything conby the best Persian historians to be descended by cerning us : there I beheld manners and customs the Jews. They have traditions among themselves simple as were those in the patriarchal age; there, of such a descent, although since the invasion of in the style of Rebecca, and the damsels of MesoIslam they studiously conceal their origin from potamia, the Hindoo villagers treated me with all whom they admit not to their secrets I." These that artless hospitality so delightful in the poems secrets are, it seems, recorded in a book (Assâr al of Homer, and other ancient records. On a sultry Afåghin), from which extracts have been made by day, near a Jinore village, having rode faster than Vansittart
, where we find the origin of the people my attendants, while waiting their arrival under a traced up to Saul. Moreover, although the Aff
tamarind tree, a young woman came to the well ; ghans consider the term Fahoodee, or Jew, one of I asked for a little water, but neither of us having reproach, they do not hesitate to call themselves
a drinking vessel, she hastily left me, as I imagined, Bin-i-Isree, or children of Israel. Sir W. Jones to bring an earthen cup for the purpose, as I adds in confirmation of their Jewish origin,—“The should have polluted a vessel of metal; but as Jael, Pushtoo (or native) language, of which I have seen
when Sisera asked for water, gave him milk, and a dictionary, has a manifest resemblance to the brought forth butter in a lordly dish,' so did this Chaldaic.” Burnes adds $, the Affghans look like village damsel, with more sincerity than Heber's the Jews, and that the younger brother marries wife, bring me a pot of milk, and a lump of butter, the widow of the elder, according to the law of on the delicate leaf of the banana, the lordly dish Moses.
of the Hindoos. The former I accepted ; on my If the above suppositions were true, they would declining the latter, she immediately made it into add an interesting stimulant to the efforts of Chris- two balls, and gave one to each of the oxen that tians, for the relief of Affghanistan from the Mo- drew my hackney. Butter is a luxury to these hammedan yoke. But these claims of descent rest animals, and enables them to bear additional fa* Quarterly Review, vol. xxxvii. p. 144.
tigue.”-Oriental Memoirs. + The Affghans belong to the sect of Soonee, which acknow. ledges the three first Caliphs as the legitimate successors of * Sur la langue des Affghans, Mémoires relatifs à l'Asie, tomo Mohammed, admitting their interpretation of the law, and their iii. p. 422. tradition of the prophet's precepts, in opposition to the more Besides the authorities already named, the following authors orthodox Sheaks who reject them. Thus the Soonees are a class have been consulted in compiling this article:-Baillie Fraser, of Mohammedan dissenters
in MoCulloch's Dict. of Geography, vol. 1. p. 14-21. Elphin1 Asiatic Researches, vol. il. Art. iv. p. 76. Carey and Mar. stone's Cabal. Forster, Jones, Vansittart, and Rennel, in sham also make a similar assertion.
" Asiatic Researches." $ Travels into Bokhara, vol. i. p. 164.