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It is impossible to pursue any farther the picture drawn by the venerable Las Casas, not of what he had heard, but of what he had seen-nature and humanity revolt at the details. Suffice it to say that, so intolerable were the toils and sufferings inflicted upon this weak and unoffending race, that they sunk under them, dissolving as it were from the face of the earth. Many killed themselves in despair, and even mothers overcame the powerful instinct of nature, and destroyed the infants at their breasts, to spare them a life of wretchedness. Twelve years had not elapsed since the discovery of the island, and several hundred thousands of its native inhabitants had perished, miserable victims to the grasping avarice of the white men."

64

"Sometimes," says Mr. Irving, "they would
hunt down a straggling Indian, and compel him, by
torments, to betray the hiding-place of his com
panions, binding him and driving him before them
as a guide. Wherever they discovered one of
these places of refuge, filled with the aged and the
infirm, with feeble women and helpless children,
they massacred them without mercy! They
wished to inspire terror throughout the land, and to
frighten the whole tribe into submission. They cut
off the hands of those whom they took roving at
large, and sent them, as they said, to deliver them
as letters to their friends, demanding their surrender.
Numberless were those, says Las Casas, whose
hands were amputated in this manner, and many
anguish and loss of blood.
of them sunk down and died by the way, through

The conquerors delighted in exercising strange and ingenious cruelties. They mingled horrible levity with their bloodthirstiness. They erected gibbets long and low, so that the feet of the sufferers might reach the ground, and their death be lingering. They hanged thirteen together, in reve rence, says the indignant Las Casas, of our blessed Saviour and the twelve apostles! While their victims were suspended, and still living, they back ed them with their swords, to prove the strength of their arm and the edge of their weapons. They wrapped them in dry straw, and setting fire to it, terminated their existence by the fiercest agony.

"These are horrible details; yet a veil is drawn over others still more detestable. They are related by the venerable Las Casas, who was an eye-witness of the scenes he describes. He was young at the

These pictures are sufficiently shocking; but they do not exhaust the horrors that Cover the brief history of this ill-fated people. The province or district of Xaragua, which was ruled over by a princess, called Anacaona, celebrated in all the contemporary accounts for the grace and dignity of her manners, and her confiding attachment to the strangers, had hitherto enjoyed a happy exemption from the troubles which distracted the other parts of the island, and when visited about ten years before by the brother of Columbus, had impressed all the Spaniards with the idea of an earthly paradise: both from the fertility and sweetness of the country, the gentleness of its people, and the beauty and grace of the women. Upon some rumours that the neigh-time, but records them in his advanced years. All bouring caciques were assembling for hostile these things,' says he, and others revolting to human nature, my own eyes beheld! and now I purposes, Ovando now marched into this de- almost fear to repeat them, scarce believing myself, voted region with a well-appointed force of near four hundred men. He was hospitably and joyfully received by the princess: and affected to encourage and join in the festivity which his presence had excited. He was even himself engaged in a sportful game with his officers, when the signal for massacre was given-and the place was instantly covered with blood! Eighty of the caciques were burnt over slow fires! and thousands of the unarmed and unresisting people butchered, without regard to sex or age. "Humanity," Mr. Irving very justly observes, "turns with horror from such atrocities, and would fain discredit them: But they are circumstantially and still more minutely recorded by the venerable Las Casas--who was resident in the island at the time, and conversant with the principal actors in the tragedy."

or whether I have not dreamt them.'

Still worse enormities signalised the final subjugation of the province of Higuey-the last scene of any attempt to resist the tyrannical power of the invaders. It would be idle to detail here the progress of that savage and most unequal warfare: but it is right that the butcheries perpetrated by the victors should not be forgotten-that men may see to what incredible excesses civilised beings may be tempted by the possession of absolute and unquestioned power-and may learn, from indisputable memorials, how far the abuse of delegated and provincial authority may be actually carried. If it be true, as Homer has alleged, that the day which makes a man a slave, takes away half his worth-it | seems to be still more infallibly and fatally true, that the master generally suffers a yet larger privation.

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He inflicted no wanton massacres nor vindictive

"The system of Columbus may have borne hard upon the Indians, born and brought up in untasked freedom; but it was never cruel nor sanguinary. punishments; his desire was to cherish and civilise the Indians, and to render them useful subjects, not to oppress, and persecute, and destroy them. When he beheld the desolation that had swept them from the land during his suspension from authority, he could not restrain the strong expression of his feelings. In a letter written to the king after his return

to Spain, he thus expresses himself on the subject: The Indians of Hispaniola were and are the riches of the island; for it is they who cultivate and make the bread and the provisions for the Christians, who dig the gold from the mines, and perform all the offices and labours both of men and beasts. I am than three years,) six parts out of seven of the natives informed that, since I left this island, (that is, in less are dead, all through ill treatment and inhumanity! some by the sword, others by blows and cruel usage, and others through hunger. The greater part have perished in the mountains and glens, whither they had fled, from not being able to support the labour imposed upon them.'"

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The story now draws to a close. Columbus returned to Spain, broken down with age and affliction-and after two years spent in unavailing solicitations at the court of the cold-blooded and ungrateful Ferdinand (his generous patroness, Isabella, having died im mediately on his return), terminated with characteristic magnanimity a life of singular energy, splendour, and endurance. Independent of his actual achievements, he was undoubtedly a great and remarkable man; and Mr Irving has summed up his general character in a very eloquent and judicious way.

"His ambition," he observes, "was lofty and noble. He was full of high thoughts, and anxious

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to distinguish himself by great achievements. It has been said that a mercenary feeling mingled with his views, and that his stipulations with the Spanish Court were selfish and avaricious. The charge is inconsiderate and unjust. He aimed at dignity and wealth in the same lofty spirit in which he sought renown; and the gains that promised to arise from his discoveries, he intended to appropriate in the same princely and pious spirit in which they were demanded. He contemplated works and achievements of benevolence and religion: vast contributions for the relief of the poor of his native city; the foundation of churches, where masses should be said for the souls of the departed; and armies for the recovery of the holy sepulchre in Palestine.

"In his testament, he enjoined on his son Diego, and whoever after him should inherit his estates, whatever dignities and titles might afterwards be granted by the king, always to sign himself simply the Admiral,' by way of perpetuating in the family its real source of greatness.'

"He was devoutly pious; religion mingled with the whole course of his thoughts and actions, and shines forth in all his most private and unstudied writings. Whenever he made any great discovery, he celebrated it by solemn thanks to God. The voice of prayer and melody of praise rose from his ships when he first beheld the New World, and his first action on landing was to prostrate himself upon the earth and return thanksgivings. Every evening, the Salve Regina, and other vesper hymns, were chanted by his crew, and masses were performed in the beautiful groves that bordered the wild shores of this heathen land. The religion thus deeply seated in the soul, diffused a sober dignity and benign composure over his whole demean

our.

His language was pure and guarded, free from all imprecations, oaths, and other irreverent expressions. But his piety was darkened by the bigotry of the age. He evidently concurred in the opinion that all the nations who did not acknowledge the Christian faith were destitute of natural rights; that the sternest measures might be used for their conversion, and the severest punishments inflicted upon their obstinacy in unbelief. In this spirit of bigotry he considered himself justified in making captives of the Indians, and transporting them to Spain to have them taught the doctrines of Christianity, and in selling them for slaves if they pretended to resist his invasions. He was countenanced in these views, no doubt, by the general opinion of the age. But it is not the intention of the author to justify Columbus on a point where it is inexcusable to err. Let it remain a blot on his ilustrious name, and let others derive a lesson from it."

He was a man, too, undoubtedly, as all truly great men have been, of an imaginative and sensitive temperament-something, as Mr. Irving has well remarked, even of a visionary-but a visionary of a high and lofty order, controlling his ardent imagination by a powerful judgment and great practical sagacity, and deriving not only a noble delight but signal accessions of knowledge from this vigour and activity of his fancy.

of glory would have broke upon his mind could he have known that he had indeed discovered a new continent, equal to the whole of the old world in magnitude, and separated by two vast oceans from all the earth hitherto known by civilised man! And how would his magnanimous spirit have been consoled, amidst the afflictions of age and the cares of penury, the neglect of a fickle public, and the injustice of an ungrateful king, could he have anticipated the splendid empires which were to spread over the beautiful world he had discovered; and the nations, and tongues, and languages which were to fill its lands with his renown, and to revere and bless his name to the latest posterity!"

The appendix to Mr. Irving's work, which occupies the greater part of the last volume, contains most of the original matter which his learning and research have enabled him to bring to bear on the principal subject, and constitutes indeed a miscellany of a singularly curious and interesting description. It consists, besides very copious and elaborate accounts of the family and descendants of Columbus, principally of extracts and critiques of the discoveries of earlier or contemporary navigators-the voyages of the Carthaginians and the Scandinavians,-of Behem, the PinZons, Amerigo Vespucci, and others-with some very curious remarks on the travels of Marco Polo, and Mandeville-a dissertation on the ships used by Columbus and his contemporaries on the Atalantis of Plato-the imaginary island of St. Brandan, and of the Seven Cities-together with remarks on the writings of Peter Martyr, Oviedo, Herrera, Las Casas, and the other contemporary chroniclers of those great discoveries. The whole drawn up, we think, with singular judgment, diligence, and candour; and presenting the reader, in the most manageable form, with almost all the collateral information which could be brought to elucidate the transactions to which they relate.

Such is the general character of Mr. Irving's book—and such are parts of its contents. We do not pretend to give any view whatever of the substance of four large historical volumes; and fear that the specimens we have ventured to exhibit of the author's way of writing are not very well calculated to do justice either to the occasional force, or the constant variety, of his style. But for judicious readers they will probably suffice-and, we trust, will be found not only to warrant the praise we have felt ourselves called on to bestow, but to induce many to gratify themselves by the perusal of the work at large.

Mr. Irving, we believe, was not in England when his work was printed: and we must say he has been very insufficiently represented by the corrector of the press. We do not recollect ever to have seen so handsome a

book with so many gross typographical errors.

"Yet, with all this fervour of imagination," as Mr. Irving has strikingly observed, its fondest dreams fell short of the reality. He died in igno. In many places they obscure the sense-and rance of the real grandeur, of his discovery. Until are very frequently painful and offensive. his last breath he entertained the idea that he had It will be absolutely necessary that this be merely opened a new way to the old resorts of opu- looked to in a new impression; and the aulent commerce, and had discovered some of the thor would do well to avail himself of the wild regions of the east. He supposed Hispaniola to be the ancient Ophir which had been visited by same opportunity, to correct some verbal inthe ships of Solomon, and that Cuba and Terra accuracies, and to polish and improve some Firma were but remote parts of Asia. What visions passages of slovenly writing.

(June, 1827.)

Memoirs of ZEHIR-ED-DIN MUHAMMED BABER, Emperor of Hindustan, written by himself, in the Jaghatai Turki, and translated, partly by the late JOHN LEYDEN, Esq. M.D., partly by WILLIAM ERSKINE, Esq. With Notes and a Geographical and Historical Introduction: together with a Map of the Countries between the Oxus and Jaxartes, and a Memoir regarding its Construction, by CHARLES WADDINGTON, ESQ., of the East India Company's Engineers. London: 1826.

Tartars to the Celestial Empire of China. It will not do to say, that we want something nobler in character, and more exalted in intellect, than is to be met with among those murderous Orientals-that there is nothing to interest in the contentions of mere force and violence; and that it requires no very finedrawn reasoning to explain why we should turn with disgust from the story, if it had We have here a distinct and faithful account been preserved, of the savage affrays which of some hundreds of battles, sieges, and great have drenched the sands of Africa or the rocks military expeditions, and a character of a pro- of New Zealand—through long generations of digious number of eminent individuals,-men murder-with the blood of their brutish popufamous in their day, over wide regions, for lation. This may be true enough of Madagenius or fortune-poets, conquerors, martyrs gascar or Dahomy; but it does not apply to -founders of cities and dynasties-authors the case before us. The nations of Asia geneof immortal works-ravagers of vast districts rally-at least those composing its great states abounding in wealth and population. Of all-were undoubtedly more polished than those these great personages and events, nobody in of Europe, during all the period that preceded Europe, if we except a score or two of studi- their recent connection. Their warriors were ous Orientalists, has ever heard before; and as brave in the field, their statesmen more it would not, we imagine, be very easy to subtle and politic in the cabinet: In the arts show that we are any better for hearing of of luxury, and all the elegancies of civil life, them now. A few curious traits, that hap- they were immeasurably superior; in inge pen to be strikingly in contrast with our own nuity of speculation-in literature-in social manners and habits, may remain on the politeness-the comparison is still in their memory of a reflecting reader-with a gene- favour. ral confused recollection of the dark and gorgeous phantasmagoria. But no one, we may fairly say, will think it worth while to digest or develope the details of the history; or be at the pains to become acquainted with the leading individuals, and fix in his memory the series and connection of events. Yet the effusion of human blood was as copious-the display of talent and courage as imposingthe perversion of high moral qualities, and the waste of the means of enjoyment as unsparing, as in other long-past battles and intrigues and revolutions, over the details of which we still pore with the most unwearied attention and to verify the dates or minute circumstances of which, is still regarded as a great exploit in historical research, and among the noblest employments of human learning and sagacity.

THIS is a very curious, and admirably edited work. But the strongest impression which the perusal of it has left on our minds is the boundlessness of authentic history; and, if we might venture to say it, the uselessness of all history which does not relate to our own fraternity of nations, or even bear, in some way or other, on our own present or future condition.

It is not perhaps very easy to account for the eagerness with which we still follow the fortunes of Miltiades, Alexander, or Cæsarof the Bruce and the Black Prince, and the interest which yet belongs to the fields of Marathon and Pharsalia, of Crecy and Bannockburn, compared with the indifference, or rather reluctance, with which we listen to the details of Asiatic warfare-the conquests that transferred to the Moguls the vast sovereignties of India, or raised a dynasty of Manchew

It has often occurred to us, indeed, to consider what the effect would have been on the fate and fortunes of the world, if, in the fourteenth, or fifteenth century, when the germs of their present civilisation were first disclosed, the nations of Europe had been introduced to an intimate and friendly acquaintance with the great polished communities of the East, and had been thus led to take them for their masters in intellectual cultivation, and their models in all the higher pursuits of genius. polity, and art. The difference in our social and moral condition, it would not perhaps be easy to estimate: But one result, we conceive, would unquestionably have been, to make us take the same deep interest in their ancient story, which we now feel, for similar reasons, in that of the sterner barbarians of early Rome, or the more imaginative clans and colonies of immortal Greece. The experiment, however, though there seemed oftener than once to be some openings for it, was not made. Our crusading ancestors were too rude themselves to estimate or to feel the value of the oriental refinement which presented itself to their passing gaze, and too entirely occupied with war and bigotry, to reflect on its causes or effects; and the first naval adventurers who opened up India to our commerce, were both too few and too far off to communicate to

their brethren at home any taste for the splendours which might have excited their own admiration. By the time that our intercourse with those regions was enlarged, our own career of improvement had been prosperously begun; and our superiority in the art, or at least the discipline of war, having given us a signal advantage in the conflicts to which that extending intercourse immediately led, naturally increased the aversion and disdain with which almost all races of men are apt to regard strangers to their blood and dissenters from their creed. Since that time the genius of Europe has been steadily progressive, whilst that of Asia has been at least stationary, and most probably retrograde ; and the descendants of the feudal and predatory warriors of the West have at last attained a decided predominancy over those of their elder brothers in the East; to whom, at that period, they were unquestionably inferior in elegance and ingenuity, and whose hostilities were then conducted on the same system with our own. They, in short, have remained nearly where they were; while we, beginning with the improvement of our governments and military discipline, have gradually outstripped them in all the lesser and more ornamental attainments in which they originally excelled.

This extraordinary fact of the stationary or degenerate condition of the two oldest and greatest families of mankind-those of Asia and Africa, has always appeared to us a sad obstacle in the way of those who believe in the general progress of the race, and its constant advancement towards a state of perfection. Two or three thousand years ago, those vast communities were certainly in a happier and more prosperous state than they are now; and in many of them we know that their most powerful and flourishing societies have been corrupted and dissolved, not by any accidental or extrinsic disaster, like foreign conquest, pestilence, or elemental devastation, but by what appeared to be the natural consequences of that very greatness and refinement which had marked and rewarded their earlier exertions. In Europe, hitherto, the case has certainly been different: For though darkness did fall upon its nations also, after the lights of Roman civilisation were extinguished, it is to be remembered that they did not burn out of themselves, but were trampled down by hosts of invading barbarians, and that they blazed out anew, with increased splendour and power, when the dulness of that superincumbent mass was at length vivified by their contact, and animated by the fermentation of that leaven which had all along been secretly working in its recesses. In Europe certainly there has been a progress: And the more polished of its present inhabitants have not only regained the place which was held of old by their illustrious masters of Greece and Rome, but have plainly outgone them in the most substantial and exalted of their improvements. Far more humane and refined than the Romans-far less giddy and turbulent and treacherous than the Greeks, they have given a security to life and property that was

unknown to the earlier ages of the worldexalted the arts of peace to a dignity with which they were never before invested; and, by the abolition of domestic servitude, for the first time extended to the bulk of the population those higher capacities and enjoyments which were formerly engrossed by a few. By the invention of printing, they have made all knowledge, not only accessible, but imperishable; and by their improvements in the art of war, have effectually secured themselves against the overwhelming calamity of barbarous invasion-the risk of subjugation by mere numerical or animal force: Whilst the alternations of conquest and defeat amongst civilised communities, who alone can now be formidable to each other, though productive of great local and temporary evils, may be regarded on the whole as one of the means of promoting and equalising the general civilisation. Rome polished and enlightened all the barbarous nations she subdued-and was herself polished and enlightened by her conquest of elegant Greece. If the European parts of Russia had been subjected to the dominion of France, there can be no doubt that the loss of national independence would have been compensated by rapid advances both in liberality and refinement; and if, by a still more disastrous, though less improbable contingency, the Moscovite hordes were ever to overrun the fair countries to the south-west of them, it is equally certain that the invaders would speedily be softened and informed by the union; and be infected more certainly than by any other sort of contact, with the arts and the knowledge of the vanquished.

All these great advantages, however-this apparently irrepressible impulse to improvement-this security against backsliding and decay, seems peculiar to Europe, and not capable of being communicated, even by her, to the most docile races of the other quarters of the world: and it is really extremely difficult to explain, upon what are called philosophical principles, the causes of this superiority. We should be very glad to ascribe it to our greater political Freedom :-and no doubt, as a secondary cause, this is among the most powerful; as it is to the maintenance of that freedom that we are indebted for the selfestimation, the feeling of honour, the general equity of the laws, and the substantial security both from sudden revolution and from capricious oppression, which distinguish our portion of the globe. But we cannot bring ourselves, to regard this freedom as a mere accident in our history, that is not itself to be accounted for, as well as its consequences: And when it is said that our greater stability

*When we speak of Europe, it will be under. stood that we speak, not of the land, but of the people-and include, therefore, all the settlements and colonies of that favoured race, in whatever quarter of the globe they may now be established. Some situations seem more, and some less, favourable to the preservation of the original character. The Spaniards certainly degenerated in Peru-and the Dutch perhaps in Batavia;-but the English remain, we trust, unimpaired in America.

of its authors-the substantial advantages of honesty and fair dealing over the most ingenious systems of trickery and fraud;-and even-though this is the last and hardest, as well as the most precious, of all the lessons of reason and experience—that the toleration even of religious errors is not only prudent and merciful in itself, and most becoming a fallible and erring being, but is the surest and speediest way to compose religious differences, and to extinguish that most formidable bigotry, and those most pernicious errors, which are fed and nourished by persecution. It is the want of this knowledge, or rather of the capacity for attaining it, that constitutes the palpable inferiority of the Eastern races; and, in spite of their fancy, ingenuity, and restless activity, condemns them, it would appear irretrievably, to vices and sufferings, from which nations in a far ruder condition are comparatively free. But we are wandering too far from the magnificent Baber and his commentators, and must now leave these vague and general speculations for the facts and details that lie before us.

and prosperity is owing to our greater freedom, we are immediately tempted to ask, by what that freedom has itself been produced? In the same way we might ascribe the superior mildness and humanity of our manners, the abated ferocity of our wars, and generally our respect for human life, to the influence of a Religion which teaches that all men are equal in the sight of God, and inculcates peace and charity as the first of our duties. But, besides the startling contrast between the profligacy, treachery, and cruelty of the Eastern Empire after its conversion to the true faith, and the simple and heroic virtues of the heathen republic, it would still occur to inquire, how it has happened that the nations of European descent have alone embraced the sublime truths, and adopted into their practice the mild precepts, of Christianity, while the people of the East have uniformly rejected and disclaimed them, as alien to their character and habits-in spite of all the efforts of the apostles, fathers, and martyrs, in the primitive and most effective periods of their preaching? How, in short, it has happened that the sensual and sanguinary creed of Mahomet has superseded the pure and pacific doctrines of Christianity in most of those very regions where it was first revealed to mankind, and first established by the greatest of existing governments? The Christian revelation is no doubt the most precious of all Heaven's gifts to the benighted world. But it is plain, that there was a greater aptitude to embrace and to profit by it in the European than in the Asiatic race. A free government, in like manner, is unquestionably the most valuable of all human inventions-the great safeguard of all other temporal blessings, and the mainspring of all intellectual and moral improvement:-But such a government is not the result of a lucky thought or happy casualty; and could only be established among men who had previously learned both to relish the benefits it secures, and to understand the connection between the means it employs and the ends at which it aims. We come then, though a little reluctantly, to the conclusion, that there is a natural and inherent difference in the character and temperament of the European and the Asiatic races -consisting, perhaps, chiefly in a superior capacity of patient and persevering thought in the former and displaying itself, for the most part, in a more sober and robust understanding, and a more reasonable, principled, and inflexible morality. It is this which has led us, at once to temper our political institutions with prospective checks and suspicious provisions against abuses, and, in our different orders and degrees, to submit without impatience to those checks and restrictions ;-to extend our reasonings by repeated observation and ex-masterly, and full of instruction than any it periment, to larger and larger conclusions has ever been our lot to peruse on the history and thus gradually to discover the paramount or geography of the East. The translation importance of discipline and unity of purpose was begun by the late very learned and enin war, and of absolute security to person and terprising Dr. Leyden. It has been comproperty in all peaceful pursuits—the folly of pleted, and the whole of the valuable com

Zehir-ed-din Muhammed, surnamed Baber, or the Tiger, was one of the descendants of Zengiskhan and of Tamerlane; and though inheriting only the small kingdom of Ferghana in Bucharia, ultimately extended his dominions by conquest to Delhi and the greater part of Hindostan; and transmitted to his famous descendants, Akber and Aurengzebe, the magnificent empire of the Moguls. He was born in 1482, and died in 1530. Though passing the greater part of his time in desperate military expeditions, he was an educated and accomplished man; an elegant poet; a minute and fastidious critic in all the niceties and elegances of diction; a curious and exact observer of the statistical phenomena of every region he entered; a great admirer of beautiful prospects and fine flowers; and, though a devoted Mahometan in his way, a very resolute and jovial drinker of wine. Good-humoured, brave, munificent, sagacious, and frank in his character, he might have been a Henry IV. if his training had been in Europe;-and even as he is, is less stained, perhaps, by the Asiatic vices of cruelty and perfidy than any other in the list of her conquerors. The work before us is a faithful translation of his own account of his life and transactions; written, with some considerable blanks, up to the year 1508, in the form of a narrative-and continued afterwards, as a journal, till 1529. It is here illustrated by the most intelligent, learned, and least pedantic notes we have ever seen annexed to such a performance; and by two or three introductory dissertations, more clear,

all passionate and vindictive assertion of sup-mentary added by Mr. W. Erskine, on the posed rights and pretensions, and the certain solicitation of the Hon. Mountstewart Elphinrecoil of long-continued injustice on the heads stone and Sir John Malcolm, the two "indi

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