Page images

Europe, overturning the most splendid monuments of art, pillaging the metropolis of the Roman Empire and deluging its streets and houses with the blood of the slain. Here we behold a Tamerlane over-running Persia, India, and other regions of Asia, carrying slaughter, and devastation in his train, and displaying his sportive cruelty by pounding three or four thousand people at a time in large mortars, and building their bodies with brick and mortar in a wall!!

"On the other hand, we behold six millions of crusaders marching in wild confusion, through the Eastern parts of Europe, devouring every thing before them, like an army of locusts. breathing destruction to Jews and Infidels, and butchering the inhabitants of Western Asia, with infernal fury. And we behold the immense forces of Jenghiz Kan ravaging the kingdoms of Eastern Asia, to an extent of fifteen millions of square miles, beheading one hundred thousand prisoners at once, convulsing the world with terror, and utterly exterminating from the earth, fourteen millions of human beings. At one period, we behold the ambition and jealousy of Marius and Sylla embroiling the Romans in all the horrors of civil war, deluging the city of Rome for five days with the blood of her citizens, transfixing the heads of her Senators with poles, and dragging their bodies to the Forum to be devoured by dogs. At another, we behold a Nero trampling on the laws of nature and society, plunging into the most abominable debaucheries, practising cruelties which fill the mind with horror, murdering his wife Octavia, and his mother Aggrippina, insulting heav en and mankind, by offering up thanksgiving to the gods on the perpetration of these crimes, and setting fire to Rome that he might amuse himself with the universal terror and dismay which that calamity inspired. At one epoch, we behold the Goths and Vandals rushing like an ovrflowing torrent, from East to West, and from North to South, sweeping before them every vestage of civilization and art, butchering all within their reach, without distinction of age or sex, marking their march

with savage rapine, deselation and carnage. At another, we behold emissaries of the Romish See, slaughtering, without distinction or mercy, the peaceable, mild and pious Albigences, and transforming their happy abodes into a scene of universal consternation & horror, while the Inquisition is torturing thousands of devoted victims, men of piety and virtue, and committing their bodies to the flames. At one period of the world, about the 5th, 6th and 7th centuries of the Christian æra, almost the whole earth appeared to be little else than one great field of battle, in which the human race seemed to be threatened with utter extermination. The Vandals, Huns, Sarmatians, Alans and Suevi were ravaging Gaul, Spain, Germany and other parts of the Roman empire, the Goths were plundering Rome, and laying waste the cities and plains of Italy; the Saxons and Angles were over-running Britain, and overturn ing the government of the Romans, the armies of Justinian and of the Huns and Vandals were desolating Africa, and butchering mankind by millions. The whole forces of Scythia were rushing with irresistible impulse on the Roman empire, desolating the countries, and almost exterminating the inhabitants, wherever they came.

The Persian armies were pillaging Hierapolis, Aleppo and the surrounding cities, and reducing them to ashes; and were laying waste all Asia, from the Tigris to the Bosphorus. The Arabians under Mahomet and his successors were extending their conquests over Syria, Palestine, Persia and India, on the East, and over Egypt, Barbary, Spain and the Islands in the Mediterranian on the West; cutting in pieces with their scimatars all who would not embrace Islamism. In Europe, every kingdom was shattered to its centre; in the Mahomedan empire in Asia, the Caliphs, Sultans and Emmirs were waging continual wars,-new sovreignties were daily rising, and daily destroyed; and Africa was rapidly depopulating, and verging to desolation and barbarism. Amidst this universal clashing of nations, when the whole earth became one theatre of bloody


revolutions, scenes of horror were displayed, over which his torians wish to draw a veil, lest they should transmit an example of inhumanity to succeeding ages.

"The most fertile and populous provinces were converted into deserts overspread with the scattered ruins of cities and villages:-every thing was wasted and destroyed with hostile cruelty. Females every where were violated, outraged and insulted; cities were left without a living inhabitant; splendid buildings which resisted the violence of the flames were leveld to the ground: all the arts and sciences were abandoned; the Roman empire was shattered to its centre, and its power annihilated. Avarice, perfidy, hatred, treachery and malevolence reigned triumphant, and virtue, truth, justice benevolence, and every moral principle, were trampled under foot. Such scenes of carnage and desolation have been displayed, to a certain extent, and almost without intermission, during the whole period of this world's history; for the page of the historian, ancient or modern, presents to view little else than revolting details of ambitious conquerers' carrying ruin and desolation in their train; of proud despots trampling on the rights of mankind; of cities turned into ruinous heaps; of countries desolated; of massacres perpetrated with fiendlike cruelty; of nations dashing one against another; of empires wasted and destroyed; of political and religious dissentions, and of the general progress of injustice, immorality and


"Yet there, perhaps, may darker scenes obtrude
Than Fancy fashions in her wildest mood,
There shall he pause, with horrent brow, to rate
What millions died-that Cæsar might be great!
Or learn the fate that bleeding thousands bore,
March'd by their Charles to Dneiper's swampy shore;
Faint in his wounds, and shivering in the blast,
The Swedish soldier sunk-and groan'd his last!
File after file, the stormy showers benumb,

Freeze every standard-sheet, and hush the drum!
Horseman and hore confess'd the bitter pang,
And arms and warriors fell with hollow clang!
Yet, ere he sunk in Nature's last repose,
Ere life's warm torrent to the fountain froze,
The dying man to Sweden turn'd his eye,
Thought of his home, and closed it with a sigh!
Imperial Pride look'd sullen on his plight,
And Charles beheld-nor shudder'd at the sight!


Such are the doings, and such is the mad, the wicked career of aristocracy, compared with the history of which, all the other facts that have occurred in the history of mankind, are considered by the historian as mere interludes in the great drama of the world as almost unworthy of being recorded.Were we to take a survey of the moral world as it now is, a similar prospect on the whole would be presented to view.— Though the shades of depravity with which it is overspread are not so thick and dark, nor its commotions so numerous and violent as in ancient times, yet the aspect of every nation under heaven, presents to our view, features which are abhorent and repulsive, (just according to the aristocracy) and which are directly the opposite of justice, truth, harmony and love. If we cast our eyes toward Asia, we shall find the greatest part of five hundred millions of human beings involved in political commotions, immersed in vice, ignorance and Idolatry, and groaning under the lash of aristocracy by their tyrannical despots. In Persia, the cruelty and tyranny of its aristocrats have transformed many of its fertile provinces into deserts and desolations. In Turkey, the avarice and hellish cruelty of the Sultan, and his Bashaws, have drenched the shores of Greece with the blood of thousands, decorating the gates of his seraglio with the ears of the defenders of the rights and liberty of that classic land. They have turned Palastine into a wilderness, and rendered Syria, Armenia and Kurdis

tan scenes of injustice, oppression and rapine. In China and Japan,a spirit of (aristocratic) pride and jeaslousy prevents a Larmonious intercourse with other branches of the human family,&infuses a cold blooded selfishness into the breasts of their inhabitants, and contempt for surrounding nations. Throughout Tartary, Arabia and Siberia, numerous hostile tribes are incessantly prowling among deserts and forests, in quest of plunder, so that travellers are in constant danger of being robbed or murdered or dragged into captivity. If we turn our eyes upon Africa, we behold human nature sunk into a state of the deepest degradation.--the States of Barbary in incessant hostile commotions, and plundering neighboring nations both by sea and land.

The petty tyrants of Dahomy, Benin, Ashantee, Congo and Angola are waging incessant wars with neighboring tribes,massacreing their prisoners in cold blood, and decorating their palaces with their skulls, while other degraded hordes, in conjunction with civilized nations, are carrying on a traffic in man-stealing and slavery, which has stained the human character with crimes innumerable, at which humanity shudders, and becomes sick with abhorence, and disgust. Witness the diabolical conduct of the slave dealers recently on the coast of Brazil, rather than pay the duty on sick slaves, exacted by Don Pedro, they deliberately threw the poor emaciated human beings over-board, to be devoured by sharks before they had time to drown. If we turn our eyes to America, we shall see that war and hostile incursions are the principal employments of her native tribes; and in their indiscriminate murder, defenceless women and helpless infants are the victims of the tomahawk and scalping knife; and the malignity of infernal dæmons is displayed in the tortures they inflict upon their prisoners. And we are constrained to weep over the long protracted contest for liberty and the rights of man in Mexico and the South American States, owing to the old leaven of aristocracy, priest craft and an inclination still for kings craft.

« PreviousContinue »