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the gutters, to become the Arabs of our great cities, and avenge the wrong. When we take our course through any of the back slums in the great cities of our Eden of competitive commerce, and see with our own eyes the filth and squalor, the sottish vice and brutality, the foul houses, the wasted women, the pallid, puling, crippled children which it nurses, we are tempted to ask, is not this tyrant power, now that competition holds the reins and wields the whip, the true Antichrist of tho modern world P But you must look at the obverse as well as the reverse of tbe medal. In this world there is no power, however benignant, which the devil does not somewhere wield as the instrument of the torture and degradation of mankind. The Church herself has been the mother of the most awful cruelties which have ever tormented, as well as of the largest benedictions which have ever enriched, tbe world. Not otherwise is it with commerce. In itself, essentially, commerce is the flesh which clothes that great Christian idea, the brotherhood of mankind. The type, the skeleton, the joints and bands, are of yet Diviner texture; but tho flesh which clothes them is tho commerce of men. It rests fundamentally on the truth that men need each other's ministries; and it fulfils those ministries, despite treeless deserts and foaming seas. Commerce has led the march of the grandest revolutions, and has opened the tracks of the most fruitful discoveries. She has exercised, and still does exercise, the manliest energies, the most pure and selfdenying efforts of mankind. She has secured for the truth and the freedom of our political constitution and our social habits, the preponderating influence among the nations of the earth. This is, perhaps, her loftiest and benignest function. She confers the practical power, the weight of influence, decisively on the people most distinguished by soberness, industry, hardihood, and truth. In the long run, she puts the sceptre into the hand of freedom, mantles industry with the imperial purple, and invests tried manliness with the crown. Tho victory of British commerce is the victory of all tho qualities which make our greatness—pluck, patience, industry, inventive and administrative skill. Most emphatically were these grand qualities called forth by the Elizabethan commerce. The history of its rise and growth is the history of the advance of our people to the leadership we enjoy. For instance: not very long after Sir F. Drake's notable voyage round the world, the English began to claim their part in the commerce of tho Eastern Indies. In the year 1600 there was an English factory at Bantam in Java, which ten Englishmen held as a fort in an enemy's land, and by their gallant carriage maintained a mastery over the rabble myriads around. Old Samuel Purchas
shall tell the tale, in the racy narrative which he has inserted in his " Pilgrimes:"—
"These people having heard much of the fame of the English people in time past, before even they saw any of us, had an especiall eye to our carriage and behaviour, and wee were growne a common admiration among them all, that wee, being so few, should carry such a port as wee did, never putting up the least wrong that was offered either by Javans or Chinees, but alwaves did justice ourselves; and when the Protector did wrong us himselfe, it was knowne that wee did not spare to tell him of it soundly, and in such sort that he wanted very much of his will. It is well knowne, also, that at the first comming of our ships the Javans offered us much wrong in purloyning our goods; but so many as wee tooke were either slaine, wounded, or soundly beaten. The Javans thought wee durst not doe so when our ships were gone, therefore they did practise to steale both day and night, but they found it all one, the which they did admire at; for it is most certain, and I have heard many strangers speake it, that have been present when wee have beaten some Javans, that they never knew or heard of any nation but us, that were Leigers there, that durst once strike a Javan in Bantam; and it was a common talke among all strangers and others, how we stood at defiance with those that hated us for our goods, and how little wee cared for them. Likewise how wee never offered any wrong to the meanest in the towne, and also how wee were generally beloved of all the better sort. They would say it was not so with the Flemmings, nor with no other nation. And all the time I was there I never heard that ever the Flemmings gave a Javan so much as a box on the eare, but many times fell foule of the Chinees, who will very seldom make any resistance; yet it is of truth they are mortally hated, as well of all sorts of Javans as of Chinees."
Perhaps it was because of the fighting which might have to be done, that Lord Derby appointed a hfe-guardsman to be our consul in Japan.
Such men were something other than the hucksters of their day. There seems to be something almost unworthy of the great name of Milton, in the tone of the well-known passage of his Muscovite history :—" The discovery of Russia by the Northern Ocean, made first of any nation that we know by the English, might have seemed an enterprise almost heroic, if any other end than excessive love of gain and traffic had animated the design." More noble in every way—more level with the truth of the matter —are the words of Lord Henry Sidney, who, when the expedition of the gallant but ill-fated Sir Hugh Willoughby (the very expedition which Milton criticises) was on the eve of sailing, "came down to the ships and made a notable discourse:"—
Vol. m. c
"My very worshipful friends, I caunot but greatly commend your present godly and vertuous intention, in the serious enterprising (for the singular love you beare to your countrey)—a matter which I hope shall prove profitable to the nation, and honourable to this our land. Which intention of yours wee also of the nobilitie are ready to our power to helpe and further; neither do wee holde any thing so deare and precious to us, which wee will not willingly foregoe, and lay out in so commendable a cause.
"You know the man (Chanceller) by report, I by experience—you by wordes, I by deedes—you by speech and company, but I by the daily trials of his life—have a full and perfect knowledge of him; and you are also to remember into how many perils for your sakes, and his countrey's love, he is now to runnc; whereof it is requisite that wee be not unmindful, if it please God to send him good successe. We commit a little money to the chaunce and hazard of fortune; he commits his life (a thinge to a man of all things most deare) to the raging sea and the uncertainties of many dangers. We shall here live and rest at home quietly with our friends and acquaintance; but hee in the meanc time, labouring to keepe the ignorant and unruly mariners in good order and obedience, with howe many cares shall he trouble and vex himselfe 1 with howc many troubles shall he breake himselfc 1 and how many disquietings shall hee bee forced to sustaine 1 We shall keep our own coastes and countrey; he shall seeke strange and unknowne kingdoms. He shall commit his safetye to barbarous and cruell people, and shall hazard his life among the monstrous and terrible beastes of the sea. Wherefore, in respect of the greatnesse of the dangers, and the excellencie of his charge, you are to favour and love the man thus departing from us; and if it fall so happily out that hee roturne againe, it is your part, and duetie also, liberally to reward him."
The aim of this expedition was to force a way round the northern coasts of Asia to Cathay and India, and thus open a direct and unimpeded intercourse between England and those distant realms. It is proposed to give a sketch in some future paper of the most brilliant of these north-eastern and north-western endeavours and achievements. Brilliant enterprises verily they are, for ever memorable in the history of man's battle with and conquest of Nature; but the primal inspiration of their chief promoters, strange as it may seem, was commerce; that is, commerce with those Christian blessings to barbarous and pagan peoples, which it was then understood were bound to travel m its train. But in order to understand this, we must look to the southward: the reason of these northern explorations lay about the Cape of Good Hope and Capo Horn.
I have already characterized the 15th century as the age in which the European peoples were pressing their boundaries outwards in every direction. The man whose life, more than that of any other of his time, is the index of this movement, is Prince Henry of Portugal. Bom in 1394, he lived through two-thirds of the great 15th century—the century which is as remarkable for effort and aspiration, as the 16th was for the accomplishment of Reformation. He died in 1463, after devoting a long life, with rare singleness of purpose, to maritime exploration; and to him, its sanguine, strenuous, and persevering advocate, against the indolence of rulers, the ignorance of peoples, and the terribly long yarns of perils and horrors which the sailors brought home with them, the glory of its results is due. This great prince served at the capture of Ceuta by the Portuguese in 1415, and thus took part in the first European establishment on the continent of Africa; and there probably he conceived the project of devoting his life to the discovery of the unknown regions beyond. Forsaking politics —no slight self-abnegation in those stirring times—he took up his residence at Tercal Naval, in the Bay of Sagres, just under Cape St. Vincent, the south-west promontory of Spain. Thence he could strain his eyes over the blue Atlantic, and see, among the golden sunset mists, the dim outline of an undiscovered world. "We like to picture that sagacious and learned prince settling himself decisively there, on the westmost limit of European dominion, careless of the stormy and bloody drama which Europe was enacting around him, and devoting a long and toilsome hie, which might have challenged the first honour in courts and camps, to the task of extending that dominion over regions on which the sun, which set on Sagres, might be pouring his noontide blaze. He, first of all modern men, fully grasped the thought that Westward, ho! is the watchword of the human race.
When he settled at Sagres, Cape Bojador—the Outstretcher— was the southern limit of western discovery; Madeira and the Cape de Verd Islands were unknown. From that time to the day of nis death he occupied himself, with brief intervals of political activity, in the work of organizing and sending forth expeditions to extend the knowledge of the tropical regions of Africa, and promote commercial intercourse between the African and European peoples. His motive for dedicating his great life to this smgle object he himself records. For it seemed to him "that neither mariner nor merchant would be likely to adopt an enterprise in which there was no clear hope of profit. It belonged, then, to great men and princes, and amongst such he knew of no one but himself who was inclined to it."
A prince of a rare sort, then as now! All honour to Adam Smith and the supply-and-demand creed of Free Trade. But there have been ages in which nobler things than interests were needed to open up even the tracks of trade. The Prince began his discoveries in 1418, but it took his captain fifteen years to round the terrible Bojador. Then one Gil Eannes, in the year 1433, made the passage; but there is good reason to believe that the hardy Normans had been round before him, and even one Sieur de Bethancourt, a French baron, chamberlain of Charles VI.; but these records are very dim. Cape Blanco and Cape Verd were quickly discovered and surveyed, and commercial relations were established with the Negro peoples of those coasts. In the year 1441, Prince Henry obtained from the Pope a grant to Portugal of all lands which might be discovered between Bojador and the Indies, with plenary indulgence for those who should die while engaged in the quest. With this sanction and stimulus the work went bravely on. Before Prince Henry died, in 1463, he had pushed the limit of Portuguese dominion down as far as Sierra Leone.
The capture and employment of negro slaves was among the first direct fruits of these great discoveries. Against this traffic Prince Henry failed to set himself; but it was manifestly no motive to him, whatever it might be to his captains; zeal for discovery, and not love of fame, being the ruling passion of his noble heart. But we must be just to the 15th century; we must not weigh its instincts and judgments on this dark subject in the balance of the 19th. Europe, hardly emerged from serfdom (and the history of the origin of European serfdom will bear looking into, and would startle those to whom the clap-trap of the platform, or the popular lecture, is the chief source of knowledge upon the subject)—Europe, I say, hardly emerged from serfdom, and familiar with suffering in every shape and form for ages, having before its eyes continually the enslavement of Christians by the Moors—a dark, dark chapter of mediaeval history—and finding something like it in the early histories of the Word of God, had not, and could not be expected to have, that horror of the principles and practices of slavery, which has been ripened in us since Hie Reformation by the broader sunlight of the Gospel. In the most pious, reflecting, and unselfish minds, the horrors and miseries of the traffic were held to be outweighed by the conversion which was its fruit. Remember what conversion meant in Roman Catholic Europe in the 15th century—the endless felicities and glories which mere baptism into the Catholic Church was believed to carry in its train—and you will see, at any rate, the standing-ground of their ideas. Mr. Helps, who has enriched his masterly history of the Spanish Conquest with most valuable extracts from documents and writers little known before, lifts the veil of this slave traffic, and introduces us, through the description of an eye