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the neck and bend the knee, in passive obedience, to every mandate of tyranny. England, at least, can be no party to such a determination. It is by acting in the very teeth of such slavish principles that her sons have made her what she is. She is not bound, and it is not desirable, that she should actively interfere, with armed hand, in the cause of Italian independence; but she is bound to remonstrate and protest against a revival and application to Italy, in the middle of the 19th century, of those infamous principles, which were shamelessly proclaimed and acted upon by the contracting powers to the so-called “Holy Alliance." She is bound to protest against the use of brute force to silence the unanimous expression of national will. She is bound to insist that the Italians shall be allowed a voice in the election of their sovereigns, and that those most interested and best informed shall have something to say in the settlement of their political affairs, as well as those less interested and worse informed. For more than half a century public opinion has been steadily gaining strength in Europe, and such a decided protest on the part of England could not fail to be listened to and respected. She owes Italy some compensation for the hopes she formerly excited, and for the disappointment of those hopes, then occasioned by the vacillation of her policy; and the approaching Congress affords her a noble opportunity of proving to the Italians that she knows how to sympathize with their desire for constitutional government and free institutions; that she is prepared to exert all her influence to secure to them, for the future, that liberty and self-government of which they have been so long deprived, but which they have now at length achieved ; and that she will do all that in her lies to prevent the scarcely tasted cup of Freedom being rudely dashed from their lips, to be replaced by the bitter draught of Slavery.
e pointment of in the hopes and respecte de part of strength
Now that the attention of Europe has. for a while been diverted from internal difficulties to watch the contest between Spain and Morocco, a slight sketch of those fertile shores of Northern Africa, from one whose links with that distant land are close and strong, may not be without interest to our readers. To hold constant and familiar intercourse with Algiers to know that your letter, posted in London on a Wednesday evening, will, fair weather permitting, be read under the cactus at Moustapha Supérieure by Monday noon; and that, instead of crunching the snow in Piccadilly, a week's mild travelling will steep you in the perfume of roses, violets, and orange blossoms, dewy with the bright rains that bring no fog and leave no disease behind, in the valleys of the Sahelis very refreshing to the decrepid imagination of a London scribe ; so near, and yet so far, are we from Africa! So far in the immense stretch of the broad plains of France, traversed though they be in less than thirty flying hours; so far over the blue mysterious waves of that inland sea, where the Phænician merchants crept from port to port, and out past Gades to the unknown ocean ; where Ulysses lost his wandering years, and the ships of Æneas were thrown about by all the winds of heaven ;—yet so marvellously near by the aid and appliances of modern civilization! I confess to being utterly unable to divest the Mediterranean of this imaginative charm. No amount of pink fourpenny stamps, bought and applied to letters posted for Algiers, can conquer the spell. It would have cost Quentin Durward a month's hard riding to deliver one of those letters at Marseilles; and the daring merchantman, who might have engaged for many purses of silver to bear it across to Africa, how many deadly chances might he not encounter-of perilous storms and wreck upon the Balearic Isles, or mountainous coast of Spain. And when those granite hills of the Sahel, draped with the exquisite bluish green of their southern vegetation—the quivering olive, the grotesque cactus, half human in its queer ugliness; the sharp-spiked aloe, throwing up its column of white blossom into the blue sky; and the long, grassy leaves of innumerable bulbous plants—met Mercator's eye at last; —when the stern, rock-like city, colourless as new-fallen snow, and heaped up, house upon house, like a gigantic pyramid, its summit pointed with the Casbah, or palace-prison of the Deys, loomed across the narrowing waters—how very little chance had he of delivering any letter addressed to Algiers ! For the Deys lived in truceless warfare with the Christian world, and pounced down from that cruel height upon their trembling prey, undeterred by any balance of motives known to the civilized world; so that it is wonderful that all the kingdoms of Europe did not rise as one man to put down the accursed pest, long before the retribution came. The terrible extent of Algerine slavery, and the late date down to which it was carried, are the marvel of the historian : there were “ Christian slaves" at Algiers when Lord Exmouth bombarded the town early in the present century, and they were
released at this peculiar and powerful intercession. Christian slaves built the strong mole which runs round the harbour to this day, and is protected by French batteries ; Christian slaves toiled and pined in those steep and narrow streets, which remind one of the burrows of wild animals, rather than of the dwellings of man. He who walks by moonlight amidst the woods which drape the neighbouring heights, may fancy that he yet hears their wailing voices trembling upon the luminous margin of the murmuring sea, which ripples along the glorious bay in coils of phosphorescent
While I write, the vision of Algiers, as I first saw it, rises before me in all its vivid beauty-delicate, unearthly, aërial, like the city of a dream. The last night of my voyage had been dark and rough ; a violent storm, which had delayed the steamer for twenty-four hours in a bay upon the coast of Spain, had subsided into a heavy swell, and when close upon the Balearic Isles one of our paddles broke, causing a further delay of six hours. Friday night, on the 2nd of January, closed upon us while we were said to be approaching “L'Afrique.” How my heart beat at the word! It was not cold on the Mediterranean, spite of the time of year, but the wind was high, and the vessel rolled much. I could not sleep soundly that night, but stole up from my berth, and clung to the eastern side of the vessel, looking across the wide dark waste of waters to where I knew the unknown Italy must beto Florence, where one of my name slept under church marble—and to Rome, where the wood-fire was flashing up on a hearth which, if I were there, would be home to me. I remember how my thought flew on, still farther east; how I imagined Athens crowned with its ruined Acropolis, and the wild Morea, where the Spartan name is known no more ; and at the extreme boundary of the waters which heaved at my feet, the Holy Land itself! I got more excited every moment. The vessel lunged on with the peculiar living energy of a sentient thing. It was four o'clock in the morning—the wind continuing high, yet soft—the darkness brooding visibly above the sea—when suddenly the voice of a sailor at the prow uttered the magic word, “ L'Afrique !” and when I crossed to the western side, there-a far faint, almost invisible glimmer in the dark distance-shone the lighthouse of Algiers ! This was all, for it was far too obscure for the faintest outline of the hilly land; so I went down to my berth, and slept for three hours. At seven o'clock we were close upon shore, and when I clambered up on deck, no fairy phantasmagoria could be more beautiful than the scene which met my dazzled eyes. We were entering the harbour, and the snow-white town lay piled above our heads; to my unaccustomed eyes, I thought it rose with
the steepness of a wall; but the sun was rising in that sacred East to which my longing thoughts had flown across the sea the night before, and the whole mass of Algiers was transfigured with pale pink violet-a city hewn out of amethyst ! Its crest encircled with wooded hills which far overtopped even its own steep height; its feet dropping into the glassy sea, which mirrored the blaze; and as we neared the quay, the many-coloured population-white Arabs, Negroes rejoicing in yellow and crimson, Jews sparkling with gold tissue, Moors and Maltese, and natives of many tribes, arrayed in coats of many colours, like the Patriarch Joseph's own-swarmed, to the imminent danger of our portmanteans, amidst the trim French porters and colons, who were the real “masters of the occasion."
My business at Algiers being strictly private, and far removed from the wandering investigation of the tourist, I will not introduce my journal day by day. The Colony, into whose life and history I entered with the deepest interest at the time, has remained closely united to the ordinary sympathies of my daily life; and as I see it, one striking and deeply interesting whole, a living organism of Christian civilization, grafted on the stern barbaric race and faith of Mahomed, I will try and present it to you. One only parallel it seems to me does the modern world unfold, in our occupation of India, from which it yet differs in many essential points ; inasmuch as the concentration of forces displayed in Algiers, both by the army and the ministers of religion, greatly exceeds anything which my reading has enabled me to conceive of our Indian Empire. We are, at shortest, a long month apart from India ; savage Algiers, though in another quarter of the globe, is but tuo days from France; and so we here see the hand-to-hand struggle between nature and civilization—the Moor and the Catholic; between barbaric and Christian law. These several contests carried on under the eyes of the European resident, make this colony a source of perpetual interest to any thoughtful observant person.
Perhaps I may be excused for recalling a few of those facts which everybody knows and everybody forgets, before entering on my description of the present condition of Algiers. Classic writers tell us but little of the earliest inhabitants of this part of Africa, which may be designated as the Region of the Atlas; as these mountains run parallel to the Mediterranean through the whole length of Algeria. A wild nomadic race, described by Sallust as "neither restrained by morals, nor law, nor any man's government,”dwelt upon the minor chains which break the descent of the Atlas upon the sea, and ranged over the immense plains with which they are interspersed. These hills and plains, after centuries of
oor wandels, African count of
civilised occupation, are now reduced almost to primitive wildness, amidst which the French colonist tries to redeem his farm from desolation and the dread scourge of malaria. Carthage, whose shapeless ruins cover a great plain near Tunis, to the east of Algeria, was a prosperous state during the long space of seven hundred years. The first maritime treaty known, is one between Carthage and Etruria, in days prior to the birth of Rome. Some antiquaries refer the foundation of Icosium, now Algiers, to Carthagenian enterprise-but this is uncertain. At length the city of Dido was destroyed by Scipio Africanus, at the end of the third Punic war; B.c. 147, Cæsar planted a small colony on its ruins, to which Augustus sent 3,000 men; and by gradual conquest so greatly did the Roman power extend, that by the time of Claudius the Romans possessed the whole of northern Africa, from the Nile to the Atlantic. The western portion of this territory was called Mauritania, and included Algiers and Morocco. It was during the Roman dominion, about A.D. 354, that the great Father St. Augustine, was born at Tageste, about forty-five miles from the modern town of Bona. He was Bishop of Hippo, near the same place. This great spiritual hero of northern Africa died during the siege of his episcopal city by the Vandals, in A.D. 430. The Vandals, after taking Carthage, remained in Africa until 533, when Belisarius conquered it for Justinian, Emperor of Constantinople. Final possession was taken by the Mahometans in 672, and for more than a thousand years they ruled supreme. The natives of the mountains adopted Islamism; and Christianity, which had attained so stately a development in the African churches, was beaten from the field. That she is once more triumphant amidst the palm and the olive, is the greatest achievement of the modern war. Looking to the last few centuries, we find that the Moors, when expelled from Spain, took refuge in North Africa, among their Mahometan kin, and sent out corsair ships to harass Spain and Portugal. Cardinal Ximenes retaliated in person, with 15,300 men, and retook Oran, west of Algiers, and the Spaniards presently conquered Algiers itself, and its eastern territory. The people called in the help of a noted corsair from Mytilene, who retook the town in 1516, and he it was who founded the dominions of the “ Turks," who for three centuries were a terror to Christendom, and who were only finally expelled in 1830. I have alluded to Lord Exmouth's bombardment in 1816, and the liberation of a thousand slaves. For fifteen years war was carried on between the Turks and Christian nations; till at length Algiers capitulated to France on the 4th of July, 1830. It often gave me a thrill of fear, while threading the tortuous alleys of the towns, to remember the mortal peril in VOL. III.