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were many others; the trade of a butcher was an unamiable trade, hut it was very necessary, notwithstanding. He could not help thinkiug there was great reason to doubt the propriety of the motion; and the more he considered the subject, the more was he persuaded that it was an improvident and unwise measure. Mr. Grosvenor added, that he would endeavour to explain the nature of his objections to the motion, by introducing a story. When the Duke of Marlborough was abroad, the Commander of a garrison, which he visited, made an apology for nor saluting his Grace, according to the custom, assuring him he had one hundred reasons to assign for not doing it. The first of which was, that he had no canncui; upon which the Duke immediately answered, that he would excuse him the other ninety and nine. In the same manner^ observed Mr. Grosvenor, " I have twenty "reasons for diihfiyroving the abolition of the slave trade; "the first of wWch is, that the thing is impossible; and "therefore I need not give the other nineteen." Parliament could not abolish the trade; they might relinquish it; but to whom? To France, Spain, and Holland, and other countries, who would take it up, and share it among them; so that the trade would be still continued, and without the humane regulations applied to it by the English.
In conclusion, Mr. Grosvenor quoted a saying of the late Alderman Beckford, on the origin of the American war, when he cautioned the House against it: "Meddle not with "troubled waters," said the Alderman, "they will be found ■ to be bitter waters, and the waters of affliction." Mr. Grosvenor repeated, that he must acknowledge that the slave trade was an unamiable trade; but he would not gratify his humanity at the expence of the intetests ef his countrv, and bethought we should not too curiously enquire int'i the unpleasant circumstances with which perhaps it was attended.
Mr. Jamts Martin observed, that whoever had lived to Mr. any advanced age, must be well aware to what a considerable Martin, degree a mistaken self-interest could darken the understanding, and pervert the judgement, even of the best-meaning persons. He had often, with much concern, observed, how very perniciously this bias operated to the detriment of society, and to the disgrace of mankind; but he was not apprized of the full power of this delusion of the mind, till the business now before the Committee began to be the subject of public discussion. He had always conceived, that the custom of trafficking in human creatures had been incautiously begun, without its dreadful and necessuy consequences being foreseen; for he never could persuade himself that any man, under t'ie influence of moral principle*, could suffer himself, knowingly, to be carrying on a trade replete with fraud, Vol. XXIX. Gg wuelty,
cruelty, and destruction. He said, destruction, for so he thought; and lie thought, also, that the destruction introduced and occalioned by this most shocking trade, was of th« blackest and most inhuman species; inasmuch as it was a lingeiing death, which, instead of putting an end to the misery of the sufferers by a speedy stroke, not only afflicted and tortured the body, but, by depriving the wretch of all the dearest comforts of life, harassed the mind, till nature, sinking under grief and despair, kindly granted that relief which the tyrant master, for the sake of his own private, but much mistaken, self interest, would deny. But, he observed, it was clear to every person of accurate observation, that those who blindly and immediately listened to the suggestions of a narrow self-interest, did really thwart and counteract that interest to which they were ready to sacrifice every just, noble, and public principle.
He said, that it was well observed, in the excellent petition from the University of Cambridge to that House, against the flave trade, that, " a firm belief in the Providence of a *' benevolent Creator, assures them that no system founded "on the oppression os one part of mankind can be beneficial "to another." He felt much real concern and mortification that, in an assembly of the representatives of a country, boasting itself zealous, not only for its own liberties, but for the general rights of mankind, it should be necessary to lay a single word on such a subject; but, from the sentiments he had heard in various conversations, very much to his surprise, it appeared, that, however strongly the sense of truth and justice was impressed on the minds of unprejudiced persons, the deceitfulness of the human heart was such, as to change the appearances of truth when it stood in opposition to self-interest, as self interest is often unfortunately mis' understood.—He verily believed, that there was hardly any thing so execrably unjust and cruel, that men, who are thoroughly felrisli and avaricious, would not bring themselves to lielieve to be right and defensible, and would not, consequently, adduce specious and sophistical arguments to support; but he trusted, that every honest man would treat such arguments with the contempt and indignation which they deserved, and that Britain, as a wife and virtuous nation mould, would hold Vast and cling to the eternal and universal principles us truth, justice, and humanity.
He lamented that he had heard doctrines maintained, which seemed to have been reserved for times the most flagrantly profligate and abandoned; but he trusted that such doctrines would not hs received, or even offered in that assembly. He never expected to hear that the everlasting laws of righteousness were to give way to imaginary political aud commercial expediency, and that multitudes of our fellow creatures, several scores of thousands annually, were to be reduced to the most wretched of all dates, that individuals might enjoy a greater degree of opulence, or that the slafe might collect somewhat more for its revenue. These considerations, compared with the sacred and eternal rules of justice and mercy, were so trifling, that he trusted they would have no weight whatever, when opposed to them; and he could not hut be very sanguine in his hopes of success to the measure proposed by the worthy mover, when he considered, that from the goodness of his cause, he must necessarily have the countenance and support of the most respectable bodies of men, as well as of private individuals of almost every description, as he mould now endeavour to show.
However, Mr. Marrin said, we might have differed in party opinions, concerning certain high and distinguished characters, he believed that all would allow the first persons of royal dignity in this country to be of merciful and benevolent dispositions, and that th.-y had inspired those descended from them with the same sentiments of humanity and generosity. This being so, we might justly entertain the warmest hopes of the countenance and support of every part of the Royal family. Both Houses of Parliament were now engaged in the prosecution of a gentleman accused of cruelty and oppression in a high degree. He feared that some of the charges brought against that gentleman might be too well founded; but so far as appeared to him, in regard to the exercise of any cruelties brought home to him, they were neither to be compared in number or degree to those which were every day, and every hour, committed in the abominable traffic, the abolition of which was now under discussion. —Of the reverend bench of Bishops^ who were, by their doctrine and example, to render Christianity amiable, and to recommend it to the world, he must not be permitted to doubt on this occasion; and some of the inferior Clergy had already manifested an honest zeal in this most righteous cause. — The University of Cambridge had presented a petition to that House worthy the attention of every well-wisher to humanity; and the sister University had, by the mouth of one of her respectable representatives, given a sanction to the measure.—Diflenters of various denominations (particularly the Quakers, who, upon this occasion, to their immortal honour, had taken a leading part) vied with some of the most respectable of the establislied church, standing forth
in this excellent cause. We had, for many years, and,
Heaven knows, with too much reason, been hearing violent accusations of delinquents from India. Surely the accusers n( such delinquents would be eager, upon this occasion, to
G g 2 " stlQW nefit of mankind. If this business had been in hands less able and less respectable, he should now particularly have much regretted the loss of one of the honourable gentleman's predecessors in the representation of Yorkshire, who, he was Jure, upon this occasion, would have eagerly displayed that ardent zeal for the unalienable rights of all his fellow-creatures, which , was one of the chief characteristics of that most excellent citizen; but, he was persuaded, that, as the present representatives of the county of York had been worthy followers of that bright example, so, on this most interesting occasion, they would burn with the same ardent z^al for relieving the distressed, which animated the breast of that most incomparable man. Would to Heaven, that every Member of the. British Parliament would look up with reverence to that illustrious pattern! Let them follow his footsteps in the purity of their conduct, in their love of justice, mercy, and truth, and in the universal rectitude of all their measures. If they did this, they would pay the fame tender regard to the rights of other countries as to their own; and, for his part, he should never believe those persons really sincere, who were loud in their professions of love to liberty, if ha law that love confined within the narrow circle of one community, which ought'to be extended to the natural rights of every human inhabitant of the globe.
We should be more able to bring ourselves up to this standard of rectitude, if we heartily endeavoured to imagine ourselves in the situation of those who are oppressed, and then seriously considered what we should think of such as would wish to establish a jnst and equitable system of morality in regard to themselves, and one of another kind towards those, whom, for certain reasons, they might erroneously think it their interest to oppress -But, he added, let
us not deceive ourselves so grostly, as to imagine, that it is our real interest to oppress any of our fellow-creatures. The advantages to be obtained by oppression and tyranny were imaginary and deceitful to the oppressor and the tyrant — and the evils they caused to the oppressed, were heavy, grievous, and many times insupportable.
Before he sat down, he would beg leave to observe, that if, in delivering those sentiments which he had presumed to ossev to the House, he should appear to have expressed himself in any way too strongly, or with too much vehemence, he freely trusted to the candour and fairness of gentlemen for giving him the credit of not wishing or meaning to say any thing violent or offensive. But he must declare, that he should think most contemptibly of himself, could he mention the enormities of the slave trade, without a very considerable degree of emotion and resentment; nevertheless, ha 3 would 'would wilh that it were perfectly understood, that this resentment went only to the principles and consequences of the trade itself, without any ill-will towards the persons concerned it it. Many of those persons, from peculiar situations, and from circumstances, perhaps almost unavoidable, might be involved in it, and probably much to their concern and discontent. Such persons, he doubted not, from use and habit, saw it in a very different light, however, from others. If a person, being betrayed by his feelings into an unbecoming degree of heat, in such matters as relate solely to his own selfish interests, was pardoned for such an offence, be surely had a juster claim to liberal allowance, whose feelings were excited by tlie wrongs of others, with whom he had only that general connection, which, however, ought strongly to be felt by every human creature.
He could feel no grievance whatever from the continuance of the slave trade; and he therefore trusted, that there would be a disposition to excuse any excess which could have been occasioned only by that pity which he felt for o;bers. He was aware but of one unworthy motive to which his conduct, as well as that of many other individuals, upon thii occasion, might be attributed—He meant the ostentation and parade of virtuous and worthy sentiments. Now, he must beg leave to remark, that it appeared to him that there is no one good action which could be petformed in life that might not !>e attributed, by suspicion or malevolence, to that particular motive. Men might always insinuate, that vain-glory was the cause by which individuals were induced to actions apparently good; but that matter must be decided between Heaven and the consciences of those persons whose conluct was suspected, or perhaps maliciously accused, even witheut suspicion; and if the general tenor of a man's life did not fairly lead to suspicion that he was hypocritical or ostentatious, it was surely highly uncharitable to impute to him.such a disposition without sufficient grounds; and it was moreover of most pernicious consequence to the public, as a great discouragement to men from acting meritoriously, when they not only lost the credit of so acting, but were accused of doing that which was right in itself, merely for the sake of public and popular applause. "If, notwithstanding this remark, he mould be so unhappy as to draw upon himself, by the part he had taken in this business, that harsh and undeserved censure which he wished to deprecate, he must endeavour to satisfy himself with the consciousness of his own fair intentions, and his most sincere unwillingness to give offence to any one—and with declaring, that as he did not pretend to judge of the feelings of other men's minds, so he must pro* test, that seeing this matter in the light he did, he should