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idolatry from the view of the natives, that they made no distinction between the objects of worship and the innocent records of Mexican history; a bigotry highly to be deplored, as it demolished, at one stroke, all the existing documents which alone could lead to any knowledge of the origin of this wonderful empire. There is still, however, sufficient to strike the traveller with astonishment; and we do hope, that this interesting part of the world will not long remain unexplored by the eye of judicious and scientific men.

The destruction of their idols, with the usurpation of the Spaniards, raised the Mexicans to open rebellion, even to the killing of their king, and the Spaniards were driven from the city; not, however, without a severe struggle for the mastery, during which, many of them were dragged to the sacrificial stone, and offered up as atonements to the idol. By the aid of other nations, and fresh assistance from Vera Cruz, Cortes once more gained possession of Mexico, and several hundred thousands of the natives perished in the contests which ensued, who were, it is said, chiefly buried in the stomachs of the auxiliary forces. The work of devastation commenced; many of the cities that would not bend to the Spanish yoke were rased to the ground, and the inhabitants destroyed by fire and sword. Mexico, in the present day, is but a faint shadow of its former grandeur. The great treasures it once possessed have long been dissipated, and the magnificent palaces afford a striking contrast to the meanness of their internal decorations. This city was at the greatest height of its opulence and splendour about fifty years after its last conquest by the Spaniards. Every luxury that wealth could purchase was most abundant. The lives of the inhabitants were one perpetual struggle to surpass each other in pompous display. The riches of the churches were immense, and the value of their massive ornaments of gold, silver, and jewels would almost exceed belief. But these times have passed away. The altars, candelabras, and other valuables have long since been melted down and circulated through the world. The parent state is now more impoverished than her late colonies. Unearned wealth brought luxury, and luxury indolence. Even the mines themselves, once the boast of Spain, are now becoming, in part, British property; while an attempt is, likewise, about to be made, at the expense of British merchants, to renew the pearl fishery.

But, to return to our volume: while Cortes was extending his power and authority over the neighbouring nations, the other parts of America, from north to south, were visited by adventurers from Europe. Magellan had succeeded in his voyage round the southern promontory of the continent, and

thus entered the South Sea. The numerous islands in the West Indies were also carefully examined, and colonies planted wherever the situation was any way inviting. The original inhabitants of Hispaniola, or, as it is now more generally called, San Domingo, were nearly exterminated by the cruelty of the Spaniards. The populous and fertile island of Cuba was equally ravaged; and, in both together, upwards of two millions of human beings were destroyed, either through the demoniac spirit of the conquerors, who slew them for pastime, or from the incessant toil and fatigue in the mines. Many resorted to caves in the mountains, where they perished of hunger; and, in late years, several of these have been discovered, literally spread with human skeletons. In one instance, where the miners were miserably oppressed,

"The king conceived such displeasure and anger, that, calling those miners into an house, to the number of ninety-five, he thus de bateth with them: My worthy companions and friends, why desire we to live any longer, under so cruel servitude? Let us now go unto the perpetual seat of our ancestors; for we shall there have rest from these intolerable cares and grievances, which we endure, under the subjection of the unthankful. Go ye before; I will presently follow you. Having spoken this, he held whole handfuls of those leaves which deprive life, prepared for the purpose, and giveth every one part thereof, being kindled, to suck up the flame; who obeyed his command. The king, and a chief kinsman of his, a wise and pru dent man, reserved the last place for themselves to take up the fume. The whole pavement of the hall was now covered with dead carcases, so that an eager conflict arose between those two that were living, whether of them should kill himself first."

The king set the example; but his relative refused to follow it, and reported what had occurred to the Spaniards. In another page, we read, that a Spanish captain, having cohabited with the daughter of one of the tributary kings of Cuba, and becoming suspicious of her fidelity, although she was in a state of pregnancy,

"Fastened her to two wooden spits; not to kill her, but to terrify her, and set her to the fire, and commanded her to be turned by the officers; the maiden, stricken with fear, through the cruelty thereof, and strange kind of torment, gave up the ghost."

The king, her father, understanding what had taken place, selected thirty of his men, and hastened to the house of the captain, who was absent,

"And slew his wife, whom he had married after that wicked aet committed, and the women who were companions of the wife, and her

servants, every one; then, shutting the door of the house, and putting fire under it, he burnt himself, and all his companions that assisted him, together with the captain's dead family and goods.'

Many other such circumstances could be enumerated, but we forbear to mention them. The Spaniards, finding the work of devastation thus rapid in its effects, and that the working of the mines, with other laborious occupations, must fall upon themselves, searched both the islands and the main, to capture all they could possibly find, and thus relieve themselves from the burthen. Nearly one hundred thousand were collected in this manner, but they, like their predecessors, soon sank under the barbarity of their masters. Great numbers of them, in the anguish of despair, obstinately refused all manner of sustenance, and, hiding themselves in the unfrequented vallies, desert woods, and dark rocks, silently perished. Others repaired to the sea coast, on the northern side of Hispaniola, and anxiously looking in the direction in which they imagined their own islands to be situated, would eagerly inhale the sea-breeze as it rose, fondly believing that it had lately visited their own happy vallies, and now came, fraught with the breath of those they loved. Here continuing, with outstretched arms, as if to take a last embrace of their country, they fainted through hunger, and fell down dead. Nor were the barbarities of the Spaniards confined to the Indians alone, for they arrogated to themselves, not only a right to the territories discovered by them, but claimed also the sole and exclusive privilege of navigating the American seas. All ships, belonging to any other power of Europe, found within a certain limit, were treated as enemies, and their crews murdered. Sir Walter Raleigh asserts as a well-known fact, that the Spaniards had killed twenty-six Englishmen, by tying them back to back, and cutting their throats, even after they had been upon terms of commercial intercourse for a whole month, and when the English had landed in full confidence, without so much as a single weapon of defence among them The English had founded several settlements at Virginia, Bermuda, St. Christopher's, and Barbadoes, some of them by no means connected with the territories claimed by Spain; yet, the Spaniards perfidiously landed on the island of St. Christopher's, in 1629, and after demolishing the plantations, selected six hundred of the most able-bodied men from the English settlers, and condemned them to the mines; the rest, men, women, and children, were ordered to quit the island, under pain of death.

In 1638, they attacked a small English Colony, at Tortuga, and put every individual to death. The Dutch, shortly afterward, attempted to settle in the same place, and met with a

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similar fate. In 1680, they landed at New Providence, one of the Bahama isles, and, after completing their work of destruction, they carried the governor to Cuba, and there put him to death by torture. The Buccaniers revenged these perfidious acts; while armaments were fitted out in all the maritime states of Europe, to attack the Spanish settlements, for such unprovoked aggression. Thus they brought the evils upon themselves, which they have since endured. The island of Jamaica was wrested from them in 1655; and out of the vast possessions formerly claimed by Spain, scarcely any of importance is now under their control. The island of Cuba is a nest of pirates, who are shamefully tolerated by the existing authorities. Here, many of the black deeds of former days are re-acted; and rapine, bloodshed, and cruelty, flourish in full vigour. Mexico, that beautiful and luxuriant province, has become a free and independent state, where slavery is abolished, and freedom bids fair to erect her throne on the foundation of just and equitable laws. Ignorance will no longer be fostered by superstition; the light of knowledge has broken in upon the colonies; and, we trust, that, in a few years, we shall see them flourishing under wise governments and judicious councils. Yet, while contemplating the atrocious and detestable acts of the Spaniards, in the new world, we feel a degree of remorse and shame, at being compelled to acknowledge, that they also may bring a black catalogue against our own countrymen, the English, for the inhumanity displayed in that execrable traffic, the slave trade. The very name of the West Indies is inseparably coupled with that of slavery; but the Spaniards themselves were the first who tore the African from his home, to toil for gold in the mines of Hispaniola.

The Portuguese, in their researches along the coast of Guinea, had established fortifications, for the purpose of carrying on a trade with the negroes, before the discovery of the new world; and when the poor degraded natives of the West Indies were nearly exterminated, the Spaniards hoped to supply their loss, by transporting negroes to the Colonies. Within ten years after the first settlement was made at Hispaniola, negroes were employed in the mines; and so dreadfully rapid was the decrease of the Indians, that, in 1517, Charles V. granted a patent for the exclusive supply of four thousand negroes annually, to the islands of Cuba, Hispaniola, Jamaica, and Puerto Rico. The merchants to whom this patent was granted were Genoese; and, from that time, the slave trade became established, as a regular branch of commerce. It is somewhat remarkable, that Las Casas, who so loudly condemned the cruelty of the Spaniards to the Indians, should be an advocate for this traffic in human flesh; yet, such was

the case; and it can only be reconciled under the idea, that he considered the African was more capable of enduring fatigue, and had never properly known the sweets of freedom. The English commenced this traffic in 1562, under Hawkins, who was afterwards knighted by Elizabeth, and made Treasurer of the Navy. On his arrival on the coast of Africa, he got into his possession, partly by intrigue, and partly by the sword, three hundred negroes, whom he disposed of at Hispaniola. This speculation turning out to be exceedingly profitable, other adventurers sprang forth; and the unoffending natives were dragged from their villages to supply the waste of human life, in the West Indian islands. The trade met with occasional checks, yet it still continued to increase, till the number annually conveyed from Africa amounted to little short of one hundred thousand! It has been asserted by the enemies of emancipation, that as negroes are brought up from their earliest infancy, to servitude, so they cannot be sensible of the loss of liberty. Those who have been accustomed to witness the free negro in his cottage, surrounded with a small plantation of tropical fruits, and Indian wheat, must, at once, be convinced of the absurdity of such a statement. Every thing he does, every thing he says, even the very drawing of his breath, seems to express, "I am free." We have frequently listened with pleasure, and considerable amusement, to the conversation of this class; and can remember, when the free blacks were enrolled at Sierra Leone, as a company, to resist an expected attack from the French, in the late war, with what indignity they rejected the title of "militia," and claimed the privilege of being called "gentlemen volunteers." The names of English statesmen and individuals in power were constantly on their tongues, and they spoke as freely of "Brother George," as if the king were actually their relative. In an insurrection at Jamaica, in 1760, headed by a negro, (who had been a chief in Guinea, was made captive, and sold to slavery,) many enormities were committed; but, on its being quelled, three of the most guilty were selected for punishment; one was condemned to be burnt, and the other two to be hung up alive, in irons, and left to perish. The wretch, that was burnt, was chained to an iron stake, in a sitting posture, and the fire being applied to his feet, he saw his legs reduced to ashes, with the utmost firmness and composure, and without uttering a single groan. Of the two that were suspended alive, one expired on the eighth, the other on the ninth day; nor did they, during the time, utter the least complaint, except, during the night, of cold. It is related, that one captain, whose cargo was sickly, actually threw overboard one hundred and thirty-two slaves, the whole of whom were drowned, that his owners might be

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