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1813, bending under the burden of seventy-seven winters, he gently sank away, it was felt that a man had died in whom was the greatness of goodness. Among the mourners at his grave stood William Wilberforce; and over the earthly remains of this child of lowly beginnings were now dropped the tears of a royal duke. The portals of that great Temple of Honor, where are treasured England's glories, swung open at the name of England's earliest Abolitionist. A simple tablet, from the chisel of Chantrey, representing an African slave on his knees in supplication, and also the lion and the lamb lying down together, with a suitable inscription, was placed in the Poet's Corner of Westminster Abbey, in close companionship with those stones which bear the names of Chaucer, Spenser, Shakespeare, Milton, Dryden, Goldsmith, Gray. As the Muses themselves did not disdain to watch over the grave of one who had done well on earth, so do the poets of England keep watch over the monument of Granville Sharp. Nor is his place in that goodly company without poetical title. The poet is simply creator; and he who was inspired to create freemen out of slaves was poet of the loftiest style. Not in the sacred Abbey only was our philanthropist commemorated. The city of London, centre of those Slave-Hunting merchants over whom his great triumph was won, now gratefully claimed part of his renown. The marble bust of England's earliest Abolitionist was installed at Guildhall, home of metropolitan justice, pomp, and hospitality, in the precise spot where once had stood the bust of Nelson, England's greatest Admiral, and beneath it was carved a simple tribute, of more perennial worth than all the trophies of Trafalgar:
TO WHOM ENGLAND OWES THE GLORIOUS VERDICT
OF HER HIGHEST COURT OF LAW,
THAT THE SLAVE WHO SETS HIS FOOT ON
BECOMES THAT INSTANT
Gentlemen of the Mercantile Library Association, such was Granville Sharp, and such honors England to her hero paid. And now, if it be asked, why, in enforcing the duties of the Good Merchant, I select his name, the answer is prompt. It is in him that the merchant, successor to the chivalrous knight, aiming to fulfil his whole duty, may find a truer prototype than in any stunted, though successful votary of trade, while the humble circumstances of his life seem to make him an easy example. Imitating him, commerce would thrive none the less, but goodness more.
Business would not be checked, but it would cease to be pursued as the “one idea" of life. Wealth would still abound; but there would be also that solid virtue, never to be moved from truth, which, you will admit, even without the admonition of Plato, is better than all the cunning of Dædalus or all the treasures of Tantalus. The hardness of heart engendered by the accursed greed of gain, and by the madness of worldly ambition, would be overcome: the perverted practice, that Policy is the best Honesty, would be reversed; and Merchants would be recalled, gently, but irresistibly, to the great PRACTICAL DUTIES of this age, and thus win the palm of true honesty, which trade alone can never bestow.
1 Euthyphron, $ 12.
" Who is the HONEST MAN?
YOUNG MERCHANTS OF BOSTON! I have spoken to you frankly and faithfully, trusting that you would frankly and faithfully hearken to me. And now, in the benison once bestowed upon the youthful Knight, I take my leave: “Go forth ! be brave, loyal, and successful!”
1 Herbert, The Temple: Constancy.
WAGES OF SEAMEN IN CASE OF WRECK.
SPEECH IN THE SENATE, ON INTRODUCING A BILL TO SECURE WAGES TO
SEAMEN IN CASE OF WRECK, FEBRUARY 12, 1855.
On the 26th of December, 1854, Mr. Sumner introduced the following resolution :
" Resolved, That the Committee on Commerce be directed to consider if any legislation be needed in order to secure the wages of merchant seamen in the case of wreck."
On the 12th of February, 1855, Mr. Sumner followed up this resolution by introducing a bill, which was read twice and referred to the Committee on Commerce, as follows :
"A Bill to secure Wages to Seamen in case of Wreck. “Be it enacted, &c., That, in case of wreck or loss of any ship or vessel of the United States, every seaman belonging thereto shall be entitled to his wages up to the period of such wreck or loss, whether such ship or vessel shall or shall not have previously earned freight, provided such seaman shall have exerted himself to the utmost' to save the ship, cargo, and stores; and in any trial of the question of services, the master, although a party to the suit, shall be a competent witness on this question.
"SEC. 2. And be it further enacted, That every stipulation, by which any seaman shall consent to abandon his wages, in case of wreck or loss of the ship or vessel, or in case of the failure to earn freight, shall be wholly void.”
On this bill Mr. Sumner spoke as follows.
R. PRESIDENT, — In introducing this bill, I
desire to make a brief explanation, which shall, at least, be a record of my views with regard to it.
The bill proposes an amelioration of the existing Maritime Law in respect to the wages of merchant seamen, which, so far as England is concerned, has been made already by Act of Parliament, and in our country can be accomplished only by Act of Congress.
By existing Maritime Law, the seaman's wages depend upon a technical rule, which sometimes occasions hardship. Freight is compendiously said to be the mother of wages. In conformity with this fanciful idea, wages are made to depend upon the earning of freight, unless the freight is waived by agreement of the owner, or the voyage or freight is lost by negligence, fraud, or misconduct of the owner or master, or voluntarily abandoned. In case of wreck, the sailor has simply the chance of something under the name of salvage, if the fragments saved happen to be of any value; but if the loss be total, then he is without remedy. In wrecks, which occur with melancholy frequency, on our churlish winter coast, this hardship adds even to the sorrows of disaster. Thus, as in a case which has actually arisen, a crew may commence service at. Calcutta, may navigate the Indian Ocean, double the Cape of Good Hope, and bring their ship safely within sight of land, and then, by total loss of ship and cargo, from acknowledged perils of the sea, they may lose everything, even their right to wages, and may find themselves in a strange port, the prey of poverty. Nor can any merit, either throughout the protracted voyage or in the hour of peril and shipwreck, prevent the operation of this technical rule.
There is also another circumstance which constrains the poor sailor. The owner may insure his ship, and also his freight, so that he may lose nothing but the premium he pays; but the sailor is not allowed to protect himself by insurance from loss of wages : his loss is literally total.
Now this technical rule, which fastens the wages of