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to signify the king's regret that animo. made slaves of at Algiers; but this is sity should have so long existed between not the way to come at the truth of him and the chief of that country which he the case. We must remember not only had just despoiled, and to express his sor who we are-God knows, tbat consirow for the fate of a family which had suf.
deration involves enough of reflection! fered from his displeasure, through false
--but also who and what they are accounts and misrepresentations. For this
about whose feelings we are harangued. reason he was now most anxious to make
There is some other difference besides every reparation in his power to a son yet re. maining of that prince, and would readily
that of the skin ; and however bad a re-establish him in the rank and possessions
thing slavery may be in itself, and of his father, could he only find him out. however wrong it may have been in Completely duped by this wile, the unsus. free-born Britons ever to have done pecting lad exultingly exclaimed · I am anything that tended to procreate the son of the prince !' Then, replied the slavery, it still is true, that, giving to Coke, with a hellish joy at having succeed.
the word slavery any meaning it has ed in his object, you are just the person
as yet borne, no British hand was ever we want;' upon which these Halfheads
yet the instrument of turning any one seized him, and began to bind his hands,
African into a slave. Unless, indeed, Finding by this time the real state of the
it should be so, that some reigning case, which at first it was impossible to comprehend, I strongly protested against
African Prince has been kidnapped for their seizing a slave whom I had regularly or by us; and then, to be sure, a hupurchased, and complained loudly of the man being has been most unjustifiably insult offered to the Company's Fort—but drawn from a sphere of most exquisite, all in vain. I then earnestly entreated them as well as most legitimate enjoyment to offer the king his own price, or selection which, may Heaven forgive ! of goods, and to beg, as a favour to me, that The true state of the matter is this: he might be spared, strongly urging the -The far greater part of the rich and plea also, that when once embarked, he extensive Continent of Africa has been. would be as free from every apprehensions
from the earliest period, possessed by respecting him as if he had killed him. 6. The Coke coolly replied, that I need
vegroes. From the earliest period, there give myself no farther trouble to make pro
can be no doubt whatever, that the posals, for he dared not repeat one of them peoples of this race have uniformly to the king; and I was at last, after an in. lived as savages and as slaves. We effectual struggle, compelled to witness, know of no age in which they were not with the most painful emotion, this ill-fated slaves at home; and we know of no youth dragged off in a state of the gloomi. age in which they did not sell each est despair :-a despair rendered more dis- other for slaves, to whoever would buy mal from the fallacious glimpse of return them. The negro inhabiting his own ing happiness by which he had been so cru. hut, has always known that his head elly entrapped. He was immediately hurried away,
might be cut off next hour, at the caand murdered, to glut the vengeance of this
price of his negro tyrant. The negro pitiless and sanguinary barbarian.”
following the standard of his negro
prince into war, never did so without Let it not be dreamt for a single having the most perfect knowledge, moment, that we are either writing or that if he were taken prisoner by the quoting with the view of defending negro enemy, the best hope he could either the slave trade or slavery. Far nourish, was that of being sold for a from us be such abomination. But slave. These are indisputable, and the question which awaits the decision indeed indisputed, facts. And accord. of the English Parliament, or, more ingly the feelings and manners, the properly, of England, is perhaps the whole souls and beings, of negroes, have most delicate that ever engaged the ever been imbued with the sense of attention of a great nation ; and it is degradation; and their whole characpot fit that the public mind should, ter has teemed from time immemorial, ere the moment comes, be familiarized and teems now, with all the vices to exclusively with one side of the affair. which the most intense mixture of It is very easy to talk with the most cowardice and ferocity can give birth. hypochondriacal of poets about“ find. Their princes have always been desing our brother guilty of a skin unlike pots ; and that in a sense to which no our own”-it is very easy to talk with word in any language not African can this good Quaker about an English do adequate justice. Their women gentleman, and his wife and daughters, have always been the most degraded of
slaves-their women have always been row-minded imbeciles, and a far more loaded with the severest toils of their despicable knot of cunning mercantile husbandry, such as it is, and has been speculators, have been eternally uphold.
their intellect has stood still foring. The former, we dare say, have many thousand years; and has, up to become so accustomed to the chime, this moment, done absolutely no- that they will scarcely trust their ears THING—their superstitions are the when they hear the idle melody checkmost foul-their whole ideas are the ed by another note. But there is anmost degraded their manners are the other blunder, perhaps still more conmost brutal -- their enjoyments the temptible, of which we must also say most base of which human nature has a word or two, ere we proceed to the ever furnished any specimen. And real business before us. now mark this:-Throughout by far It is assumed, then, that he who is the greater part of these horrible ages, a slave, is necessarily and uniformly they have not been meddled with, placed in a more unhappy condition in any shape whatever, on their own than he could possibly be placed in soil, by people of any other race were he not a slave. We have already but their own. Their degradation seen what an African negro loses when has been their own ; and in spite of he becomes a slave. We have seen how all that can be said about the in- closely his feelings, under that change, terference of modern Europeans, that may be supposed to resemble those of degradation is at this moment their AN ENGLISH GENTLEMAN subjected own handywork. All that has been to Dahomy or Calabar bondage. But done from without, is as a drop in lay aside, for a moinent, the ectual the bucket to that ocean of crime change. Take the negro as he now ex and brutality into which their own ists in the West Indies, and compare base and uncontrolled passions have him, not with the negro as he exists in poured their eternal reservoirs of vo- Ashantee, but with the labouring pealuntary evil.
sant as he exists in England or in It is very painful to make, and it Scotland-in the most happy of all Eucannot be pleasing to listen to, such ropean countries-under the most bestatements; but how avoid them ? nign of all human governments and seeing, as we do, that it is the uniform see what is the real state of the case cant of the persons we have to deal see what the circumstances really with, to talk and write about the new are in which the actual conditions of groes, as if they really were upon a len these two human beings differ. In vel in all things but good luck with spite of “ the African Prince," of every other part of the great family to Clarkson, and the Edinburgh Review, which they unquestionably belong we suppose the comparison will scarceas if their degraded condition were en- ly be objected to as ex facie unfair, by tirely the work of whites-as if, but the friends of the negroes. for us, they were, and would be, ca- We are not about to speak just at pable of just the same actions, anima- present of the blessings of religious inted with just the same feelings, and in struction and moral feeling, and the possession of just the same advantages, enjoyments of civil privileges. Neas ourselves. This is one of the great groes have never been robbed of anyprimary blunders with which their thing that can deserve to be talked of, talk, non vi (God knows !) sed saepe seriously, we mean, under any of these cadendo, is making people so familiar, heads, by Europeans. We are about that they lose the power of analysing to speak of the labouring peasant strict and detecting them. Look at the ly as such-of his physical state-of whole Buxton debate. There is not, his comforts and means, strictly perthroughout the whole of it, one single sonal and domestic. allusion to what the negroes were ere T he friends of East Indian sugar any European meddled with them always set out with the gross hardship or, which was indeed the necessary of labouring, without being paid for consequence of that omission, to what labour. The negro, say they, gets no it really is of which a negro can be de wages from his master; and therefore prived by being made a European's he is below all other human beings. bondsman.
Now, it is very true, that the negro This is one of the great preliminary gets no shilling or fifteenpence a-day blunders which a plausible set of nar- paid him every Saturday evening by
the overseer of the farm on which he old age-they have never heard of works : but does he get no equivalent? work-houses, or alms-houses- they In the first place, take the year over, have never seen a negro slave begging he labours infinitely less than any la- his bread. In a word, as to all these bourer in this country. Mr Bridges matters, (and surely Mr Cobbett himdistinctly pledges himself to this as- self will admit they are tolerably imsertion, and the Mitigation Critique, portant ones,) the situation of the new on his Pamphlet, passes it sub sie gro slave is, toto cælo, above that of the lentio. In the second place, he is en- poor labouring man here at home in tirely clothed at his master's cost, Britain. For as to Ireland, it really and he is allowed- no matter for would be too much of a joke to pile up the present how, but the fact is so arguments where the whole affair must -he is allowed as much free time to be self-evident. . himself, as enables him to support The facts we have been mentioning himself and his family, if he has one, are always kept out of view as much throughout all the seasons of the year, as possible, and sometimes they are in a more comfortable manner than any even partially contradicted by the wrilabourer in Scotland ever dreams of, ters of pamphlets on the East India and probably quite as well as any Eng- sugar side of the question ; but our lish peasant, out of the most rich, and readers may depend upon it they are favoured, and luxurious counties of facts notwithstanding; and they are England. In the third place, over and facts, too, which neither Wilberforce, above supporting himself most com- nor Mr Buxton the Brewer, nor any fortably-over and above his house, for other man whatever, will dare to diswhich he pays neither rent nor tax- pute in the House of Commons; beover and above the poultry, eggs, cause all these people very well know yams, molasses, and rum, which he eats that they are facts; and that if they daand drinks, he is, when he is at all re- red to deny them, there are members gular in his habits of life, able to re- enough there who have personally alize money. Mr Bridges tells us, in known the West Indies, and who would his pamphlet, that he has known negro immediately answer them for once and labourers worth L.400 or L.500 ; for ever. But though all this be so, these and offering the loan of such sums to gentlemen are by no means exhausttheir masters and overseers. And in ed—they will turn upon us with the general, there is no doubt at all of the most ardent impatience, and they will fact, that every well-behaved negro make sundry objections, which we labourer does realize money. Indeed, shall give ourselves the trouble both of if they had no money to spare, how anticipating and of demolishing. should they go and spend so much And first, they will say, there is no time at markets-a practice which, intermission (we are only quoting from the said markets having sometimes the Mitigation preface in the labour been held on Sunday, Mr Wilberforce of the healthy slave, except the time is so violent in denouncing. In the allowed for breakfast, dinner, sleep, fourth place, whenever the negro la- Sunday, and the twenty-six or thirty-six bourer is ill, he is not only excused days more allowed in the course of the work, but anxiously provided with year as holidays and otherwise. And every sort of medical advice and medi- what then? is our answer. What are the cine, at the sole expense of his supe intermissions in the labour of a labourrior. In the fifth place, his negress is ing man here at home? Are there any not allowed to work at all when preg- intermissions at all, except the time nant; and she lies in in comfort, be that goes for meals, sleep, Sunday ? ing attended by a doctor, whom the And is it not one of his severest evils, master pays. In the sixth place, an that he has it not in his power to inadditional allowance of food and clo termit his labour in cases of ordinary thing is made for every child; so that illness, as the negro has? And when a pair are just so much the richer the his labour is intermitted from the semore children they have. In the sea verity of the weather, or any other venth place, when negro men or wo- such cause, who pays him his wages men get old, they are supported en- - that is, supports him and his famitirely by the master on whose fields ly? they have toiled—they have no fears . But secondly, say they, it may be for an unprotected and unprovided-for very true that a well-behaved negro
has it in his power to make money; unless in very extraordinary cases of but what avails this, since he has not guilt, or by an accident which his the legal power of bequest?
master regrets. When Lord Bathurst · This is one of the topics that have wrote out to Jamaica some years ago, been inost unrelentingly dwelt upon; about mutllation of negroes, the only and in the strict letter of the law, the feelings excited in the minds of the thing is as they say. But what then ? West Indian planters, were wonder is once more our answer. Practically, and indignation ;-indignation against the slaves are universally permitted to the most brazen calumniators who had leave not only money, but houses and dared to insinuate such atrocities, and lands, to whomsoever they please. — wonder that Lord Bathurst should This is the castom, the practice, the have been so green as to put any faith universal practice. And, accordingly, in such stories from such men. But amidst all this mass of Pamphlets, Res the negro is compelled to labour--this ports, Appeals, Views, Considerations, is the taunt which nothing can prevent is there one instance produced of the from being repeated. He is compellpeculium of a negro being seized by ed. Yes, but why? Because he will his master, or of his bequests being in not labour otherwise. This is the fact any manner, or form, or degree what this is the result of actual and ex. ever, interfered with ? -No. No such tensive experience. Hear Mr Barfact is stated. If it could have been ham. stated, sure enough may we be, it would “ A few negroes under peculiar circumhave been so.
stances, may have laboured for hire, but We admit, however, that that which
the evidence of all the colonies in the West does take place by custom and prac
Indies (in some of which there are abuntice, ought to be made capable of ta
dance of free negroes, and abundance of king place by law. Mr Canning pro
people who would gladly hire them) proves,
that, constituted as he now is, the negro posed that every negro who had enter
will not work but under coercion. Hayti ed into the state of marriage, should
proves it—Africa proves it." be allowed, by law, to execute a legal will; and we have already said, that
The Edinburgh Reviewer dwells this appeared to us to be a very beau
most vehemently on Hayti. Hear tiful idea. As it is, there is no hard
66 The cultivation of Hayti seems to be ship practically felt by the negro as to
now confined to the raising of provisions, this matter; and the White clamour
which requires very little labour, and to the about it has therefore been cant, and gathering of coffee and cotton from the nothing but cant.
trees already planted. As to Africa, even But, thirdly, say they :-The negro though in one particular part there should is subjected to corporal punishment; be a class of men, who will undertake tem. and“ he is, or, at least, may be, brand porary jobs for hire, and even though there ed on the flesh," like a horse or sheep. may be some symptoms of voluntary labour Now, as to the branding, no person at Sierra Leone, produced by moral imborn in the West Indies can be so dealt
provement, yet such exceptions destroy not with: that is the law. Since the slave
the general evidence of that vast continent.
Indeed, the latter case rather confirms our trade has been put an end to, this,
statement. It is far from our meaning, therefore, has altogether ceased : and
that, by moral improvement, any change it must be recalled by these pamph
may not be effected; what we mean to say, leteers now, either from gross igno is, that till such improvement shall have rance of what they pretend to have taken place, the negro will only work by spent their lives in studying, or from coercion. A curious proof of this will be a wilful and deliberate determination found in Mr John Hay's Narrative of the to excite popular feelings, cost what it Grenada Insurrection, published by Ridge may on the score of truth. So much way, page 106. This gentleman was some for the branding. As for the corporal
time detained at Guadaloupe, then under punishment, it has been already vir
the government of Victor Hugues. Pu. tually abolished, in regard to women
nishment by the whip had been then totally
abolished; but, instead of it, a military trialtogether; and it is not practised with
bunal had been established, consisting of severity, in regard to the men. Com
five whites and blacks, who made a tour of pared with the corporal punishments
the island once a month, in order to try and inflicted in our own army and navy, punish such negroes as had neglected their the thing is as nothing. No negro man work. They were condemned to be chainis whipped to the breaking of the skin, ed by the middle and ancle for five to fitteen years. The more refractory were shot, poral punishment, no doubt of that, which very frequently happened. Mr Hay is a disgusting thing, and we should relates this incidentally, and not for the pur. most certainly rejoice in seeing it alpose of foundirg any argument upon it.
together banished, (unless in terrible * “ But, indeed, we hardly need to appeal
cases indeed, both from the West In-' to experience for the proof. By the clearest
dian plantations, and from the British conclusions from facts that cannot be dis
army, and the British navy. An exputed, we may assure ourselves, a priori, that it must be so. The labour of a few
ternal stimulus of some sort, however, days, builds as good a habitation as the
is necessary, when there is none sufnegro desires : and the labour of a few ficient within. The lazy soldier cleans more, supplies him with food for the year. his musket, because, if he does not, he Clothing he hardly wants, and artificial de- will be whipped ;-the lazy negro works sires he has none so strong as the desire to in the sugar field for the same reason. pass his time in idleness. By what then but The poor labourer at home, however force can he be brought to work? We must lazily inclined, works, because, if he here call, with the Greek mathematician, does not, he and his family must starve. for ground to stand on. Ground there is
This last, we are pretty sure, is not none; and we might as soon expect to put a machine in motion by a power, which
the feeblest, nor the least painful of should be weaker than the power that re
these engines. Starving is worse than sists, as we might expect the free negro to
the scourge, and the fear of wife and labour for hire, till some adequate want
children starving is worse than a shall impel him. To teach him artificial thousand scourges. Let the soldier wants, must be a work of time and uncer. and the negro be tried with the stimutainty; and the case is hopeless, unless we lus of the labouring peasant, and see can bring him under the same impulse how either of them will relish the which acts on the free labourer everywhere change. Ay, and whether it please else. All the world over, this is neither
them or not, let them be kept to it.
the more nor less than the want of food ; and if the negro is to work, that stimulus must
A fourth point of clamour is thus be applied to him, or he must remain un.
stated by the Mitigation Society, in der the whip; for, as to confinement or dis.
their preface, (p. 14.) -" In the seagrace, he would hardly feel them as a pu.
son of crop, which lasts for four or five
months of the year, their labour is pro“Such are not the most pleasing views of tracted, not only throughout the day, human condition, but we must not shut as at other times, but during either our eyes to them, unless we would grossly half the night, or the whole of every deceive ourselves. The slave probably alternate night." Now, what is the would prefer his present state under the truth? It is this:-On all estates that whip, to that into which we would thus
are managed with any sort of care and lead him; and, no doubt, that physically
skill—that is to say, on all estates, but he suffers less in his present state, than he
an infinitesimally small proportion, the would then do at first; but the process is unavoidable ; and if you would convert
negroes make their “ spells," as they him into a free labourer, there is no other
are called, so that the turn for night way to teach him.
work comes round only twice a week is But how may the thing be effected ? for each“ spell.” This is the fact. It is Half an acre is sufficient for his cottage and also a fact pretty well known, that solhis food ; the kind of land he wants is of diers have such things as night-watches little value, and is divided amongst pro. or guards all the year over : and it is prietors so numerous as to render a combi a fact of which no man that has ever nation impossible. Sooner than let their
made one voyage in a king's ship can land lie waste, these proprietors would un.
be ignorant, that no sailor ever can sleep derbid each other, and the negro would thus
more than four hours at a time. Anoobtain what land he wants, at a rent which the labour of a week, perhaps, would pro.
ther fact most certain and indisputacure him. Another week would serve
ble, is, that be the hardship of the for its cultivation, and the remaining fifty
crop season what it may, all negroes weeks he would remain idle. It does not
whatever are found to be fatter and seem that any law could reach this case;
better at the end of it, than at its benor could it be prevented, unless all the ginning. Let them make of this what land were in one proprietor."
they please-deny it they cannot. Nor The truth is, that no man Jabours can it be denied, that if all the negroes without the application of some stimua were made freemen to-morrow, they lus; and the negro, the laziest of all would still that is, if they were to men, is the least likely to do so. Cor- continue as labourers in the cultiva.