페이지 이미지
PDF
ePub

(lered in regard to the circumstances ry, they do not attend to the fact, which compose it, and to the effects that, in England, slavery was abowhich it produces on the physical, in lished only in 1660, by statute 12, Cha. tellectual, and moral faculties of the 24 (Charles II.,) in the rest of westdivers classes of men, on the wealth, ern Europe, only in the eighteenth nature of government, and relations of century, and that in eastern Europe nations to each other. Of some species it has never ceased to the present of associations which approximate to day. Yet so far is the cause of the slavery.We regard this book as abolition of slavery from being gainthe most complete, learned and phi ed, there has been effected, and losophical treatise, that has ever ap. even under our own eye, a revolupeared on the subject of slavery and tion, which, by suddenly elevating to its disastrous effects. Doubtless hu

the rank of powerful and civilized manity has inspired numbers of those

states, some vast countries where philosophers, who with such elo

slavery is established by law, may quence have assailed this outrageous secure to the countries governed by institution; but hitherto the masters

the possessors of slaves, the most of slaves, have believed themselves

frightful preponderance in the baable to hold them in contempt; or lance of nations, over those in which even to admire them without effect;

this species of possession is interdictbecause, said they, the writer was ed. In Russia and Poland, the great unacquainted with the circumstances, mass of the population is held in slaand the finest theories are often found, very; this is also the case in nearly upon trial, to be impracticable. But half the Austrian states; and the here we have presented to us, the weight of Russia and Austria, have circumstances of all times, and of

never been greater in the balance of every region of the globe, with a Europe, than in the present time. precision, and authenticity which

Slavery is maintained by England, leave no shadow of doubt, with re France and Holland, in their cologard to their agreement or to the nies dispersed over Asia, Africa and conclusions which ought to be de America; and by Spain and Portugal duced from them.

in the remnant of their colonial inSlavery is so foreign to the man heritance. Slavery retains its place ners, the habitudes, and even the

in ten of the twenty-two* United recollections of France, that many States of America, and these are the regard a treatise on the fatal conse most extensive, as well as the most quences of slavery, in nearly the

happily situated. In all English Insame light as an exposition of the errors of paganism. All are inclined Thus the numbers stand in the to regard such a work as relating

original. This is a fresh, but not a only to the legislation of some dis

singular instance of the ignorance of

ten manifested by the learned of Eu. tant American islands, and to the ac. rope, in relation to the political geotions of a people with whom we have graphy of America. With us a well no community of feeling. They have

instructed school boy need not be in

formed, that of the twenty-four Uniso often heard the assertion that

ted States, twelve tolerate the sysChristianity had put an end to slave tem of slavery.

dia, in all India, tributary to England, sult of this estimate; and what were slavery is legal, but not very preva the effects of slavery on the physical, lent. Lastly, in nearly all the colos moral, and intellectual faculties of sal republics of America, lately be the masters, as well as of the slaves. longing to Spain, and in the empire He begins by remarking that the phyof Brazil, slavery is yet legal, al sical organs of the masters, are not though these new states have adopt. deteriorated by the system.

The ed, with a view to the future aboli

causes which are apparently condution of slavery, some measures, cive to the preservation of physical which are incessantly assailed or force, are the supply of proper nouevaded by the prejudices or the pas rishment, sufficient exercise, and sions of the people. Such are, not the choice of the individuals who are withstanding, the states of which, at to continue the race. Now the masthis day, Christendom and the civi

ters of slaves, whether in a state of lized world, are composed. Such barbarism or of civilization, appear are the states, which dictate to the to unite all these advantages. Their rest of the world, the laws by which nou zhment is always assured; hathey shall be governed. Certainly bit, a taste for pleasure, and even when the sovereign power is in the policy lead them, in a greater or less bands of so many of the possessors degree, to the maintenance of such of slaves; the time has not yet come, exercises, as fit them for the chase, when we can say, that the cause of or the field of battle; and, unless the abolition of slavery is gained; prevented by national prejudices, on the contrary, we ought more than they may, by marrying the finest ever to collect facts, to study them, among their female slaves, raise a and give them publicity, in order to progeny superior to themselves. turn away the regenerated nations This is practised among the Turks from the continuance of so abomina and Persians, to the manifest imble a system.

provement of their race. We shall now endeavour to present But slavery must necessarily vitiate to our readers, in the least possible the physical organization of slaves. space, the train of M. Compte's ideas; For they are supplied with food, and this we shall generally do in his clothing, and dwellings no further own words; even when for the sake than the masters may choose to grant of brevity, we omit the usual indica them. Such exercises as may intion of inverted commas. Though crease their strength, activity or slavery is maintained among some ci courage are interdicted, as dangervilized nations, it evidently originat ous to their possessors. The small ed among barbarians, in the abuse of number of mechanical operations, to victory. The victors, instead of put which the interest of the master ting the vanquished to death, have confines them, can develope but a believed it more humane, and above few of their organs. Even this de all more profitable, to subject them velopment may be very much reto servitude. M. Compte, as the ti. strained; for a forced and excessive tle of his book indicates, has under exercise, accompanied with want of taken to examine, what was the re. food, is a cause of weakness, rather

than of strength. When to these ly concludes that he can no longer considerations we add, that men in a engage in productive labour without state of servitude, can obtain as com. derogating from his nobility. The panions, such females only, as are Hollanders, who, at home, so fully least favoured by nature, the others appreciate every kind of useful embeing monopolized by the masters, ployment, entertain, at Batavia or we shall readily conceive that the the Cape of Good Hope, the most servile part of the human race must, insurmountable contempt and averat all times, be descending in the sion for all industrious occupations. scale of nature.

The English, at St. Helena, JamaiBut the development of the phy- ca, and in all their colonies, the ansical organization ought to be chiefly glo-Americans in the ten southern considered, in regard to the means states, have in like manner, renounwhich it affords to man, to act upon

ced every species of labour. things, and to provide for his wants. Hungary, Poland and Russia, the Now slavery arrests this develop-possessors of slaves never engage in ment in the masters, as well as the laborious occupations; the labours slaves. The first effect which slave. of agriculture are performed by the ry produces on the masters, is to serfs; among the Jews alone, can in. dispense with those labours upon dustry be found; for these people be. which man is immediately dependant | ing already borne down by contempt, for the means of subsistence: the se can be no further degraded by rencond is, to cause them to hold those || dering themselves useful to the comemployments in contempt. Among munity. Thus, although slavery does the ancients, one kind of industry, not necessarily vitiate the physical and one only, exempted those who organs of those who belong to the engaged in it from degradation in the superior class, yet its effect is to eyes of masters; this consisted of render their exercise useless in rethe trade in the human species. One spect to those occupations which are of the ancestors of Octavius, had, they indispensable to the existence of said, dishonoured his posterity, by These organs are not only engaging in merchandise; but Mar. rendered useless to the human race, cus Cato bought and sold men; he is considered in mass, but are useful to noted for selling his old slaves, their possessors only by the injuries whose labours furnished but little they enable them to inflict on the profit, and who must soon become rest of their species. If, by any useless; and yet Cato was the Cen great catastrophe, the race of massor of morals.

ters should suddenly disappear from This contempt for manual labour, a country where slavery prevails, which they denominated servile, was there is no kind of labour which universal among the Greeks and Ro. would be necessarily suspended, and mans; it is every where prevalent no species of wealth whose loss we among slave-holders in the colonies. should have to deplore. Nothing Even the labourer of Europe, ex would cease, except the punishments pelled as a malefactor, if he becomes inflicted on the slaves. the possessor of a slave, immediate. Whilst the formation of industri.

man.

ous habits is prevented among the died man, his equal, upon whom he masters, by their contempt of labour; must act by persuasion; but he ne. the same result among the slaves, is glected the study of nature, upon produced by the brutalizing tenden which he acted only by the arms of cy of their condition. The slaves of his slaves. The means of saving a our time, are incapable of every em little of their toil, appeared to him ployment which would require intel a useless discovery; and all the appliligence, taste, or invention. It is cations of science to the arts of comprobable that the noble works of mon life, were viewed as degradaRoman antiquity, were executed by tions. When the citizen lost his po. men, who had been formed to in litical freedom, he was no longer industry while free, and whom the terested in the study of man, and as fortune of war had reduced into sla little as before in the study of nature; very; for, when the Romans, having he renounced a labour to which he reduced all the surrounding nations had no inducement; the sciences among whom industry was maintain were extinguished, and a return to ed, were no longer able to enslave barbarism was the consequence. any but barbarians, all the arts, and The English are the only Euroevery species of industry rapidly de pean colonies, in which the mother clined among them, and they them country has permitted the colonists selves relapsed into barbarism. We to acquire any portion of political next examine with our author, the power; and these are the only ones effect produced by slavery on the in which they have felt the necessity tellectual faculties, either of masters

of those intellectual developments, or slaves. (chap. iv. p. 54.)

which furnish the only means, comWith respect to the masters, we patible with political freedom, of acmust distinguish between those who quiring authority over their equals, are in the possession of political free. the powers of persuasion and argudom, and those who are deprived of ment. In the other colonies, where it: the former may fully develope the metropolitan authority governs such of their intellectual faculties, as with absolute power, the masters, enable them to act upon their equals, knowing no other alternatives, than whilst those by means of which they to command and to obey, exhibit the should act upon inanimate nature, obtuseness of intellect, which bewill be suffered to lie dormant. longs alike to despots, and to slaves; Among the latter class of masters, with an exception, however, in faneither species of intellectual facul vour of those who have been educa. ties will be unfolded. Man, from the ted in the mother country, far removindolence of his nature, will prefered from the sight and influence of force to argument, authority to per slavery. Our author proves, by facts, suasion, whenever he has the power by the testimony, minutely and cirto choose; but the citizen of the free cumstantially given, of numerous states of antiquity, being unable to travellers, the contempt for every command his equals as he command. species of instruction, predominant ed his slaves, was compelled to learn among the Hollanders, at the Cape to persuade them. He therefore, stu of Good Hope, the French colonists

of Louisiana, and all the colonial de. Slaves are not capable of exercising pendencies of Spain, where the num. all the care which even agriculture ber of slaves is great.

requires. They seldom possess sufIn the United States, as the hol. ficient care or skill to cultivate pulse ders of slaves are in possession of or fruit trees. Their agriculture is political freedom, their intellectual in the most barbarous condition, so powers are cultivated and improved. that the masters import from England But the citizens of the southern states the coal which they require for fuel, cultivate those faculties only which though they have forests at six miles are capable of acting upon men; the distance. They even sometimes imcitizens of the northern states wish port the bricks of which their houses to act both on men and things, and

are built. between these objects, their ener The causes of the unskilfulness of gies are divided. Thus, the southern slaves, in every kind of occupation, states have furnished, perhaps, a are easily perceived. The hand can greater number of men competent to execute, with ease and accuracy, hold the reins of government.- only what the mind conceives with Washington, qualified to lead an ar clearness. Our physical organs are my, or to direct the concerns of nothing but the instruments of our government, was born in a land cul. intellect; and the mind, when its fa. tivated by slaves; but Franklin, des culties have not been developed, can tined to enlighten the world, and to direct but imperfectly, the organs enlarge the power of man over the which are subject to its control.operations of nature, could arise, Now in countries, where slavery is only in a country where the arts established, the masters are not only were exercised by the hands of free. || incapable of developing the intellects

of their slaves, but they generally In regard to the slaves, the imme have a natural propensity to prevent diate effect of slavery, is to prevent their development, 'The demand for all intellectual improvement. Thus, security, more powerful than the in the American colonies, where all

passion of avarice, obliges them to the manual labour is performed by hold the servile class in a state apslaves, the owners are obliged to im- | proaching as nearly as possible, to port from countries where slavery is that of brutes. Robin reports, * that not admitted, all those articles which

a French colonist in Louisiana, frerequire dexterity to produce them.

quently asserted, that he feared noThe masters may employ their slaves

thing so much as negroes with cultiin the felling and transportation of vated minds. He said, that his ut. timber; but if that timber is to be

most efforts were used to restrain the formed into ships, it must be sent to

enlargement of their understandings, a country where the labourers are

and that these efforts were mostly free. Slaves may cultivate the

successful. The opinions of the coground, and raise grain, but to con lonists on this subject, are similar to vert that grain into flour, it must be

those formerly entertained by the sent to places where workmen, capable of erecting mills, can be found. * Travels in Louisiana, p. 197.

men.

« 이전계속 »