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Ce-cili-ă. What hardened heart's do the căp'tains of those ships påşşess'! They must have become extremely cruel, before they would undertake such an employment.
Móth'er. There is reason to believe that most of them, by the habits of such a life, are become deaf to the voice of pity; we must, however, compassionate the situation* of those, whose parents have early bred them to this profession, before they wěre of an age to choose a different employment. But to resume the subject of the negroes. What I have related is only the beginning of their sorrows. When they are put on board the ships, they are crowded together in the hold, where many of them die for wânt of air and room. There have been frequent instances of their throwing themselves into the sea, when they could find an opportunity, and seeking in death a refuge from their calamity. As soon as they arrive in the Wěst-In'di-es, they are carried to a publick market, where they are sold to the best bidder, like horses at our fairs. Their future lot depends much upon the disposition of the master, into whose hands they happen to fall; for åmong the overseers of sugar-plantations, there are some men of feeling and humanity ; but too generally the treatment of the poor negroes is very severe.
Accustomed to an easy, indolent life, in the luxurious and plentiful country of Af'ri-că, they find great hardship from the transition to a life of severe labour, without any mixture of indulgence to soften it. Deprived of the hope of amending their condition by any course of conduct they can pursue, they frequently åbăn'don themselves to despair ; and die, in what is called the seasoning; which is, becoming inured by length of time to their situation.* They who have less sensibility and stronger constitutions, survive their complicated misery but a few years; for it is generally acknowledged, that they seldom attain the full period of human life.
Augŭs'tă. Humanity shudders at your account ! but I have heard a gentleman, who had lived many years abroad, say, that negroes wěre not much superiour to the brutes; and that they wěre so stupid and stubborn, that nothing but stripes and severity could have any influence over them.
Fà'ther. That gentleman was most probably interested in misleading those with whom he conversed. People, who reason in that manner, do not consider the dis-ăd-văn tages which the poor negroes suffer, from wânt of cultivation. Leading an ignorant, savage life in their own country, they can have acquired no previous information; and when they fall into the hands of their cruel oppressors, a life of laborious servitude, which scārcely affords them sufficient time for sleep, deprives them of every opportunity of improving their minds. There is no reason to suppose that they differ from us in any thing but colour ; which distinction ărīşes from the intense heat of their climate. There have been instances of a few, whose situation has been favourable to improvement, who have shown strong powers of mind.
Those masters, who neglect the religious and moral instruction of their slaves, add a heavy load of guilt to that already incurred, by their share in this unjust and inhuman traffick.
Charles. My indignation rises at this recital. Why does not the Brit'ish Parlia-měnt èx-ěrt'* its powers to ăvěnge' the wrongs of these oppressed Ăf'ri-cănş? What can prevent an Act being păss'ed, to forbid Engʻlish-měn from buying and selling slaves ?
Fà'ther. Many persons of great talents and vir'tue,t have made several fruitless attempts to obtain an Act for the abolition of this trade. Men interested in its continuance have hitherto frustrated these generous designs; but we may rely upon the goodness of that Divine Prov'idence, who cares for all creatures, that the day will come when their rights will be considered : And there is great reason to hope, from the light already căst upon the subject, that the rising generation will préfér' justice and mercy, to interest and policy; and will free themselves from the odium we at present suffer, of treating our fellow creatures in a manner unworthy of them, and of ourselves.
Móth'er. Hen'ry, repeat that beautiful ă-pos'tro-phe to a negro woman, which you lčarn'ed the other day out of Bàr' bâuld's hymns.
Hen'ry. “ Negro woman, who sittest pining in captivity, and weepest over thy sick child; though no one sees thee, God sees thee; though no one pities thee, God pities thee. Raise thy voice, forlorn and abandoned one; call upon him from ămidst thy bonds, for assuredly he will hear thee."
Cě-cil’i-. I think no riches could tempt me to have any share in the slave trade. I could never enjoy peace of mind, whilst I thought I contributed to the woes of my fellow creatures,
Móth'er. But, Cē-cil'i-ă, to put your compassion to the proof, àre you willing to debar yourself of the numerous indulgences you enjoy, from the fruit of their labour ? * Čgs-črt'.
Ce-cili-å. I would forego any indulgence to alleviate their sufferings.
The rest of the children together. We are all of the same mind.
Móth'er. I admire the sensibility of your uncorrupted hearts, my dear children. It is the voice of nature and vir'tue. Listen to it on all occasions, and bring it home to your bò'şóms, and your daily practice. The same principle of benevolence, which excites your just indignation at the oppression of the negroes, will lead you to be gentle tö'wardş your inferiours, kind and oblig'ing to your equals, and in a particular manner condescending and considerate tõ’wardŞ your domesticks; requiring no more of them, than you would be willing to perform' in their situation ; instructing them when you have opportunity; sympathizing in their afflictions, and promoting their best interests to the utmost of your power.*
SEC'TION IV. The Father redeemed from slavery by his Son. A young man, named Rob'ert, was sitting ălone in his boat, in the harbour of Màr-seilles'.t A strânger stepped in, and took his seat near him, but quickly rose again', observing, that since the master was not present, he would take another boat. This, sir, mine,” said Rob'ert : “ would you sail without the harbour ??! - I meant only to move ăbout in the basin, and enjoy the coolness of this fine evening. But I cannot believe you are a sailor.”—“ Nor am I; yet on Sun'days and hol'ydãyş, I act the bargemañ, with a view to make up a sum.
What! cóv'etoŭs at your age! your looks had almost prēpoşşěss'ed me in your favour.” 66 Alas! sir, did you know
my situation, you would not blame me.” haps I am mistaken. Let us take our little cruise of pleaş'ure, and acquaint me with your history.
The strānger having resumed his seat, the dialogue, after a short pause, proceeded thus: “I pèrcēive', young man, you are sad. What grieves you thus ?” “My father, sir, groans in fetters, and I cannot ransom him. He earn'ed á
* It will, doubtless, be gratifying to the young reader, to be informed, that since this Di'alogue was written, the Slave Trade has been happily abolished by the British Parlia-ment. This memorable, though late triumph of justice and humanity, was effected in the year 1807. + Màr-sāles'.
66 Well, per
livelihood by petty brokerage ; but in an evil hour, embarked for Smyrnă,* to superintend in person the delivery of a cargo, in which he had a concern'. The vessel was captured by a Bàr'ba-ry corsair; and my father was conducted to Tět'u-an, where he is now a slave. They refused to release him for less than two thousand crowns, a sum which far exceeds our scanty means. However, we do our best. My mother and sisters work day and night. I ply hard at ny stated occupation of a journeyman jeweller; and, as you pěrcēive', make the most I can of Sun'days and holydays. i had resolved to put my-self in my father's stead; but my mother, apprized of my design, and dreading the double privation of a huş bánd and an only son, requested the Lē-vănt Căp'tainş to refuse me a passage." 5 Pray, do you ever hear from your father? Under what name dóeş he păss ? or what is his master's address ?" 6 His master is overseer of the royal gardens at Fez; and my father's name is Rob'ert, at Tět'u-ăn, as at Mar-seilles'.' “ Rob'ert, overseer of the royal gardens ?” « Yes, sir.” I am touched with your misfortunes; but venture to predict their termination.”
Night drew on ăpace. The stranger, upon landing, thrust into young Rob'ert's hand a purse containing eight double loū-is-d'ors, with ten crowns in silver, and instantly disappeared.
Six weeks păss'ed after this adventure ; and each returning sun bore witness to the unremitting exertions of the good family. As they sat one day at their unsavoury meal of bread and dried àl'monds, old Rob'ert entered the apartment, in a garb little suited to a fugitive prisoner; tenderly embraced his wife and children, and thanked them with tears of gratitude for the fifty louis-d'orş' they had caused to be remitted to him on his sailing from Tětu-ăn, for his free passage, and a comfortable supply of wearing apparel. His astonished relatives eyed one another in silence. At length, the mother, suspecting that her son had secretly concerted the whole plan, recounted the various instances of his zeal and affection. 6 Six thousand livres,” continued she, “is the sum we wanted; and we had already procured somewhat more than the half; owing chiefly to his in'dustry. Some friends, no doubt, have assisted him upon an emergency like the present." A gloomy suggestion crossed the father's niind.
Turning suddenly to his son, and eyeing him with the stěrnness of distraction, “ Unfortunate boy,” exclaimed he, “what * Směrnă.
done? How can I be indebted to you freedom, and not regret it? How could you effect my ransom without your mother's knowledge, unless at the expense of vir'tue ? I tremble at the thought of filial affection having betrayed you into guilt. Tell the truth at once, whatever may he the consequence.” “Calm your apprehensions, my dearest father," cried the son, embracing him. “No, I am not unworthy of such a pārent, though fortune has denied me the satisfaction of proving the full strength of my attachment. I am not your deliverer; but I know who is. Recollect, mother, the unknown gentleman, who gave me the purse. He was particular in his inquiries. Should I påss my life in the pursuit, I must endeavour to meet with him, and invite him to contemplate the fruits* of his beneficence.” He then related to his father all that păss'ed in the plčaş'ure boat, and removed every distressing suspicion.
Restored to the bò'şóm of his family, the father again' partook of their joys, prospered in his dealings, and saw his children comfortably éstab'lished. Some time afterwards, on a Sủn'day morning, as the son was walking on the quay, he discovered his benefactor, clăsped his knees, and entreated him as his guàr'di-ăn āngel, as the preserver of a father, and a family, to share the happiness he had been the means of producing. The stranger again' disappeared in the crowd but, Reader, this strānger was Mõn-těs'quieū.
THE TU'TOR AND HIS PL'PILS.
Eyes, and no eyes ; or, the art of seeing. WELL, Rob'ert, where have you been walking this åfteruoon? (said a Tu'tor to one of his pupils, at the close of a holy-day.)
Rob'ert. I have been to Broom-heath, and so round by the windmill npon Camp-mount, and home through the meadows by the river side.
Tutor. Well, that is a pleasant round. Rob'ert. I thought it very dull, sir; I scărce met with a ngle person. I would much råther have gone along the turnpike road.
Tutor. Why, if seeing men and horses is your object, you * froòls. quay, kē. 5. A key, an artificial bank to the sea or river.