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hardly brighten a spot big enough to be visible from the moon, unless with Herschel's telescope; so vast are the regions still in wood.
It is however some comfort to reflect, that, upon the whole, the quantity of industry and prudence among mankind exceeds the quanting of idleness and folly. Hence the increase of good buildings, farms cultivated, and populous cities filled with wealth, all over Europe, which a few years since were only to be found on the coast of the Mediterranean; and this notwithstanding the mad wars continually raging, by which are often destroyed in one year the works of many years peace.
So that we may hope, the luxury of a few merchants on the coast will not be the ruin of America.
One reflection more, and I will end this long rambling letter. Almost all the parts of our bodies require fome expence.
The feel demand shoes ; the legs stockings; the rest of the body cloathing; and the belly a good deal of victuals. tho' exceedingly ureful, ak, when reasonable, only the cheap afistance of spectacles, which could not much impair our finances. But the eyes of other people are the eyes that ruin us.
It all but myfelf were blind, I thould want neither fine cioathes, fine houses, nor fine furniture.
ON THE SLAVE TRADE,
E ADING in the newspapers the speech of
with the affair of slavery, or attempting to mend the condition of flaves, it put me in mind of a fimilar speech, made about an hundred years fince, by Sidi Mehemet Ibrahim, a member of the divan of Algiers, which may be seen in Martin's account of bis consulihip, 1687. It was againit granting the petition of the sect called Erika or Purists, who prayed for the abolition of piracy and slavery, as being unjust. - Mr. Jackson does not quote it; perhus he has not seen it. If, therefore, some of its reasonings are to be found in his eloquent speech, it may only shew that nien’s interests operate, and are operated on, with surprising similarity, in all countries and climates, whenever they are under finilar circumitances. The African speech, as translated, is as follows:
s“ Alla Bismillah, &c. God is great, and Mahopet is his prophet.
“Have these Erika confidered the consequences of granting their petition? If we cease our cruises against the Christians, how shall we be furnished with the commodities their countries produce, and which are fo neceffary for us? If we forbear to make flaves of their people, who, in this hot cliinate, are to claiivate cur lands? Who are to perform the conmon labours of our city, and ot cur families? Must we not then be our own flaves! And is there not ir ore compassion and more favour due tous Mufilmen, than to those Christian dogs! --Welave now above fifiy thousand flaves in and near Algiers. This number, if not kept up by fieth fi.pplies, will soon diminish, and be gradually in. nibilated. If, then, we cease taking and plunder: ing the icfidel fhips, and making flaves ct the
seamen and passengers, our lands will become of no value, for want of cultivation ; the rents of houses in the city will sink one half; and the revenues of government, arising from the fhare of prizes, must be tutally destroyed ? ---And for what? To gratify the whim of a whimsical sea, who would have us not only forbear making more slaves, but even manumit those we have. But who is to indemnify their masters for the loss? Will the ftate do it? Is our treasury sufficient ?
? Will the Erika do it? Can they do it? Or would they, to do what they think justice to the slaves, do a greater injustice to the owners? And if we fet our slaves free, what is to be done with them? Few of them will return to their native countries; they know too well the greater hardships they must there be subject to. They will not embrace our holy religion ; they will not adopt our manners : our people will not peilute theniselves by intermarrying with them. Muit we maintain them as beggars in our streets; or suffer our properties to be the prey of their pillage ? for men accustomed to slavery, will not work for a livelihood, when not compelled.--And what is there fo pitiable in their present condition ? Wcre they not slaves in their own countries ? Are noi Spain, Portugal, France, and the Italian states, governed by defa pots, who hold all their subjects in lavery, without exception? Even England treats her failors as flaves, for they are, whenever the government pleases, seized, and confined in ships of war, condemned, not only to work, buï to fight for small wages, or a mere fubsistence, not better than our flaves are allowed by us. Is their condition then made worse by their falling into our hands ? No; they have only exchanged one slavery for another ; and I may lay a better; for here they are brought into a land where the sun of Islamism gives forth its light, and shines in full splendor, and they have an opportunity of making themselves acquainted with the true doctrine, and thereby saving their imınortal fouls. Those who remain at home have not that happiness. Sending the flaves home, then, would be sending them out of light into darkness.
" I repeat the question, what is to be done with them? I have heard it suggested, that they may be planted in the wilderness, where there is plenty of land for them to subfift on, and where they may flourish as a free state. But they are, I doubt, too little disposed to labour without compulsion, as well as too ignorant to establish good government: and the wild Arabs would soon moleft and destroy, or again enslave them. While serving us, we take care to provide thein with every thing; and they are treated with humanity. The labourcrs in their own countries, are, as I am informed, worfe fed, lodged, and clothed. The condition of most of them is therefore already mended, and requires no farther improvement. Here their lives are in fafety. They are not liable to be impressed for foldiers, and forced to cut one another's Chrif. tian chrots, as in the wars of their own countries. If some of the religious mad bigots who now tease us with their filly petisions, have, in a fit of blind zeal, freed their flaves, it was not generosity, it was not humanity that moved them to the action
it was from the conscious burthen of a load of fins, and hope, from the supposed merits of so good a work, to be excused from damnation.--How groll
y are they mistaken, in imagining Navery to be disavowed by the Alcoran? Are not the two precepts, to quote no'mere, “ Masters, treat yuur flives with kindness-Slaves, seive your masters with cheerfulness and fidelity,” clear proofs to the contrary? Nor can the plundering of infidels be in that sacred book forbidden ; tince it is well known from it, that God has given the world, and all that it contains, to his faithful Muffulmen, who are to enjoy it, of right, as fast as they can conquer it. Let us then hear no more of this detestable propofition, the manumiffion of Christian llaves, the adoption of which would, by depreciating our lands and houses, and thereby depriving fo many good citizens of their properties, create universal discontent, and provoke insurrections, to the endangering of government, and producing general confufion. I have, therefore, no doubt that this wise council will prefer the comfort and happiness of a whole nation of true believers, to the whim of a few Erika, and dismiss their petition
The refult was, as Martin tells us, that the Di. van come to this resolution : " That the d erine, " that the plundering and enslaving the Christians " is unjust, is at bett problematical; but that it is " the interest of this itate to continue the practice, " is clear; therefore, let the perition be rejected.”. Di And it was rejected accordingly.
And since like motives are apt to produce, in the minds of men, like opinions and resoluticns, may we 'not venture to prediet, from this account, that the petitions to the parliament of England for abolilling the flare-trade, to say nothing of other