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noe.

II.

For this severe labour the villagers look for no other CHA P. reward than a feast and merry-making, which they enjoy in the true style of rural fimplicity.

28. The same happy mixture of united labour and festivity takes place at building their houses; also in cultivating, planting or sowing their fields, belonging to the same village, and in reaping the crop, which is considered as the common property of the inhabitants. Such a practice in Europe would generate endless disputes; but among this simple people, is the best bond of good neighbourhood. Such indeed is the amiable fimplicity of manners which reigns in the villages remote from the slave-trade, that European visitors are ready to imagine themselves carried into a new world, governed by the purest maxims of patriarchal innocence.

29. But though few of them unite their strength, except on these, and a few similar, occasions, and most of them turn their hands to different occupations, we are not thence to conclude unfavourably of their intellects, any more than of the intellects of those European peasants, (in Sweden, Norway, Scotland, &c.) whose practices are similar. On the contrary, Lord Kaimes has observed, I think with much truth, that such peasants are generally more intelligent than artificers, to whom the division of labour, in manufacturing countries, has assigned one, fimple operation. A peasant, who makes and repairs his ploughs, harrows, and harness, his household furniture, and even his cloaths,has an ampler scope for his understanding, and really becomes a more intelligent being than he who spends his whole life in forging horseshoes, making nails, or burnishing buttons. Such a being, confined for life to a few simple motions, may be said, in some degree, to lose the use of all his powers, but that of

the

III.

C HA P. the muscles which perform those motions. His intellect

lies dormant, for it's use is superseded by a mere animal ha-
bit. He becomes, in short, a kind of live machine, in the
hands of some monied man, to contribute to the pride and
luxury of drones, who possess no other talent than that of
turning to their own account the activity of their poor bre-
thren of mankind*.

30. I am unwilling to refine too much; but as the fitua-
tion of the Africans approaches much nearer to that of in-
telligent peasants than that of stupid mechanics, I am inclin-
ed to think that their intellects may have been improved by
being so variously exercised; for the natural way of im.
proving the human intellect, is to afford it an ample field of
action; and the sure way to cramp and contract it, is to keep
it incessantly plodding in one dull pursuit. Certain it is, that
though, on the whole, passion is more predominant in the Af-
rican character than reason; yet their intellects are so far
from being of an inferior order, that one finds it difficult
to account for their acuteness, which so far transcends their
apparent means of improvement.

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Will and un- 31. NO

one will deny that the will and the understanding derlianding,

are the leading faculties of the human mind. The the leading faculties of will is actuated by love for, or affections to, some objects in

the mind.

* See Lord Kaimes's Sketches of the History of Man.

pre

.

and civiliza.

lations ex

preference to others, and those affections being possessed by C HA P. man in common with other animals, he would become a destructive being, if in society he had not an opportunity of giving a social bias to his understanding, which is capable of infinite elevation. But when this latter faculty is matured, it then acquires a right of governing and directing the affe&tions and the will in the way most conformable to social order.

32. The establishment of this dominion of the understand- Education ing over the will, as influenced by the affections, is the effect tion defined of what we call education or civilization Education with and their rerespect to every man in particular, and civilization with re- plained. spect to mankind in general.

33. Societies may be divided into the civilized and the uncivilized; and the duties of the former to the latter are similar to those of parents to children; for uncivilized nations, like children, are governed by their affections, their understanding being uncultivated.

34. If we feel within ourselves a principle which teaches us to feek our own happiness in that of our offspring; afcending from particulars to generals, we shall also find, that civilized nations ought, for their own advantage, sincerely to promote the happiness of the uncivilized.

35. As the tutelage of children is a state of subjection; so it would feem that civilized nations have perhaps some right to exercise a similar dominion over the uncivilized, provided that this dominion be considered and exercised as a mild paternal yoke; provided also that it be strictly li. mited to acts conducive to their happiness, and that it cease when they arrive at maturity. These provisos, it is hoped, will prevent my meaning from being misunderstood: for, by this paternal dominion, I am far from intending any spe

III.

Africans would be im.

nocent luxu. ry.

CH A P. cies of arbitrary power, which cannot be too cautiously

guarded against, in any form, especially in a distant colony. The experience of all ages tells us, that the governors of remote provinces have ever been with difficulty restrained within the limits prescribed to them by the laws.

36. The active and intellectual principles of the Africans proved by in. have never been completely unfolded, except perhaps in

the case of the Foolahs, the natives of Fernando Po, a great part of the Mandingoes, and one or two other tribes. The Europeans have addressed themselves chiefly to the evil affections of their princes, and have succeeded to admiration in exciting among them a desire for gunpowder and brandy. The desire which fome African nations have for more useful European goods has been accidental, rather than intentional, on the part of the whites. Yet this desire conspires with the reason of the thing, to point out the method of forming them to the habits of civilized life. In order to improve their intellects, we must endeavour to set their active powers in motion. New objects must be presented to them, which will excite new desires, and call forth those faculties which have hitherto, in a great measure, lain dormant, merely for want of exercise. Thus, to promote their improvement, by stimulating them to industry, it will be necessary to introduce among them a certain degree of what I beg leave to call luxury; by which I do not mean effeminacy, but that relish for the comforts of civilized life which excites men to action, without enervating them. In other words, by luxury, I understand all innocent enjoy

ments beyond the necessaries of mere animal life. Interesting 37. The behaviour of the King of Barbesin, on an occa

sion apparently trivial, may serve to exemplify this doctrine, chiefs, and to shew that this beneficial kind of luxury might be in

troduced

behaviour of African

III.

troduced with less difficulty than one would at first fight c H A P. expect. I gave his majesty a pair of common enamelled Birmingham fleeve-buttons, with which, though ignorant of their use, he was infinitely delighted. On my shewing him for what purpose they were intended, he appeared much mortified that his shirt had no button-holes; but obferving that that of a mulatto from Goree was furnished with them, he insisted on exchanging shirts with him, in our prefence; a demand with which the man was forced to comply. Transported with his new ornaments, the king held up his hands to display them to the people. · His courtiers foon furrounded my hut, entreating me to furnish them alfo with buttons, which I did with pleasure, reflecting that this fondnefs of the natives for European baubles might one day come to be made fubfervient to the noblest

purposes. -Another instance of innocent luxury in point. The East India ship, that conveyed out a judge to Bengal, touched at the coast of Madagascar. The king of that district, being invited on board, became enamoured with the judge's wig, and nothing but the gift in fee fimple, of that venerable ornament, could satisfy the cupidity of his duskycoloured majefty. The poor judge, who had but one, wig in store, and was refolved not to disgrace the seat of justice in a night cap, refused to part with the wig. What expedient could be thought of in this dilemma?—The king was promised the wig the next day.--An ingenious sailor, in the mean time, wove and frizzled up a handful of oakum in the beft imitation. The hempen ornament was carried ashore the next morning with due solemnity, and his majesty's pate. covered, to the glory and delight of himself and all his subjects, who attended the ceremony. This anecdote was re

E

lated

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