« PreviousContinue »
the scale of being than a beast of burden, whose value depends on age, health and activity, and who may be treated with neglect in sickness, and with contempt when in health, without offending either the law of God or man."
And to confirm the truth of this statement, I will close this number, by selecting a case of cruelty, as reported in a letter from Lord Seaforth, the Governor of Barbadoes, in which he says, a Mr. Colbeck, who lives overseer on Cabbage-tree plantation, in St. Lucy's parish, had bought a new Negro boy out of the yard (meaning the slave yard, where Negroes are exposed to sale, in the same manner as the cattle and sheep in Smithfield market,) and carried him home. Conceiving a liking to the boy, he took him into the house and made him wait at table. Mr. Crone, the overseer of Rowe's estate, which is near to Cabbage-tree plantation, was in the habit of visiting Mr. Colbeck, had noticed the boy, and knew him well. A fire happening one night in the neighbourhood, Colbeck went to give his assistance, and the boy followed him. Colbeck, on his return home, missed the boy, who had lost his way; and as he did not make his appearance the next day, he sent round to his neighbours, and particularly to Crone, informing them, that his African lad had strayed, that he could not speak a word of English, and possibly he might be found breaking some sugar canes, or taking something else for his support: in which case he requested they would not injure him, but send him home, and he would pay any damage the boy might have committed. After a lapse of two or three days, the poor creature was discovered in a gulley (or deep water-course) near to Rowe's estate; and a number of Negroes were soon assembled about the place. The boy, naturally terrified with the threats, the noise, and the appearance of so many people, retreated into a hole in a rock, having a stone in his hand, for the purpose, probably, of defence. By this time, Crone, and some other white persons, had come up By their orders a fire was put to the hole where the boy lay, who when he began to be scorched, ran from his hiding-place into a pool of water which was near. Some of the Negroes pursued him into the pool; and the boy, it is said, threw the stone which he held in his
hand at one of them. On this, two of the white men, Crone and Hollingsworth, fired at the boy several times with shot, and the Negroes pelted him with stones. He was at length dragged out of the pool in a dying condition; for he had not only received several bruises from the stones, but his breast was so pierced with the shot that it was like a cullender. The white savages (this is the language of Mr. Attorney-General Beccles) ordered the Negroes to dig a grave. Whilst they were digging it, the poor creature made signs of begging for water, which was not given to him: but as soon as the grave was dug, he was thrown into it and covered over, and, as is believed, WHILE YET ALIVE. Colbeck, the owner of the ́ boy, hearing that a Negro had been killed, went to Crone to inquire into the truth of the report. Crone told him, that a Negro had been killed and buried, but assured him it was not his, for he knew him well, and he need not be at the trouble of opening the grave. On this, Colbeck went away SATISFIED! Receiving, however, further information, he returned, and had the grave opened, when he found the murdered Negro to be his own. Colbeck brought his action of damages in the courts of the island against Crone and Hollingsworth. The cause was ready to be tried, and the Court had met for the purpose, when they thought proper to pay double the value of the boy, and twenty-five pounds for the use of the island, (being five pounds less than the penalty fixed by law, of fifteen pounds currency each,) rather than suffer the business to go to a hearing. This, I am truly sorry to say,' observes the Advocate-General, was the only punishment which could be inflicted for so barbarous and atrocious a crime.'
"This horrid recital (which is given almost in the words of the Report, merely avoiding repetition) seems to require little comment. One circumstance of it, however, may not strike the minds of some readers with its due force, although it appears to be the most affecting part of the whole case. Colbeck, it is said, on hearing that it was not his slave who had been murdered, wENT AWAY SATISFIED! O most opprobrious satisfaction! The preceding part of the narrative had prepared us to expect in Colbeck some approximation to European feeling. But what is the fact? On being coolly told that a
Negro had been killed and buried-told so by his neighbour, the murderer-is he shocked? Does he express any horror or indignation on the occasion? No! he goes away satisfied!! Let the reader give its due weight to this one circumstance, and he must be convinced that a state of society must exist in the West Indies, of which, as an inhabitant of this happy island, he can scarcely form any adequate conceptions. Suppose, instead of a Negro slave, that it had been a horse which had been thus killed: Colbeck, had his horse happened to be missing at the time, would have pursued exactly, the same steps, and would have been affected in the same way as in the present instance.-We may also learn, from this impressive circumstance, the value of WestIndian testimony when given in favour of West-Indian humanity. The moral perceptions and feelings which prevail in that quarter of the world, it will be perceived, are wholly different from those on this side of the Atlantic. It may be allowed that these men mean what they say, when they give each other the praise of humanity. But examine their standard. Who is this man of humanity? It is one, who, hearing that a fellow-creature has been cruelly and wantonly murdered, goes away satisfied, because he himself has sustained no loss by the murder! An exception may be admitted in favour of a few men of enlightened minds; but the remark applies to the people to the bulk of the community, whose pre judices are stated by Lord Seaforth to be so horribly ab surd as to resist all measures for remedying this dreadful state of things.
The Author acknowledges with gratitude the following sums, received on behalf of the Widow, alluded to in No. 30, of this series.
A little Boy.
By Mr. Westley
Printed by MILNE and BANFIELD, 76, Fleet street.
"The high priest of death advances with an averted face, bearing the lighted torch in his hand, with which he sets fire to the pile. Who is he? Her eldest son! Hapless mother! doomed to suckle at thy tender bosom thy fell murderer!Ill-fated son! doomed to imbrue thy hand in the blood of her who bore thee!" Page 9.
ON CHRISTIAN MISSIONS.
"In India you will witness the predominance of a system which provides for the worship of gods many, and of lords many, while it excludes the adoration of the Supreme Beinglegitimates cruelty, polygamy, and lust-debases the standard of morals-oppresses with ceremonies those which it deprives of instruction-and suggests no solid hope of happiness beyond the grave." Hall.
It is impossible to describe the emotions which are excited in the human mind when surveying the beautiful change which nature undergoes by the return of spring. She rises from her dormant and inactive state, and decks herself in beauty and in glory. The long neglected garden, favourable for contemplation and industry, is revisited, and the inanimate objects which it contains are hailed as old friends alive from the dead. Here the wisest have become wiser, and the good, by the aid of meditation and devotion, have grown in knowledge and in grace. Here genius has resorted for relaxation, after the fatigue of intellectual labour; here poetry has retired for more sublime and enraptured elevation of feeling; and the hero of war has been known to exchange the sword for the pruning knife, and the honour of conquest for the pleasure of planting a seed, or protecting a flower. The lovely May is now smiling upon hill and dale-on open plains, and the crowded city; proclaiming, in sweetest accents, that the winter is past, the rain is over and gone; the flowers _ appear on the earth, the time of the singing of birds is come, and the voice of the turtle is heard in our land.
If not the first, the fairest of the year!"
Welcome, no less to the friends of religion than the lovers of nature, as it opens to each the source of his most refined enjoyment. The one wanders into the country, where he gazes on trees and shrubs-on foliage and blossoms-on springing grass, and rising corn—on sunny banks, and shady bowers-on a cloudless, or a streaked sky; and, while listening to the warbling notes of the feathered tribe, or the rural sounds which come