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messengers, or is led about in a phaeton drawn by ponies to superintend the shipping of his goods. A noon-day sultriness and silence prevail : every motion is performed with such tranquillity for fear of kicking up a dust, that one would suppose the very labourers at work in a church during service.' pp. 25, 26.

In the fifth chapter, the author discusses a subject on which we shall follow him a little more minutely. It is the state of the land, of the cultivation, and of the negro labourers, whom, though slaves, he affects to denominate the peasantry. The great crop is sugar. The author describes the process of making it, which was scarcely necessary, if being described about a thousand times before could supersede the necessity. One circumstance, however, he states, which is of great importance. By pains and skill in the process of distillation, the planters of Demerary and Essequibo have succeeded in greatly improving the quality of their rums. "From the method of manufacture," he says, "a richness of flavour adheres to them, which is seidom found in the island rums." In consequence of this, he tells us that the Americans, who could hardly be induced to take the Demerary rum, now demand it in preference; that three-fourths of their rum is regularly shipped to North America, and that it is as much in request in the American market as Jamaica rum is in England. This is an interesting fact. Among the ignorant planters it is a standard notion, that soil does every thing; that this soil makes a good sugar, and that soil a bad sugar; this soil makes a good rum, and that soil a bad rum. They have here, not reasoning, or speculation, which they will neither hear nor understand; but experiment and fact. It has in Demerary been tried, and by the trial proved, that good rum and bad rum can both be made from the same soil. The same is doubtless the case with sugar, but it does not seem that the Demerary planters have extended their experiments so far as to ascertain it.

There is no subject on which Mr. Bolingbroke expatiates with greater delight, than on the enviable condition of the negroes in the West Indies. It does his heart good to think of the happiness which they enjoy, and he no sooner begins to talk of the cultivation of the land, than the negroes engage his attention. As we consider this a subject second in importance to none, we shall notice the principal points on which he touches.

We see no reason to impeach the humanity of Mr. Bolingbroke, but the contrary. He is not of that once numerous tribe, who talk of the negroes as wretches unworthy to enjoy liberty; he every where represents them as endowed with excellent qualities, and capable of being trained to vie

with any other race of men in the social virtues. When he gives his testimony, therefore, to the good treatment which the negroes experience in Demerary, we give it full credit; and are glad from the heart, that it can be so testified with truth. Let it never be forgotten, while the name of liberty is respected, and that of slavery is 'abhorred among mankind, that those discussions and exhibitions of evidence in Great Britain, which the West India planters and merchants so ferociously reprobated at the time, were the sole and important cause of that humane treatment of which those merchants and planters are now very apt to boast. Let it never be forgotten, while discussion and evidence meet with enemies among human kind, that this extraordinary benefit was derived from discussion and evidence on a subject so delicate, that a single speech on it was represented as the match which would fire the train in the mine, and blow up the mighty fabric of colonial empire in the air. Mr. Bolingbroke fully allows that this humane treatment is a recent thing, and that the conduct of the Dutch has been greatly improved by the intercourse of the English. "Even now," he says, "it is felt as a terror, to menace a negro with selling him to a Dutchman. The English planters," he adds, "were frequently told, that by following up their mild measures, and discountenancing all severity towards the labourer, they would in a short time bring the colonies into a state of insurrection." This is an instructive passage. Such is the language universally held, both by the great tyrant and the little, who is unwilling to quit the unjust dominion which he has usurped over any portion of his fellow creatures. They cannot be trusted out of thraldom; they will commit mischief if they are not governed by the chain and the rod; if we, their masters, tread not upon them, they will tread upon us. Such was the talk of the masters of the negroes in the West Indies, and such is the talk of those, in all parts of the world, who wish to be masters. "This comparative gentleness, however," says Mr. Bolingbroke," has been. practised for ten years with success, and I am confident, that besides discharging a debt due to humanity, the planters are

the richer for it."

Mr. Bolingbroke is considerate enough to wish that the negroes should obtain some more security for humaue usage than the good pleasure of their masters. They are at present scarcely legal beings, which is by the bye rather a drawback on Mr. Bolingbroke's picture of Arcadian felicity.

An important and a grievous regulation, (says he) is the non-ad mission of servile evidence in the courts of justice. Why should not negroes be heard against whites, as well as whites against negroes?

Veracity is indeed not a conspicuous virtue of the blacks; they usually make you put a question twice, in order to gain time for framing an answer such as they wish to give; they hold it no obligation to answer truly. Still their testimony should be heard, and compared with circumstances and with other evidence, until it is duly sifted and appreciated at its proper worth I am convinced that it would be a useful reform in the jurisprudence of the colonies, to confer on all the shades of complexion an equality of criminal rights. In the islands, the right of inheritance enjoyed by mulattoes is limited to two thousand pounds currency, so that a father cannot provide liberally for his offspring by a negro-concubine; no such unjust limitation, as far as I have heard, is included in the Dutch code.'

We come next to the conclusion from all this which Mr. Bolingbroke wishes to draw, and a notable conclusion it is; no less than that the slave trade ought not to be, or happily, ought not to have been, abolished. "The slave trade is an universal benefit!"-such are the express words which Mr. Bolingbroke has the confidence to print. He affirms, that as the slave trade is a benefit to the planter, and highly necessary for the cultivation of new lands, so it is a benefit to the negro himself; because he is much better treated than in his own country. But if holding a human creature in slavery be an unjust action, be an authority which no man has a right to use over another innocent man, are we justified, because a man is a slave in Africa, to take him from Africa, and make him a slave in America, provided we do not make his slavery quite so severe ? And where has the negro's preference been so manifested as to prove the fact to an European, or to persuade the natives of Africa to a voluntary emigration? It has been a thousand times proved, that the slave trade itself has been the chief cause of the wars, murders, and slavery, under which Africa has groaned so long.

Mr. Bolingbroke, though possibly a modest man, is betrayed on this subject to write with consummate effrontery.

The Europeans (says he) are a conceited people. They read, and they fancy that every thing can be known from books. They undervalue observation, experience, and practical talent of every kind. They listen to metaphysical politicians, who, without having visited the West Indies, or knowing at all the nature of the people and of the properties there, think they can direct the tropical planter how best to cultivate, and the assembly of Jamaica how to legislate. By such vain authors, the English people have been goaded into petitioning their legislature for an abolition of the slave trade.'

Let us just observe, that the philanthropic Briton did not consider it merely as a question of knowledge, but as a question of justice. He did not say, those West India planters do not know their own interest; let us out of friendship to them, as a very worthy and generous people, prevent the im

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portation of slaves; on the contrary, he said, Those men are guilty of detestable injustice, they are rebels against human nature, they are a disgrace to their country; let us, whether they please or not, and whether they shall be gainers or losers, put an end to this most execrable traffic, and wipe off the stain of our Christian name. And now one word on the question of knowledge. They think," says Mr. Bolingbroke, "they can direct the tropical planter how best to cultivate." Indeed they have directed him, in a way very contrary to his opinion; they told him to treat his slaves better, and he would make more sugar with less expense; and Mr. B. is himself a witness that they told him truth. They told him still farther, and he would not believe them, that he was ruining himself by the slave trade, and that its abolition would be the only thing which could save him. Let us get negroes to break up more land, said the planter; you have too much broken up already, said the speculator, and you will not be able to sell all the produce which you are preparing. And now, the "metaphysical politicians," ignorant as they are, can tell "practical talent," that he has been obliged to have recourse to that British parliament whom he here reviles, to take part of his sugar off his hands; for that truly he had made so much, nobody would buy it of him, even greatly below prime cost.

The author has a chapter on the Caribbees, or the natives of the country, who still possess the forests behind the European settlements, and have with them some occasional intercourse. It is not the worst part of the book, and we could wish he had enjoyed more opportunities of observing this curious people. We trust, if the settlement remains in the hands of the British, that orders will be given to cultivate carefully a good understanding with them, and to study their manners and character. The sketches of our author, being those of an eye-witness, if not of a philosopher, are of considerable importance: The Caribbees are the only race in Guyana, who are chargeable with cannibalism. Such a prac tice, combined with that of which we shall extract a few particulars, gives us a curious view of human nature in its savage state, in which every thing odious to refined delicacy is eagerly undertaken, at the suggestion either of love or hatred. It would seem that the passionate love of kindred, and brutal ferocity against enemies, which so strikingly coexist in the same person, are referable to one principle, the inordinate and exclusive enthusiasm which he feels in favour of the tribe to which he belongs.

Of all their instances of regard to their deceased friends, none is so striking as what they call the feast of the dead, or the feast of souls. The day for this ceremony is appointed in the council of their chiefs,

who give orders for every thing, which may enable them to celebrate it with pomp and magnificence. The riches of the nation are exhausted on this occasion, and all their ingenuity displayed. The neighbouring people are invited to partake of the feast, and to be witnesses of the solemnity. At this time, all who have died since the last solemn feast of that kind are taken out of their graves. Those who have been interred at the greatest distance from the villages are diligently sought for, and brought to this great rendezvous of carcases. It is not difficult to conceive the horror of this general disinterment, &c. I know not which ought to strike us most, the horror of so shocking a sight, or the tender piety and affection of these poor people towards their departed friends for nothing deserves our admiration more, than that eager diligence and attention with which they discharge this melancholy duty of their tenderness, &c.' pp. 156, 157,


After describing the animal and vegetable productions of the country, and giving a short history of the revolutions which it has recently undergone, Mr. B. institutes an inquiry into the benefits which Guyana may be made to yield to Great Britain, and the means by which those beneficial results may be effected. He pronounces the climate of Guyana "the mildest and most wholesome of any tropical country hitherto inhabited by Europeans;" and far less subject to any of those accidents by which the crops are destroyed, than the islands. The islands, he therefore thinks, should be abandoned; and the planters encouraged to transfer their capitals to Guyana. To secure what we already possess, he deems it requisite that we should seize upon Cayenne. He recommends a negotiation with Portugal for obtaining the cession of that part of Guyana which lies between the Oyapoco and the Maranyo, or river of Amazons. We should then have free access into the interior of South America, which would be a great advantage, he says, to all our West India possessions. He is not, however, easily satisfied; for he would have the banks of the Oronoko likewise added to our possessions in Guyana. He would then be for peopling this vast tract of country as fast as possible with Chinese; and we own we like this project far better than that of inducting the African slaves into so much happiness, He would have people sent to survey it; and above all, or at least among the most valued things, he would have a brilliant and expensive scheme of government, plenty of places, and good salaries, reader may think we are in jest, but this is in truth and sincerity a grave, serious proposal of our author. For why? People with large salaries spend a great deal, and give encouragement to manufactures. This is favourable, he says, "to administration, to the collection of instruction, to the complete performance of duty, and to the advancement and recompence of merit!" Did Mr. B. ever hear the Latin proverb, 8pem pretio non eman?


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