« السابقةمتابعة »
soon began to work as slaves are never, under any other arrangement seen to work. Their day's task was finished by eleven o'clock. Next they began to help one another: the strong began to help the weak: first, husband's helped their wives: then parents helped their children; and at length the young began to help the old. Here was seen the awakening of natural affections which had lain in a dark sleep.'
"A highly satisfactory experiment upon the will, judgment, and talents of a large body of slaves, was made, a few years ago, by a relative of Chief Justice Marshall. This gentleman and his lady had attached their negroes to them by a long course of judicious kindness. At length an estate at some distance, was left to the gentleman, and he saw, with much regret, that it was his duty to leave the plantation on which he was living. He could not bear the idea of turning over his people to the tender mercies or unproved judgment of a strange overseer. He called his negroes together, and told them the case, and asked whether they thought they could manage the estate themselves. If they were willing to undertake the task, they must choose an overseer from among themselves, provide comfortably for their own wants, and remit him the surplus of the profits. The negroes were full of grief at losing the family, but
willing to try what they could do. They had an election for overseer, and chose the man their master would have pointed out-decidedly the strongest head on the estate. All being arranged, the master left them, with a parting charge to keep their festivals and take their appointed holidays, as if he were present. After some time, he rode over to see how all went on, choosing a festival day, that he might meet them in their holiday gaiety. He was surprised, on approaching to hear no merriment; and on entering the fields, he found his force' all hard at work. As they flocked around him, he inquired why they were not making holiday. They told him that the crop would suffer in its present state, by the loss of a day; and that they had therefore put off their holiday, which, however, they meant to take by and bye. Not many days after, an express arrived to inform the proprietor that there was an insurrection on his estate. He would not believe it; declared it impossible, as there was nobody to rise against; but the messenger, who had been sent by the neighboring gentlemen, was so confident of the facts, that the master galloped, with the utmost speed, to his plantation, arriving as night was coming on. As he rode in, a cry of joy arose from his negroes, who pressed round to shake hands with him. They were in their ho
liday clothes, and had been singing and duncing; they were only enjoying the deferred festival. The neighbors hearing the noise on a quiet working-day, had jumped to the conclusion that it was an insurrection.
"There is no catastrophe yet to this story. When the proprietor related it, he said that no trouble had arisen; and that for some seasons, ever since this estate had been wholly in the hands of his negroes, it had been more productive than it ever was while he managed it himself."
We are in the habit of supposing that Africa is the most degraded and ignorant country on the surface of the globe-and probably it is; but there is an existing case which stands in the history of that unfortunate land like a glimmering of heaven, and excellently exhibits the power of the law, "overcome evil with good." While Richard Lander was conducting an expedition in Africa, in 1830, for the purpose of discovering the termination of the Niger, he speaks of a people scattered all over that country, called Felatahs. A community of them reside in the town of Acba-and unlike the rest of the Felatahs, are very quiet, take no part in war, are unambitious to gain territory, and carefully avoid all the quarrels of their neighbors. The consequence is, that they are highly
respected and esteemed by all around them, while they remain entirely unmolested by the most warlike and contentious of the benighted African people. And if kindness produces such admirable results among the long debased and despised sons and daughters of Africa, what may it not be expected to do among a more enlightened and Christianized people?
Every reader of African discovery, will remember the touching incident of kindness which so strongly cheered Mungo Park, in an hour of gloom and starvation. It occurred while he was on his first journey of exploration in Africa. At Sego, the capital of Bambarra, he was ordered to a small village to pass the night, not having been permitted to enter the city. He was repulsed with great coldness, and no provisions having been furnished him, he was without hope of obtaining any, as every house was shut against him. While he was preparing to pass the night in a tree, an old woman coming from the field, compassionated his condition and took him to her hut, where she procured and prepared a fish for his supper. Her maidens, warmed by genuine tenderness, cheered their labors by a song, which Park soon found referred to himself. The strain, though in perfect simplicity, must have filled him with deep emotion.-"The winds roared and the rains fell.
The poor white man, faint and weary, came and sat under our tree. He has no mother to bring him milk, no wife to grind his corn." Chorus "Let us pity the white man, no mother has he›.” This instance of pure kindness, adds proof to the touching testimony which the traveller, Le dyard, bears to the tenderness of women to the fflicted. "I have observed," he says, "that women in all countries are civil, tender, obliging, and humane. I never addressed myself to thern, in the language of decency and friendship, without receiving a decent and friendly answer. With man it has often been otherwise. In wandering over the barren plains of inhospitable Denmark; through honest Sweden and fro-zen Lapland; rude and churlish Finland; unprincipled Russia, and the wide-spread regions of the wandering Tartar; if hungry, dry, cold, wet, or sick, the women have ever been friend ly to me, and uniformly so: and to add to this virtue, (so worthy the appellation of benevolence,) these actions have been performed in so free and kind a manner, that if I was dry, I drank the sweetest draught—and if hungry, ate the coarest morsel with a double relish."
To these instances, the many facts which oc curred during the revolution in St. Domingo, could be added, to give power to these illustrations. But the facts are too numerous to be