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when tyranny shall be buried in ruins; when all nations shall be united in ONE MIGHTY REPUBLIC! when the four angels, that stand on the four corners of the globe, shall, with one accord, lift up their voices to heaven; proclaiming PEACE ON EARTH, AND GOOD WILL TO ALL MEN.
GENERAL DESCRIPTION OF AMERICA.
EXTRACT FROM A POEM SPOKEN AT DARTMOUTH COLLEGE, ON COMMENCEMENT Day, 1795.
ROM Patagonia's snow invested wilds, To Darien, where constant verdure smiles, The Andes meet the morning's earliest ray, O'erlook the clouds and check the flood of Day. In copious torrents from their eastern side, Flow the vast streams of Amazonia's tide, Roll on majestic through her boundless plain, And swell the surface of the neighbouring main. Nor Plata less a broad, deep channel fills; Danube and Wolga by his side were rills. But leave, my muse, this wide extended clime, By nature stamp'd with all she owns sublime. Here she has wrought upon her largest plan, But mourns in solitude the wrongs of man. Here Guatemozin writh'd in flames of fire, And slaughter'd millions round their prince expire. Rise, sleeping vengeance! vindicate their cause; And thou, stern justice, execute thy laws: Ye Andes, strike Hesperian fraud with dread, Burst thy volcanoes on the guilty head!
Where Cancer's sun pours down his ardent blaze, Draws the Monsoons, and lengthens out his days, The spacious gulf of Mexic' rolls his tide, And thronging fleets of various nations ride. The fertile isles their rich luxuriance pour, And western dainties crown the eastern shore.
But weep, humanity, the black disgrace,
Here growing commerce shall unfold her sail,
Hail, happy States! thine is the blissful seat, Where nature's gifts and art's improvements meet. Thy temp'rate air breathes health; thy fertile soil, In copious plenty pays the labourer's toil. Ask not for mountains of Peruvian ore,
Nor court the dust that shines on Afric' shore.
The muse prophetic views the coming day,
DIALOGUE BETWEEN A MASTER AND SLAVE.
Master. NOW, villian! what have you to say for this second attempt to run Is there any punishment that you do not deserve? Slave. I well know that nothing I can say will avail. I submit to my fate.
Mast. But are you not a base fellow, a hardened and ungrateful rascal?
Slave. I am a slave. That is answer enough.
Mast. I am not content with that answer. I thought I discerned in you some tokens of a mind superior to your condition. I treated you accordingly. You have been comfortably fed and lodged, not overworked, and attended with the most humane care when you were sick. And is this the return?
Slave. Since you condescend to talk with me, as man to man, I will reply. What have you done, what can you do for me, that will compensate for the liberty which you have taken away?
Mast. I did not take it away. You were a slave when I fairly purchased you.
Slave. Did I give my consent to the purchase? Mast. You had no consent to give. You had already lost the right of disposing of yourself.
Slave. I had lost the power, but how the right? I was treacherously kidnapped in my own country, when following an honest occupation. I was put in chains, sold to one of your countrymen, carried by force on board his ship, brought hither, and exposed to sale like a beast in the market, where you bought me. What. step in all this progress of violence and injustice can give a right? Was it in the villain who stole me, in the slave-merchant who tempted him to do so, or in you who encouraged the slave-merchant to bring his cargo of human cattle to cultivate your lands?
Mast. It is in the order of Providence that one man should become subservient to another. It ever has been so, and ever will be. I found the custom, and did not make it.
Slave. You cannot but be sensible, that the robber who puts a pistol to your breast may make just the same plea. Providence gives him a power over your life and property; it gave my enemies a power over my liberty. But it has also given me legs to escape with; and what should prevent me from using them? Nay, what should restrain me from retaliating the wrongs I have suffered, if a favourable occasion should offer?
Mast. Gratitude! I repeat, gratitude! Have I not endeavoured ever since I possessed you to alleviate your misfortunes by kind treatment? and does that confer no obligation? Consider how much worse your condition might have been under another master.
Slave. You have done nothing for me more than for your working cattle. Are they not well fed and tended? Do you work them harder than your slaves? Is not the rule of treating both designed only for your own advantage? You treat both your men and beast slaves better than some of your neighbours, because you are more prudent and wealthy than they.
Mast. You might add, more humane too.
Slave. Humane! Does it deserve that appellation to keep your fellow men in forced subjection, deprived of all exercise of their free will, liable to all the inju-, ries that your own caprice, or the brutality of your overseers, may heap on them, and devoted, soul and body, only to your pleasure and emolument? Can gratitude take place between creatures in such a state, and the tyrant who holds them in it? Look at these limbs; are they not those of a man? Think that I have the spirit of a man too.
Mast. But it was my intention not only to make your life tolerably comfortable at present, but to pro. vide for you in your old age.