Page images


certain as though the power of the whole were invested in

Did the whole of this power reside in you, you ac. knowledge that you would readily exert it to attain so de. sirable an end as the destruction of slavery, the slave-trade, and all its concomitant horrors. Why then will you refuse to assist in forming that power BY NUMBERS, which you so much wish that you, as an individual, could exert? Let there not be so manifest a contradiction between your professed desires and your actual conduct. Weak, indeed, must those desires be, which exist only in words, which produce no influence on our conduct, which cannot excite us to any self-denial. Prove that your wishes are not empty words ; let your conduct declare that these are the genuine desires of your heart, and be assured that in the end you


reap, if you faint not.

The number of those who have already refused the produce of slavery is large, it is increasing daily, and no bounds can be assigned to its future progress. Every individual who increases this number, increases the influence of the aggregate. Come, then, enlarge this number. Realize the period, when, through its increase, slavery shall cease with it. Realize the delightful retrospect, the joyful senti. ments, which the consideration that you have contributed to so important and glorious an end, will afford. Such sublime pleasures will abundantly more than compensate the loss of the low gratifications of a mere animal depraved appetite.


by Captain Majoribanks.

“ AH! Afric's sons must stain the bloody shrine ! But all those victims, Avarice, are thine ! On Mercy's God, those tyrants dare to call; But Av’rice only is their lord of all ! To him their rites incessantly they pay ; And waste for him the Negro's life away! The British peasant! healthy, bold, and free! Nor wealth, nor grandeur, half so blest as he ! The state of life, for happiness the first, Dare you compare with this the most accurs’d. You found them slaves—but who that title gave ! The God of Nature never form'd a slave ! Though Fraud or Force acquire a master's name, Nature and Justice must remain the same! He who from thieves their booty, conscious, buys, May use an argument as sound and wise ; That he conceives no guilt attends his trade, Because the booty is already made.

Come, now, reflect what tender modes you take To make those beings labour-for your sake! First, then, you are so generous and good To give them time to rear a little food ; On the same selfish principle, of course, You feed (far better though) your mule or horse. Small is the portion, poor the granted soil, Till’d by the Negro's restless Sabbath's toil !

What loud applause a master must deserve,
Not to permit his property to starve !
Ere he conceives your meaning or your view,
The whip directs him what he is to do.
No sex, no age, you ever learn’d to spare,
But female limbs indecentiy lay bare ;
See the poor mother lay her babe aside,
And stoop to punishment she must abide !
Nor midst her pangs, her tears, her horrid cries,
Dare the sad husband turn his pitying eyes.

“ Among your numbers, do we never meet
Villains so most atrociously complete,
Who, with curs'd accuracy, count the days,
The hours of labour pregnancy delays ;
Who nature's wond'rous

work attempt to spoil By stripes, by terrors, and excess of toil ?

“ Agualta's stream by rains becomes a flood,
Once by its side a fearful female stood;
Th’ attempt to cross it was a certain death-
To tarry worse, perhaps—her tyrant's wrath!
Some anxious hours, unwilling, did she stay,
Then through the less'ning torrent fought her way.
Prostrate she lay before her despot's feet,
Imploring mercy she was not to meet!
For ah ! the ruffian's heart was hard as steel !
No pity he had e'er been known to feel !
While the lash tore her tir'd and tortur'd frame,
The pangs of labour prematurely came.
She clasp'd her murder'd infant to her breast !
Stretch'd her sore limbs, and sunk in endless rest.
Nay, malice, safe, may find a thousand times
When no white evidence can prove his crimes.
Since, 'tis establish'd by your partial laws,
No slave bears witness in a white man's cause.
'Tis said your equitable laws confine
The negro's punishment to thirty-nine.

“ Bad is at best the slave's most easy state,
Yet some are destin'd to a harder fate.
Villains there are, who, doubly bent on gain,
Most nicely calculate the toil and pain ;
Who fix the time (Oh! Heav'n! why sleeps thy wrath ?)

They may, with profit, work their gangs to death. • Whether shall we;' those precious scoundrels say,

Grasp fortune quickly, or make long delay ? A hundred slaves we have no fund to buy ; The strength of half that number let us try: With moďrate toil, from practice it appears These slaves might live, perhaps, a dozen years ; To us, you know, the matter will be even, If we can make as much of them in seven.' The price of property they only weigh, Regardless, else, what lives they take away! Wretches by want expell’d from foreign climes, Escap'd from debts, or justice due their crimes ; The base, the ignorant, the ruffian steer, And find a desperate asylum here. Abject and servile though themselves ey be To those above them but in one degrer; O’er the subordinate, sad, sable crew They have as absolute control as you. Men uninform’d, incultivated, rude, Whose boist'rous passions ne'er have been subdu'd ; Whose tempers, never naturally mild, Care and misfortune render still more wild ; Their furious hearts a short relief procure, To wreak on others more than they endure; By such caprice are negroes doom'd to bleed, The slaves of slavery—They are low indeed! But while he parries off from year to year, The Negroes' suff'rings are indeed severe ! For their vain lord the most supplies to raise, Ill fed, hard work'd, they know no resting days. Perhaps to greedy jobbers lent on hire, Who from excess of toil their gain require ; Who have no int’rest in them to preserve ; And if they labour, care not how they starve. Or seiz'd by marshals, and to market brought ; By various masters families are bought. Amidst their unregarded sighs and tears, The wife and husband fall to different shares; Their clinging offspring from their arms are tore, And hurried from them ne'er to meet them more!

Accursed state! where nature, and where love, Rude violations must for ever prove ! You, brutal ravishers ! pretend in vain That Afric's children feel no jealous pain. Untaught Europeans, with illiberal pride, Look with contempt on all the world beside ; And vainly think no virtue ever grew, No passion glowed, beneath a sable hue. Beings you deem them of inferior kind; Denied a human, or a thinking mind. Happy for Negroes were this doctrine true! Were feelings lost to them-or giv'n to you!"

[merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][subsumed][merged small][graphic]
« PreviousContinue »