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offence to a mulatto master, he spites them like a negro,' that is, follows up the punishment with resentment. Nor is this difficult to explain on at least a rather more rational principle than that of the approximation of colour. Between the negro and his coloured master or mistress, there is often little difference of intellect; the negro in consequence feels less respect for such a person, while the master is more tenacious of those attentions to which he thinks himself entitled from his slave. Hence arises a jealousy which renders them mutually uncomfortable. This is not theory, but experience, however much at variance with Mr. Stephen's doctrine, that the state of the slave is aggravated by his master's possessing the elevated and liberal sentiments resulting from education.
• Amidst all the reviling epithets,' says Mr. Stephen, ‘used in anger towards these poor bondmen, • You slave! orany allusion to the condition, is never heard; but Negro! pronounced with an angry or contemptuous emphasis, is a word of superla' tive reproach.' p. 31. And this is intended to shew that the bodily designation is more degrading than slavery! Here is refinement with a vengeance! A negro considers himself no more reproached by a white man calling him Negro, than a white man does by a negro calling him Buckra, their common term for a white
The word “slave,' it is true, is never heard ; if it were, we should, perhaps, with more
reason have been accused of adding insult to injury. Who in England says You servant? and as little is You slave heard in Jamaica.
This nice disquisition brings to my recollection having once, (when a book-keeper on Holland estate) inadvertently addressed one of the negro boiler-men, You sir !' for which he gave me such a pointed and merited rebuke, as I have never forgotten. He asked, repeating my words with much indignation, “You sir! who do
• you call You sir; have I not a name?'
• CHAPTER III. — On the legal nature and incidents of this
condition, as they respect and constitute the relation between the slave and his master.' p. 33.
This chapter comprehends such a mass of heterogeneous legal matter, as seems to stamp it the commencement of what the author, according to his letter to Mr. Smith, had written and printed while the abolition question was under discussion; and which he now publishes as a delineation of the eristing state of slavery in the British West India colonies ! To him and his party, this course of proceeding will appear quite right; as, according to them, the state existing now, is the very same that existed twenty-five years ago, and is likely to be the same as many years hence ! If the colonists are without legal enactments to secure the proper treatment of the slaves, they are imprecated for leaving their poor bondmen without protection ;- if they have laws which appear
to be severe, these, we are assured, are strictly enforced;—but if they pass meliorating laws, these are incapable of being enforced; were intended merely to deceive the humane at home; and are, in practice, a dead letter —'made, laughed at, and forgotten. Well may we ask, “Can any good thing come out of Nazareth ?'
To defend ourselves from such calumnies, to be compelled to refute charges, which, in charity to human nature, one would suppose beyond belief, is sufficiently painful and humiliating, and requires a degree of patience which a sense of duty alone can inspire. But absurd as it is, to publish now, as the existing state of slavery in the colonies, what was written as descriptive of it (whether truly or otherwise) prior to the abolition ; and equally extravagant as it is for the British public to believe that members of its own family, crossing the Atlantic, between whom and themselves there exists so constant a communication and interchange of sentiments, should become such merciless tyrants — so dead to every proper feeling of humanity and justice; yet, it is a melancholy truth that they have believed it, and that the infatuation has reached a height which threatens to overwhelm in one general calamity the colonists and the very slaves themselves, whose condition it is the object of the benevolent to improve.
It would be tedious and useless to follow Mr. Stephen through all his unwarranted assertions and sophistry, in a chapter consisting of 100 pages;
but nothing that bears fairly on the subject shall be passed over.
He has found out, it seems, that there are twelve canons or rules applicable to this slavery, and which are now, for the first time, promulgated to the world. Of these in their order.
Slavery a constrained servitude.
• Rule I.— By the law of the colonies, slavery is a constrained
Regulations as · RULE II. – It is a service without wages. p. 33.
What are the wages which the labourer even in labour, &c.
Great Britain receives for his services? The bare means of procuring the necessaries of life, food and raiment, for himself and his family. Of wealth and physical comforts assuredly less falls to his share, than to the plantation labourers of the colonies. The anti-colonists, when advocating emancipation by another view of the subject, represent, and truly, slave labour as more expensive than free. This is not very consistent with Mr. Stephen's CANON; but it did not suit his present view of slavery to have it believed, that the slaves are remunerated for their labour by at least as many comforts as the working classes in his own country.
'A man,' says Hume, 'is obliged to clothe and feed his slave, and he does no more for his servant.'
• Rule III. — The master is the sole arbiter of the kind, and
degree, and time of labour, to which the slave shall be subjected; and of the subsistence, or means of obtaining a subsistence, which shall be given in return.' p. 33.
Mr. Stephen makes a very feeble attempt to support this assertion by referring to old obsolete laws, and evidence founded thereon; but seems to feel that he has not facts to bear him out, and concludes thus:
• It would be tedious to multiply further these citations. In general, it will be found that in none of the islands, prior to 1788, had any legal limitations, real or ostensible, been imposed on the power of the master in these important points. If not restrained by his own conscience or prudence, he might exact labour to any excess, and adopt any scale or manner of sustentation for his slaves, however narrow and merciless, which his avarice might represent as compatible with their existence and usefulness,' p. 36.
Let the impartial reader who is desirous to ascertain, not what the condition of the negroes in the colonies was prior to 1788, but what it is now, refer, on this subject, to the consolidated slave law of Jamaica, of 1816, cap. 25. He will there find it enacted (though Mr. Stephen, professing, as he does, to give a view of the colonial laws, did not find it convenient to speak of enactments so completely subversive of his canon) that all the negroes shall have, exclusive of Sundays, twentysix days at least in the year, to cultivate their