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when not compelled.--And what is there so pitiable in their present conition? Were they not slaves in their own countries? Are not Spain, Portugal, France, and the Italian states, governed by despots, who hold all their subjects in slavery, without exception? Even England treats her sailors as slaves : for they are, whenever the government pleases, seize i and con fined in ships of war, condemned not only to work but to fight for small wages, or a mere subsistence not better than our slaves are allowed by us. Is their condition then made worse by their falling into our hands ? No: they have only exchanged one slavery for another; and I may say a better : for here they are brought into a land where the sun or Islamism gives forth its light, and shines in full splendour, and they have an opportunity of making then selves acquainted with the true doctrine, and thereby save their immortal souls. Those who remain at home have not that happiness. Sending the sloves home, then, would be sending them out of light in:o darkness.
" I repeat the question, what is to be done with them? I have heard it suggested, that they may be planted in the wilderness, where there is plenty of land for them to subsist on, and where they may Aourish as a free state. But they are, I doubt, too little disposed to labour without compulsion, as well as too ignorant to establish good government; and the wild Arabs would soon molest and destroy, or again enslave them. While serving us, we take care to provide them with every thing; and they are treated with humanity. The labourers in their own countries are, as I am informed, worse fed, lodged, and clothed. The condition of most of thein is therefore already mended, and requires no further improvement. Here their lives are in safety. They are not liable tņ be impressed for soldiers, and forced to cut one another's Christian throats, as in the wars of their own countries. If some of the religiuus mad bigots who now tease us with their silly petitions, have in a fit of blind zeal, freed their slaves, it was not gene rosity, it was not humanity, that moved them to the action: ii was from the conscious burden of a load or sins, ani hope, from the supposed merits
of so good a work, to be excused from damination.--How grossly are they mistaken, in imagining slavery to be disa vowed by the Alcoran! Are not the two precepts, to quote no more, • Masters, treat your slaves with kindness-Slaves, serve your masters with cheerful. ness and fidelity,' clear proofs to the contrary? Nor can the plundering of infidels be in that sacred book forbidden; since it is well known from it, that God bas given the world, and all that it contains, to his faithful Musselmen, who are to enjoy it, of right, as fast as they conquer it. Let us then hear no more of this detestable proposition, the manumission of Christian slaves, the adoption of which would, by depreciating our lands and houses, and thereby de priving so many good citizens of their properties, create universal discontent, and provoke insurrections, to the endangering of government, and produce ing general confusion. I have, therefore, no doubi, that this wise council will prefer the comfort and happiness of a whole nation of true believers, to the whim of a few Erika, and dismiss their petition."
The result was, as Martin tells us, that the Divau came to this resolution : “ That the doctrine, that the plundering and enslaving the Christians is unjusi, is at best problematical: but that it is the interesi of this state to continue the practice, is clear: there. fore, let the petition be rejected."-And it was rejected accordingly.
And since like motives are apt to produce, in the minds of men, like opinions and resolutions, may we not venture to predict, from this account, that the pe. titions to the parliament of England for abolishing the slave trade, to say nothing of other legislatures and the debates upon them, will have a similar con clusion.
HISTORICUS. March 23, 1790.
OBSERVATIONS ON WAR.
By the criginal laws of nations, war and extirpa. sion were the punishunent of injury. Humanizing by degrees, it adinitted slavery instead of death: a farther step was, the exchange of prisoners instead of slavery: another, to respect more the property of private persons under conquest, and be content with ac quired dominion. Why should not this law of næ ions go on improving? Ages have intervened be. tween its several steps; but as knowledge of late inareases rapidly, why should not those steps be quickeneď? Why should it not be agreed to, as the future law of nations, that in any war hereafter, the following description of men should be undisturbed, have thc protection of both sides, and be permitted to follow their employments in security? viz.
1. Cultivators of the earth, because they labour for the subsistence of inankind.
2. Fishermen, for the same reason.
3. Merchants and traders in unarmed ships, who accommodate different nations by communicating and exchangirng the necessaries and conveniences of life.
4. Artists and mechanics, inhabiting and working in upen towns.
li is hardly necessary to add, that the hospitals of eneinies should be unmolested—they ought to be assisted. It is for the interest of humanity in gene. ral, that the occasions of war, and the inducements to it, should be diminished. If rapine be abolished, one of the encouragements to war is taken away; and deace therefore more likely to continue and be last + ng
The practice of robbing merchants on the high seas a reinant of the ancient piracy-though it may be accidentally beneficial to particular persons, is fa. from being profitable to all engaged in it, or to the nation that authorizes it. In the beginning of a war some rich ships are surprised and taken. This en courages the first adventures to fit out more armed vessels and many others to do the same. But the
enemy at the same time become more careful, arm
Then there is the national loss of all the labour of 60 many men during the time they have been em. ployed in robbing; who besides spend what they get in riot, drunkei.ness and debauchery; lose their habits of industıy; are rarely fit for any sober business after a pea.e, and serve only to increase the nuinber of highwaymen and house-breakers. Evin the undertakers, who have been fortunate, are by sudden wealth leu into expensive living, the habit of which continues when the ineans of supporting it cease, and finally ruins them: a just punishinent for their having was only and un feelingly ruino: i many honest, innocent traders and ineir families, whose substance was ei :ployed in serving the connwon in terests of mankind.
ON THE MPRESS OF SEAMEN.
otes copied fioul Dr. Franklin's writing in porci
in the maryin of Judge Foster's celebrated argu nient in favor of the Impressing of Seamen (pub lished in the folio edition of his works.) JUDGE FOSTER, P. 153. “ Every man.--The con. lusion bere from the whole to a part, does not scene tr be good logic. If the alphabet should say, Let w all fight for the defence or the whole; that is equal and may, therefore, be just. But if they should say.
et A B C and D go out and fight for us, while we stay at home and sleep in whole skins; that is noß equal, and therefore cannot be just.
Employ."- you please. The word sig. nifies engaging a man to work for me, by offering him such wages as are sufficient to induce him to prefer my service. This is very different from compelling him to work on such terms as I think proper.
Ib. " This service and employinent,” &c.—Theso are false facts. His eniployment and service are nd the same. Under the merchant he goes in an unarmed vessel, not obliged to fight, but to transport merchandize. In the king's service he is obliged to fight, and to hazard all the dangers of battle. Sickliess on board of kirg's ships is also more common and more mortal. The merchant's service, tod, he can quit at the end of the voyage; not the king'a Also, the merchant's wages are much higher.
Ib. “ I am very sensible,” &c.--Here are two things put in comparison that are not comparable: viz. injury to seamen, and inconvenience to trade. Inconvenience to the whole trade of a nation will not justify injustice to a single seamen. If the trade would suffer without his service, it is able and ought to be willing to offer him such wages as may induce him to afford his service voluntarily. Page 159.
“ Private mischief must be borne with patience, for preventing a national calamity.” Where is this maxim in law and good policy to be found? And how can that be a maxim which is not consistent with common sense? If the maxim had been, that private mischiefs, which prevent a national calamity, sught to be generously compensated by the nation, ine might understand it: but that such private mis chiess are only to be borne with patience is absurd !
Ib. " The expedient, &c. And," &c. (Para graphs 2 and 3.)-Twenty ineffextual or inconve gjent schemes will not justify one thai is unjust.
Upon the foot of &c.—Your reasoning, in Jeed, like a lie, stands but upon one foot; truth
Page 160. "Full wages.”—Probably the sam they had in the merchants' service.