Imatges de pÓgina


ON SWIMMING NEW MODE OF BATHING. Take next the miser's contrast, who destroys recovered with great difficulty. A copious draught of Health, fame, and fortune, in a round of joys.

cold water, in similar circumstances, is frequently atWill any paper match him? Yes, throughout,

tended with the same effect in North America. He's a true sinking paper, past all doubt.

The exercise of swimming is one of the most healthy The retail politician's anxious thought

and agreeable in the world. After having swum for Deems this side always right, and that stark nought; an hour or two in the evening, one sleeps coolly all He foams with censure-with applause he raves-

night, even during the most ardent heat of summer. A dupe to rumours, and a tool of knaves; He'll want no type his weakness to proclaim,

Perhaps, the pores being cleansed, the insensible perWhile such a thing as foolscap has a name.

spiration increases, and occasions this coolness. It is

certain, that much swimming is the means of stopping The hasty gentleman, whose blood runs high, Who picks a quarrel, if you step awry,

a diarrhea, and even of producing a constipation. Who can't a jest, or hint, or look endure:

With respect to those who do not know how to swim, What's he? What! Touch paper to be sure.

or who are affected with a diarrhoea at a season which What are our poets, take them as they fall,

does not permit them to use that exercise, a warm bath, Good, bad, rich, poor, much read, not read at all?

by cleansing and purifying the skin, is found very saluThem and their works in the same class you'll find

tary, and often effects a radical cure. I speak from They are the mere wuste paper of mankind.

my own experience, frequently repeated, and that of Observe the maiden, innocently sweet,

others, to whom I have recommended this. She's fair white paper, an unsullied sheet ;

You will not be displeased if I conclude these hasty On which the happy man, whom fate ordains,

remarks by informing you, that as the ordinary method May write his name, and take her for his pains.

of swimming is reduced to the act of rowing with the One instance more, and only one I'll bring ;

arms and legs, and is consequently a laborious and 'Tis the great man who scoms a little thing,

fatiguing operation when the space of water to be Whose thoughts, whose deeds, whose maxims are his own, crossed is considerable, there is a method in which a Form'd on the feelings of his heart alone :

swimmer may pass to great distances with much faciTrue genuine royal paper is his breast-

lity, by means of a sail. This discovery I fortunately Of all the kinds most precious, purest, best.

made by accident, and in the following manner :

When I was a boy, I amused myself one day with flying a paper kite; and approaching the bank of a

pond, which was near a mile broad, I tied the string to ON THE ART OF SWIMMING.

a stake, and the kite ascended to a very considerable

height above the pond, while I was swimming. In a In answer to some inquiries of M. Dubourg on the little time, being desirous of amusing myself with my subject.

kite, and enjoying at the same time the pleasure of I Am apprehensive that I shall not be able to find leisure swimming, I returned, and loosing from the stake the for making all the disquisitions and experiments which string with the little stick which was fastened to it, would be desirable on this subject. I must, therefore, went again into the water, where I found, that lying content myself with a few remarks.

on my back, and holding the stick in my hands, I was The specific gravity of some human bodies, in com- drawn along the surface of the water in a very agreeparison to that of water, has been examined by M. able manner. Having then engaged another boy to Robinson, in our Philosophical Transactions, vol. 1., carry my clothes round the pond, to a place which I p. 30, for the year 1757. He asserts, that fat persons pointed out to him on the other side, I began to cross with small bones float most easily upon water. the pond with my kite, which carried me quite over

The diving bell is accurately described in our Trans- without the least fatigue, and with the greatest pleaactions.

sure imaginable. I was only obliged occasionally to When I was a boy, I made two oval palettes, each halt a little in my course, and resist its progress, when about ten inches long, and six broad, with a hole for it appeared that, by following too quick, I lowered the the thumb, in order to retain it fast in the palm of my kite too much; by doing which occasionally I made it hand. They much resemble a painter's palettes. In rise again. I have never since that time practised this swimming, I pushed the edges of these forward, and I singular mode of swimming, though I think it not imstruck the water with their flat surfaces as I drew them possible to cross in this manner from Dover to Calais. back: I remember I swam faster by means of these The packet-boat, however, is still preferable. palettes, but they fatigued my wrists. I also fitted to the soles of my feet a kind of sandals; but I was not satisfied with them, because I observed that the stroke is partly given by the inside of the feet and the ancles,

NEW MODE OF BATHING. and not entirely with the soles of the feet.

EXTRACTS OF LETTERS TO M. DUBOURG. We have here waistcoats for swimming, which are made of double sail-cloth, with small pieces of cork

London, July 28, 1768. quilted in between them.

I GREATLY approve the epithet which you give, in your I know nothing of the scaphandre of M. de la Chapelle. letter of the 8th of June, to the new method of treating

I know by experience, that it is a great comfort to a the small-pox, which you call the tonic or bracing meswimmer, who has a considerable distance to go, to thod; I will take occasion from it to mention a practurn himself sometimes on his back, and to vary in tice to which I have accustomed myself. You know other respects the means of procuring a progressive the cold bath has long been in vogue here as a tonic; inotion.

but the shock of the cold water hath always appeared When he is seized with the cramp in the leg, the to me, generally speaking, as too violent, and I have method of driving it away is to give to the parts af- found it much more agreeable to my constitution to fected a sudden, vigorous, and violent shock; which bathe in another element-I mean cold air. With this he may do in the air, as he swims on his back. view, I rise early almost every morning, and sit in my

During the great heats of summer, there is no danger chamber without any clothes whatever, half an hour or in bathing, however warm we may be, in rivers which an hour, according to the season, either reading or have been thoroughly warmed by the sun. But to writing. This practice is not in the least painful, but throw one's self into cold spring water, when the body on the contrary agreeable; and if I return to bed i has been heated by exercise in the sun, is an impru- afterwards, before I dress myself, as it sometimes hapdence which may prove fatal. I once knew an instance pens, I make a supplement to my night's rest of one or of four young men, who, having worked at harvest in two hours of the most pleasing sleep that can be imathe heat of the day, with a view of refreshing them- gined. I find no ill consequences whatever resulting selves, plunged into a spring of cold water: two died from it; and at least it does not injure my health, upon the spot, a third the uext morning, and the fourth | it does not in fact contribute to its preservation.

1 bath.

OBSERVATIONS ON LIFE AND DEATII—PRECAUTIONS, &c. 65 shall therefore call it for the future a bracing or tonic with their fore feet, beat and brushed their wings with

their hind feet, and soon after began to fly, finding

March 10, 1773. themselves in Old England without knowing how they I shall not attempt to explain why damp clothes oc- came thither. The third continued lifeless until suncasion cold, rather than wet ones, because I doubt the set, when losing all hopes of him, he was thrown away. fact; I imagine that neither the one nor the other con- I wish it were possible, from this instance, to invent tribute to this effect, and that the causes of colds are a method of embalming drowned persons, in such a totally independent of wet, and even of cold. I propose manner that they may be recalled to life at any period, writing a short paper on this subject, the first moment however distant; for, having a very ardent desire to of leisure I have at my disposal. In the meantime, I see and observe the state of America a hundred years can only say, that having some suspicions that the com- hence, I should prefer to an ordinary death the being mon notion, which attributes to cold the property of immersed in a cask of Madeira wine, with a few friends, stopping the pores and obstructing the perspiration, until that time, then to be recalled to life by the solar was ill-founded, I engaged a young physician, who is warmth of my dear country! But since, in all probamaking some experiments with Sanctorius's balance, to bility, we live in an age too early, and too near the inestimate the different proportions of his perspirations, fancy of science, to see such an art brought in our when remaining one hour quite naked, and another time to its perfection, I must, for the present, content warmly clothed. He pursued the experiment in this myself with the treat, which you are so kind as to alternate manner for eight hours successively, and found promise me, of the resurrection of a fowl or a turkeyhis perspiration almost double during those hours in cock. which he was naked,






When you intend to take a long voyage, nothing is To the same.

better than to keep it a secret till the moment of your Your observations on the causes of death, and the ex- departure. Without this, you will be continually inperiments which you propose for recalling to life those terrupted and tormented by visits from friends and acwho appear to be killed by lightning, demonstrate quaintances, who not only make you lose your valuable equally your sagacity and humanity. It appears that time, but make you forget a thousand things which you the doctrines of life and death, in general, are yet but wish to remember; so that when you ‘are embarked little understood.

and fairly at sea, you recollect, with much uneasiness, A toad buried in the sand will live, it is said, until affairs which you have not terminated, accounts that the sand becomes petrified; and then, being inclosed in you have not settled, and a number of things which you the stone, it may live for we know not how many ages. proposed to carry with you, and which you find the The facts which are cited in support of this opinion, are want of every moment. Would it not be attended with too numerous and too circumstantial not to deserve a the best consequences to reform such a custom, and to certain degree of credit. As we are accustomed to see suffer a traveller, without deranging him, to make his all the animals with which we are acquainted eat and preparations in quietness, to set apart a few days, when drink, it appears to us difficult to conceive how a toad these are finished, to take leave of his friends, and to can be supported in such a dungeon. But if we reflect receive their good wishes for his happy return? that the necessity of nourishment which animals expe- It is not always in one's power to choose a captain ; rience in their ordinary state, proceeds from the con- though great part of the pleasure and happiness of the tinual waste of their substance by perspiration, it will passage depends upon this choice, and though one must appear less incredible that some animals, in a torpid for a time be confined to his company, and be in some state, perspiring less because they use no exercise, measure under his command. If he is a social, senshould have less need of aliment; and that others, sible man, obliging, and of a good disposition, you will which are covered with scales or shells, which stop be so much the happier. One sometimes meets with perspiration—such as land and sea-turtles, serpents, people of this description, but they are not common; and some species of fish-should be able to subsist a however, if yours be not of this number, if he be a considerable time without any nourishment whatever. good seaman, attentive, careful, and active in the manA plant with its flowers, fades and dies immediately, if agement of his vessel, you must dispense with the rest, exposed to the air without having its roots immersed for these are the most essential qualities. in a humid soil, from which it may draw a sufficient Whatever right you may have, by your agreement quantity of moisture to supply that which exhales from with him, to the provisions he has taken on board for its substance, and is carried off continually by the air. the use of the passengers, it is always proper to have Perhaps, however, if it were buried in quicksilver, it some private store, which you may make use of occamight preserve for a considerable spaco of time its sionally. You ought, therefore, to provide good water, vegetable life, its smell and colour. If this be the case, that of the ship being often bad; but you must put it it might prove a commodious method of transporting into bottles, without which you cannot expect to prefrom distant countries those delicate plants which are serve it sweet. You ought also to carry with you good unable to sustain the inclemency of the weather at sea, tea, ground coffee, chocolate, wine of that sort which and which require particular care and attention. you like best, cider, dried raisins, almonds, sugar, capil.

I have seen an instance of common flies preserved laire, citrons, rum, eggs dipped in oil, portable soup, in a manner somewhat similar. They had been drowned bread twice baked. With regard to poultry, it is almost in Madeira wine, apparently about the time it was useless to carry any with you, unless you resolve to bottled in Virginia to be sent to London. At the undertake the office of feeding and fattening them youropening of one of the bottles, at the house of a friend self. With the little care which is taken of them on where I was, three drowned flies fell into the first glass board a ship, they are almost all sickly, and their flesh that was filled. Having heard it remarked that drowned is as tough as leather.

flies were capable of being revived by the rays of the All sailors entertain an opinion-which undoubtedly | sun, I proposed making the experiment upon these. originated formerly from a want of water, and when it

They were therefore exposed to the sun, upon a sieve has been found necessary to be sparing of it—that poul. which had been employed to strain them out of the try never know when they have drunk enough, and wine. In less than three hours, two of them by de- that when water is given them at discretion, they genegrees began to recover life. They commenced by some rally kill themselves by drinking beyond measure. In convulsive motions in the thighs, and at length they consequence of this opinion, they give them water only raised themselves upon their legs, wiped their cycs once in two days, and eren thou in small quantities:


ON LUXURY, IDLENESS, AND INDUSTRY. but as they pour this water into troughs inclining on an extraordinary roll, would not be thrown out of the one side, which occasions it to run to the lower part, plate, and would not fall into the breasts of those who it thence happens that they are obliged to mount one are at table, and scald them. Having entertained you upon the back of another in order to reach it; and there with these things of little importance, permit me now are some which cannot even dip their beaks in it. Thus to conclude with some general reflections upon navicontinually tantalised and tormented by thirst, they are gation. unable to digest their food, which is very dry, and they When navigation is employed only for transporting soon fall sick and die. Some of them are found thus necessary provisions from one country, where they every morning, and are thrown into the sea ; while abound, to another where they are wanting—when bg those which are killed for the table are scarcely fit to this it prevents famines, which were so frequent and so be eaten. To remedy this inconvenience, it will be ne- fatal before it was invented and became so common-we cessary to divide their troughs into small compartments, cannot help considering it as one of those arts which conin such a manner that each of them may be capable of tribute most to the happiness of mankind. But when it containing water; but this is seldom or never done. is employed to transport things of no utility, or articles On this account, sheep and hogs are to be considered as of luxury, it is then uncertain whether the advantages the best fresh provisions that one can have at sea; resulting from it are sufficient to counterbalance the mutton there being in general very good, and pork ex. misfortunes it occasions by exposing the lives of so cellent.

many individuals upon the vast ocean. And when it is It may happen that some of the provisions and stores used to plunder vessels and transport slaves, it is eviwhich I have recommended may become almost use- dently only the dreadful means of increasing those caless, by the care which the captain has taken to lay in lamities which afflict human nature. a proper stock: but in such a case you may dispose of One is astonished to think on the number of vessels it to relieve the poor passengers, who, paying less for and men who are daily exposed in going to bring tea their passage, are stowed among the common sailors, from China, coffee from Arabia, and sugar and tobacco and have no right to the captain's provisions, except from America—all commodities which our ancestors such part of them as is used for feeding the crew. lived very well without. The sugar trade employs These passengers are sometimes sick, melancholy, and nearly a thousand vessels, and that of tobacco almost dejected; and there are often women and children the same number. With regard to the utility of toamong them, neither of whom have an opportunity of bacco, little can be said ; and, with regard to sugar, procuring those things which I have mentioned, and of how much more meritorious would it be to sacrifice which perhaps they have the greatest need. By dis- the momentary pleasure which we receive from drinktributing amongst them a part of your superfluity, you | ing it once or twice a-day in our tea, than to encourage may be of the greatest assistance to them. You may the numberless cruelties that are continually exercised restore their health, save their lives, and, in short, in order to procure it for us ! render them happy; which always affords the liveliest A celebrated French moralist said, that when lie sensation to a feeling mind.

considered the wars which we foment in Africa to get The most disagreeable thing at sea is the cookery; negroes—the great number who of course perish in for there is not, properly speaking, any professed cook these wars—the multitude of those wretches who die on board. The worst sailor is generally chosen for in their passage by disease, bad air, and bad provithat purpose, who for the most part is equally dirty. sions-and, lastly, how many perish by the cruel treatHence comes the proverb, used among the English ment they meet with in a state of slavery-when he sailors, that “God sends meat, and the devil sends cooks.” saw a bit of sugar, he could not help imagining it to Those, however, who have a better opinion of Provi- be covered with spots of human blood. But, had he dence, will think otherwise. Knowing that sea-air, added to these considerations the wars which we carry and the exercise or motion which they receive from on against one another, to take and retake the islands the rolling of the ship, have a wonderful effect in whet- that produce this commodity, he would not have seen ting the appetite, they will say, that Providence has the sugar simply spotted with blood—he would have given sailors bad cooks to prevent them from eating beheld it entirely tinged with it! too much; or that, knowing they would have bad cooks, These wars made the maritime powers of Europe, he has given them a good appetite to prevent them from and the inhabitants of Paris and London, pay much dying with hunger. However, if you have no confi- dearer for their sugar than those of Vienna, though dence in these succours of Providence, you may your- they are almost three hundred leagues distant from self, with a lamp and a boiler, by the help of a little the sea. A pound of sugar, indeed, costs the former spirits of wine, prepare some food, such as soup, hash, not only the price which they give for it, but also that &c. A small oven made of tin-plate is not a bad piece which they pay in taxes necessary to support the of furniture; your servant may roast in it a piece of fleets and armies which serve to defend and protect mutton or pork. If you are ever tempted to eat salt the countries that produce it. beef, which is often very good, you will find that cider is the best liquor to quench the thirst generally caused by salt meat or salt fish. Sea-biscuit, which is too hard for the teeth of some people, may be softened by steeping it; but bread double-baked is the best: for being from a Letter to Benjamin Vaughan, Esq.,* written in

ON LUXURY, IDLENESS, AND INDUSTRY. made of good loaf bread cut into slices, and baked a

1784. second time, it readily imbibes water, becomes soft, and is easily digested—it consequently forms excellent It is wonderful how preposterous the affairs of this nourishment, much superior to that of biscuit which has world are managed. Naturally one would imagine, not been fermented.

that the interest of a few individuals should give way I must here observe, that this double-baked bread to general interest; but individuals manage their af was originally the real biscuit prepared to keep at sea ; fairs with so much more application, industry, and adfor the word biscuit, in French, signifies twice baked dress, than the public do theirs, that general interest Peas often boil badly, and do not become soft; in such most commonly gives way to particular. We assemble a case, by putting a two-pound shot into the kettle, parliaments and councils, to have the benefit of their the rolling of the vessel, by means of this bullet, will collected wisdom; but we necessarily have, at the same convert the peas into a porridge like mustard.

time, the inconvenience of their collected passions, Having often seen soup, when put upon the table at prejudices, and private interests. By the help of these, sea in broad flat dishes, thrown out on every side by artful men overpower their wisdom, and dupe its posthe rolling of the vessel, I have wished that our tinmen sessors; and if we may judge by the acts, arrests, and would make our soup-basins with divisions or compart- *(Member of parliament for the borough of Calne, in Wiltshire, ments; forming small plates, proper for containing soup between wliom and Franklin there subsisted a very close friendet for one person only. By this disposition the soul, in ship.]



edicts, all the world over, for regulating commerce, an sidered as an essential part of the States; and the exassembly of great men is the greatest fool upon earth. perience of the last war has shown, that their being in

I have not yet, indeed, thought of a remedy for the possession of the enemy did not necessarily draw on luxury. I am not sure that in a great state it is ca- the subjection of the country, which bravely continued pable of a remedy, nor that the evil is in itself always so to maintain its freedom and independence notwithgreat as is represented. Suppose we include in the standing. definition of luxury all unnecessary expense, and then It has been computed by some political arithmetician, let us consider whethor laws to prevent such expense that if every man and woman would work for four are possible to be executed in a great country, and hours each day on something useful, their labour would whether, if they could be executed, our people gene- produce sufficient to procure all the necessaries and rally would be happier, or even richer. Is not the comforts of life; want and misery would be banished hope of being one day able to purchase and enjoy luxu- out of the world, and the rest of the twenty-four hours ries a great spur tó labour and industry? May not might be leisure and pleasure. luxury, therefore, produce more than it consumes, if, What occasions, then, so much want and misery? It without such a spur, people would be, as they are natu- is the employment of men and women in works that rally enough inclined to be, lazy and indolent. To this produce neither the necessaries nor conveniences of purpose I remember a circumstance :—The skipper of life; who, with those who do nothing, consume necesa shallop, employed between Cape May and Philadel- saries raised by the laborious. To explain this: phia, had done us some small service, for which he The first elements of wealth are obtained by labour refused to be paid. My wife, understanding that he from the earth and waters. I have land, and raise corn. had a daughter, sent her a present of a new-fashioned With this, if I feed a family that does nothing, my corn сар. . Three years after, this skipper being at my will be consumed, and at the end of the year I shall be house with an old farmer of Cape May, his passenger, no richer than I was at the beginning. But if, while he mentioned the cap, and how much his daughter had I feed them, I employ them—some in spinning, others been pleased with it. “But,” said he, “it proved a in making bricks, &c. for building—the value of my corn dear cap with our congregation.” “How so?" "When will be arrested and remain with me, and at the end of my daughter appeared with it at meeting, it was so the year we may all be better clothed and better lodged. much admired, that all the girls resolved to get such And if, instead of employing a man I feed in making caps from Philadelphia ; and my wife and I computed bricks, I employ him in fiddling for me, the corn he that the whole could not have cost less than a hundred eats is gone, and no part of his manufacture remains pounds." True," said the farmer, “but you do not to augment the wealth and convenience of the family; tell all the story. I think the cap was nevertheless an I shall, therefore, be the poorer for this fiddling man, advantage to us ; for it was the first that put our unless the rest of my family work more, or eat less, to girls upou knitting worsted mittens for sale at Phila- make up the deficiency he occasions. delphia, that they might have wherewithal to buy caps Look round the world, and see the millions employed and ribbons there; and you know that that industry in doing nothing, or in something that amounts to nohas continued, and is likely to continue and increase thing, when the necessaries and conveniences of life to a much greater value, and answer better purposes.” are in question. What is the bulk of commerce, for Upon the whole, I was more reconciled to this little which we fight and destroy each other, but the toil of piece of luxury, since not only the girls were made millions for superfluities, to the great hazard and loss happier by having fine caps, but the Philadelphians by of many lives, by the constant dangers of the sea ? the supply of warm mittens.

How much labour is spent in building and fitting great In our commercial towns upon the sea-coast, fortunes ships, to go to China and Arabia for tea and coffee, to will occasionally be made. Some of those who grow the West Indies for sugar, to America for tobacco ? rich will be prudent, live within bounds, and preserve These things cannot be called the necessaries of life, what they have gained for their posterity; others, fond for our ancestors lived very comfortably without them. of showing their wealth, will be extravagant, and ruin A question may be asked—Could all these people themselves. Laws cannot prevent this, and perhaps now employed in raising, making, or carrying superit is not always an evil to the public. A shilling spent Auities, be subsisted by raising necessaries? I think idly by a fool, may be picked up by a wiser person, they might. The world is large, and a great part of it who knows better what to do with it: it is therefore still uncultivated. Many hundred millions of acres in not lost. A vain silly fellow builds a fine house, fur- Asia, Africa, and America, are still a forest ; and a nishes it richly, lives in it expensively, and in a few great deal even in Europe. On a hundred acres of years ruins himself; but the masons, carpenters, smiths, this forest, a man might become a substantial farmer; and other honest tradesmen, have been, by his employ, and a hundred thousand men employed in clearing assisted in maintaining and raising their families—the each his hundred acres, would hardly brighten a spot farmer has been paid for his labour, and encouraged, large enough to be visible from the moon, unless with and the estate is now in better hands. In some cases, Herschel's telescope; so vast are the regions still in indeed, certain modes of luxury may be a public evil, wood. in the same manner as it is a private one. If there It is, however, some comfort to reflect, that upon be a nation, for instance, that exports its beef and the whole, the quantity of industry and prudence among linen to pay for the importation of claret and porter, mankind exceeds the quantity of idleness and folly. while a great part of its people live upon potatoes, and Hence the increase of good buildings, farms cultivated, wear no shirts, wherein does it differ from the sot, who and populous cities filled with wealth, all over Europe, lets his family starve, and sells his clothes to buy drink? which a few ages since were only to be found on the Our American commerce is, I confess, a little in this coasts of the Mediterranean ; and this notwithstanding way. We sell our victuals to the islands for rum and the mad wars continually raging, by which are often sugar-the substantial necessaries of life for super- destroyed, in one year, the works of many years' peace. fluities. But we have plenty, and live well neverthe- So that we may hope, the luxury of a few merchants less; though, by being soberer, we might be richer. on the coast will not be the ruin of America.

The vast quantity of forest lands we have yet to clear, One reflection more, and I will end this long ramand put in order for cultivation, will for a long time bling letter. Almost all the parts of our bodies require keep the body of our nation laborious and frugal. some expense. The feet demand shoes ; the legs stockForming an opinion of our people, and their manners, ings; the rest of the body clothing; and the belly a by what is seen among the inhabitants of the sea-ports, good deal of victuals. Our eyes, though exceedingly is judging from an improper sample. The people of useful, ask, when reasonable, only the cheap assistance the trading towns may be rich and luxurious, while the of spectacles, which could not much impair our finances. country possesses all the virtues that tend to promote But the eyes of other people are the eyes that ruin us. happiness and public prosperity. These towns are not If all but myself were blind, I should want neither fino much regarded hy the country; they are hardly con- clothes, fine houses, nor fine furniture.



labour without compulsion, as well as too ignorant to

establish good government; and the wild Arabs would READING in the newspapers the speech of Mr Jackson soon molest and destroy, or again enslave them. While in Congress, against meddling with the affair of slavery, serving us, we take care to provide them with every or attempting to mend the condition of slaves, it put thing; and they are treated with humanity. The lame in mind of a similar speech, made about one hun bourers in their own countries are, as I am informed, dred years since, by Sidi Mahomet Ibrahim, a member worse fed, lodged, and clothed. The condition of most of the Divan of Algiers, which may be seen in Martin's of them is therefore already mended, and requires no account of his consulship, 1687. It was against grant- farther improvement. Here their lives are in safety. ing the petition of the sect called Erika, or Purists, who They are not liable to be impressed for soldiers, and prayed for the abolition of piracy and slavery, as being forced to cut one another's Christian throats, as in the unjust. Mr Jackson does not quote it: perhaps he has wars of their own countries. If some of the religious not seen it. If, therefore, some of its reasonings are to mad bigots, who now tease us with their silly petitions, be found in his eloquent speech, it may only show that have, in a fit of blind zeal, freed their slaves, it was men's interests operate, and are operated on, with sur- not generosity, it was not humanity, that moved them prising similarity, in all countries and climates, when to the action; it was from the conscious burden of a ever they are under similar circumstances. The Afri- load of sins, and hope, from the supposed merits of so can speech, as translated, is as follows:

good a work, to be excused from dammation. How “ Alla Bismillah, &c. God is great, and Mahomet is grossly are they mistaken, in imagining slavery to be his prophet.

disavowed by the Alcoran! Are not the two precepts, Have these Erika considered the consequences of to quote no more, Masters, treat your slaves with granting their petition? If we cease our cruises against kindness-slaves, serve your masters with cheerfulthe Christians, how shall we be furnished with the com- ness and fidelity,' clear proofs to the contrary ? modities their countries produce, and which are so ne- Nor can the plundering of infidels be in that sacred cessary for us? If we forbear to make slaves of their book forbidden; since it is well known from it, that people, who, in this hot climate, are to cultivate our God has given the world, and all that it contains, to lands? Who are to perform the common labours of our his faithful Mussulmen, who are to enjoy it of right, city, and of our families ? Must we not then be our own as fast as they conquer it

. Let us then hear no more slaves ? And is there not more compassion and more of this detestable proposition, the manumission of Chrisfavour due to us Mussulmen than to those Christian tian slaves, the adoption of which would, by depreciating dogs! We have now above fifty thousand slaves in and our lands and houses, and thereby depriving so many near Algiers. This number, if not kept up by fresh sup- good citizens of their properties, create universal displies, will soon diminish, and be gradually annihilated. content, and provoke insurrections, to the endangering If, then, we cease taking and plundering the infidels' of government, and producing general confusion. ships, and making slaves of the seamen and passengers, have, therefore, no doubt that this wise council will our lands will become of no value, for want of cultiva- prefer the comfort and happiness of a whole nation of tion; the rents of houses in the city will sink one true believers, to the whim of a few Erika, and dismiss half; and the revenues of government, arising from their petition.” the share of prizes, must be totally destroyed. And The result was, as Martin tells us, that the Divan for what? To gratify the whim of a whimsical sect, came to this resolution :-" That the doctrine, that the who would have us not only forbear making more plundering and enslaving the Christians is unjust, is at slaves, but even manumit those we have. But who best problematical; but that it is the interest of this is to indemnify their masters for the loss? Will the state to continue the practice, is clear: therefore, let state do it? Is our treasury sufficient? Will the the petition be rejected.”—And it was rejected accordErika do it?-can they do it? Or would they, to do what | ingly. they think justice to the slaves, do a greater injustice And since like motives are apt produce, in the to the owners! And if we set our slaves free, what is minds of men, like opinions and resolutions, may we to be done with them? Few of them will return to not venture to predict, from this account, that the their native countries—they know too well the greater petitions to the parliament of England for abolishing the hardships they must there be subject to. They will slave trade, to say nothing of other legislatures, and not embrace our holy religion: they will not adopt our the debates upon them, will have a similar conclusion ? manners : our people will not pollute themselves by in- March 23, 1790.

HISTORICUS. termarrying with them. Must we maintain them as beggars in our streets; or suffer our properties to be the prey of their pillage? for men accustomed to slavery will not work for a livelihood when not compelled.

OBSERVATIONS ON WAR. And what is there so pitiable in their present condition? By the original law of nations, war and extirpation were Were they not slaves in their own countries! Are not the punishment of injury. Humanising by degrees, it Spain, Portugal, France, and the Italian states, go- admitted slavery instead of death: a farther step was, verned by despots, who hold all their subjects in slavery, the exchange of prisoners instead of slavery: another, without exception? Even England treats her sailors to respect more the property of private persons under as slaves; for they are, whenever the government conquest, and be content with acquired dominion. Why pleases, seized and confined in ships of war, condemned should not this law of nations go on improving! Ages not only to work, but to fight, for small wages, or a mere have intervened between its several steps ; but as knowsubsistence, not better than our slaves are allowed by ledge of late increases rapidly, why should not those us. Is their condition, then, made worse by their falling steps be quickened? Why should it not be agreed to, into our hands? No: they have only exchanged one as the future law of nations, that in any war hereafter, slavery for another; and I'may say a better: for here the following descriptions of men should be undisturbed, they are brought into a land where the sun of Islamism have the protection of both sides, and be permitted to gives forth its light, and shines in full splendour, and follow their employments in security? namely :they have an opportunity of making themselves acquaint- 1. Cultivators of the earth, because they labour for ed with the true doctrine, and thereby saving their the subsistence of mankind. immortal souls. Those who remain at home have not 2. Fishermen, for the same reason. that happiness. Sending the slaves home, then, would 3. Merchants and traders in unarmed ships, who be sending them out of light into darkness.

accommodate different nations by communicating and I repeat the question, what is to be done with them? exchanging the necessaries and conveniences of life. I have heard it suggested, that they may be planted in 4. Artists and mechanics, inhabiting and working in the wilderness, where there is plenty of land for them open towns. to subsist on, and where they may flourish as a free It is hardly necessary to add, that the hospitals of state. But they are, I doubt, too little disposed to enemies should be unmolested—they ought to be as

« AnteriorContinua »