Imatges de pàgina
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16 Tlie

ruined. He meets the mutilated re- were discovered in the Chebaid and mains of antiquity; the wrecks of Ab; ffinia, by a nation of a dark comTemples, palaces, and fortifications, plexion and woolly hair. pillars, aqueducts, and fepulcbres; " I hebans," fays Diodorus, Cona and perceives that the land has de. “ Gider themselves as the most ancient vourid its inhabitants! Winding to." people on the earth , and affert, wards tlie welt, along the shore of the sihat with them o'iginated priloSebara, where life and vegetation al- “ sophy, and the science of the stars, moit cease, where there are no ruins " Their fituation, it is true, is infibut the ruins of nature, and where nitely favourable to ailronomical only a few traggling Arabs, like c- " observation, and they have a more vił genii, live in despite of desolation, “ accurate division of time into he at last approaches a more fertile “ months and years, than other naregion, and the forests of gum-trees " tions." The same opinion he attribecome more numerous

butes to the Ethiopians, "The E. tree is a species of Acacia, evergreen, 'thiopians concive themselves to be with long rough narrow leaves, full “ of greater antiquiry ihan ay viber of prickles, and bearing a white flow. “ nation ; and it is probable that, that neither tradition, history, nor rated irresistibly in discouraging the ancient monuments, seem to show that importation of raw materials, to that the inhabitants of Nigritia have ever valuable commodities have often been existed in a ttare of high refinement. left to ror on the coast.

The gum

er.

i he principal gum forests lie a s born under the fun's path, its bout 60 leagues froni Portendic and “ warmth may have ripened them So from Arguin. Here the delart " earlier than other men. They upterminates in vague and ill-defined pose themselves also to be the inboundaries, and the proper territory ventors of divine worship, of feliof the

negroes commences, which the “ vals, of folemn affemblies, of sacri: Arabs term Biled al Soudan or Biled fices, and

every

other religious al Abiad, the land of the Blacks, or “ practice. They affim that the the Land of Slaves. Along the coaft, Egyptians are one of their colonies, the foil is of very unequal qu lity. “ and that the Delta, which was iorFrom Cape Blanco to the river Gam- merly sea, became land by the conbia, it i landy, with a large mixture “gle meration of the carth of the of broken shills, and in many places “ higher country, which was washed the land is covered with a rich black “ down by the Nile. They have, like inould. The most barren tracts are "the Egyptians, two fpecies of letcovered with bushes and long grass ; "ters, hieroglyphics, and the alphabut over the black mould the vegeta- “ bet; but, ainong the Egyptians, tion is luxuriant, and the trees of " the firit was known only to the vait dimensions. From the Gambia “ prielts, and by them transmiited to Rio Nunez, according to Adam- " from father to son, whereas buth fon, the soil both of the sea.coast and species are common among the Eof the interior districts is of incom- “thiopians." or The Lthiopians," parable fertility. Whether any of fays Lucian, “ were the firit who in. thele regions have ever been inhabit. s vented the science of the Itars, and ed by powerful civilized nations, is “ gave names to the planets ; not ac uncertain : There are valt chasms in " random, and without meaning, but the hiltory of ancient nations, which “ descriptive of the qualities which elude all our researches : We cannot " they conceived them to poflefs ; penetrate the gloom of the remote 66 and it was from them that chis are ages. The early civilization of fouth “paffed in an imperfect late to the Africa is attested by numerous an. “ Egyptians." But whatever opinion cient authorities; and soms authors, we adopt concerning the carly civi. with Bruce and Volney, believe that lization of the ancient Egyptians and the elements of ihe arts and sciences Ethiopians, it will be easily allowed

that

· If every Their foil easily fupplies the neceffi- man,” said Dr Smcathman," knew ties of life; and their artificial wants s that his own happiness depended are not so oumerous as to prevent “ on making others happy, al maagratification. They are unacquainted kind would soon be fu,” It is difwith the dexterity and dispacch which ficult, however, to convince an indithe division of labour prodaces ; they vidual, and almost impfable to conhave 10 conception of the increase of vince any affociation of inen, that power, which arises from the combi. self interest is best pomoted by genation of folitary efforts into one nerosity. The immense profits which complex operation. Their exertions have been derived from the flaveare individual and defultory; for un- trade, in a period very short,, when polished tribes dwell on the detail, compared with that which agriculture while refined nations generalize their requires, will always attach those inkaowledge. When we consider the dividuals to whom interest is a stronger imperfection of their tools, and their notive than humanity. The opera. igoorance of machinery; when we tions of agriculture are flow and tedi. also recolleet that the same individual ous, especially where cu tivation has spins, weaves, fe ws, hunts, fishes, and never arrived at great ex'ent, the forms his baskets, fishing.tackle and profi's of cummerc: in raw materials, instruments of agriculture, the neat- as well as manufactures, are gradual, ness of their manufa&tare in iron, though certain, always requiring pergold, fillagree-work, cotton-matting, feverance and industry. To agricul. and basket-work, may excite our ad. ture and the trade in raw commodi. miration They also make salt and ties, the slave-trade bears the same soap, and dye cloths with conlider relation, as the acquisition of wealth able kill Even the rudest tribes by robbery and rapine, to the acqui. make their own fishing. iackle, ca- lion of wealth by honest induttry. noes, and implements.

It is not iherefore surprising, that a The staple commodities of Africa, trañe so much accommodated to the before the Dutch had entered iaco indolence, to the impatience, and to competition with the Portugueze, the ferocity of rude tribes, should before the fugar plantations had been have prevailed over the fimple barter etabli hed, and the European inha of productions raised by length of bitants of the West Indies had di- time and persevering labour. Ti is not velted themselves of their buccaneer. surprising, that atrocious outrages ing character,--were gold, ivory, and incredible barbarities have beea wux, guns, ostrich feathers, medici- often committed by traders equally pul and dye.woods, which were pur. illiterate and diffolute, when the mar, chafed with glass beads, coarse woollen who can collect around him to or cloths, brandy, and trinkets of brass three hundred people, acquires all the and iron. But when the sugar plan- power and influence of an Africaa tations in the Welt indies had at. chief. These traders, by incroclucing taiasd maturity, the trade in African a general infecurity and anarchy, and produce gradually declined: even by ctablishing a chain of factories those denominated wood vefsels, en. along the coait, which mutually cogaged, as far as posible, in the pur- operate in accomplishing their plans chaling of llaves, and the influence of by connecting themselves with some Eaft and West Indian intereft ope of the chiefs, and securing their in

Auence

17 fuence by granting extensive credit, and drink. At night, when the party have obtained a kind of empire over is drunk, he causes them to be fetthe western coast of Africa, which tered, and carries them to the trader reaches far into the interior districts to redeem his credit. Free men are of the country. Thele large credits, frequently purchafed by the traders which are incompatible with ordinary from those whom they know have no commerce, and peculiar to the flave- right to sell them, and every enor trade, are its principal support, and mity is palliated by the individual, legalize all its enormities. By distri- with the Itale and filly pretext, that buting their goods among the chiefs, though he should renounce the prace the traders acquire a right to seize 'tice, it would yet be continued by both the chiefs and their subjects at others. By these methods, the popusome future period, without forfeit. lation on the coast has been much ing their character, or violating the diminished, and the intercourse of customs of Africa. If an African towns and districts rendered dangercontract a debt, every person of the ous: the people are rendered more fame community is liable to suffer the barbarous than in the interior parts penalty of his failure ; and the slave of the country, where there are many trade, by the country-law denomi. considerable towns that carry on an nated Panyaring, seizes, without dis- extensive trade, and have made great crimination, the wife or child of the progress in civilization. It has been debtor, an inhabitant of the same observed, by those who have atten. town, or a stranger that there has ded most accurately to the dispofisought protection. At one time, a tions and manners of the natives of wife is sold by her husband to avoid the coast, that those who reside in the the imminent danger of failure in neighbourhood of the flave factories, credit, and is seen weeping in a slave. are most addicted to drunkenness, ship for the infant from which the most fufpicious of whites, moft crafty,

At another, a free boy is savage, and ferocious, as well as most fent with a 'meflage, seized for the fellih, unreasonable, and encroaching. debt of fome inhabitant of the fame Thus the flave-trade not only debases town, and fold for a slave before he the understanding, and degrades the can be redeemed. The Africans, moral character of the natives of Af. afraid of living as detached indivi: rica, but urges in its defence those duals, congregate in towns, under the very vicious propensities which it has protection of a chief, whom they call fostered. These absurd afperfions on their father. He is corrupted by pre- national character, which have, in the sents of liquor, and inveigled by the case of Africans, been thrown out trader to receive goods upon credit: with the vileft intentions, have excited the slave-trader makes war upon the the indignation of sensible natives chief to recover the debt, and his more than all the injuries to which people are killed or sold to the Nave. the fable race have been exposed. vessels

. A chief, who is indebted to The late John Henry Naimbanna, the traders, fails up a river, and lands son of the king of Sierra Leona, at a town, under the pretext of when in England, exhibited the most friendship. He makes a speech to the jealous sensibility where the honour chiefs and the inhabitants, expatiates of his country was concerned. A on the shameful injustice of former person, who had made a public assertiaders, and declares that he intends tion very degrading to the African to trade fairly with them as friends character, being mentioned before and brothers. He opens a puncheon him, he used fome vindi&tive lanof rum, and invites them to fit round guage ; and the Christian duty of forEd. Mag. Jan, 1800.

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giving

was torn.

giving injuries being suggested to going on without intermission fo. him, he made the following animated about two centuries, it ought not to declaration :

excite our furprise, if the negro cha. If a man rob me of my money, I racter had even acquired a peculiar can forgive him; if a man should degree of malignancy. The emotions shoot at me, or try to ftab me, I can in the breait of the savage derive 2 forgive him; if a man should sell me degree of wildness and ferocity from and all my family to a Nave ship, so the ruggedness of the objects which, that we should pass all the rest of our surround him; numerous objects af. days in Navery, in the Weft Indies, fect his mind, which do not injure I can forgive him; but, (added he, his person; and whatever acts upon, rising from his seat with much emo- the moral frame, tends to establish a. tion), if a man takes away the chao physical habit. The expreffion of the racter of the people of my country, features is gradually moulded to chaI never can forgive him. If a nan racterize the predominant passion, should try to kill me, or should sell and every affection of the corporeal me and my family for llaves, he would syltem re-acts upon the animating do an injury to as many as he might mind. Should therefore the negro. kill or sell; but if any one takes away character have actually degenerated, the character of black people, that this would not constitute an anamol. man injures black people all over the ous.fact in the history of man. world; and, when he has once taken Where the intellectual powers are away their character, there is nothing left uncultivated, the paffions acquire which he may not do to black peo- fuperior energy and violence. The ple ever after. The man will beat understanding is much less cultivated black men, and say, O, it is only a

among the Negroes than among Eu. black man, why should not I beat ropeans; but their paflions, whether him? That man will make flaves of benevolent or malevolent, are proporblack people; for, when he has taken tionably more violent. No people are away their character, he will say, O, more fenfiblc of disrespect, contempt, they are only black people, why or injury, and none are more prompt should not I make them ņaves ? That or violent in resenting them. But man will take away all the people of though their tempers are violent, Africa, if he can catch them; and if they are not unmanageable : Though you ask him, But why do you take addicted to tatred and revenge, they away all these people? he will say, are equally fusceptible of love, affec, O, they are only black people, they tion, and gratitude. In maternal, are not like white people, why should filial, and fraternal affection, they not I take them ? That is the reason must be allowed to surpass Eurowhy I cannot forgive the man who peans; though the ardour of their pa. takes

away the character of the peo. jernal and conjugal affections bę ple of my country.” The negro cha. damped by the practice of polygamy, racter certainly varies with the local which cannot fail to dissipate the peculiarities of education, manners, energies of the most tender passions, and habits; fome nations are more To unprotected strangers their hof, crafty, more ferocious, and uncivilizo pitality is liberal, dilinterested, and éd than others; but they are neither free from oftentation; to white persons incurably stupid, ignorant, norwicked; in whom they have confidence, their nor can they be charged with great partiality is exceflive, extending even er enormities than other nations in to their dress, commodities, and man, the same state of civilization. As the liers. It is true, that in those distrias process of deterioration has been where the Dave-trade chiefly prevails,

the

the inhabitants are shy and reserved, indolent in the occupations of plantand always carry arms in their hands; ing or hunting, commonly display 10 but this is the necessary effect of that greater activity in trade. These fa. insecurity which the practice of kid- vage philosophers are strenuous advonapping has introduced. It is true, cates for equality of property, and are that in their intercourse with Euro- convinced that no person has a right peans, both fraud and violence are

to enjoy any superfluity which is often displayed; but these are the needed by another. The consequence consequence of the frauds of Euro. of this sublime doctrine is, that if an peans, and their own inaccurate no. industrious man procures a spare shirt, tions of property. As the Europeans a pair of crowsers, or any kind of practise every species of injustice, not utensil, the first person to whom its only with respect to the quantity of poffeffion would be convenient, may trading goods, but also by their adul, demand its resignation with the urteration; as they use every degree of molt propriety. In this case, the pur. fraud and violence in trepanning their fessor dare not give a simple refusal z perfons,--the natives, in order to be must talk the palaver, or reply to irade on equal terms, are forced to the reasons which the beggar offers, resort to a similar conduet. Their with others for its detention. When ideas with respect to property are the pleaders on both fides happen to very different from those of Euro. be eloquent, the subje&t is often worn peans. Occupied chiefly by their pa. useless by the polfeffor, before the tural wants, they easily part with cause can be terminated. Thus there their fuperfluities to those who may are few motives for personal assiduity, want them. In their rude arts there as the rich are only the ftewards of is no divifion of labour; in the culti- the poor. In a rude ftate, man is vation of their fields, there is not even rather made for feeling than thinkan individuality. The inhabitants of ing. To relieve the littlefsness, occaevery district carry on their agricul- fioned by the absence of powerful extural operations in concert, and share, ternal impressions, when the resource in common, the products of their of industry fails, from the deficiency harvest. From this arrangement, the of motives to exertion, he is apt co idea of a common interest is conti- have recourse to the artific al exhilaDually suggested to the canton or ration which intoxication produces. district; but the idea of exclusive In a state of intoxication, reason and property is at the same time rendered propriety of conduct desert the most more indefinite and vague. The un- refined and civilized men, but the limited exercise of the law of hospi: brutal propenfities of the savage are tality renders the poslt liion of pro- aggravated to diabolical frenzy. la perty more useless, as well as more this frantic state, the negra chiefs uncertain, as the industrious are forced have often been induced to make to share their superfluities with the bargains most prejudicial to their inindolent. If a person has been nego terests, and to issue orders' most fatal ligent in providing the necessaries of to their subje&ts, that in their sober life, he has only to difcover where hours they would gladly retract. there is provifion, and he must obtain Though on the coast of Africa, a share. If he enter a house during a from Arguin to Adel, numerous comrepast, and give the usual salutation, mercial establishments have been the master must invite him to partake. formed by different nations fince it The laws of hospitality are not rel- was first discovered by the Portugueze, tricted to diet; and begging is not the natives of all those countries have Teckoned disgraceful. Those who are been suffered to remain in their oriC 2

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