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the consciousness of his wicked deed at Saguntum torment him and make him desperate, he would have some regard, if not to his conquered country, yet surely to his own family, to his father's memory, to the treaty written with Amilcar's own hand.
4. We might have starved them in Eryx; we might have passed into Africa with our victorious fleet, and in a few days have destroyed Carthage. At their humble supplication we pardoned them. We released them when they were closely shut up without a possibility of escaping. We made peace with them when they were conquered. When they were distressed by the African war, we considered them, and treated them as a people under our protection. And what is the return they make us for all these favours? Under the conduct of a hair-brained young man, they come hither to overturn our state, and lay waste our country. I could wish, indeed, that it were not so; and that the war we are now engaged in, concerned our glory only, and not our preservation. But the contest at present is not for the possession of Sicily and Sardinia, but of Italy itself.
5. Nor is there behind us another army, which, if we should not prove the conquerors, may make head against our victorious enemies. There are no more Alps for them to pass, which might give us leisure to raise new forces. No, soldiers; here you must take your stand, as if you were just now before the walls of Rome. Let every one reflect, that he is now to defend, not his own person only, but his wife, his children, his helpless infants. Yet, let not private considerations alone possess our minds. Let us remember that the eyes of the senate and people of Rome are upon us; and that, as our force and courage shall now prove, such will be the fortune of that city, and of the Roman empire.
The studious youth should always keep in mind,
Canute and his Courtiers.
Flattery reproved. Canute. Is it true, my friends, as you have often told me, that I am the greatest of monarchs?
Offa. It is true, my liege; you are the most powerful of all kings.
Of. Not only we, but even the elements are your slaves. The land obeys you from shore to shore; and the sea obeys you.
Can. Does the sea, with its loud boisterous waves, obey me? Will that terrible element be still at my bidding?
Of. Yes, the sea is yours; it was made to bear your ships upon its bosom, and to pour the treasures of the world at your royal feet. It is boisterous to your enemies, but it knows you to be its sovereign.
Can. Is not the tide coming up?
Os. Yes, my liege; you may perceive the swell already.
Os. (Aside)-I wonder what he is going to do.
Can. O mighty ocean! thou art my subject; my courtiers tell me so; and it is thy duty to obey me. Thus, then, I stretch my sceptre over thee, and command thee to retire. Roll back thy swelling waves, nor let them presume to wet the feet of me, thy royal master.
Os. (Aside)-I believe the sea will pay very little regard to his royal
Of. See how fast the tide rises!
Os. The next wave will come up to the chair. It is folly to stay, we shall be covered with salt water.
Can. Well, does the sea obey my commands? If it be my subject, it is a very rebellious subject. See how it swells, and dashes the angry foam and salt spray over my sacred person! Vile sycophants! did you think I was the dupe of your base lies? that I believed your abject flatteries? Know, there is but one Being whom the sea will obey. He is sovereign of heaven and earth, King of kings, and Lord of lords. It is only He who can say to the ocean, thus far shalt thou go, but no farther, and here shall thy proud waves be stayed.' A king is but a man and a man is but a worm. Shall a worm assume the power of the great God, and think the elements will obey him? May kings learn to be humble from my example, and courtiers learn truth from your disgrace!
The two Robbers.
We often condemn in others what we practise ourselves. (Alexander the Great in his tent. A man with a fierce countenance, chained and fettered, brought before him.)
Alexander. WHAT, art thou the Thracian robber, of whose exploits I have heard so much?
Robber. I am a Thracian, and a soldier.
Alex. A soldier!-a thief, a plunderer, an assassin! the pest of the country! I could honour thy courage, but I must detest and punish thy crimes.
Rob. What have I done, of which you can complain?
Alex. Hast thou not set at defiance my authority; violated the public peace; and passed thy life in injuring the persons and properties of thy fellow-subjects?
Rob. Alexander! I am your captive-I must hear what you please to say, and endure what you please to inflict. But my soul is unconquered; and if I reply at all to your reproaches, I will reply like a free man.
Alex. Speak freely. Far be it from me to take the advantage of my power, to silence those with whom I deign to converse.
Rob. I must then answer your question by another. How have you passed your life?
Alex. Like a hero. Ask Fame, and she will tell you. Among the brave, I have been the bravest; among sovereigns, the noblest; among conquerors, the mightiest.
Rob. And does not fame speak of me too? Was there ever a bolder captain of a more valiant band? Was there ever-But I scorn to boast. You yourself know that I have not been easily subdued.
Alex. Still what are you but a robber-a base, dishonest robber?
Rob. And what is a conqueror? Have not you, too, gone about the earth like an evil genius, blasting the fair fruits of peace and industry; plundering, ravaging, killing, without law, without justice, merely to gratify an insatiable lust for dominion? All that I have done to a single district with a hundred followers, you have done to whole nations with a hundred thousand. If I have stripped individuals, you have ruined kings and princes. If I have burned a few hamlets, you have desolated the most flourishing kingdoms, and cities of the earth. What is then the difference, but that as you were born a king, and I a private man, you have been able to become a mightier robber than I?
Alex. But if I have taken like a king, I have given like a king. If I have subverted empires, I have founded greater. I have cherished arts, commerce, and philosophy.
Rob. I too, have freely given to the poor, what I took from the rich I have established order and discipline among the most ferocious of mankind; and have stretched out my protecting arm over the oppressed. I know, indeed, little of the philosophy you talk of; but I believe neither you nor I shall ever atone to the world for the mischiefs we have done it. Alex. Leave me; Take off his chains, and use him well. Are we then so much alike? Alexander too, a robber? Let me reflect.
A Family Conversation on the Slavery of the Negroes. Augusta. My dear papa, you once informed me, that in the West-Indies, all the laborious operations were performed by negro slaves. Are those islands inhabited by negroes? I thought those people were natives of Africa.
Father. You are right, my dear; they are, indeed, natives of Africa; but they have been snatched by the hand of violence, from their country, friends, and connexions. I am ashamed to confess, that many ships are annually sent from different parts of Europe and America, to the coast of Guinea, to procure slaves from that unhappy country, for the use of the West-India islands, where they are sold to the planters of sugar planta
tions; and afterwards employed in the hardest and most servile occupations; and pass the rest of their lives in slavery and wretchedness.
Sophia. How much my heart feels for them! How agonising must it be, to be separated from one's near relations! parents, perhaps divided from their children for ever; husbands from their wives; brothers and sisters obliged to bid each other a final farewell! But why do the kings of the African states suffer their subjects to be so cruelly treated?
Mother. Many causes have operated to induce the African princes to become assistants in this infamous traffic; and instead of being the defenders of their harmless people, they have frequently betrayed them to their most cruel enemies. The Europeans have corrupted these ignorant rulers, by presents of rum, and other spirituous liquors, of which they are immoderately fond. They have fomented jealousies, and excited wars, amongst them, merely for the sake of obtaining the prisoners of war for slaves. Frequently they use no ceremony, but go on shore in the night, set fire to a neighbouring village, and seize upon all the unhappy victims who run out to escape the flames.
Cecilia. What hardened hearts do the captains of those ships possess ! They must have become extremely cruel, before they would undertake such an employment.
Mo. There is reason to believe that most of them, by the habits of such a life, are become deaf to the voice of pity: we must, however, compassionate the situation of those, whose parents have early bred them to this profession, before they were of an age to choose a different employment. But to resume the subject of the negroes. What I have related, is only the beginning of their sorrows. When they are put on board the ships, they are crowded together in the hold, where many of them die for want of air and room. There have been frequent instances of their throwing themselves into the sea, when they could find an opportunity, and seeking in death a refuge from their calamity. As soon as they arrive in the West-Indies, they are carried to a public market, where they are sold to the highest bidder, like horses at our fairs. Their future lot depends much upon the disposition of the master, into whose hands they happen to fall; for, among the overseers of sugar-plantations, there are some men of feeling and humanity: but too generally the treatment of the poor negroes is very severe. Accustomed to an easy, indolent life, in the luxurious and plentiful country of Africa, they find great hardship from the transition to a life of severe labour, without any mixture of indulgence to soften it. Deprived of the hope of amending their condition, by any course of conduct they can pursue, they frequently abandon themselves to despair; and die, in what is called the seasoning, which is, becoming inured by length of time to their situation. They who have less sensibility and stronger constitutions, survive their complicated misery but a few years; for it is generally acknowledged, that they seldom attain the full period of human life.
Aug. Humanity shudders at your account! But I have heard a gentleman, who had lived many years abroad, say, that negroes were not much superiour to the brutes; and that they were so stupid and stubborn, that nothing but stripes and severity could have any influence over them.
Fa. That gentleman was most probably interested in misleading those with whom he conversed. People, who reason in that manner, do not consider the disadvantages which the poor negroes suffer from want of cultivation. Leading an ignorant savage life in their own country, they can T
have acquired no previous information: and when they fall into the hands of their cruel oppressors, a life of laborious servitude, which scarcely af- D fords them sufficient time for sleep, deprives them of every opportunity of phil improving their minds. There is no reason to suppose that they differ from us in any thing but colour; which distinction arises from the intense phy heat of their climate. There have been instances of a few, whose situa- and i tion has been favourable to improvement, who have shown strong powers of mind. Those masters, who neglect the religious and moral instruction of their slaves, add a heavy load of guilt to that already incurred, by their share in this unjust and inhuman traffic.
Mo. Henry, repeat that beautiful apostrophe to a negro woman, which you learned the other day out of Barbauld's Hymns.
Henry. Negro woman, who sittest pining in captivity, and weepest over thy sick child, though no one sees thee, God sees thee: though no one pities thee, God pities thee. Raise thy voice, forlorn and abandoned one; call upon him from amidst thy bonds, for assuredly he will hear thee.' Ce. I think no riches could tempt me to have any share in the slave trade. I could never enjoy peace of mind, whilst I thought I contributed to the woes of my fellow-creat es.
Mo. But, Cecilia, to put your compassion to the proof; are you willing to debar yourself of the numerous indulgences you enjoy, from the fruit of their labour?
Charles. My indignation rises at this recital. Why does not the Bri-cite tish parliament exert its power to avenge the wrongs of these oppressed from Africans? What can prevent an act being passed to forbid Englishmen De from buying and selling slaves?
Fa. Many persons of great talents and virtue, have made several fruit-dudeless attempts to obtain an act for the abo!on of this trade. Men inte- thy fi rested in its continuance have hitherto frustrated these generous designs: De but we may rely upon the goodness of that Divine Providence, who cares for all creatures, that the day will come, when their rights will be considered and there is great reason to hope, from the light already cast upon the subject, that the rising generation will prefer justice and mercy, to interest and policy; and will free themselves from the odium we at present suffer, of treating our fellow creatures in a manner unworthy of them, and
H on th
Ce. I would forego any indulgence to alleviate their sufferings. The rest of the children together. We are all of the same mind. Mo. I admire the sensibility of your uncorrupted hearts, my dear children. It is the voice of nature and virtue. Listen to it on all occasions, and bring it home to your bosoms, and your daily practice. The same principle of benevolence, which excites your indignation at the oppression of the negroes, will lead you to be gentle towards your inferiours, kind and obliging to your equals, and in a particular manner condescending had and considerate towards your domestics: requiring no more of them, than you will be willing to perform in their situation; instructing them when you have opportunity; sympathizing in their afflictions, and promoting their best interests to the utmost of your power.