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come together. Much oftener will the indulgent master and the perverse slave, or the faithful servant and the harsh unfeeling master, meet un. happily together. As for the great bulk of the slaves, they are beyond the ken of their master's immediate observation : indeed there are many, both masters and agents, who do not personally know a tenth part of the numerous slaves whom they own, or are concerned for.
Two instances may here be given of uncommon gratitude and attachment in slaves towards their masters; both of which are pretty well authenticated.
Soon after the breaking out of the insurrection in St. Domingo, when the unfortunate whites were every where hunted and massacred, and their dwellings given up to fire and pillage, a negro, who loved his master, hastened to him with the first intelligence of the revolt, and the imminent danger in which he stood; but, added this faithful slave, “I will save you, or perish myself in the attempt!" He immediately conveyed away his master to a place of safety, where he could lie concealed for a while. In the dead of night he put him into a sack, and placing him across a mule, conveyed him to some distance before day dawn, and again concealed him in the cavern of a rock: at night he again renewed his journey; and in this manner did this faithful creature safely conduct his master a distance of an
hundred miles, till he brought him to a navigable river, where he procured a canoe, and at night paddled it down with the stream till he came to a post occupied by the whites, to whom he delivered his master in safety and unhurt!
The other instance occurred in Jamaica during he Maroon war, and is well attested by several respectable gentlemen, who were eye-witnesses of the transaction. During the ambuscade attack of the Maroons on lieutenant-colonel Sandford's party of dragoons and militia, at a narrow defile leading from the new to the old Trelawney Maroontown, a gentleman's negro servant, being close to his master, and observing a Maroon's piece levelled at him, he instantly threw himself between him and the danger, and received the shot in his body! Happily it did not prove mortal: this generous negro lived to enjoy the well-earned fruits of his master's gratitude. Many other instances might here be given of the gratitude and attachment of negroes towards their masters, which proves that they are not devoid of those amiable feelings. But at the same time, the author must lament, that more numerous examples have come within his knowledge of an opposite description. He has had occasion to witness the most hardened ingratitude in wretches of the race, not only towards their masters and their fellow slaves, but even towards their very parents, when age and decrepitude have rendered their kindness
and assistance doubly necessary and welcomo, Filial gratitude is not so energetic an affection iq the human race in general, as parental fondness; and among the negro race this is often strikingly exemplified.
The passions and affections of the negroes, being Jess under the controul of reason, being less tempered by phịlosophy, and softened and moderated by the dictates of our holy religion, are of course more violent and impetuous when they break out, than those of the civilized European. Rage, revenge, grief, jealousy, even excess of love, in the negro, have often been productive of terrible catastrophes. It may seem surprising that excess of love should produce such tragical effect among so barbarous a people, that so noble a passion should operate to such extent in their savage bosoms : but what shall we call that in'fatuation of the heart, which would rather behold its þeloved object perish, than be possessed by another? It is then a savage and selfish love, unmingled with the tenderness of civilized minds, which seeks more for its own gratification than the happiness of its adored object. It partakes þess of sentiment and sympathy, and more of desire, than the moralist would wish to allow, in what he denominates love. The affecting story related in the Spectator of the two friends and their mistress, is an example; though certainly there is more of the romantic in this affecting
tale, than one usually meets with in the loves of
This struggle between love and friendship had an air of heroism; but it was a savage nature that could urge them to immolate the object of their mutual affection at the altar of friendship, rather than relinquish her to some third rival, or abide by her decision in favour of the one or the other of themselves.
A melancholy instance of despair, originating in jealousy, in a negro, lately came under the author's own knowledge. A negro was fond to excess of one of his master's female slaves, and flattered himself with the thought that his affection was returned. At last he conceived himself slighted by her, and suspected her affections were bestowed on another negro belonging to an adjoining property. One morning he anxiously inquired whither she was going, and on being told to a spring near to where his supposed rival dwelt, to fetch water, he told her he would fetch it for her; and, on her refusal, his suspicions were confirmed. He grew desperate, and resolved on self-destruction; but first he went and deliberately took leave of his master, and all his fellow slaves, but without intimating to them the nature of his purpose. This behaviour, and his wild looks, occasioning however a suspicion of his intention, he was watched into a wood, where he was seen fixing a rope to the branch of a tree to suspend himself by: the spies immediately rushed forward to prevent his fatal purpose, when, seeing them coming, he locked his hands behind him, and throwing himself with violence from the tree on the rocks beneath, he was dashed to death on the spot.
There are some callous wretches among the whites, who, having little sentiment or feeling themselves, make light of insulting the feelings, and sporting with the passions of ļhe poor nes groes. A shocking circumstance, which the author recollects having occurred within a few miles of his residence, shewed the danger and inhumanity of such conduct. He will, however, spare the recital, and the reader's feelings and delicacy.
Though the negro is alive to the emotions of anger and revenge, yet he has generally sufficient nastery over himself to suppress them at the mo. ment, and await the slow operations of a malignant rancour, which broods in silence over its wrongs : a manly, open, and generous courage, seldom being among the number of his virtues ; le rather chuses to watch a favourable opportu: tunity of retaliation, than encourage the instant impulse, which might involve him in unnecessary hazard.
A humane regulation was latterly introduced into the slave trade, viz. to have no negroes brough from Africa above twenty-five age.
Had the limited age been eighteen or twenty, the regu- : lation would have been still more humane. For,