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Title: Samboe; or, The African Boy
Author: Hedge, Mary Ann
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Samboe; or, The African Boy" ***

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                            THE AFRICAN BOY.

                            BY THE AUTHOR OF
                   "Twilight Hours Improved," &c. &c.

                And man, where Freedom's beams and fountains rise,
                Springs from the dust, and blossoms to the skies.
                Dead to the joys of light and life, the slave
                Clings to the clod; his root is in the grave.
                Bondage is winter, darkness, death, despair;
                Freedom the sun, the sea, the mountain, and the air!


                     PRINTED FOR HARVEY AND DARTON,


                       WILLIAM WILBERFORCE, Esq.
                                 M. P.

                           THIS SMALL VOLUME,
                         BY HIS KIND PERMISSION
                           HUMBLY DEDICATED;
                          AND RESPECT FOR HIS

                      And grateful acknowledgment

                              THE AUTHOR.


It has been justly remarked, "that all who read may become
enlightened;" for readers, insensibly imbibing the sentiments of
others, and having their own latent sensibilities called forth,
contract, progressively, virtuous inclinations and habits; and thereby
become fitted to unite with their fellow-beings, in the removal or
amelioration of any of the evils of life. With a full conviction
of this, I have attempted, and now offer to my young readers, the
present little work. To the rising generation, I am told, the great
question of the slave-trade is little known; the abolition of it, by
our legislature, having taken place either before many of them existed,
or at too early a period of their lives to excite any interest. Present
circumstances, however, in reference to the subject, ensure for it
an intense interest, in every heart feeling the blessing of freedom
and all the sweet charities of home; blessings which it is our care
to dispose the youthful heart duly to appreciate, and hence to feel
for those, deprived, by violence and crime, of these high privileges
of man.

It is true, England has achieved the triumph of humanity, in effacing
from her Christian character so dark a stain as a traffic in human
beings; a commerce, "the history of which is written throughout in
characters of blood." Yet there are but too strong evidences that
it is yet pursued to great and fearful extent by other nations,
notwithstanding the solemn obligations they have entered into to
suppress it; obligations "imposed on every Christian state, no less by
the religion it professes, than by a regard to its national honour;"
and notwithstanding it has been branded with infamy, at a solemn
congress of the great Christian powers, as a crime of the deepest
dye. Of this there has long been most abundant melancholy proof; yet,
under its present contraband character, it has been attended by, if
possible, unprecedented enormities and misery, as well as involving
the base and cruel agents of it in the further crime of deliberate
perjury, in order to conceal their nefarious employment.

Surely, then, no age can scarcely be too immature, in which to sow the
seeds of abhorrence in the young breast, against this blood-stained,
demoralizing commerce! Surely, no means, however trivial, should
be neglected, to arouse the spirit of youth against it! It would be
tedious, and, indeed, inconsistent with the brevity of this little
work, to name the number of the great and the good who have protested
against, and sacrificed their time and their treasure to abolish
it. Suffice it to say, that an apparently trifling incident first
aroused the virtuous energies of the ardent, persevering Clarkson, in
the great cause;--that a view of the produce of Africa, and proofs of
the ingenuity of Africans, kindled the fire of enthusiasm in the noble
and comprehensive mind of a Pitt. Nor did the flame quiver or become
dim while he was the pilot of the state, though he was not decreed to
see the success of perseverance in the cause of justice and humanity.

Let me, therefore, be acquitted of presumption, when I express a hope,
that, trifling as is the present work, yet, as the leading events
it records are not the creations of fancy, but realities that have
passed; that they have not been collected for effect, or uselessly
to awaken the feelings; but having been actually presented in the
pursuit of a disgraceful and cruel commerce, are now offered to the
view of my young readers, in order to confirm the great truths, that
cruelty and oppression encouraged, soon brutalize the nature of man;
divesting him of every distinguishing trait which unites him with
superior intelligences, and sinking him in the scale of being far
below the ravening wolf and insatiate tiger; and that the slave-trade,
more especially, never fails effectually to destroy all the sympathies
of humanity, and so far to barbarize those who are concerned in it,
as assuredly to cause civilized man to resume the ferocity of the
savage whom he presumes to despise.

                                                             The Author.

            "Offspring of love divine, Humanity!

            ---- ---- ---- ---- ----

            Come thou, and weep with me substantial ills,
            And execrate the wrongs that Afric's sons,
            Torn from their native shore, and doom'd to bear
            The yoke of servitude in foreign climes,
            Sustain. Nor vainly let our sorrows flow,
            Nor let the strong emotion rise in vain.
            But may the kind contagion widely spread,
            Till, in its flame, the unrelenting heart
            Of avarice melt in softest sympathy,
            And one bright ray of universal love,
            Of grateful incense, rises up to heaven!"

                                      Roscoe's Wrongs of Africa.

            "E'en from my pen some heartfelt truths may fall;
            For outrag'd nature claims the care of all."



                                  "Slaves of gold! whose sordid dealings
                                    Tarnish all your boasted powers,
                                  Prove that ye have human feelings,
                                    Ere ye proudly question ours."

"Encourage the chiefs to go to war, that they may obtain slaves; for
as on many accounts we require a large number, we desire you to exert
yourself, and not stand out for a price." Such was the direction,
and such the order, of the slave-merchants at Cape Coast Castle,
to one of their factors in the interior, for the collection and
purchase of slaves; who, dreadful as was his occupation, yet at all
times faithfully endeavoured to obey the orders of his employers.

This person had, by studying the character, peculiarities, prejudices,
and language of the natives, obtained a great influence over the chiefs
of a country, peculiarly blessed by Providence, with all that can
enchant the eye, or gratify the wants of man. It is a well-known, but
melancholy truth, that, by the introduction of spirituous liquors, and
other desirable articles to an uncivilized people, the Europeans have
greatly augmented and cherished the dreadful traffic in human beings:
the African kings and chiefs being induced, by these temptations,
to barter their subjects and captives, for commodities they estimate
so highly; frequently even fomenting quarrels, and making war with
each other, at the instigation of the slave-factors, for the sole
purpose of obtaining captives, in order to exchange them for European
articles, with which the factors, who visit their country for the
dreadful purpose, are well furnished; to tempt the appetites, and
provoke the wild passions, of the wretched beings they intend to make
the instruments of their inhuman thirst of gain. (Note A.)

                            "The natural bond
        Of brotherhood is sever'd as the flax
        That falls asunder at the touch of fire--
                            And having pow'r
        T' enforce the wrong, for such a worthy cause,
        Dooms and devotes him as his lawful prey."

Mr. Irving, the factor whom we have named as having received the
peremptory and unlimited order from the merchants of Cape Coast
Castle, had won their confidence, by the remarkable success which had
attended his negociations with the king and principal grandees of
Whidáh, in which delightful part of Africa he had resided for some
years. Nothing, perhaps, more strongly proves the indurating power
of the love of gain upon the heart, and the baneful influence of the
habitual view of oppression on the better feelings of the soul, than
the change which generally takes place in the characters of the young
men whose official duty places them in situations like that filled by
Mr. Irving. It has, indeed, been most justly and impressively observed,
that it is impossible for any one to be accustomed to carry away
miserable beings, by force, from their country and endearing ties,
to keep them in chains, to see their tears, to hear their mournful
lamentations, to behold the dead and the dying mingled together, to
keep up a system of severity towards them in their deep affliction,
to be constant witnesses of the misery of exile, bondage, cruelty,
and oppression, which, together, form the malignant character of this
nefarious traffic, without losing all those better feelings it should
be the study of man to cherish; or without contracting those habits
of moroseness and ferocity which brutalize the nature.

Irving, like many other youths, had been induced by an ardent
curiosity, and an enterprising spirit, to engage as a writer to
the Royal African Company [1], at a time when the traffic in slaves
was legally pursued, as one source of riches to a great commercial
nation. Yet it may with candour be presumed, that he, and many a
youth entering upon the same path, with the same laudable impulses,
had they anticipated the peril to which they exposed their humane
principles, by engaging themselves in a trade so repugnant to nature,
religion, and justice, would rather have undergone personal hazard and
difficulty in their native land, so that they might have fostered that
divine principle, which is the noble and distinguishing characteristic
of man--of free-born man.

That Irving possessed a native humanity and right feeling, would
appear from his letters to his friends in England, written on his
arrival in Africa; and as he describes the country as it first met
his admiring and youthful eye, it may be not unamusing to my young
readers, to extract a few passages from his letters to his sister,
before we pursue the detail of subsequent events, in which he was
an actor. "Well, my dear Sophy," he observes, "are you reconciled
to your brother becoming a dealer in slaves? I assure you I have had
some compunctious visitings of conscience upon the subject during the
voyage; the calmness and monotony of which, gave me ample opportunity
of reflecting upon the kind-hearted arguments of my good little sister,
against a commerce, which, I believe she says true when she asserts,
'is founded in injustice and crime, and a compound of all that is
wicked and cruel.' But, Sophy, what will you call your wild brother,
when I tell you, that the first glance I had of this enchanting
country, put you, your arguments, the unhappy and abused natives,
from my mind, in an instant; and I could only bless my stars that I
was to become an inhabitant of a region which seemed to offer so many
delights--so many interesting studies for my pencil. I can anticipate
all you would say upon this subject, as to the cruelty of tearing
the miserable natives from scenes which 'breathe of Paradise,' so
as to have raised the enthusiasm of even the thoughtless heart of
Charles Irving. But I have no time for argument, Sophy, scarcely
that for brief description. Imagine then, my dear sister, the most
boundless luxuriancy of landscape, continually clothed with all the
beauties and riches of spring, summer, and harvest; lofty mountains
covered with wood, chiefly fruit-trees; fine streams, romantic
and fertile valleys. Such is the general appearance: the scenery
in detail surpasses description. This charming country seems to be
remarkably populous. The kingdom of Whidáh, in which is situated the
factory to which I am at present appointed, is (as you will find on
consulting your map) on the western side of Africa, commonly called
the slave-coast. This kingdom we should rather call a county, as
it extends only about ten miles along the coast, and about seven
miles inland. Yet, although of so small an extent, it is divided
into twenty-six divisions, or provinces. The villages are numerous,
and thickly inhabited. The houses or huts of the natives are small;
conical at the top, and thatched either with long grass, or the
palmetto leaves. The interior is very clean; but from the fish and
other articles of food kept in them, you may readily imagine the
effluvia is not very pleasant to European nicety.

The furniture of these dwellings is not very costly, seldom amounting
to more than a chest to contain their light and simple articles of
clothing; a mat to repose upon, raised a little from the floor; a jar
to contain water, and calabashes of various sizes; two or three wooden
mortars to pound corn and rice, and a basket or sieve to prepare it
when done. The villages formed of these huts are generally built in
a circle, surrounded by a clay wall, scattered over the country in
the midst of beautiful groves clear of brushwood, and have a most
picturesque and beautiful effect to a stranger's eye. The fields are
always verdant, and nature puts forth her beauties with inexhaustible
profusion; perpetual spring and autumn succeeding each other. The
Company's factory here, is most pleasantly situated in the midst of
gardens, which amply supply it, and the fort, (called Fort William,)
consisting of four batteries, mounting seventeen guns. In these gardens
is an abundant supply of beans, potatoes, every other edible root
known in Europe, and a great variety of delicious fruits peculiar to
the climate. Amongst the most beautiful and useful vegetable riches of
Africa, may be reckoned the plantain and banana trees. The latter bears
a fruit six or seven inches in length, covered with a yellow skin,
very tender when ripe. The pulp of it is as soft as a marmalade, and
of a most pleasant taste. It grows on a stalk about six yards high,
the leaves being nearly two yards long, and a foot wide. One stalk
only bears a single cluster of the fruit, which sometimes consists
of forty or fifty bananas; and when the cluster is gathered, the
stalk is cut off, or it would bear no more fruit. The plantain is not
unlike the banana, but somewhat longer, although the flavour greatly
resembles it. The leaves, and every part of the tree, are converted
into a variety of useful articles. There are also guavas, a fruit very
like our peach, except that the external coat is rougher; and it has
small kernels like the apple, instead of a stone. Cocoas, oranges,
lemons, citrons, and limes, abound, and, as you may readily suppose,
are in great request amongst us, as well as beautiful additions to
the luxuriant vegetable riches of the country."

In a subsequent letter he again writes: "I was much pleased this
morning to see the natives extracting what we call the wine from the
palm tree, which is beautifully straight and lofty, growing sometimes
to a prodigious height.

"They make an incision in the trunk, near the summit of the tree, to
which they apply, in succession, gourd bottles, conducting the liquor
into them by means of a pipe formed of the leaves. This wine is very
pleasant when fresh drawn, but is apt to disagree with Europeans in
that state. After fermentation, however, it becomes like Rhenish wine,
and is extremely good, without being prejudicial. You would be alarmed,
Sophy, to see how rapidly and nimbly the natives mount these lofty
trees, which are sometimes sixty, seventy, and even a hundred feet in
height, and the bark smooth. The only aid they have is a piece of the
bark of a tree, which they form into a hoop by holding the two ends,
having enclosed themselves and the trunk of the tree. They then place
their feet against the tree, and their backs against the hoop, and
mount as quick as thought. It sometimes occurs that they miss their
footing, the consequence of course is, that they are precipitated
with tremendous force to the ground, and dashed to pieces.

"There is another tree called the ciboa, very much like the palm,
and applied to the same purposes: the wine of this is not quite so
sweet as that of the palm.

In another letter he further observes: "I think you will be pleased to
hear in what manner I pass my time here, my dear Sophy, while you are
perhaps talking of me in the dear domestic circle; I will therefore
give you the journal of a day, which, with little variation, is the
general mode of my living.

"I rise by day-break, in order to enjoy the refreshing coolness of
the morning, and generally ride or walk into the country, through
the delightful woods and savannahs.

"On my return, I breakfast on never-tiring tea, or, for want of it, a
sort of tea growing in the woods, called simbong. Upon any deficiency
of sugar, I use honey, as it is at all times easily procured; except,
perhaps, when the natives are making their honey wine, of which they
are immoderately fond. Sometimes I take milk, with cakes of rice or
flour; or Guinea-corn, baked in a very useful article in my kitchen;
viz. a large iron pot. The milk will not boil without turning to
whey, which I ascribe to the nature of the grass upon which the cows
feed. My dinner is frequently beef, either fresh or salted, in which
latter state it will keep six or seven days. This I either boil and eat
with coosh-coosh, (Note B.) a favourite dish with the natives, or with
pumpkins and coliloo, like spinach, both of which are plentiful. Fowls
are so cheap and common, that they may always be purchased for a few
charges of gunpowder; and when I wish for either fish or game, I send
a fisher or hunter, allowed by the factory, to supply me; and they
never fail to bring me ample store of the finest sorts of the former;
and of the latter, deer, ducks, partridges, wild geese, and what are
here called crown birds, all which abound in their different seasons.

"The afternoon is the usual time of trade; but sometimes it is
protracted during the whole of several days, and being my proper
business, I make a point of never neglecting it (Note C.) If concluded
early, I sometimes take a trip to some of the neighbouring villages,
and return home to supper, amusing myself, as I am now doing, with
writing or reading, and occasionally visiting two or three friends. In
these visits, the refreshment is generally palm and honey wine, or a
fruit called cola, which very agreeably relishes water. I frequently,
also, form one of a party in shooting doves and partridges. I have
indeed no want of society, generally having even more company than I
desire. These visitors are traders, and messengers from the great men
in this and the adjacent kingdom, who frequently send me presents of
pieces of cloths, cows, spices, and even a slave. These presents I
would gladly decline, as I well know they are given with a view of
obtaining more valuable returns, or to bribe me to some measure in
which my interest or aid is required; but I am obliged to accept what
they offer, because the interest of the Company renders it necessary
to conciliate the natives, who may forward the trade. But to return
to my accommodation: perhaps you think I repose on the 'verdant mead,
under the spreading palm.' No such thing, my dear Sophy: my bed-room
is large and airy, and during the rainy season glows with the cheering
blaze of a fire. My bedstead is raised by forkillas; at the head and
feet are cross poles, upon which is placed a platform of split cane. My
bed itself is composed of silk-cotton, a sort of vegetable down,
extremely soft, and very plentiful here; and to complete my bedstead,
I have erected light posts at the corners, to support a pavilion
of thin cloth, as a defence against the musquitoes. Independently
of the linen I brought from England, I have some presented to me,
by a negro king and his sister: (what think you of that, Sophy?) it
consists of fine cotton cloths, six yards long and three wide: these
I use for sheets. Thus, you find, I have all my comforts around me,
even on the burning shores of Africa, to which you were so unwilling
I should direct my way.

"I cannot close my letter without telling you of the pleasure I enjoyed
in my excursion this morning, with a friend who is my colleague in
office, and with whom I am indeed so intimate, that we have acquired
the designation of 'the inseparables.' We set out just as the day
was dawning, and had penetrated nearly five miles into the country,
ere the sun bore any oppressive power; and taking our fowling pieces
with us, we shot a few birds for sport, as we proceeded through a
country rich beyond your imagination to conceive. We rested ourselves
at the foot of a rock, and ate a hearty breakfast of fruit, washing
it down with palm wine, with which we were provided, and milk from
the cocoa-nuts we gathered. We then continued to explore scenes which
seemed to realize the picture imagination forms of Paradise. Coming
to a beautiful expanse of water, we again seated ourselves, to enjoy
a second meal, as well as the beauty and the heavenly repose, adorning
and pervading these vast solitudes.

"The tinkling of several little rills, and the sound of several larger
cascades that fell from the rocks, only broke the stillness of the
spot, in every other respect profound; and altogether diffused a
tranquillity over the soul, the influence of which I still feel, but
am unable to define. The orange and lime trees adorning the spot,
bending under the weight of their delicious fruit, and diffusing
around their fragrant odour; a number of other beautiful shrubs and
trees intermingling their various tints of foliage, and tempting
the hand to gather their rich fruit; combined with the cataracts,
the surrounding hills, covered with the noblest trees and liveliest
verdure, and in their various angles and projections, exhibiting
the bold and free strokes of nature; altogether composed what might,
without exaggeration, be called a terrestrial Paradise, the effect of
which cannot be imagined, unless it were seen. You may be sure that it
was not without regret we quitted this delightful spot, which raised
our curiosity and desire, to the highest degree, further to explore the
country. Nor (shall I confess it, Sophy?) could we forbear remarking,
that if the attention of our country was directed to the civilization,
and the improving the natural resources of such a country, instead
of robbing and devastating it, it would be far more honourable to us
as Britains, and as men, enjoying all the privileges of that envied
title. But I think I hear you say: 'You tell me much of yourself,
and of the face of the country you have chosen for a residence, but
you tell me little of the inhabitants of this favoured region.' This
I must reserve for another packet, my dear sister, as also an account
of my visit to Sabi [2]. In the mean time I will assure you, that I
have no regrets in having quitted for a while my country, except my
separation from you and my family, every member of which must ever
be dear, to their affectionate

                                                       "Charles Irving."


                            "What's all that Afric's golden rivers roll,
                            Her odorous woods, and shining ivory stores?
                            Ill-fated race! the softening arts of peace,
                            And all-protecting freedom, which alone
                            Sustains the name and dignity of man:
                            These are not theirs!"

Presuming that our young readers are not uninterested in the
accounts of Charles Irving, we shall make a few more extracts
from his correspondence. "You tell me," he observes in reply to
the expressed wishes of his sister, "you tell me, my dear Sophy,
to give you some information respecting the inhabitants of Whidáh. I
am myself unable to speak very decisively, but I am assured by those
who have visited other parts of Africa, that those of Whidáh exceed
the other negroes in civilization, and they certainly appear to me,
both industrious and ingenious. The women, I can assure you, are very
important personages, truly help-meets to their lords. They brew the
beer, dress the food, sell all sorts of articles, (except slaves!) at
the markets; they are also, I am sorry to add, employed in tilling
the land with the slaves. But, Sophy, this may be accounted for:
the light of Christianity has not yet beamed upon this land. Its
humanizing spirit we have, you know, often remarked, as peculiarly
favourable to the weaker sex; and were Africa free, and blessed
with the genial ray of true religion, doubtless her women would
acquire that consideration which is their due, and be regarded as
what they ought to be, as the companions and solace, not the slaves
of man. In reference to their ingenuity, I have many specimens. They
spin cotton yarn, weave fine cotton cloth, make calabashes, wooden
vessels, plates, dishes, &c. I have now lying before me, a present
from a great man, a pipe for smoking, which is remarkably neat. It
is formed of clay of a reddish hue, the stem a reed about six feet
in length. It is beautifully and finely polished, perfectly smooth,
white, and even elegant. The bowl and stem are fastened together with
a piece of delicate red leather. It has also a fine leather tassel,
attached to about the middle of the stem; and so neat is the work,
that although the end of the reed goes into the bowl of the pipe, it
appears as if formed of one piece. They clean the reed, when filled
up with the smoke, by drawing long straws through it, and the bowls,
by scraping them with a small sharp instrument.

"Last week we had quite a gala day, one of the country chiefs paying
a visit to the governor at the fort. He was saluted with five guns
on his landing: I was much pleased that my duty obliged me to go to
the fort at the time.

"The ostensible motive of his visit, was respect to the governor; but
the real one, to solicit powder and ball, in order to defend himself
against the attacks of a neighbouring chief. He assumes the title of
emperor, and is a fine model of negro beauty, young, extremely black,
tall, and free in his carriage, with teeth which rivalled pearls in
beauty. His dress consisted of short yellow cotton trowsers, reaching
only to the knees; and a sort of mantle of the same material, flowing
full like a surplice. His feet and legs were naked; but he wore a
very large cap, with a white goat's tail fastened in it: I suppose,
the insignia of his dignity.

"All the officers of the fort were in full uniform, waiting to receive
this chieftain; and, I assure you, it was a very gratifying sight to
observe the expecting numbers ready to welcome him.

"He and his retinue came in a large and splendid canoe, containing
about sixteen persons, all armed with guns and sabres, with a number of
drums, upon which they beat with one stick. Two or three women were of
the party, and danced to the sound of the drums. They remained at the
fort all night, highly pleased with the visit, and the success of it;
not only receiving what they solicited, but an ample present of rum,
beads, bugles, and looking-glasses, from the governor, by which he
quite won the hearts of the emperor and his suite.

"The natives are, indeed, generally good-natured and obliging,
particularly to Europeans; and if the latter are liberal in presents,
they seldom find the obligation forgotten. If a favour is asked of
them, they will use their utmost efforts to comply, even to their own
prejudice. Gentle measures are, indeed, the only means to succeed with
them: they then seem to have pleasure in compliance; but if treated
with violence, they are obstinate and refractory, and they will take as
much pains to injure, as, in the other case, to serve. This, you will
say, sufficiently proves their native generosity of disposition. Can
such a people require any thing but freedom, and a pure faith, to
render them equal to the European, who despises them, and denies
that they possess a capability of enjoying freedom? I grant this,
my dear advocate; and, did time allow me, could relate many instances
to prove that your opinion is just.

"In my last, I mentioned the employment of the women partly consisted
in weaving fine cotton cloths. We frequently barter these with our
commodities. The pieces are generally twenty-seven yards long,
but never more than nine inches wide. They cut them what length
they require, and sew them together very neatly, to serve the use
of broader cloths. The cotton is cleared from the seed by hand,
and is spun with a spindle and distaff: it is afterwards woven in
a loom of very simple and coarse workmanship. These cloths are made
up into pairs, one about three yards long, and one and a half broad;
with this the shoulders and body are covered. The other is almost of
the same breadth, and but two yards long: this is gathered neatly in
folds round the waist, and falls loosely over the limbs. Such a pair of
cloths is the dress of men and women, with a slight variation in the
mode of adjustment. I have seen a pair of such cloths, so beautifully
fine in texture, and so brightly dyed, as to be very valuable. Their
usual colours are either blue or yellow, some very lively: I do not
remember, however, ever to have seen any red. (Note D.)

"I shall conclude this letter by an account of my visit to Sabi, as I
promised you. With European ideas of the state of society and commerce
in Africa, I confess, the surprise I experienced was very great, on
my entrance into the market of this capital of Whidáh, which is kept
twice in a week. Great regulation is observed in the keeping of these
markets, a distinct and proper place being assigned for every different
commodity; and the confluence of people, although great, are preserved
from disorder and confusion, by a judge or magistrate, appointed by
the king; and who, with four assistants, well armed, inspects the
markets, hears all complaints, and, in a summary way, decides all
differences among the buyers and sellers, having power to seize, and
sell as slaves, all who violate the peace. Besides this magistrate,
there is another, whose peculiar office it is to inspect the money,
which is called toqua, consisting of strings of shells, to the number
of forty; and if one of these strings happens to be deficient in a
single shell, the whole are forfeited to the king. Round the markets
are erected booths, which are occupied by cooks or suttlers, who sell
provisions ready dressed, as beef, pork, goats'-flesh; and others,
in which may be obtained rice, millet, marre, and bread; and others
where they sell spirituous liquors, palm and ciboa wine, and pito,
which is a sort of beer. The chief commodities on sale, are slaves,
cattle, and fowls of every kind, monkeys and other animals; various
sorts of European cloth, linen, and woollen; printed calicoes, silk,
grocery, and china; gold in dust and bars, iron in bars or wrought.

"The country manufactures are Whidáh cloths, mats, baskets, jars,
calabashes of various sorts, wooden bowls and cups, red and blue
pepper, salt, palm-oil, &c. All these commodities, except slaves, are
sold by the women, who are excellent accountants, and set off their
goods most judiciously. The men are also good accountants, reckoning
every thing by the head; and are as exact as the Europeans are with
pen and ink, although the sums are often so many and so considerable,
as to render it very intricate.

"The slaves are paid for in gold-dust, but other payments are made
in strings of cowries, which, as I have said, contain forty in a
string. Five of the strings make what the natives call a fore; and
fifty fores make an alkove, which generally weighs about sixty pounds.

The various commodities of these markets, and the order and regularity
with which they are disposed, would be a peculiarly pleasing sight to a
stranger, were not human beings included in the articles of commerce;
but, to behold a number of men, women, and children, linked together,
and ranged like beasts to view, is a sight truly shocking to behold;
and I will acknowledge, Sophy, I felt a sickness come over my heart,
and a glow of shame suffuse my forehead, as I contemplated upwards of
sixty individuals, whom a few short hours, perhaps, might separate, for
ever, from their kindred and their country. There is, however, little
chance that it will now ever be otherwise; for the worst passions
of men are engaged, and the despotism of the African kings gives
them ample opportunity to gratify their cupidity and intemperance,
by the barter of their unhappy subjects [3]. The revenues of the king
of Whidáh are very considerable; for he not only has large landed
possessions, but he receives a duty on all commodities sold in the
markets, or imported into the country. His lands furnish him with
provisions for his numerous household, as well as for exportation;
great quantities being annually sold to the neighbouring nations,
less bountifully supplied by nature. The revenues arising from the
slave-trade are very considerable, and induce him to favour it,
by the strongest principle in the soul of man, selfishness; for he
receives three rix dollars for every slave sold in his dominions. Every
European vessel also pays him a pecuniary duty, exclusive of presents,
which they make to conciliate his favour, and to secure his protection
in trading.

Some years, slaves to the number of two thousand are brought from
the interior, by the native merchants, most of whom, they say, are
prisoners of war. These merchants purchase them from the different
princes, who have made captives of them. Their mode of travelling is
by tying them by the neck with leather thongs, at about a yard distant
from each other, thirty and forty in a string; having generally a
large truss or bundle of corn, or an elephant's tooth, upon the head
of each or many of them. In their way from the mountains, far in the
interior, they have to travel through vast woods, where, for several
days, perhaps, no water is to be procured. To obviate this distressing
scarcity, they carry water in skins. There are a great number of these
merchants, who, furnishing themselves with European goods from the
slave-factors, penetrate the inland countries, and with them purchase,
in their route, gold, slaves, and elephants' teeth. (Note E.)

"They use asses as well as slaves to convey their goods, but no camels
nor horses. Besides the slaves brought down to the factories by these
merchants, many others are bought in the vicinity. These are either
taken in war, as the former, or are men condemned for crimes; and,
not unfrequently, they are stolen. These the Company never purchase,
if able to ascertain the fact. It is worthy of remark, that, since the
great demand for slaves, most punishments are changed into slavery;
and there being an accruing advantage on such condemnations, they
exaggerate faults scarcely more than venial, into crimes, in order
to obtain the benefit of selling the criminal. Not only murder and
the grosser crimes are punished in this manner, but every trifling
misdemeanour renders the culprit obnoxious to the same dreadful
penalty. It was not many days since that I had a man brought to me
to be sold, for having stolen a tobacco pipe; and I had infinite
trouble to persuade the aggrieved party to accept of a compensation,
and to leave the man free.

"From what I have seen of the people, they are well disposed and
cheerful, excessively fond of dancing, keeping it up to the sound
of a drum or a balafeu, for many hours, without any appearance
of weariness. Their dances are sometimes pleasing and regular,
but at others wild, and apparently confused. The instrument they
call a balafeu is very pleasing, sounding something like an organ,
when not too near. It is composed of about twenty pipes of very hard
wood, finely polished: these pipes gradually diminish, both in size
and length, and are tied together with thongs made of very fine
thin leather. These thongs are twisted round small round wands,
which are placed between each of the pipes, in order to leave a
short space. Underneath the pipes are fastened twelve or fourteen
calabashes, of different sizes, which have the same effect of sound
as organ-pipes. This they play upon with two sticks, covered with a
thin skin, taken from the trunk of the ciboa, or with fine leather,
in order to soften the sound. (Note F.) Both sexes delight to dance to
this instrument, and their pleasure seems to rise almost to ecstasy, if
a white man will unite in the dance; which, you will readily suppose,
I am never unwilling to do. The only indication of suspicion they show,
is when asked to take any beverage with a white man, always requiring
the liquor to be first tasted by the inviter.

"Many of the natives have invited me to their habitations and dancing
parties, and brought their wives and daughters to salute me. They,
with great artlessness, generally sit down by me, and are never weary
in admiring the different articles of my dress; making their comments
one to another, with the most lively admiration and astonishment. Some,
who had never seen a white man, ran away from me, apparently terrified
at my monstrous appearance.

"In their persons they are of a good height, well shaped, and
extremely black; and, as an instance of the female subjection, I
am told, that, when a man has been absent from home, even but for a
short time, his wife salutes him upon her knees at his return, and,
in the same attitude, offers him water and refreshments. Both sexes
are exceedingly cleanly in their persons, washing themselves in pure
water twice in the day, and using aromatic unguents. Their dress
consists of the country cotton cloths I have named; the superior
classes add a short garment, made of taffety, or other silk, and
scarfs of the same material passed over the shoulder. They generally
go with the head and feet uncovered, but occasionally wear sandals,
and caps or bonnets. The superior females wear calico paans, or a
sort of petticoat, which are very fine, and beautifully variegated
with different colours: these are confined round the waist, and the
upper part of the body is covered with a cloth, serving also as a veil.

"They wear necklaces of coral, &c. agreeably disposed; and their arms,
wrists, fingers, and legs, are encompassed and ornamented with rings
of amber, silver, and even gold, to a considerable value. The inferior
ranks wear copper or iron. The men suffer the hair to remain in its
natural form, except buckling it in two or three places, in order
to affix a coral ornament to it; but the women arrange theirs more
artificially, with long and small buckles, or ornaments, the hair
divided on the crown of the head, and the ornaments placed with great
uniformity. They have a bad practice of using an oil, which injures
the glossy blackness of the hair, in time changing it to a colour
approaching green or yellow, which they much admire; but it is very
unpleasing to the eye of a stranger.

"I have mentioned that the natives of Whidáh are idolaters. The
object of their worship, you will be surprised to find, is a serpent;
an animal to which men, in general, have an antipathy This Whidáh god
is called the fetiche: it is a harmless, as well as beautiful animal,
having an antipathy to venomous serpents, attacking them whenever
it meets with them. The serpent has a large, round, beautiful head;
a short, pointed tongue, resembling a dart; and a short but sharp
tail; the whole adorned by the most beautiful colours, upon a light
grey ground. In general its pace is slow and solemn, except when it
seizes on its prey, in which case it is quick and rapid. They are
perfectly tame and familiar, permitting themselves to be caressed
and handled, which is frequently done by the natives and Europeans,
without apprehension of danger. This deity has a temple to his honour,
with priests, sacrifices, &c."

With this account we will close our extracts from Irving's letters;
and as they will give some idea of the people of the country which
forms the principal scene of our narrative, it is hoped the digression
will not be thought irrelevant. In the next chapter we resume the
thread of our story, merely pausing to express our ardent hope,
that good may spring out of evil; that even the slave-trade may be
the medium of promulgating the gospel of peace; and that good may,
in God's own time, overcome evil.

            O, 'tis a godlike privilege to save,
            And he that scorns it is himself a slave.
            Inform his mind, one flash of heav'nly day
            Would heal his heart, and melt his chains away:
            "Beauty for ashes," is a gift indeed;
            And slaves by truth enlarg'd are doubly freed.



                      "O Slavery----
                       Profuse of woes, and pregnant with distress,
                       Eternal horrors in thy presence reign;
                       Pale meagre famine leads thy horrid train;
                       To each dire load subjection adds more weight,
                       And pain is doubled in the captive's fate:
                       O'er nature's smiling face thou spreadst a gloom,
                       And to the grave dost every pleasure doom."

Years had elapsed since Irving had indited the letters from which we
have extracted, and every passing one had seen an increasing tendency
to suffer humanity to yield to interest: what had been the practice
of official duty, became the actuating principle, and gold, the

            "Insidious bane that makes destruction smooth,
            The foe to virtue, liberty, and truth,"

absorbed the better feelings, which had at first recoiled from
the scenes of cruelty and oppression he had witnessed; and he could
calmly execute the one and the other, and be at no loss to justify (at
least to himself) the acts, and even reason upon the trade of human
beings; if not, indeed, upon its humanity and justice, at least upon
its expedience; forgetful of that great and comprehensive, but most
simple maxim: "Do unto others as ye would they should do unto you."

The order he had received from his employers, arrived at an opportune
period; for he had, on that very day, been invited to attend the
ceremony of the coronation of the king of Whidáh, to take place in
a few days, at Sabi. With the true spirit of gain, he calculated
that this event might, by a little judicious policy, be rendered,
not only subservient to his present pressing demand for slaves, but
also might open greater facilities than he had hitherto possessed,
of obtaining a choice. Interest, therefore, united with curiosity,
in his determination of attending the ceremony; a few preliminaries
of which we will name, ere we accompany him to it.

On the demise of a king of Whidáh, the crown descends to his eldest
son, unless the grandees have any substantial reasons to reject his
claim; in which case the youngest son is appointed, provided he was
born after the accession of the father. It is a singular custom, that,
as soon as the eldest son of a king of Whidáh is born, he is removed
from the palace and court, and placed under the care of a person in
private, residing remote from the latter. With this person he remains,
in profound ignorance of his birth, and of the high responsibilities
for which he is designed. His protector is acquainted with the
secret of his royal birth, but would incur the penalty of death
were he to divulge it. By this custom it not unfrequently occurs,
that when a prince is called to the throne, he may, at the moment,
be employed in the most common and menial offices; and it is with
difficulty he can be persuaded to believe those who inform him of
his elevated rank, or in what manner to receive their servile homage;
as it is customary for the subjects to approach the sovereign in the
most humiliating form, advancing towards them in a creeping manner,
to a certain distance, till the monarch, clapping his hands softly,
indicates his permission for them to speak, which they then do,
in a low tone, with their heads nearly to the ground. They retire,
with the same slavish ceremonials, from the royal presence.

As soon as the old king is dead, his successor is brought to the
palace; but the period of his coronation is uncertain, resting
with the grandees, with whom it becomes a political manoeuvre
to keep the government, as long as possible, in their own hands;
and they accordingly fix the period of the ceremony as best suits
their respective interests. It is generally put off some months, and,
sometimes, even years, but cannot be delayed beyond seven years. During
this interval, the government is rather in the power of the grandees
than the king; for they execute all the public acts and business,
without consulting him. In every other respect he is treated as
a prince, with only one restriction, viz. that, previously to his
coronation, he cannot quit the palace.

It may readily be imagined by our young readers, that, from the obscure
state in which the young monarch is brought up, he has little notion
of those qualities which are necessary to govern a people. On the
contrary, the sudden transition from this obscurity, to the paths
of ease and pleasure, and every facility of self-gratification,
unfortunately gives a peculiar relish for those pursuits and
pleasures, with which, had he become guardedly and progressively
familiar, in all probability he would have been satiated. But this
not being the case, the king of Whidáh lives almost in a state of
indolence; seldom going abroad, and only occasionally attending his
grandees when they are assembled in the hall of audience, for the
administration of justice: all the rest of his time is spent in the
recesses of his seraglio, attended by his numerous wives, who are
divided into three classes. When the period of the coronation has
been fixed by the grandees, they give intimation of it to the king,
who assembles them in the palace; and the council having deliberated
on the measures to be used in executing the ceremony, notice of it
is given to the public by a discharge of cannon, and the glad news
is soon circulated throughout the kingdom.

The following morning, the grand sacrificer goes to the king,
demanding, in the name of the great serpent, (their deity!) the
offerings due on such a solemn and joyful occasion. These offerings
consist of an ox, a horse, a sheep, and a fowl, which are sacrificed
in the palace, and afterwards taken to the market-place. In the centre
of this, the grand sacrificer erects a pole, nine or ten feet high,
with a piece of linen attached to it like a flag, and around it
are placed the victims, with small loaves of millet, rubbed over
with palm-oil. After a few trifling ceremonies the company retire,
leaving the victims exposed to the birds of prey; no person being
permitted to touch them, upon pain of death. Arrived at the palace,
about twenty of the king's wives walk in procession to the place
of sacrifice, the eldest, or chief, (Note G.) bearing a figure
formed of earth, representing a child in a sitting posture: this
she places at a short distance from the victims. These women are
attended by a party of fusileers, and the king's flutes and drums,
the people prostrating themselves as they pass, and expressing their
joy by the loudest acclamations. When these ceremonies are over,
the grandees repair to the palace, dressed in their richest apparel,
and attended by their numerous slaves, of whom they are very proud,
adorning them with a profusion of trinkets, and ornaments of silver
and gold. The king is not visible on this occasion; but they enter,
and prostrate themselves before the throne, and again retire. This
part of the ceremony continues fifteen days, during which the women
make the palace re-echo with their acclamations; and the public joy
is testified by the firing of cannon, and the almost continual display
of rockets, from all parts of the capital.

It was during the interval of these rejoicings, that Irving, with
his attendants, arrived at Sabi, and was appointed to take up his
quarters with a grandee high in favour with the new king. He had
taken care to provide himself with an ample assortment of trinkets,
spirits, cutlery, and other European produce he knew to be tempting
to his inviter and his royal master, with whom he proposed to trade,
immediately after the ceremony was concluded.

Soon after his arrival, the grandee with whom he resided was summoned,
(as was customary,) as the one deputed to go to the neighbouring
kingdom of Ardrah, with a magnificent retinue, in order to request
one of the nobles of that kingdom (in whose family the right had
existed time immemorial) to proceed to Sabi, to crown the king; and
Irving, desirous of seeing the whole of the ceremonial, obtained ready
permission to accompany the embassy. The greatest respect is paid,
by all ranks, to this officiating nobleman; and all the expences of
his journey are defrayed by the grandees of Whidáh.

When arrived at the last village next the capital, this nobleman and
his retinue suspended their progress, remaining there stationary
three or four days; during which time he received visits from the
principal people of the kingdom, with whom it is customary to make
him valuable presents, and contribute to his amusement by a variety
of entertainments; the king supplying him with a great quantity of
provision, carried twice a day in great pomp, by his wives, preceded
by a guard of fusileers and a band of music.

Among these ladies, Irving saw many whom, as a slave-merchant, he
would have been happy to have obtained at a high price. Four days
being elapsed, the grandees, with their usual train, and a great
concourse of people, repaired to the village, to conduct the Ardrah
nobleman, in great state, to Sabi; where he was received by a salute
of the king's guns, and the loud and continued acclamations of the
multitude. He was then conducted to the apartments prepared for him
near the palace, where he was splendidly entertained by the grandees,
and received visits from the principal officers of the court. He
continued here five days, but, at the close of the third, he entered
the palace with the chief of his train, without taking off any part
of his dress or ornaments. He remained standing, also, when he spoke
to the king, while all others prostrated themselves, as usual.

On the evening of the fifth day, nine guns were fired, at the palace,
to announce to the people that the king would be crowned on the
following day, and that he would show himself in public, seated on
his throne, in the court of the palace, the gates of which would be
left open for the admission of all ranks of people. It was with the
utmost astonishment that Irving beheld the immense population assembled
in the streets of Sabi, on this occasion; every avenue towards the
palace being completely crowded by the natives, to obtain a sight of
their new monarch.

On the evening of the following day, the king came forth from his
seraglio, attended by forty of his favourite wives, dressed in the
most sumptuous manner; being rather loaded than ornamented, with
gold necklaces, laces, pendants, bracelets, foot-chains of gold
and silver, and the richest gems. The king, who was a good-looking,
but, apparently, very indolent young man, was magnificently dressed,
wearing a gilt helmet, decorated with red and white feathers. He was
attended by his guards, and proceeded from his seraglio to the throne,
which was placed in an angle of the court, to the east of the palace,
and styled the court of the coronation.

The throne itself was something like a large armed chair, finely
gilt, and elevated a little above the ground; the negroes choosing
very low seats, not more than ten inches high, and six in diameter,
and not unfrequently in the shape of an hour-glass. The most valuable
and curious part of the throne we are now describing, was the seat,
consisting of an entire lump of gold; not cast or formed by art,
but a product of nature alone, weighing thirty pounds. It had been
bored and fitted as a seat to the royal throne: upon this was a velvet
cushion, richly laced and fringed with gold, and a foot-cushion to
correspond. On the left were ranged the forty wives of the monarch,
and on the right the principal grandees; and in a line with them, the
Europeans from the English factories; therefore, Irving had a complete
view of every part of the ceremonial. One of the grandees held in his
hand an umbrella: this, however, was more for ornament than use, as
the ceremony took place at night. It was formed of the richest cloth
of gold, the lining embroidered with the same precious material, and
the fringes and tassels the same. On the top of it was the figure of
a cock, as large as the life. The pole of this pavilion, or umbrella,
was six feet long, richly embossed and gilded. Another grandee kneeled
before the king, constantly fanning him during the ceremony. Opposite
to the monarch stood two of his dwarfs, who represented to him the
good qualities of his predecessor; extolling his justice, liberality,
and clemency, and exhorting the king not only to imitate, but to excel
him; concluding their harangue with wishes for the king's happiness,
and that his reign might be long and prosperous.

These ceremonies concluded, the grandee of Ardrah was summoned to
attend. When arrived at the outer gate of the palace, the cannon
were discharged, and the band began to play. He entered the court,
surrounded with his attendants, and was guarded by them to a certain
distance. He then advanced, singly, to the throne, saluting the king
by courteously bowing the head, but not prostrating himself. He then
addressed a short speech to the king, relative to the ceremony he
was called to perform; and removing the helmet from his head, turned
to the people, holding it in his hands. A signal was then made, and
the music instantly ceased. A profound and most impressive silence
ensued. The grandee of Ardrah, then, with a loud and distinct voice,
repeated, three times, these words to the assembled multitude: "Here
is your king: be loyal to him, and your prayers shall be heard by the
king of Ardrah, my master." After this he replaced the helmet on the
head of the king, made a low reverence, and retired. The cannon and
small-arms were instantly fired, the music again struck up, and the
acclamations were renewed. The grandee of Ardrah, in the meantime,
was reconducted, in great state, to his apartments; after which,
the new-crowned king, attended by his wives, his guards, and the
Europeans, returned to the seraglio, where the latter made their
compliments to the king as he entered the gate; and, on the following
day, the monarch sent, as usual, a rich present to the Ardrah grandee,
previously to his return home, which he must immediately do, the law
not permitting him to remain three days longer in the kingdom.

The rejoicings which followed the coronation lasted fifteen days,
and the whole was closed with a grand procession to the temple
of the great serpent. The grandee with whom Irving resided during
the period of these ceremonies, was one of the principal officers
of the palace, and possessed a disposition peculiarly open to the
enticement of spirituous liquors, as well as dreadfully acted upon
by the pernicious stimulus they gave to his passions. He also had
such a propensity for their use, that Irving easily found, that, by
supplying him well, he might render him subservient to his purposes;
and, in fact, he very soon disclosed to the wily merchant, that he
had in his possession a number of valuable slaves, intended for the
service, or to purchase the favour of the young king. The appearance
of this negro courtier was pleasing and imposing. He was, in person,
tall and well shaped; his dress was that usual in the country, but
the material fine, and the colour perfectly white: his cap was also
white and small. He wore large gold earrings, which, together with
the pure white of his light dress, contrasted well with the jet black
of his polished skin. In disposition he was so cruel and vindictive,
that when he received an affront, even in the most trifling instance,
he scrupled not to sacrifice the aggressor by shooting him.

He possessed several wives, of whom he was very jealous, and whom he
treated as slaves. He had also several brothers, to whom he seldom
spoke, or even permitted them to enter his presence; but when he
did grant them admission, they were obliged to take off their caps,
prostrate themselves at his feet, and throw dust on their heads.

It may readily be imagined, that a disposition so cruel and arbitrary,
would be stimulated almost to fury and madness by the powerful
influence of ardent spirits; and the fact was, that his thirst for
brandy was so insatiable, that, to procure it, he scrupled not to
execute any act of oppression, cruelty, or treachery. He had even
been known, in order to procure slaves, with which to purchase brandy,
secretly to set fire to a village, and then send the ministers of his
cruelty to seize the distracted people as they rushed from destruction,
to bind and to send them to the European factories, or to the joncoes,
(or black slave-merchants,) and sell them for brandy and rum; which
he would continue to drink till expended, without any cessation but
that forced upon him by stupefaction or sleep.

It would not be consistent with the plan of our tale, to make any
remarks upon the probabilities of what this man might have been,
had not the slave-trade existed; or what direction his cunning and
arbitrary disposition might have taken; but we may venture to say,
that he could not have had so extensive opportunities of oppression,
nor could his cruelties have created such incalculable misery. "For
it has been proved, on the most convincing evidence, that the demand
for slaves has had the most fatal effect in exciting and developing
every vice and every bad passion among these people; of perverting
their rude institutions, and poisoning their domestic relations. It
has been proved by evidence unquestionable, that, as we have
asserted, the tyrant chiefs of Africa were daily induced to condemn,
indiscriminately, whole families, for trivial or imaginary crimes,
with the sole object of obtaining possession of the individuals
composing those families, and exchanging them for bad powder and
bad muskets; to station their soldiers in ambush, on the roads, with
orders to rush on the unarmed traveller, and load him with chains;
to attack, at night, villages sunk in repose, dragging into slavery
men, women, and children, of an age suited to their purpose, and
mercilessly butchering the aged and the infant. It has been proved,
upon authority equally good, that famine, devastation, and continual
warfare, undertaken for the sole purpose of taking prisoners, were the
inevitable consequences of the slave ships' presence on the coast;
and that the Europeans not only were witnesses of this desolation,
but furnished the arms, nourished the hatred, fomented the discord,
and were the communicaters of the moral blast, which shed its
pestilential influence over the population of a country, which,
under the benign protection of a fair and legitimate commerce,
is assuredly capable of being civilized, enlightened, and happy;
and which, in return for the inestimable gifts of instruction and
religion, would cheerfully and gratefully pour its riches into the
bosoms of its benefactors. But, can the arts which embellish life,
can the virtues which expand the heart, can the principles that elevate
the soul, can these find rest, or even enter a region devoted to blood,
oppression, and desolation? Alas! while the slave-trade exists, we are
compelled to unite in the fear expressed by an enlightened patriot,
that 'there is no prospect of civilization or happiness for Africa.'"


                  "Yet was I born as you are, no man's slave,
                   An heir to all that liberal nature gave;
                   My mind can reason, and my limbs can move
                   The same as yours; like yours my heart can love:
                   Alike my body food and sleep sustain,
                   And e'en, like yours, feels pleasure, want, and pain:
                   One sun rolls o'er us, common skies surround,
                   One globe contains us, and one grave must bound."

Intent upon the orders of his employers, and of the advantages he
should obtain by the commission, Irving studied so much to ingratiate
himself with his host, that he very soon readily obtained his promise
of conducting him to his slave-rooms, the first opportunity he could
spare from his close attendance upon his royal master, to whom his
bold and haughty spirit made him eminently useful.

While Irving displayed the tempting assortment of spirits, trinkets,
dresses, and fire-arms, to the eager African, he artfully affected
indifference as to the purchase of slaves; being well acquainted with
the mode of making a good bargain, even when his fellow men were the
articles for which to negociate: so entirely does this infamous trade
debase and corrupt every generous emotion of the heart, and blunt every
honourable feeling. With the internal assurance, therefore, that the
view he had granted of his commodities, would induce the chief, as soon
as possible, to gratify his desire of possessing them, Irving waited
patiently the summons to attend him to the children of misery he had
by fraud and violence collected; and was fully prepared to accompany
him, upon his invitation a few days subsequent to the conclusion of
the coronation ceremonies. Irving was, however, astonished, when the
negro pointed out to him several spacious enclosures, the wretched
inhabitants of which were to purchase his selfish gratification,
and satisfy his cupidity; for Irving was not then aware that this
grandee was, in fact, the creature of his sovereign, acting as an
agent and slave-factor, upon the blood-stained gains of which he not
only lived in great splendour, but possessed from his riches great
power. His house was fitted up with European elegance, and was,
in exterior style, something resembling the buildings of the Moors;
consisting of courts, surrounded by apartments, beyond the precincts
of which were the receptacles of the slaves.

The transition from the elegance and luxuries of this African mansion,
to the slave-buildings, was striking; and to a heart yet unperverted
and unvitiated by the habitual view of uncontrouled power and
oppression over the defenceless, would have been most mournful.

But such was not the impression made upon either of the present
visitants; the one intent upon immediate self-gratification,
the other upon obtaining the means to ensure it in future. Nothing
could more strongly prove the tendency of this traffic to prostrate
every noble faculty of the soul, every tender impulse of the heart,
to destroy every sympathy of our nature, than the fact, that Irving,
the once generous, kind-hearted youth, beheld, with the cold regard
of a mere trader intent upon making an advantageous bargain, above
a hundred and twenty wretched beings in one house, all chained two
and two, by their hands and feet, and sitting in three rows on the
floor! They were of various ages of youth, and different in features;
many of them having come, as the grandee observed, "a journey of many
moons," that is, many hundred miles inland.

While examining these miserable captives with all the technical
minuteness of jockeys, or cattle-dealers, (during which the
wretched exiles evinced the strongest and most varying emotions of
reluctance, grief, and indignation,) the people of the chief brought
in thirty-five more individuals, whom they had taken in a small town
or village of the interior, and which they had attacked by order
of their employer, leaving the aged and young infants butchered in
their simple huts. Among this last group were several women, who
exhibited the most heart-rending evidences of distraction and grief,
in the loss of their infants, and the prospect of the unknown evils
that awaited them in bondage.

Amongst this number, however, great as it was, there were no
slaves which suited the purposes of Irving; and he proceeded with
his conductor to several other enclosures, from which he selected
a few of inferior value. The negro then told him, he would show
him what he termed "prime and superb negroes." In passing over to
one of these enclosures, which were at some distance, Irving was
arrested by a faint and low moan, as of distress, followed by an
air of most exquisite plaintive melody, with which was intermingled,
at intervals, the sound of an infantine voice, so lively as to speak
the unconsciousness, of the innocent from whose lips it proceeded,
of the mournful lot to which it was destined.

"What sound is that?" he enquired of his host, as he stopped to listen
from whence it proceeded; for even upon his deadened soul the song had
vibrated. (Note H.) "I dare say it is the Senegal slave I had selected
for my royal master," replied the negro; "but she bewailed being parted
from her boy so much, that, to save her life, I was obliged to suffer
her to see him once or twice a day, during the ceremonies. I shall,
however, soon make her submit, now I can attend to her: I shall sell
her for a great price, if I can separate the child from her, without
hazarding her life."

"Perhaps she will suit me," said Irving; "the boy would be no objection
to the purchase, if he is strong and healthy. Let me see them." The
negro hesitated; but at length observed, "They are worth a great
deal," as if he doubted that Irving would be disposed to give the
price. "You remember that beautiful sabre, and the brandy-chest full of
prime liquor, and those muskets you admired, and"----observed Irving
carelessly, but was interrupted in his enumeration by the African:
"Yes, yes, I remember: what! will you give them for her and the
boy?" "I cannot promise that, you know, unless I see her: you may
be telling me a false tale. It at least can do no harm to see this
slave you keep so close."

"True, true, I scorn to deceive so good a friend," rejoined the negro,
half afraid that Irving would recede from his implied bargain:
"You shall certainly see this refractory woman; that is, she is
only obstinate when I remove the boy. I wish they had killed the
young urchin at once, when they carried her off. She is very gentle
when he is with her: she only chooses to sing those mournful songs
about Tumiáh: I suppose he was her husband. However, at all events,
the boy cannot go to the palace with her."

During this conversation, they had reached the hut in which the poor
slave was confined alone, in the hope of making her yield to the will
of the African, by consenting to be conveyed to the palace without
her child. Irving followed the negro into the hut. The moment the
latter got within it, the miserable inmate uttered a piercing shriek,
and clasped her child with convulsive strength to her bosom, imploring
the tyrant not to tear him from her widowed arms. There was one chord
in the soul of Irving, which, amid the circumstances of his life,
and despite of time, yet responded. It was the memory of his mother's
caresses, when in his childhood she became a widow.

The scene he now witnessed, struck powerfully on this chord of
feeling. The distraction of the captive, her extreme youth, her beauty,
the neglect of grief so apparent in her simple dress, her unornamented
hair, her trembling limbs, her heaving bosom, her eloquent eye, her
fevered lip, her attitude, and the energy with which she held her now
alarmed child; altogether, combined a picture, which coming suddenly
upon his previously somewhat softened feelings, had a powerful effect
upon him, and, for a time, made him forget he was a slave-dealer,
and caused the nobler feeling of the man to prevail. He determined, if
possible, to save the wretched woman from the fate that awaited her;
forgetting that, perhaps, one equally horrible might be her lot, did
she become his property. When, therefore, he heard the African tyrant
threaten her with a flogging if she persisted in singing such mournful
songs, he almost involuntarily said: "If you are willing to barter her
and the child, for what I named, and a selection of those trinkets you
admired, to which I will add four gallons of rum, we are agreed upon
the bargain." The negro again regarded Irving with a half suspicious,
half incredulous glance, but remained silent. "I am serious," said
Irving; "are we agreed?" "Let me see," muttered the negro to himself;
"that fong, (sword,) mounted in silver gilt, and embossed handle; the
chest with fine brandy; ten fine kiddos; (guns;) trinkets to please
woollima moosa, (handsome wife,) and four gallons of rum: delicious
rum make me merry, happy. Make the rum eight gallons," he added aloud
to Irving, "and she," pointing to the being he was thus selling, "she
is yours."--"And the boy, remember?" replied Irving. "O yes, the boy,
the boy, to be sure," reiterated the African, hardly knowing how to
repress his joy. Though almost absorbed in profound grief, the wretched
captive yet understood she was about to be transferred, and that
her child was to be included in the transfer. In an agony of mingled
emotion, after having timidly regarded Irving's countenance, while he
intently watched hers, she threw herself at his feet, imploring his
mercy, and by a thousand expressive gestures, imparted the feelings
which agitated her soul. In this lowly attitude she fainted; and when
a little recovered, she exclaimed in mournful accents: "O Tumiáh,
where art thou? Thou canst no more hear thy Imihie: she goes to the
land of strangers, and will see thee no more, till death conveys her
beyond the blue mountains. And Samboe, my boy," she added, as she
called the playful and unconscious child from some flowers he was
gathering from the ground, "thou wilt see thy father no more. Thou
art a slave, my child: hard will be thy lot in the land of strangers,
among the manstealers, when Imihie, thy mother, no longer shall
feel pain, nor endure bondage. But I will watch over thee, my boy,
I will be thy spirit: I will conduct thee over the blue mountains,
the manstealer shall not follow us there."

The negro's anger began to rise, during this soliloquy of his hapless
captive; and calling vehemently for attendants, he directed she should
be conducted, with her child, to a place appointed, with care to be
taken that she should not do herself any injury, until Irving had
concluded his engagement, and could have her removed to Whidáh.

Irving declined viewing any more of the slaves on that day, and
having determined to remain but a few days longer with the chief, he
lost no time in making good his purchase of the female slave and her
child. One impediment to his returning to Whidáh, however, there was,
which he might have anticipated; but in his eagerness to purchase the
wretched Imihie, he had not considered that while the rum and brandy
remained, the grandee and his companions were totally incapable of
business; but, in the intervals of stupefaction, were guilty of the
most wanton excesses. Nor was his African majesty himself, exempt
from effects of the potent contents of the liquor-chests consigned
to his favourite, who artfully concealed from him the circumstance
of Imihie; informing the king only, that he had obtained the liquor
from an English merchant, for some dry goods, ivory, and gum. The
monarch enquired if this merchant traded also in slaves. "Doubtless
he does," replied the wily courtier: "he comes from the land of the
manstealers, and will not, therefore, refuse the commodity in the way
of trade. Would my royal master wish to see this Englishman?" "It
is my desire," answered the king; "let him have notice of our
pleasure." The grandee prostrated himself, and retired to caution
Irving to conceal the transaction of the female slave from the king,
or he would doubtless force her from him. The morrow was appointed
for the interview with the monarch, who, the courtier said, had some
slaves to offer for brandy and trinkets for his wives.

            "Where wast thou, then, sweet Charity, where then,
            Thou tutelary friend of helpless men?
            Perish the wretch, that slighted and withstood
            The tender argument of kindred blood.
            But tho' some nobler minds a law respect,
            That none shall with impunity neglect,
            In baser souls unnumber'd evils meet,
            To thwart its influence, and its end defeat."

Shall a Briton, shall a man "honoured with a Christian name" encourage
slavery, because the semi-barbarous, unenlightened, lawless African
hath done it? "To what end (it is impressively asked) do we profess
a religion whose dictates we so flagrantly violate? Wherefore have
we that pattern of goodness and humanity, if we refuse to follow
it? How long shall we continue a practice which policy rejects,
justice condemns, and piety revolts at?"


                             * * * the band of commerce is design'd
                             T' associate all the branches of mankind.
                             And if a boundless plenty be the robe,
                             Trade is the golden girdle of the globe:
                             This genial intercourse, and mutual aid,
                             Cheers, what were else, an universal shade.
                             Calls nature from her ivy-mantled den,
                             And softens human rock-work into men.


Most truly and impressively do these lines of our Christian poet
describe the effects of legitimate and honourable commerce; the mutual
exchange of the various gifts of an all-bounteous Providence, showered
on the globe we inhabit, for the general use, benefit, and pleasure;
and of those embellishments of art, which civilization has brought
forth and nourished.

But no such effect can ever flow from the piratical commerce of men,
that deformed and cruel offspring of Mammon, which riots in the blood,
and glories in the miseries of man.

It may be urged, we are not the original agents in this trade: it
is pursued with eagerness by the Africans themselves. But are those
who live in that transcendent light which was granted to dispel the
mists of error--to meliorate propensity to evil--to harmonize the
rational soul--still to delight in works so dark, still to trample
under foot every principle of humanity; still to spurn from them
the obligations of justice, still to set at naught the precepts of
religion; and to make themselves accomplices with pagan oppressors,
in tyrannizing over those hapless beings, whom a mysterious Providence
has subjected to their power? Is the Christian trader content to put
himself upon a level with the unenlightened despot, and coolly to put
his blood-stained profits in the balance, against the laws of religion
and his country; laughing at the remonstrances of philanthropists,
as the dreams of enthusiasm, or as puerile objections unworthy of
attention? No; it surely will not be thus. England has entered the
path of mercy [4], let her pursue it with energy and constancy:
and if other nations refuse to follow her heaven-enlightened way,
to them belongs the shame and the guilt of trampling down the laws
which bind man to his God and his fellow-man; and, for the violation
of which, every individual must be accountable, at that tremendous
audit, before which the oppressed and the oppressor shall alike appear!

But to return to our narrative from these reflections, which the
seriousness of the subject forced from us, and which must apologize
for them with our young readers.

The time being fixed for Irving to have an audience with the king, he
was conducted to the palace, which was a spacious edifice, consisting
of many large courts, entirely surrounded with porticoes, above which
were apartments with small windows. These apartments, as well as every
part of the palace, exhibited great magnificence in the furniture and
decorations. Some of the floors were covered with exquisitely fine
matting, and others with superb Turkey carpets; and the furniture
consisted of chairs, sofas or divans, skreens, chests, cabinets and
porcelain imported from China. The windows were not glazed, but were
shaded with frames of fine white linen, and taffety curtains. The
gardens of this superb palace were very extensive, laid out in long
vistas of lofty and beautiful trees; affording a deliciously cool
and shaded retreat, for the women immured in the splendid prison. It
was evident to Irving, as he passed some of these apartments to the
hall of audience, that his African majesty intended to receive him
in great state; but whether out of respect to him, as a European and
a slave and spirit merchant, or to display his own magnificence, he
could not determine: nor was it of much consequence, although he well
knew that the Europeans in general are well received, and are allowed
to dispense with the humiliating ceremonies they scrupulously exact
from their own subjects; and, unlike them, are granted an audience
whenever they desire it. When Irving, therefore, entered the hall
where the king was seated to receive him, his majesty immediately
rose, and advanced some steps to him; took him by the hand, pressed
it in his own, and three times successively touched his fore finger,
which was the greatest token of amity and affection. After this,
he desired him to sit down by his side, upon fine mats spread on the
floor; which Irving having complied with, he displayed his presents
to his majesty, who was astonished to find he could, with ease,
converse with him without the aid of an interpreter.

Irving could not but feel gratified at the extreme although childish
pleasure the young monarch evinced, in receiving the presents; which
consisted of an elegant case of English spirits, some beautiful guns,
a superb sword, and a great variety of trinkets for the ladies of the
seraglio. The king offered to sell him some of his discarded wives;
but Irving respectfully declined the offer of the ladies, as not very
well calculated for the labours of the colonies.

In the audience chamber were two benches, one of which was broader than
the other, covered with an embroidered cloth, and by it was an oval
stool; upon this the monarch seated himself, after having received and
examined the presents. The other bench was covered with mats, on which
Irving was directed to sit, as the usual seat of the Europeans during
conferences. Irving was uncovered; not, however, by order, but from
a voluntary desire of showing proper respect; for he had not forgot
the early lesson, "honour the king," though as a slave-dealer, it may
be, alas! inferred, that he had little recollection of the context,
"fear God." He made himself so agreeable, however, to the king, that
he was invited to dine with him, and the meal was served with great
elegance. While they were feasting, the grandees prostrated themselves
before their sovereign; and what provisions were left were given to
them, which they appeared readily and cheerfully to accept. Irving
had, during this long interview, an ample opportunity of observing
the person, the dress, and the manners of the new king of Whidáh;
and, in some degree, to form a judgment of his character. His dress
was superb, composed of silk and gold, with strings of beautiful
coral round his neck, arms, and wrists. In person he was tall, well
shaped, with remarkably smooth and polished skin. His manners were
free, urbane, and familiar; but there was discovered a disposition
to covetousness, and the usual propensity to inebriety. Nor was it
difficult to discover that he was indolent and pusillanimous, the usual
companions of luxury and dissipation. In fact, the faults of the king
seemed those of his education; and his virtues, those of his nature,
which required only civilization, good examples, and a pure faith,
to nourish into fruitfulness.

The audience chamber in which Irving was received, was hung with
tapestry. At the upper part of the room was a throne, formed of ivory;
it was ascended by three steps, and shaded by a canopy of the richest
silk. This is used on great state occasions.

The king readily granted permission to Irving, to view the palace,
excepting, of course, the apartments of the women. Conducted by
his friend the grandee, and some other officers of the palace, he
found it more extensive than he had supposed, having entered by a
private passage. It consisted of several large squares, surrounded
with galleries, each of which had a portico or gate, guarded by
soldiers. The first gallery on entering the palace is very long,
supported on each side by lofty pillars. At the termination of this
gallery was a wall with three gates, the centre one ornamented with
a turret seventy feet in height; terminated with a figure of a large
snake, cast in copper, and very ingeniously carved. These gates opened
into an immense area, enclosed also with a wall; then another gallery
like the former, into another spacious court; and so on to a fourth,
beyond which were the apartments of the king. In this spacious palace
the king is sometimes immured for years, until he is crowned; and
here, also, many wealthy courtiers spend the whole of their time,
leaving trade and agriculture to be executed by their wives and
slaves. (Note K.) These go to the circumjacent villages, either to
trade in merchandise, or serve for daily wages; but they are obliged
to bring the greatest part of what they obtain to their masters,
otherwise they make no scruple to sell them for slaves.

Irving and his new royal acquaintance had passed their time so
convivially, that the negociation for slaves was deferred till the
morrow, when he again attended his majesty to a depôt, containing
about two hundred; and as they were going to this place, they met
nearly as many proceeding to the coast, the king's agents having
sold them on the preceding day. Amongst this wretched group, Irving
remarked some remarkably handsome men; and found, on enquiry, they
were from Molembo, from whence the finest negroes are obtained.

The number he was invited to examine, consisted of men,
women, and children; and, to any but a slave-dealer, the sight
was heart-rending. Fathers overwhelmed in silent sorrow; mothers
expressing their anguish in affecting lamentations, audible sighs,
or deep groans, expecting every moment to be separated from their
tender offspring, whom they clasped to their bosoms, or endeavoured
to hide under the folds of their pacans; youthful females shrinking
from the brutal gaze of the trader, and dreading nameless indignities;
the fiery eye of many a youth, indignant at the bonds which confined
him from levelling to the ground the wretches who bought and sold him
as a beast of the field, and tore him from the object of his love,
whom he was powerless to save from death and bondage. But such a
scene was of too frequent occurrence, the cry of the innocent was too
familiar, to make any impression upon those who were bargaining. Irving
purchased many of them; and having seen them marked as his property,
(Note L.) left his people to conduct them to Whidáh; whither, after
having taken a cordial leave of the king, and so far conciliated him
and the grandee as to ensure future advantages, he himself, with his
attendants and the female slave, returned that evening.

            Canst thou, and honoured with a Christian name,
            Buy what is woman-born and feel no shame?
            Trade in the blood of innocence, and plead
            Expedience as a warrant for the deed?
            Perish the thought!


                             "And if perchance a momentary sigh,
                              For such a lot reflection may supply,
                              He follows not the feeling to its source."

                                                       Barton (adapted.)

                             "If ever thou hast felt another's pain,
                              If ever when he sigh'd hast sigh'd again;
                              If ever on thine eyelid stood the tear,
                              That pity hath engender'd--drop one here:
                              This man was happy."

It will naturally be supposed, from the eagerness of Irving to make
good the purchase of Imihie and her poor boy, that his heart was
deeply interested by their situation, and that he had it certainly in
his power to ameliorate it. But, alas! if, for a moment, the chord
of compassion was touched, the feeling was transient, the impulse
too weak to prompt to action; and, so far from being strengthened
by the night's reflections, they, on the contrary, did but lead to
lament his own folly, in making himself liable to the loss he would
probably sustain by the high price he had given; as it was a condition
of his engagement with the Company, that he was to be individually
accountable for all losses incurred by the purchase of unprofitable
slaves. These anticipations of pecuniary injury, were confirmed by
the appearance of his poor captive on her arrival at the depôt at
Whidáh. A fixed melancholy seemed to have absorbed every faculty,
rendering her insensible even to the playful caresses of her boy,
in whose sparkling eye, health "seemed a cherub yet divinely bright;"
so happily unconscious was he of the bitterness of his lot, and the
sufferings of his mother. Finding, from his people, that she resolutely
rejected sustenance, Irving himself endeavoured to persuade her, but
without success; but when self-interest, aided by the dictates of
conscience and compassion, induced him to resort to the usual mode
of forcing it, (nor will we question it was a painful task to him,)
his heart must have been of adamant, not to have felt the powerful
appeal of wretchedness and despair, when, while in the execution
of this cruel duty, the poor captive looked up in his face, and,
with a mournful smile, said: "Presently I shall be no more." (Note
M.) Irving, indeed, from her appearance, began to think so; and as
he could not now remedy her situation, nor restore her to what she
had lost, he considered his best plan was to consign her, as soon
as possible, to the ship waiting to receive the collected slaves,
congratulating himself on his humanity, in having prevented the mother
and child from being separated, even if he should thereby sustain
some loss. He determined, also, to do all he could to ensure her
some attention during the passage; and, with this view, determined to
go immediately on board, to see the accommodation, and to give some
particular instructions to the captain; leaving orders that Imihie
should be conducted to the ship as soon as the day began to close.

The ship destined to convey these miserable beings to the West Indies,
had already on board between four and five hundred negroes. The
captain boasted much of the superior accommodation of his vessel for
the trade; and, to confirm his assertion, entreated Irving to visit the
slave-rooms. Willing to conciliate any who might promote his interest,
Irving consented. The superior accommodation he found, was, that
every slave, whatever his size, had five feet six inches in length,
and sixteen inches in breadth, to lie upon! The floor was crowded with
bodies, stowed or packed according to this allowance. But between
the floor and deck, or ceiling, were platforms or broad shelves,
in the mid-way, which were also covered with bodies. (Note N.) The
men were shackled two and two, each by one leg, to a small iron
bar; these, the captain with much self-complacence said, were every
day brought upon deck for the air; but lest they should attempt to
recover their freedom, they were made fast by ring-bolts to the deck,
or by two common chains, which were extended on each side the main
deck; but the women and children, he added, were suffered to remain
loose. Few slaves fared so well as his, he continued, for he allowed
each a pint of water a day, and yams and horse-beans twice a day;
and afterwards, for exercise and health, they jumped in their irons,
which, if they refused to do, he was obliged, certainly, to flog them,
as it was his duty to preserve them in health, if possible. Irving,
however, learnt, in the course of this man's conversation, that it
was usual for these miserable beings to remain fifteen or sixteen
hours below deck, out of the twenty-four; and that, in wet weather,
they could not be brought up for two or three successive days: their
situation was, he acknowledged, very distressing, but he could not
remedy it. They would cling to the gratings for a little air; draw
their breath with anxious and laborious efforts; fight with each
other for a taste of water; and many died of suffocation. (Note O.)

Amongst the number thus confined in the hold of this ship, Irving
remarked many whose nobleness of aspect indicated that there was a
"spirit within," which rose even above such calamity--a consciousness
of moral dignity, that spurned at the cruelties of the oppressor;
but there was one in particular, before the flame of whose eye even
Irving shrunk abashed. He was evidently a person of consequence; high,
it would seem, in military rank, inferred from certain personal
indications, with the meaning of which Irving was acquainted;
and also from some articles of dress, stated to have been taken
from him when captured; and every look (action was denied him)
indicated that he possessed a mind not insensible to the eminence of
his station. Irving enquired from whence he was taken, and from whom
purchased? He was told, from Molembo, it was thought; and that he had
been only a few days purchased from the king of Whidáh, with a number
of his countrymen, taken by treachery, and in defiance of a treaty
subsisting at the time. This was all he could learn; and having given
his instructions respecting Imihie, Irving returned to Whidáh before
her arrival at the ship, being desirous to avoid another interview,
the sight of her producing a painful emotion he could neither define
nor account for.


                      "Soft airs, and gentle heavings of the wave,
                       Impel the fleet whose errand is to save!
                       But ah! what wish can prosper, or what pray'r,
                       For merchants rich in cargoes of despair.
                       The sable warrior, frantic with regret
                       Of her he loves, and never can forget,
                       Loses, in tears, the far-receding shore,
                       But not the thought that they must meet no more."


Night shed her silent influence over the mighty deep; the firmament
was bright with myriads of glittering worlds; the moon, in full and
mild lustre, rode majestically, like a sphere of silver light, on the
summit of fleecy clouds, and was reflected, in many a fantastic form,
by the tossing waves, the gentle ripplings of which were mingled
with the distant sound of "All is well," borne on the gale from the
fort, the regular tread of the watch on deck, and the boatswain's
shrill whistle. The rush of the shark, "cutting the briny deep,"
as it instinctively followed the floating receptacle of misery, was
the only sound that interrupted, painfully, the heavenly calmness
of the scene and hour; a calmness, alas! little according with the
soul-sickening agitations of the wretched beings, now silently borne
from all held dear and precious, and on their way to all the horrors
of a life in chains. Cargoes of despair they may truly be called!

Imagination, in its loftiest flight, must come short in attempting to
embody in words, the smallest part of the aggregate of misery which
exists on board a slave-ship; it will, therefore, not be attempted:
one only being of the wretched number must appear a moment on our
theatre of woe; he who had so forcibly arrested the attention of
Irving, when visiting the slave-rooms.

Confined promiscuously with such a multitude of his wretched
countrymen, the agony of his feelings is not to be described. With the
form and visage of a man, he felt, indignantly felt, that his destiny
was that of the beast of the field, and his soul seemed bursting from
the frame that confined it. Wearied nature at length found a short
cessation from the unutterable pangs of woe, in sleep--in consoling
visions! He dreamt he was in his own beloved country, in the enjoyment
of honour and command, caressed by his family, served by his wonted
attendants, and surrounded with the comforts of his former life:
his spicy groves exhaling sweets, his palm-tree's refreshing shade,
his rivers teeming riches, his domestic endearments, his war-like
preparations, and his hard-earned triumphs, came in succession on
his fancy. But the sweet delusions were too soon dispelled: he awoke,
with a hurried start, to the sad, sad reality, that he was a slave in
the midst of slaves. The rapid retrospect of former happiness with
existing misery, rushed on his soul; and the dreadful reverse drew
from his manly breast the most affecting lamentations. Every dear
object of his regard flitted before his mental view; but, alas! there
was no reality but misery--interminable bondage: there was no fond eye
to behold, no persuasive tongue to soothe, no attentive ear to listen
to his woe. Mingled with the meanest of his subjects, whom he had no
power to relieve; subjected to the cruelty and insolence of wretches
a thousand degrees lower in the scale of humanity and intellectual
endowment, yet arrogating their superiority as Christians, and the
proud distinctions of national advantages, his soul refused comfort,
and he determined upon death. Little did he think this foe to nature
was so near; little did he imagine the horrid form in which he would
present himself; and that there might be circumstances which, at the
moment of expiring nature, would make him cling to, and even give
value to a life of perpetual bondage!

The vessel made considerable way during the night, and the morning
rose, with glorious splendour and beneficent freshness, upon the
world of waters; on the majestic bosom of which, floated such an
accumulation of moral turpitude and excelling misery! The hour
arrived when the slaves were to be brought on deck for air and
exercise. The sable warrior anticipated it with a gloomy joy, as
the most favourable opportunity of effecting his designed purpose of
self-destruction; and when he found he was to be fastened to the deck,
he violently resisted. This, however, did but provoke his oppressors
to increased indignities. In the midst of this struggle, he became
calm as a lamb, resistless as an infant. The sound of a female voice,
singing a mournful African air, seemed to have bound him by a potent
spell. (Note P.) His eyes appeared as if bursting from their orbits,
his whole frame trembled; while the big tear rolled silently down
his sable countenance, which assumed a mingled expression of doubt,
hope, and agony. He at first directed his piercing eyes to the air,
as if he thought the song proceeded from some hovering, viewless
spirit. He again renewed his efforts to get free, and fixed his gaze
intently on the remotest part of the ship, from whence the sound
seemed to proceed, but nothing met his view: the song, however, still
continued, only interrupted, at intervals, by deep sobs of anguish,
and the scarcely-heard voice of infantine distress.

Rendered desperate by the confinement under such powerful emotions,
he called loudly on the spirits of his fathers, to avenge him on the
Christian tyrants; and while enduring, in consequence, the cruel
scourging and insulting mockery of the barbarian crew, a piercing
scream was heard, and the poor Imihie was seen rushing from an
obscure place, (in which the captain had indulged her to remain,)
with the infant Samboe clinging to her bosom. In a moment the names
of Tumiáh! Imihie! were interchanged; and the exhausted Imihie,
letting her child fall from her relaxing arms, threw herself upon
the panting bosom of her enchained and manacled husband.

We invade not the feelings of that moment: language has nothing to
do with them. The Being who formed the heart of man, can alone judge
of its emotions.

The maternal affection was not, however, long absorbed in the conjugal;
and the half frantic Imihie recollected, that Samboe was not enfolded
with her in the arms of Tumiáh. She loosened herself with difficulty
from his embrace, to restore her child to his wonted protection within
her own; but, at the moment she arose for the purpose, a tumultuous cry
resounded through the ship, of "fire! fire! Loosen the slaves! loosen
the slaves!" The fire, however, spread with such violence, bursting
from the spirit-room, that the sailors, apprehending that it was
impossible to extinguish it before it would reach a large quantity of
gunpowder on board, concluded it necessary to precipitate themselves
into the sea, as offering the only chance of saving their lives.

However, they did first endeavour to loose the chains by which the
slaves were fastened to the deck; but in the confusion the key
could not be found, and they had but just time to loosen one of
the fastenings, by wrenching the staple, before the vehemence of
the fire so increased, that they simultaneously jumped overboard;
when immediately, the fire having gained the powder, the vessel blew
up, with every slave that was confined by the unloosened chain, and
such others as had not possessed the power to follow the example of
the sailors.

We hardly know whether to style it fortunate, that any circumstance
should save these victims of avarice from a watery grave, after
escaping that which, to the sense, seems more terrible. Providence,
however, ordained that there should be some vessels in sight; which,
putting out their boats, took up about two hundred and fifty of the
poor souls that remained alive; but the most of them being those who
had been fastened together with shackles, had, from the violence of
the shock, and the confinement of the irons, experienced dreadful
fractures of the limbs; which, inflamed by the struggles they had
instinctively made, the heat, and the agitated state of the blood,
quickly mortified, and ere they were scarcely sensible of their
increase of calamity, released them, for ever, from all fear of it
more. Among the number who thus yielded up his manly spirit, was
Tumiáh, rejoicing in the belief that his Imihie and Samboe were also
removed to a land of spirits--a land where no man-stealer can enter,
no treachery gain access, no violence invade. He might have adopted
the words of the poet:

                "Now, Christian, glut thy ravish'd eyes;
                  I reach the joyful hour:
                Let, let the scorching flames arise,
                  And these poor limbs devour.

                "O Death, how welcome to th' opprest!
                  Thy kind embrace I crave;
                Thou bringst to Misery's bosom rest,
                  And freedom to the slave!"

The fond belief, however, of the expiring Tumiáh, that his wife and
child had escaped the horrors of bondage, was fallacious. Previously
to the calamity, the feelings of the wretched Imihie had been wrought
up nearly to their utmost height; the sight of the quick-advancing
flames, therefore, was sufficient to augment them to frenzy, and with a
strength which frenzy only could impart, to a frame exhausted by want
of nourishment and continual grief, she snatched the infant Samboe
from the deck, upon which he had fallen, and where, unheeded by one
pitying eye, he remained, without uttering any cry or attempting to
move; for, overcome by terror of the noise and brutality of the crew,
the sight of the immense ocean, and the want of that nourishment which
he in vain sought from the exhausted bosom of his wretched mother,
the suffering child seemed unable to move, or even to utter any sound.

Imihie pressed him closely to her breast, turned a momentary and
frenzied glance upon her enchained husband, and uttering a faint cry of
terror, cast herself and precious burden into the foaming deep. But it
was not decreed to become her tomb. Almost by miracle, she was thrown
near a boat which had put off from a Spanish slave-vessel, and was
picked up by the crew, with Samboe still closely entwined within her
arms; without, however, exhibiting the smallest appearance of remaining
life. But the vital spark was not yet extinct. She was immediately
put on board the ship, and means of resuscitation used with both her
and her child, as well as several other equally miserable victims of
avarice. Heaven decreed these efforts to be effectual: and thus was
the widowed mother transferred, by the sudden calamity, from one set
of mercenaries to another, yet still doomed to slavery! The vessel
had taken in her cargo at Rio Pongos, and was bound for the Havannah;
but her stowage was too small to allow her, with impunity, to keep the
increase occasioned by the casualty of the fire. She therefore put
into a port, and disposed of them to a ship bound for Jamaica. This
occasioned considerable delay; in consequence of which, when the
transferred slaves were at length on their passage, they were subjected
to all the evils of improper seasons; water failed, provisions became
spoiled and scanty, and many of the slaves the victims of disease,
ere they entered the magnificent harbour of Port Royal.

Arrived at Kingston, they were put in store, until notice should
be given of sale, which was immediately done by advertisement: "On
Tuesday next will be put up for sale, in their store, fifty superb
negroes of the coast; to the purchasers of which will be afforded
all the facilities wished."

            * * * "What man reading this,
            And having human feelings, does not blush
            And hang his head, to think himself a man?"


                                "Authority usurp'd from God, not given.
                                 He gave us over beast, fish, fowl,
                                 Dominion absolute. That right we hold
                                 By his donation: but men over men
                                 He made not lord; such title to himself
                                 Reserving, human left from human free."


Had Irving now seen the once attractive Imihie, and her playful boy,
as he even beheld them in the slave-room of the African courtier,
he would scarcely have given credit to any assurance that she
was the same individual. She then, recently a captive, peculiarly
displayed in her person the characteristic feminine traits of her
country--perfect symmetry of proportion, and beautiful, in as far as
it did not consist in colour. Modest, affable, and faithful, these
sweet feminine qualities emanated from her softened eyes, and an air
of winning innocence in every look and gesture; while every word was
pronounced with an inflection of voice so sweet, so soft, so tender,
that cold indeed must have been the heart that could withstand its
eloquent appeal, or listen, unmoved, to its modulations. Such was the
young Imihie. Now, alas! how changed! Emaciated for want of food,
sinking with illness, shrinking from exposure; almost frenzied
with the recollection of the past, the misery of the present,
and the dread of the future; bearing, with difficulty, her infant,
she was conducted, with her companions in misery, to the vendue, in
the bare hope that she might be purchased for the sake of the boy;
who, though suffering from the effects of the voyage and want of
his natural nutriment, still evidently displayed great intelligence,
and much natural vigour. The first day of exhibition passed, and no
purchaser was found for the sulky negress, (for such is the feeling
term applied to the desponding.)

On occasions like this, it is a common thing to speculate upon the
purchase of what are termed the refuse negroes, or those left from the
first day's sale. Some are frequently in so weak and miserable a state,
as even to be sold as low as for a dollar; some are taken to the mart
almost in the agonies of death; and some are even known to draw their
last sigh in the piazzas of the vendue master. It was on the second
day's sale that Imihie was purchased by a planter for a very low sum,
and carried into the country, with some others, whom he intended
to retail. The situation of these wretched captives was but little
ameliorated, by becoming the property of this man, who was of that
class of managers, who think that the safety of the family to which
they are subservient, and the interest of the proprietor, renders
severity indispensable, and oppression the only mode of subduing
the refractory spirit of the African, whom they regard with the most
sovereign contempt. With souls lost to all sense of compassion, they
believe there can be but one mode of enforcing obedience, that of fear;
and in the exercise of their delegated authority, they put in action,
to the utmost, this ignoble stimulus, by every means which a spirit
of cruelty and ignorance can suggest.

Short, indeed, would have been the existence of the miserable Imihie,
had she continued the property of this semi-barbarian. Confined in a
narrow and unwholesome hut, without a single comfort; a hurdle for
a bed, which rather served to torture than to ease her pained and
wearied limbs, with scarcely sufficient of a coarse linen to secure
her frame from the scorching heats of the day, and the dangerous dews
of night; in the midst of the richest bounties of nature, and the
abundant luxuries of art, fed on salt beef and salt cod, and roots,
with the injurious flour of the cassava, imperfectly prepared,
and these in quantity scarcely sufficient to support existence;
deprived of every enjoyment; condemned to perpetual labour, under the
rod of an unfeeling master, there could be no chance of amendment of
health, or of reconcilement to her destiny. But Providence ordained
she should yet feel the happiness of sympathy. Her tyrant master,
finding that her labour was very inadequate to the expences of
retaining her, would have separated her from her child, and sold
her for the smallest possible sum; but a neighbouring proprietor of
a small plantation offered a satisfactory price for them together,
and they were removed to a comparatively comfortable situation, in
the hope that, with rest and better food, she might be enabled to
become a house-slave to the wife of the purchaser.

It has been remarked, by observing travellers, that the women of the
West Indies possess great natural kind feelings; but that the habitual
view of oppression, and the free exercise of power over the slaves,
renders them very insensible to the sufferings of the negro women,
and totally regardless of promoting their happiness, or of studying
to ameliorate their hard lot; and that the instances are by no means
uncommon, in which they treat and have them punished with the utmost
severity: that they can raise, to no gentle tone, their soft voices,
and exert, with no little energy, their spiritless frames, when
provoked by the awkwardness, or jealous of the influence of their
sable captives. Ah! much to be lamented is that state of oppression
on the one part, and debasement on the other, which can convert the
expression of that distinguishing feature of beauty, of female beauty
more especially, from that which indicates right feeling, to that which
betrays a superiority the God of nature designed not. A woman's eye
should melt with tenderness, sparkle with innocent animation, weep
with those that weep, and beam with the rays of joy at the happiness
of another.

Such was the expression which shed its consolation on the desolated
Imihie, upon the visit of her new mistress to her lowly hut. This
amiable woman was young, but her mind had been early matured in the
school of adversity: a hapless fate had fixed her residence in a
remote part of Jamaica, but she had also learnt, from precepts which
will never lead astray, "in whatsoever situation she was, therewith
to be content." From the same Master who had inspired this lesson of
the apostle, she had also learnt the only cure for the rebellion of
the mind; that force defeated its object; that it was the interest of
those who possessed power over their fellow-beings, that they should
be attached to life, for nothing could be expected from them, the
moment that they no longer feared death. Guiding her conduct by this
principle of enlightened reason, derived from a far higher source,
the most genuine sentiments of humanity were in constant exercise, by
a corresponding course of action. She could not, indeed, as an obscure
and solitary individual, break or remove the yoke which oppressed
her fellow-creatures; but she could render it easier to be borne, and
could, sometimes, even for a time, dissipate the cruel sense of it,
by promoting and favouring the natural tastes of her poor slaves. Their
lodging, clothing, and food, were all attended to by persons she could
depend upon, and regularly inspected by herself. Far from regarding
the occupation degrading, she persevered in it as a commanding
duty; and she reaped her high reward, by the grateful affection of
her poor servants. By various simple methods, she roused from the
apathy of despair, and awakened the sensibilities. Little festivals
conducted with judgment, innocent recreations, and simple rewards,
preserved her slaves from the continual melancholy, which had too
just a foundation. She sympathized with mothers, and delighted to
share with them the caresses of the children.

Her husband, although possessing not her intelligence and elevation
of mind, nor actuated by the principle that directed the energies of
his amiable wife, yet was induced, by her unostentatious usefulness,
and evident success in her plans, to accede to most of the humane
innovations she proposed to him; convinced, by her arguments, that it
would be his interest to be humane. Hence, their plantation exhibited a
picture of comfort seldom seen, and their slaves had every appearance
of health. They were allowed wholesome provision in ample quantity,
with as much fruit as they wished; they had the liberty of keeping
poultry, and to cultivate a piece of ground with esculent roots;
their huts were comfortable, and when sick they experienced the
kindest attention; and they were frequently suffered to associate
with each other in little parties, for recreation and amusement.

Such were the proprietors of the poor Imihie and her hapless boy, who
soon began to find the benefit of kind treatment; and it is probable,
had Providence ordained that it should have been enjoyed, immediately
after landing on a foreign shore, that the miseries of the voyage,
and even the horrors of bondage, might have been overcome by youth,
and that wonderful buoyancy of the human mind, that seems to force
itself above the swelling waves of misfortune. But the arrow had sunk
too deep: its barb had been too powerfully poisoned, for human effort
to withdraw, or to antidote it. Imihie was evidently the victim of that
disease which hurries to an untimely grave, so many individuals of
her hapless country; and which, throughout the world, may be termed,
although not yet classed, a broken heart. The first symptom of this
disorder among negroes, became evident; namely, the black and glossy
skin assumed an olive hue, the tongue became white, and the poor
sufferer became overpowered by such a desire to sleep, that it was
found impossible to resist it, a deadly faintness preventing the
smallest exercise. In fact, a languor and general relaxation of the
whole wonderful machinery of the human frame, seems to threaten death
day by day, yet the sufferer still survives. So great is the state of
despondency accompanying this distressing malady, that those afflicted
will suffer themselves to be beaten, rather than attempt to move or
walk. Happy was it for Imihie that she had not a task-master's whip to
dread; and that the loathing which she had for mild and wholesome food,
was not attributed to obstinacy, but to what it really was, a symptom
of the disease which was insiduously undermining the vital principles
of life. It made rapid advances upon her delicate and youthful frame:
her respiration became laborious and painful, the extremities became
swollen, and suffocation seemed frequently to impede the action of
the heart. In this state she languished and suffered several months;
but Imihie had her consolations, under an infliction, the natural
consequence of melancholy upon the organs of the human frame.

We have said, that the humanity and enlightened reason of the
excellent Mrs. Delany, were derived from a high source; even from that
source which exalts feeling to a principle: the one is frequently as
transient as the excitement, the other is founded upon a firm basis;
offering a permanent and pure incentive to action, by adding a value
to existence, as connecting it with a future. Such is one of the many
blessed fruits of a Christian faith. Mrs. Delany felt its commanding
power: she was a Christian in deed. Hers was not a speculative creed,
but a practical code: it was her daily, hourly study to act upon.

It is true, Jamaica, at the period of our narrative, enjoyed not
the high privileges it now possesses of Christian instruction, and
of Christian example; but Mrs. Delaney was one amongst the few, who,
feeling and enjoying the light and the consolation of religion, were
anxious to impart a portion of what cheered their own hearts--of that
which directed their steps, to those who yet "sat in darkness and
the shadow of death." Deeply interested in her hapless slave, from
the moment she saw her, Mrs. Delaney had soothed, by truly maternal
attention, her bodily sufferings, and her mental anguish. She inwardly
deplored her total ignorance of that grand source of consolation, the
knowledge of which was so open to those who despised it. She gently
prepared the feelings and the understanding for the reception of that
light, which she fervently prayed might be imparted to her benighted
mind. She gradually led her docile steps, her mental view, to Him who
invites the heavy laden to resort to him for rest; to seek Him who is
the strength and the fortress of those that trust in him; to adore,
with unfeigned humility, that transcendent mercy, which became poor
that we might be rich. What heart is there, bereft of all earthly
good, all earthly hope, but must expand with joy, to receive into
its most inmost recesses the precious promises of Christianity?--of
that mild and beneficent religion, which so tenderly sympathizes with
every emotion of the weak, the frail, the lacerated bosom? Was it
then surprising, that the poor Imihie, with feelings too powerful for
utterance, hung upon the mild accents of Mrs. Delaney, as she described
to her the sufferings of the Redeemer--the abyss of wretchedness from
which he rescued mankind--the dreadful penalty from which he saved a
rebellious world? Was it surprising, that, with an eager gratitude,
which gave a heavenly expression to her languid eyes, and displayed
itself in every varying feature, she listened to the glorious truths
of revelation, unfolded in terms suited to her expanding capacity;
and that, with all the simplicity of unsophisticated nature, receiving
the noblest impressions of Deity, she bade Mrs. Delaney thank her great
good God for his marvellous kindness to wretched captives, and for the
unsearchable riches of his grace. Never was she wearied in hearing
her kind instructress recount the sufferings of the incarnate God:
tears, the offspring of genuine feeling, chased each other down her
altered countenance, as Mrs. Delaney directed her imagination to the
garden of Gethsemane, to the judgment-hall, where He, whose throne is
heaven, and his footstool earth, was exposed to insult, contumely,
and scorn; scourged, buffeted, spit upon; betrayed by one friend,
denied by another, and abandoned by all; subjected to a painful, a
cruel, and an ignominious death, in the presence of insulting foes:
the very spirit clouded by the momentary abandonment of heavenly aid,
forcing from the lips of the sufferer the agonizing exclamation:
"My God, my God! why hast thou forsaken me?" and all this for the
love he bore for those who became his murderers.

Thus would Mrs. Delaney, in language suited to the capacity of her
pupil, recount the affecting history of our Redeemer, and gradually
open her mind (aided by the Spirit of grace constantly implored
to direct her) to the grand truths of the gospel. The soul of the
dying Imihie imbibed the soothing balm, felt the powerful energy,
and gladly received the consolation the religion of Jesus alone has
power to give. Her tears, it is true, still flowed for Africa, and for
Tumiáh; but they were no longer bitter tears. The heavenly ray which
had been communicated to her soul, had not only enlightened it, but
stilled its perturbations; and captivity was deprived of its horrors,
in the enjoyment of those lively instructions in the way of holiness
and peace, so impressively imparted by her truly Christian mistress.

Often when administering some relief to her bodily suffering,
Mrs. Delaney would ask her how she felt herself. She would say, with
a serene smile, "weak, weak; but joy, joy here," laying her hand on
her bosom, then pressing that of her compassionate benefactress. No
murmur, no complaint, proceeded from her lips; but her mind appeared
ever tranquil, and her soul happy. Sometimes, indeed, while caressing
Samboe, the tear would swell in her eyes; but she had learned the
comprehensive prayer, "Lord, let thy will be done!" and a frequent,
affecting repetition of it, while she pressed her boy to her bosom,
spoke volumes to the sympathizing Mrs. Delaney.

During this daily increase of spiritual strength, her frame gradually
sunk under the pressure of her disease, which resisted every
tried means of relief, and finally came to its usual termination;
viz. suffocation. Thus closed the mortal career of the youthful
Imihie, one of the many thousands of victims to a commerce, which,
it is feared, the mercenary will always cling to; in which desperate
men will ever be found to hazard; and, even in Africa, tyrants ever
be ready to supply the horrid market; (Note Q.) while few, it is to
be feared, will, like the poor Imihie, after a series of misery, find
a Mrs. Delaney to soothe their sorrows, and point to realms where all
tears shall be wiped away, and sorrow and sighing shall flee for ever.

            To Heaven the Christian negress sent her sighs,
            In morning vows, and evening sacrifice;
            She pray'd for blessings to descend on those
            Who dealt to her the cup of many woes;
            Thought of her home in Africa forlorn,
            Yet, while she wept, rejoic'd that she was born:
            Ennobling virtue fix'd her hopes above,
            Enlarg'd her heart, and sanctified her love.
            With lowly steps the path of peace she trod,
            A happy pilgrim, for she walk'd with God.

                                                Montgomery, (adapted.)


                      The spreading palm-tree o'er her grave shall wave,
                      Emblem of bliss eternal!

                     "See on the grave in which she sleeps,
                      The soften'd savage sits and weeps;
                      And the sweet voice of gratitude
                      Oft names her in the desert rude."

                                                         The Missionary.

The infant Samboe, thus bereaved of his suffering mother, was yet too
young to feel the full magnitude of his loss; yet his little heart
experienced emotions he had no power to utter, when he was told she
would never more awake to his call, nor could he feel happy, when,
with expressions of joy, he saw the negroes of the plantation remove
his "silent mother" to the burial ground, with every demonstration
of joy. (Note R.)

An ever kind Providence has, however, made the griefs of children to
be transient; and Samboe, the favourite of Mrs. Delaney, from his
sweetness of disposition, great activity, and early intelligence,
would probably have presented a pleasing exception to the unhappy
lot of his enslaved countrymen--might justly have enjoyed the title
of the happy negro--had his benefactress been spared to bless the
sable dependants on her kindness. But life, at all times and in all
situations transient and uncertain, may be said to be peculiarly so
in the West Indies; the progress of disease being so rapid, and the
excitements to it so many. That dreadful visitation, the yellow fever,
broke out in the district of the Delaney plantation: numberless were
the victims to the "pestilence that walketh in noon-day;" and among
them were Mr. Delaney and his amiable wife.

Those who were capable of appreciating their worth, who had felt
their benevolence, had enjoyed the privileges they allowed, and knew
how rarely they were found in the plantations, mourned them with
unfeigned sorrow, their loss closing up the avenues of consolation and
of hope; and those too young to feel how much they were deprived of,
were quickly made sensible of a change from a system of Christian
love and benevolence, to that built upon the mere hope of worldly
gain. As it is not the custom in the English colonies, as in the
French, for the negroes to be attached to the plantation, those
of the Delaney estate were, upon the sale of it, dispersed amongst
different purchasers; and the infant Samboe became the property of
a cruel mercenary, who employed the poor child to wait upon him,
when indulging in all the luxurious ease of an occidental despot. By
those who have seen the various caprices of a temper altogether
uncontrouled, the whims of a mind destitute of cultivation and
obstinate in ignorance, the cruelty of a disposition formed by the
possession of a precarious power over helpless individuals; by those,
and those only, will the various species of suffering to which the
innocent child was subjected be understood; and the terrors which were
produced by the horrid imprecations, the unmanly abuse, and vulgar
epithets of this brutal master, upon the gentle and timid character
of the poor little Samboe. It was then he began to feel the loss,
and to pine for the tenderness of his mother and his benefactress;
and there is little doubt but he would have soon followed them to
the tomb, had not an incident occurred, that emancipated him from the
tyrannical controul by which he so acutely suffered. One day, while
attending his master at breakfast, just as he handed the coffee his
foot slipped, and it was thrown over a beautiful cimar, which the
luxurious planter highly valued, as the gift of a lady to whom he
was partial. He rose in haste and in anger, and aiming a blow at the
now kneeling boy, missed the blow, and fell himself to the ground,
striking his head by the fall against the edge of a sofa. Seeing him
suddenly fall, some attendants in waiting rushed to his assistance,
but in vain: the blow had been fatal, he had fallen to rise no more
on earth! Happy was it for Samboe that there were witnesses, white
witnesses of the scene, who could exonerate him from all intentional
connexion with, or wilful provocation to the catastrophe. The alarm,
however, of the unoffending child was distressing: the countenance
of the planter at all times bore evidence of his ill-regulated mind
and indurated heart, and the awful hand of death fixed them in an
expression the most horrid. With little idea of such sudden death,
the poor child thought he was but in a violent passion, and, in the
most piteous accents, clasping his hands together, besought "massa to
forgive poor Samboe, who would not break cup any more, would not spoil
dress any more." But his supplication was alike unheeded by master
and attendants, except by one, who kicking him as he passed, said:
"Get out of the way, ye little whining dog, or I'll make ye." Samboe
crept from the apartment, and crouching under some furniture, felt
all the bitterness of a life of slavery, of which nature, in its first
fresh feelings, can be capable. Happily again for the infant captive,
the wife of the planter could not bear to retain in her service the
innocent cause of her husband's death; at least, secretly rejoicing
at her own emancipation from his arbitrary disposition, she affected
so to say: consequently, she expressed her wish of selling him to
the manager of a neighbouring plantation, but as her recent loss
rendered it impossible for her to have a personal interview, she
thus communicated her wish by note to this person: "Unable to bear
the sight of the young author of the death of the best and tenderest
of husbands, Mrs. Williamson requests the favour of Mr. Martin to
take charge of, and dispose of him, in any way he may judge most
conducive to her interest, and to employ the proceeds in the purchase
of a more effective, that is, laborious slave. Mrs. W. relies on the
known kindness of Mr. M. to render this service to the disconsolate
widow of his late friend." My young readers will doubtless be shocked,
that Mrs. Williamson should thus profess grief for the loss of a man
she married for his wealth, without either esteeming or loving him;
but it is no fancied picture, and is presented to show, that, unless
the heart is continually watched, and the mind sedulously cultivated,
in situations favourable to indolence and self-indulgence, the moral
feelings quickly become blunted, and the individual can easily,
and without any self-reproach, assume any sentiments and any line
of conduct which best suits the whim or caprice of the moment;
and she hated the little Samboe, because she once overheard him,
in a moment of unusual gaiety, telling a circle of slaves what
merry dances they had at Delaney, when dear Missy Delaney danced
with poor Samboe. Upon such trifles will envy condescend to feed its
insatiate appetite. Good, however, to Samboe, was educed from all this
evil. Mr. Martin was the respectable and humane manager of the Moreton
estate; (see "Twilight Hours Improved," page 85;) subjected to his
superintendence during the minority of Mr. Frederick Moreton, by the
will of his deceased father; and whose humane treatment of his negroes
had excited the displeasure of the young man's guardian, Mr. Penryn,
who firmly believed the African race created only to become the slaves
of Europeans. Mr. Martin lost no time in complying with the request
of his fair neighbour. He well remembered frequently having seen the
little Samboe in attendance upon his imperious master, and never failed
to admire his extreme docility, mildness, and intelligence; and he
looked upon the circumstance of Mrs. Williamson's desire to sell him,
as very fortunate, as he had, only a few days previous, received the
commission to send to England a negro boy for his young master.

The purchase was soon made, and Samboe was once more under the roof of
an indulgent master. Every attention was given, in order to establish
his health, and improve his personal appearance, that he might credit
the choice of his purchaser, and please the young eye of his future
master. He only remained at Jamaica to effect these purposes, when he
was consigned to the care of the captain of an English West Indiaman,
with instructions to have him safely conveyed to Mr. Penryn's,
Portman Square.

Samboe evinced the greatest reluctance to go on board; he clung
to Mr. Martin, who himself conducted him, and trembled violently,
declaring he could not go into great ship, or on great wide sea. No one
could account for this extraordinary reluctance and evident terror; for
they knew not that the young heart of the little negro was throbbing
with recollections for which he had no name, and which he had no
power to express. It is true, they were vague, like the confused
remembrance of a troubled dream, but they were powerful; and it was
with the utmost difficulty Mr. Martin soothed him, by gentleness,
promises, and assurances; and, after all, was obliged to leave him,
when he had cried himself to sleep upon a coil of rope on the deck,
no one being able to prevail upon him to go below, and Mr. Martin
positively forbidding coercion.

The grief and terror of the poor boy were renewed, when he discovered
he had been left by Mr Martin; but a series of kind treatment, and
many little indulgences granted him, after a while reconciled him
to his new situation; while his simplicity and quickness greatly
endeared him to the sailors, with whom he became quite a pet. The
voyage passed in this manner without any particular occurrence; and
Samboe was introduced, one evening, to the dining room of Mr. Penryn,
filled with elegant company.

Had he been one of the wonders of the world, he probably would not have
excited more attention, or elicited more remarks. The ladies admired
his eyes and his teeth; the gentlemen enquired if he was a Molembo,
or from the Kroo country, and began an animated debate on slavery,
and the slave-trade. Each lady gave her opinion of the most becoming
dress to contrast with the jet black of his skin. One asked him if was
not glad to come to England; another enquired if he was sorry to leave
Africa; a third enquired if they flogged him at the plantation; while
a fourth, by way of compliment to the lady of the house, observed,
he was a happy black boy, to have such a charming mistress. To all
these remarks the poor child could give no reply; nor, it would seem,
was it expected; and, much to his joy, he was dismissed to the care
of the groom, until his apartment and employment about the person of
his young master could be arranged.

The groom, however, was highly indignant that a vile neger boy
should be committed to his care: "Did they fancy he would let a
black get between his sheets? No, indeed; there was the hay-loft,
the stable-boy should pull him a truss of straw in the corner there:
surely that would be a better bed than most negers got. Sleep with
me, indeed; no, I'd lose my place first, and tis'n't a bad one,
neither. Had they told me to take Cæsar the house-dog, or Neptune
the Newfoundlander, I should not have so much have minded; but a
neger boy! surely my master was half-seas over to think of it." This,
and much more of the same refined objection, passed in the kitchen
of ---- Penryn, esq. and, according to the groom's kind arrangement,
Samboe was indulged with some clean straw in the stable-loft.

The children of oppression and calamity quickly sympathize; a kindred
feeling draws them together: thus it was with Samboe the African,
and Frank the English stable boy. An orphan from his cradle,
and a parish apprentice, Frank had been early subjected to every
oppression--exposed to every temptation; but a certain buoyancy of
spirit, and a persevering ardour of mind, enabled him to rise above
the one; and the latter was rendered less dangerous, by his constant,
unremitted love of employment. He was busily engaged mending his
shoes, when his master, the groom, introduced the young negro to his
acquaintance. "There, Frank," he said, "there is a companion for you,
my lad; take care he don't touch the horses, and mind he don't run
away. Lock him up when you come in for your supper: you may offer him
some, but I don't know what negers eat, I'm sure. Master should have
told us that, I think, for I don't expect they live as we do. Eh! my
lad, do ye mind me?" he added, with a raised voice, as he saw Frank
take the hand of the timid Samboe, and ask him if he was tired. "Oh
yes, sir!" he replied, touching his fur cap, "I will be sure to take
care of him."

Glad to get quit of the restraint which the charge imposed upon him,
the groom was in high good humour with Frank, and promised, if he would
attend to his orders, he would give him a shilling. Astonished at his
unwonted generosity, Frank repeated his assurances; and having made
his new companion understand that he desired to make him comfortable,
with the happy facility of children to be so when left to themselves,
they quickly became acquainted. Frank found that negers could eat
good bread and fresh meat; that they had no objection to tarts; and
that even a custard, given by the cook as a treat to merry Frank,
was equally relished by the neger boy. After this luxurious repast,
during which, if it was not the "feast of reason and the flow of soul,"
there was, most unquestionably, innate benevolence on one side, and
genuine gratitude on the other, the new-made friends sought repose on
the same clean truss of straw, and together enjoyed the refreshment
of "nature's sweet restorer." Not long, however, after they had thus
lain down, Frank was roused from his yet imperfect slumber, by a
slight rustling and a low voice, very near him. He spoke gently to
his new bed-fellow, but received no reply. Frank had that tincture of
superstition which usually attaches to the ignorant and uncultivated;
and the unusual sound, his new situation, and the profound darkness,
aided the impression; while a thought of the little negro became
associated with the recollection of several marvellous ghost-stories he
had heard. He ventured, however, (not without considerable reluctance,)
to feel if his sable companion was by his side, and discovered, to
his amazement, that he was not there. The murmur still continued,
and Frank, trembling all over him, made a desperate effort, and
called lustily, "Samboe, Samboe!" "Samboe here," replied the boy,
in a soft and gentle tone; "Samboe here, but wicked boy."

Frank's courage returned at the sound of Samboe's voice clearly
pronouncing these words, although he was at a loss to account
for his self-accusation. "Why, what have you done to be wicked;
where are you?" he enquired. Samboe's imperfect knowledge of the
English language, permitted him not to understand the full import
of these questions; and it was not until Frank, with renewed courage
at finding his companion was really a mortal, contrived to make him
understand his repeated enquiry, why he had risen, and why he called
himself wicked? "Because Samboe forgot lesson dear Missy Delaney teach
him. Pray to great God before sleep; pray to great God when eyes open;
pray to good God give food; pray to good God give friends."

Frank now understood, that Samboe, in the novelty of his situation,
and probably from the effects of a little porter he had taken,
had forgotten to offer his simple tribute of thanks and respect to
the omnipotent Creator, which the good Mrs. Delaney had taught him
habitually to do; although he was too young when she died, to admit
any further religious instruction, or to understand more than that
a great God, beyond the blue sky, observed all his actions.

Samboe had never, until this night, neglected this lesson; but, with
uplifted hands and bended knee, was accustomed to acknowledge the
protection and the support of the Being he had been taught to regard,
as ever beholding, and with unwearied care protecting, all men. Sleep,
however, had not closed his eyes, ere the omission was recollected,
and he had crept out of the straw, to offer his simple orison, the low
murmur of which had so much alarmed his new friend. Having concluded,
he returned to his straw couch, and slept the sleep of innocence,
untill awaked by Frank rising to his morning duty in the stables.

Frank possessed an intelligence of mind, as well as activity of spirit,
which required but opportunities to develope themselves. The incident
of Samboe's forgotten prayer, impressed his youthful mind. How was
it he had never been taught to pray? He had never seen it practised
among those he had been with. He thought people went to church to
pray; yet surely if a black boy thought it right to pray, a white
boy ought. Perhaps it was a custom among them? Yet, such was the
innate impression he had, that it was right and proper, that he
felt a species of shame to answer Samboe in the negative, when he
artlessly enquired if he did not pray to great God, to take care of
him; he, too, who knew so many things: for, to Samboe, Frank seemed
a miracle of cleverness, when he described his various employments,
and displayed, to his astonished visitor, the results of his ingenuity,
which he did with no little self-complacency.

Samboe seemed now the happiest of human beings. He suffered nothing
to pass unnoticed; asking the reason, the use, the name of every
thing he heard, or saw, or touched. This he contrived to do, either
by broken words, gestures, or signs. The new-made friends thus passed
several hours of the morning, before the groom made his appearance;
for, although his apartments were above the stables, he did not often
occupy them, finding numerous engagements more pleasant than attending
to his duty.

The only unpleasant circumstance of this morning of delight to
Samboe, was its chilliness. It was one of those which frequently
occur in May, as if to reprove the hastiness of the family of Flora,
in putting forth their fair forms; and its asperity was severely felt
by the little African. Frank determined to make him as comfortable
as he could; and having received no orders to the contrary, lighted
a fire in the groom's room, and invited Samboe to its genial warmth,
while he quickly prepared a comfortable mess of milk-pottage.

They were thus enjoying themselves, when the master of the house
appeared, half awake, and storming at Frank for a lazy dog, for not
having swept the stable-door. But he supposed he and the beggarly
neger had been idling away their time together. Frank, who was used
to his arbitrary temper, said little; but, making signs for Samboe to
return to the loft, he quickly prepared every thing for his master's
toilet, and proceeded to rectify the omission of not having swept the
door-way. While thus engaged, a servant from the house arrived with
an order to the groom to take the negro-boy to a clothes-shop, and
have him neatly clothed, until a a proper dress could be fixed upon;
as he was to have an interview with his mistress and young master,
who neither of them could bear the smell of tar, exhaling from the
filthy things he wore.

This message, delivered in due form to the groom while he was shaving
himself, nearly endangered his cutting his throat, by the resentful
agitation it caused, that he should be appointed to wait upon a
neger. It was a degradation which he could not, nor would not submit
to. Following, therefore, the example of his superiors, he delegated
the office to his subordinate; and calling loudly for Frank, as soon
as the messenger had left him, he desired him to take the black he
seemed so fond of, to Mr. Draper's, and get him rigged. "And mind
ye, Frank, boy, call at the 'potecaries or 'fumers, and bid 'em
pour some musk or lavender, or something sweet over the lad, for
missis is very particular; and as to Master Fred, I shall have him
trying how my legs will bear the exercise of his new hunting-whip,
if I do not please him about this black, who, I dare say, will not be
long before he feels it. But I suppose he has been used to flogging,
so it will be nothing to him."

Frank, highly pleased with this important commission, called the
shivering boy from the hay-chamber, and in no long time he was
completely equipped, in a suit according to the taste of Frank and
the vender: certainly as stiff and ill made as it well could be;
while the effusion of lavender-water was completely accomplished,
even till the poor boy's eyes became filled with tears, from the
potency of the perfume, and every person he passed on his return,
half stopped, at meeting with the unusual odour.

Samboe, however, had yet some hours to become reconciled to his new
habiliment; and his friend Frank had so many modes and sources of
employment and amusement, that those hours passed insensibly away. At
length, about four o'clock, the groom again appeared to conduct him
to the house; and when arrived, a footman desired him to follow him to
the apartment of his lady, previously to her taking her morning airing.


                         "I would not have a slave to till my ground,
                          To carry me, to fan me while I sleep,
                          And tremble when I wake, for all the wealth
                          That sinews bought and sold have ever earn'd."


From the reciprocation of the heart's best affections, which had
marked the short period of Samboe's acquaintance with Frank, we may
now follow the young stranger to the inanity of an Anglo West Indian
boudoir; in which were Mrs. Penryn, reclined on a chaise longue, a
young lady spangling some delicate muslin, and Mr. Frederick Moreton
standing at a distant part of the room. The footman having opened the
door, pointed to Samboe to enter, and immediately closed it upon him,
leaving the timid boy to the scrutinizing looks of Mrs. Penryn, the
oblique attention of the young lady, and the supercilious glance of the
boy, who was engaged in the humane employment of holding a live mouse
by the tail, as high as his arm could reach; while a kitten, eagerly
attending to its writhings, kept springing, instinctively, to catch
it, and as often, from the violence of the exertion, fell back on the
floor. Had it not been for the chill which pervaded his frame, in his
way to this apartment, Samboe might have thought himself in the West
Indies, both as to the temperature, and the luxurious ease displayed
in the arrangement of it. An elegant Persian carpet, entirely covered
it; sofas, ottomans, and couches, invited to indolence and repose;
ornaments of the richest and most expensive materials, vases, cabinets,
&c. adorned it; and a number of tropical birds, of beauteous plumage,
displayed their captive state in superb cages of various elegant forms;
while shells of great magnitude and exquisite beauty were displayed
in different parts of this superb room, with considerable judgment
and taste; and a rich glow seemed communicated to every object, from
the light passing the draperies of beautiful rose-coloured taffety
curtains. Plants of the loveliest bloom and most exquisite odour,
completed the fascinations of this luxurious apartment, tastefully
arranged in beautiful baskets and vases, reflected by the superb
mirrors, of which there were several on each side of the room.

Mrs. Penryn, half raising her pale and spiritless form from the
sofa on which she was reclining, was the first to break the silence
which followed Samboe's introduction. "Come, Fred, do give Frolic the
mouse, and look at this boy. He will serve to amuse you, I hope; for
I think the dogs, the cats, the mice, and the flies, have had enough
of you. Come, did you ever behold such an uncouth creature as George
has made him: why the boy looks as if he were in a wooden case. He
must not appear about you, till he has something fit to put on."

This feeling harangue did not divert the young gentleman from his
amusement for some minutes, till at length, more it would seem from
his own fatigue, than from any motive of compassion for the poor
animals, he gave the cat its natural prey; and it retired swearing,
as its murmur of triumph is styled, to enjoy the feast, under a sofa
at the further part of the room. "Now, Lavinia," said Mrs. Penryn,
addressing the young lady, "give us your opinion, my dear; your taste
is so good: what dress shall we have for Fred's page? He will like
whatever you decide upon, I dare say."

"Dear me, do you think so?" replied Miss Lavinia, in the most affected
tone: "Mr. Frederick seldom asks my opinion, I think."

"He is but a boy, and you will excuse him, I'm sure; but really this
dress must be left to you."

"Certainly," replied Lavinia, "he must have something different from
that he now wears, which is only fit for the stable."

"And a very good place too, I think," remarked the polite young
gentleman, as he threw himself at his length on a sofa, rousing by
the action a little white terrier, which had been reposing quietly
upon it. The dog uttered a cry, and jumped on the floor.

"Poor Erminet cannot be quiet even here," said Mrs. Penryn, angrily:
"I wish, Fred, you would look before you lie down: I dare say you
have lamed my pretty Erminet."

"I dare say I have done no such thing," retorted the respectful nephew:
"But I have no desire to stay, I assure you. I am sure, though Lavinia
talks of the stable, I had rather be there, than shut up in this hot
room. So make haste and determine about the boy's dress, for I cannot
stay shilly-shally here all day."

"I wonder when you will learn to be civil," said Mrs. Penryn: "I think,
if you had had a few lessons of politeness interspersed with Greek
and Latin, it would have made you more agreeable." "That is all you
women know of the matter. But let me have no preaching. Have you done
with me?"

"Why, Fred, how provoking you are: did you not bid me send for the
boy? And now he is come, you want to go without settling any thing
about him. Remember, he is your property, and you must do what you
please about him. I shall trouble myself no more about him."

"Very well, then leave it alone," said the young barbarian; and
striding past the trembling Samboe, he quitted the room, shutting
the door with violence after him.

"What a pity it is," said Mrs. Penryn, after a short pause, "that
Frederick is so hasty: such a good-hearted lad as he is. I wish,
Lavinia, you would undertake to soften down his manners: he is really
worth your trouble, my dear girl."

The young lady simpered, half blushed, expressed her doubt of having
any influence over Mr. Frederick, who was, indeed, a fine manly
boy. There was nothing she could refuse to dear Mrs. Penryn and her
guardian, and she would certainly endeavour to please Frederick,
that she might refine his manners a little."

"Well, begin then, my dear girl, and fix upon a tasty dress for the
boy. I know Fred will be pleased when it is done. I intend Samboe to
be his constant attendant: he is to sleep in the little anti-room,
to be ever at hand to attend Frederick's pleasure; and, in short,
he is to do what he pleases respecting him. Mr. Penryn says he will
have hundreds under his power when he goes to Jamaica."

This reference to the taste of Lavinia, was the dictate of policy;
for she was recently become a ward of Mr. Penryn, was an orphan
of immense property, and only a few years older than Frederick. The
prudent Mr. and Mrs. Penryn were very desirous to favour an attachment
between them; and Mrs. Penryn was directed, by her husband, to seek
every opportunity of doing so.

The young lady was of that negative character, so often met
with amongst those who, in large boarding-schools, lose every
discriminating trait in the general application of certain rules and
certain pursuits. Dress, admiration, and gaiety, alone had power to
animate her pretty features; from which, however, no intellectual ray
ever beamed. She was highly flattered by the desire of Mrs. Penryn to
exercise her taste in the choice of a dress for Samboe. That choice
could not be difficult, for one who had so frequently seen the variety
of costume exhibited on the stage; and as vanity, ostentation, and
singularity, not congruity, were to dictate the choice, it was soon
fixed, as the young lady thought, of that elegant form and expensive
material, which could not fail to please the young planter; and it
must be owned, that when, a few days subsequent, Samboe made his
appearance in the elegant costume of Persia, that he exhibited a very
fair specimen of juvenile negro beauty. The blue and silver vest and
caftan, the full girdle, the capacious trowsers, and the perfectly
white turban, with its golden cord and sparkling gems, contrasted well
with his sable skin and slender form; giving a lightness to his air,
which even the pressure of slavery was not able materially to injure.

Lavinia's taste was loudly applauded; and even Frederick condescended
to say the boy looked something like what he ought to do. But
poor Samboe, like many a white boy and girl, felt the misery of
fine clothes, being continually reminded that he must not do this,
he must not lie there, lest he should soil his dress.

His young master would never suffer him out of his sight: not that
he cared a button for him or his clothes, but because he could not
allow of any cessation in tormenting a poor being over whom he had
full controul; and he was continually racking his invention, to
devise some new species of torment and teasing. With a mean species
of jealousy, as soon as he found Frank the stable-boy was the only
kind being who regarded the poor black boy as a fellow-creature, he
interdicted Samboe from ever going into the stable, or from speaking
to his good-tempered friend.

This was a cruel stroke to poor Samboe, thus to deprive him of the
only portion of comfort in his bitter draught of slavery. His mind
was in danger of becoming callous from oppression, and in proportion
to the degradation he was subjected to. He had no motive for action,
but the dread of punishment. Without voluntary agency, a mere passive
instrument in the hands of others, his mind would assuredly have become
irrecoverably contracted, and the powers of soul even destroyed,
had not the very tyranny and caprice which were producing these
lamentable results, transferred the suffering boy to the benevolent
care of Captain Tremayne, and his young nephew, Charles Roslyn. (See
"Twilight Hours improved.")

Become the property of the latter by the hasty gift of Frederick,
how different was the lot of Samboe, from a state of cruel coercion,
of degrading slavery, which was daily debasing every manly sentiment!

            "When, to deep sadness sullenly resign'd,
            He feels his body's bondage in his mind,
            Put off his generous nature, and to suit
            His manners with his fate, put on the brute."

Such, indeed, is slavery most justly termed, "the grave of
virtue." Under its cold and ungenial influence, every generous, every
warm emotion must languish and die. Through the gloom which envelopes
the soul subjected to its dark power, no ray of intellect, no beam
of joy, no sun of cheerfulness can pierce. And yet man, inconsistent
man, while condemning his fellow-being to this soul-paralyzing state,
expects from the poor victims qualities and virtues only to be planted
in the soil, only to be nourished by the sun, of liberty--of Christian
liberty, of Christian charity:

            "For slaves by truth enlarg'd are doubly freed."


                          "Thy lips have shed instruction as the dew,
                           Taught me what path to shun, and what pursue.
                           Farewell my former joys! I sigh no more
                           For Africa's once-lov'd, benighted shore:
                           Serving a benefactor, I am free,
                           At my best home, if not exil'd from thee."

Samboe, placed with the respectable Mr. Llwellin, made rapid progress
in reading and writing, and in the elements of general knowledge. His
quickness gained the entire attention of his preceptor; while these was
a charm and freshness in all he said, which could only be derived from
quick perceptions and a warm heart--a buoyancy of fancy and a fervid
feeling, which won the affections of all those who had to instruct
him. With the deepest attention he would listen to Mr. Llwellin,
as in a simple and impressive manner he explained to him the general
principles of religion, the nature and duty of worshipping God, the
creation of man, his fall from virtue and happiness, and the promised
restoration through the merits of the Redeemer. It is a mistake that
these subjects are beyond the comprehension, and excite no interest in
the hearts of children. Practical devotion and the Christian duties,
have a forcible influence on the ductile minds and unsophisticated
hearts of the young. Hence the transition of instruction is easy, and
perfectly understood by them, from the duty and privilege of prayer
and praise, to the truth that we are unable to do either, or even to
think what is right, without superior guidance and continual aid. The
conviction of this at once gives an object and a fervency to prayer;
and he who prays fervently and believing, however young he may be,
will not be unheeded when thus imploring the divine aid.

It was the invariable custom of Mr. Llwellin to assemble his family
in the evening. He then read a portion of the Holy Scriptures, and
explained them with admirable simplicity and pathos to his little
auditory. It was now that the prayers Samboe had said, as it were
mechanically, were now repeated with an earnestness which fully
indicated that they were not merely the offering of the lips; and
so much did he profit by the pious instructions, example, and care
of Mr. Llwellin, that he was admitted into the Christian church by
baptism; but, at the request of his young protector, retaining his
former name as his usual appellation although he received, at the font,
that of Henry.

So anxious was this interesting youth to attain all useful knowledge,
that he was always the first at his scholastic duties; and when
dismissed from them, after a little recreation, enjoyed with all
the zest of health and youth, he would occupy his time in religious
reading and study, drawing, and little mechanical works; equally
proving his strength of intellect and his active ingenuity. Though
his temper was frequently severely tried by the taunts and ridicule of
the boys, he never betrayed anger or resentment: he disarmed them by
his humility, patience, and meekness; so that scoffers he converted
into friends. He was lively in his disposition, but taciturn from
thought, except when with his teachers; when he seemed to expand
every faculty of his mind to receive their instructions, while any
accession of knowledge caused his naturally brilliant eyes to beam
with added intelligence and delight.

With all these qualities of mind and heart, it is not surprising
that Samboe was a universal favourite; and unfeigned, indeed, was
his joy, when he was permitted to write to his dear massa Charles,
whom he never named without his eyes filling with tears of grateful
affection. "Oh!" he would say, "my dear massa, I shall never forget
his goodness." Years passed on in this progressive improvement, during
which a regular correspondence was kept up between Charles Roslyn and
his protegé, when an incident occurred which opened a field for the
exercise of those attainments it had been the laudable and unremitted
study of Samboe to acquire.

Colonel Roslyn was entertaining a party of gentlemen, among whom
were admiral Herbert and his nephew Fitzhugh. Charles Roslyn was the
favourite midshipman of the admiral, and the conversation turned upon
the topic of the day; namely, the slave-trade, and the probabilities
of its abolition, as well as the capacity of the negroes to profit
by their freedom. Many were the arguments adduced for and against;
and Colonel Roslyn was naturally led to relate the circumstances of
Samboe's becoming Charles's protegé, and the high reward they had
experienced in the sweet disposition, high intellectual capacity,
moral worth, and genuine religious principles of the young negro. "I
have the sincerest pleasure," observed Colonel Roslyn, "in stating
this individual instance of the moral and intellectual worth of an
African, of which, doubtless, there are many similar instances,
where instruction and kindness have elicited and fostered the
qualities of the mind and heart. But we all remember the period, my
friends, when the African's claim to the character and privileges
of man was even disputed--when they were considered as somewhat
of a superior species of ourang outang [5]. This false and inhuman
estimate, succeeding years have disproved. It has been in numberless
instances shown that they are not only men, but capable of becoming
intelligent and virtuous men; and not only virtuous men, but pious,
unaffected, sincere Christians. I am not, however," continued the
colonel, "an advocate for giving personal liberty to numbers of men,
unless, at the same time, I impart the principles of religion and
the arts of civil life. It is only by giving freedom to the soul,
and by encouraging the virtuous energies of man, that we can make
him capable of properly appreciating the blessing of liberty, and
preserve him from becoming a pest to society, instead of a useful
member of it. Without these correcting and restraining principles,
liberty would soon degenerate into licentiousness, and the possession
of power be exercised in deeds of violence."

"I entirely agree with you, colonel," observed the admiral;
"and therefore be so good as to pledge me in a glass of that
excellent claret, when I offer my sentiment: 'Let the empire of
Britain be the empire of mercy; and let no shore re-echo with the
thunder of her power, but which shall also smile under the blessing
of her beneficence.'" This sentiment of the admiral's was warmly
received. During this conversation, a young man at the lower end of the
table appeared deeply interested in it. His animated and penetrating
countenance drew the attention of Colonel Roslyn, and he expressed
his pleasure, in observing to the admiral, that an interest for the
enslaved Africans seemed to animate his young relative; for it was
Fitzhugh, whose whole soul seemed engaged in the subject.

"Yes, indeed," observed the admiral, "Fitzhugh is a very enthusiast
in the cause, and I love him the better for it: it is honourable to
his feelings, and to those generous sentiments which ought to pervade
the heart, and direct the conduct of a British officer. Have you not
heard that he has obtained a very responsible and active appointment
in the new settlement of Sierra Leone, and that, in a short time,
he will sail for Africa? I doubt not his conscientious attention to
the duties devolving upon him, nor do I think the directors could
have made a more judicious choice; for, young as he is, his firmness
of principle, his rectitude in action, his genuine feeling, and his
cultivated mind, render him peculiarly eligible to attend to the
duties, and to surmount the difficulties of an infant colony. He will
form one of the council, which will be sent from England, for the
government of the colony. This council is particularly instructed
to secure to all negroes and people of colour, equal rights, and
equal treatment, in every respect, as the whites. They are to be
tried by jury, as the whites, and every facility given to them to
exercise their peculiar talents; employments being allotted them
according to their progressive capacity of discharging them. They
are especially, to be instructed in the principles of religion and
morals. Public worship and the reverent observation of the sabbath,
the general instruction of the adults and the judicious education of
the children, are the means to be used to draw this now wretched race
of men from the night of ignorance to the glorious light of divine
and temporal knowledge. In fact, the grand object of the Sierra
Leone Company is to substitute, for that disgraceful traffic which
has too long subsisted, a fair and legitimate commerce with Africa,
and all the blessings which may be expected from it."

"I thank you, admiral, for this account," replied Colonel Roslyn, "and
pray, with all my heart, that the benevolent exertions of the Company
may be crowned with final success; and I believe I may assure you, that
such is also the prayer of every individual of the present company."

"Fitzhugh," said the admiral, "I have been telling Colonel Roslyn that
you are an enthusiast for the abolition of the slave-trade--that it
is your dream by night, and your stimulus by day."

"If, my dear Sir, an ardent desire to use my individual influence and
exertions to remove from my country such a stain upon its humanity;
if as ardently to desire an amelioration of the wretched state of the
African; if to cherish and to bring into action all those charities
which distinguish reasoning man from instinctive brutes: if to be
all this constitutes an enthusiast, then do I, indeed, plead guilty
to the charge of enthusiasm. Nor am I likely to become less so: on
the contrary, the intelligence I have just received from my young
friends here, (directing his eyes to Alfred, and Charles Roslyn, who
sat near him,) has confirmed me in the assurance, that we have every
thing to hope from the judicious and liberal plan, of the Company to
which I have now the honour to be attached; and which has so highly
flattered me, by appointing me, in conjunction with others, to carry
into effect their beneficent purposes. But you know, my dear Sir, my
deep abhorrence of slavery is derived from the practical display of its
cruelties; as well as from a deep reflection on its moral turpitude,
its impolicy, and its inconsistency with the boasted honour and
religious code of my country. Let those who question the feasibility
of the plan of civilization and emancipation, visit, as I have done,
the colonies, (more especially the Spanish colonies and the Portuguese
dominions in South America,) where the inhuman traffic of slaves is
carried to the greatest possible extent, forming the immediate and
private revenue of the crown; let them be but faintly impressed with
the horrors that constantly there occur, and I scruple not to say,
if they fail to enter their protest against a system so barbarous,
they deserve not the name of men, and make their religion but an
impious mockery.

"A myriad of instances might be adduced, to bear me out in my
assertions. The labour, of whatever nature it may be, or however
laborious, is performed by slaves, and seldom more than six negroes
appointed to remove the heaviest burdens. I have, for instance,
seen at Rio de Janeiro, four only, groaning under a pipe of wine,
which they have had to remove through the city. Many of these poor
creatures are bred to trades, and are sent out daily or weekly, with
peremptory orders to bring home a certain sum, at the expiration of the
agreed time. What they can earn over, they have to themselves; but they
are always so highly rated, that it is with the greatest difficulty
they can raise the sum nominated; and, in case of defalcation, it is
attributed to indolence or laziness, which subjects the unhappy victim
to punishment. An awful instance of the despair produced by cruelty
and oppression, occurred during my residence at Rio. A barbarous and
remorseless wretch had a few slaves, whom he used to send out upon
the plan I have named, subjected to the penalty of a severe flogging,
if they did not, within a prescribed time, earn the sum required and
their food. One of these men was a hair-dresser: he used to attend me
very regularly, and always was quiet, industrious, and even active,
to promote his master's interest.

"After a little time, however, I observed him to be gloomy and
melancholy. I asked him the reason for the change, and was informed
that he had been unsuccessful, and could not render to his master the
sum required; and that he had little hopes of being able to raise it,
consequently was liable to punishment, I gave him something towards
it, but, being obliged to be absent a few weeks, knew not the result
until I returned; when I was informed, that, as the time approached
when he was to render his account, he became greatly distressed,
and despaired of accomplishing his engagement. He went, however,
in great distress, and tendered what he had gained; assuring his
master he had used every exertion to obtain the specific sum, and
imploring from him a remission of punishment, or a suspension, at
least, for a few days. This was at length granted him, but with horrid
threats of many additional stripes in case of failure. The time fast
approached when he must return, and he was still deficient. He reached
the door of his master's house, when, in despair of being forgiven,
and dreading the ordeal he had to undergo, he took from his pocket a
razor, and, with a desperate violence, nearly severed his head from his
body. This horrid deed had no other effect upon his inhuman master,
than to increase his severity towards his other slaves, on whom he
imposed heavier burdens, to recompence him for the loss sustained by
the death of the miserable suicide [6].

"It is a usual practice," continued Fitzhugh, "when slaves become
desperately ill, for their masters to disown them, and turn them
into the streets, to evade the expences of their funeral; and,
thus abandoned and exposed, their miserable existence is soon
terminated. I have to apologize for trespassing upon your attention
so long, gentlemen," observed this intelligent young man; "but I have
only recounted one of a thousand instances which have come under my
own observation, of the barbarous abuses of power exercised over the
miserable captives."

The party expressed their obligation to Fitzhugh, for the relation he
had given them, and their united hope, that every effort made use of,
to ameliorate the situation of the already enslaved, and to check
the inhuman traffic for the future, might be crowned with success;
all agreeing, that every exertion that England makes to stop the
bleeding wounds of Africa, will cause her to rise in her national
character more resplendent, and must meet the approbation of every
good, and what may be justly called great men, at home and abroad,
and, above all, the approbation that of God who holds in his hands
the destiny of nations [7].

"Have I not heard you, Fitzhugh," enquired the admiral, "express a wish
that you could meet in England with two or three intelligent negroes,
who would be willing to enter into engagements with the Company,
as instructors to the children, and whose habits of civilization
might give them an influence over their countrymen without exciting
any jealousies?"

"You have, dear Sir," replied Fitzhugh; "and from what I have learned
of the mental and moral qualities of my young friend's protegé, I am
anxious for their permission to visit Aberystwith, in order to enquire
if he has any objection to accompany me to Africa. A few such young
men as he is described to be, would do more to effect our plans, than
any other mode I can think of; and as he has not yet made any choice
of a profession, I should feel myself most grateful to Colonel Roslyn
and his friends, if they will second and sanction my application to
the youth, who owes so much to their benevolent kindness."

Colonel Roslyn said, "Call upon us tomorrow morning, my dear Sir, and
myself and sons will be happy to co-operate, as far as in our power,
in your philanthropic exertions."

This being cheerfully accepted, the conversation took a general turn,
until the party broke up.


                        * * *             "My heart surpris'd, o'erflows
                        With filial fondness for the land you bless."

                                          "Theirs the triumph be,
                        Instead of treasure, robb'd by ruffian war,
                        Round social earth to circle fair exchange,
                        And bind the nations in a golden chain.
                        To these I honour'd stoop."

Fitzhugh was punctual to his appointment at Colonel Roslyn's; and after
an interesting conversation, and the perusal of a number of Samboe's
letters to his protector Charles Roslyn, it was agreed that Fitzhugh
and Alfred Roslyn should proceed to Wales, in order to ascertain the
sentiments of Samboe upon his projected removal, respecting which, his
own unbiassed choice was to be consulted. The intended visit of the
young men was to be announced by letter to Captain Tremayne; and, as
Fitzhugh possessed all the ardour, promptitude, and zeal of a Clarkson,
in the cause of humanity, the letter was immediately written, and an
early day fixed for the journey. In the correspondence of Charles
and his protegé, the interesting debates in the English senate,
respecting the slave-trade, frequently formed a part; and Samboe had
even so far expressed his sentiments upon the subject, that, when the
colony of Sierra Leone was first formed, he regretted that his youth,
and the mediocrity of his attainments, would oblige him to forego all
hope of being useful to his poor benighted countrymen; and he had
very sensibly felt disappointment at the ill success of the first
establishment: an ill success which sufficiently proved the truth
of the observation, that, "if the restraints of slavery be removed,
without corresponding culture of the mind and heart, the mere enjoyment
of temporal benefits will not make the man either grateful or happy."

Charles Roslyn greatly regretted that the hourly-expected departure of
his ship, precluded him from the pleasure of accompanying his brother
and Fitzhugh to Aberystwith. Having taken leave of him, and bearing
his good wishes and tender remembrances to his kind relatives and his
affectionate Samboe, the travellers commenced their journey, early in
a lovely June morning, when every scene they passed, manifested the
riches and the bounty, the wisdom and beneficence of the Creator. The
meeting was what might be expected from refined feeling, generous
ardour, and virtuous exertion, on the one side; and grateful respect,
modest worth, and conscious ability, chastened by the most engaging
humility, on the other. Tears of unfeigned joy and gratitude started
into the eyes of Samboe, as he heard Mr. Llwellin assure Fitzhugh,
he had no hesitation in saying, that if Samboe acceded to his proposal
of accompanying him to Africa, he would be found a valuable coadjutor
in the projected work of mercy: "For he is," continued the good old
man, "not only fully capable of imparting the elements of general
knowledge, but has a happy and peculiar manner of instructing others
in those divine truths by which he regulates every action of his own
life. Nor do I think you would easily find a more fit instrument among
us, for promoting the great ends of civilization, and the moral and
religious instruction of his countrymen. I make no scruple in paying
this just tribute to the character and abilities of my dear pupil,
in his presence, because he well knows they are so much my genuine
sentiments, that I have advised his directing his attention to the
instruction of others; and Providence seems manifestly to favour
the suggestion, by the present offer enabling him to put it in
practice. May his now benighted and ill-fated countrymen become more
and more sensible of the extensive blessings preparing for them;
and may my dear and docile pupil, Samboe, be one of the favoured
instruments of Heaven, (assisted by the Spirit of grace,) to diffuse
the light, to communicate the blessings of religion, and to lead the
now idolatrous African to rejoice in the high privilege of communion
by prayer and praise with the great Creator and compassionate Saviour;
all distinctions of colour and country being lost, in that generous
sympathy which should flow from the relation which all bear to that
Saviour who died for the redemption of all men [8]."

There was such a heartfelt earnestness, such an affecting energy,
such genuine piety, in the voice and manner of the good Llwellin,
while he uttered his philanthropic wishes, that it made a forcible
impression upon his young auditors. Tears of respect, gratitude,
affection, and hope, filled the eyes of Samboe. The intenseness
and contrariety of his feelings became painful; and, unable longer
to restrain their expression, he threw himself at the feet of his
venerable instructor, and sobbed aloud, uttering broken sentences of
obligation; and when a little composed, earnestly praying that God,
the Almighty God, would enable him to assist in the realization of
all the generous plans of his future employers; and so to act in
every situation of life, as to do honour to the precepts of his dear
instructor, and to gladden his aged heart, with the knowledge that
those precepts had not been given in vain.

Encouraged to self-confidence by the unequivocal approbation of
his revered friend, Samboe hesitated not in his determination of
accompanying Fitzhugh in his important mission; and a few days
subsequent to the interview we have related, was fixed for the
departure from a spot, endeared to the affectionate heart of the
African by many a tender tie, many an affecting remembrance. Parting
moments are painful to experience, and are so fraught with emotion,
that they admit not of correct description; it must, therefore,
suffice to say, that after a general adieu, and loaded with many a
token of affection and good will, cheered by many a blessing, and
fortified with many a prayer from those who loved him, Samboe quitted
Aberystwith with Fitzhugh and Alfred Roslyn. The intelligence, as
well as simplicity of his remarks, upon the different objects which
engaged his attention during the journey, rendered it peculiarly
interesting to his companions. He was equally delighted with the
various objects of curiosity and interest which London presented,
and particularly with any thing which enlarged his views of any
branch of knowledge he had acquired, or which promised to assist him
in his future exertions to benefit his country. Fitzhugh found in
him, a companion who entered with ardour and untired zeal into every
plan his fertile benevolence devised, and determined to retain him
under his own immediate care and inspection. Every day increased his
confidence in the abilities and integrity of his companion; and every
succeeding day more strongly proved that they were built upon a basis,
which ensured their permanence and stability; even that of a rational,
a deep, a vital piety.

The period of sailing approached; and happy in the exercise of the best
feelings of humanity, and the highest energies of mind, Samboe believed
nothing could add to his felicity, when an incident occurred which
called forth all his gratitude to the Being who showered his blessings
upon him. He accompanied Fitzhugh to the house of a gentleman who was
ardent in the cause of the Africans, and who freely lent the resources
of an ample fortune to further every beneficent plan, although habitual
ill health precluded him from all active exertions. On the arrival
of the friends, this gentleman was just mounting his horse for a
morning airing. Seeing, however, Fitzhugh and his companion advance,
he ordered the groom to lead his horse back to the stable, until his
visitors left him, and he then entreated Fitzhugh to enter. While
this was passing, a mutual look of surprise and recognition passed
between Samboe and the groom, but nothing further: the man leading
the horse away, and Samboe following Fitzhugh into the house.

After some conversation relative to the approaching voyage,
Mr. Courtney said: "Well, Fitzhugh, you have inspired many an honest
heart with the same glowing philanthropy which animates your own; and,
amongst the number, my excellent boy, Frank Wilson. He is determined,
if you will permit him, to accompany you to Africa." "Permit him,
my good Sir? I shall be happy to have in my service, a young man who
does honour to his rank of life, and whose severely tried principles
have resisted many attacks: his ingenuity too, and industrious habits,
will make him essentially useful. But how can you part from him,
or how will Frank bear to be separated from his revered benefactor?"

"Oh, I believe we have not thought of ourselves," replied Mr. Courtney,
good humouredly: "all is settled between us, provided you did not
object. Will you permit me to ring for him?" "Most willingly,"
said Fitzhugh.

During this short conversation, the emotion of the grateful Samboe
was powerful. The features of the young man holding Mr. Courtney's
horse, were familiar to him: he had marked the glance of recognition,
and the name confirmed the vague hope he had formed, that, in this
young man, of whose character he had just heard so high an eulogium,
he had seen the first kind friend he had known in England: he who had
lightened his troubles, and cheered his oppressed spirit; and this
friend, this generous hearted youth, was going to Africa, and was to
be in the service of his valuable friend, Fitzhugh; and they were
all animated with the same spirit. How delightful the thought! how
transcendently kind the Almighty Disposer!

While these thoughts were rapidly passing the mind of Samboe, Frank
Wilson appeared; and it would be hard to decide which of the party
was most gratified by the disclosure of the two friends, who in each
other's arms were not ashamed to weep.

Frank immediately entered upon his new duties; and every thing having
been benevolently and equitably settled by the directors to ensure
the comfort and advantage of the colony, the ships sailed for their
destination. It is not necessary to detail the circumstances of the
voyage, or to attempt to describe the emotions of the young African,
when he landed on his native shores.

Every individual possessing a manly mind and virtuous soul, is
patriotic: he rejoices in the weal, he mourns in the miseries of
his country. Samboe possessed a manly mind and a virtuous soul. He
was a patriot, and shrunk not from its high responsibilities. We
detail not his individual exertions; it will be sufficient to say,
that he took an ample share with his companions in the good work;
that every thing had been so judiciously arranged; that the conduct
of the servants of the Company was marked with such propriety, being
sober, moral, and exemplary, in the discharge of their respective
duties; that the efforts and zeal of the clergymen were attended
with the happiest effects; that, before the expiration of two years
from the settlement of the colony, order and industry exhibited
their benign fruits in a growing prosperity. The fame of the colony
not only spread along the whole western coast, but penetrated into
the remotest interior: embassies were sent by far distant monarchs;
and the native chiefs, with a pleasing and entire confidence, sent
their children to the colony, to be instructed in reading, writing,
and accounts, and to be initiated in the Christian religion. In fact,
there was every reasonable ground for hope, that the joyful period
was advancing, when, by the blessing of Heaven upon the endeavours
used, the continent of Africa would be rescued from the darkness
that obscured her, and would exhibit the soul-cheering scene of
light and knowledge, of civilization and order, of peaceful industry
and domestic comfort. But these anticipations were destroyed by the
treachery and faithlessness of a government, which professed to hold
the rights of man as sacred. We shall give a cursory narrative of
this event, as extracted from a letter of Fitzhugh to his friends in
England. (Note S.)

"I have distressing news to communicate, but we do not despond. The
French have appeared with an armed force before our neat and rising
town, upon which they have pointed their guns. It was not until
they had done this that we perceived they were enemies; for they
had English-built vessels, rigged in the English mode, displayed
the English flag, and had all the sailors, which appeared on deck,
dressed like English sailors. Thus treacherously did they approach
our peaceful colony. Conscious we had no strength to resist, the
governor directed a flag of truce to be hoisted. Yet, after this
order was executed, the French continued to fire on the town, doing
much damage, and killing several persons.

"Terrified at the suddenness of the attack, and conscious they
possessed no power of resistance, the alarmed inhabitants fled to
the woods, with such of their property as the confusion and limited
time would allow. When the enemy landed, therefore, they found the
town almost destitute of inhabitants, but rich in stores and clothing.

"Plunder was the order of the day; and what they did not want, they
destroyed, burnt, or threw into the river. They also killed all the
cattle and animals, not sparing even the dogs or cats.

"During a week this work of devastation continued; and when they found
nothing more to plunder, they set fire to the public buildings, and all
the houses belonging to the Europeans; entirely ruining the beautiful
and prospering colony, and leaving the colonists in the most deplorable
state of destitution; without provisions, medicines, clothing, houses,
or furniture. Sickness soon followed these privations, and many have
died for want of proper food, and exposure in the woods.

"When you read the above hurried account of our misfortune, you will
scarcely believe that these wanton cruelties have been perpetrated
by individuals of a nation, whose Convention boasted of spreading
'light and liberty through the world.' Alas! that light is the blaze
of anarchy, that liberty the most daring and gross licentiousness!

"Sierra Leone colony was established for the godlike purpose of
abolishing the slave-trade; to enlighten the Africans; to render them
virtuous, rational, free, and happy; and yet these powerful advocates
and patrons of the rights of man, could wantonly destroy, in its
healthful infancy, a settlement in which those rights were peculiarly
studied and held sacred. 'By their fruits ye shall know them.'

"But it will yet, like the phoenix, arise from its ashes. It was
formed to promote the cause of justice, mercy, and religion; a
cause which possesses, in itself, the principle of re-animation--an
ever-renewing means of rallying its resources, overborne, for a time,
by a base treachery and unmanly violence.

"My faithful Samboe, and no less faithful Frank, have been like
ministering angels to the distressed, in this season of calamity. 'My
poor country,' said Samboe, 'and my generous friends, what a sad
reverse is here! But though grieved,' he added, 'I am not in despair;
for has not the Almighty said, (He in whom is no variableness nor
shadow of turning,) 'I will never leave nor forsake those who trust in
me. Commit thy way unto the Lord, and he shall bring it to pass.' I
cannot conclude my letter better, than by assuring my dear ----,
that such is the trust and confidence we all repose in the Being,
who out of evil still educes good."

Now, to resume and conclude our narrative, we have but to say
we may speak of these difficulties in the past tense; they no
longer, praised be the great Disposer of Events, they no longer are
experienced at Sierra Leone; but have vanished, gradually, before the
enlightened policy of the superintendants, and the mild influence of
Christian doctrine. The enjoyments of the present life, the bright
hopes of a future state, are now communicated to thousands of our
fellow-creatures, formerly in a state of mental and moral darkness,
and obnoxious to the most frightful miseries, victims of the basest
passions, subjects of the most alarming fears.

Justice, mercy, and courageous perseverance, are now reaping their
high temporal reward; and the blessing of the Almighty upon patient
continuance in well-doing, enables England to boast that she has
overcome the most inveterate prejudices, the most firmly-established
interests, built upon the basest passions; and this by the simple
power of experiment, and the eloquence of truth.

Sierra Leone, where this experiment has been made, now presents itself
as a medium of civilization for Africa. "And in this point of view,
(it has been most justly observed,) is worth all the treasure that
has been expended upon it; for the slave-trade, which was the great
obstacle to this civilization, being now happily abolished by the
universal voice of England, there is now a populous metropolis, from
which may issue the seeds of reformation to this injured continent,
and which, when sown, may now, watered by the genial dews of heaven,
be expected to grow into fruit, without check or blight. New schools
may be transplanted from thence into the interior; teachers and
travellers be sent from thence in various directions; the natives
resort in safety to it from distant parts, mark the improvements,
witness the comforts, taste the enjoyments, and feel the protection
of it. Hence will mistrust give way to confidence, emulation will be
raised, imitation be encouraged, a desire of instruction be excited,
and the predatory ignorant savage be gradually moulded into the useful
citizen and the rational man.

Let then each English heart rejoice, that the moral stain, so long
apparent on our statutes, so long exhibited in our national character,
is now erased from the one, and expunged from the other; that the
impious doctrine so long contended for, that the law of force was
justifiable under certain circumstances, is now banished from the
deliberations of our senate; and man, whatever his country, whatever
his colour, is restored to his moral rights. Let us rejoice that we
have not only been the advocates of the oppressed--have triumphed
by perseverance and constancy over the oppressor; but that England
has become the favoured and glorious instrument of a God of mercy,
to make his light to shine upon those who sat in darkness and the
shadow of death. May every nation, feeling the blessing of that light,
which is upheld by that mercy, follow the example of our favoured
isle! May the rich stream of mercy flow, and diffuse throughout
far-distant lands its fertilizing influences! May the spirit of a
Wilberforce and a Clarkson, inspire the breasts of the powerful; and
may the gratitude and the intelligence of Samboe, glow in the heart,
and animate the conduct of every African!



The arrival of a slave-ship in any of the rivers, is the signal of
civil war and disorder; the hamlets are burned, and the miserable
survivors are carried off, and sold to the slave-factors.

In the countries contiguous to Senegal, when slave-ships arrive,
armed parties are sent out to scour the country, and bring in captives
to the factors. The wretched beings are to be found in the morning,
bound back to back in the huts; whence they are conveyed, tied hand
and foot, to the slave-ships. These ships set sail in the night,
that the wretched captives may not know the moment when they quit
for ever their native shore, and all the tender ties that endear it.


Coosh-coosh is corn beaten in a wooden mortar, and sifted to a coarse
flour; it is then put in an earthen pot pierced like a colander,
which is luted to the top of an earthen pot, in which is boiling
water, and sometimes broth, exactly as our steamers are. The rising
steam cures and hardens the flour; and when it is done sufficiently,
the broth and cooked flour are mixed, and considered a delicious dish.

Coliloo resembles, and is eaten like spinach.


Slave-factories are established in almost every native village. The
kings of Dahomy and Whidáh are the most noted for the infamous trade
in slaves. It is usual when the slave-ships lie in the rivers, for a
number of canoes to go up the inland: these go in a fleet, with thirty
or forty armed natives in each. Every canoe is also furnished with a
four or six pounder fastened to her bow. Thus equipped they depart,
and are usually absent from eight to fourteen days. It is said they
go to fairs held on the banks of the rivers, and at which there is a
regular show of slaves. On their return, they generally bring down from
eight hundred to a thousand of these captives, for the ships. They lie
at the bottom of the canoes, their arms and legs having been bound with
ropes of the country. It has been disclosed, by undoubted evidence,
that the crews of these canoes go up the rivers till they arrive to
a certain distance of a village; they then conceal themselves under
the bushes which hang over the water, until the shades of night,
when they enter the village and seize the wretched inhabitants, men,
women, and children, who have no time to escape.

Nearly three hundred years have the European nations traded with
Africa in human flesh, and encouraged in the negro countries, wars,
rapine, desolation, and murder. The annual exportation of slaves
from this quarter of the globe, has exceeded one hundred thousand;
numbers of whom are driven down like sheep, perhaps a thousand miles
from the coast, and are generally inhabitants of villages that have
been surrounded in the night by armed force, and carried off bound
in chains, and sold into perpetual bondage.

A slave-merchant thus wrote to his factor: "You will observe to make a
present of five gallons of rum to the Suma, with the usual compliments
on the Company's behalf; and to assure him, and other useful persons
near you, of the Company's intentions to give very great encouragement
to trade in those parts, more especially for slaves, dry goods,
elephants' teeth, wax, cotton, &c. and the Company desire me to inform
you, that they have settled your commission at five shillings a head,
for every merchantable slave, and so in proportion for other articles,
in the hope it will encourage you to dispose of their goods to the
best advantage."


The following list of African articles, as exhibited to Mr. Pitt and
the House of Lords, by Mr. Clarkson, will illustrate the ingenuity of
the Africans, and the possibility of making its natural productions
a branch of lucrative and legitimate commerce. These articles were
contained in a box, formed of four divisions; the first of which was
filled with specimens of woods, polished; amongst them, mahogany of
five different sorts, tulip and satin-wood, cam and bar-wood, fustic,
black and yellow ebony, palm-tree, mangrove, calabash, and date; and
also seven species retaining their native names, viz. tumiah, sarnaim,
and jimlalié, each of a beautiful yellow; acajou, a deep crimson;
bask and quellé for cabinet work; and bentin, the wood of which is
used for the native canoes. Various other woods, one of which was a
fine purple; and from two others a strong yellow and deep orange, and
also a flesh-colour, could be extracted. The second division included
ivory; and four species of pepper, the long, the black, the Cayenne,
and the Malaguetta: three species of gum, Senegal, copal, and ruber
astringes; cinnamon, rice, tobacco, indigo, white and Nankin cotton,
Guinea-corn, and millet; three species of beans, of which two were for
food, and the other yielding an orange dye: two species of tamarinds,
one for food, the other to give whiteness to the teeth: pulse, seeds,
and fruits of various sorts; some of the latter of which, Dr. Sparrman
had pronounced, from a trial made during his residence in Africa,
to be peculiarly valuable as drugs.

The third division contained an African loom, with a spindle and
spun cotton round it; cloths of cotton of various kinds, made by
the natives, some white, others dyed, and others, in which they
had interwoven European silk; cloths and bags of grass, fancifully
coloured; ornaments of the same material; ropes made from a species
of aloes, and others, remarkably strong, from grass and straw; fine
string made of the fibres of the roots of trees: soap of two kinds,
one of which was formed from an earthy substance: pipe bowls made of
a clay of a brown red, one beautifully ornamented with black devices,
burnt in and highly glazed; another from Galám, made of an earth which
was richly impregnated with little particles of gold. Trinkets made
by the natives from their own gold; knives and daggers formed from
bar iron; and various other articles, such as bags, dagger-sheaths,
quivers, gris gris, all of leather, of native manufacture, dyed of
various colours, and ingeniously sewed together. The fourth division
contained the instruments of confinement used on board a slave-ship,
to which were added those of punishment used in the colonies; such
as iron collars, manacles, scourges, &c.


Raynal gives the following description of the mode frequently used
in conducting the slaves from the interior: "Slave-merchants collect
themselves into companies, and forming a species of caravans, in the
space of two or three hundred leagues, they conduct several files
of thirty or forty slaves, all laden with water, corn, &c. which are
necessary to their subsistence in those barren deserts through which
they pass.

"The manner of securing them without much incommoding their march,
is ingeniously contrived. A fork of wood, of from eight or nine feet
long, is put round the neck of each slave. A pin of iron, rivetted,
secures the fork on the back part, in such a manner that the head
cannot disengage itself. The handle of the fork, the wood of which is
very heavy, falls before, and so embarrasses the person who is tied
to it, that, although he hath his arms and legs at liberty, he can
neither walk nor lift up the fork. When they get ready for the march,
they range the slaves in a line, and support and tie the extremity
of each fork on the shoulder of the foremost slave, and proceed in
this manner from one to another, till they come to the first, the
extremity of whose fork is carried by the guide. Few restraints are
imposed, that are not felt by those who impose them; accordingly, in
order that these traders may enjoy the refreshment of sleep without
uneasiness, they tie the arms of every slave to the tail of the fork
which he carries. In this condition he can neither run away, nor
make any attempt to recover his liberty. These precautions have been
found indispensable; because, if the slave can but break his chains,
he becomes free. The public faith which secures to the proprietor the
possession of his slave, and which at all times delivers him up into
his hands, is silent with regard to the slave and a trader.

"Reader," continues the animated historian, "while thou art perusing
this horrid account, is not thy soul filled with the same indignation
as I experience in writing it? Dost thou not, in imagination, rush
with fury upon those infamous conductors? Dost thou not break those
forks with which these unfortunates are confined? and dost thou not
long to restore them to liberty?


This instrument is also in general use in Congo, and is there called
the marimba.


The profits of this nefarious trade are so large, that mercenary men
will incur any risk. At present, says the Report, 1822, speaking of
the French favouring the trade, the rate of insurance does not exceed
fifteen or twenty per cent, while the gains of the trade are proved to
amount to from two hundred to four hundred per cent. It appears, from
papers found on board Le Succès, that two hundred and forty slaves,
which she landed on the island of Bourbon, cost nine thousand nine
hundred and forty-three dollars; and that the proceeds of the sale
of these slaves amounted to twenty-nine thousand five hundred and
sixty-four dollars. And there is also an account of an outfit of
fifty-three thousand francs producing a net profit of one hundred
and sixty-six thousand francs.

These facts need no comment. But let not England be discouraged: she
has stood alone in many a fearful struggle, when apparently sinking
under the pressure of a hostile world. She has led the way in the
work of mercy; let her pursue her path with unfaltering firmness,
and fearlessly oppose those who dare to violate the solemn engagements
they have formed with her.


Nothing can more forcibly prove the misery of the slaves, than the
fact that funerals, which in Africa are attended by lamentations and
sorrow, are in the West Indies celebrated with expressions of joy.


This relation is derived from a letter of Mr. Arfelius who was an
eye-witness, and a great sufferer from this treacherous attack upon
the colony. See "Rees's Encyclopedia," article, Sierra Leone.


[1] A society of merchants, established by king Charles II. for trading
to Africa; which trade was laid open to all his majesty's subjects,
and those of succeeding monarchs, until the abolition took place, 1807.

[2] Capital of Whidáh, situated about four miles from the factory
at Whidáh.

[3] It is necessary to apprize our readers, that the remarks and
descriptions contained in this volume, apply to Africa as it was some
years since.

[4] The slave-trade was abolished in 1807.

[5] See Mr. Wilberforce's speech, at a meeting of the Church Missionary
Society, 1822.

[6] See Shillibur's Voyage.

[7] See Cohen's Letter to Governor Macarthy, African Report, 1822.

[8] See Discourse of the Bishop of London, before the Society for
the Propagation of the Gospel, October 1817.

                                THE END.

     Harvey, Darton, and Co. Printers, Gracechurch-Street, London.

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