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Title: Froudacity; West Indian Fables by James Anthony Froude Explained by J. J. Thomas
Author: Thomas, J. J. (John Jacob), 1841?-1889
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.

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FROUDACITY (1889)

J.J. Thomas


WEST INDIAN FABLES BY JAMES ANTHONY FROUDE

EXPLAINED BY J. J. THOMAS



Contents


Preface by J.J. Thomas

BOOK I.

  Introduction: 27-33
  Voyage out: 34-41
  Barbados: 41-44
  St. Vincent: 44-48
  Grenada: 48-50

BOOK II.

  Trinidad: 53-55
  Reform in Trinidad: 55-80
  Negro Felicity in the West Indies: 81-110

BOOK III.

  Social Revolution: 113-174
  West Indian Confederation: 175-200
  The Negro as a Worker: 201-206
  Religion for Negroes: 207-230

BOOK IV.

  Historical Summary or Résumé: 233-261, end



FROUDACITY


PREFACE

[5] Last year had well advanced towards its middle--in fact it was
already April, 1888--before Mr. Froude's book of travels in the West
Indies became known and generally accessible to readers in those
Colonies.

My perusal of it in Grenada about the period above mentioned disclosed,
thinly draped with rhetorical flowers, the dark outlines of a scheme to
thwart political aspiration in the Antilles.  That project is sought to
be realized by deterring the home authorities from granting an elective
local legislature, however restricted in character, to any of the
Colonies not yet enjoying such an advantage. An argument based on the
composition of the inhabitants of those Colonies is confidently relied
upon to confirm the inexorable mood of Downing Street.

[6] Over-large and ever-increasing,--so runs the argument,--the African
element in the population of the West Indies is, from its past history
and its actual tendencies, a standing menace to the continuance of
civilization and religion.  An immediate catastrophe, social,
political, and moral, would most assuredly be brought about by the
granting of full elective rights to dependencies thus inhabited.
Enlightened statesmanship should at once perceive the immense benefit
that would ultimately result from such refusal of the franchise.  The
cardinal recommendation of that refusal is that it would avert
definitively the political domination of the Blacks, which must
inevitably be the outcome of any concession of the modicum of right so
earnestly desired.  The exclusion of the Negro vote being inexpedient,
if not impossible, the exercise of electoral powers by the Blacks must
lead to their returning candidates of their own race to the local
legislatures, and that, too, in numbers preponderating according to the
majority of the Negro electors.  The Negro legislators thus supreme in
the councils of the Colonies would straightway proceed to pass
vindictive and retaliatory laws against their white fellow- [7]
colonists.  For it is only fifty years since the White man and the
Black man stood in the reciprocal relations of master and slave.
Whilst those relations subsisted, the white masters inflicted, and the
black slaves had to endure, the hideous atrocities that are inseparable
from the system of slavery.  Since Emancipation, the enormous strides
made in self-advancement by the ex-slaves have only had the effect of
provoking a resentful uneasiness in the bosoms of the ex-masters.  The
former bondsmen, on their side, and like their brethren of Hayti, are
eaten up with implacable, blood-thirsty rancour against their former
lords and owners.  The annals of Hayti form quite a cabinet of
political and social object lessons which, in the eyes of British
statesmen, should be invaluable in showing the true method of dealing
with Ethiopic subjects of the Crown.  The Negro race in Hayti, in order
to obtain and to guard what it calls its freedom, has outraged every
humane instinct and falsified every benevolent hope.  The slave-owners
there had not been a whit more cruel than slave-owners in the other
islands.  But, in spite of this, how ferocious, how sanguinary, [8] how
relentless against them has the vengeance of the Blacks been in their
hour of mastery!  A century has passed away since then, and,
notwithstanding that, the hatred of Whites still rankles in their
souls, and is cherished and yielded to as a national creed and guide of
conduct.  Colonial administrators of the mighty British Empire, the
lesson which History has taught and yet continues to teach you in Hayti
as to the best mode of dealing with your Ethiopic colonists lies
patent, blood-stained and terrible before you, and should be taken
definitively to heart.  But if you are willing that Civilization and
Religion--in short, all the highest developments of individual and
social life--should at once be swept away by a desolating vandalism of
African birth; if you do not recoil from the blood-guiltiness that
would stain your consciences through the massacre of our
fellow-countrymen in the West Indies, on account of their race,
complexion and enlightenment; finally, if you desire those modern
Hesperides to revert into primeval jungle, horrent lairs wherein the
Blacks, who, but a short while before, had been ostensibly civilized,
shall be revellers, as high-priests and [9] devotees, in orgies of
devil-worship, cannibalism, and obeah--dare to give the franchise to
those West Indian Colonies, and then rue the consequences of your
infatuation!...

Alas, if the foregoing summary of the ghastly imaginings of Mr. Froude
were true, in what a fool's paradise had the wisest and best amongst us
been living, moving, and having our being!  Up to the date of the
suggestion by him as above of the alleged facts and possibilities of
West Indian life, we had believed (even granting the correctness of his
gloomy account of the past and present positions of the two races) that
to no well-thinking West Indian White, whose ancestors may have,
innocently or culpably, participated in the gains as well as the guilt
of slavery, would the remembrance of its palmy days be otherwise than
one of regret.  We Negroes, on the other hand, after a lapse of time
extending over nearly two generations, could be indebted only to
precarious tradition or scarcely accessible documents for any knowledge
we might chance upon of the sufferings endured in these Islands of the
West by those of our race who have gone before us.  Death, with
undiscriminating hand, had gathered [10] in the human harvest of
masters and slaves alike, according to or out of the normal laws of
nature; while Time had been letting down on the stage of our existence
drop-scene after drop-scene of years, to the number of something like
fifty, which had been curtaining off the tragic incidents of the past
from the peaceful activities of the present.  Being thus circumstanced,
thought we, what rational elements of mutual hatred should now continue
to exist in the bosoms of the two races?

With regard to the perpetual reference to Hayti, because of our oneness
with its inhabitants in origin and complexion, as a criterion for the
exact forecast of our future conduct under given circumstances, this
appeared to us, looking at actual facts, perversity gone wild in the
manufacture of analogies.  The founders of the Black Republic, we had
all along understood, were not in any sense whatever equipped, as Mr.
Froude assures us they were, when starting on their self-governing
career, with the civil and intellectual advantages that had been
transplanted from Europe.  On the contrary, we had been taught to
regard them as most unfortunate in the circumstances under which [11]
they so gloriously conquered their merited freedom.  We saw them free,
but perfectly illiterate barbarians, impotent to use the intellectual
resources of which their valour had made them possessors, in the shape
of books on the spirit and technical details of a highly developed
national existence.  We had learnt also, until this new interpreter of
history had contradicted the accepted record, that the continued
failure of Hayti to realize the dreams of Toussaint was due to the
fatal want of confidence subsisting between the fairer and darker
sections of the inhabitants, which had its sinister and disastrous
origin in the action of the Mulattoes in attempting to secure freedom
for themselves, in conjunction with the Whites, at the sacrifice of
their darker-hued kinsmen.  Finally, it had been explained to us that
the remembrance of this abnormal treason had been underlying and
perniciously influencing the whole course of Haytian national history.
All this established knowledge we are called upon to throw overboard,
and accept the baseless assertions of this conjuror-up of inconceivable
fables!  He calls upon us to believe that, in spite of being free,
educated, progressive, and at peace with [12] all men, we West Indian
Blacks, were we ever to become constitutionally dominant in our native
islands, would emulate in savagery our Haytian fellow-Blacks who, at
the time of retaliating upon their actual masters, were tortured
slaves, bleeding and rendered desperate under the oppressors' lash--and
all this simply and merely because of the sameness of our ancestry and
the colour of our skin!  One would have thought that Liberia would have
been a fitter standard of comparison in respect of a coloured
population starting a national life, really and truly equipped with the
requisites and essentials of civilized existence.  But such a reference
would have been fatal to Mr. Froude's object: the annals of Liberia
being a persistent refutation of the old pro-slavery prophecies which
our author so feelingly rehearses.

Let us revert, however, to Grenada and the newly-published "Bow of
Ulysses," which had come into my hands in April, 1888.

It seemed to me, on reading that book, and deducing therefrom the
foregoing essential summary, that a critic would have little more to
do, in order to effectually exorcise this negrophobic political
hobgoblin, than to appeal to [13] impartial history, as well as to
common sense, in its application to human nature in general, and to the
actual facts of West Indian life in particular.

History, as against the hard and fast White-master and Black-slave
theory so recklessly invented and confidently built upon by Mr. Froude,
would show incontestably--(a) that for upwards of two hundred years
before the Negro Emancipation, in 1838, there had never existed in one
of those then British Colonies, which had been originally discovered
and settled for Spain by the great Columbus or by his successors, the
Conquistadores, any prohibition whatsoever, on the ground of race or
colour, against the owning of slaves by any free person possessing the
necessary means, and desirous of doing so; (b) that, as a consequence
of this non-restriction, and from causes notoriously historical,
numbers of blacks, half-breeds, and other non-Europeans, besides such
of them as had become possessed of their "property" by inheritance,
availed themselves of this virtual license, and in course of time
constituted a very considerable proportion of the slave-holding section
of those communities; (c) that these [14] dusky plantation-owners
enjoyed and used in every possible sense the identical rights and
privileges which were enjoyed and used by their pure-blooded Caucasian
brother-slaveowners.  The above statements are attested by written
documents, oral tradition, and, better still perhaps, by the living
presence in those islands of numerous lineal representatives of those
once opulent and flourishing non-European planter-families.

Common sense, here stepping in, must, from the above data, deduce some
such conclusions as the following.  First that, on the hypothesis that
the slaves who were freed in 1838--full fifty years ago--were all on an
average fifteen years old, those vengeful ex-slaves of to-day will be
all men of sixty-five years of age; and, allowing for the delay in
getting the franchise, somewhat further advanced towards the human
life-term of threescore and ten years. Again, in order to organize and
carry out any scheme of legislative and social retaliation of the kind
set forth in the "Bow of Ulysses," there must be (which unquestionably
there is not) a considerable, well-educated, and very influential
number surviving of those who had actually [15] been in bondage.
Moreover, the vengeance of these people (also assuming the foregoing
nonexistent condition) would have, in case of opportunity, to wreak
itself far more largely and vigorously upon members of their own race
than upon Whites, seeing that the increase of the Blacks, as correctly
represented in the "Bow of Ulysses," is just as rapid as the diminution
of the White population.  And therefore, Mr. Froude's
"Danger-to-the-Whites" cry in support of his anti-reform manifesto
would not appear, after all, to be quite so justifiable as he possibly
thinks.

Feeling keenly that something in the shape of the foregoing programme
might be successfully worked up for a public defence of the maligned
people, I disregarded the bodily and mental obstacles that have beset
and clouded my career during the last twelve years, and cheerfully
undertook the task, stimulated thereto by what I thought weighty
considerations.  I saw that no representative of Her Majesty's Ethiopic
West Indian subjects cared to come forward to perform this work in the
more permanent shape that I felt to be not only desirable but essential
for our self-vindication.  [16] I also realized the fact that the "Bow
of Ulysses" was not likely to have the same ephemeral existence and
effect as the newspaper and other periodical discussions of its
contents, which had poured from the press in Great Britain, the United
States, and very notably, of course, in all the English Colonies of the
Western Hemisphere.  In the West Indian papers the best writers of our
race had written masterly refutations, but it was clear how difficult
the task would be in future to procure and refer to them whenever
occasion should require.  Such productions, however, fully satisfied
those qualified men of our people, because they were legitimately
convinced (even as I myself am convinced) that the political destinies
of the people of colour could not run one tittle of risk from anything
that it pleased Mr. Froude to write or say on the subject.  But,
meditating further on the question, the reflection forced itself upon
me that, beyond the mere political personages in the circle more
directly addressed by Mr. Froude's volume, there were individuals whose
influence or possible sympathy we could not afford to disregard, or to
esteem lightly.  So I deemed it right and a patriotic duty to attempt
[17] the enterprise myself, in obedience to the above stated motives.

At this point I must pause to express on behalf of the entire coloured
population of the West Indies our most heartfelt acknowledgments to Mr.
C. Salmon for the luminous and effective vindication of us, in his
volume on "West Indian Confederation," against Mr. Froude's libels.
The service thus rendered by Mr. Salmon possesses a double significance
and value in my estimation.  In the first place, as being the work of a
European of high position, quite independent of us (who testifies
concerning Negroes, not through having gazed at them from balconies,
decks of steamers, or the seats of moving carriages, but from actual
and long personal intercourse with them, which the internal evidence of
his book plainly proves to have been as sympathetic as it was
familiar), and, secondly, as the work of an individual entirely outside
of our race, it has been gratefully accepted by myself as an incentive
to self-help, on the same more formal and permanent lines, in a matter
so important to the status which we can justly claim as a progressive,
law-abiding, and self-respecting section of Her Majesty's liege
subjects.

[18] It behoves me now to say a few words respecting this book as a
mere literary production.

Alexander Pope, who, next to Shakespeare and perhaps Butler, was the
most copious contributor to the current stock of English maxims, says:

     "True ease in writing comes from Art, not Chance,
     As those move easiest who have learnt to dance."

A whole dozen years of bodily sickness and mental tribulation have not
been conducive to that regularity of practice in composition which
alone can ensure the "true ease" spoken of by the poet; and therefore
is it that my style leaves so much to be desired, and exhibits,
perhaps, still, more to be pardoned.  Happily, a quarrel such as ours
with the author of "The English in the West Indies" cannot be finally
or even approximately settled on the score of superior literary
competency, whether of aggressor or defender.  I feel free to ignore
whatever verdict might be grounded on a consideration so purely
artificial.  There ought to be enough, if not in these pages, at any
rate in whatever else I have heretofore published, that should prove me
not so hopelessly stupid and wanting in [19] self-respect, as would be
implied by my undertaking a contest in artistic phrase-weaving with one
who, even among the foremost of his literary countrymen, is confessedly
a master in that craft.  The judges to whom I do submit our case are
those Englishmen and others whose conscience blends with their
judgment, and who determine such questions as this on their essential
rightness which has claim to the first and decisive consideration.  For
much that is irregular in the arrangement and sequence of the
subject-matter, some blame fairly attaches to our assailant.  The
erratic manner in which lie launches his injurious statements against
the hapless Blacks, even in the course of passages which no more led up
to them than to any other section of mankind, is a very notable feature
of his anti-Negro production.  As he frequently repeats, very often
with cynical aggravations, his charges and sinister prophecies against
the sable objects of his aversion, I could see no other course open to
me than to take him up on the points whereto I demurred, exactly how,
when, and where I found them.

My purpose could not be attained up without direct mention of, or
reference to, certain public [20] employés in the Colonies whose
official conduct has often been the subject of criticism in the public
press of the West Indies.  Though fully aware that such criticism has
on many occasions been much more severe than my own strictures, yet, it
being possible that some special responsibility may attach to what I
here reproduce in a more permanent shape, I most cheerfully accept, in
the interests of public justice, any consequence which may result.

A remark or two concerning the publication of this rejoinder.  It has
been hinted to me that the issue of it has been too long delayed to
secure for it any attention in England, owing to the fact that the West
Indies are but little known, and of less interest, to the generality of
English readers.  Whilst admitting, as in duty bound, the possible
correctness of this forecast, and regretting the oft-recurring
hindrances which occasioned such frequent and, sometimes, long
suspension of my labour; and noting, too, the additional delay caused
through my unacquaintance with English publishing usages, I must,
notwithstanding, plead guilty to a lurking hope that some small
fraction of Mr. Froude's readers will yet be found, [21] whose interest
in the West Indies will be temporarily revived on behalf of this essay,
owing to its direct bearing on Mr. Froude and his statements relative
to these Islands, contained in his recent book of travels in them.
This I am led to hope will be more particularly the case when it is
borne in mind that the rejoinder has been attempted by a member of that
very same race which he has, with such eloquent recklessness of all
moral considerations, held up to public contempt and disfavour.  In
short, I can scarcely permit myself to believe it possible that concern
regarding a popular author, on his being questioned by an adverse
critic of however restricted powers, can be so utterly dead within a
twelvemonth as to be incapable of rekindling.  Mr. Froude's "Oceana,"
which had been published long before its author voyaged to the West
Indies, in order to treat the Queen's subjects there in the same more
than questionable fashion as that in which he had treated those of the
Southern Hemisphere, had what was in the main a formal rejoinder to its
misrepresentations published only three months ago in this city.  I
venture to believe that no serious work in defence of an [22] important
cause or community can lose much, if anything, of its intrinsic value
through some delay in its issue; especially when written in the
vindication of Truth, whose eternal principles are beyond and above the
influence of time and its changes.

At any rate, this attempt to answer some of Mr. Froude's main
allegations against the people of the West Indies cannot fail to be of
grave importance and lively interest to the inhabitants of those
Colonies.  In this opinion I am happy in being able to record the full
concurrence of a numerous and influential body of my fellow-West
Indians, men of various races, but united in detestation of falsehood
and injustice.

J.J.T.

LONDON, June, 1889.



BOOK I: INTRODUCTION

[27] Like the ancient hero, one of whose warlike equipments furnishes
the complementary title of his book, the author of "The English in the
West Indies; or, The Bow of Ulysses," sallied forth from his home to
study, if not cities, at least men (especially black men), and their
manners in the British Antilles.

James Anthony Froude is, beyond any doubt whatever, a very considerable
figure in modern English literature.  It has, however, for some time
ceased to be a question whether his acceptability, to the extent which
it reaches, has not been due rather to the verbal attractiveness than
to the intrinsic value and trustworthiness of his opinions and
teachings.  In fact, so far as a judgment can be formed from examined
specimens of his writings, it appears that our [28] author is the
bond-slave of his own phrases.  To secure an artistic perfection of
style, he disregards all obstacles, not only those presented by the
requirements of verity, but such as spring from any other kind of
consideration whatsoever.  The doubt may safely be entertained whether,
among modern British men of letters, there be one of equal capability
who, in the interest of the happiness of his sentences, so cynically
sacrifices what is due not only to himself as a public instructor, but
also to that public whom he professes to instruct.  Yet, as the too
evident plaything of an over-permeable moral constitution, he might set
up some plea in explanation of his ethical vagaries.  He might urge,
for instance, that the high culture of which his books are all so
redolent has utterly failed to imbue him with the nil admirari
sentiment, which Horace commends as the sole specific for making men
happy and keeping them so.  For, as a matter of fact, and with special
reference to the work we have undertaken to discuss, Mr. Froude, though
cynical in his general utterances regarding Negroes-of the male sex, be
it noted-is, in the main, all extravagance and self-abandonment
whenever he [29] brings an object of his arbitrary likes or dislikes
under discussion.  At such times he is no observer, much less
worshipper, of proportion in his delineations.  Thorough-paced,
scarcely controllable, his enthusiasm for or against admits no degree
in its expression, save and except the superlative.  Hence Mr. Froude's
statement of facts or description of phenomena, whenever his feelings
are enlisted either way, must be taken with the proverbial "grain of
salt" by all when enjoying the luxury of perusing his books.  So
complete is his self-identification with the sect or individual for the
time being engrossing his sympathy, that even their personal
antipathies are made his own; and the hostile language, often
exaggerated and unjust, in which those antipathies find vent, secures
in his more chastened mode of utterance an exact reproduction none the
less injurious because divested of grossness.

Of this special phase of self-manifestation a typical instance is
afforded at page 164, under the heading of "Dominica," in a passage
which at once embraces and accentuates the whole spirit and method of
the work.  To a eulogium of the professional skill and successful [30]
agricultural enterprise of Dr. Nichol, a medical officer of that
Colony, with whom he became acquainted for the first time during his
short stay there, our author travels out of his way to tack on a
gratuitous and pointless sneer at the educational competency of all the
elected members of the island legislature, among whom, he tells us, the
worthy doctor had often tried in vain to obtain a place.  His want of
success, our author informs his readers, was brought about through Dr.
Nichol "being the only man in the Colony of superior attainments."
Persons acquainted with the stormy politics of that lovely little
island do not require to be informed that the bitterest animosity had
for years been raging between Dr. Nichol and some of the elected
members-a fact which our author chose characteristically to regard as
justifying an onslaught by himself on the whole of that section of
which the foes of his new friend formed a prominent part.

Swayed by the above specified motives, our author also manages to see
much that is, and always has been, invisible to mortal eye, and to fail
to hear what is audible to and remarked upon by every other observer.

[31] Thus we find him (p. 56) describing the Grenada Carenage as being
surrounded by forest trees, causing its waters to present a violet
tint; whilst every one familiar with that locality knows that there are
no forest trees within two miles of the object which they are so
ingeniously made to colour.  Again, and aptly illustrating the
influence of his prejudices on his sense of hearing, we will notice
somewhat more in detail the following assertion respecting the speech
of the gentry of Barbados:--

"The language of the Anglo-Barbadians was pure English, the voices
without the smallest transatlantic intonation."

Now it so happens that no Barbadian born and bred, be he gentle or
simple, can, on opening his lips, avoid the fate of Peter of Galilee
when skulking from the peril of a detected nationality: "Thy speech
bewrayeth thee!"  It would, however, be prudent on this point to take
the evidence of other Englishmen, whose testimony is above suspicion,
seeing that they were free from the moral disturbance that affected Mr.
Froude's auditory powers.  G. J. Chester, in his "Transatlantic
Sketches" (page 95), deposes as follows--

[32] "But worse, far worse than the colour, both of men and women, is
their voice and accent.  Well may Coleridge enumerate among the pains
of the West Indies, 'the yawny-drawny way in which men converse.' The
soft, whining drawl is simply intolerable.  Resemble the worst Northern
States woman's accent it may in some degree, but it has not a grain of
its vigour.  A man tells you, 'if you can speer it, to send a beerer
with a bottle of bare,' and the clergyman excruciates you by praying in
church, 'Speer us, good Lord.'  The English pronunciation of A and E is
in most words transposed.  Barbados has a considerable number of
provincialisms of dialect.  Some of these, as the constant use of
'Mistress' for 'Mrs.,' are interesting as archaisms, or words in use in
the early days of the Colony, and which have never died out of use.
Others are Yankeeisms or vulgarisms; others, again, such as the
expression 'turning cuffums,' i.e. summersets, from cuffums, a species
of fish, seem to be of local origin."

In a note hereto appended, the author gives a list of English words of
peculiar use and acceptation in Barbados.

[33] To the same effect writes Anthony Trollope:

"But if the black people differ from their brethren of the other
islands, so certainly do the white people.  One soon learns to know--a
Bim.  That is the name in which they themselves delight, and therefore,
though there is a sound of slang about it, I give it here. One
certainly soon learns to know a Bim.  The most peculiar distinction is
in his voice.  There is always a nasal twang about it, but quite
distinct from the nasality of a Yankee.  The Yankee's word rings sharp
through his nose; not so that of the first-class Bim. There is a soft
drawl about it, and the sound is seldom completely formed.  The effect
on the ear is the same as that on the hand when a man gives you his to
shake, and instead of shaking yours, holds his own still, &c., &c."
("The West Indies," p. 207).

From the above and scores of other authoritative testimonies which
might have been cited to the direct contrary of our traveller's tale
under this head, we can plainly perceive that Mr. Froude's love is not
only blind, but adder-deaf as well.  We shall now contemplate him under
circumstances where his feelings are quite other than those of a
partisan.



BOOK I: VOYAGE OUT

[34] That Mr. Froude, despite his professions to the contrary, did not
go out on his explorations unhampered by prejudices, seems clear enough
from the following quotation:--

"There was a small black boy among us, evidently of pure blood, for his
hair was wool and his colour black as ink.  His parents must have been
well-to-do, for the boy had been to Europe to be educated.  The
officers on board and some of the ladies played with him as they would
play with a monkey.  He had little more sense than a monkey, perhaps
less, and the gestures of him grinning behind gratings and perching out
his long thin arms between the bars were curiously suggestive of the
original from whom we are told now that all of us came.  The worst of
it was that, being lifted above his own people, he had been taught to
despise them.  He was spoilt as a black and could not be made into a
white, and this I found afterwards was the invariable and dangerous
consequence whenever a superior negro contrived to raise himself.  He
might do well enough himself, but his family feel their blood as
degradation.  His [35] children will not marry among their own people,
and not only will no white girl marry a negro, but hardly any dowry can
be large enough to tempt a West Indian white to make a wife of a black
lady.  This is one of the most sinister features in the present state
of social life there."

We may safely assume that the playing of "the officers on board and
some of the ladies" with the boy, "as they would play with a monkey,"
is evidently a suggestion of Mr. Froude's own soul, as well as the
resemblance to the simian tribe which he makes out from the frolics of
the lad.  Verily, it requires an eye rendered more than microscopic by
prejudice to discern the difference between the gambols of juveniles of
any colour under similar conditions.  It is true that it might just be
the difference between the friskings of white lambs and the friskings
of lambs that are not white.  That any black pupil should be taught to
despise his own people through being lifted above them by education,
seems a reckless statement, and far from patriotic withal; inasmuch as
the education referred to here was European, and the place from which
it was obtained presumably England.  At all events, [36] the difference
among educated black men in deportment towards their unenlightened
fellow-blacks, can be proved to have nothing of that cynicism which
often marks the bearing of Englishmen in an analogous case with regard
to their less favoured countrymen.  The statement that a black person
can be "spoilt" for such by education, whilst he cannot be made white,
is one of the silly conceits which the worship of the skin engenders in
ill-conditioned minds.  No sympathy should be wasted on the negro
sufferer from mortification at not being able to "change his skin." The
Ethiopian of whatever shade of colour who is not satisfied with being
such was never intended to be more than a mere living figure. Mr.
Froude further confidently states that whilst a superior Negro "might
do well himself," yet "his family feel their blood as a degradation."
If there be some who so feel, they are indeed very much to be pitied;
but their sentiments are not entitled to the serious importance with
which our critic has invested them.  But is it at all conceivable that
a people whose sanity has never in any way been questioned would strain
every nerve to secure for their offspring a [37] distinction the
consequence of which to themselves would be a feeling of their own
abasement? The poor Irish peasant who toils and starves to secure for
his eldest son admission into the Catholic priesthood, has a far other
feeling than one of humiliation when contemplating that son eventually
as the spiritual director of a congregation and parish.  Similarly, the
laudable ambition which, in the case of a humble Scotch matron, is
expressed in the wish and exertion to see her Jamie or Geordie "wag his
pow in the pou'pit," produces, when realized, salutary effects in the
whole family connection.  These effects, which Mr. Froude would
doubtless allow and commend in their case, he finds it creditable to
ignore the very possibility of in the experience of people whose
cuticle is not white.  It is, however, but bare justice to say that, as
Negroes are by no means deficient in self-love and the tenderness of
natural affection, such gratifying fulfilment of a family's hopes
exerts an elevating and, in many cases, an ennobling influence on every
one connected with the fortunate household.  Nor, from the eminently
sympathetic nature of the African race, are the near friends of a
family [38] unbenefited in a similar way.  This is true, and
distinctively human; but, naturally, no apologist of Negro depreciation
would admit the reasonableness of applying to the affairs of Negroes
the principles of common equity, or even of common sense.  To sum up
practically our argument on this head, we shall suppose West Indians to
be called upon to imagine that the less distinguished relations
respectively of, say, the late Solicitor-General of Trinidad and the
present Chief Justice of Barbados could be otherwise than legitimately
elated at the conspicuous position won by a member of their own
household.

Mr. Froude further ventures to declare, in this connection, that the
children of educated coloured folk "will not marry among their own
people."  Will he tell us, then, whom the daughters marry, or if they
ever do marry at all, since he asserts, with regard to West Indian
Whites, that "hardly any dowry can be large enough to tempt them to
make a wife of a black lady"?  Our author evidently does not feel or
care that the suggestion he here induces is a hideous slander against a
large body of respectable people of whose affairs he is absolutely
ignorant.  Full [39] of the "go" imparted to his talk by a
consciousness of absolute license with regard to Negroes, our dignified
narrator makes the parenthetical assertion that no white girl (in the
West Indies) will "marry a Negro."  But has he been informed that cases
upon cases have occurred in those Colonies, and in very high
"Anglo-West Indian" families too, where the social degradation of being
married to Negroes has been avoided by the alternative of forming base
private connections even with menials of that race?

The marrying of a black wife, on the other hand, by a West Indian White
was an event of frequent occurrence at a period in regard to which our
historian seems to be culpably uninformed.  In slavery days, when all
planters, black and white alike, were fused in a common solidarity of
interests, the skin-distinction which Mr. Froude so strenuously
advocates, and would fain risk so much to promote, did not, so far as
matrimony was concerned, exist in the degree that it now does.
Self-interest often dictated such unions, especially on the part of
in-coming Whites desiring to strengthen their position and to increase
their influence in [40] the land of their adoption by means of
advantageous Creole marriages.  Love, too, sheer uncalculating love,
impelled not a few Whites to enter the hymeneal state with the dusky
captivators of their affections.  When rich, the white planter not
seldom paid for such gratification of his laudable impulse by accepting
exclusion from "Society"--and when poor, he incurred almost invariably
his dismissal from employment.  Of course, in all cases of the sort the
dispensers of such penalties were actuated by high motives which,
nevertheless, did not stand in the way of their meeting, in the
households of the persons thus obnoxious to punishment, the same or
even a lower class of Ethiopic damsels, under the title of
"housekeeper," on whom they lavished a very plethora of caresses.
Perhaps it may be wrong so to hint it, but, judging from indications in
his own book, our author himself would have been liable in those days
to enthralment by the piquant charms that proved irresistible to so
many of his brother-Europeans.  It is almost superfluous to repeat that
the skin-discriminating policy induced as regards the coloured subjects
of the Queen since the [41] abolition of slavery did not, and could
not, operate when coloured and white stood on the same high level as
slave-owners and ruling potentates in the Colonies.  Of course, when
the administrative power passed entirely into the hands of British
officials, their colonial compatriots coalesced with them, and found no
loss in being in the good books of the dominant personages.

In conclusion of our remarks upon the above extracts, it may be stated
that the blending of the races is not a burning question.  "It can
keep," as Mr. Bright wittily said with regard to a subject of similar
urgency.  Time and Nature might safely be left uninterfered with to
work out whatever social development of this kind is in store for the
world and its inhabitants.



BOOK I: BARBADOS

[41] Our distinguished voyager visited many of the British West Indies,
landing first at Barbados, his social experience whereof is set forth
in a very agreeable account.  Our immediate business, however, is not
with what West Indian hospitality, especially among the well-to-do
classes, can and does accomplish for [42] the entertainment of
visitors, and particularly visitors so eminent as Mr. Froude.  We are
concerned with what Mr. Froude has to say concerning our dusky brethren
and sisters in those Colonies.  We have, thus, much pleasure in being
able at the outset to extract the following favourable verdict of his
respecting them--premising, at the same time, that the balcony from
which Mr. Froude surveyed the teeming multitude in Bridgetown was that
of a grand hotel at which he had, on invitation, partaken of the
refreshing beverage mentioned in the citation:--

"Cocktail over, and walking in the heat of the sun being a thing not to
be thought of, I sat for two hours in the balcony, watching the people,
who were as thick as bees in swarming time.  Nine-tenths of them were
pure black.  You rarely saw a white face, but still less would you see
a discontented one, imperturbable good humour and self-satisfaction
being written on the features of every one.  The women struck me
especially.  They were smartly dressed in white calico, scrupulously
clean, and tricked out with ribands and feathers; but their figures
were so good, and they carried themselves so [43] well and gracefully,
that although they might make themselves absurd, they could not look
vulgar.  Like the Greek and Etruscan women, they are trained from
childhood to carry weights on their heads.  They are thus perfectly
upright, and plant their feet firmly and naturally on the ground.  They
might serve for sculptors' models, and are well aware of it."

Regarding the other sex, Mr. Froude says:--

"The men were active enough, driving carts, wheeling barrows, and
selling flying-fish," &c.

He also speaks with candour of the entire absence of drunkenness and
quarrelling and the agreeable prevalence of good humour and
light-heartedness among them.  Some critic might, on reading the above
extract from our author's account of the men, be tempted to ask--"But
what is the meaning of that little word 'enough' occurring therein?" We
should be disposed to hazard a suggestion that Mr. Froude, being
fair-minded and loyal to truth, as far as is compatible with his
sympathy for his hapless "Anglo-West Indians," could not give an
entirely ungrudging testimony in favour of the possible, nay probable,
voters by whose suffrages the supremacy of the Dark [44] Parliament
will be ensured, and the relapse into obeahism, devil-worship, and
children-eating be inaugurated.  Nevertheless, Si sic omnia
dixisset--if he had said all things thus!  Yes, if Mr. Froude had,
throughout his volume, spoken in this strain, his occasional want of
patience and fairness with regard to our male kindred might have found
condonation in his even more than chivalrous appreciation of our
womankind.  But it has been otherwise.  So we are forced to try
conclusions with him in the arena of his own selection--unreflecting
spokesman that he is of British colonialism, which, we grieve to learn
through Mr. Froude's pages, has, like the Bourbon family, not only
forgotten nothing, but, unfortunately for its own peace, learnt nothing
also.



BOOK I: ST. VINCENT

[44] The following are the words in which our traveller embodies the
main motive and purpose of his voyage:--

"My own chief desire was to see the human inhabitants, to learn what
they were doing, how they were living, and what they were thinking
about...."

[45] But, alas, with the mercurialism of temperament in which he has
thought proper to indulge when only Negroes and Europeans not of
"Anglo-West Indian" tendencies were concerned, he jauntily threw to the
winds all the scruples and cautious minuteness which were essential to
the proper execution of his project.  At Barbados, as we have seen, he
satisfies himself with sitting aloft, at a balcony-window, to
contemplate the movements of the sable throng below, of whose
character, moral and political, he nevertheless professes to have
become a trustworthy delineator.  From the above-quoted account of his
impressions of the external traits and deportment of the Ethiopic folk
thus superficially gazed at, our author passes on to an analysis of
their mental and moral idiosyncrasies, and other intimate matters,
which the very silence of the book as to his method of ascertaining
them is a sufficient proof that his knowledge in their regard has not
been acquired directly and at first hand.  Nor need we say that the
generally adverse cast of his verdicts on what he had been at no pains
to study for himself points to the "hostileness" of the witnesses whose
[46] testimony alone has formed the basis of his conclusions.
Throughout Mr. Froude's tour in the British Colonies his intercourse
was exclusively with "Anglo-West Indians," whose aversion to the Blacks
he has himself, perhaps they would think indiscreetly, placed on
record.  In no instance do we find that he condescended to visit the
abode of any Negro, whether it was the mansion of a gentleman or the
hut of a peasant of that race.  The whole tenor of the book indicates
his rigid adherence to this one-sided course, and suggests also that,
as a traveller, Mr. Froude considers maligning on hearsay to be just as
convenient as reporting facts elicited by personal investigation.
Proceed we, however, to strengthen our statement regarding his
definitive abandonment, and that without any apparent reason, of the
plan he had professedly laid down for himself at starting, and failing
which no trustworthy data could have been obtained concerning the
character and disposition of the people about whom he undertakes to
thoroughly enlighten his readers.  Speaking of St. Vincent, where he
arrived immediately after leaving Barbados, our author says:--

[47] "I did not land, for the time was short, and as a beautiful
picture the island was best seen from the deck.  The characteristics of
the people are the same in all the Antilles, and could be studied
elsewhere."

Now, it is a fact, patent and notorious, that "the characteristics of
the people are" not "the same in all the Antilles."  A man of Mr.
Froude's attainments, whose studies have made him familiar with
ethnological facts, must be aware that difference of local surroundings
and influences does, in the course of time, inevitably create
difference of characteristic and deportment.  Hence there is in nearly
every Colony a marked dissimilarity of native qualities amongst the
Negro inhabitants, arising not only from the causes above indicated,
but largely also from the great diversity of their African ancestry.
We might as well be told that because the nations of Europe are
generally white and descended from Japhet, they could be studied one by
the light derived from acquaintance with another.  We venture to
declare that, unless a common education from youth has been shared by
them, the Hamitic inhabitants of one island have very little in common
with [48] those of another, beyond the dusky skin and woolly hair.  In
speech, character, and deportment, a coloured native of Trinidad
differs as much from one of Barbados as a North American black does
from either, in all the above respects.



BOOK I: GRENADA

[48] In Grenada, the next island he arrived at, our traveller's
procedure with regard to the inhabitants was very similar.  There he
landed in the afternoon, drove three or four miles inland to dine at
the house of a "gentleman who was a passing resident," returned in the
dark to his ship, and started for Trinidad.  In the course of this
journey back, however, as he sped along in the carriage, Mr. Froude
found opportunity to look into the people's houses along the way,
where, he tells us, he "could see and was astonished to observe signs
of comfort, and even signs of taste--armchairs, sofas, side-boards with
cut-glass upon them, engravings and coloured prints upon the walls."
As a result of this nocturnal examination, à vol d'oiseau, he has
written paragraph upon paragraph about the people's character [49] and
prospects in the island of Grenada.  To read the patronizing terms in
which our historian-traveller has seen fit to comment on Grenada and
its people, one would believe that his account is of some
half-civilized, out-of-the-way region under British sway, and inhabited
chiefly by a horde of semi-barbarian ignoramuses of African descent.
If the world had not by this time thoroughly assessed the intrinsic
value of Mr. Froude's utterances, one who knows Grenada might have felt
inclined to resent his causeless depreciation of the intellectual
capacity of its inhabitants; but considering the estimate which has
been pretty generally formed of his historical judgment, Mr. Froude may
be dismissed, as regards Grenada and its people, with a certain degree
of scepticism.  Such scepticism, though lost upon himself, is
unquestionably needful to protect his readers from the hallucination
which the author's singular contempt for accuracy is but too liable to
induce.

Those who know Grenada and its affairs are perfectly familiar with the
fact that all of its chief intellectual business, whether official
(even in the highest degree, such as temporary [50] administration of
the government), legal, commercial, municipal, educational, or
journalistic, has been for years upon years carried on by men of
colour.  And what, as a consequence of this fact, has the world ever
heard in disparagement of Grenada throughout this long series of years?
Assuredly not a syllable.  On the contrary, she has been the theme of
praise, not only for the admirable foresight with which she avoided the
sugar crisis, so disastrous to her sister islands, but also for the
pluck and persistence shown in sustaining herself through an
agricultural emergency brought about by commercial reverses, whereby
the steady march of her sons in self-advancement was only checked for a
time, but never definitively arrested.  In fine, as regards every
branch of civilized employment pursued there, the good people of
Grenada hold their own so well and worthily that any show of patronage,
even from a source more entitled to confidence, would simply be a piece
of obtrusive kindness, not acceptable to any, seeing that it is
required by none.



BOOK II: TRINIDAD / TRINIDAD AND REFORM+

[53] Mr. Froude, crossing the ninety miles of the Caribbean Sea lying
between Grenada and Trinidad, lands next morning in Port of Spain, the
chief city of that "splendid colony," as Governor Irving, its worst
ruler, truly calls it in his farewell message to the Legislature.
Regarding Port of Spain in particular, Mr. Froude is positively
exuberant in the display of the peculiar qualities that distinguish
him, and which we have already admitted.  Ecstatic praise and
groundless detraction go hand in hand, bewildering to any one not
possessed of the key to the mystery of the art of blowing hot and cold,
which Mr. Froude so startlingly exemplifies.  As it is our purpose to
make what he says concerning this Colony the crucial test of his
veracity as a writer of travels, [54] and also of the value of his
judgments respecting men and things, we shall first invite the reader's
attention to the following extracts, with our discussion thereof:--

"On landing we found ourselves in a large foreign-looking town, Port of
Spain having been built by French and Spaniards according to their
national tendencies, and especially with a view to the temperature,
which is that of a forcing house, and rarely falls below 80°.  The
streets are broad, and are planted with trees for shade, each house
where room permits having a garden of its own, with palms and mangoes
and coffee-plants and creepers.  Of sanitary arrangements there seemed
to be none.  There is abundance of rain, and the gutters which run down
by the footway are flushed almost every day.  But they are all open.
Dirt of every kind lies about freely, to be washed into them or left to
putrify as fate shall direct" (p. 64).

Lower down, on the same page, our author, luxuriating in his contempt
for exactitude when the character of other folk only is at stake,
continues:--"The town has between thirty and forty thousand people
living in it, and the [55] rain and Johnny crows between them keep off
pestilence."  On page 65 we have the following astounding statement
with respect to one of the trees in the garden in front of the house in
which Mr. Froude was sojourning:--"At the gate stood as sentinel a
cabbage palm a hundred feet high."

The above quotations, in which we have elected to be content with
indicating by typographical differences the points on which attention
should be mostly directed, will suffice, with any one knowing Trinidad,
as examples of Mr. Froude's trustworthiness.  But as these are only on
matters of mere detail, involving no question of principle, they are
dismissed without any further comment.  It must not be so, however,
with the following remarkable deliverances which occur on page 67 of
his too picturesque work:--"The commonplace intrudes upon the
imaginative.  At moments one can fancy that the world is an enchanted
place after all, but then comes generally an absurd awakening.  On the
first night of my arrival, before we went to bed, there came an
invitation to me to attend a political meeting which was to be held in
a few days on the Savannah.

[56] "Trinidad is a purely Crown colony, and has escaped hitherto the
introduction of the election virus.  The newspapers and certain busy
gentlemen in Port of Spain had discovered that they were living under a
'degrading tyranny,' and they demanded a constitution.  They did not
complain that their affairs had been ill-managed.  On the contrary,
they insisted that they were the most prosperous of the West Indian
colonies, and alone had a surplus in their treasury.  If this was so,
it seemed to me that they had better let well alone. The population,
all told, was but 170,000, less by thirty thousand than that of
Barbados.  They were a mixed and motley assemblage of all races and
colours, busy each with their own affairs, and never hitherto troubling
themselves about politics.  But it had pleased the Home Government to
set up the beginning of a constitution again in Jamaica; no one knew
why, but so it was; and Trinidad did not choose to be behindhand.  The
official appointments were valuable, and had been hitherto given away
by the Crown.  The local popularities very naturally wished to have
them for themselves.  This was the [57] reality in the thing, so far as
there was a reality.  It was dressed up in the phrases borrowed from
the great English masters of the art, about privileges of manhood,
moral dignity, the elevating influence of the suffrage, &c., intended
for home consumption among the believers in the orthodox radical faith."

The passages which we have signalized in the above quotation, and which
occur with more elaboration and heedless assurance on a later page,
will produce a feeling of wonder at the hardihood of him who not only
conceived, but penned and dared to publish them as well, against the
gentlemen whom we all know to be foremost in the political agitation at
which Mr. Froude so flippantly sneers.  An emphatic denial may be
opposed to his pretence that "they did not complain that their affairs
had been ill-managed."  Why, the very gist and kernel of the whole
agitation, set forth in print through long years of iteration, has been
the scandalous mismanagement of the affairs of the Colony--especially
under the baleful administration of Governor Irving.  The Augëan
Stable, miscalled by him "The Public Works Department," and whose
officials he coolly [58] fastened upon the financial vitals of that
long-suffering Colony, baffled even the resolute will of a Des Voeux to
cleanse it.  Poor Sir Sanford Freeling attempted the cleansing, but
foundered ignominiously almost as soon as he embarked on that Herculean
enterprise.  Sir A. E. Havelock, who came after, must be mentioned by
the historian of Trinidad merely as an incarnate accident in the
succession of Governors to whom the destinies of that maltreated Colony
have been successively intrusted since the departure of Sir Arthur
Hamilton Gordon.  The present Governor of Trinidad, Sir William
Robinson, is a man of spirit and intelligence, keenly alive to the
grave responsibilities resting on him as a ruler of men and moulder of
men's destinies.  Has he, with all his energy, his public spirit and
indisputable devotion to the furtherance of the Colony's interests,
been able to grapple successfully with the giant evil?  Has he
effectually gained the ear of our masters in Downing Street regarding
the inefficiency and wastefulness of Governor Irving's pet department?
We presume that his success has been but very partial, for otherwise it
is difficult to conceive the motive for [59] retaining the army of
officials radiating from that office, with the chief under whose
supervision so many architectural and other scandals have for so long
been the order of the day.  The Public Works Department is costly
enough to have been a warning to the whole of the West Indies.  It is
true that the lavish squandering of the people's money by that
department has been appreciably checked since the advent of the present
head of the Government.  The papers no longer team with accounts, nor
is even the humblest aesthetic sense, offended now, as formerly, with
views of unsightly, useless and flimsy erections, the cost of which, on
an average, was five times more than that of good and reputable
structures.

This, however, has been entirely due to the personal influence of the
Governor.  Sir William Robinson, not being the tool, as Sir Henry
Irving owned that he was, of the Director of Public Works, could not be
expected to be his accomplice or screener in the cynical waste of the
public funds.  Here, then, is the personal rectitude of a ruler
operating as a safeguard to the people's interests; and we gladly
confess our entire agreement with [60] Mr. Froude on the subject of the
essential qualifications of a Crown Governor.  Mr. Froude contends, and
we heartily coincide with him, that a ruler of high training and noble
purposes would, as the embodiment of the administrative authority, be
the very best provision for the government of Colonies constituted as
ours are.  But he has also pointed out, and that in no equivocal terms,
that the above are far from having been indispensable qualifications
for the patronage of Downing Street.  He has shown that the Colonial
Office is, more often than otherwise, swayed in the appointment of
Colonial Governors by considerations among which the special fitness of
the man appointed holds but a secondary place.  On this point we have
much gratification in giving Mr. Froude's own words (p. 91):--"Among
the public servants of Great Britain there are persons always to be
found fit and willing for posts of honour and difficulty if a sincere
effort be made to find them.  Alas! in times past we have sent persons
to rule our Baratarias to whom Sancho Panza was a sage--troublesome
members of Parliament, younger brothers of powerful families,
impecunious peers; favourites, [61] with backstairs influence, for whom
a provision was to be found; colonial clerks bred in the office who had
been obsequious and useful!"  Now then, applying these facts to the
political history of Trinidad, with which we are more particularly
concerned at present, what do we find?  We find that in the person of
Sir A. H. Gordon (1867-1870) that Colony at length chanced upon a ruler
both competent and eager to advance her interests, not only materially,
but in the nobler respects that give dignity to the existence of a
community.  Of course, he was opposed--ably, strenuously, violently,
virulently--but the metal of which the man was composed was only fused
into greater firmness by being subjected to such fiery tests.  On
leaving Trinidad, this eminent ruler left as legacies to the Colony he
had loved and worked for so heartily, laws that placed the persons and
belongings of the inhabitants beyond the reach of wanton aggression;
the means by which honest and laborious industry could, through
agriculture, benefit both itself and the general revenue.  He also left
an educational system that opened (to even the humblest) a free pathway
to knowledge, to [62] distinction, and, if the objects of its
beneficence were worthy of the boon, to serviceableness to their native
country.  Above all, he left peace among the jarring interests which,
under the badge of Englishman and of Creole, under the badge of
Catholic and under the badge of Protestant, and so many other forms of
sectional divergence, had too long distracted Trinidad. This he had
effected, not by constituting himself a partisan of either section, but
by inquiring with statesmanlike appreciation, and allowing the
legitimate claims of each to a certain scope of influence in the
furtherance of the Colony's welfare.  Hence the bitter rivalry of
jarring interests was transformed into harmonious co-operation on all
sides, in advancing the common good of the common country.

The Colonial Office, knowing little and caring less about that noble
jewel in the British Crown, sent out as successor to so brilliant and
successful an administrator--whom?  One Sir James Robert Longden, a
gentleman without initiative, without courage, and, above all, with a
slavish adherence to red-tape and a clerk-like dread of compromising
his berth.  Having served for a long series of years in subordinate
posts in [63] minor dependencies, the habit of being impressed and
influenced by colonial magnates grew and gathered strength within him.
Such a ruler, of course, the serpents that had only been "scotched, but
not killed," by the stern procedures of Governor Gordon, could wind
round, beguile, and finally cause to fall. Measure after measure of his
predecessor which he could in any way neutralize in the interests of
the colonial clique, was rendered of none effect.  In fact, he was
subservient to the wishes of those who had all long objected to those
measures, but had not dared even to hint their objections to the
beneficent autocrat who had willed and given them effect for the
general welfare.  After Governor Longden came Sir Henry Turner Irving,
a personage who brought to Trinidad a reputation for all the vulgar
colonial prejudices which, discreditable enough in ordinary folk, are,
in the Governor of a mixed community, nothing less than calamitous.
More than amply did he justify the evil reports with which rumour had
heralded his coming.  Abler, more astute, more daring than Sir James
Longden, who was, on the whole, only a constitutionally timid man,
Governor Irving threw [64] himself heart and soul into the arms of the
Sugar Interest, by whom he had been helped into his high office, and
whose belief he evidently shared, that sugar-growers alone should be
possessors of the lands of the West Indies.  It would be wearisome to
detail the methods by which every act of Sir Arthur Gordon's to benefit
the whole population was cynically and systematically undone by this
his native-hating successor.  In short, the policy of reaction which
Sir James Longden began, found in Governor Irving not only a consistent
promoter, but, as it were, a sinister incarnation. It is true that he
could not, at the bidding and on the advice of his planter-friends,
shut up the Crown Lands of the Colony against purchasers of limited
means, because they happened to be mostly natives of colour, but he
could annul the provision by which every Warden in the rural districts,
on the receipt of the statutory fees, had to supply a Government title
on the spot to every one who purchased any acreage of Crown Lands.
Every intending purchaser, therefore, whether living at Toco,
Guayaguayare, Monos, or Icacos, the four extreme points of the Island
of Trinidad, was compelled to go to Port of [65] Spain, forty or fifty
miles distant, through an almost roadless country, to compete at the
Sub-Intendant's auction sales, with every probability of being outbid
in the end, and having his long-deposited money returned to him after
all his pains. Lieutenant-Governor Des Voeux told the Legislature of
Trinidad that the monstrous Excise imposts of the Colony were an
incentive to smuggling, and he thought that the duties, licenses, &c.,
should be lowered in the interest of good and equitable government.
Sir Henry Turner Irving, however, besides raising the duties on
spirituous liquors, also enacted that every distillery, however small,
must pay a salary to a Government official stationed within it to
supervise the manufacture of the spirits.  This, of course, was the
death-blow to all the minor competition which had so long been
disturbing the peace of mind of the mighty possessors of the great
distilleries. Ahab was thus made glad with the vineyard of Naboth.

In the matter of official appointments, too, Governor Irving was
consistent in his ostentatious hostility to Creoles in general, and to
coloured Creoles in particular.  Of the fifty-six appointments which
that model Governor [66] made in 1876, only seven happened to be
natives and coloured, out of a population in which the latter element
is so preponderant as to excite the fears of Mr. Froude.  In
educational matters, though he could not with any show of sense or
decency re-enact the rule which excluded students of illegitimate birth
from the advantages of the Royal College, he could, nevertheless,
pander to the prejudices of himself and his friends by raising the
standard of proficiency while reducing the limit of the age for free
admission to that institution--boys of African descent having shown an
irrepressible persistency in carrying off prizes.

Every one acquainted with Trinidad politics knows very well the
ineffably low dodges and subterfuges under which the Arima Railway was
prevented from having its terminus in the centre of that town. The
public was promised a saving of Eight Thousand Pounds by their
high-minded Governor for a diversion of the line "by only a few yards"
from the originally projected terminus.  In the end it was found out
not only that the terminus of the railway was nearly a whole mile
outside of the town of Arima, but also that Twenty [67] Thousand Pounds
"Miscellaneous" had to be paid up by the good folk of Trinidad, in
addition to gulping down their disappointment at saving no Eight
Thousand Pounds, and having to find by bitter experience, especially in
rainy weather, that their Governor's few yards were just his
characteristic way of putting down yards which he well knew were to be
counted by hundreds.  Then, again, we have the so-called San Fernando
Waterworks, an abortion, a scandal for which there is no excuse, as the
head of the Public Works Department went his own way despite the
experience of those who knew better than he, and the protests of those
who would have had to pay.  Seventeen Thousand Pounds represent the
amount of debt with which Governor Irving's pet department has saddled
the town of San Fernando for water, which half the inhabitants cannot
get, and which few of the half who do get it dare venture to drink.
Summa fastigia rerum secuti sumus.  If in the works that were so
prominent before the public gaze these enormous abuses could flourish,
defiant of protest and opposition, what shall we think of the nooks and
corners of that same squandering department, which of [68] course must
have been mere gnats in the eyes of a Governor who had swallowed so
many monstrous camels!  The Governor was callous.  Trinidad was a
battening ground for his friends; but she had in her bosom men who were
her friends, and the struggle began, constitutionally of course, which,
under the leadership of the Mayor of San Fernando, has continued up to
now, culminating at last in the Reform movement which Mr. Froude
decries, and which his pupil, Mr. S. H. Gatty, is, from what has
appeared in the Trinidad papers, doing his "level best" to render
abortive.

Sir Sanford Freeling, by the will and pleasure of Downing Street, was
the next successor, after Governor Irving, to the chief ruler-ship of
Trinidad.  Incredible as it may sound, he was a yet more
disadvantageous bargain for the Colony's £4000 a year.  A better man in
many respects than his predecessor, he was in many more a much worse
Governor.  The personal affability of a man can be known only to those
who come into actual contact with him--the public measures of a ruler
over a community touches it, mediately or immediately, throughout all
its sections.  The bad boldness of [69] Governor Irving achieved much
that the people, especially in the outlying districts, could see and
appreciate.  For example, he erected Rest-houses all over the remoter
and more sparsely peopled quarters of the Colony, after the manner of
such provisions in Oriental lands.  The population who came in contact
with these conveniences, and to whom access to them--for a
consideration--had never been denied, saw with their own eyes tangible
evidence of the Governor's activity, and inferred therefrom a
solicitude on his part for the public welfare. Had they, however, been
given a notion of the bill which had had to be paid for those frail,
though welcome hostelries, they would have stood aghast at the
imbecility, or, if not logically that, the something very much worse,
through which five times the actual worth of these buildings had been
extracted from the Treasury.  Sir Sanford Freeling, on the other hand,
while being no screener of jobbery and peculation, had not the strength
of mind whereof jobbers and peculators do stand in dread.  In evidence
of that poor ruler's infirmity of purpose, we would only cite the
double fact that, whereas in 1883 he was the first to enter a practical
protest against the housing [70] of the diseased and destitute in the
then newly finished, but most leaky, House of Refuge on the St. Clair
Lands, by having the poor saturated inmates carried off in his presence
to the Colonial Hospital, yet His Excellency was the very man who, in
the very next year, 1884, not only sanctioned the shooting down of
Indian immigrants at their festival, but actually directed the use of
buck-shot for that purpose!  Evidently, if these two foregoing
statements are true, Mr. Froude must join us in thinking that a man
whose mind could be warped by external influences from the softest
commiseration for the sufferings of his kind, one year, into being the
cold-blooded deviser of the readiest method for slaughtering unarmed
holiday-makers, the very next year, is not the kind of ruler whom he
and we so cordially desiderate.  We have already mentioned above how
ignominious Governor Freeling's failure was in attempting to meddle
with the colossal abuses of the Public Works Department.

Sir Arthur Elibank Havelock next had the privilege of enjoying the
paradisaic sojourn at Queen's House, St. Ann's, as well as the four
thousand pounds a year attached to the [71] right of occupying that
princely residence.  Save as a dandy, however, and the harrier of
subordinate officials, the writer of the annals of Trinidad may well
pass him by.  So then it may be seen what, by mere freaks of
Chance--the ruling deity at Downing Street--the administrative
experience of Trinidad had been from the departure of that true king in
Israel,--Sir Arthur Gordon, up to the visit of Mr. Froude.  First, a
slave to red-tape, procrastination, and the caprices of pretentious
colonialists; next, a daring schemer, confident of the support of the
then dominant Sugar Interest, and regarding and treating the resources
of the Island as free booty for his friends, sycophants, and
favourites; then, an old woman, garbed in male attire, having an
infirmity of purpose only too prone to be blown about by every wind of
doctrine, alternating helplessly between tenderness and truculence, the
charity of a Fry and the tragic atrocity of Medea. After this dismal
ruler, Trinidad, by the grace of the Colonial Office, was subjected to
the manipulation of an unctuous dandy.  This successor of Gordon, of
Elliot, and of Cairns, durst not oppose high-placed official
malfeasants, but [72] was inexorable with regard to minor delinquents.
In the above retrospect we have purposely omitted mentioning such
transient rulers as Mr. Rennie, Sir G. W. Des Voeux, and last, but by
no means least, Sir F. Barlee, a high-minded Governor, whom death so
suddenly and inscrutably snatched away from the good work he had
loyally begun.  Every one of the above temporary administrators was a
right good man for a post in which brain power and moral back-bone are
essential qualifications.  But the Fates so willed it that Trinidad
should never enjoy the permanent governance of either.  In view of the
above facts; in view also of the lessons taught the inhabitants of
Trinidad so frequently, so cruelly, what wonder is there that, failing
of faith in a probability, which stands one against four, of their
getting another worthy ruler when Governor Robinson shall have left
them, they should seek to make hay while the sun shines, by providing
against the contingency of such Governors as they know from bitter
experience that Downing Street would place over their destinies, should
the considerations detailed by Mr. Froude or any other equally [73]
unworthy counsellor supervene?  That the leading minds of Trinidad
should believe in an elective legislature is a logical consequence of
the teachings of the past, when the Colony was under the manipulation
of the sort of Governors above mentioned as immediately succeeding Sir
Arthur Gordon.

This brings us to the motives, the sordid motives, which Mr. Froude,
oblivious of the responsibility of his high literary status, has
permitted himself gratuitously, and we may add scandalously, to impute
to the heads of the Reform movement in Trinidad.  It was perfectly
competent that our author should decline, as he did decline, to have
anything to do, even as a spectator, at a meeting with the object of
which he had no sympathy.  But our opinion is equally decided that Mr.
Froude has transgressed the bounds of decent political antagonism, nay,
even of common sense, when he presumes to state that it was not for any
other object than the large salaries of the Crown appointments, which
they covet for themselves, that the Reform leaders are contending.
This is not criticism: it is slander. To make culpatory statements
against others, [74] without ability to prove them, is, to say the
least, hazardous; but to make accusations to formulate which the
accuser is forced, not only to ignore facts, but actually to deny them,
is, to our mind, nothing short of rank defamation.

Mr. Froude is not likely to impress the world (of the West Indies, at
any rate) with the transparently silly, if not intentionally malicious,
ravings which he has indulged in on the subject of Trinidad and its
politics.  Here are some of the things which this "champion of
Anglo-West Indians" attempts to force down the throats of his readers.
He would have us believe that Mr. Francis Damian, the Mayor of Port of
Spain, and one of the wealthiest of the native inhabitants of Trinidad,
a man who has retired from an honourable and lucrative legal practice,
and devotes his time, his talents, and his money to the service of his
native country; that Mr. Robert Guppy, the venerable and venerated
Mayor of San Fernando, with his weight of years and his sufficing
competence, and with his long record of self-denying services to the
public; that Mr. George Goodwille, one of the most successful merchants
in the Colonies; that Mr. Conrad [75] F. Stollmeyer, a gentleman
retired, in the evening of his days, on his well-earned ample means,
are open to the above sordid accusation.  In short, that those and
such-like individuals who, on account of their private resources and
mental capabilities, as well as the public influence resulting
therefrom, are, by the sheer logic of circumstances, forced to be at
the head of public movements, are actuated by a craving for the few
hundred pounds a year for which there is such a scramble at Downing
Street among the future official grandees of the West Indies!  But
granting that this allegation of Mr. Froude's was not as baseless as we
have shown it to be, and that the leaders of the Reform agitation were
impelled by the desire which our author seeks to discredit them with,
what then?  Have they who have borne the heat and the burden of the day
in making the Colonies what they are no right to the enjoyment of the
fruits of their labours?  The local knowledge, the confidence and
respect of the population, which such men enjoy, and can wield for good
or evil in the community, are these matters of small account in the
efficient government of the Colony?  Our author, in [76] specifying the
immunities of his ideal Governor, who is also ours, recommends, amongst
other things, that His Excellency should be allowed to choose his own
advisers.  By this Mr. Froude certainly does not mean that the advisers
so chosen must be all pure-blooded Englishmen who have rushed from the
destitution of home to batten on the cheaply obtained flesh-pots of the
Colonies.

At any rate, whatever political fate Mr. Froude may desire for the
Colonies in general, and for Trinidad in particular, it is nevertheless
unquestionable that he and the scheme that he may have for our future
governance, in this year of grace 1888, have both come into view
entirely out of season.  The spirit of the times has rendered
impossible any further toleration of the arrogance which is based on
historical self-glorification.  The gentlemen of Trinidad, who are
struggling for political enfranchisement, are not likely to heed,
except as a matter for indignant contempt, the obtrusion by our author
of his opinion that "they had best let well alone."  On his own
showing, the persons appointed to supreme authority in the Colonies
are, more usually than not, entirely unfit for [77] holding any
responsible position whatever over their fellows.  Now, can it be
doubted that less care, less scruple, less consideration, would be
exercised in the choice of the satellites appointed to revolve, in
these far-off latitudes, around the central luminaries?  Have we not
found, are we not still finding every day, that the
brain-dizziness--Xenophon calls it kephalalgeia+--induced by sudden
promotion has transformed the abject suppliants at the Downing Street
backstairs into the arrogant defiers of the opinions, and violators of
the rights, of the populations whose subjection to the British Crown
alone could have rendered possible the elevation of such folk and their
impunity in malfeasance?  The cup of loyal forbearance reached the
overflowing point since the trickstering days of Governor Irving, and
it is useless now to believe in the possibility of a return of the
leading minds of Trinidad to a tame acquiescence as regards the
probabilities of their government according to the Crown system.  Mr.
Froude's own remarks point out definitely enough that a community so
governed is absolutely at the mercy, for good or for evil, of the man
who happens to be invested with [78] the supreme authority.  He has
also shown that in our case that supreme authority is very often
disastrously entrusted.  Yet has he nothing but sneers for the efforts
of those who strive to be emancipated from liability to such
subjection.  Mr. Froude's deftly-worded sarcasms about "degrading
tyranny," "the dignity of manhood," &c., are powerless to alter the
facts.  Crown Colony Government--denying, as it does to even the wisest
and most interested in a community cursed with it all participation in
the conduct of their own affairs, while investing irresponsible and
uninterested "birds of passage" (as our author aptly describes them)
with the right of making ducks and drakes of the resources wrung from
the inhabitants--is a degrading tyranny, which the sneers of Mr. Froude
cannot make otherwise.  The dignity of manhood, on the other hand, we
are forced to admit, runs scanty chance of recognition by any being,
however masculine his name, who could perpetrate such a literary and
moral scandal as "The Bow of Ulysses."  Yet the dignity of manhood
stands venerable there, and whilst the world lasts shall gain for its
possessors the right of record on the roll of [79] those whom the
worthy of the world delight to honour.

All of a piece, as regards veracity and prudence, is the further
allegation of Mr. Froude's, to the effect that there was never any
agitation for Reform in Trinidad before that which he passes under
review.  It is, however, a melancholy fact, which we are ashamed to
state, that Mr. Froude has written characteristically here also, either
through crass ignorance or through deliberate malice.  Any respectable,
well-informed inhabitant of Trinidad, who happened not to be an
official "bird of passage," might, on our author's honest inquiry, have
informed him that Trinidad is the land of chronic agitation for Reform.
Mr. Froude might also have been informed that, even forty-five years
ago, that is in 1843, an elective constitution, with all the electoral
districts duly marked out, was formulated and transmitted by the
leading inhabitants of Trinidad to the then Secretary of State for the
Colonies.  He might also have learnt that on every occasion that any of
the shady Governors, whom he has so well depicted, manifested any
excess of his undesirable qualities, there has been a movement [80]
among the educated people in behalf of changing their country's
political condition.

We close this part of our review by reiterating our conviction that,
come what will, the Crown Colony system, as at present managed, is
doomed.  Britain may, in deference to the alleged wishes of her
impalpable "Anglo-West Indians"--whose existence rests on the authority
of Mr. Froude alone--deny to Trinidad and other Colonies even the small
modicum prayed for of autonomy, but in doing so the Mother Country will
have to sternly revise her present methods of selecting and appointing
Governors.  As to the subordinate lot, they will have to be worth their
salt when there is at the head of the Government a man who is truly
deserving of his.

NOTES

53. +It is not clear from the original text exactly where the brief
chapter "Trinidad" ends and where the longer one entitled "Reform in
Trinidad" begins.  (The copy indicates that the "Trinidad" chapter ends
at page 54, but the relevant page contains no subheading.)  I have,
therefore, chosen to fuse the two chapters since they form a logical
unit.

77. +Since there is little Greek in this work, I have simply
transliterated it.



BOOK II: NEGRO FELICITY IN THE WEST INDIES

[81] We come now to the ingenious and novel fashion in which Mr. Froude
carries out his investigations among the black population, and to his
dogmatic conclusions concerning them.  He says:--

"In Trinidad, as everywhere else, my own chief desire was to see the
human inhabitants, to learn what they were doing, how they were living,
and what they were thinking about, and this could best be done by
drives about the town and neighbourhood."

"Drives about the town and neighbourhood," indeed!  To learn and be
able to depict with faithful accuracy what people "were doing, how they
were living, and what they were thinking about"--all this being best
done (domestic circumstances, nay, soul-workings and all!) through
fleeting glimpses of shifting [82] panoramas of intelligent human
beings!  What a bright notion!  We have here the suggestion of a
capacity too superhuman to be accepted on trust, especially when, as in
this case, it is by implication self-arrogated.  The modesty of this
thaumaturgic traveller in confining the execution of his detailed
scrutiny of a whole community to the moderate progression of some
conventional vehicle, drawn by some conventional quadruped or the
other, does injustice to powers which, if possessed at all, might have
compassed the same achievement in the swifter transit of an express
train, or, better still perhaps, from the empyrean elevation of a
balloon!  Yet is Mr. Froude confident that data professed to be thus
collected would easily pass muster with the readers of his book! A
confidence of this kind is abnormal, and illustrates, we think most
fully, all the special characteristics of the man.  With his passion
for repeating, our author tells us in continuation of a strange
rhapsody on Negro felicity:--

"Once more, the earth does not contain any peasantry so well off, so
well-cared for, so happy, so sleek and contented, as the sons [83] and
daughters of the emancipated slaves in the English West Indian Islands."

Again:--

"Under the rule of England, in these islands, the two millions of these
brothers-in-law of ours are the most perfectly contented specimens of
the human race to be found upon the planet.... If happiness be the
satisfaction of every conscious desire, theirs is a condition that
admits of no improvement: were they independent, they might quarrel
among themselves, and the weaker become the bondsmen of the stronger;
under the beneficent despotism of the English Government, which knows
no difference of colour and permits no oppression, they can sleep,
lounge, and laugh away their lives as they please, fearing no danger,"
&c.

Now, then, let us examine for a while this roseate picture of Arcadian
blissfulness said to be enjoyed by British West Indian Negroes in
general, and by the Negroes of Trinidad in particular. "No distinction
of colour" under the British rule, and, better still, absolute
protection of the weaker against the stronger!  This latter
consummation especially, [84] Mr. Froude tells us, has been happily
secured "under the beneficent despotism" of the Crown Colony system.
However, let the above vague hyperboles be submitted to the test of
practical experience, and the abstract government analysed in its
concrete relations with the people.

Unquestionably the actual and direct interposition of the shielding
authority above referred to, between man and man, is the immediate
province of the MAGISTRACY.  All other branches of the Government,
having in themselves no coercive power, must, from the supreme
executive downwards, in cases of irreconcilable clashing of interests,
have ultimate recourse to the magisterial jurisdiction. Putting aside,
then, whatever culpable remissness may have been manifested by
magistrates in favour of powerful malfeasants, we would submit that the
fact of stipendiary justices converting the tremendous, far-reaching
powers which they wield into an engine of systematic oppression, ought
to dim by many a shade the glowing lustre of Mr. Froude's encomiums.
Facts, authentic and notorious, might be adduced in hundreds,
especially with respect to [85] the Port of Spain and San Fernando
magistracies (both of which, since the administration of Sir J. R.
Longden, have been exclusively the prizes of briefless English
barristers*), to prove that these gentry, far from being bulwarks to
the weaker as against the stronger, have, in their own persons, been
the direst scourges that the poor, particularly when coloured, have
been afflicted by in aggravation of the difficulties of their lot.
Only typical examples can here be given out of hundreds upon hundreds
which might easily be cited and proved against the incumbents of the
abovementioned chief stipendiary magistracies.  One such example was a
matter of everyday discussion at the time of Mr. Froude's visit.  The
inhabitants were even backed in their complaints by the Governor, who
had, in response to their cry of distress, forwarded their prayer [86]
to the home authorities for relief from the hard treatment which they
alleged themselves to be suffering at the hands of the then magistrate.
Our allusion here is to the chief town, Port of Spain, the magistracy
of which embraces also the surrounding districts, containing a total
population of between 60,000 and 70,000 souls.  Mr. R. D. Mayne filled
this responsible office during the latter years of Sir J. R. Longden's
governorship.  He was reputed, soon after his arrival, to have
announced from the bench that in every case he would take the word of a
constable in preference to the testimony of any one else.  The
Barbadian rowdies who then formed the major part of the constabulary of
Trinidad, and whose bitter hatred of the older residents had been not
only plainly expressed, but often brutally exemplified, rejoiced in the
opportunity thus afforded for giving effect to their truculent
sentiments.  At that time the bulk of the immigrants from Barbados were
habitual offenders whom the Government there had provided with a free
passage to wherever they elected to betake themselves.  The more
intelligent of the men flocked to the Trinidad [87] police ranks, into
which they were admitted generally without much inquiry into their
antecedents.  On this account they were shunned by the decent
inhabitants, a course which they repaid with savage animosity.
Perjuries the most atrocious and crushing, especially to the
respectable poor, became the order of the day.  Hundreds of innocent
persons were committed to gaol and the infamy of convict servitude,
without the possibility of escape from, or even mitigation of, their
ignominious doom.  A respectable woman (a native of Barbados, too, who
in the time of the first immigration of the better sort of her
compatriots had made Trinidad her home) was one of the first victims of
this iniquitous state of affairs.

The class of people to which she belonged was noted as orderly,
industrious and law-abiding, and, being so, it had identified itself
entirely with the natives of the land of its adoption.  This fact alone
was sufficient to involve these immigrants in the same lot of
persecution which their newly arrived countrymen had organized and were
carrying out against the Trinidadians proper.  It happened that, on the
occasion to which we wish particularly [88] to refer, the woman in
question was at home, engaged in her usual occupation of ironing for
her honest livelihood.  Suddenly she heard a heavy blow in the street
before her door, and almost simultaneously a loud scream, which, on
looking hastily out, she perceived to be the cry of a boy of some ten
or twelve years of age, who had been violently struck with the fist by
another youth of larger size and evidently his senior in age.  The
smaller fellow had laid fast hold of his antagonist by the collar, and
would not let go, despite the blows which, to extricate himself and in
retaliation of the puny buffets of his youthful detainer, he "showered
thick as wintry rain."

The woman, seeing the posture of affairs, shouted to the combatants to
desist, but to no purpose, rage and absorption in their wrathful
occupation having deafened both to all external sounds.  Seized with
pity for the younger lad, who was getting so mercilessly the worst of
it, the woman, hastily throwing a shawl over her shoulders, sprang into
the street and rushed between the juvenile belligerents. Dexterously
extricating the hand of the little fellow from the collar of his
antagonist, she hurried the former [89] into her gateway, shouting out
to him at the same time to fasten the door on the inside.  This the
little fellow did, and no doubt gladly, as this surcease from actual
conflict, short though it was, must have afforded space for the natural
instinct of self-preservation to reassert itself.  Hereupon the elder
of the two lads, like a tiger robbed of his prey, sprang furiously to
the gate, and began to use frantic efforts to force an entrance.
Perceiving this, the woman (who meanwhile had not been idle with
earnest dissuasions and remonstrances, which had all proved futile)
pulled the irate youngster back, and interposed her body between him
and the gate, warding him off with her hands every time that he rushed
forward to renew the assault.  At length a Barbadian policeman hove in
sight, and was hastily beckoned to by the poor ironer, who, by this
time, had nearly come to the end of her strength.  The uniformed "Bim"
was soon on the spot; but, without asking or waiting to hear the cause
of the disturbance, he shouted to the volunteer peacemaker, "I see you
are fighting: you are my prisoner!"  Saying this, he clutched the poor
thunderstruck creature by the wrist, and there [90] and then set about
hurrying her off towards the police station.  It happened, however,
that the whole affair had occurred in the sight of a gentleman of
well-known integrity.  He, seated at a window overlooking the street,
had witnessed the whole squabble, from its beginning in words to its
culmination in blows; so, seeing that the woman was most unjustly
arrested, he went out and explained the circumstances to the guardian
of order.  But to no purpose; the poor creature was taken to the
station, accompanied by the gentleman, who most properly volunteered
that neighbourly turn.  There she was charged with "obstructing the
policeman in the lawful execution of his duty."  She was let out on
bail, and next day appeared to answer the charge.

Mr. Mayne, the magistrate, presided.  The constable told his tale
without any material deviation from the truth, probably confident, from
previous experience, that his accusation was sufficient to secure a
conviction.  On the defendant's behalf, the gentleman referred to, who
was well known to the magistrate himself, was called, and he related
the facts as we have above given them.  Even Mr. Mayne [91] could see
no proof of the information, and this he confessed in the following
qualified judgment:--

"You are indeed very lucky, my good woman, that the constable has
failed to prove his case against you; otherwise you would have been
sent to hard labour, as the ordinance provides, without the option of a
fine.  But as the case stands, you must pay a fine of £2"!!!

Comment on this worse than scandalous decision would be superfluous.

Another typical case, illustrative of the truth of Mr. Froude's boast
of the eminent fair play, nay, even the stout protection, that Negroes,
and generally, "the weaker," have been wont to receive from British
magistrates, may be related.

An honest, hard-working couple, living in one of the outlying
districts, cultivated a plot of ground, upon the produce of which they
depended for their livelihood.  After a time these worthy folk, on
getting to their holding in the morning, used to find exasperating
evidence of the plunder overnight of their marketable provisions.
Determined to discover the depredator, they concealed themselves [92]
in the garden late one night, and awaited the result.  By that means
they succeeded in capturing the thief, a female, who, not suspecting
their presence, had entered the garden, dug out some of the provisions,
and was about to make off with her booty.  In spite of desperate
resistance, she was taken to the police station and there duly charged
with larceny.  Meanwhile her son, on hearing of his mother's
incarceration, hastened to find her in her cell, and, after briefly
consulting with her, he decided on entering a countercharge of assault
and battery against both her captors. Whether or not this bold
proceeding was prompted by the knowledge that the dispensing of justice
in the magistrate's court was a mere game of cross-purposes, a cynical
disregard of common sense and elementary equity, we cannot say; but the
ultimate result fully justified this abnormal hardihood of filial
championship.

On the day of the trial, the magistrate heard the evidence on both
sides, the case of larceny having been gone into first.  For her
defence, the accused confined herself to simple denials of the
allegations against her, at the [93] same time entertaining the court
with a lachrymose harangue about her rough treatment at the hands of
the accusing parties.  Finally, the decision of the magistrate was:
that the prisoner be discharged, and the plundered goods restored to
her; and, as to the countercharge, that the husband and wife be
imprisoned, the former for three and the latter for two months, with
hard labour!  When we add that there was, at that time, no Governor or
Chief Justice accessible to the poorer and less intelligent classes, as
is now the case (Sir Henry T. Irving and Sir Joseph Needham having been
respectively superseded by Sir William Robinson and Sir John Gorrie),
one can imagine what scope there was for similar exhibitions of the
protecting energy of British rule.

As we have already said, during Mr. Froude's sojourn in Trinidad the
"sleek, happy, and contented" people, whose condition "admitted of no
improvement," were yet groaning in bitter sorrow, nay, in absolute
despair, under the crushing weight of such magisterial decisions as
those which I have just recorded.  Let me add two more [94] typical
cases which occurred during Mr. Mayne's tenure of office in the island.

L. B. was a member of one of those brawling sisterhoods that frequently
disturbed the peace of the town of Port of Spain.  She had a "pal" or
intimate chum familiarly known as "Lady," who staunchly stood by her in
all the squabbles that occurred with their adversaries.  One particular
night, the police were called to a street in the east of the town, in
consequence of an affray between some women of the sort referred to.
Arriving on the spot, they found the fight already over, but a war of
words was still proceeding among the late combatants, of whom the
aforesaid "Lady" was one of the most conspicuous.  A list was duly made
out of the parties found so engaged, and it included the name of L. B.,
who happened not to be there, or even in Port of Spain at all, she
having some days before gone into the country to spend a little time
with some relatives. The inserting of her name was an inferential
mistake on the part of the police, arising from the presence of "Lady"
at the brawl, she being well known by them to be the inseparable ally
of L. B. on such occasions.

[95] It was not unnatural that in the obscurity they should have
concluded that the latter was present with her altera ego, when in
reality she was not there.

The participants in the brawl were charged at the station, and
summonses, including one to L. B., were duly issued.  On her return to
Port of Spain a day or two after the occurrence, the wrongly
incriminated woman received from the landlady her key, along with the
magisterial summons that had resulted from the error of the constables.
The day of the trial came on, and L. B. stood before Mr. Mayne, strong
in her innocence, and supported by the sworn testimony of her landlady
as well as of her uncle from the country, with whom and with his family
she had been uninterruptedly staying up to one or two days after the
occurrence in which she had been thus implicated. The evidence of the
old lady, who, like thousands of her advanced age in the Colony, had
never even once had occasion to be present in any court of justice, was
to the following effect: That the defendant, who was a tenant of hers,
had, on a certain morning (naming days before the affray occurred),
[96] come up to her door well dressed, and followed by a porter
carrying her luggage.  L. B., she continued, then handed her the key of
the apartment, informing her at the same time that she was going for
some days into the country to her relatives, for a change, and
requesting also that the witness should on no account deliver the key
to any person who should ask for it during her absence.  This witness
further deposed to receiving the summons from the police, which she
placed along with the key for delivery to L. B. on the latter's return
home.

The testimony of the uncle was also decisively corroborative of that of
the preceding witness, as to the absence from Port of Spain of L. B.
during the days embraced in the defence.  The alibi was therefore
unquestionably made out, especially as none of the police witnesses
would venture to swear to having actually seen L. B. at the brawl. The
magistrate had no alternative but that of acquiescing in the proof of
her innocence; so he dismissed the charge against the accused, who
stood down from among the rest, radiant with satisfaction.  The other
defendants were duly [97] convicted, and sentenced to a term of
imprisonment with hard labour.  All this was quite correct; but here
comes matter for consideration with regard to the immaculate
dispensation of justice as vaunted so confidently by Mr. Froude.

On receiving their sentence the women all stood down from the dock, to
be escorted to prison, except "Lady," who, by the way, had preserved a
rigid silence, while some of the other defendants had voluntarily and,
it may be added, generously protested that L. B. was not present on the
occasion of this particular row.  "Lady," whether out of affection or
from a less respectable motive, cried out to the stipendiary justice.
"But, sir, it ain't fair.  How is it every time that L. B. and me come
up before you, you either fine or send up the two of us together, and
to-day you are sending me up alone?"  Moved either by the logic or the
pathos of this objurgation, the magistrate, turning towards L. B., who
had lingered after her narrow escape to watch the issue of the
proceedings, thus addressed her:--"L. B., upon second thoughts I order
you to the same term of hard labour at the Royal Gaol with the [98]
others."  The poor girl, having neither money nor friends intelligent
enough to interfere on her behalf, had to submit, and she underwent the
whole of this iniquitous sentence.

The last typical case that we shall give illustrates the singular
application by this more than singular judge of the legal maxim caveat
emptor.  A free coolie possessed of a donkey resolved to utilize the
animal in carting grass to the market.  He therefore called on another
coolie living at some distance from him, whom he knew to own two carts,
a small donkey-cart and an ordinary cart for mule or horse.  He
proposed the purchase of the smaller cart, stating his reason for
wishing to have it.  The donkey-cart was then shown to the intending
purchaser, who, along with two Creole witnesses brought by him to make
out and attest the receipt on the occasion, found some of the iron
fittings defective, and drew the vendor's attention thereto.  He, on
his side, engaged, on receiving the amount agreed to for the cart, to
send it off to the blacksmith for immediate repairs, to be delivered to
the purchaser next morning at the latest.  On this understanding the
purchase money was paid down, and the [99] receipt, specifying that the
sum therein mentioned was for a donkey-cart, passed from the vendor to
the purchaser of the little vehicle.  Next day at about noon the man
went with his donkey for the cart.  Arrived there, his countryman had
the larger of the two carts brought out, and in pretended innocence
said to the purchaser of the donkey-cart, "Here is your cart."  On this
a warm dispute arose, which was not abated by the presence and protests
of the two witnesses of the day before, who had hastily been summoned
by the victim to bear out his contention that it was the donkey-cart
and not the larger cart which had been examined, bargained for,
purchased, and promised to be delivered, the day before.

The matter, on account of the sturdiness of the rascal's denials, had
to be referred to a court of law.  The complainant engaged an able
solicitor, who laid the case before Mr. Mayne in all its transparent
simplicity and strength.  The defendant, although he had, and as a
matter of fact could have, no means of invalidating the evidence of the
two witnesses, and above all of his receipt with his signature, relied
upon the fact that the cart which he [100] offered was much larger than
the one the complainant had actually bought, and that therefore
complainant would be the gainer by the transaction. Incredible as it
may sound, this view of the case commended itself to the magistrate,
who adopted it in giving his judgment against the complainant.  In vain
did the solicitor protest that all the facts of the case were centred
in the desire and intention of the prosecutor to have specifically a
donkey-cart, which was abundantly proved by everything that had come
out in the proceedings.  In vain also was his endeavour to show that a
man having only a donkey would be hopelessly embarrassed by having a
cart for it which was entirely intended for animals of much larger
size.  The magistrate solemnly reiterated his decision, and wound up by
saying that the victim had lost his case through disregard of the legal
maxim caveat emptor--let the purchaser be careful.  The rascally
defendant thus gained his case, and left the court in defiant triumph.

The four preceding cases are thoroughly significant of the original
method in which thousands of cases were decided by this model
magistrate, to the great detriment, pecuniary, [101] social, and moral,
during more than ten years, of between 60,000 and 70,000 of the
population within the circle of his judicial authority.  What shall we
think, therefore, of the fairness of Mr. Froude or his informants, who,
prompt and eager in imputing unworthy motives to gentlemen with
characters above reproach, have yet been so silent with regard to the
flagrant and frequent abuses of more than one of their countrymen by
whom the honour and fair fame of their nation were for years draggled
in the mire, and whose misdeeds were the theme of every tongue and
thousands of newspaper-articles in the West Indian Colonies?

     MR. ARTHUR CHILD, S.J.P.

We now take San Fernando, the next most important magisterial district
after Port of Spain.  At the time of Mr. Froude's visit, and for some
time before, the duties of the magistracy there were discharged by Mr.
Arthur Child, an "English barrister" who, of course, had possessed the
requisite qualification of being hopelessly briefless.  For the ideal
justice which Mr. Froude would have Britons believe is meted out to the
weaker classes by their fellow-countrymen [102] in the West Indies, we
may refer the reader to the conduct of the above-named functionary on
the memorable occasion of the slaughter of the coolies under Governor
Freeling, in October, 1884.  Mr. Child, as Stipendiary justice, had the
duty of reading the Riot Act to the immigrants, who were marching in
procession to the town of San Fernando, contrary, indeed, to the
Government proclamation which had forbidden it; and he it was who gave
the order to "fire," which resulted fatally to many of the unfortunate
devotees of Hosein.  This mandate and its lethal consequences
anticipated by some minutes the similar but far more death-dealing
action of the Chief of Police, who was stationed at another post in the
vicinity of San Fernando.  The day after the shooting down of a total
of more than one hundred immigrants, the protecting action of this
magistrate towards the weaker folk under his jurisdiction had a
striking exemplification, to which Mr. Froude is hereby made welcome.
Of course there was a general cry of horror throughout the Colony, and
especially in the San Fernando district, at the fatal outcome of the
proclamation, which had mentioned only "fine" and "imprisonment," [103]
but not Death, as the penalty of disregarding its prohibitions. For
nearly forty years, namely from their very first arrival in the Colony,
the East Indian immigrants had, according to specific agreement with
the Government, invariably been allowed the privilege of celebrating
their annual feast of Hosein, by walking in procession with their
Pagodas through the public roads and streets of the island, without
prohibition or hindrance of any kind from the authorities, save and
except in cases where rival estate pagodas were in danger of getting
into collision on the question of precedence. On such occasions the
police, who always attended the processions, usually gave the lead to
the pagodas of the labourers of estates according to their seniority as
immigrants.

In no case up to 1884, after thirty odd years' inauguration in the
Colony, was the Hosein festival ever pretended to be any cause of
danger, actual or prospective, to any town or building.  On the
contrary, business grew brisker and solidly improved at the approach of
the commemoration, owing to the very considerable sale of
parti-coloured paper, velvet, calico, and similar articles used in the
construction [104] of the pagodas.  Governor Freeling, however, was, it
may be presumed, compelled to see danger in an institution which had
had nearly forty years' trial, without a single accident happening to
warrant any sudden interposition of the Government tending to its
suppression.  At all events, the only action taken in 1884, in prospect
of their usual festival, was to notify the immigrants by proclamation,
and, it is said, also through authorized agents, that the details of
their fête were not to be conducted in the usual manner; and that their
appearance with pagodas in any public road or any town, without special
license from some competent local authority, would entail the penalty
of so many pounds fine, or imprisonment for so many months with hard
labour.  The immigrants, to whom this unexpected change on the part of
the authorities was utterly incomprehensible, both petitioned and sent
deputations to the Governor, offering guarantees for the, if possible,
more secure celebration of the Hosein, and praying His Excellency to
cancel the prohibition as to the use of the roads, inasmuch as it
interfered with the essential part of their religious rite, which was
the "drowning," or casting into [105] the sea, of the pagodas.  Having
utterly failed in their efforts with the Governor, the coolies resolved
to carry out their religious duty according to prescriptive forms,
accepting, at the same time, the responsibility in the way of fine or
imprisonment which they would thus inevitably incur.  A rumour was also
current at the time that, pursuant to this resolution, the head men of
the various plantations had authorized a general subscription amongst
their countrymen, for meeting the contingency of fines in the police
courts.  All these things were the current talk of the population of
San Fernando, in which town the leading immigrants, free as well as
indentured, had begun to raise funds for this purpose.

All that the public, therefore, expected would have resulted from the
intended infringement of the Proclamation was an enormous influx of
money in the shape of fines into the Colonial Treasury; as no one
doubted the extreme facility which existed for ascertaining exactly, in
the case of persons registered and indentured to specific plantations,
the names and abodes of at least the chief offenders against the
proclamation.  Accordingly, on the [106] occurrence of the bloody
catastrophe related above, every one felt that the mere persistence in
marching all unarmed towards the town, without actually attempting to
force their way into it, was exorbitantly visited upon the coolies by a
violent death or a life-long mutilation.  This sentiment few were at
any pains to conceal; but as the poorer and more ignorant classes can
be handled with greater impunity than those who are intelligent and
have the means of self-defence, Mr. Justice Child, the very day after
the tragedy, and without waiting for the pro formâ official inquiry
into the tragedy in which he bore so conspicuous a part, actually
caused to be arrested, sat to try and sent to hard labour, persons whom
the police, in obedience to his positive injunctions, had reported to
him as having condemned the shooting down of the immigrants!  Those who
were arrested and thus summarily punished had, of course, no means of
self-protection; and as the case is typical of others, as illustrative
of "justice-made law" applied to "subject races" in a British colony,
Mr. Froude is free to accept it, or not, in corroboration of his
unqualified panegyrics.

[107]

     MR. GROVE HUMPHREY CHAPMAN, S.J.P.

As Stipendary Magistrate of this self-same San Fernando district, Grove
Humphrey Chapman, Esquire (another English barrister), was the
immediate predecessor of Mr. Child.  More humane than Mr. Mayne, his
colleague and contemporary in Port of Spain, this young magistrate
began his career fairly well.  But he speedily fell a victim to the
influences immediately surrounding him in his new position.  His head,
which later events proved never to have been naturally strong, began to
be turned by the unaccustomed deference which he met with on all hands,
from high and low, official and non-official, and he himself soon
consummated the addling of his brain by persistent practical revolts
against every maxim of the ancient Nazarenes in the matter of
potations.  His decisions at the court, therefore, became perfect
emulations of those of Mr. Mayne, as well in perversity as in
harshness, and many in his case also were the appeals for relief made
to the head of the executive by the inhabitants of the district--but of
course in vain.  Governor Irving was at this time in office, and the
unfortunate [108] victims of perverse judgments--occasionally
pronounced by this magistrate in his cups--were only poor Negroes,
coolies, or other persons whose worldly circumstances placed them in
the category of the "weaker" in the community.  To these classes of
people that excellent ruler unhappily denied--we dare not say his
personal sympathy, but--the official protection which, even through
self-respect, he might have perfunctorily accorded.  Bent, however, on
running through the whole gamut of extravagance, Mr. Chapman--by
interpreting official impunity into implying a direct license for the
wildest of his caprices--plunged headlong with ever accelerating speed,
till the deliverance of the Naparimas became the welcome consequence of
his own personal action.  On one occasion it was credibly reported in
the Colony that this infatuated dispenser of British justice actually
stretched his official complaisance so far as to permit a lady not only
to be seated near him on the judicial bench, but also to take a
part--loud, boisterous and abusive--in the legal proceedings of the
day.  Meanwhile, as the Governor could not be induced to interfere,
things went [109] on from bad to worse, till one day, as above hinted,
the unfortunate magistrate so publicly committed himself as to be
obliged to be borne for temporary refuge to the Lunatic Asylum, whence
he was clandestinely shipped from the Colony on "six months' leave of
absence," never more to resume his official station.

The removal of two such magistrates as those whose careers we have so
briefly sketched out--Mr. Mayne having died, still a magistrate, since
Mr. Froude's departure--has afforded opportunity for the restoration of
British protecting influence.  In the person of Mr. Llewellyn Lewis, as
magistrate of Port of Spain, this opportunity has been secured.  He, it
is generally rumoured, strives to justify the expectations of fair play
and even-handed justice which are generally entertained concerning
Englishmen.  It is, however, certain that with a Governor so prompt to
hear the cry of the poor as Sir William Robinson has proved himself to
be, and with a Chief Justice so vigilant, fearless, and painstaking as
Sir John Gorrie, the entire magistracy of the Colony must be so
beneficially influenced as to preclude [110] the frequency of appeals
being made to the higher courts, or it may be to the Executive, on
account of scandalously unjust and senseless decisions.

So long, too, as the names of T. S. Warner, Captain Larcom, and F. H.
Hamblin abide in the grateful remembrance of the entire population, as
ideally upright, just, and impartial dispensers of justice, each in his
own jurisdiction, we can only sigh at the temporal dispensation which
renders practicable the appointment and retention in office of such
administrators of the Law as were Mr. Mayne and Mr. Chapman.  The
widespread and irreparable mischiefs wrought by these men still affect
disastrously many an unfortunate household; and the execration by the
weaker in the community of their memory, particularly that of Robert
Dawson Mayne, is only a fitting retribution for their abuse of power.

NOTES

85. *A West Indian official superstition professes to believe that a
British barrister must make an exceptionally good colonial S.J.P.,
seeing that he is ignorant of everything, save general English law,
that would qualify him for the post!  In this, to acquit oneself
tolerably, some acquaintance with the language, customs, and habits of
thought of the population is everywhere else held to be of prime
importance,--native conscientiousness and honesty of purpose being
definitively presupposed.



BOOK III: SOCIAL REVOLUTION

[113] Never was the Knight of La Mancha more convinced of his imaginary
mission to redress the wrongs of the world than Mr. James Anthony
Froude seems to be of his ability to alter the course of events,
especially those bearing on the destinies of the Negro in the British
West Indies.  The doctrinaire style of his utterances, his sublime
indifference as to what Negro opinion and feelings may be, on account
of his revelations, are uniquely charming.  In that portion of his book
headed "Social Revolution" our author, with that mixture of frankness
and cynicism which is so dear to the soul of the British esprit fort of
to-day, has challenged a comparison between British Colonial policy on
the [114] one hand, and the Colonial policy of France and Spain on the
other.  This he does with an evident recklessness that his approval of
Spain and France involves a definite condemnation of his own country.
However, let us hear him:--

"The English West Indies, like other parts of the world, are going
through a silent revolution.  Elsewhere the revolution, as we hope, is
a transition state, a new birth; a passing away of what is old and worn
out, that a fresh and healthier order may rise in its place.  In the
West Indies the most sanguine of mortals will find it difficult to
entertain any such hope at all."

As Mr. Froude is speaking dogmatically here of his, or rather our, West
Indies, let us hear him as he proceeds:--

"We have been a ruling power there for two hundred and fifty years; the
whites whom we planted as our representatives are drifting into ruin,
and they regard England and England's policy as the principal cause of
it.  The blacks whom, in a fit of virtuous benevolence, we emancipated,
do not feel particularly obliged to us.  They think, if they think at
all, that they were [115] ill-treated originally, and have received no
more than was due to them."

Thus far.  Now, as to "the whites whom we planted as our
representatives," and who, Mr. Froude avers, are drifting into ruin, we
confess to a total ignorance of their whereabouts in these islands in
this jubilee year of Negro Emancipation.  Of the representatives of
Britain immediately before and after Emancipation we happen to know
something, which, on the testimony of Englishmen, Mr. Froude will be
made quite welcome to before our task is ended.  With respect to Mr.
Froude's statement as to the ingratitude of the emancipated Blacks, if
it is aimed at the slaves who were actually set free, it is utterly
untrue; for no class of persons, in their humble and artless way, are
more attached to the Queen's majesty, whom they regard as incarnating
in her gracious person the benevolence which Mr. Froude so jauntily
scoffs at.  But if our censor's remark under this head is intended for
the present generation of Blacks, it is a pure and simple absurdity.
What are we Negroes of the present day to be grateful for to the US,
personified by Mr. Froude and the Colonial [116] Office exportations?
We really believe, from what we know of Englishmen, that very few
indeed would regard Mr. Froude's reproach otherwise than as a palpable
adding of insult to injury.  Obliged to "us," indeed!  Why, Mr. Froude,
who speaks of us as dogs and horses, suggests that the same kindliness
of treatment that secures the attachment of those noble brutes would
have the same result in our case.  With the same consistency that marks
his utterances throughout his book, he tells his readers "that there is
no original or congenital difference between the capacity of the White
and the Negro races."  He adds, too, significantly: "With the same
chances and with the same treatment, I believe that distinguished men
would be produced equally from both races."  After this truthful
testimony, which Pelion upon Ossa of evidence has confirmed, does Mr.
Froude, in the fatuity of his skin-pride, believe that educated men,
worthy of the name, would be otherwise than resentful, if not
disgusted, at being shunted out of bread in their own native land,
which their parents' labours and taxes have made desirable, in order to
afford room to blockheads, vulgarians, [117] or worse, imported from
beyond the seas?  Does Mr. Froude's scorn of the Negroes' skin extend,
inconsistently on his part, to their intelligence and feelings also?
And if so, what has the Negro to care--if let alone and not wantonly
thwarted in his aspirations?  It sounds queer, not to say unnatural and
scandalous, that Englishmen should in these days of light be the
champions of injustice towards their fellow-subjects, not for any
intellectual or moral disqualification, but on the simple account of
the darker skin of those who are to be assailed and thwarted in their
life's career and aspirations.  Really, are we to be grateful that the
colour difference should be made the basis and justification of the
dastardly denials of justice, social, intellectual, and moral, which
have characterized the régime of those who Mr. Froude boasts were left
to be the representatives of Britain's morality and fair play?  Are the
Negroes under the French flag not intensely French? Are the Negroes
under the Spanish flag not intensely Spanish? Wherefore are they so?
It is because the French and Spanish nations, who are neither of them
inferior in origin or the [118] nobility of the part they have each
played on the historic stage, have had the dignity and sense to
understand the lowness of moral and intellectual consciousness implied
in the subordination of questions of an imperial nature to the
slaveholder's anxiety about the hue of those who are to be benefited or
not in the long run.  By Spain and France every loyal and law-abiding
subject of the Mother Country has been a citizen deemed worthy all the
rights, immunities, and privileges flowing from good and creditable
citizenship.  Those meriting such distinction were taken into the bosom
of the society which their qualifications recommended them to share,
and no office under the Government has been thought too good or too
elevated for men of their stamp.  No wonder, then, that Mr. Froude is
silent regarding the scores of brilliant coloured officials who adorn
the civil service of France and Spain, and whose appointment, in
contrast with what has usually been the case in British Colonies,
reflects an abiding lustre on those countries, and establishes their
right to a foremost place among nations.

Mr. Froude, in speaking of Chief Justice [119] Reeves, ventures upon a
smart truism which we can discuss for him, but of course not in the
sense in which he has meant it.  "Exceptions," our author remarks, "are
supposed proverbially to prove nothing, or to prove the very opposite
of what they appear to prove.  When a particular phenomenon occurs
rarely, the probabilities are strong against the recurrence of it."
Now, is it in ignorance, or through disingenuousness, that Mr. Froude
has penned this argument regarding exceptions?  Surely, in the vast
area of American life, it is not possible that he could see Frederick
Douglass alone out of the cluster of prominent Black Americans who are
doing the work of their country so worthily and so well in every
official department.  Anyhow, Mr. Froude's history of the Emancipation
may here be amended for him by a reminder that, in the British
Colonies, it was not Whites as masters, and Blacks as slaves, who were
affected by that momentous measure.  In fact, 1838 found in the British
Colonies very nearly as many Negro and Mulatto slave-owners as there
were white.  Well then, these black and yellow planters received their
quota, it may be presumed, of [120] the £20,000,000 sterling indemnity.
They were part and parcel of the proprietary body in the Colonies, and
had to meet the crisis like the rest.  They were very wealthy, some of
these Ethiopic accomplices of the oppressors of their own race.  Their
sons and daughters were sent, like the white planter's children, across
the Atlantic for a European education.  These young folk returned to
their various native Colonies as lawyers and doctors.  Many of them
were also wealthy planters.  The daughters, of course, became in time
the mothers of the new generation of prominent inhabitants.  Now, in
America all this was different.  No "nigger," however alabaster fair,
was ever allowed the privileges of common citizenship, let alone the
right to hold property in others.  If possessed by a weakness to pass
for white men, as very many of them could easily have contrived to do,
woe unto the poor impostors!  They were hunted down from city to city
as few felons would be, and finally done to death--"serve them right!"
being the grim commentary regarding their fate for having sought to
usurp the ineffable privilege of whitemanship!  All this, Mr. Froude,
was [121] the rule, the practice, in America, with regard to persons of
colour up to twenty-five years ago.  Now, sir, what is the phenomenon
which strikes your vision in that mighty Republic to-day, with regard
to those self-same despised, discountenanced, persecuted and harried
descendants of Ham?  We shall tell you of the change that has taken
place in their condition, and also some of the reasons of that
beneficent revolution.

The Proclamation of Emancipation on January 1st, 1863, was, by
President Lincoln, frankly admitted to have been a war necessity.  No
abstract principle of justice or of morals was of primary consideration
in the matter.  The saving of the Union at any cost,--that is, the
stern political emergency forced forth the document which was to be the
social salvation of every descendant of Ham in the United States of
America.  Close upon the heels of their emancipation, the
enfranchisement of the Negroes was pushed forward by the thorough-going
American statesmen.  They had no sentimentality to defer to.  The logic
of events--the fact not only of the coloured race being freedmen, but
also of their having been effective [122] comrades on the fields of
battle, where the blood of eager thousands of them had flowed on the
Union side, pointed out too plainly that men with such claims should
also be partners in the resulting triumph.

Mr. Froude, being so deferential to skin prejudice, will doubtless find
it strange that such a measure as the Civil Rights Bill should have
passed a Congress of Americans.  Assuredly with the feeling against the
coloured race which custom and law had engrafted into the very nature
of the vast majority, this was a tremendous call to make on the
national susceptibilities.  But it has been exactly this that has
brought out into such vivid contrast the conduct of the British
statesman, loudly professing to be unprejudiced as to colour, and fair
and humane, on the one hand, and, on the other hand, the dealings of
the politicians of America, who had, as a matter of fact, sucked in
aversion and contempt towards the Negro together with their mother's
milk.  Of course no sane being could expect that feelings so deeply
ingrained and nourished could be rooted out by logic or by any
legislative enactment.  But, indeed, it is sublimely creditable to
[123] the American Government that, whatever might be the personal and
private sentiments of its individual members as regards race, palmam
ferat qui meruit--"let him bear the palm who has deserved it"--has been
their motto in dealing generally with the claims of their Ethiopic
fellow-citizens.  Hence it is that in only twenty-five years America
can show Negro public officers as thick as blackberries, while Mr.
Froude can mention only Mr. Justice Reeves in FIFTY years as a sample
of the "exceptional" progress under British auspices of a man of
African descent!  Verily, if in fifty long years British policy can
recognize only one single exception in a race between which and the
white race there is no original or congenital difference of capacity,
the inference must be that British policy has been not only
systematically, but also too successfully, hostile to the advancement
of the Ethiopians subject thereto; while the "fair field and no favour"
management of the strong-minded Americans has, by its results,
confirmed the culpability of the English policy in its relation to
"subject races."

The very suggestive section of "the English [124] in the West Indies,"
from which we have already given extracts, and which bears the title
"Social Revolution," thus proceeds:--

"But it does not follow that what can be done eventually can be done
immediately, and the gulf which divides the colours is no arbitrary
prejudice, but has been opened by the centuries of training and
discipline which have given us the start in the race" (p. 125 [Froude]).

The reference in the opening clause of the above citation, as to what
is eventually possible not being immediately feasible, is to the
elevation of Blacks to high official posts, such as those occupied by
Judge Reeves in Barbados, and by Mr. F. Douglass in the United States.
We have already disposed by anticipation of the above contention of Mr.
Froude's, by showing that in only twenty-five years America has found
hundreds of eminent Blacks to fill high posts under her government.
Our author's futile mixture of Judge Reeves' exceptional case with that
of Fred. Douglass, which he cunningly singles out from among so many in
the United States, is nothing but a subterfuge, of the same queer and
flimsy description with which the literature of the cause now
championed [125] by his eloquence has made the world only too familiar.
What can Mr. Froude conceive any sane man should see in common between
the action of British and of American statesmanship in the matter now
under discussion?  If his utterance on this point is that of a British
spokesman, let him abide by his own verdict against his own case, as
embodied in the words, "the gulf which divides the two COLOURS is no
arbitrary prejudice," which, coupled with his contention that the
elevation of the Blacks is not immediately feasible, discloses the
wideness of divergence between British and American political opinion
on this identical subject.

Mr. Froude is pathetically eloquent on the colour question.  He tells
of the wide gulf between the two colours--we suppose it is as wide as
exists between his white horse and his black horse.  Seriously,
however, does not this kind of talk savour only too much of the
slave-pen and the auction-block of the rice-swamp and the cotton-field;
of the sugar-plantation and the driver's lash?  In the United States
alone, among all the slave-holding Powers, was the difference of race
and colour invoked openly and boldly to justify all the enormities that
[126] were the natural accompaniments of those "institutions" of the
Past.  But is Mr. Froude serious in invoking the ostracizing of
innocent, loyal, and meritorious British subjects on account of their
mere colour?  Physical slavery--which was no crime per se, Mr. Froude
tells us--had at least overwhelming brute power, and that silent,
passive force which is even more potential as an auxiliary, viz.,
unenlightened public opinion, whose neutrality is too often a positive
support to the empire of wrong.

But has Mr. Froude, in his present wild propaganda on behalf of
political and, therefore, of social repression, anything analogous to
those two above-specified auxiliaries to rely on?  We trow not.  Then
why this frantic bluster and shouting forth of indiscreet aspirations
on be half of a minority to whom accomplished facts, when not agreeable
to or manipulated by themselves, are a perpetual grievance, generating
life-long impotent protestations?  Presumably there are possibilities
the thoughts of which fascinate our author and his congeners in this,
to our mind, vain campaign in the cause of social retrogression.  But,
be the incentives what they may, it might not be amiss on our [127]
part to suggest to those impelled by them that the ignoring of Negro
opinion in their calculations, though not only possible but easily
practised fifty years ago, is a portentous blunder at the present time.
Verbum sapienti.

Mr. Froude must see that he has set about his Negro-repression campaign
in too blundering a fashion.  He evidently expects to be able to throw
dust into the eyes of the intelligent world, juggler-wise, through the
agency of the mighty pronoun US, as representing the entire Anglo-Saxon
race, in his advocacy of the now scarcely intelligible pretensions of a
little coterie of Her Majesty's subjects in the West Indies.  These
gentry are hostile, he urges, to the presence of progressive Negroes on
the soil of the tropics!  Yet are these self-same Negroes not only
natives, but active improvers and embellishers of that very soil.  We
cannot help concluding that this impotent grudge has sprung out of the
additional fact that these identical Negroes constitute also a living
refutation of the sinister predictions ventured upon generally against
their race, with frantic recklessness, even within the last three
decades, by affrighted slave-holders, of whose ravings Mr. Froude's
book is only a [128] diluted echo, out of season and outrageous to the
conscience of modern civilization.

It is patent, then, that the matters which Mr. Froude has sought to
force up to the dignity of genetic rivalship, has nothing of that
importance about it.  His US, between whom and the Negro subjects of
Great Britain the gulf of colour lies, comprises, as he himself owns,
an outnumbered and, as we hope to prove later on, a not over-creditable
little clique of Anglo-Saxon lineage.  The real US who have started
ahead of the Negroes, "through the training and discipline of
centuries," are assuredly not anything like "represented" by the few
pretentious incapables who, instead of conquering predominance, as they
who deserve it always do, like men, are whimpering like babies after
dearly coveted but utterly unattainable enjoyments--to be had at the
expense of the interests of the Negroes whom they, rather amusingly,
affect to despise.  When Mr. Froude shall have become able to present
for the world's contemplation a question respecting which the
Anglo-Saxon family, in its grand world-wide predominance, and the
African family, in its yet feeble, albeit promising, incipience of
self-adjustment, shall [129] actually be competitors, then, and only
then, will it be time to accept the outlook as serious.  But when, as
in the present case, he invokes the whole prestige of the Anglo-Saxon
race in favour of the untenable pretensions of a few blasés of that
race, and that to the social and political detriment of tens of
thousands of black fellow-subjects, it is high time that the common
sense of civilization should laugh him out of court.  The US who are
flourishing, or pining, as the case may be, in the British West
Indies--by favour of the Colonial Office on the former hypothesis, or,
on the second, through the misdirection of their own faculties--do not,
and, in the very nature of things, cannot in any race take the lead of
any set of men endowed with virile attributes, the conditions of the
contest being on all sides identical.

Pass we onward to extract and comment on other passages in this very
engaging section of Mr. Froude's book.  On the same page (125) he
says:--

"The African Blacks have been free enough for thousands, perhaps for
ten thousands of years, and it has been the absence of restraint which
has prevented them from becoming civilized."

[130] All this, perhaps, is quite true, and, in the absence of positive
evidence to the contrary of our author's dogmatic assertions, we save
time by allowing him all the benefit he can derive from whatever weight
they might carry.

"Generation has followed generation, and the children are as like their
fathers as the successive generations of apes."

To this we can have nothing to object; especially in view of what the
writer goes on to say, and that on his own side of the hedge--somewhat
qualified though his admission may be:--"The whites, it is likely
enough, succeeded one another with the same similarity for a series of
ages."  Our speculator grows profoundly philosophic here; and in this
mood thus entertains his readers in a strain which, though deep, we
shall strive to find clear:--

"It is now supposed that human race has been on the planet for a
hundred thousand years at least; and the first traces of civilization
cannot be thrown back at furthest beyond six thousand.  During all this
time mankind went on treading in the same steps, century after century
making no more advance than the birds and beasts."

[131] In all this there is nothing that can usefully be taken exception
to; for speculation and conjecture, if plausible and attractive, are
free to revel whenever written documents and the unmistakable
indications of the earth's crust are both entirely at fault.  Warming
up with his theme, Mr. Froude gets somewhat ambiguous in the very next
sentence.  Says he:--

"In Egypt or India or one knows not where, accident or natural
development quickened into life our moral and intellectual faculties;
and these faculties have grown into what we now experience, not in the
freedom in which the modern takes delight, but under the sharp rule of
the strong over the weak, of the wise over the unwise."

Our author, as we see, begins his above quoted deliverance quite at a
loss with regard to the agency to which the incipience, growth, and
fructification of man's faculties should be attributed.  "Accident,"
"natural development," he suggests, quickened the human faculties into
the progressive achievements which they have accomplished.  But then,
wherefore is this writer so forcible, so confident in his prophecies
regarding Negroes and their future temporal condition [132] and
proceedings, since it is "accident," and "accident" only, that must
determine their fulfilment?  Has he so securely bound the fickle
divinity to his service as to be certain of its agency in the
realization of his forecasts?  And if so, where then would be the
fortuitousness that is the very essence of occurrences that glide,
undesigned, unexpected, unforeseen, into the domain of Fact, and become
material for History?  So far as we feel capable of intelligently
meditating on questions of this inscrutable nature, we are forced to
conclude that since "natural development" could be so regular, so
continuous, and withal so efficient, in the production of the
marvellous results that we daily contemplate, there must be existent
and in operation--as, for instance, in the case of the uniformity
characterizing for ages successive generations of mankind, as above
adduced by our philosopher himself--some controlling LAW, according and
subject to which no check has marred the harmonious progression, or
prevented the consummations that have crowned the normal exercise of
human energy, intellectual as well as physical.

The sharp rule of the strong over the [133] weak, is the first clause
of the Carlylean-sounding phrase which embodies the requisite
conditions for satisfactory human development.  The terms expressive of
these conditions, however, while certainly suggesting and embracing the
beneficent, elevating influence and discipline of European
civilization, such as we know and appreciate it, do not by any means
exclude the domination of Mr. Legree or any other typical man-monster,
whose power over his fellow-creatures is at once a calamity to the
victims and a disgrace to the community tolerating not only its
exercise, but the very possibility of its existence. The sharp rule of
"the wise over the unwise," is the closing section of the
recommendation to ensure man's effective development.  Not even savages
hesitate to defer in all their important designs to the sought-for
guidance of superior judgments.  But in the case of us West Indian
Blacks, to whom Mr. Froude's doctrine here has a special reference, is
it suggested by him that the bidders for predominance over us on the
purely epidermal, the white skin, ground, are ipso facto the
monopolists of directing wisdom?  It surely cannot be so; for Mr.
Froude's own chapters regarding both the [134] nomination by Downing
Street of future Colonial office-holders and the disorganized mental
and moral condition of the indigenous representatives--as he calls
them!--of his country in these climes, preclude the possibility that
the reference regarding the wise can be to them.  Now since this is so,
we really cannot see why the pains should have been taken to indite the
above truism, to the truth whereof, under every normal or legitimate
circumstance, the veriest barbarian, by spontaneously resorting to and
cheerfully abiding by it, is among the first to secure practical effect.

"Our own Anglo-Saxon race," continues our author, "has been capable of
self-government only after a thousand years of civil and spiritual
authority.  European government, European instruction, continued
steadily till his natural tendencies are superseded by higher
instincts, may shorten the probation period of the negro.  Individual
blacks of exceptional quality, like Frederick Douglass in America, or
the Chief Justice of Barbados, will avail themselves of opportunities
to rise, and the freest opportunity OUGHT TO BE offered them."  Here we
are reminded of the dogma laid down by a certain [135] class of
ethnologists, to the effect that intellectuality, when displayed by a
person of mixed European and African blood, must always be assigned to
the European side of the parentage; and in the foregoing citation our
author speaks of two personages undoubtedly belonging to the class
embraced in the above dogma.  Three specific objections may, therefore,
be urged against the statements which we have indicated in the above
quotation.  First and foremost, neither Judge Reeves nor Mr. Fred
Douglass is a black man, as Mr. Froude inaccurately represents each of
them to be.  The former is of mixed blood, to what degree we are not
adepts enough to determine; and the latter, if his portrait and those
who have personally seen him mislead us not, is a decidedly fair man.

We, of course, do not for a moment imagine that either of those eminent
descendants of Ham cares a jot about the settlement of this question,
which doubtless would appear very trivial to both.  But as our author's
crusade is against the Negro--by which we understand the undiluted
African descendant, the pure Negro, as he singularly describes Chief
Justice Reeves--our anxiety is to show that there exist, both [136] in
the West Indies and in the United States, scores of genuine black men
to whom neither of these two distinguished patriots would, for one
instant, hesitate to concede any claim to equality in intellectual and
social excellence.  The second exception which we take is, as we have
already shown in a previous page, to the persistent lugging in of
America by Mr. Froude, doubtless to keep his political countrymen in
countenance with regard to the Negro question.  We have already pointed
out the futility of this proceeding on our author's part, and suggested
how damaging it might prove to the cause he is striving to uphold.
"Blacks of exceptional quality," like the two gentlemen he has
specially mentioned, "will avail themselves of opportunities to rise."
Most certainly they will, Mr. Froude--but, for the present, only in
America, where those opportunities are really free and open to all.
There no parasitical non-workers are to be found, eager to eat bread,
but in the sweat of other people's brows; no impecunious title-bearers;
no importunate bores, nor other similar characters whom the Government
there would regard it as their duty  "to provide for"--by quartering
them on the revenues [137] of Colonial dependencies.  But in the
British Crown--or rather "Anglo-West Indian"--governed Colonies, has it
ever been, can it ever be, thus ordered?  Our author's description of
the exigencies that compel injustice to be done in order to requite, or
perhaps to secure, Parliamentary support, coupled with his account of
the bitter animus against the coloured race that rankles in the bosom
of his "Englishmen in the West Indies," sufficiently proves the utter
hypocrisy of his recommendation, that the freest opportunities should
be offered to Blacks of the said exceptional order.  The very wording
of Mr. Froude's recommendation is disingenuous.  It is one stone sped
at two birds, and which, most naturally, has missed them both.

Mr. Froude knew perfectly well that, twenty-five years before he wrote
his book, America had thrown open the way to public advancement to the
Blacks, as it had been previously free to Whites alone.  His use of
"should be offered," instead of "are offered," betrays his
consciousness that, at the time he was writing, the offering of any
opportunities of the kind he suggests was a thing still to be desired
under British jurisdiction.  The third objection [138] which we shall
take to Mr. Froude's bracketing of the cases of Mr. Fred Douglass and
of Judge Reeves together, is that, when closely examined, the two cases
can be distinctly seen to be not in any way parallel.  The applause
which our author indirectly bids for on behalf of British Colonial
liberality in the instance of Mr. Reeves would be the grossest mockery,
if accorded in any sense other than we shall proceed to show.  Fred
Douglass was born and bred a slave in one of the Southern States of the
Union, and regained his freedom by flight from bondage, a grown man,
and, of course, under the circumstances, solitary and destitute.  He
reached the North at a period when the prejudice of the Whites against
men of his race was so rampant as to constitute a positive mania.

The stern and cruelly logical doctrine, that a Negro had no rights
which white men were bound to respect, was in full blast and practical
exemplification.  Yet amidst it all, and despite of it all, this gifted
fugitive conquered his way into the Temple of Knowledge, and became
eminent as an orator, a writer, and a lecturer on political and general
subjects.  Hailed abroad [139] as a prodigy, and received with
acclamation into the brotherhood of intelligence, abstract justice and
moral congruity demanded that such a man should no longer be subject to
the shame and abasement of social, legal, and political proscription.
The land of his birth proved herself equal to this imperative call of
civilized Duty, regardless of customs and the laws, written as well as
unwritten, which had doomed to life-long degradation every member of
the progeny of Ham.  Recognizing in the erewhile bondman a born leader
of men, America, with the unflinching directness that has marked her
course, whether in good or in evil, responded with spontaneous loyalty
to the inspiration of her highest instincts.  Shamed into compunction
and remorse at the solid fame and general sympathy secured for himself
by a son of her soil, whom, in the wantonness of pride and power, she
had denied all fostering care (not, indeed, for any conscious offending
on his part, but by reason of a natural peculiarity which she had
decreed penal), America, like a repentant mother, stooped from her
august seat, and giving with enthusiasm both hands to the outcast, she
helped him to stand forward and erect, [140] in the dignity of
untrammeled manhood, making him, at the same time, welcome to a place
of honour amongst the most gifted, the worthiest and most favoured of
her children.

Chief Justice Reeves, on the other hand, did not enter the world, as
Douglass had done, heir to a lot of intellectual darkness and legalized
social and political proscription.  Associated from adolescence with S.
J. Prescod, the greatest leader of popular opinion whom Barbados has
yet produced, Mr. Reeves possessed in his nature the material to
assimilate and reflect in his own principles and conduct the salient
characteristics of his distinguished Mentor. Arrived in England to
study law, he had there the privilege of the personal acquaintance of
Lord Brougham, then one of the Nestors of the great Emancipation
conflict.  On returning to his native island, which he did immediately
after his call to the bar, Mr. Reeves sprung at once into the foremost
place, and retained his precedence till his labours and aspirations
were crowned by his obtaining the highest judicial post in that Colony.
For long years before becoming Chief Justice, Mr. Reeves had conquered
for himself the respect and confidence [141] of all Barbadians--even
including the ultra exclusive "Anglo-West-Indians" of Mr. Froude--by
the manful constitutional stand which, sacrificing official place, he
had successfully made against the threatened abrogation of the Charter
of the Colony, which every class and colour of natives cherish and
revere as a most precious, almost sacred, inheritance.  The successful
champion of their menaced liberties found clustering around him the
grateful hearts of all his countrymen, who, in their hour of dread at
the danger of their time-honoured constitution, had clung in despair to
him as the only leader capable of heading the struggle and leading the
people, by wise and constitutional guidance, to the victory which they
desired but could not achieve for themselves.

Sir William Robinson, who was sent out as pacificator, saw and took in
at a glance the whole significance of the condition of affairs,
especially in their relation to Mr. Reeves, and vice versâ.  With the
unrivalled pre-eminence and predominant personal influence of the
latter, the Colonial Office had possessed more than ample means of
being perfectly familiar.  What, then, could be more natural and
consonant with [142] sound policy than that the then acknowledged, but
officially unattached, head of the people (being an eminent lawyer),
should, on the occurrence of a vacancy in the highest juridical post,
be appointed to co-operate with the supreme head of the Executive?  Mr.
Reeves was already the chief of the legal body of the Colony; his
appointment, therefore, as Chief Justice amounted to nothing more than
an official ratification of an accomplished and unalterable fact.  Of
course, it was no fault of England's that the eminent culture,
political influence, and unapproached legal status of Mr. Reeves should
have coincided exactly with her political requirements at that crisis,
nor yet that she should have utilized a coincidence which had the
double advantage of securing the permanent services, whilst realizing
at the same time the life's aspiration, of a distinguished British
subject.  But that Mr. Froude should be dinning in our ears this case
of benefited self-interest, gaining the amplest reciprocity, both as to
service and serviceableness, with the disinterested spontaneity of
America's elevation of Mr. Douglass, is but another proof of the
obliquity of the moral medium through [143] which he is wont to survey
mankind and their concerns.

The distinction between the two marvellous careers which we have been
discussing demands, as it is susceptible of, still sharper
accentuation.  In the final success of Reeves, it is the man himself
who confronts one in the unique transcendency and victoriousness of
personal merit.  On the other hand, a million times the personal merit
of Reeves combined with his own could have availed Douglass absolutely
nothing in the United States, legal and social proscript that he was,
with public opinion generally on the side of the laws and usages
against him.  The very little countries of the world are proverbial for
the production of very great men.  But, on the other hand, narrowness
of space favours the concentration and coherence of the adverse forces
that might impede, if they fail of utterly thwarting, the success which
may happen to be grudged by those possessing the will and the power for
its obstruction.  In Barbados, so far as we have heard, read, and seen
ourselves of the social ins and outs of that little sister-colony, the
operation of the above mentioned [144] influences has been, may still
be, to a certain extent, distinctly appreciable.  Although in English
jurisprudence there is no law ordaining the proscription, on the ground
of race or colour, of any eligible candidate for social or political
advancement, yet is it notorious that the ethics and practices of the
"Anglo-West Indians"--who, our author has dared to say, represent the
higher type of Englishmen--have, throughout successive generations,
effectually and of course detrimentally operated, as though by a
positive Medo-Persian edict, in a proscriptive sense.  It therefore
demanded extraordinary toughness of constitutional fibre, moral,
mental, and, let us add, physical too, to overcome the obstacles
opposed to the progress of merit, too often by persons in intelligence
below contempt, but, in prosperity and accepted pretension, formidable
indeed to fight against and overcome.  We shudder to think of the petty
cabals, the underbred indignities, direct and indirect, which the
present eminent Judge had to watch against, to brush aside, to smile
at, in course of his epic strides towards the highest local pinnacle of
his profession.  But [145] with him, as Time has shown, it was all sure
and safe.

Providence had endowed him with the powers and temperament that break
down, when opportunity offers, every barrier to the progress of the
gifted and strong and brave.  That opportunity, in his particular case,
offered itself in the Confederation crisis.  Distracted and helpless
"Anglo-West Indians" thronged to him in imploring crowds, praying that
their beloved Charter should be saved by the exertion of his
incomparable abilities.  Save and except Dr. Carrington, there was not
a single member of the dominant section in Barbados whom it would not
be absurd to name even as a near second to him whom all hailed as the
Champion of their Liberties.  In the contest to be waged the victory
was not, as it never once has been, reserved to the SKIN or pedigree of
the combatants.  The above two matters, which in the eyes of the ruling
"Bims" had, throughout long decades of undisturbed security, been
placed before and above all possible considerations, gravitated down to
their inherent insignificance when Intellect and Worth were destined to
fight out the issue.  Mr. [146] Reeves, whose possession of the
essential qualifications was admittedly greater than that of every
colleague, stood, therefore, in unquestioned supremacy, lord of the
political situation, with the result above stated.

To what we have already pointed out regarding the absolute
impossibility of such an opportunity ever presenting itself in America
to Mr. Douglass, in a political sense, we may now add that, whereas, in
Barbados, for the intellectual equipment needed at the crisis, Mr.
Reeves stood quite alone, there could, in the bosom of the Union, even
in respect of the gifts in which Mr. Douglass was most brilliant, be no
"walking over the course" by him.  It was in the country and time of
Bancroft, Irving, Whittier, Longfellow, Holmes, Bryant, Motley, Henry
Clay, Dan Webster, and others of the laureled phalanx which has added
so great and imperishable a lustre to the literature of the English
tongue.

We proceed here another step, and take up a fresh deliverance of our
author's in reference to the granting of the franchise to the black
population of these Colonies.  "It is," says Mr. James Anthony Froude,
who is just as prophetic [147] as his prototypes, the slave-owners of
the last half-century, "it is as certain as anything future can be,
that if we give the negroes as a body the political privileges which we
claim for ourselves, they will use them only to their own injury."  The
forepart of the above citation reads very much as if its author wrote
it on the principle of raising a ghost for the mere purpose of laying
it.  What visionary, what dreamer of impossible dreams, has ever asked
for the Negroes as a body the same political privileges which are
claimed for themselves by Mr. Froude and others of his countrymen, who
are presumably capable of exercising them?  No one in the West Indies
has ever done so silly a thing as to ask for the Negroes as a body that
which has not, as everybody knows, and never will be, conceded to the
people of Great Britain as a body.  The demand for Reform in the Crown
Colonies--a demand which our author deliberately misrepresents--is made
neither by nor for the Negro, Mulatto, White, Chinese, nor East Indian.
It is a petition put forward by prominent responsible colonists--the
majority of whom are Whites, and mostly Britons besides.

[148] Their prayer, in which the whole population in these Colonies
most heartily join, is simply and most reasonably that we, the said
Colonies, being an integral portion of the British Empire, and having,
in intelligence and every form of civilized progress, outgrown the
stage of political tutelage, should be accorded some measure of
emancipation therefrom.  And thereby we--White, Black, Mulatto, and all
other inhabitants and tax-payers--shall be able to protect ourselves
against the self-seeking and bold indifference to our interests which
seem to be the most cherished expression of our rulers' official
existence.  It may be possible (for he has attempted it), that our new
instructor in Colonial ethics and politics, under the impulsion of
skin-superiority, and also of confidence in the probable success of
experiments successfully tried fifty years before, does really believe
in the sensibleness of separating COLOURS, and representing the wearers
of them as being generally antagonistic to one another in Her Majesty's
West Indian Dominions. How is it then, we may be permitted to ask Mr.
Froude, that no complaint of the sort formulated by him as against the
Blacks has ever been put [149] forward by the thousands of Englishmen,
Scotchmen, Irishmen, and other Europeans who are permanent inhabitants,
proprietors, and tax-payers of these Colonies?  The reason is that
Anglo-West Indianism, or rather Colonialism, is the creed of a few
residents sharply divisible into two classes in the West Indies.
Labouring conjointly under race-madness, the first believes that, as
being of the Anglo-Saxon race, they have a right to crow and dominate
in whatever land they chance to find themselves, though in their own
country they or their forefathers had had to be very dumb dogs indeed.
The Colonial Office has for a long time been responsible for the
presence in superior posts of highly salaried gentry of this category,
who have delighted in showing themselves off as the unquestionable
masters of those who supply them with the pay that gives them the
livelihood and position they so ungratefully requite. These fortunate
folk, Mr. Froude avers, are likely to leave our shores in a huff,
bearing off with them the civilizing influences which their presence so
surely guarantees.  Go tell to the marines that the seed of Israel
flourishing in the borders of [150] Misraim will abandon their
flourishing district of Goshen through sensitiveness on account of the
idolatry of the devotees of Isis and Osiris!

The second and less placable class of "Englishmen in the West Indies,"
whose final departure our author would have us to believe would
complete the catastrophe to progress in the British Antilles, is very
impalpable indeed.  We cannot feel them.  We have failed to even see
them.  True, Mr. Froude scouts on their behalf the bare notion of their
condescending to meet, on anything like equality, us, whom he and they
pretend (rather anachronistically, at least) to have been their former
slaves, or servants.  But where, in the name of Heaven, where are these
sortis de la cuisse de Jupiter, Mr. Froude? If they are invisible,
mourning in impenetrable seclusion over the impossibility of having, as
their fathers had before them, the luxury of living at the Negroes'
expense, shall we Negroes who are in the sunshine of heaven, prepared
to work and win our way, be anywise troubled in our Jubilee by the
drivelling ineptitude which insanely reminds us of the miseries of
those who went before us?  We have thus arrived at the cardinal, [151]
essential misrepresentation, out of scores which compose "The Bow of
Ulysses," and upon which its phrases mainly hinge.  Semper
eadem--"Always the same"--has been the proud motto of the mightiest
hierarchy that has controlled human action and shaped the destinies of
mankind, no less in material than in ghostly concerns.  Yet is a vast
and very beneficial change, due to the imperious spirit of the times,
manifest in the Roman Church.  No longer do the stake, the sword, and
the dismal horrors of the interdict figure as instruments for assuring
conformity and submission to her dogmas.  She is now content to rest
her claims on herbeneficence in the past, as attested by noble and
imperishable memorials of her solicitude for the poor and the ignorant,
and in proclaiming the gospel without those ghastly coercives to its
acceptance.  Surely such a change, however unpalatable to those who
have been compelled to make it, is most welcome to the outside world at
large.  "Always the same" is also, or should be, the device of the
discredited herd whose spokesman Mr. Froude is so proud to be.  In
nothing has their historical character, as shown in the published
literature of their [152] cause up to 1838, exhibited any sign of
amelioration.  It cannot be affected by the spirit and the lessons of
the times.  Mendacity and a sort of judicial blindness seem to be the
two most salient characteristics by which are to be distinguished these
implacable foes and would-be robbers of human rights and liberty.  But,
gracious heavens! what can tempt mortals to incur this weight of
infamy?  Wealth and Power?  To be (very improbably) a Croesus or (still
more improbably) a Bonaparte, and to perish at the conventional age,
and of vulgar disease, like both?  Turpitudes on the part of sane men,
involving the sacrifice of the priceless attributes of humanity, can be
rendered intelligible by the supreme temporal gains above indicated,
but only if exemption from the common lot of mankind--in the shape of
care, disease, and death--were accompaniments of those prizes.

In favour of slavery, which has for so many centuries desolated the
African family and blighted its every chance of indigenous progress--of
slavery whose abolition our author so ostentatiously regrets--only one
solitary permanent result, extending in every case over [153] a natural
human life, has been paraded by him as a respectable justification.  At
page 246, speaking of Negroes met by him during a stroll which he took
at Mandeville, Jamaica, he tells us:--

"The people had black faces; but even they had shaped their manners in
the old English models.  The men touched their hats respectfully (as
they eminently did not in Kingston and its environs).  The women smiled
and curtsied, and the children looked shy when one spoke to them.  The
name of slavery is a horror to us; but there must have been something
human and kindly about it, too, when it left upon the character the
marks of courtesy and good breeding"!

Alas for Africa and the sufferings of her desolated millions, in view
of so light-hearted an assessment as this!  Only think of the ages of
outrage, misery, and slaughter--of the countless hecatombs that Mammon
is hereby absolved from having directly exacted, since the sufficing
expiatory outcome of it all has been only "marks of courtesy and good
breeding"!  Marks that are displayed, forsooth, by the survivors of the
ghastly experiences or by [154] their descendants!  And yet, granting
the appreciable ethical value of the hat-touching, the smirking and
curtseyings of those Blacks to persons whom they had no reason to
suspect of unfriendliness, or whose white face they may in the white
man's country have greeted with a civility perhaps only prudential, we
fail to discover the necessity of the dreadful agency we have adverted
to, for securing the results on manners which are so warmly commended.
African explorers, from Mungo Park to Livingstone and Stanley, have all
borne sufficient testimony to the world regarding the natural
friendliness of the Negro in his ancestral home, when not under the
influence of suspicion, anger, or dread.

It behoves us to repeat (for our detractor is a persistent repeater)
that the cardinal dodge by which Mr. Froude and his few adherents
expect to succeed in obtaining the reversal of the progress of the
coloured population is by misrepresenting the elements, and their real
attitude towards one another, of the sections composing the British
West Indian communities.  Everybody knows full well that Englishmen,
Scotchmen, and Irishmen (who are not officials), as [155] well as
Germans, Spaniards, Italians, Portuguese, and other nationalities, work
in unbroken harmony and, more or less, prosper in these Islands.  These
are no cherishers of any vain hankering after a state of things in
which men felt not the infamy of living not only on the unpaid labour,
but at the expense of the sufferings, the blood, and even the life of
their fellow-men.  These men, honourable by instinct and of independent
spirit, depend on their own resources for self-advancement in the
world--on their capital either of money in their pockets or of
serviceable brains in their heads, energy in their limbs, and on these
alone, either singly or more or less in combination.  These reputable
specimens of manhood have created homes dear to them in these favoured
climes; and they, at any rate, being on the very best terms with all
sections of the community in which their lot is cast, have a common
cause as fellow-sufferers under the régime of Mr. Froude's official
"birds of passage."  The agitation in Trinidad tells its own tale.
There is not a single black man--though there should have been
many--among the leaders of the movement for Reform.  Nevertheless the
honourable [156] and truthful author of "The English in the West
Indies," in order to invent a plausible pretext for his sinister
labours of love on behalf of the poor pro-slavery survivals, and
despite his knowledge that sturdy Britons are at the head of the
agitation, coolly tells the world that it is a struggle to secure
"negro domination."

The further allegation of our author respecting the black man is
curious and, of course, dismally prophetic.  As the reader may perhaps
recollect, it is to the effect that granting political power to the
Negroes as a body, equal in scope "to that claimed by Us" (i.e., Mr.
Froude and his friends), would certainly result in the use of these
powers by the Negroes to their own injury.  And wherefore? If Mr.
Froude professes to believe--what is a fact--that there is "no original
or congenital difference of capacity" between the white and the African
races, where is the consistency of his urging a contention which
implies inferiority in natural shrewdness, as regards their own
affairs, on the part of black men?  Does this blower of the two
extremes of temperature in the same breath pretend that the average
British voter is better informed, can see more clearly what is for his
own advantage, [157] is better able to assess the relative merits of
persons to be entrusted with the spending of his taxes, and the general
management of his interests? If Mr. Froude means all this, he is at
issue not only with his own specific declaration to the contrary, but
with facts of overwhelming weight and number showing precisely the
reverse.  We have personally had frequent opportunities of coming into
contact, both in and out of England, with natives of Great Britain, not
of the agricultural order alone, but very often of the artisan class,
whose ignorance of the commonest matters was as dense as it was
discreditable to the land of their birth and breeding.  Are these
people included (on account of having his favourite sine quâ non of a
fair skin) in the US of this apostle of skin-worship, in the
indefeasible right to political power which is denied to Blacks by
reason, or rather non-reason, of their complexion?

The fact is, that, judging by his own sentiments and those of his
Anglo-West Indian friends, Mr. Froude calculated on producing an
impression in favour of their discreditable views by purposely keeping
out of sight the numerous European and other sufferers under the yoke
[158] which he sneers at seeing described by its proper appellation of
"a degrading tyranny."  The prescriptive unfavourable forecast of our
author respecting political power in the hands of the Blacks may, in
our opinion, be hailed as a warrant for its bestowal by those in whose
power that bestowal may be.  As a pro-slavery prophecy, equally dismal
and equally confident with the hundreds that preceded it, this new
vaticination may safely be left to be practically dealt with by the
Race, victimized and maligned, whose real genius and character are
purposely belied by those who expect to be gainers by the process.
Invested with political power, the Negroes, Mr. Froude goes on to
assure his readers, "will slide back into their old condition, and the
chance will be gone of lifting them to the level to which we have no
right to say they are incapable of rising."  How touchingly
sympathetic!  How transcendently liberal and righteous!  But, to speak
the truth, is not this solicitude of our cynical defamer on our behalf,
after all, a useless waste of emotion on his part?  Timeo Danaos et
dona ferentes.+  The tears of the crocodile are most copious in close
view of the banquet on his prey. This [159] reiterated twaddle of Mr.
Froude, in futile and unseasonable echo of the congenial predictions of
his predecessors in the same line, might be left to receive not only
the answer of his own book to the selfsame talk of the slavers fifty
years ago, but also that of the accumulated refutations which America
has furnished for the last twenty-five years as to the retrograde
tendency so falsely imputed.  But, taking it as a serious contention,
we find that it involves a suggestion that the according of electoral
votes to citizens of a certain complexion would, per se and ipso facto,
produce a revulsion and collapse of the entire prevailing organization
and order of a civilized community.

What talismanic virtue this prophet of evil attributes to a vote in the
hand of a Negro out of Barbados, where for years the black man's vote
has been operating, harmlessly enough, Heaven knows, we cannot imagine.
At all events, as sliding back on the part of a community is a matter
which would require some appreciable time, however brief, let us hope
that the authorities charged "to see that the state receive no
detriment" would be vigilant enough and in time to arrest the evil and
vindicate [160] the efficiency of the civilized methods of
self-preservation.

Our author concludes by another reference to Chief Justice Reeves: "Let
British authority die away, and the average black nature, such as it
now is, be left free to assert itself, there will be no more negroes
like him in Barbadoes or anywhere."  How the dying away of British
authority in a British Colony is to come to pass, Mr. Froude does not
condescend here explicitly to state.  But we are left free to infer
from the whole drift of "The English in the West Indies" that it will
come through the exodus en masse said to be threatened by his
"Anglo-West Indians."  Mr. Froude sympathetically justifies the disgust
and exasperation of these reputable folk at the presence and progress
of the race for whose freedom and ultimate elevation Britain was so
lavish of the wealth of her noblest intellects, besides paying the
prodigious money-ransom of TWENTY MILLION pounds sterling.  With regard
to our author's talk about "the average black nature, such as it now
exists, being left free to assert itself," and the dire consequences
therefrom to result, we can only feel pity at the desperate straits to
[161] which, in his search for a pretext for gratuitous slander, a man
of our author's capacity has been so ignominiously reduced.  All we can
say to him with reference to this portion of his violent suppositions
is that "the average black nature, such as it now exists," should NOT,
in a civilized community, be left free to assert itself, any more than
the average white, the average brown, the average red, or indeed any
average colour of human nature whatsoever.  As self-defence is the
first law of nature, it has followed that every condition of organized
society, however simple or primitive, is furnished with some recognized
means of self-protection against the free assertion of itself by the
average nature of any of its members.

Of course, if things should ever turn out according to Mr. Froude's
desperate hypothesis, it may also happen that there will be no more
Negroes like Mr. justice Reeves in Barbados.  But the addition of the
words "or anywhere" to the above statement is just another of those
suppressions of the truth which, absolutely futile though they are,
constitute the only means by which the policy he writes to promote can
possibly be made to [162] appear even tolerable.  The assertion of our
author, therefore, standing as it actually does, embracing the whole
world, is nothing less than an audacious absurdity, for there stand the
United States, the French and Spanish islands--not to speak of the
Central and South American Republics, Mexico, and Brazil--all thronged
with black, mixed blood, and even half-breed high officials, staring
him and the whole world in the face.

The above noted suppression of the truth to the detriment of the
obnoxious population recalls a passage wherein the suggestion of what
is not the truth has been resorted to for the same purpose.  At page
123 we read: "The disproportion of the two races--always dangerously
large--has increased with ever-gathering velocity since the
emancipation.  It is now beyond control on the old lines."  The use of
the expletive "dangerously," as suggestive of the truculence of the
people to whom it refers, is critically allowable in view of the main
intention of the author.  But what shall we say of the suggestion
contained in the very next sentence, which we have italicized?  We are
required by it to understand that in slavery-time the [163] planters
had some organized method, rendered impracticable by the Emancipation,
of checking, for their own personal safety, the growth of the coloured
population.  If we, in deference to the superior mental capacity of our
author, admit that self-interest was no irresistible motive for
promoting the growth of the human "property" on which their prosperity
depended, we are yet at liberty to ask what was the nature of the "old
lines" followed for controlling the increase under discussion.  Was it
suffocation of the babes by means of sulphur fumes, the use of
beetle-paste, or exposure on the banks of the Caribbean rivers?  In the
later case History evidently lost a chance of self-repetition in the
person of some leader like Moses, the Hebra-Egyptian Spartacus, arising
to avenge and deliver his people.

We now shall note how he proceeds to descant on slavery
itself:--"Slavery," says he, "was a survival from a social order which
had passed away, and slavery could not be continued.  IT DOES NOT
FOLLOW THAT per se IT WAS A CRIME.  The negroes who were sold to the
dealers in the factories were most of them either slaves already to
worse masters or were servi, servants [164] in the old meaning of the
word, or else criminals, servati or reserved from death.  They would
otherwise have been killed, and since the slave trade has been
abolished, are again killed in the too celebrated customs...."

Slavery, as Mr. Froude and the rest of us are bound to discuss it at
present, is by no means susceptible of the gloss which he has
endeavoured, in the above extract, to put on it.  The British nation,
in 1834, had to confront and deal with the only species of slavery
which was then within the cognizance of public morals and practical
politics.  Doubtless our author, learned and erudite as he is, would
like to transport us to those patriarchal ages when, under theocratic
decrees, the chosen people were authorized to purchase (not to kidnap)
slaves, and keep them as an everlasting inheritance in their posterity.
The slaves so purchased, we know, became members of the families to
which their lot was attached, and were hedged in from cruel usage by
distinct and salutary regulations.  This is the only species of slavery
which--with the addition of the old Germanic self-enslavements and the
generally prevailing ancient custom of pledging one's personal services
[165] in liquidation of indebtedness--can be covered by the singular
verdict of noncriminality which our author has pronounced.  He, of
course, knows much better than we do what the condition of slaves was
in Greece as well as in Rome.  He knows, too, that the "wild and guilty
phantasy that man could hold property in man," lost nothing of its
guilt or its wildness with the lapse of time and the changes of
circumstances which overtook and affected those reciprocal relations.
Every possibility of deterioration, every circumstance wherein man's
fallen nature could revel in its worst inspirations, reached
culmination at the period when the interference of the world, decreed
by Providence, was rendered imperative by the sufferings of the
bondsmen.  It is this crisis of the history of human enslavement that
Mr. Froude must talk about, if he wishes to talk to any purpose on the
subject at all.  His scoffs at British "virtuous benevolence," and his
imputation of ingratitude to the Negro in respect of that self-same
benevolence, do not refer to any theocratic, self-contracted, abstract,
or idyllic condition of servitude.  They pin his meaning down [166] to
that particular phase when slavery had become not only "the sum," but
the very quintessence, "of all human villainies."

At its then phase, slavery had culminated into being a menace,
portentous and far encroaching, to not only the moral life but the very
civilization of the higher types of the human family, so debasing and
blighting were its effects on those who came into even tolerating
contact with its details.  The indescribable atrocities practised on
the slaves, the deplorable sapping of even respectable principles in
owners of both sexes--all these stood forth in their ineffable
hideousness before the uncorrupted gaze of the moral heroes, sons of
Britain and America, and also of other countries, who, buckling on the
armour of civilization and right, fought for the vindication of them
both, through every stern vicissitude, and won the first grand,
ever-memorable victory of 1838, whereof we so recently celebrated the
welcome Jubilee!  Oh! it was a combat of archangels against the legions
that Mammon had banded together and incited to the conflict.  But
though it was Sharp, Clarkson, Wilberforce, and the rest [167] of that
illustrious host of cultured, lofty-souled, just, merciful, and
beneficent men, who were thus the saviours, as well as the servants, of
society, yet have we seen it possible for an Englishman of to-day to
mouth against their memory the ineptitudes of their long-vanquished
foes, and to flout the consecrated dead in their graves, as the
Boeotian did the living Pericles in the market-place of Athens!

Why waste words and time on this defamer of his own countrymen, who, on
account of the material gain and the questionable martial glory of the
conquest, eulogizes Warren Hastings, the viceregal plunderer of India,
whilst, in the same breath, he denounces Edmund Burke for upholding the
immutable principles of right and justice!  These principles once, and
indubitably now, so precious in their fullest integrity to the normal
British conscience, must henceforth, say Mr. Froude and his
fellow-colonialists, be scored off the moral code of Britain, since
they "do not pay" in tangible pelf, in self-aggrandisement, or in
dazzling prestige.

The statement that many negroes who were sold to the dealers in the
factories were "slaves [168] already to worse masters" is, in the face
of facts which could not possibly have been unknown to him, a piece of
very daring assertion.  But this should excite no wonder, considering
that precise and scrupulous accuracy would be fatal to the
discreditable cause to which he so shamelessly proclaims his adhesion.
As being familiar since early childhood with members of almost every
tribe of Africans (mainly from or arriving by way of the West Coast)
who were brought to our West Indies, we are in a position to contradict
the above assertion of Mr. Froude's, its unfaltering confidence
notwithstanding.  We have had the Madingoes, Foulahs, Houssas, Calvers,
Gallahs, Karamenties, Yorubas, Aradas, Cangas, Kroos, Timnehs, Veis,
Eboes, Mokoes, Bibis, and Congoes, as the most numerous and important
of the tribal contribution of Africa to the population of these
Colonies.  Now, from what we have intimately learned of these people
(excepting the Congoes, who always appeared to us an inferior tribe to
all the others), we unhesitatingly deny that even three in ten of the
whole number were ever slaves in their own country, in the sense of
having been born under any organized [169] system of servitude.  The
authentic records relating to the enslavement of Africans, as a regular
systematized traffic, do not date further back than five centuries ago.
It is true that a great portion of ancient literature and many
monuments bear distinct evidence, all the more impressive because
frequently only casual, that, from the earliest ages, the Africans had
shared, in common with other less civilized peoples, the doom of having
to furnish the menial and servile contingents of the more favoured
sections of the human family.  Now, dating from, say, five hundred
years ago, which was long indeed after the disappearance of the old
leading empires of the world, we have (save and except in the case of
Arab incursionists into the Eastern and Northern coasts) no reliable
authority for saying, or even for supposing, that the tribes of the
African interior suffered from the molestations of professional
man-hunters.

It was the organization of the West Coast slave traffic towards the
close of the sixteenth century, and the extermination of the Caribbean
aborigines by Spain, soon after Columbus had discovered the Western
Continent, which [170] gave cohesion, system, impetus, and
aggressiveness to the trade in African flesh and blood.  Then the
factory dealers did not wait at their seaboard mart, as our author
would have us suppose, for the human merchandize to be brought down to
them.  The auri sacra fames, the accursed craving for gain, was too
imperious for that.  From the Atlantic border to as far inland as their
emissaries could penetrate, their bribes, in every species of
exchangeable commodities, were scattered among the rapacious chiefs on
the river banks; while these latter, incited as well by native ferocity
as by lust of gain, rushed forth to "make war" on their neighbours, and
to kidnap, for sale to the white purchaser, every man, woman, and child
they could capture amidst the nocturnal flames, confusion, tumult, and
terror resulting from their unexpected irruption.  That the poor people
thus captured and sold into foreign on age were under worse masters
than those under whom they, on being actually bought and becoming
slaves, were doomed to experience all the atrocities that have thrilled
with horror the conscience of the civilized Christian world, is a
statement of worse than [171] childish absurdity.  Every one, except
Mr. Froude and his fellow-apologists for slavery, knows that the
cruelty of savage potentates is summary, uncalculating, and, therefore,
merciful in its ebullitions.  A head whisked off, brains dashed out, or
some other short form of savage dispatch, is the preferential method of
destruction.  With our author's better masters, there was the long,
dreary vicissitude, beginning from the horrors of the capture, and
ending perhaps years upon years after, in some bush or under the lash
of the driver.  The intermediate stages of the starvation life of
hunger, chains, and hideous exposure at the barancoon, the stowing away
like herrings on board the noisome ship, the suffocation, the
deck-sores wrought into the body by the attrition of the bonier parts
of the system against the unyielding wood--all these, says Mr. Froude,
were more tolerable than the swift doing away with life under an
African master!  Under such, at all events, the care and comfort
suitable to age were strictly provided for, and cheered the advanced
years of the faithful bondsman.

After a good deal of talk, having the same logical value, our author,
in his enthusiasm for [172] slavery, delivers himself thus: "For
myself, I would rather be the slave of a Shakespeare or a Burghley,
than the slave of a majority in the House of Commons, or the slave of
my own folly."  Of the four above specified alternatives of
enslavement, it is to be regretted that temperament, or what is more
likely, perhaps, self-interest, has driven him to accept the fourth, or
the latter of the two deprecated yokes, his book being an irrefutable
testimony to the fact.  For, most assuredly, it has not been at the
prompting of wisdom that a learned man of unquestionably brilliant
talents and some measure of accorded fame could have prostituted those
talents and tarnished that fame by condescending to be the literary
spokesman of the set for whose miserable benefit he recommends the
statesmen of his country to perjure and compromise themselves,
regardless of inevitable consequences, which the value of the sectional
satisfaction to be thereby given would but very poorly compensate.
Possibly a House of Commons majority, whom this dermatophilist
evidently rates far lower than his "Anglo-West Indians," might, if he
were their Slave, have protected their own self- [173] respect by
restraining him from vicariously scandalizing them by his effusions.

After this curious boast about his preferences as a hypothetic
bondsman, Mr. Froude proceeds gravely to inform his readers that "there
may be authority yet not slavery; a soldier is not a slave, a wife is
not a slave..." and he continues, with a view of utilizing these
platitudes against the obnoxious Negro, by telling us that persons
sustaining the above specified and similar relations "may not live by
their own wills, or emancipate themselves at their own pleasure from
positions in which nature has placed them, or into which they have
themselves voluntarily entered.  The negroes of the West Indies are
children, and not yet disobedient children.... If you enforce
self-government upon them when they are not asking for it, you may ...
wilfully drive them back into the condition of their ancestors, from
which the slave-trade was the beginning of their emancipation."!  The
words which we have signalized by italics in the above extract could
have been conceived only by a bigot--such an atrocious sentiment being
possible only as the product of mind or morals [174] wrenched
hopelessly out of normal action.  All the remainder of this hashing up
of pointless commonplaces has for its double object a suggestio falsi
against us Negroes as a body, and a diverting of attention, as we have
proved before, from the numerous British claimants of Reform, whose
personality Mr. Froude and his friends would keep out of view, provided
their crafty policy has the result of effectually repressing the
hitherto irrepressible, and, as such, to the "Anglo-West Indian," truly
detestable Negro.

NOTES

158. +Translation: "I fear the Greeks even when they bear gifts."



BOOK III: WEST INDIAN CONFEDERATION

[175] In heedless formulation of his reasons, if such they should be
termed, for urging tooth and nail the non-according of reform to the
Crown-governed Colonies, our author puts forth this dogmatic
deliverance (p. 123):--

"A West Indian self-governing dominion is possible only with a full
Negro vote.  If the whites are to combine, so will the blacks.  It will
be a rule by the blacks and for the blacks."

That a constitution for any of our diversely populated Colonies which
may be fit for it is possible only with "a full Negro vote" (to the
extent within the competence of such voting), goes without saying, as
must be the case with every section of the Queen's subjects eligible
for the franchise.  The duly qualified Spaniard, [176] Coolie,
Portuguese, or man of any other non-British race, will each thus have a
vote, the same as every Englishman or any other Briton.  Why, then,
should the vote of the Negro be so especially a bugbear?  It is because
the Negro is the game which our political sportsman is in full chase
of, and determined to hunt down at any cost.  Granted, however, for the
sake of argument, that black voters should preponderate at any
election, what then?  We are gravely told by this latter-day Balaam
that "If the whites are to combine, so will the blacks," but he does
not say for what purpose.

His sentence, therefore, may be legitimately constructed in full for
him in the only sense which is applicable to the mutual relations
actually existing between those two directly specified sections of
British subjects who he would fain have the world believe live in a
state of active hostility:--"If the whites are to combine for the
Promotion of the general welfare, as many of the foremost of them have
done before and are doing now, so will the blacks also combine in the
support of such whites, and as staunch auxiliaries equally interested
in the furtherance of the same ameliorative [177] objects."  Except in
the sense embodied in the foregoing sentence, we cannot, in these days,
conceive with what intent persons of one section should so specially
combine as to compel combination on the part of persons of any other.
The further statement that a confederation having a full black
voting-power would be a government "by the blacks and for the blacks,"
is the logical converse of the now obsolete doctrine of Mr. Froude's
inspirers--"a government by whites should be only for whites."  But
this formula, however strenuously insisted on by those who gave it
shape, could never, since even before three decades from the first
introduction of African slaves, be thoroughly put in practice, so
completely had circumstances beyond man's devising or control compelled
the altering of men's minds and methods with regard to the new
interests which had irresistibly forced themselves into importance as
vital items in political arrangements.  Nowadays, therefore, that Mr.
Froude should desire to create a state of feeling which had, and could
have had, no existence with regard to the common interests of the
inhabitants for upwards of two full centuries, is [178] evidently an
excess of confidence which can only be truly described as amazing.
But, after all, what does our author mean by the words "a government by
the blacks?"  Are we to understand him as suggesting that voting by
black electors would be synonymous with electing black representatives?
If so, he has clearly to learn much more than he has shown that he
lacks, in order to understand and appreciate the vital influences at
work in West Indian affairs.  Undoubtedly, being the spokesman of few
who (secretly) avow themselves to be particularly hostile to
Ethiopians, he has done no more than reproduce their sentiments. For,
conscious, as these hankerers after the old "institutions" are, of
being utterly ineligible for the furthering of modern progressive
ideas, they revenge themselves for their supersession on everybody and
everything, save and except their own arrogant stolidity.  White
individuals who have part and lot in the various Colonies, with their
hearts and feelings swayed by affections natural to their birth and
earliest associations; and Whites who have come to think the land of
their adoption as dear to themselves as the land of their birth,
entertain no such dread of [179] their fellow-citizens of any other
section, whom they estimate according to intelligence and probity, and
not according to any accident of exterior physique.  Every intelligent
black is as shrewd regarding his own interests as our author himself
would be regarding his in the following hypothetical case: Some fine
day, being a youth and a bachelor, he gets wedded, sets up an
establishment, and becomes the owner of a clipper yacht. For his own
service in the above circumstances we give him the credit to believe
that, on the persons specified below applying among others to him for
employment, as chamber-maid and house-servant, and also as hands for
the vessel, he would, in preference to any ordinarily recommended white
applicants, at once engage the two black servant-girls at President
Churchill's in Dominica, the droghermen there as able seamen, and as
cabin-boy the lad amongst them whose precocious marine skill he has so
warmly and justly extolled.  It is not because all these persons are
black, but because of the soul-consciousness of the selector, that they
each (were they even blue) had a title to preferential consideration,
his experience and sense of fitness being [180] their most effectual
supporters.  Similarly, the Negro voter would elect representatives
whom he knew he could trust for competency in the management of his
affairs, and not persons whose sole recommendation to him would be the
possession of the same kind of skin.  Nor, from what we know of matters
in the West Indies, do we believe that any white man of the class we
have eulogized would hesitate to give his warmest suffrage to any black
candidate who he knew would be a fitting representative of his
interests.  We could give examples from almost every West Indian island
of white and coloured men who would be indiscriminately chosen as their
candidate by either section.  But the enumeration is needless, as the
fact of the existence of such men is too notorious to require proof.

Mr. Froude states plainly enough (p. 123) that, whereas a whole
thousand years were needed to train and discipline the Anglo-Saxon
race, yet "European government, European instruction, continued
steadily till his natural tendencies are superseded by a higher
instinct, may shorten the probation period of the negro."  Let it be
supposed that this period of probation [181] for the Negro should
extend, under such exceptionally favourable circumstances, to any
period less than that which is alleged to have been needed by the
Anglo-Saxon to attain his political manhood--what then are the
prospects held out by Mr. Froude to us and our posterity on our
mastering the training and discipline which he specially recommends for
Blacks?  Our author, in view, doubtless, of the rapidity of our onward
progress, and indeed our actual advancement in every respect, thus
answers (pp. 123-4):--"Let a generation or two pass by and carry away
with them the old traditions, and an English governor-general will be
found presiding over a black council, delivering the speeches made for
him by a black prime minister; and how long could this endure?  No
English gentleman would consent to occupy so absurd a situation."

And again, more emphatically, on the same point (p. 285):--"No
Englishman, not even a bankrupt peer, would consent to occupy such
position; the blacks themselves would despise him if he did; and if the
governor is to be one of their own race and colour, how long would such
a connection endure?"

[182] It is plainly to be seen from the above two extracts that the
political ethics of our author, being based on race and colour
exclusively, would admit of no conceivable chance of real elevation to
any descendant of Africa, who, being Ethiopian, could not possibly
change his skin.  The "old traditions" which Mr. Froude supposes to be
carried away by his hypothetical (white) generations who have "passed
by," we readily infer from his language, rendered impossible such
incarnations of political absurdity as those he depicts.  But what
should be thought of the sense, if not indeed the sanity, of a grave
political teacher who prescribes "European government" and "European
education" as the specifics to qualify the Negro for political
emancipation, and who, when these qualifications are conspicuously
mastered by the Negro who has undergone the training, refuses him the
prize, because he is a Negro?  We see further that, in spite of being
fit for election to council, and even to be prime ministers competent
to indite governors' messages, the pigment under our epidermis dooms us
to eventual disappointment and a life-long condition of contempt.  Even
so is it [183] desired by Mr. Froude and his clients, and not without a
spice of piquancy is their opinion that for a white ruler to preside
and rule over and accept the best assistance of coloured men, qualified
as above stated, would be a self-degradation too unspeakable for
toleration by any Englishman--"even a bankrupt peer."  Unfortunately
for Mr. Froude, we can point him to page 56 of this his very book,
where, speaking of Grenada and deprecating the notion of its official
abandonment, our author says:--

"Otherwise they [Negroes] were quiet fellows, and if the politicians
would only let them alone, they would be perfectly contented, and might
eventually, if wisely managed, come to some good.... Black the island
was, and black it would remain.  The conditions were never likely to
arise which would bring back a European population; but a governor who
was a sensible man, who would reside and use his natural influence,
could manage it with perfect ease."

Here, then, we see that the governor of an entirely black population
may be a sensible man, and yet hold the post.  Our author, indeed,
gives the Blacks over whom this sensible governor would hold rule as
being in number [184] just 40,000 souls; and we are therefore bound to
accept the implied suggestion that the dishonour of holding supremacy
over persons of the odious colour begins just as their number begins to
count onward from 40,000!  There is quite enough in the above verbal
vagaries of our philosopher to provoke a volume of comment.  But we
must pass on to further clauses of this precious paragraph.  Mr.
Froude's talent for eating his own words never had a more striking
illustration than here, in his denial of the utility of native
experience as the safest guide a governor could have in the
administration of Colonial affairs.  At page 91 he says:--"Among the
public servants of Great Britain there are persons always to be found
fit and willing for posts of honour and difficulty, if a sincere effort
be made to find them."

A post of honour and difficulty, we and all other persons in the
British dominions had all along understood was regarded as such in the
case of functionaries called upon to contend with adverse forces in the
accomplishment of great ends conceived by their superiors. But we find
that, according to Mr. Froude, all the credit that has hitherto
redounded to those [185] who had succeeded in such tasks has been in
reality nothing more than a gilding over of disgrace, whenever the
exertions of such officials had been put forth amongst persons not
wearing a European epidermis.  The extension of British influence and
dominion over regions inhabited by races not white is therefore, on the
part of those who promote it, a perverse opening of arenas for the
humiliation and disgrace of British gentlemen, nay, even of those
titled members of the "black sheep" family--bankrupt peers!  As we have
seen, however, ample contradiction and refutation have been
considerately furnished by the same objector in this same volume, as in
his praises of the governor just quoted.

The cavil of Mr. Froude about English gentlemen reading messages penned
by black prime ministers applies with double force to English
barristers (who are gentlemen by statute) receiving the law from the
lips of black Judges.

For all that, however, an emergency arose so pressing as to compel even
the colonialism of Barbados to practically and completely refute this
doctrine, by praying for, and submitting with gratitude to, the supreme
headship of a [186] man of the race which our author so finically
depreciates.  In addition it may be observed that for a governor to
even consult his prime minister in the matter of preparing his messages
might conceivably be optional, whilst it is obligatory on all
barristers, whether English or otherwise, to defer to the judge's
interpretation of the law in every case--appeal afterwards being the
only remedy.  As to the dictum that "the two races are not equal and
will not blend," it is open to the fatal objection that, having himself
proved, with sympathizing pathos, how the West Indies are now well-nigh
denuded of their Anglo-Saxon inhabitants, Mr. Froude would have us also
understand that the miserable remnant who still complainingly inhabit
those islands must, by doing violence to the understanding, be taken as
the whole of the world-pervading Anglo-Saxon family.  The Negroes of
the West Indies number a good deal more than two million souls.  Does
this suggester of extravagances mean that the prejudices and vain
conceit of the few dozens whom he champions should be made to override
and overbear, in political arrangements, the serious and solid
interests of so many [187] hundreds of thousands?  That "the two races
are not equal" is a statement which no sane man would dispute, but
acquiescence in its truth involves also a distinct understanding that
the word race, as applied in the present case by our author, is a
simple accommodation of terms--a fashion of speech having a very
restricted meaning in this serious discussion.

The Anglo-Saxon race pervades Great Britain, its cradle, and the
Greater Britain extending almost all over the face of the earth, which
is the arena of its activities and marvellous achievements.  To tell
us, therefore, as Mr. Froude does, that the handful of malcontents
whose unrespectable grievance he holds up to public sympathy represents
the Anglo-Saxon race, is a grotesque façon de parler.  Taking our
author's "Anglo-West Indians" and the people of Ethiopian descent
respectively, it would not be too much to assert, nor in anywise
difficult to prove by facts and figures, that for every competent
individual of the former section in active civilized employments, the
coloured section can put forward at least twenty thoroughly competent
rivals.  Yet are these latter the people whom the classic Mr. [188]
Froude wishes to be immolated, root and branch, in all their highest
and dearest interests, in order to secure the maintenance of "old
traditions" which, he tells us, guaranteed for the dominant cuticle the
sacrifice of the happiness of down-trodden thousands!  Referring to his
hypothetical confederation with its black officeholders, our author
scornfully asks:--

"And how long would this endure?"

The answer must be that, granting the existence of such a state of
things, its duration would be not more nor less than under white
functionaries.  For according to himself (p. 124): "There is no
original or congenital difference of capacity between" the white and
black races, and "with the same chances and the same treatment, ...
distinguished men would be produced equally from both races."

If, therefore, the black ministers whose hue he so much despises do
possess the training and influence rendering them eligible and securing
their election to the situations we are considering, it must follow
that their tenure of office would be of equal duration with that of
individuals of the white race under the same conditions.  Not content
with making himself [189] the mouthpiece of English gentlemen in this
matter, our author, with characteristic hardihood, obtrudes himself
into the same post on behalf of Negroes; saying that, in the event of
even a bankrupt peer accepting the situation of governor-general over
them, "The blacks themselves would despise him"!

Mr. Froude may pertinently be asked here the source whence he derived
his certainty on this point, inasmuch as it is absolutely at variance
with all that is sensible and natural; for surely it is both foolish
and monstrous to suppose that educated men would infer the degradation
of any one from the fact of such a one consenting to govern and
co-operate with themselves for their own welfare.  He further asks on
the same subject:--

"And if the governor is to be one of their own race and colour, how
long could such a connection endure?"

Our answer must be the same as with regard to the duration of the black
council and black prime minister carrying out the government under the
same conditions.  It must be regretted that no indication in his book,
so far as it professes to deal with facts and with [190] persons not
within the circle of his clients, would justify a belief that its
wanton misstatements have filtrated through a mind entitled to declare,
with the authority of self-consciousness, what a gentleman would or
would not do under given circumstances.

In reiteration of his favourite doctrine of the antagonism between the
black and white races, our author continues on the same page to say:--

"No one, I presume, would advise that the whites of the island should
govern.  The relations between the two populations are too embittered,
and equality once established by law, the exclusive privilege of colour
over colour cannot be restored.  While slavery continued, the whites
ruled effectively and economically; the blacks are now as they."

As far as could possibly be endeavoured, every proof has been crowded
into this book in refutation of this favourite allegation of Mr.
Froude's.  It is only an idle waste of time to be thus harping on his
colour topic.  No one can deserve to govern simply because he is white,
and no one is bound to be subject simply because he is black. The whole
of West [191] Indian history, even after the advent of the
attorney-class, proves this, in spite of the efforts to secure
exclusive white domination at a time when crude political power might
have secured it.

"The relations between the two populations are too embittered," says
Mr. Froude.  No doubt his talk on this point would be true, had any
such skin-dominancy as he contemplates been officially established; but
as at present most officials are appointed (locally at least) according
to their merit, and not to their epidermis, nothing is known of the
embittered relations so constantly dinned into our ears. Whatever
bitterness exists is in the minds of those gentry who would like to be
dominant on the cheap condition of showing a simple bodily accident
erected by themselves into an evidence and proof of superiority.

"The exclusive privilege of colour over colour cannot be restored."
Never in the history of the British West Indies--must we again
state--was there any law or usage establishing superiority in
privileges for any section of the community on account of colour.  This
statement of fact is also and again an answer to, and refutation of,
the succeeding allegation [192] that, "While slavery continued, the
whites ruled effectively and economically."  It will be yet more
clearly shown in a later part of this essay that during slavery, in
fact for upwards of two centuries after its introduction, the West
Indies were ruled by slave-owners, who happened to be of all colours,
the means of purchasing slaves and having a plantation being the one
exclusive consideration in the case.  It is, therefore, contrary to
fact to represent the Whites exclusively as ruling, and the Blacks
indiscriminately as subject.

He goes on to say, "There are two classes in the community; their
interests are opposite as they are now understood."  As regards the
above, Mr. Froude's attention may be called to the fact that
classification in no department of science has ever been based on
colour, but on relative affinity in certain salient qualities.  To use
his own figure, no horse or dog is more or less a horse or dog because
it happens to be white or black.  No teacher marshals his pupils into
classes according to any outward physical distinction, but according to
intellectual approximation.  In like manner there has been wealth for
hundreds of men of Ethiopic origin, [193] and poverty for hundreds of
men of Caucasian origin, and the reverse in both cases.  We have,
therefore, had hundreds of black as well as white men who, under
providential dispensation, belonged to the class, rich men; while, on
the other hand, we have had hundreds of white men who, under
providential dispensation, belonged to the class, poor men.  Similarly,
in the composition of a free mixed community, we have hundreds of both
races belonging to the class, competent and eligible; and hundreds of
both races belonging to the class, incompetent and ineligible: to both
of which classes all possible colours might belong.  It is from the
first mentioned that are selected those who are to bear the rule, to
which the latter class is, in the very nature of things, bound to be
subject.  There is no government by reason merely of skins.  The
diversity of individual intelligence and circumstances is large enough
to embrace the possibility of even children being, in emergencies, the
most competent influencers of opinion and action.

But let us analyse this matter for just a while more.  The fatal
objection to all Mr. Froude's advocacy of colour-domination is that
[194] it is futile from being morally unreasonable.  In view of the
natural and absolute impossibility of reviving the same external
conditions under which the inordinate deference and submission to white
persons were both logically and inevitably engendered and maintained,
his efforts to talk people into a frame of mind favourable to his views
on this subject are but a melancholy waste of well-turned sentences.
Man's estimate of his fellow-man has not and never can have any other
standard, save and except what is the outcome of actual circumstances
influencing his sentiment.  In the primitive ages, when the fruits of
the earth formed the absorbing object of attention and interest, the
men most distinguished for successful culture of the soil enjoyed, as a
consequence, a larger share than others of popular admiration and
esteem.  Similarly, among nomadic tribes, the hunters whose courage
coped victoriously with the wild and ferocious denizens of the forest
became the idols of those who witnessed and were preserved by such
sylvan exploits.  When men came at length to venture in ships over the
trackless deep in pursuit of commerce and its gains, the mariner grew
important in [195] public estimation.  The pursuit of commerce and its
gains led naturally to the possession of wealth.  This, from the
quasi-omnipotence with which it invests men--enabling them not only to
command the best energies, but also, in many cases, to subvert the very
principles of their fellows--has, in the vast majority of cases, an
overpowering sway on human opinion: a sway that will endure till the
Millennium shall have secured for the righteous alone the sovereignty
of the world.  Likewise, as cities were founded and constitutions
established, those who were foremost as defenders of the national
interests, on the field of bodily conflict or in the intellectual
arena, became in the eyes of their contemporaries worthiest of
appreciation--and so on of other circumstances through which particular
personal distinctions created claims to preference.

In the special case of the Negroes kidnapped out of Africa into foreign
bondage, the crowning item in their assessment of their alien enslavers
was the utter superiority, over their most redoubtable "big men," which
those enslavers displayed.  They actually subjugated and put in chains,
like the commonest peasants, native [196] potentates at whose very
names even the warriorhood of their tribes had been wont to blench.
But far surpassing even this in awful effect was the doom meted out to
the bush-handlers, the medicine-men, the rain-compellers, erewhile so
inscrutably potent for working out the bliss or the bale of friend or
enemy.  "Lo, from no mountain-top, from no ceiba-hollow in the forest
recesses, has issued any interposing sign, any avenging portent, to
vindicate the Spirit of Darkness so foully outraged in the hitherto
inviolate person of his chosen minister! Verily, even the powers of the
midnight are impotent against these invaders from beyond the mighty
salt-water!  Here, huddled together in confused, hopeless misery and
ruin, lie, fettered and prostrate, even priest as well as potentate,
undistinguishable victims of crude, unblenching violence, with its
climax of nefarious sacrilege.  We, common mortals, therefore, can hope
for no deliverance from, or even succour in, the woful plight thus
dismally contrived for us all by the fair-skinned race who have now
become our masters."  Such was naturally the train of thought that ran
through those forlorn bosoms. The formidable death-dealing guns [197]
of the invaders, the ships which had brought them to the African
shores, and much besides in startling contrast to their own condition
of utter helplessness, the Africans at once interpreted to themselves
as the manifestation and inherent attributes of beings of a higher
order than man.  Their skin, too, the difference whereof from their own
had been accentuated by many calamitous incidents, was hit upon as the
reason of so crushing an ascendency.

White skin therefore became, in those disconsolate eyes, the symbol of
fearful irresistible power: which impression was not at all weakened
afterwards by the ineffable atrocities of the "middle-passage."  Backed
ultimately by their absolute and irresponsible masterhood at home over
the deported Blacks, the European abductors could easily render
permanent in the minds of their captives the abject terror struck into
them by the enormities of which they had been the victims.  Now, the
impressions we touched upon before bringing forward the case of the
Negro slaves were mainly produced by pleasurable circumstances.  But of
a contrary nature and much more deeply graven are those sentiments
which are the outcome of hopeless terror [198] and pain.  For whilst
impressions of the former character glide into the consciousness
through accesses no less normal than agreeable, the infusion of fear by
means of bodily suffering is a process too violent to be forgotten by
minds tortured and strained to unnatural tension thereby.  Such
tension, oft-recurrent and scarcely endurable, leaves behind it
recollections which are in themselves a source of sadness.  But time,
favoured by a succession of pleasurable experiences, is a sovereign
anodyne to remembrances of this poignant class.  No wonder, then, from
our foregoing detail of facts, that whiteness of skin was both
redoubted and tremblingly crouched to by Negroes on whom Europeans had
wrought such unspeakable calamities.  Time, however, and the action of
circumstances, especially in countries subject to Catholic dominion,
soon began to modify the conditions under which this sentiment of
terror had been maintained, and, with those conditions, the very
sentiment itself.  For it was not long in the life of many of the
expatriated Africans before numbers of their own race obtained freedom,
and, eventually, wealth sufficient for purchasing black slaves on their
[199] own account.  In other respects, too (outwardly at least), the
prosperous career of such individual Blacks could not fail to induce a
revulsion of thought, whereby the attribution of unapproachable powers
exclusively to the Whites became a matter earnestly reconsidered by the
Africans.  Centuries of such reconsideration have produced the natural
result in the West Indies. With the daily competition in intelligence,
refinement, and social and moral distinction, which time and events
have brought about between individuals of the two races, nothing,
surely, has resulted, nor has even been indicated, to re-infuse the
ancient colour-dread into minds which had formerly been forced to
entertain it; and still less to engender it in bosoms to which such a
feeling cannot, in the very nature of things, be an inborn emotion.
Now, can Mr. Froude show us by what process he would be able to infuse
in the soul of an entire population a sentiment which is both unnatural
and beyond compulsion?

The foregoing remarks roughly apply to preeminence given to outward
distinction, and the conditions under which mainly it impresses and is
accepted by men not yet arrived at the [200] essentially intellectual
stage.  In the spiritual domain the conditions have ever been quite
different.  A belief in the supernatural being inborn in man, the
professors of knowledge and powers beyond natural attainment were by
common consent accorded a distinct and superior consideration, deemed
proper to the sacredness of their progression. Hence the supremacy of
the priestly caste in every age and country of the world.  Potentate as
well as peasant have bowed in reverence before it, as representing and
declaring with authority the counsels of that Being whom all, priest,
potentate and peasant alike, acknowledge and adore, each according to
the measure of his inward illumination.



BOOK III: THE NEGRO AS WORKER

[201] The laziness, the incurable idleness, of the Negro, was, both
immediately before their emancipation in 1838, and for long years after
that event, the cuckoo-cry of their white detractors.  It was laziness,
pure and simple, which hindered the Negro from exhausting himself under
a tropical sun, toiling at starvation wages to ensure for his quondam
master the means of being an idler himself, with the additional luxury
of rolling in easily come-by wealth.  Within the last twenty years,
however, the history of the Black Man, both in the West Indies and,
better still, in the United States of America, has been a succession of
achievements which have converted the charge of laziness into a
baseless and absurd calumny.  The repetition of the charge referred to
is, in these [202] waning days of the nineteenth century, a discredited
anachronism, which, however, has no deterring features for Mr. Froude.
As the running down of the Negro was his cue, he went in boldly for the
game, with what result we shall presently see.  At page 239, our
author, speaking of the Negro garden-farms in Jamaica, says:--

"The male proprietors were lounging about smoking.  Their wives, as it
was market-day, were tramping into Kingston with their baskets on their
heads.  We met them literally in thousands, all merry and
light-hearted, their little ones with little baskets trudging at their
side.  Of the lords of the creation we saw, perhaps, one to each
hundred of the women, and he would be riding on mule or donkey, pipe in
mouth and carrying nothing.  He would be generally sulky too, while the
ladies, young and old, had a civil word for us, and curtsied under
their loads.  Decidedly if there is to be a black constitution I will
give my vote to the women."

To the above direct imputation of indolence, heartlessness, and
moroseness, Mr. Froude appends the following remarks on other moral
characteristics of certain sable peasants at [203] Mandeville, Jamaica,
given on the authority of a police official, who, our author says,
described them as--

"Good-humoured, but not universally honest.  They stole cattle, and
would not give evidence against each other.  If brought into Court,
they held a pebble in their mouth, being under the impression that when
they were so provided, perjury did not count.  Their education was only
skin-deep, and the schools which the Government provided had not
touched their characters at all."

But how could the education so provided be otherwise than futile when
the administration of its details is entirely in the hands of persons
unsympathizing with and utterly despising the Negro?  But of this more
anon and elsewhere.  We resume Mr. Froude's evidence respecting the
black peasantry.  Our author proceeds to admit, on the same subject,
that his informant's duties (as a police official) "brought him in
contact with the unfavourable specimens."  He adds:--

"I received a far pleasanter impression from a Moravian minister.... I
was particularly glad to see this gentleman, for of the Moravians [204]
every one had spoken well to me.  He was not the least enthusiastic
about his poor black sheep, but he said that if they were not better
than the average English labourer, he did not think them worse.  They
were called idle; they would work well enough if they had fair wages
and if the wages were paid regularly; but what could be expected when
women servants had but three shillings a week and found themselves,
when the men had but a shilling a day and the pay was kept in arrear in
order that if they came late to work, or if they came irregularly, it
may be kept back or cut down to what the employer choose to give?
Under such conditions ANY man of ANY colour would prefer to work for
himself if he had a garden, or would be idle if he had none."

Take, again, the following extract regarding the heroism of the
emigrants to the Canal:--

"I walked forward" (on the steamer bound to Jamaica), "after we had
done talking.  We had five hundred of the poor creatures on their way
to the Darien pandemonium.  The vessel was rolling with a heavy beam
sea.  I found the whole mass of them reduced to the condition of the
pigs who used to occupy the fore decks on the Cork and Bristol packets.
They were [205] lying in a confused heap together, helpless, miserable,
without consciousness, apparently, save a sense in each that he was
wretched.  Unfortunate brothers-in-law! following the laws of political
economy, and carrying their labour to the dearest market, where, before
a year was out, half of them were to die.  They had souls, too, some of
them, and honest and kindly hearts."

It surely is refreshing to read the revelation of his first learning of
the possession of a soul by a fellow-human being, thus artlessly
described by one who is said to be an ex-parson.  But piquancy is Mr.
Froude's strong point, whatever else he may be found wanting in.

Still, apart from Mr. Froude's direct testimony to the fact that from
year to year, during a long series of years, there has been a
continuous, scarcely ever interrupted emigration of Negroes to the
Spanish mainland, in search of work for a sufficing livelihood for
themselves and their families--and that in the teeth of physical
danger, pestilence, and death--there would be enough indirect
exoneration of the Black Man from that indictment in the wail of Mr.
Froude and his friends regarding the alarming absorption of the lands
of Grenada [206] and Trinidad by sable proprietors.  Land cannot be
bought without money, nor can money be possessed except through labour,
and the fact that so many tens of thousand Blacks are now the happy
owners of the soil whereon, in the days so bitterly regretted by our
author, their forefathers' tears, nay, very hearts' blood, had been
caused to flow, ought to silence for ever an accusation, which, were it
even true, would be futile, and, being false, is worse than
disgraceful, coming from the lips of the Eumolpids who would fain
impose a not-to-be-questioned yoke on us poor helots of Ethiopia.  It
is said that lying is the vice of slaves; but the ethics of West Indian
would-be mastership assert, on its behalf, that they alone should enjoy
the privilege of resorting to misrepresentation to give colour, if not
solidity, to their pretensions.



BOOK III: RELIGION FOR NEGROES

[207] Mr. Froude's passing on from matters secular to matters spiritual
and sacred was a transition to be expected in the course of the grave
and complicated discussion which he had volunteered to initiate.  It
was, therefore, not without curiosity that his views in the direction
above indicated were sought for and earnestly scrutinized by us.  But
worse than in his treatment of purely mundane subjects, his attitude
here is marked by a nonchalant levity which excites our wonder that
even he should have touched upon the spiritual side of his thesis at
all.  The idea of the dove sent forth from the ark fluttering over the
heaving swells of the deluge, in vain endeavour to secure a rest for
the soles of its feet, represents not inaptly the unfortunate
predicament of his spirit with regard to a solid [208] faith on which
to repose amid the surges of doubt by which it is so evidently beset.
Yet although this is his obvious plight with regard to a satisfying
belief, he nevertheless undertakes, with characteristic confidence, to
suggest a creed for the moralization of West Indian Negroes.  His
language is:--

"A religion, at any rate, which will keep the West Indian blacks from
falling back into devil-worship is still to seek.  In spite of the
priests, child-murder and cannibalism have re-appeared in Hayti, but
without them things might have been much worse than they are, and the
preservation of white authority and influence in any form at all may be
better than none."

We discern in the foregoing citation the exercise of a charity that is
unquestionably born of fetish-worship, which, whether it be obeah
generally, or restricted to a mere human skin, can be so powerful an
agent in the formation and retention of beliefs.  Hence we see that our
philosopher relies here, in the domain of morals and spiritual ethics,
on a white skin as implicitly as he does on its sovereign potency in
secular politics.  The curiousness of the matter lies mainly in its
application to natives [209] of Hayti, of all people in the world.  As
a matter of fact we have had our author declaring as follows, in climax
to his oft-repeated predictions about West Indian Negroes degenerating
into the condition of their fellow-Negroes in the "Black Republic" (p.
285):--

"Were it worth while, one  might draw a picture of an English governor,
with a black parliament and a black ministry, recommending, by advice
of his constitutional ministers, some measure like the Haytian Land
Law."

Now, as the West Indies degenerating into so many white-folk-detesting
Haytis, under our prophet's dreaded supremacy of the Blacks, is the
burden of his book; and as the Land Law in question distinctly forbids
the owning by any white person of even one inch of the soil of the
Republic, it might, but for the above explanation, have seemed
unaccountable, in view of the implacable distrust, not to say hatred,
which this stern prohibition so clearly discloses, that our author
should, nevertheless, rely on the efficacy of white authority and
influence over Haytians.

In continuation of his religious suggestions, he goes on to descant
upon slavery in the [210] fashion which we have elsewhere noticed, but
it may still be proper to add a word or two here regarding this
particular disquisition of his.  This we are happy in being able to do
under the guidance of an anterior and more reliable exponent of
ecclesiastical as well as secular obedience on the part of all free and
enlightened men in the present epoch of the world's history:--

               "Dogma and Descent, potential twin
     Which erst could rein submissive millions in,
     Are now spent forces on the eddying surge
     Of Thought enfranchised.  Agencies emerge
     Unhampered by the incubus of dread
     Which cramped men's hearts and clogged their onward tread.
     Dynasty, Prescription! spectral in these days
     When Science points to Thought its surest ways,
     And men who scorn obedience when not free
     Demand the logic of Authority!
     The day of manhood to the world is here,
     And ancient homage waxes faint and drear.
        .      .      .      .      .      .
     Vision of rapture!  See Salvation's plan
     'Tis serving God through ceaseless toil for man!"

The lines above quoted are by a West Indian Negro, and explain in very
concise form the attitude of the educated African mind [211] with
reference to the matters they deal with.  Mr. Froude is free to
perceive that no special religion patched up from obsolete creeds could
be acceptable to those with whose sentiments the thoughts of the writer
just quoted are in true racial unison.  It is preposterous to expect
that the same superstition regarding skin ascendency, which is now so
markedly played out in our Colonies in temporal matters, could have any
weight whatsoever in matters so momentous as morals and religion.  But
granting even the possibility of any code of worldly ethics or of
religion being acceptable on the dermal score so strenuously insisted
on by him, it is to be feared that, through sheer respect for the
fitness of things, the intelligent Negro in search of guidance in faith
and morals would fail to recognize in our author a guide, philosopher,
and friend, to be followed without the most painful misgivings.  The
Catholic and the Dissenting Churches which have done so much for the
temporal and spiritual advancement of the Negro, in spite of hindrance
and active persecution wherever these were possible, are, so far as is
visible, maintaining their hold on the adhesion of those who belong to
them.

[212] And it cannot be pretended that, among enlightened Africans as
compared with other enlightened people, there have been more grievous
failings off from the scriptural standard of deportment.  Possible it
certainly is that considerations akin to, or even identical with, those
relied upon by Mr. Froude might, on the first reception of Christianity
in their exile, have operated effectually upon the minds of the
children of Africa.  At that time the evangelizers whose converts they
so readily became possessed the recommendation of belonging to the
dominant caste.  Therefore, with the humility proper to their forlorn
condition, the poor bondsmen requited with intense gratitude such
beneficent interest on their behalf, as a condescension to which people
in their hapless situation could have had no right.  But for many long
years, the distinction whether of temporal or of spiritual superiority
has ceased to be the monopoly of any particular class.  The master and
employer has for far more than a century and a half been often
represented in the West Indies by some born African or his descendant;
and so also has the teacher and preacher.  It is not too much to say
that [213] the behaviour of the liberated slaves throughout the British
Antilles, as well as the deportment of the manumitted four million
slaves of the Southern United States later on, bore glorious testimony
to the humanizing effects which the religion of charity, clutched at
and grasped in fragments, and understood with childlike incompleteness,
had produced within those suffering bosoms.

Nothing has occurred to call for a remodelling of the ordinary moral
and spiritual machinery for the special behoof of Negroes.  Religion,
as understood by the best of men, is purely a matter of feeling and
action between man and man--the doing unto others as we would they
should do unto us; and any creed or any doctrine which directly or
indirectly subverts or even weakens this basis is in itself a danger to
the highest welfare of mankind.  The simple conventional faith in God,
in Jesus, and in a future state, however modified nowadays, has still a
vitality which can restrain and ennoble its votaries, provided it be
inculcated and received in a befitting spirit.  Our critic, in the
plenitude of his familiarity with such matters, confidently asks:--

[214] "Who is now made wretched by the fear of hell?"

Possibly the belief in the material hell, the decadence of which he
here triumphantly assumes to be so general, may have considerably
diminished; but experience has shown that, with the advance of
refinement, there is a concurrent growth in the intensity of moral
sensibility, whereby the waning terrors of a future material hell are
more than replaced by the agonies of a conscience self-convicted of
wilful violation of the right.  The same simple faith has, in its
practical results, been rich in the records of the humble whom it has
exalted; of the poor to whom it has been better than wealth; of the
rich whose stewardship of worldly prosperity it has sanctified; of the
timid whom it has rendered bold; and of the valiant whom it has raised
to a divine heroism--in fine, of miracles of transformation that have
impelled to higher and nobler tendencies and uses the powers and gifts
inherited or acquired by man in his natural state. They who possess
this faith, and cherish it as a priceless possession, may calmly oppose
to the philosophic reasoning against the existence of [215] a Deity and
the rationalness of entreating Him in prayer, the simple and sufficient
declaration, "I believe." Normal-minded men, sensible of the
limitations of human faculties, never aspire to be wise beyond what is
revealed.  Whatever might exist beyond the grave is, so far as man and
man in their mutual relations are concerned, not a subject that
discussion can affect or speculation unravel.  To believers it cannot
matter whether the Sermon on the Mount embodies or does not embody the
quality of ethics that the esoteric votaries of Mr. Froude's "new
creed" do accept or even can tolerate.  Under the old creed man's sense
of duty kindled in sympathy towards his brother, urging him to achieve
by self-sacrifice every possibility of beneficence; hence the old creed
insured an inward joy as well as "the peace which passeth all
understanding."  There can be no room for desiring left, when
receptiveness of blessings overflows; and it is the worthiest direction
of human energy to secure for others that fulness of fruition.  Is not
Duty the first, the highest item of moral consciousness; and is not
promoting, according to our best ability, the welfare of our fellow
creatures, the first and [216] most urgent call of human duty?  Can the
urgency of such responsibility ever cease but with the capacity, on our
own or on our brother's part, to do or be done by respectively?
Contemptuously ignoring his share of this solemn
responsibility--solemn, whether regarded from a religious or a purely
secular point of view--to observe at least the negative obligation
never to wantonly do or even devise any harm to his fellows, or indeed
any sentient creature, our new apostle affords, in his light-hearted
reversal of the prescriptive methods of civilized ethics, a woful
foretaste of the moral results of the "new, not as yet crystallized"
belief, whose trusted instruments of spiritual investigation are the
telescope and mental analysis, in order to satisfy the carpings of
those who so impress the world with their superhuman strong-mindedness.

The following is a profound reflection presenting, doubtless, quite a
new revelation to an unsophisticated world, which had so long submitted
in reverential tameness to the self-evident impossibility of exploring
the Infinite:--

"The tendency of popular thought is against [217] the supernatural in
any shape.  Far into space as the telescope can search, deep as
analysis can penetrate into mind and consciousness or the forces which
govern natural things, popular thought finds only uniformity and
connection of cause and effect; no sign anywhere of a personal will
which is influenced by prayer or moral motives."

How much to be pitied are the gifted esoterics who, in such a quest,
vainly point their telescopes into the star-thronged firmament, and
plunge their reasoning powers into the abyss of consciousness and
such-like mysteries!  The commonplace intellect of the author of "Night
Thoughts" was, if we may so speak, awed into an adoring rapture which
forced from him the exclamation (may believers hail it as a dogma!)--

"An undevout astronomer is mad!"

Most probably it was in weak submission to some such sentiment as this
that Isaac Newton nowhere in his writings suggests even the ghost of a
doubt of there being a Great Architect of the Universe as the outcome
of his telescopic explorations into the illimitable heavens.

[218] It is quite possible, too, that he was, "on insufficient
grounds," perhaps, perfectly satisfied, as a host of other intellectual
mediocrities like himself have been, and even up to now rather
provokingly continue to be, with the very "uniformity and connection of
cause and effect" as visible evidence of there being not only "a
personal will," but a creative and controlling Power as well.  In this
connection comes to mind a certain old Book which, whatever damage
Semitic Scholarship and Modern Criticism may succeed in inflicting on
its contents, will always retain for the spiritual guidance of the
world enough and to spare of divine suggestions. With the prescience
which has been the heritage of the inspired in all ages, one of the
writers in that Book, whom we shall now quote, foresaw, no doubt, the
deplorable industry of Mr. Froude and his protégé "popular thought,"
whose mouth-piece he has so characteristically constituted himself, and
asks in a tone wherein solemn warning blends with inquiry: "Canst thou
by searching find out God; canst thou find out the Almighty unto
perfection!"  The rational among the most loftily endowed of mankind
have grasped [219] the sublime significance of this query, acquiescing
reverently in its scarcely veiled intimation of man's impotence in
presence of the task to which it refers.

But though Mr. Froude's spiritual plight be such as we have just
allowed him to state it, with regard to an object of faith and a motive
of worship, yet let us hear him, in his anxiety to furbish up a special
Negro creed, setting forth the motive for being in a hurry to
anticipate the "crystallization" of his new belief:--

"The new creed, however, not having crystallized as yet into a shape
which can be openly professed, and as without any creed at all the
flesh and the devil might become too powerful, we maintain the old
names, as we maintain the monarchy."

The allusion to the monarchy seems not a very obvious one, as it
parallels the definitive rejection of a spiritual creed with the
theoretical change of ancient notions regarding a concrete fact.  At
any rate we have it that his special religion, when concocted and
disseminated, will have the effect of preventing the flesh and the
devil from having too much power over Negroes.  The objection to the
[220] devil's sway seems to us to come with queer grace from one who
owes his celebrity chiefly to the production of works teeming with that
peculiar usage of language of which the Enemy of Souls is credited with
the special fatherhood.

No, sir, in the name of the Being regarding whose existence you and
your alleged "popular thought" are so painfully in doubt, we protest
against your right, or that of any other created worm, to formulate for
the special behoof of Negroes any sort of artificial creed unbelieved
in by yourself, having the function and effect of detective
"shadowings" of their souls.  Away with your criminal suggestion of
toleration of the hideous orgies of heathenism in Hayti for the benefit
of our future morals in the West Indies, when the political supremacy
which you predict and dread and deprecate shall have become an
accomplished fact.  Were any special standard of spiritual excellence
required, our race has, in Josiah Henson and Sojourner Truth, sufficing
models for our men and our women respectively.  Their ideal of
Christian life, which we take to be the true one, is not to be judged
of with direct reference to the Deity whom we cannot [221] see,
interrogate, or comprehend, but to its practical bearing in and on man,
whom we can see and have cognizance of, not only with our physical
senses, but by the intimations of the divinity which abides within us.*
We can see, feel, and appreciate the virtue of a fellow-mortal who
consecrates himself to the Divine idea through untiring exertion for
the bettering of the condition of the world around him, whose agony he
makes it his duty, only to satisfy his burning desire, to mitigate.
The fact in its ghastly reality lies before us that the majority of
mankind labour and are being crushed under the tremendous trinity of
Ignorance, Vice, and Poverty.

It is mainly in the succouring of those who thus suffer that the
vitality of the old creed is manifested in the person of its
professors.  Under this aspect we behold it moulding men, of all
nations, countries, and tongues, whose virtues have challenged and
should command on its behalf the unquestioning faith and adhesion of
every rational observer.  "Evidences of Christianity," "Controversies,"
"Exegetical Commentaries," have all proved [222] more or less
futile--as perhaps they ought--with the Science and Modern Criticism
which perverts religion into a matter of dialectics. But there is a
hope for mankind in the fact that Science itself shall have ultimately
to admit the limitations of human inquiry into the details of the
Infinite.  Meanwhile it requires no technical proficiency to recognize
the criminality of those who waste their brief threescore and ten years
in abstract speculations, while the tangible, visible, and hideous
soul-destroying trinity of Vice, Ignorance, and Poverty, above
mentioned, are desolating the world in their very sight.  There are
possessors of personal virtue, enlightenment, and wealth, who dare
stand neutral with regard to these dire exigencies among their fellows.
And yet they are the logical helpers, as holders of the special
antidote to each of those banes!  Infinitely more deserving of
execration are such folk than the callous owner of some specific, who
allows a suffering neighbour to perish for want of it.

We who believe in the ultimate development of the Christian notion of
duty towards God, as manifested in untiring beneficence to man, cling
to this faith--starting from the [223] beginning of the New Testament
dispensation--because Saul of Tarsus, transformed into Paul the Apostle
through his whole-souled acceptance of this very creed with its
practical responsibilities, has, in his ardent, indefatigable labours
for the enlightenment and elevation of his fellows, left us a lesson
which is an enduring inspiration; because Augustine, Bishop of Hippo,
benefited, in a manner which has borne, and ever will bear, priceless
fruit, enormous sections of the human family, after his definite
submission to the benign yoke of the same old creed; because Vincent de
Paul has, through the identical inspiration, endowed the world with his
everlasting legacy of organized beneficence; because it impelled
Francis Xavier with yearning heart and eager footsteps through
thousands of miles of peril, to proclaim to the darkling millions of
India what he had experienced to be tidings of great joy to himself;
because Matthew Hale, a lawyer, and of first prominence in a pursuit
which materializes the mind and nips its native candour and tenderness,
escaped unblighted, through the saving influence of his faith,
approving himself in the sight of all [224] an ideal judge, even
according to the highest conception; because John Howard, opulent and
free to enjoy his opulence and repose, was drawn thereby throughout the
whole continent of Europe in quest of the hidden miseries that torture
those whom the law has shut out, in dungeons, from the light and
sympathy of the world; because Thomas Clarkson, animated by the spirit
of its teachings, consecrated wealth, luxury, and the quiet of an
entire lifetime on the altar of voluntary sacrifice for the salvation
of an alien people; because Samuel Johnson, shut out from mirthfulness
by disease and suffering, and endowed with an intellectual pride
intolerant of froward ignorance, was, through the chastening power of
that belief, transformed into the cheerful minister and willing slave
of the weaklings whom he gathered into his home, and around whom the
tendrils of his heart had entwined themselves, waxing closer and
stronger in the moisture of his never-failing charity; because Henry
Havelock, a man of the sword, whose duties have never been too
propitious to the cultivation and fostering of the gentler virtues,
lived and died a blameless hero, constrained by that faith to be one of
its most illustrious exemplars; [225] because David Livingstone looms
great and reverend in our mental sight in his devotion to a land and
race embraced in his boundless fellow-feeling, and whose miseries he
has commended to the sympathy of the civilized world in words the
pathos whereof has melted thousands of once obdurate hearts to crave a
share in applying a balm to the "open sore of Africa"--that slave-trade
whose numberless horrors beggar description; and finally--one more
example out of the countless varieties of types that blend into a
unique solidarity in the active manifestation of the Christian life--we
believe because Charles Gordon, the martyr-soldier of Khartoum, in
trusting faith a very child, but in heroism more notable than any mere
man of whom history contains a record, gathered around himself, through
the sublime attractiveness of his faith-directed life, the united
suffrages of all nations, and now enjoys, as the recompense and seal of
his life's labours, an apotheosis in homage to which the heathen of
Africa, the man-hunting Arab, the Egyptian, the Turk, all jostle each
other to blend with the exulting children of Britain who are directly
glorified by his life and history.

[226] Here, then, are speaking evidences of the believers' grounds.
Verily they are of the kind that are to be seen in our midst, touched,
heard, listened to, respected, beloved--nay, honoured, too, with the
glad worship our inward spirit springs forth to render to goodness so
largely plenished from the Source of all Good.  Can Modern Science and
Criticism explain them away, or persuade us of their insufficiency as
incentives to the hearty acceptance of the religion that has received
such glorious, yet simply logical, incarnation in the persons of weak,
erring men who welcomed its responsibilities conjointly with its
teachings, and thereby raised themselves to the spiritual level
pictured to ourselves in our conception of angels who have been given
the Divine charge concerning mankind.  Religion for Negroes, indeed!
White priests, forsooth! This sort of arrogance might, possibly, avail
in quarters where the person and pretensions of Mr. Froude could be
impressive and influential--but here, in the momentous concern of man
with Him who "is no respecter of persons," his interference, mentally
disposed as he tells us he is with reference to such a matter, is
nothing less than profane intrusion.

[227] We will conclude by stating in a few words our notion of the only
agency by which, not Blacks alone, but every race of mankind, might be
uplifted to the moral level which the thousands of examples, of which
we have glanced at but a few, prove so indubitably the capacity of man
to attain--each to a degree limited by the scope of his individual
powers.  The priesthood whereof the world stands in such dire need is
not at all the confederacy of augurs which Mr. Froude, perhaps in
recollection of his former profession, so glibly suggests, with an
esoteric creed of their own, "crystallized into shape" for profession
before the public.  The day of priestcraft being now numbered with the
things that were, the exploitation of those outside of the sacerdotal
circle is no longer possible. Therefore the religion of mere talk,
however metaphysical and profound; the religion of scenic display,
except such display be symbolic of living and active verities, has lost
whatever of efficacy it may once have possessed, through the very
spirit and tendency of To-day.  The reason why those few whom we have
mentioned, and the thousands who cannot possibly be recalled, have, as
[228] typical Christians, impressed themselves on the moral sense and
sympathy of the ages, is simply that they lived the faith which they
professed. Whatever words they may have employed to express their
serious thoughts were never otherwise than, incidentally, a spoken
fragment of their own interior biography. In fine, success must
infallibly attend this special priesthood (whether episcopally
"ordained" or not) of all races, all colours, all tongues whatsoever,
since their lives reflect their teachings and their teachings reflect
their lives.  Then, truly, they, "the righteous, shall inherit the
earth," leading mankind along the highest and noblest paths of temporal
existence.  Then, of course, the obeah, the cannibalism, the
devil-worship of the whole world, including that of Hayti, which Mr.
Froude predicts will be adopted by us Blacks in the West Indies, shall
no more encumber and scandalize the earth.

But Mr. Froude should, at the same time, be reminded that cannibalism
and the hideous concomitants which he mentions are, after all,
relatively minor and restricted dangers to man's civilization and moral
soundness.  They can [229] neither operate freely nor expand easily.
The paralysis of horrified popular sentiment obstructs their
propagation, and the blight of the death-penalty which hangs over the
heads of their votaries is an additional guarantee of their being kept
within bounds that minimize their perniciousness. But there are more
fatal and further-reaching dangers to public morality and happiness of
which the regenerated current opinion of the future will take prompt
and remedial cognizance. Foremost among these will be the circulation
of malevolent writings whereby the equilibrium of sympathy between good
men of different races is sought to be destroyed, through misleading
appeals to the weaknesses and prejudices of readers; writings in which
the violation of actual truth cannot, save by stark stupidity, be
attributed to innocent error; writings that scoff at humanitarian
feeling and belittle the importance of achievements resulting
therefrom; writings which strike at the root of national manliness, by
eulogizing brute force directed against weaker folk as a fit and
legitimate mode of securing the wishes of a mighty and enlightened
people; writings, in fine, which ignore the divine principle [230] in
man, and implicitly deny the possibility of a Divine Power existing
outside of and above man, thus materializing the mind, and tending to
render the earth a worse hell than it ever could have been with faith
in the supremacy of a beneficent Power.

NOTES

221. *"Est deus in nobis, agitante calescimus illo."--Ovid.



BOOK IV: HISTORICAL SUMMARY

[233] Thus far we have dealt with the main questions raised by Mr.
Froude on the lines of his own choosing; lines which demonstrate to the
fullest how unsuited his capacity is for appreciating--still less
grappling with--the political and social issues he has so confidently
undertaken to determine.  In vain have we sought throughout his bastard
philosophizing for any phrase giving promise of an adequate treatment
of this important subject.  We find paraded ostentatiously enough the
doctrine that in the adjustment of human affairs the possession of a
white skin should be the strongest recommendation. Wonder might fairly
be felt that there is no suggestion of a corresponding advantage being
accorded to the possession of a long nose or of auburn hair.  Indeed,
little [234] or no attention that can be deemed serious is given to the
interest of the Blacks, as a large and (out of Africa) no longer
despicable section of the human family, in the great world-problems
which are so visibly preparing and press for definitive solutions.  The
intra-African Negro is clearly powerless to struggle successfully
against personal enslavement, annexation, or volunteer forcible
"protection" of his territory.  What, we ask, will in the coming ages
be the opinion and attitude of the extra-African millions--ten millions
in the Western Hemisphere--dispersed so widely over the surface of the
globe, apt apprentices in every conceivable department of civilized
culture? Will these men remain for ever too poor, too isolated from one
another for grand racial combinations?  Or will the naturally opulent
cradle of their people, too long a prey to violence and unholy greed,
become at length the sacred watchword of a generation willing and able
to conquer or perish under its inspiration?  Such large and interesting
questions it was within the province and duty of a famous historian,
laying confident claim to prophetic insight, not to propound alone, but
also definitely to solve.  The sacred power [235] of forecast, however,
has been confined to finical pronouncements regarding those for whose
special benefit he has exercised it, and to childish insults of the
Blacks whose doom must be sealed to secure the precious result which is
aimed at.  In view of this ill-intentioned omission, we shall offer a
few cursory remarks bearing on, but not attempting to answer, those
grave inquiries concerning the African people.  As in our humble
opinion these are questions paramount to all the petty local issues
finically dilated on by the confident prophet of "The Bow of Ulysses,"
we will here briefly devote ourselves to its discussion.

Accepting the theory of human development propounded by our author, let
us apply it to the African race.  Except, of course, to intelligences
having a share in the Councils of Eternity, there can be no attainable
knowledge respecting the laws which regulate the growth and progress of
civilization among the races of the earth. That in the existence of the
human family every age has been marked by its own essential
characteristics with regard to manifestations of intellectual life,
however circumscribed, is a proposition too self-evident [236] to
require more than the stating.  But investigation beyond such evidence
as we possess concerning the past--whether recorded by man himself in
the written pages of history, or by the Creator on the tablets of
nature--would be worse than futile.  We see that in the past different
races have successively come to the front, as prominent actors on the
world's stage.  The years of civilized development have dawned in turn
on many sections of the human family, and the Anglo-Saxons, who now
enjoy preeminence, got their turn only after Egypt, Assyria, Babylon,
Greece, Rome, and others had successively held the palm of supremacy.
And since these mighty empires have all passed away, may we not then,
if the past teaches aught, confidently expect that other racial
hegemonies will arise in the future to keep up the ceaseless
progression of temporal existence towards the existence that is
eternal?  What is it in the nature of things that will oust the African
race from the right to participate, in times to come, in the high
destinies that have been assigned in times past to so many races that
have not been in anywise superior to us in the qualifications,
physical, moral, and intellectual, [237] that mark out a race for
prominence amongst other races?

The normal composition of the typical Negro has the testimony of ages
to its essential soundness and nobility.  Physically, as an active
labourer, he is capable of the most protracted exertion under climatic
conditions the most exhausting.  By the mere strain of his brawn and
sinew he has converted waste tracts of earth into fertile regions of
agricultural bountifulness.  On the scenes of strife he has in his
savage state been known to be indomitable save by the stress of
irresistible forces, whether of men or of circumstances. Staunch in his
friendship and tender towards the weak directly under his protection,
the unvitiated African furnishes in himself the combination of native
virtue which in the land of his exile was so prolific of good results
for the welfare of the whole slave-class. But distracted at home by the
sudden irruptions of skulking foes, he has been robbed, both
intellectually and morally, of the immense advantage of Peace, which is
the mother of Progress.  Transplanted to alien climes, and through
centuries of desolating trials, this irrepressible race has [238] bated
not one throb of its energy, nor one jot of its heart or hope.  In
modern times, after his expatriation into dismal bondage, both Britain
and America have had occasion to see that even in the paralysing
fetters of political and social degradation the right arm of the Ethiop
can be a valuable auxiliary on the field of battle.  Britain, in her
conflict with France for supremacy in the West Indies, did not disdain
the aid of the sable arms that struck together with those of Britons
for the trophies that furnished the motives for those epic contests.

Later on, the unparalleled struggle between the Northern and Southern
States of the American Union put to the test the indestructible fibres
of the Negro's nature, moral as well as physical.  The Northern States,
after months of hesitating repugnance, and when taught at last by dire
defeats that colour did not in any way help to victory, at length
sullenly acquiesced in the comradeship, hitherto disdained, of the
eager African contingent.  The records of Port Hudson, Vicksburg,
Morris Island, and elsewhere, stand forth in imperishable attestation
of the fact that the distinction of being laurelled during life as
victor, or filling [239] in death a hero's grave, is reserved for no
colour, but for the heart that can dare and the hand that can strike
boldly in a righteous cause.  The experience of the Southern
slave-holders, on the other hand, was no less striking and worthy of
admiration.  Every man of the twelve seceding States forming the
Southern Confederacy, then fighting desperately for the avowed purpose
of perpetuating slavery, was called into the field, as no available
male arm could be spared from the conflict on their side.  Plantation
owner, overseer, and every one in authority, had to be drafted away
from the scene of their usual occupation to the stage whereon the
bloody drama of internecine strife was being enacted.  Not only the
plantation, but the home and the household, including the mistress and
her children, had to be left, not unprotected, it is glorious to
observe, but, with confident assurance in their loyalty and good faith,
under the protection of the four million of bondsmen, who, through the
laws and customs of these very States, had been doomed to lifelong
ignorance and exclusion from all moralizing influences.  With what
result?  The protraction of the conflict on the part of the South would
[240] have been impossible but for the admirable management and
realization of their resources by those benighted slaves.  On the other
hand, not one of the thousands of Northern prisoners escaping from the
durance of a Southern captivity ever appealed in vain for the
assistance and protection of a Negro.  Clearly the head and heart of
those bondsmen were each in its proper place.  The moral effect of
these experiences of the Negroes' sterling qualities was not lost on
either North or South.  In the North it effaced from thousands of
repugnant hearts the adverse feelings which had devised and
accomplished so much to the Negro's detriment.  In the South--but for
the blunders of the Reconstructionists--it would have considerably
facilitated the final readjustment of affairs between the erewhile
master and slave in their new-born relations of employer and employed.

Reverting to the Africans who were conveyed to places other than the
States, it will be seen that circumstances amongst them and in their
favour came into play, modifying and lightening their unhappy
condition.  First, attention must be paid to the patriotic solidarity
existing [241] amongst the bondsmen, a solidarity which, in the case of
those who had been deported in the same ship, had all the sanctity of
blood-relationship.  Those who had thus travelled to the "white man's
country" addressed and considered each other as brothers and sisters.
Hence their descendants for many generations upheld, as if
consanguineous, the modes of address and treatment which became
hereditary in families whose originals had travelled in the same ship.
These adopted uncles, aunts, nephews, nieces, were so united by common
sympathies, that good or ill befalling any one of them intensely
affected the whole connection.  Mutual support commensurate with the
area of their location thus became the order among these people.  At
the time of the first deportation of Africans to the West Indies to
replace the aborigines who had been decimated in the mines at Santo
Domingo and in the pearl fisheries of the South Caribbean, the
circumstances of the Spanish settlers in the Antilles were of singular,
even romantic, interest.

The enthusiasm which overflowed from the crusades and the Moorish wars,
upon the discovery and conquest of America, had occasioned [242]  the
peopling of the Western Archipelago by a race of men in whom the daring
of freebooters was strangely blended with a fierce sort of
religiousness.  As holders of slaves, these men recognized, and
endeavoured to their best to give effect to, the humane injunctions of
Bishop Las Casas.  The Negroes, therefore, male and female, were
promptly presented for admission by baptism into the Catholic Church,
which always had stood open and ready to welcome them.  The relations
of god-father and god-mother resulting from these baptismal functions
had a most important bearing on the reciprocal stations of master and
slave.  The god-children were, according to ecclesiastical custom,
considered in every sense entitled to all the protection and assistance
which were within the competence of the god-parents, who, in their
turn, received from the former the most absolute submission.  It is
easy to see that the planters, as well as those intimately connected
with them, in assuming such obligations with their concomitant
responsibilities, practically entered into bonds which they all
regarded as, if possible, more solemn than the natural ties of secular
parentage. The duty [243] of providing for these dependents usually
took the shape of their being apprenticed to, and trained in the
various arts and vocations that constitute the life of civilization.
In many cases, at the death of their patrons, the bondsmen who were
deemed most worthy were, according to the means of the testator,
provided for in a manner lifting them above the necessity of future
dependence.  Manumission, too, either by favour or through purchase,
was allowed the fullest operation.  Here then was the active influence
of higher motives than mere greed of gain or the pride of racial power
mellowing the lot and gilding the future prospects of the dwellers in
the tropical house of bondage.

The next, and even more effectual agency in modifying and harmonizing
the relations between owner and bondspeople was the inevitable
attraction of one race to the other by the sentiment of natural
affection.  Out of this sprang living ties far more intimate and
binding on the moral sense than even obligations contracted in
deference to the Church.  Natural impulses have often diviner sources
than ecclesiastical mandates.  Obedience to the former not seldom
brings down the penalties of the Church; but [244] the culprit finds
solace in the consciousness that the offence might in itself be a
protection from the thunders it has provoked.  Under these
circumstances the general body of planters, who were in the main
adventurers of the freest type, were fain to establish connections with
such of the slave-women as attracted their sympathy, through personal
comeliness or aptitude in domestic affairs, or, usually, both combined.
There was ordinarily in this beginning of the seventeenth century no
Vashti that needed expulsion from the abode of a plantation Ahasuerus
to make room for the African Esther to be admitted to the chief place
within the portals.  One great natural consequence of this was the
extension to the relatives or guardians of the bondswoman so preferred
of an amount of favour which, in the case of the more capable males,
completes the parallel we have been drawing by securing for each of
them the precedence and responsibilities of a Mordecai.  The offspring
of these natural alliances came in therefore to cement more intimately
the union of interests which previous relations had generated.  Beloved
by their fathers, and in many cases destined by them to a lot superior
[245] to that whereto they were entitled by formal law and social
prescription, these young procreations--Mulattos, as they were
called--were made the objects of special and careful provisions on the
fathers' part.  They were, according to the means of their fathers in
the majority of cases, sent for education and training to European or
other superior institutions.  After this course they were either
formally acknowledged by their fathers, or, if that was impracticable,
amply and suitably provided for in a career out of their native colony.
To a reflecting mind there is something that interests, not to say
fascinates, in studying the action and reaction upon one another of
circumstances in the existence of the Mulatto. As a matter of fact, he
had much more to complain of under the slave system than his
pure-blooded African relations.  The law, by decreeing that every child
of a freeman and a slave woman must follow the fortune of the womb,
thus making him the property of his mother exclusively, practically
robbed him before his very birth of the nurture and protection of a
father.  His reputed father had no obligation to be even aware of his
procreation, and nevertheless [246] --so inscrutable are the ways of
Providence!--the Mulatto was the centre around which clustered the
outraged instincts of nature in rebellion against the desecrating
mandates that prescribed treason to herself.  Law and society may
decree; but in our normal humanity there throbs a sentiment which
neutralizes every external impulse contrary to its promptings.

In meditating on the varied history of the Negro in the United States,
since his first landing on the banks of the James River in 1619 till
the Emancipation Act of President Lincoln in 1865, it is curious to
observe that the elevation of the race, though in a great measure
secured, proceeded from circumstances almost the reverse of those that
operated so favourably in the same direction elsewhere. The men of the
slave-holding States, chiefly Puritans or influenced by Puritanic
surroundings, were not under the ecclesiastical sway which rendered
possible in the West Indies and other Catholic countries the
establishment of the reciprocal bonds of god-parents and god-children.
The self-same causes operated to prevent any large blending of the two
races, inasmuch as the immigrant from Britain who [247] had gone forth
from his country to better his fortune had not left behind him his
attachment to the institutions of the mother-land, among which
marrying, whenever practicable, was one of the most cherished.  Above
all, too, as another powerful check at first to such alliances between
the ruling and servile races of the States, there existed the native
idiosyncracy of the Anglo-Saxon.  That class of them who had left
Britain were likelier than the more refined of their nation to exhibit
in its crudest and cruellest form the innate jealousy and contempt of
other races that pervades the Anglo-Saxon bosom.  It is but a simple
fact that, whenever he condescended thereto, familiarity with even the
loveliest of the subject people was regarded as a mighty self-unbending
for which the object should be correspondingly grateful.  So there
could, in the beginning, be no frequent instances of the romantic
chivalry that gilded the quasi-marital relations of the more fervid and
humane members of the Latin stock.

But this kind of intercourse, which in the earlier generation was
undoubtedly restricted in North America by the checks above adverted
to, and, presumably, also by the mutual unintelligibility [248] in
speech, gradually expanded with the natural increase of the slave
population.  The American-born, English-speaking Negro girl, who had in
many cases been the playmate of her owner, was naturally more
intelligible, more accessible, more attractive--and the inevitable
consequence was the extension apace of that intercourse, the offspring
whereof became at length so visibly numerous.

Among the Romans, the grandest of all colonizers, the individual's
Civis Romanus sum--I am a Roman citizen--was something more than verbal
vapouring; it was a protective talisman--a buckler no less than a
sword.  Yet was the possession of this noble and singular privilege no
barrier to Roman citizens meeting on a broad humanitarian level any
alien race, either allied to or under the protection of that
world-famous commonwealth.  In the speeches of the foremost orators and
statesmen among the conquerors of the then known world, the allusions
to subject or allied aliens are distinguished by a decorous observance
of the proprieties which should mark any reference to those who had the
dignity of Rome's [249] friendship, or the privilege of her august
protection.  Observations, therefore, regarding individuals of rank in
these alien countries had the same sobriety and deference which marked
allusions to born Romans of analogous degree.  Such magnanimity, we
grieve to say, is not characteristic of the race which now replaces the
Romans in the colonizing leadership of the world.  We read with
feelings akin to despair of the cheap, not to say derogatory, manner in
which, in both Houses of Parliament, native potentates, especially of
non-European countries, are frequently spoken of by the hereditary
aristocracy and the first gentlemen of the British Empire.  The inborn
racial contempt thus manifested in quarters where rigid self-control
and decorum should form the very essence of normal deportment, was not
likely, as we have before hinted, to find any mollifying ingredient in
the settlers on the banks of the Mississippi.  Therefore should we not
be surprised to find, with regard to many an illicit issue of "down
South," the arrogance of race so overmastering the promptings of nature
as to render not unfrequent at the auction-block the sight of many a
chattel of mixed blood, the offspring [250] of some planter whom
business exigency had forced to this commercial transaction as the
readiest mode of self-release.  Yet were the exceptions to this rule
enough to contribute appreciably to the weight and influence of the
mixed race in the North, where education and a fair standing had been
clandestinely secured for their children by parents to whom law and
society had made it impossible to do more, and whom conscience rendered
incapable of stopping at less.

From this comparative sketch of the history of the slaves in the
States, in the West Indies and countries adjacent, it will be perceived
that in the latter scenes of bondage everything had conspired to render
a fusion of interests between the ruling and the servile classes not
only easy, but inevitable.  In the very first generation after their
introduction, the Africans began to press upward, a movement which
every decade has accelerated, in spite of the changes which supervened
as each of the Colonies fell under British sway.  Nearly two centuries
had by this time elapsed, and the coloured influence, which had grown
with their wealth, education, numbers, and unity, though [251]
circumscribed by the emancipation of the slaves, and the consequent
depression in fortune of all slave-owners, never was or could be
annihilated.  In the Government service there were many for whom the
patronage of god-parents or the sheer influence of their family had
effected an entrance.  The prevalence and potency of the influences we
have been dilating upon may be gauged by the fact that personages no
less exalted than Governors of various Colonies--of Trinidad in three
authentic cases--have been sharers in the prevailing usages, in the
matter of standing sponsors (by proxy), and also of relaxing in the
society of some fascinating daughter of the sun from the tension and
wear of official duty.  In the three cases just referred to, the most
careful provision was made for the suitable education and starting in
life of the issues.  For the god-children of Governors there were
places in the public service, and so from the highest to the lowest the
humanitarian intercourse of the classes was confirmed.

Consequent on the frequent abandonment of their plantations by many
owners who despaired of being able to get along by paying [252] their
way, an opening was made for the insinuation of Absenteeism into our
agricultural, in short, our economic existence.  The powerful sugar
lords, who had invested largely in the cane plantations, were fain to
take over and cultivate the properties which their debtors doggedly
refused to continue working, under pretext of the entire absence, or at
any rate unreliability, of labour.  The representatives of those new
transatlantic estate proprietors displaced, but never could replace,
the original cultivators, who were mostly gentlemen as well as
agriculturists.  It was from this overseer class that the vituperations
and slanders went forth that soon became stereotyped, concerning the
Negro's incorrigible laziness and want of ambition--those gentry
adjusting the scale of wages, not according to the importance and value
of the labour done, but according to the scornful estimate which they
had formed of the Negro personally.  And when the wages were fixed
fairly, they almost invariably sought to indemnify themselves for their
enforced justice by the insulting license of their tongues, addressed
to males and females alike.  The influence of such men on local
legislation, in which they [253] had a preponderating share, either as
actual proprietors or as the attorneys of absentees, was not in the
direction of refinement or liberality.  Indeed, the kind of laws which
they enacted, especially during the apprenticeship (1834-8), is thus
summarized by one, and him an English officer, who was a visitor in
those agitated days of the Colonies:--

"It is demonstrated that the laws which were to come into operation
immediately on expiration of the apprenticeship are of the most
objectionable character, and fully established the fact not only of a
future intention to infringe the rights of the emancipated classes, but
of the actual commencement and extensive progress of a Colonial system
for that purpose.  The object of the laws is to circumscribe the market
for free labour--to prohibit the possession or sale of ordinary
articles of produce on sale, the obvious intention of which is to
confine the emancipated classes to a course of agricultural
servitude--to give the employers a monopoly of labour, and to keep down
a free competition for wages--to create new and various modes of
apprenticeship for the purpose of prolonging predial service, together
with many evils of the [254] late system--to introduce unnecessary
restraint and coercion, the design of which is to create a perpetual
surveillance over the liberated negroes, and to establish a legislative
despotism.  The several laws passed are based upon the most vicious
principles of legislation, and in their operation will be found
intolerably oppressive and entirely subversive of the just intentions
of the British Legislature."

These liberal-souled gentry were, in sooth, Mr. Froude's
"representatives" of Britain, whose traditions steadily followed in
their families, he has so well and sympathetically set forth.

We thus see that the irritation and rancour seething in the breast of
the new plantocracy, of whom the majority was of the type that then
also flourished in Barbados, Jamaica, and Demerara, were nourished and
kept acute in order to crush the African element.  Harm was done,
certainly; but not to the ruinous extent sometimes declared.  It was
too late for perfect success, as, according to the Negroes' own phrase,
people of colour had by that time already "passed the lock-jaw"* stage
(at which trifling misadventures [255] might have nipped the germ of
their progress in the bud.)  In spite of adverse legislation, and in
spite of the scandalous subservience of certain Governors to the
Colonial Legislatures, the Race can point with thankfulness and pride
to the visible records of their success wherever they have permanently
sojourned.

Primary education of a more general and undiscriminating character,
especially as to race and colour, was secured for the bulk of the West
Indies by voluntary undertakings, and notably through the munificent
provision of Lady Mico, which extended to the whole of the principal
islands.

Thanks to Lord Harris for introducing, and to Sir Arthur Gordon for
extending to the secondary stage, the public education of Trinidad,
there has been since Emancipation, that is, during the last
thirty-seven years, a more effective bringing together in public
schools of various grades, of children of all races and ranks.  Rivals
at home, at school and college, in books as well as on the playground,
they have very frequently gone abroad together to learn the professions
they have selected.  In this way there is an intercommunion between all
the [256] intelligent sections of the inhabitants, based on a common
training and the subtle sympathies usually generated in enlightened
breasts by intimate personal knowledge.  In mixed communities thus
circumstanced, there is no possibility of maintaining distinctions
based on mere colour, as advocated by Mr. Froude.

The following brief summary by the Rev. P. H. Doughlin, Rector of St.
Clement's, Trinidad, a brilliant star among the sons of Ham, embodies
this fact in language which, so far as it goes, is as comprehensive as
it is weighty:--

"Who could, without seeming to insult the intelligence of men, have
predicted on the day of Emancipation that the Negroes then released
from the blight and withering influence of ten generations of cruel
bondage, so weakened and half-destroyed--so denationalized and
demoralized--so despoiled and naked, would be in the position they are
now?  In spite of the proud, supercilious, and dictatorial bearing of
their teachers, in spite of the hampering of unsympathetic, alien
oversight, in spite of the spirit of dependence and servility
engendered by slavery, not only have individual members of the race
entered into all the offices of dignity in [257] Church and State, as
subalterns--as hewers of wood and drawers of water--but they have
attained to the very highest places.  Here in the West Indies, and on
the West Coast of Africa, are to be found Surgeons of the Negro Race,
Solicitors, Barristers, Mayors, Councillors, Principals and Founders of
High Schools and Colleges, Editors and Proprietors of Newspapers,
Archdeacons, Bishops, Judges, and Authors--men who not only teach those
immediately around them, but also teach the world.  Members of the race
have even been entrusted with the administration of Governments.  And
it is not mere commonplace men that the Negro Race has produced.  Not
only have the British Universities thought them worthy of their
honorary degrees and conferred them on them, but members of the race
have won these University degrees.  A few years back a full-blooded
Negro took the highest degree Oxford has to give to a young man.  The
European world is looking with wonder and admiration at the progress
made by the Negro Race--a progress unparalleled in the annals of the
history of any race."

To this we may add that in the domain [258] of high literature the
Blacks of the United States, for the twenty-five years of social
emancipation, and despite the lingering obstructions of caste
prejudice, have positively achieved wonders.  Leaving aside the
writings of men of such high calibre as F. Douglass, Dr. Hyland Garnet,
Prof. Crummell, Prof. E. Blyden, Dr. Tanner, and others, it is
gratifying to be able to chronicle the Ethiopic women of North America
as moving shoulder to shoulder with the men in the highest spheres of
literary activity.  Among a brilliant band of these our sisters,
conspicuous no less in poetry than in prose, we single out but a
solitary name for the double purpose of preserving brevity and of
giving in one embodiment the ideal Afro-American woman of letters. The
allusion here can scarcely fail to point to Mrs. S. Harper.  This
lady's philosophical subtlety of reasoning on grave questions finds
effective expression in a prose of singular precision and vigour. But
it is as a poet that posterity will hail her in the coming ages of our
Race.  For pathos, depth of spiritual insight, and magical exercise of
a rare power of self-utterance, it will hardly be questioned that she
has surpassed every competitor [259] among females--white or
black--save and except Elizabeth Barett Browning, with whom the gifted
African stands on much the same plane of poetic excellence.

The above summary of our past vicissitudes and actual position shows
that there is nothing in our political circumstances to occasion
uneasiness.  The miserable skin and race doctrine we have been
discussing does not at all prefigure the destinies at all events of the
West Indies, or determine the motives that will affect them. With the
exception of those belonging to the Southern states of the Union, the
vast body of African descendants now dispersed in various countries of
the Western Hemisphere are at sufficient peace to begin occupying
themselves, according to some fixed programme, about matters of racial
importance.  More than ten millions of Africans are scattered over the
wide area indicated, and possess amongst them instances of mental and
other qualifications which render them remarkable among their
fellow-men.  But like the essential parts of a complicated albeit
perfect machine, these attainments and qualifications so widely
dispersed await, it is evident, some potential [260] agency to collect
and adjust them into the vast engine essential for executing the true
purposes of the civilized African Race.  Already, especially since the
late Emancipation Jubilee, are signs manifest of a desire for
intercommunion and intercomprehension amongst the more distinguished of
our people. With intercourse and unity of purpose will be secured the
means to carry out the obvious duties which are sure to devolve upon
us, especially with reference to the cradle of our Race, which is most
probably destined to be the ultimate resting-place and headquarters of
millions of our posterity.  Within the short time that we had to
compass all that we have achieved, there could not have arisen
opportunities for doing more than we have effected.  Meanwhile our
present device is: "Work, Hope, and Wait!"

Finally, it must be borne in mind that the abolition of physical
bondage did not by any means secure all the requisite conditions of "a
fair field and no favour" for the future career of the freedmen. The
remnant of Jacob, on their return from the Captivity, were compelled,
whilst rebuilding their Temple, literally to labour with the working
tool in one hand [261] and the sword for personal defence in the other.
Even so have the conditions, figuratively, presented themselves under
which the Blacks have been obliged to rear the fabric of self-elevation
since 1838, whilst combating ceaselessly the obstacles opposed to the
realizing of their legitimate aspirations. Mental and, in many cases,
material success has been gained, but the machinery for accumulating
and applying the means required for comprehensive racial enterprises is
waiting on Providence, time, and circumstances for its establishment
and successful working.

NOTES

254. *"Yo té'ja passé mal machoè"--in metaphorical allusion to new-born
infants who have lived beyond a certain number of days.





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