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cious fruits, is of slow growth, and requires the quickening influence of prosperity.
The consequences of the disorders which had well-nigh overwhelmed the Continent, are still felt in their almost unmitigated pressure upon the circumstances of private life; and each individual sufferer is too much occupied with his particular hopes and interests, to indulge in enlarged contemplations upon the general relations of states and kingdoms, and the complex subjects of diplomatic subtlety. The gorgeous tragedy which recently made up the whole scene of political affairs, affected the minds of many persons chiefly as a spectacle of strongly moving interest; and to those who are influenced principally by dramatic effect, conventional arrangements and a Congress, form but a tame and insipid sequel. While spectators of more thoughtful character, who have beheld the fruitless issue of every successive experiment upon human nature, as the subject of political regulation, which philosophers bave devised, or conquerors achieved, witness with little hope of success, the fresh attempts of assembled privces and statesmen, to establish the peace of Europe on a basis of permanent security. Looking upon the Demon of War as not cast out, but only as having spent for a time his strength, they cannot help fearing that the golden chains in which he seemingly consents to be bound, will be snapped as a hay-band, when his power returns ; and they listen with anxiety to distinguish the mild accents of that voice which alone can control the passions and restrain the wrath of man. No considerations so fluctuating as those of policy and interest, no arrangements founded upon convenience, can afford satisfactory assurances of the future. The recognition of moral principles as the basis of the laws of nations, and a constant reference to the ends of government as the foundation of political rights, are the only signs which could unerringly distinguish the introduction of a new order of things. Some symptoms of such a disposition are, perhaps, faintly discernible : and yet, how can we allow our minds to be elevated with sanguine expectations, when on such a subject as the Slave Trade, there can exist among the leaders of a powerful nation, not only a difference of opinion, but a total absence of moral feeling, and a determinate opposition to the dictates of humanity?
It will be unnecessary for us, after the discussions which have occupied some of the former pages of our Review, with regard to this subject, to give more than an abstract of the two pamphlets which stand at the head of this article. That by M. Sismondi, although a very eloquent perforinance, is not a mere effusion of declamatory eloquence. It grounds its argumentative appeal on facts and computations, which establish the fatuity, as well as the wickedness, of an attempt to revive this detestable commerce.
He remarks that, The vague name of the Slave Trade, does not immediately strike the imagination with the representation of what it involves, and what it is designed to re-establish. That article in the treaty of Paris which is again to come under discussion, res rves to the French the privilege of purchasing for five years, on the coasts of Senegal either captives taken in wars excited for the mere purpose of afterwards selling the prisoners, or pretended criminals, condemned by iniquitous judges for trivial or imaginary crimes, or children sold by their own parents for brandy, in the delirium of an intoxication they seek to prolong, or free-men, kidnapped on the highways by ruffians, or lastly some slaves, already accustomed to servitude, but who, in the des rt, were the companions, rather than the instruments of their master, and who, even in their deplorable condition, had never formed an idea of those forced toils of which even Africa knows nothing. This dreadful assemblage of crimes, by which the slaves were multiplied on the coasts of Senegal and Guinea, has been for seven years suspended by the abolition of the Slave Trade in England : and even before that period, the impossibility which the French and the Dutch foun', of their continuing the traffic, had considerably diminished it. The accounts of travellers, documents laid before the Parliament of England, place it beyond doubt, that the vast continent situate i between the tropics, has been restored to peace, and to a state of comparative prosperity, by the cessation of the trade ;—that the petty kings, till then incessantly at war with each other, have laid down their arms; that kidnapping has become very rare; that cultivation has considerably increased, and that civiliza
tion is beginning to make rapid progress. The right, then, which · the French would now reclaim, is, that of corrupting afresh the manpers of the Africans, of opposing with all their power
the beneficent influence of the philanthropic societies which are designed to civilize them, of violating their own laws—those of Christianity, those of nature, by treating men their fellows, their brethren, as God has not permitted us to treat even the beasts ; --and lastly, of guaranteeing ihis horrible tyranny by tortures so dreadful that our imagination shrinks from the description.'
We must very briefly follow M. Sismondi along the chain of calm reasoning by which he proves the pecuniary inexpedience of the revival of the trade, in its bearing upon the commerce of France It will be read, however, with considerable interest. He first shews that Martinique and Guadaloupe, will furnish no demand for slaves, having, under the Eglish system, become rich and flourishing. " The number of births in those col)nies has begun to exceed that of deaths, since humanity bas
come to be the best calculation with the planters; and experience 'has proved, in all the islands under English administration,
that a slave will live as long as an European, as soon as his
master knows that he cannot replace him by a new captive.' It is, then, St. Domingo only, that remains to be planted and enriched. And it is with a repetition of the disastrous expe‘rience of Le Clerc,' adds M. S. that the execution of this
project of economy and of riches is to be commenced !' He presents us as the alternative for effecting this object, false
pretences and illusive promises, or force. The discovery of the 'first would be necessarily followed by rebellion, nor would St. Domingo want another Toussaint Louverture.'
. On peut étourdir les hommes sur la destruction de leur liberté politique, parcequ'aucune douleur physique, aucune privation personnelle ne suit immédiatement sa perte; mais on ne sauroit les tromper sur la destruction de leur liberté domestique ; jamais aucun homme n'a pu renoncer volontairement à sa propriété, à sa personne, à sa famille ; et donner la préférence aux coups d'étrivière sur son revenu, ou les fruits de son travail.' pp. 14-15.
A war of utter extermination, M. S. justly adduces as the only certain means of success. Upon the atrocity of such a • project, and upon the perfidy necessary to ensure its success,'
I will not dwell.' • Il est entendu que la probité, que l'honneur, que l'humanité, ne font rien à la chose; il ne s'agit que d'argent à gagner. Eh bien, voyons 'enfin ce que les seuls motifs pécuniaires doivent conseiller à la France.' p. 16. . M. Sismondi's arguments are briefly these. The capital of France has always been found inadequate to her commercial wants. All her wealth, especially at this moment, is required for the encouragement and revival of her inland commerce and of national industry. The national capital being limited, whatever portion of it may be embarked in the adventure of a new Slave Trade, must be diverted from other channels. Not only so, but a commercial war, a long and expensive one, for the purpose of conquering St. Domingo, must first be undertaken. In order to encourage the planters, a monopoly must be conceded to them, and the French consumers of the produce must be subjected to a heavy duty, not in favour of the public treasury, but in favour of those who shall consent to sully their honour and the name of Frenchimen, by the infamous traffic in slaves. The capitalists are thus to be lured by superior profits, to withdraw their funds from commerce, agriculture, and manufactures ; and they must then withstand the competition of the English, who can afford the same articles cheaper; the competition of other nations, of all the tropical countries, and this for a branch of industry which the very progress of cominerce must at some future time necessarily annihilate! Quelle maniére d'enrichir une nation !
M. Sismondi gives us a striking exhibition of the fatal effects of the prohibitory and anti-commercial system of Buonaparte on the national prosperity. Nothing is wanting, he adds, to complete the ruin of the nation, but to force her to expend the remainder of her funds in the establishment of colonies, which will ultimately be unable to stand against foreign competition, and which she will, therefore, be forced to abandon. He then computes the probable expense of subduing the island, and refers to the expedition under General Le Clerc, which cost the French an army. The colony, if ever it be conquered, will have cost France, he says, fifty thousand men, and three hundred millions sterling. Of the five years allowed for the continuance of trade by the treaty, two must be allotted to the conquest of the island, and each of the remaining three, will only allow of the transportation of 15,000 slaves. A colony would thus be formed, worth a tenth of its ancient value. The purchase of slaves, however, according to the calculations of all the planters, forms only three eighths of the expense of an establishment : three-eighths (as shewn in a note taken from M. de Humboldt) being required for the first breaking up of the earth, and twoeighths for buildings, manufactures, and cattle. It would be two years before any advantage could be drawn by the capitalist; and at the end of that term, if the colony prosper, and if the profits of the planters be equal to what they were in the greatest prosperity of St. Domingo, the plantations would yield about eight per cent. or hardly more than half what the same funds would produce if employed in inland commerce.
M. Sismondi then just glances,' for curiosity's sake,' as the immorality of the action must rot be admitted into the account, at the blood and the crimes superadded to the money, which this little establishment must cost France. He estimates them thus : 400,000 individuals, the negro population of St. Domingo which must be destroyed, 50,000 soldiers which France must lose in this butchery, through the effect of the climate still more than by arms, and the example of Le Clerc proves this calculation not to be exaggerated.) To establish 45,000 slaves in Domingo, 60,000 inust have embarked at Senegal : the miseries of the middle passage, sickness, grief, and suicide, always carry off a quarter. Two men, embarked at the coast, always cost Africa at least three. Kidnapping a free man, the most odious of offences, is not committed gratuitously. The father who has not succeeded in rescuing his children, does not so soon lose the hope of revenging thein ; and stealing a man is a crime wbich may risk the shedding of blood for many generations. Thus then, to the sixty thousand slaves who are sold, we must add thirty thousand killed on their account; and thus, to succeed in furnishing St. Domingo with 45,000 slaves, we
shall have the sum total of 510,000 deaths, 510,000 murder;!
The mind revolts from the necessity of pursuing the argument further; and yet statements as clear in point of fact, as horrible in their details, and as conclusive in their reasoning, as these, were, for a scries of years, presented before a British Parliament, and in the face of Heaven, they were unblushingly resisted!
M. Sismondi, towards the close of this able pamphlet, enters into the question of the superior advantages of employing free slaves as farmers,
« Le métayer travaille gaiment, parce qu'il sait qu'il partagera tous les produits ; il soigne également toutes les parties de sa terre, et profite également de toutes ses journées, parce qu'il sait que ce qu'il fait est pour lui ; aucun inspecteur, aucun commandeur de nè. gres n’est nécessaire, parce qu'il est assuré que s'il se conduit avec indolence ou mauvaise foi, le maître ou son facteur lui ôteront sa métairie : et au moment du partage des récoltes le facteur se trouve sur l'aire où le blé a éte batiu, comme il se trouveroit sur celle où le çafé se dépouille. Le cultivateur s est payé lui-même de ses sueurs, il a vécu, il a été heureux; et le propriétaire a retiré une rente nette, proportionnée à la fertilité de sa terre, comme à l'intelligence de son métayer, animée par la liberté . • Ceux qui prétendent que les nègres sont trop indolens
pour remplir les conditions imposées au métayer, oublient le plantage de chaque esclave, qui est toujours soigné avec autant d industrie que de zèle. Ils ignorent que, dans ce moment même, l'ile de St Domingue est cultivée par les nègres, non pas en vue seulement de leur
sub-sistance, mais en vue du commerce dont ils ont senti le besoin, Les mères indépendans d'Hayti, ont été obligés de renoncer à la culture et à la fabrication du sucre, qui demanuoit trop de capitaux, et peut-être trop de connoissances chimiques; mais ils ont soigné les planations de café et de colon, et cette année même leur ile a fourni pour l'angleterre le chargement de vingt gros vaisseaux. Les paysans de l'Italie sont peut-être également indolens, également avides de jouissances présentes, et de l'enivrement d'un beau climat, également pauvres et ignorans ; mais ils sont attachés a leur travail dans chaque métairie, par la double jouissance de la propriété et de la liberté. Selon que cette proprieté est plus ou moins garantie, que cette liberté est plus ou moins entière, on voit le paysan italien, industrieux et actit en Toscane, nonchalant et découragé en Sicile Les bonnes lois augmentent les revenus d'un pays comme les jouissances de ses habitans ; mais dans le pays même où elles sont les plus mauvaises, le paysan d' grigente n'a pas besoin du fouet d'un commandeur, pour faire partager a son seigneur les riches fruits d'un beau climat et d'un sol fertile.' pp47-19.
He concludes bis observations by reprobating commercial monopoly in the following striking language.