Imágenes de página

which draws on another, by consequence, and so on.

Neither governments nor individuals can depart from the ruling principles which must be the foundation of their conduct, without incurring the greatest danger. When they have once abandoned, for any length of time, principles upon which their existence depends, they are fortanate if circumstances, fate, or unexpected events, open their eyes. They can then perceive how nearly they had approached the brink of a dreadful abyss. We ourselves were lately reduced to this wretched situation, and are happy not to have fallen victims to it.

There was a time when, instead of speaking and thinking with sincerity and truth of the crimes committed by the French, we merely cavilled at words. Bonaparte was the author of all the mischief: we spoke only of Bonaparte. So far from this being true, it is against the ex-colonists we have to point our invectives; they are the authors of all the evil. The French have seen their ruler changed; Bonaparte is overthrown: but is the system of France in regard to us at all changed? Have their intentions been in any degree altered ? No. If the dynasty and government of France underwent a thousand alterations inore, their policy and views in respect of Hayti would continue the same. Upon this principle we must act towards them. He who thinks differently has fallen into a great political error, not to be forgiven. Most fortunately for the people of Hayti, the profound sagacity of their king has kept the danger from them. Had we been without suspicion, without that active and salutary vigilance which his majesty so impressively recommended to us ; we should not have been so fortunate, as to make prisoner the French spy, Franco Medina :' and should have remained ignorant of the celebrated instructions of M. Malouet, the minister for the department of the navy and colonies, of which Medina was the bearer ; instructions which supplied au evident proof of our mistake, when we believed that a change of govern"ment had changed the policy of France. We are convinced by experience, that confidence and blind credulity on our part, would be rewarded by the legitimate government of the Bourbons with the same sort of treatment we experienced from the usurper Bonaparte.

Experience has taught us, therefore, that in politics as well as in morals, there are great truths which cannot be concealed, without incurring the danger of the greatest calamities: truths which, though well known, ought always to be repeated to impress them

[ocr errors]

i Franco Medina is still alive. We have kept the spy, for the last four years, ils a living proof of the loyalty of the French cabinet,

on our memories, in order to prevent our falling into the commise sion of the same faults.

France then is our natural enemy. This is sufficiently evident, and she has taken good care to furnish proof of it. We have been inconsiderate enough to throw on Bonaparte alone, the blame of the evils she has inflicted. Do we not now, perceive, that her new sovereign has practically adopted the very system of Bonaparte ? The world will soon observe her throw upon the ex-colonists all the blame of her fruitless and criminal enterprises : she who was so warmly interested in their cause, will soon abandor. them to their fate, and introduce on the stage of the political drama, new camehons more perfidious and artful than the former, to reduce us, once more, under her yoke. Let us therefore never lose sight of this truth, that it is France herself we have to fear, because her interests and our own are diametrically opposed to each other. As long as she shall refuse fully and entirely to acknowledge our independence, without reserve, we ought to place no kind of confidence in her : for if she insists on a single condition, we may rest satisfied that it is a snare she lays before us; and hence may conjecture what are her ulterior views. What signify to us the changes of government that take place in France? It is a matter of indifference whether we are put to the sword by Bonaparte, Louis XVIII, or the ex-colonists; we are in either case equally sufferers. Were not they who, in 1802, marched against us at the point of a hundred thousand bayonets, Frenchmen? It is true the ex-colonists were the first promoters and artificers of our misfortunes ; but what could they have effected if they had not been supported by the French government? Would to God they had been the only persons that ever landed upon our shores ! we should soon have treated them as they deserved.

France herself, therefore, is the enemy whom we have really to dread. We cannot repeat it too often ; it is against her we must be upon our guard, if we wish to preserve our political existence, and not to expose ourselves to the certainty of being expunged from the number, I do not say of nations, but of the living.

Such is the system to be pursued by Hayti in regard to France. France herself has pointed out the path we must follow. It is evident, and it will be made still more so, that we cannot deviate a single instant without danger of utter ruin.

The desertion of these principles, the best support of our moral and political existence, caused the death of the unfortunate Toussaint Louverture and J. J. Dessalines, who fell victims to French cunning and perfidy; the first, because he blindly confided in France, and was surrounded by priests and ex-colonists, who led him astray by insidious counsels; the other, because he allowed

himself to be deceived by men in the pay of France, who first cajoled, and then plunged into his bosom the stiletto of the assassin. The lamentable death of these two chiefs was the source of innumerable misfortunes to our country: but their conduct may, notwithstanding, be regarded with many allowances, by posterity. They had neither of them the experience we have at present: both lived at a time when the people were not entirely regenerated : both were exposed to artifices, and hollow, perfidious advisers. We, on the contrary, who join to our own experience the knowledge of their fate, should be without excuse, in the eyes of posterity, were we to fall into the same errors, and be made dupes of the same artifices.

After all we have suffered by reposing implicit confidence in the French, it would appear incredible, if actual proof were not capable of being produced, that they should still persist in the old system of dissimulation, corruption, and falsehood. The very means they made use of to destroy the Emperor Dessalines, and Governor Toussaint, and kindle the flames of civil war, they now employ to establish their new system of colonisation for St. Domingo.

M. Le Borgne, upon whom the labor devolved, having fixed the foundation, (like Satan, who, when he had succeeded in plunging man into the abyss of sin and death, ailmired the depth of his infernal genius,) complacently examines the depth and contrivance of his own work. in his wild reveries of colonisation, he already imagines he has entangled us in his nets. He swallows in imagination, and with luxurious pleasure, our blood in the cup of revenge! Blinded by his unruly passions, he forgets that his book was written to persuade us: he has forgotten that we shall read, examine and deliberate on the passages it contains. He indulges without reserve in pride. and vanity, careless of the impenetrable veil which ought to cover his dark designs : while he is speaking to us, he thinks he addresses the ex-colonists: in order to convince them, he lays open before us his secret plans and Machiavelian subtleties, with a degree of candor most acceptable, and inconceivable good nature.

After having made the French, in imagination, masters of the country between the Great River and Artibonite, of the Turtle, Mole, Gonaves, and Cayes St. Lewis; after having introduced and invested his commercial company with every kind of power and privilege ; after having thus, by the mere force of fancy, completely overreached us, he retires within himself, to contemplate the efforts and results of his genius. Sometimes he thinks he has not said enough to be understood by the ex-colonists: sometimes he is afraid of having said too much, and to have been understood by us. He becomes prolix and diffuse, and at length, to extricate himself from his embarrassments, seeks for remote example to sup

[ocr errors]

port his conclusion. “ We must subjoin this remark," says he ; « France would be, with reference to St. Domingo, in the very same situation with England in reference to her possessions in the Indies; of which she acknowledges the governments, under the conditions that are entrusted o the care of the company."

It was not enough for M. Le Borgne to have put us in that situation; he took the trouble of entering more minutely into such des tails as furnish useful information. Every body indeed is not aca quainted with the situation of India, and its Nabobs.

He tells us that commercial intercourse brings with it neither the wish nor the power of exciting troubles in our country: and in the following page says, that commerce will cause between the two governments a useful competition, which will prove advantageous to all parties. He tells us that, as the North will become the principal theatre of war, Turtle Island will be most important in the erection of military hospitals, by reason of the purity of its atmosphere. He informs us, that, as corruption must issue from the centre to the extremities; it is necessary the island Gonave should be converted into a magazine for provisions, and articles of commerce: and that from that source should be derived French cloth and silks, Lyonese lace, provisions from Bourdeaux and Mars seilles.

He states, that the sea-port towns of the Mole and Cayes St. Lewis, are necessary to receive the French fleets, that they may come loaded with materials of destruction, perfidy, and corruption, to be employed against us. He states, that while an attack will be made upon us in front, and all our coasts invaded, the French, encamped in that part of the country which lies between the GreatRiver and Artibonite, will fall upon our rear, with combined strength and forces.

After having informed us more than once, that the division of Hayti into two governments was a favorable circumstance, and that if the measure had not been carried into execution, it must have been found necessary as a means of impairing our resources and breaking our union; he tells us again, as if he apprehended he had not been sufficiently well understood; that the denominations, Haytianand Columbian governments,are not only expedient, but marks of sound policy:

It establishes a division more advantageous than that which is marked out by the territory: it classifies better those governments, distinguished till now by the names of the North-negroes and Southmulattoes.

With such puerile absurdity, such insolence of language, our enemies hope to divide us. But where can be the difference between a man of the North, West, or South ?

M. Le Borgne De Boigne, after having taken no common pain

to prove the goodness and efficacy of his plan; after having discussed and settled every point of it; finds himself, when he comes to consider the means of putting it in execution, in a situation pretty nearly similar to that of the rats in the consultation they held concerning ROMINAGROBIS, when they were to hang the bell to his neck.

He can devise no other method of approaching us, than by a declaration in which the King of France engages to ensure the life, safety, and peace of all persons; every feeling of solicitude or anxiety would then be removed : all incentives to ambition would vanish. Subjects of the King of France, the people of Hayti, he observes, have neither political nor civil existence except by the will of the King of France.

Such declaration is, in the opinion of M. Le Borgne de Boigne, the only way of making an impression upon us.

Who indeed, would think of using to freemen, menaces of slavery? It would be impolitic and ridiculous. But the declaration of the King of France would be in substance only a second edition of the First Consul's proclamation, in which he told us : you are all free, alt brothers in the eye of God and the Republic: and this at a time when the re-establishment of slavery was determined on. The declaration of Louis the XVIII. would be similar. Have we not already before us a specimen of the ability of his cabinet ? Have we not M. Malouet's instructions to his three trustees? Say, upright and ingenuous men, can we treat with such a government? What faith, what confidence can we repose in it?

Would not such a declaration on the part of the King of France be the most perfect instance of effrontery? Are we not now enjoying all our political rights ? Have we not conquered them at the point of our swords? We received those, rights from the king, whom we ourselves elected and appointed to reign over us. Thę subjects of the King of Hayti are not, nor ever shall be, the subjects of the King of France. If the French King have so violent an inclination to be liberal in his grants as M. Le Borgne tells us, why does he not bestow at once a civil and political existence on the wretched slaves of his colonies, who are groaning under the rod of slavery? They are in greater want of his benevolence than we

We desire nothing, we have already more than he can give. What, indeed, can he give, that we have not already ? Liberty ? We have it, Independence? We are absolute masters of our territory. But who does not perceive the motives of such a declarațion? It is done in the hope of separating the shepherd from his sheep, and of slaughtering the lambs at leisure. Their present wish is to separate the sheep from their shepherd, that they may put both equally to death. Their first object was to seduce the chiefs, win them over by fallacious promises, or alarm them by insone


« AnteriorContinuar »