Imágenes de página

était au-dessus d'une taille ordinaire, tous ses traits charmans auraient pu servir de modéle à un peintre. Les dames' continue Bruce, sapercurent à quel point j'étais emu de ce que je venais de voir. La fille d'Adelan me dit alors; vous avez resté si long temps en Abyssinia, que vous devez faire peu de cas des femmes de l'Atbara; mais on dit que les femmes de l'Europe sont si blanches, que leur beauté l'emporte, sur celle de toutes les autres. Je n'ai jamais été moins persuadé de cette vérité qu'à present,' lui repondit Bruce.* &c. &c. p. 22.

It has been said that the heat of the Torrid Zone enervates and stupifies its inhabitants:-

• Comment peuvent ils avoir l'impudence de citer Montesquieu pour justifier leur affreusse theorie? Quoi! parce qu'il avait écrit que la chaleur énervait le courage, s'en suivrait-il que tous les peuples qui habitent les climats chauds, seraient inferieurs aux peuples des climats froids, et devraient être leurs esclaves? Je soutiens que e'est une théorie tres-fausse, qu'elle est absurde, chaque homme ayant reçu de la Nature une complexion relative au pays et au climat qui l'ont vu naître. Pour me convaincre que les blancs seraient d'un nature supérieure aux noirs, il fau. drais pouvoir me prouver que les blancs pourraient résister à l'influence des climats, qu'ils pourraient habiter sous le soleil brûlant de l'équateur, comme sur les glaces des poles sans éprouver aucune altération ni changement dans leur complexion physique; mais il est prouvé par des faits & des autorités irrecusables, qu'ils ne peuvent résister a peine troi mois dans les climats chauds sans dégénérer.

* Demanet et Imaly remarquent que les descendans des Portugais établis au Congo, sur la côte de Sierra Léone & sur d'autres point de l'Afrique, sont devenus nègres; ce qui prouve, dit M. Gregoire, l'ascendant du climat sur la complexion & la figure.

* All who wish to disinherit the Negroes,' says the virtuous Gregoire, "call in the aid of anatomy, and found their first observations upon the distinction of colour.' But if it appear that black is found within the tropics, and that its shades become progressively lighter as the temperature of the climates decrease, and if it also appear that white men are unable to support the heat of the torrid zone, and black men are unable to endure the cold of the frigid zone, what becomes of the advantages arising from a black, yellow, or wbite complexion?'

*The women of Abyssinia,' says Bruce," on beholding the whiteness of my skin, uttered a cry of horror, seeming to regard it as the effect of disease, rather than my natural colour.' Others rallied him upon the length and sharpness of his nose. All nations have their prejudices: we esteem black a handsomer colour than white: and our Haytian painters depict the Deity and angels black, while they represent the evil spirit and devils as white. As to beauty, it consists in elegance of form, and regularity of features; and in this view of the subject we conceive ourselves equally favoured with the white: here their own evidence carries some weight, I shall therefore cite several.

• Les Français ont-ils donc déja oublié les funestes effets de la chaleur brûlante du royaume d'Hayti, et du froid glacial de l'empire Russe, poor discourir aussi légèrement? J'ai vu des milliers des Français qui pouvaient être de trés-vigoureux, & de tresbraves soldats dans leur contrée; je les ai vu, dis-je, m'en rapelle encore, étendus sur la pour sière, presésenter le comble de la misére & de la faiblesse humaine! 'Où est-done cette prétendue supériorité des Llancs sur les noirs? Ou est donc cette théorie de Montesquieu qui nous condamne inevitablement à l'esclavage?

• Les excolons se contredisent sans cesse, quand il s'agit de leurs intérêts, ils sont scrupule; s'agit-il de prouver la supériorite des blancs sur les noirs, ils vous disent que les peuples de la zone torride, er ardeur & en puissance le cedent tous aux peuples de zones tempérées; ils vous disent effrontement que les noirs sont mous, effemines, amis du repos; • voyez les negres,' dit cei impudent de Mazères, ' tout leur movement sont des efforts, une portefaix d'Europe soulève des fardeux que deux noirs souléveraient a peine. Mais s'agit il de l'abolition de la traite, et de l'esclavage des noirs dans les colonies, vous les voyez toute-a-coup changer de langage! Ecoutez ces chenapans,“ point d'esclavage-point de Colonie!' la terre des Antilles ne peut-êire cultivée que par des Negres! ils sont deja habitues en Afrique dans l'ardeur du soleil; eux seuls pouvent résiste aux travaux de la culture, l’Européen ne pourrait y tenir, il succumberait bientot sous l'influence de climat et du travail.'* &c. &c. p. 28.

• Bosman extolls the beauty of the Negresses of Juida; Ledyard and Lucas that of the Jalof Negroes; Loba that of the Abyssinians. • Those of Senegal, says Adanson, are the handsomest men of Nigritia, their form is without blemish, and no deforined persons are found amongst them. Cossigny saw at Goree Negresses of great beauty, of an imposing figure, and with Roman features. Ligon speaks of a negress of the island of St. Yago, in whom beauty and dignity were combined in a manner far beyond any thing he had ever seen before. Robert Chasle, author of the Journal of Admiral Duquesne's voyage, extends this eulogium to the Negro and Mulatto women of all the Cape Verde Islands. Leguat, Ulloa and Isert give the same evidence in favour of the Negresses they saw; the first at Batavia, the second in America, and the third in Guinea.

• Bruce on seeing a young girl of Abyssinia speaks thus; • I was struck with her extreme beauty. Her whole clothing consisted of a blue shift which fell to ber feet. Although not above fifteen years, her stature was little below the ordinary; and her lovely features might have served as a model for a painter. The women soon observed what an effect ber appearance had upon me. Addan's daughter then said to me-Have you been so long in Abyssinia as to fall in love with the girls of Atbara, when they say that the women of Europe are so lovely and fair as to excel all others in beauty. Never was I less satisfied of this truth than at the present moment,' replied Bruce, &c. &c.

* How can they have the assurance to cite Montesquieu in justification of their frightful theory? What! because he has said that heat enervates valour, does it follow that all the inhabitants of warm climates must of

[ocr errors]

We think these extracts cannot but leave a favourable impression on the minds of our readers, relative to the state of Haytian literature. And upon the whole, if we consider the state of the people in Hayti, -as recently emancipated from slavery and consequent ignorance,-governed by a sovereign of their own colour, and exhibiting, throughout, an example of order and subordination, which is seldom found in older and more enlightened commonwealths,-it strikes us, that philanthropists will no longer need the eloquence of Mr. Wilberiorce, nor the declamation of le Baron de Vastey, to prove the intellectual equality of the blacks to the whites. It was stipulated in the late continental treaty, that France should not be interfered with, in any attempts to recover her necessity be inferior to those of cold ones, and in consequence become their slaves? This, I contend, is a theory as erroneous as absurd; every man receiving from Nature, the complexion suited to his native country and climate. To convince me of the superiority of the whites over the blacks, he should show me that the former are able to resist the influence of climate, and are equally capable of living beneath the burning sun of the equator, or amidst the ices of the poles, without experiencing any change of strength or complexion. But facts as well as the most irrefragable authorities prove that they can hardly sustain the influence of warm climates for three months together, without degenerating.

Demanet and Imly observe that the descendants of the Portugueseesta blished at Congo, on the coast of Sierra Leone, and of others not Africans, have become negroes; a fact which, as the Abbe Gregoire observes, proves the influence of climate both over the complexion and figure.

Have the French then already forgotten the deadly effects of the burning heats of the Kingdom of Hayti, and the icy severity of the Empire of Russia, that they talk so lightly? I have seen thousands of Frenchmen who might have been very vigorous and very brave soldiers in their own country—I have seen them, I say, and have them now before my eyes stretched in the dust, and exhibiting the very extremity of human weakness! Whence then is this pretended superiority of the whites over the blacks? And what becomes of the theory of Montesquieu which condemos us to inevitable slavery?

The ex-planters are always inconsistent with themselves. When they are busied with their own concerns, they act doubtingly; when they go about proving the superiority of the whites to the blacks, they tell you that, in point of ardour and energy, the people of the torrid zone yield altogether to those of the temperate; they tell you confidently and insultingly, that the blacks are lazy, effeminate, lovers of repose.

< See the negroes,' says this impudent Mazeres every movement is an effort: an European labourer will carry burdens which two blacks can bardly lift.' But when he comes to speak of abolishing the treaty, and of the enslavery of the blacks in the colonies, you will see how suddenly he changes his language! Hear the good for nothing wretch“No slavery-no colonies! the land of the Antilles cannot be cultivated except by negroes! They are already habituated in Africa to the heat of the sun: they alone are able to sustain the labour of agriculture: the European cannot; and be soon succumbs to the influence of climate and labour.

lost possessions; and she may flatter herself with an idea, therefore, that St. Domingo can be gathered again unto her dominion; but she will learn, we apprehend,-if, indeed, she has not already been taught,--that the Haytians are resolved upon the alternative of liberty or death, and that it is going to cost as much as the island will be worth, to regain possession of it. Art. VI.-An Essay to point out the Means of preventing

the Rupture of Boilers on board of Steam-Boats. By R.

Hare, Jr. &c. THE HE accidents which have, in several instances, arisen

from the bursting of steam engine boilers, may, perhaps, create a prejudice against steam-boats; whereas it ought only to awaken attention to the mismanagement, which is solely the cause, An engine on Bolton and Watt's construction may, with no more pressure than that of a boiling tea-kettle, lift, at each stroke, a column of water, equal, in diameter, to the cylinder, and more than twenty-five feet high. Every addi. tional pound per square inch on the safety valve, (the steam being raised proportionally,) will add two feet nearly, in height, to the column of water, thus representing the power of the engine. As this is not probably attended by a proportional consumption of fuel, and adds to the power, without increasing the size, of the apparatus, there is strong temptation for using high steam: but, from what we have said above, respecting the power of an engine, when working without pressure, but merely by the effects of condensation, there is evidently no necessity and no excuse for doing so. practical proof, that high pressure may be avoided, without material inconvenience, we state, that, in the Fulton or NewHaven steam-boat, the speed of which has been equalled in two instances only, the ratio between the boiler and cylinder has been such as not to admit a pressure of more than a few pounds per square inch. Hence it was, that, although her boiler was rent, in consequence of a defect in the workmanship, nobody suffered by the accident. The alarm led the engineer erroneously to stop the Engine; but the captain ordered him to let it go on; when, the fire being slackened, and the condenser in operation, the water soon ceased to leak out. It is possible, in fact, for an engine to go, when the pressure is inadequate to resist that of the atmosphere; so that, on puncturing the boiler, the air would rush in, instead of the steam's rushing out.

If high steam is to be resorted to, however, there is a very simple mode by which the danger of explosion might be oba VOL. IX.


As a

viated. There are but two ways, in which such consequenices can arise, where a boiler is provided with a proper safety valve. One is, by overloading the valve, in consequence of unduly estimating the strength of the boiler;-the other, by some indiscreet or malicious interference, which impedes the freedom of its action. In order to provide against the first, let the strength of the boiler, in every boat, be proved periodically, by a pressure at least ten pounds more than it is intended to use in practice:- to provide against the second, let there be an additional safety-valve, secured in a case, so as to be inaccessible to every one but the captain; who ought to be obligated not to load it higher than within ten pounds of the point, to which the, boiler may have been proved. Art. VII.-Letters from Virginia. By a Northern Man.

Letter XII. DEAR FRANK,-We are now at the Warm Spring, feeding most sumptuously on venison and mutton, and passing our time in an agreeable variety of eating, drinking, and sleeping—sleeping, eating, and drinking—and drinking, eating, and sleeping. The spring is in the bottom of a little valley, shut in by high mountains, and looking like the abode of the Sylvan gods, the Oreades, and all the flat footed nymphs of the mountains. The Bath here, is the most luxurious of any in the world; its temperature about that of the body, its purity almost equal to that of the circumambient air: and the fixed air plays against the skin, in a manner that tickles the fancy wonderfully. About five miles further on, are springs of still higher temperature; being from one hundred and two, to one hundred and eight degrees. They are resorted to by people, who have tried the warm spring in vain, for rheumatic, and other complaints.

Oliver has already discovered, to a positive certainty, that this valley has been neither more nor less than the crater of a volcano; which is doubtless the reason why the waters of it are so warm. He has picked up several substances, that have evidently undergone the action of fire, whether from a volcano, some neighbouring forge, or lime kiln, I leave it to my masters, the philosophers, to discuss. For my part, I wish them success, in their praise-worthy attempts to find out how the world was made; for as knowledge is power, we shall then doubtless have several new worlds created by these wise people, free from all the faults and deficiencies of the old one. I am sure if a volcano, or a comet is necessary to ena. ble them to come at the truth, I am the last man in the world to deny them a trifling matter of this sort. A carpenter requires axes, saws, hammers, and chissels, for building a house;

« AnteriorContinuar »