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should be augmented, so as to make them worthy of the attention of men of talents and learning from this country. These are obvious and practicable reforms: but as they would perhaps, in the first place, occasion some-additional expense to the parsimonious Barbadians, we fear that they will not be speedily adopted. Mr. Poyer says that his countrymen are influenced by the doctrines which prevail in this country; yet they have not attempted to imitate the British courts of justice. He affects to speak contemptuously of “Titus Oates," and the other miscreants of the pretended plot” (if these words be not, as we suspect, interpolations); yet afterwards fully proves the guilt of the papists. As to the remark on the “universal and unjust odium” attached to the Jews, it only proves that our author professes the religion of a merchant, to whom all opinions are indifferent. The greatest error in which Mr. Poyer has fallen, is that of drawing from particular cases general maxims; and his accusations, although strictly just in their particular applications --- such as “the contemptible sycophants” who fattered Charles II. in pompous addresses when rendered general positions, become offensive and unfounded. We would not, however, be understood to extend this censure to the author's reflexion on the gross misapplication of the public money, by the Assembly's voting one hundred pounds to the captain of the frigate who brought the rapacious governor Sir R. Dutton to Barbadoes in 1685.
« A circumstance" (it is justly observed) “which, considering the character of the man, is scarcely credible, if, besides positive evidence, the fact were not corroborated by many later instances, of the respect and adulation with which the worst rulers are treated by men whose rank and station, in the community, ought to place them above every sinister consideration of hope or fear, and render them the faithful, as they are the delegated, guardians of their country's rights." P. 121.
“ The extraordinary generosity of the Barbadians procured them no favour nor indulgence. Indeed, any expectation of conciliating the friendship of government, by such means, will ever terminate in disappointment. The readiness with which the colonial assen. blies dispose of the money belonging to their constituents, is generally considered as an evidence of their wealth, rather than of the liberality of their minds; and the demands on their generosity will always be proportioned to the facility with which they are granted.” P. 165.
Admitting the justness of the above remarks, we must deprecate such idle declamation as the following; espe
cially when the author himself has repeatedly proved, in this work, that it is totally false and calumnious.
« Those who hold the strings of the public purse, seldom reflect on the condition of the lower classes of people. Clad with authority, and indulging in the pleasures of affluence, they are strangers to the misery of those from whom they exact the last. shilling, to pamper their own luxurious appetites, or to promote their schemes of ambition. They can well afford to 'grarily the liberality of their tempers, whose extravagance is supported by a whole community; and to purchase the patronage of a venal chief, when the price is paid out of the public treasury. A few leading members of the legislature enjoy all the merit, and receive the exclusive reward of their munificence, while the poor labourer, and the humble householder, from whose starving mouth the scanty morsel is snatched, and from whose shivering limbs the tattered weed is torn, are iosulted and despised by the proud, upfeeling great, whom they contribute to support." 9. 161.
On the criminal laws of Barbadoes the author dwells with no little complaisance; and he contends, that there are fewer murders in that island. than in any county of England. In thirty-four years not more than sixteen negroes were murdered; or, as he terms it, “killed by white men;" and of these only six were of that nature which an English court of jastice would punish with death. We cannot agree with the author in thinking that the murder of one black every two years, in a population of “seventyfive thousand blacks and fifteen thousand whites,” is less than what takes place in any county in England; although we are far from supposing that the white people of Barbadoes have more cruel or more murderous hearts than the people of Great Britain. The following character of the West-India negroes, we have reason to believe, is unhappily too true, however the “professors of philanthropy." in this country may be disposed to deny it.
" To the efficiency of the code of Barbadoes for the protection of slaves, it is objected, that it allows not the evidence of coloured people in any cause of complaint against the white inhabitants. Even the advocates for the admission of such testimony seem started at the extravagance of their own proposition, and suggest, by way of modification, that the testimony of two or more negroes should be made equivalent to that of one white person; and that such as profess Christianity might be sworn on the evangelists. God forbid that such a direful calamity should befall this happy land! The arenging sword of the conqueror; the famine that spreads desolation in its progress; or the pestilence that precipitatės thousands to eternity, is scarcely more terrible to the imagination than the idea of admitting seventy or eighty thousand
heathen slaves to bear witness against their Christian masters. A proposal so preposterous can originate only in the most.consummate ignorance of the character of the negroes.
They are pagans in the most extensive signification of that opprobrious appellative. Without even the advantage of idolatry, they have no system of morality, no 'sense of religion, nor faith in its doctrines; their creed is witchcraft, and their only religious rite the practice of Obeah. Travellers report, that the Africans are believers in the Supreme Being; that they have modes of worship, and many religious ceremonies. But those who have been brought to Barbadoes seem to have left their national faith and household gods behind; and, what is far more unfortunate, they have adopted no others in their stead. Some, indeed, profess Christianity, that is, they have been baptised, but their hearts are as void of any religious impressions as if they had continueri in the wilds of Africa. Frequent attempts have been made by some humane owners to convert their favourite slaves to Christianity, and though many of them are treatéd with parental fondness and indulgence, no benefits have been derived from the pious endeavours to effect their conversion.' P. 110.
“ I have already shown that the negroes are not possessed of those religious sentiments which can inspire them with a just sense of the sacred obligation of an oath. Besides an obvious distinction presents itself to the mind, between the testimony of infidel witnesses, in particular cases, and that of slaves admitted generally against their masters. The admission of such testimony, in special cases, in Kurope, can be attended with no material inconvenience to the people. With us there is a difference; and it would bé. almost madness to expose the lives, the liberties, and properties, of the West Indians, to a savage multitu:le, who have not the fear of God before their eyes to restrain them as witnesses, from glutting their revenge by the most horrid perjuries. Were the testimony of slaves once allowed, Barbadoes would be no place of-abode for any honest man who had a regard for his reputation, his interest, or his personal safety. No innocence of life, no integrity of heart, would afford security from criminal prosecutions, supported by such evidence. If in civilised society, in the most polished provinces of Europe, the most barefaced perjuries are daily committed by men educated in the principles of Christianity, it is easy to foresee what must be the fatal consequences of legalising the testimony of an ignorant, superstitious, vindictive race, whom no religious nor moral obligation can bind to speak the truth.”. P. 143.
Speaking of the frequent conspiracies among the negroes, he furnishes a powerful argument to his opponents. 'It is scarcely possible," he concludes, “in a country where slavery subsists [exists]; to guard against the dark designs of secret treachery, or the more daring attacks of open
violence." This we believe is true: but a more cau.
tious advocate for his country would have said, “where negroes exist," instead of " slavery.” This, however, should be attributed to his candour, as the author very properly reprobates an opinion of his countrymall
, Mr. Frere, in bis .“ Short History of Barbadoes;" maintaining that a native, or who had an interest in the country, was best qualified to make a good governor. Mr. Poyer calls this "one of the many plausible theories whose fallacy is demonstrated by experience." Of the sitration of the clergy in Barbadoes, we have the following particulars:--
“ As this venerable body of men have been separated from the busy part of niankind, that they may pursue those studies which would qualify them to instruct others in the great duties of religion, reason and justice demand that their situation should be rendered comfortable and respectable by a competent provision for their maintenance. Hitherto, the emoluments of the sacerdotal office consisted in the annual receipt of an assessment of one pound of sugar on every acre of land, and of such fees on marriages, haptisms, and burials, as custom had authorised. This was far from being a decent or an adequate maintenance for the clergy. It was therefore enacted, that, in addition to their glebes, most of which are considerable, the rectors of the different parishes should receive a salary of one hundred and fifty pounds, besides fees for the performance of occasional duty. This provision is certainly inadequate to meet the advance which the lapse of a century has made in the habits and expense of living; but it is to be observed, that, among the fees of office, to the augmentation of which the people have patiently submitted, those of the clergy have not been litglected; and in most parishes the rector's sees exceed one hundred pounds a year. Besides, in the liberality of the yestry, the incumbent generally finds an ample compensation for the smallness of the legal stipend. The annual presents voted to the rectors are come monly equal to the established salary, and frequently exceed it. Hence the least valuable church living in the island may be moderately rated at four hundred pounds a year. In addition to this revenue there is on every glebe a commodious, nay in most instances an elegant mansion, built and kept in excellent repair, at
expense of the parish, for the accommodation of the minister. " It has lately been doubted whether even this is a sufficient* provision for the support of the clergy, of whom many appear extremely anxious to be made independent of the bounty of their vestries. Those who are satisfied with what they receive, need neither wish for more nor for any alteration in the mode hy which it is granted; and the minister who is determined to perform his duty diligently, and to conduct himself with humility and decorum, need not fear the resentment of those from whom he expects his reward.
** The legislature have just passed a law, augmenting the annual stipend of the rectors to three hundred pounds.
It were, however, much to be wished, for the sake of preserving the purity and dignity of the sacred function, that the rectors of the several parishes were rendered independent of occasional gratuities from their vestries. As lights of the world, they should be placed above the cares and perplexities of ordinary men. The clergy would then be no longer under the necessity of temporising, as some of them tov often do, with the principal inhabitants of their
But in providing for the independence of the clergy, we should not lose sight of the circumstances of those by whom they are paid. Vestries should no longer be invested with a power, too frequently abused, of indulging an ostentatious generosity to the injury of their parishioners, whose means of subsistence are often abridged to procure the taxes which are levied on them, for the support of the parochial establishment.” P. 196.'.
Mr. Poyer, after lamenting the factious broils which have long existed between the Assembly and the government, and painting their ruinous effects, proceeds to examine the actual state of the fortifications, and the administration of the military force.
" Besides an immense expenditure of stores, in which prodigality wantons without controul, great abuses are committed by the boards of commissioners. To answer some sinister purpose, to promote the interest of a favourite supervisor, or to gratify the capri-. cious vanity of an hospitable captain gunner, considerable sums of the public money are squandered in repairing or erecting commodious houses and elegant apartments for his accommodation. Hence the annual expense of the fortifications may be fairly computed to exceed eight thousand pounds. Notwithstanding this profuse and wanton waste of the public treasure, many of the forts, particularly those which command the harbour of the second town in the island, are literally mouldering in ruins; they contain scarcely a single piece of serviceable ordnance, and are so completely destitute of ammunition, as to be frequently incapable of exciting or propagating an alarm.
“ The accessible nature of the whole western coast lays the country so open to the predatory incursions of a daring or rapacious foe, that nothing can be more evident than the imperative necessity of putting some of our forts and batteries in a proper posture of defence.' P. 236.
“ But in their present ruined and dismantled condition, it cannot be dissembled, that the expenditure of the enormous sum annually thrown away upon them is unjust and oppressive. To provide for the support of government, and the maintenance of the public security, are duties incumbent on every good subject; but the power which wrests from him a single shilling unnecessarily must be tyrannical. To reconcile the people to the burthens imposed on them for the support of this establishment, some show of 'decency should be preserved. They should, at least, be amused with the idea of security. But the money drawn from their pockets is squan