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even the right honourable gentleman himself mult yield the palm: for what region in the empire, what city, what borough, what county, what tribunal, in this kingdom, is not full of his labours ? Others have been only speculators, he is the grand practical reformer ; and whilft the Chancellor of the Exchequer pledges in vain the man and the minister, to increase the provincial members, Mr. Benfield bas auspiciously and practically begun it. Leaving far behind him even Lord Camelford's generous design of beitowing Old Sarum on the Bank of England, Mr. Benfield has thrown in the borough of Cricklade to reinforce the county representation. Not content with this, in order to station a iteady phalanx for all future reforms, this public-spirited usurer, 'amidst his charitable toils for the relief of India, did not forget the poor rotten constitution of his native country. For her, he did not difdain to stoop to the trade of a wholesale upholsterer for this house, to furnish it, not with the faded tapestry figures of antiquated merit, such as decorate, and may reproach some other houses, but with real, solid, living patterns of true modern virtue. Paul Benfield made (reckoning himself) no fewer than eight meinbers in the last parliament. What copious streams of pare blood muit he not have transfused into the veins of the present !
6. But what is even more striking than the real services of this new imported patriot, is his modesty. As soon as he had conferred this benefit on the constitution, he withdrew himself from our applaufe. He conceived that the duties of a member of parliament (which with the elect faithful, the true believers, the Iņam of parliamentary reform, are of little or no merit, perhaps not much better than specious fins) might be as well attended to in India as in England, and the ineans of reformation to Parliament itself, be far better provided.
Mr. Benfield was therefore no sooner elected than he set off for Madras, and defrauded the longing eyes of parliament. We have never enjoyed in this House the luxury of beholding that minion of the human race, and contemplating that visage, which has so long reflected the happiness of nations.'
In answer to the objection of Mr. Dundas, “ that the enquiry was of a delicate nature, and that the state would fuffer detriment by the exposure of thie translation,” Mr. Burke remarks.
“ He and delicacy are a rare and a singular coalition. He thinks that to divulge our Indian politics, may be highly dangerous. He! the mover! the chairman! the reporter of the Committee of Seerecy! He that brought forth in the utmost detail, in several vast printed folios, the most recondite parts of the politics, the military, The revenues of the British empire in India. With fix great chopping bastards, cach as lusty as an infant Hercules, this delicate creature blushes at the light of his new bridegroom, afslunes a virgin delicacy: or, to use a more fit, as well as a more poetic comparison, the person so squeainish, so timid, so crembling left the winds of heaven should visit too roughly, is expanded to broad sunshine, expofed like the fow of imperial augury, lying in the mud with all the prodigies of her fertility about her, as evidence of her delicate
amours--Triginta capitum fatas enixa jacebat, alba solo recubans albi circum vbera natii'
There is a paffage, however, in the performance before us, defcribing the devaftations of Hyder and the ruined state of the Carnatic, more beautiful than any we have produced. But it is of confiderable length, and we have already extend ed our article as far as the lunits of our undertaking will per
We therefore clearfully refer our readers to the speech itself, and we helieve, we do not take credit for too much when we suppose, that every reader capable of relishing the elevated beauties of compofition, will devour the whole performance with the extremelt avidity. Mr. Burke certainly treads upon the very verge of what human power can effect in the line of eloquence; and under whatever personal discredit he may have fallen, by the combination of events, he will always have the whole world of letters at his command when he addresses them from the press. It will therefore, be incumbent upon the present administration, if they have any remaining regard for popularity, and for popularity in its original source, the opinion of the learned and the wise, the dictators of taste and the empire of good sense, to provide a full, explicit, and unequivocal answer to the charges that are exhibited against them in the speech of Mr. Burke.
ART. XIII. Cursory Remarks pon the Resurrend Mr. Ramsa;'s
Elry on the Treatment and Conversion of 4frican Slaves in the
his apprehensions of running no finall risk of exposing himfel to the centures of the different tribunals of periodical criticism ; more eipecially of fuch of them as have been uncommonly, and perhups unguardediy, lavith in the encomiums they have bestowed on the Ely he has taken the liberty to scrutinize. He is not, however, without hppes, that on a cool retrospection, these arbiters of modern literary reputation may be induced, with that impartial equity which generally does, and ever thould, accompany their decisions, to retract something of their indifcriminate applause ; when they find, that dazzled by the specious and benevolent profeffions of a respectable witer, they have been mitled to overlook the general and illiberal acrimony of his language, the inconclusireness of many of his arguments, the cruel perionality of his invectives, and the Striking inconsiliency of his different affertions; as well as to enquire too lightly into the authenticity of his facts:--Under thefe tavourable impretions, the ensuing pages are chearfully submitted to the candid and judicious correction of superior leisure and abilities,
It is very true, that we bestowed high approbation on the design which Mr. Ramiay had in view, and the extent of knowledge and ability which he displayed in his endeavours towards its execution. It is impoflible, for any human reviewer to penetrate into the secret motives which influence the conduct of men. The searcher of hearts alone can diftinguish with certainty the dictates of benevolence from the pretexts of malice. On a subject naturally interesting to the human heart, why should we have doubted that a clergyman, possessed of genius and learning, not often found in conjunction with hypocrisy and deceit, and in an easy and respectable situation; why should we have doubted, that such a man in such circumstances would not have declared the truth, and nothing but the truth! And after all that the author of the remarks has written in opposition to Mr. Ramsay, on what principles are we to prefer the declarations of an anonymous, though certainly a very lively and Ihrewd writer, and evidently well acquainted with Weft-India affairs, to the folemn affirmation of a clergyman who has had equal means of information, and who subscribes his name to his book, and publicly intimates the place of his residence? Where the affirmation of an anonymous is opposed to that of an open adversary, common sense, all other circumstances being equal, declares in favour of the latter
But, nevertheless, it must be owned, that the present writer has rendered it very probable, that the descriptions which Mr. Ramsay has given us of the hardships of the negroes, and the Weft-India manners, originate, not so much in humanity, as in an irritable disposition, Tharpened by personal pique, and foured by long fermented prejudice; and certain, that many parts of Mr. Ramsay's plan are impolitical, inconsistent, and impracticable, . As this last, is a, inatter of reasoning, a judgment may be formed of it without that local knowledge and particular information which are necessary to determine the real situation of the flaves in the Weft-Indies. Mr. Ramsay hiinself indeed confesses, that the negroes are ill adapted for instruction. And entertains but small hopes that his project will ever be carried into execution.
Mr. Ramsay expatíates on the oppression of the English slaves in the West-Indies, and contraits their situation with the happier condition of the French negroes. Our author reprefents the English slaves as living in a very easy and comfortable state; and, on the contrary, quotes the famous Charlevoix, and another French writer, to fhew that the French slaves are in a more wretched, and indeed in an ex. iremely miserable condition.
On this reasoning of our author we observe, that he ought in fairness, to suppose that the descriptions of the French writers inay be as inuch exaggerated as those of Mr. Ramsay, Indeed he' seems to think that they are so, and tacitly to acknowledge a degree of mildness and humanity in the French treatment of Naves, from the very free and promiscuous intercourse between the French planters and their female slaves, which peoples their plantations with a mixed race participating as much of the European as the African conftitution. But with regard to the main question, the actual state of the negroes in the English plantations, our author, by an appeal to certain concessions on Mr. Ramsay's part, respecting the conduct of at least some planters, and to facts which he says are notorious, endeavours to shew that they are in no uncomfortable condition. He says, that the lives of the flaves are not in the power of their masters, and produces an instance of a white man being not long since executed in the Island of Grenada for the murder of a female slave with whom he cohabitéd, and that there are many English laws. in favour of negroes. But he produces only one instance of this law of retaliation being put in force, and that not of a mafter being punished for the murder of a flave, but of a white man in general. The laws too, in favour of negroes, he confeffes, are obfcured and buried amidst volumes of other laws, and therefore not easily appealed to by illiterate and oppressed negroes. He farther acknowledges, that local policy.may sometimes indeed have occafioned a remiffness of enquiry into acts of passionate, and perhaps, fatal severity. These things will recur to the imagination of the reader. while he peruses the following description of the state of the negroes in our West-India settlements, contrafted with that of the peasantry or labouring people in England, whom he considers “ as the devoted fons and daughters of wretched. nets."
"I will now turn, from this mortifying view of nominal liberty, and carry my readers across the Atlantic, to take a profpect of those regions of slavery, which, according to the representations of Mr. Ramsay, are the favourite abodes of tyranny, distress, and dcfpondence. The young negroes are no sooner taken from the breasts of their mothers, than they receive an equal allowance with them: which, on many estates, is regularly dressed for them, with a mixture of vegetables, and served out two or three times a day.-They are allowed cloaths according to their size, but are seldom seen with any in the day time, being suffered by their parents to range about in the fun without the least incumbrance, by which means. their limbs become supple, inuscular, and active. As soon as they are old enough, they are put into a little gang by themselves, and employed, under the direction of some steady, careful old woman, in gathering grafs, or other food, for fheep, horses, &c.-- From this light work, as they advance in age and strength, they are draughted into what is called the imall gang, and from thence as they arrive at manhood are taken into the great or strongest gang.-When a negro lad attains the age of eighteen or twenty, he begins to think of quitring his father's family, and building a house for himself, and, at the same time, of connecting himself with fome particular young woman as a wife, It must be confessed, that he does not always abide Itrictly by the firt choice he makes on such occasion; yet, attachpents of long standing are much more frequent than could be exa pected under such a latitude of toleration, and are, perhaps, oftner the result of real inclination, among the uncivilized negroes, than in those highly polished societies, where the bonds of union are indiffoluble. -When he has erected his house, and taken unto himTelf a helpmate, he begins to consider himself as settled, and both he and his wife continue to improve their fettlement, and plant the ground around it, as well as what may be allotted them in other parts of the plantation, in caffoda, yawms, potatoes, &c. for use; and in cotton, pot-herbs, fruit, &c. for sale ; and to enable them to accomplish this work, they have for themselves the whole of each Sunday, frequently Saturday afternoon, and their own daily recess every noon, which they rarely employ in eating, fupe per being their chief and favourite repaft. With the first mo, ney they acquire, they generally purchase a hog, which is soon increased to two, or more, with the addition of goats, and poultry, if they are successful, and industrious. They, most of them, likewise, are pofseffed of a favoutite dog or two, which they are in no fear of being deprived of by the gun of a surly over, bearing game-keeper.-They also plant' lime, lemon, plantain, banana, and calabath trees about their houses, which, by a quick vegetation, soon afford them both shade and fruit. As a young negro advances in riches, he will sometimes so far venture to indulge his
pride, or inclinations, as to take an additional wife or two ; but as the fable ladies are by no means exempt from the troublesome passion of jealousy, this is deemed rather a hazardous adventure, and the few libertines of the ton, who take advantage of this licence, have generally cause to repent of their rashness.--As the funda mental neceflaries of life are pretty amply provided for them, their spare time is only dedicated to the procuring such additions, as an English overseer of a country parish would be inclined to consider, as the most baneful luxuries among his fqualid dependants. The racn procure filh, crabs, lobsters, and various other sea productions, which, added to the grain and salt provisions they receive from the eftate, and the roots and vegetables raised by themselves, enables their wives (who are naturally much better caterers and cooks thanthe lower order of women in England) not only to prepare the most nourishing but the most favory meals for their husbands and children. Their kids and poultry they carry to market; their hogs they kill, and reserving the head and oftals, and sometimes a quarter for their own eating, dil. pofe of the reit. By these means a sober, industrious negro is sel. dom without a good fuit or two of cloaths to his back, and a few dollars in his pocket: neither is the whole of their own time, by any means, devoted to laborious employments, but mirth, festivity,