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Mr. F. Your resolution is a good one, and happy would it be for all the gentlemen of honour, as you call them, if they would make the laws of God, and the dictates of common sense, a part of their code.
SPEECH OF M
PITT, IN THE BRITISH PARLIAMENT, ON THE SUBJECT OS THE SLAVE TRADE.
WHILE I regret the ill success which has hitherto attended
my efforts on this subject, I am consoled with the thought that the house has now come to a résolution declarative of the infamy of the slave trade.
2. The only question now is, on the continuance of this traffic, a traffic of which the very thought is beyond all human endurance; a traffic which even its friends think so intolerable that it ought to be crushed. Yet the abolition of it is to be resolved into a question of expediency.
3. Its advocates, in order to continue it, have deserted even the principles of commerce ; so that it seems a traffic in the liberty, the blood, the life of human beings, is not to have the advantage of the common rules of arithmetic, which govern all other commercial dealings.
4. The point now in dispute is the continuance for one year. As to those who are concerned in this trade, a year will not be of any consequence; but will it be of none to the unhappy slaves ? It is true, that in the course of commercial concerns in general, it is said sometimes to be beneath the magnanimity of a man of honour to insist on a scrupulous exactness, in his own favour, upon a disputed item in accounts.
5. But does it make any part of our magnanimity to be exact in our own favour in the traffic of human blood ? If I could feel that any calculation upon the subject were to be made in this way, tre side on which I should determine, would be in favour of the unhappy sufferers ; not of those who oppressed them.
6. But this one year is only to show the planters that Parliament is willing to be liberal to them! Sir, I do pot understand complimenting away the lives of so many buman beings. I do not comprehend the principle on which a few individuals are to be complimented, and their minds set at rest, at the expense and total sacrifice of the interest, the security, the happiness of a whole quarter of this world, which, from our foul practices, has, for a vast length of time, been a scene of misery and horror.
7. I say, because I feel, that in continuing this trade you are guilty of an offence beyond your power to atone for ; and by your indulgence to the planters, thousands of human beings are to be consigned to misery.
8. Every year in which you continne this trade, you add thousands to the catalogue of misery, which, if you could behold in a single instance, you would revolt with horror from the scene; but the size of the misery prevents you fron beholding it. Fi: a hundred out of one thousand who are obtained in this traffic perish in this scene of horror; and are brought miserable victims to their graves.
9. The remaining part of this wretched group are tainted both in body and mind, covered with disease and infection, carrying with them the seeds of pestilence and insurrection to your islands.
10. Let me then ask the house, whether they can de. rive any advantage from these doubtful effects of a calculation on the continuance of the traffic ? and whether two years will not be better than three for its continuance ?
11. For my part, I feel the infamy of the trade so heavi. ly, the impolicy of it so clearly, that I am ashamed not to have been able to have convinced the house to abandon it altogether at an instant ; to pronounce with one voice the immediate and total abolition. There is no excuse for us. It is the very death of justice to utter a syllable in support of it.
12. I know, sir, I state this subject with warmth. I should detest myself for the exercise of moderation. I cannot, without suffering every feeling and every passion that ought to rise in the cause of humanity to sleep within me, speak coolly upon such a subject. And did they feel as think they ought, I am sure the decision of the ho
would be with us for a total and immediate abolition of this abominable traffic.
13. In short, unless I have misunderstood the subject, and unless some reasons should be offered, much superior to any I have yet heard, I shall think it the most singular act that ever was done by a deliberate assembly, to refuse to assent to the proposed amendment. It has been by a resoJution declared to be the first object of their desire, the first object of their duty, and the first objeet of their inclination.
IF late I paus'd upon the twilight plain
2. Lo! where to yon plantation drooping goes
3. O'er the far beach the mournful murmur strays,
4. E'en at this moment, on the burning gale,
5. O cease to think, my soul! what thousands die
6. Are drops of blood the horrible manure,
7. Yes, their keen sorrows are the sweets wo blend
8. Yes, 'tis their anguish mantles in the bowl, Their sighs excite the Briton's drunken joy ; Those ignorant suff'rers know not of a soul, That we, enlighten'd, may its hopes destroy.
9. And there are men, who, leaning on the laws, What they have purchas'd claim a right to holu. Curs'd be the tenure, curs'd its cruel cause; Freedom's a dearer property than gold !
10. And there are men, with shameless front have said, so That nature form’d the negroes for disgrace; “ That on their limbs subjection is display'd ; “ The doom of slav'ry stamp'd upon their face.'
11. Send your stern gaze from Lapland to the line,
12. Then why suppose yourselves the chosen few,
13. "Tis sordid int'rest guides you. Bent on gain,
14. Ah! how can he, whose daily lot is grief,
15. For when he sees the female of his heart,
inheritors of smart Had be religion, think ye, he could pray?
16. Alas! he steals him from the loathsome shed, What time moist midnight blows her venom'd breath, And musing, how he long has toil'd and bled, Drinks the dire balsam of consoling death!
17. Haste, haste, ye winds, on swiftest pinions dy, Ere from this world of misery he go, Tell m wrongs bedew a nation
eye, Tell him Britannia blushes for his woe!
18. Say, that in future, negroes shall be blest,
19. Say that fair freedom bends her holy flight
20. Then shall proud Albiod's crown, where laurels twine,
THE HUMANE INDIAN.
AN Indian, who had not met with his usual success in hunting, wandered down to a plantation among the back settlements in Virginia ; and seeing a planter at his door, asked for a morsel of bread, for he was very hungry. The planter bid hiin begone, for he would give him none.
2. Will you give me a cup of your beer? said the Indian. No, you shall have none here, replied the planter. But I am very faint, said the savage. Will you give me only a draught of cold water ? Get you gone, you Iudian dog; you shall have nothing here, said the planter.
3. It happened some months after, that the planter went op a shooting party up into the woods, where, intent upon his game, he missed his company, and lost his way; and night coming on, he wandered through the forest, till he espied an Indian wigwam.
4. He approached the savage's habitation, and asked him tu show him the way to a plantation on that side the country. It is too late for you to go there this evening, sir, said the Indian ; but if you will accept of my homely fare, you are welcome.
5. He then offered him some venison, and such other refreshment as his stcre afforded, and having laid some bearskins for his bed, he desired that he would repose him