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public grandeut, astonished the traveller ; its accumulation of wealth surprized the mother country, and it was beheld with rapture by the neighbouring inhabitants of the islands of the Antilles. Like a rich beauty, surrounded with every delight, the politicians of Europe, sighed for her possession; but they sighed in vain; she was reserved for the foundation of a republic as extraordinary as it is terrible, whether it ultimately tend only to the ascertainment of abstract opinions, or unfold a new and august empire to the world, where is has heretofore been deemed impossible to exist.'
So far is the author from regarding the Negroe race in a degrading light, that he deems them capable of the highest intellectual cultivation ; and his short residence among them led him to observe traits of character, from which he is in. duced to augur well of their exertions for the establishment of civil liberty. If we do not entirely adopt bis sanguine views, we cannot accede to the opposite notion that these people are destined for slaves, ard that it is the will of Providence that chey should ever be in subjection to the Whites. Yet Hayti is perhaps too small to constitute an empire absolutely independent; the European interest in the West Indies cannot view such an establishment with complacency; and it is probable, unless other revolutions favourable to its aggrandizement should occur in that quarter of the globe, that it will ultimately be forced to become an appendage of a more potent state. Though a reduction to its former situation may be impossible, it may yet be obliged to own a degree of depend.
The revolutionary spirit in St. Domingo is said to have owed its birth to an ignorance of human nature, to a blindness to actual circumstances, and to a want of individual virtue in the colonists, who fanned the spark of revolution into a flame by the events which took place in the relations of the colony with the mother-country, on the change of its government. We shall not here review this part of the French history, nor dwell on the measures of folly and of blood by which this fertile island was at length severed from the Gallic yoke. As the occurrences of the expeditions to this colony have tailed in our public journals, and must be fresh in the memories of our readers, we shall not copy gazettes; preferring to advert to those accounts of manners and characters which ihe author's visit to St. Domingo enabled him to furnish. The state of society among the superior class is thus described :
• The superior order had attained a sumptuousness of life, with all the enjoyments which dignity could obtain, or rank confer. The interior of their houses was, in many instances, furnished with a luxe beyond that of the most voluptuous European, while no want of trans-atlantic elegance appeared ; nor, amidst a general fondness for
shew, was the chasteness of true taste always neglected. Their eti. quette extended to a degree of refinement scarcely to be conceived ; and the service of their domestics, among whom were, from what cause was not ascertained, some mulattoes, was performed with more celerity than in many instances in Europe. A conscious ease, and certain gaieté de cæur, presided over every repast. Conversation had free scope, except as related to their own former circumstances, but when the defence of their country was the subject, every eye
filled with fire, and every tongue shouted - Victory! The names of some, who had seceded from the black army, were the only objects that seemed to excite detestation. In many instances the writer has heard reasoning, and witnessed manners of acuteness and elegance, the relation of which would appear incredible, from those who were rememhered in a state of servitude, or whose parents were in situations of abject penury; while sallies of wit, not frequently surpassed, have enlivened many an hour. It would ill become him, notwithstanding the tide of prejudice, which has always pervaded his assertions, to suppose his readers capable of gratification from the chit chat of a St. Domingo table ; and it would be equally unjust to employ the opportunities afforded him by unguarded kindness, in the accumulation of fleeting anecdotes, arising froin domestic privacy : he therefore contents himself with stating, that the enjoyments of life were to be found in a high degree in the capital of St. Domingo, and that their alloy did not exceed, nor perhaps always equal, that of ancient European cities.
• The men were in general sensible and polite, often dignified and impressive ; the women frequently elegant and engaging. The intercourse of the sexes was on the most rational footing, and the dif. ferent degrees of colour which remained, had lost most of that na. tural hostility which formerly existud. Several Americans had in. termarried with ladies of colour very advantageously, and to appear. ance happily. They were, generally, very agreeable women, and felt no inequality in their difference of complexion or nation. Like Sappho, they could plead, (in many instances, in point of wit, sprightliness, and pathos, little inferior to the Lesbian muse, though without her proers of song)
“ Brown though I am, an Ethiopian daine
Inspir'd young Perseus with a generous flame;
And glossy black is pair’d with shining white." That the cottage life of the St. Domingo negroes was more comfortable than it is generally imagined to have been may be collected from an anecdote which is thus related :
• In one instance, the writer was introduced by a brigand of pecu.. liar intelligence, (with whom he had frequent conferences on the military tactics of the black arıny) to the cottage of a black laborer, of whom an account may not be uninteresting. He had a family of thirteen children ; eight of them by one woman, and the remainder by two others; the former only lived withi him in the same cottage,
with his mother, who was aged and infirm; the other two, separately, at a small distance. This man was an epitome of legislature, aud his family a well regulated kingdom in miniature. His cottage consisted of three irregular apartments, the first of which was his refectory, where, as often as possible, and always on jours de féles, his subjects assembled, including on those occasions his three wives. The furniture of this apartment was en irely of his own making, even to the smallest uteneil, and with an ingenuity beyond what might be expected from re:tect leieute; notwithstanding the artificer, during the process, liad been obliged to attend his labor in the fields, and was a considerable time in armis. On a neat shelf, appropriaicd peculiarly to their use, lay a mass bouk, and a mutilated volume of Volney's Travels, some parts of which he understood more than his visitor. Every thing convenience required was to be found on a small scale, and the whole so compact, and clean, with such an air of properté throughout as was absolutely attractive. His own bed-room was furnished with an improved bedstead, supported by trussels, with a mattress and bedding of equal quality with the other furniture, but that of his children and mother suis passed the whole. One bedstead contained them, yet separated the male from the female, the young from the aged, and was separated or combined in an instant. The third was his kitchen and store house, and might also be called bis laboratory, for conveniences were found for chemical experiments, though not of the most scientific kind ; but every utensil for culi. nary purposes was provided in the best manner. The wife of this laborer (for he had submitted to the ceremony of marriage with the female who had borne him the most children, as is the general custom with them) was nearly as ingenious as himself, and equally intelligent. The mode he pursued in the regulation of his domestic economy was excellent; as continence is not a virtue of the blacks, the in. crease of his family was not confined to his own house ; yet, even in his amours he was just; and as the two mothers before-mentioned were less protected than his ostensible wite, the primary object of his consideration was to have the whole of his children under his own care. This was reconciled to all parties from the first, in so mild a way, that no distinction was perceivable but in age, while the mothers held a relationship to their domiciliated offspring similar to that of an aunt or cousin, each exciting herself for the purpose of adding to the comforts of her own child - On festive occasions, the iwo mothers sat alternately on the right or left of the mistress of the house, with as much etiquette as might be perceived in a more elevated station, and with the utmost harmony. The master of the family was abso lute, but with him it was in theory, not in practice, for all seemed to vie in forbearance. As soon as the children could contribute their little powers to labor, they were employed; the younger (except as regarded their strength) being subject to the interior offices; and, singular as it may appear, on the testive occasions alluded in, tricy waited upon their seniors, though but by a fu years, and seemed delighted in the office. Agreeable to this rule, in accordance with that reverence for age so remarkable amung blacks of every comdi. tion, the grandmother received the atfection and attention of all; and
though often crabbed. infirm, and discontented, no one seemed to consider her failings as such, but as a duty prescribed them to bear.
• In fact the writer considered this numerous family, as he beheld them at their frugal meal, a model for domestic life, with a proof that those jarring interests, which, in the smallest connection, as well as in the largest states, creating more embarrassment than the most adverse circumstances, or the greatest crimes, may be avoided by a generous conduct, and reciprocal kindness. He need scarcely add, happy was his humble friend, or that each individual of his family, in their separate capacities, laid up a store of happiness for themselves, and those around them.'
While the author was under sentence of death as a supposed spy, waiting the final decision of Toussaint, he was con Gned in a kind of cage with iron bars in front: in which situation, he experienced the benevolent attentions of a female of colour, whose elegant figure Mr. R. has represented in an annexed plate; and in prose he endeavours to display the united graces of her person and mind :
• After lying two nighis on a couch, formed of dried sugar canez, with a very slender supply of food, the prisoner had resigned himself to the vacuity of despair; he was stretched out in silent agony, when, as the night closed in, and the mirthful troops had progres. sively retired, a gentle female voice, with the tenderest accents, aroused his attention. How long the benign object had been there, he could not ascertain ; but, when he looked up, and beheld her, his. feelings were indescribable : she was a fine figure, rather tall, and slender, with a face most beautiful, and a form of the finest symmetry, improved by the melancholy air which the scene had given her. She was dressed in a superior style, and possessed all the elegance of European manners, improved by the most expressive car riage. She held a basket, containing the most delicate food, with the finest fruits : she entreated him to receive them silently, and to destroy any remnants, as a discovery would be fatal to ber, and prejudicial to himself. He was about to reply with the ardour of grati. tude, when, in an instant, she was gone! On the following evening, she returned, and endeavoured to comfort him with the most obliging expressions; and, hy evincing extreme anxiety on his behalf, once more light up the illusion of hope in his breast, which he had aban." doned, with all human prospects, for ever. The next evening shc repeated her visit, and condescended to favor him with more exten sive communication. Still not a word occured to disclose her name, or situation : once, indeed, she made some distant allusions to the English, which led him to imagine, she had been impressed with gratitude towards the country by some obligation. Whatever her name, or whatever her circumstances, if this slight memorial should live to reach that delightful isle, in which, as an angelic representation of mercy, she may yet stay the land of the destroyer, it will bear to her the sincere effusions of a grateful heart, which, though
bruised by those of a fairer skin, can never discharge its serise of duty.
On the morn of the fifteenth day, when he had ventured to dis. engage himself of a part of his dress, for the purpose of a temporary relief from the weight of his chains, the answer of Toussaint arriveri, bringing instead of (as was fully expected) the confirmation of the sentence, an order from that truly great man for his release, and to be suffered to proceed on bis voyage, with this prohibition, conveyed with much shrewdness, but the greatest magnanimity : “ That he must never return to this island without proper passports !!!
Contemplating the character of Toussaint both in public and private life, as here exhibited, it is impossible not to lament his cruel destiny, or to restrain our abhorrence of the treachery of Le Clerc, and of the despotic vengeance of Bonaparte. If we cannot rescue his corpse from the dark and damp dungeon in which he fell a sacrifice, we wish to assist in rendering justice to his fame; and for this purpose we shall copy the portrait which Mr. R. has drawn of him :
" It probably may be expected that something should be mentioned of the general character of Toussaint; and, if there was any object predominant in the wishes of the writer during his sojourn at the Cape, it was to ascertain the traits of peculiarity in that individual, - to judge of the views, and of the motives that actuated him. The result of his observations was in every respect favorable to this truly great man. Casual acts of justice and benignity may mark the reign of anarchy itself, and complacency sometimes smooth the brow of the most brutal tyrant; but when the man, possessed for a considere able period, of unlimited power, (of whose good actions no vena! journalist was the herald, but, to transcribe bis errors a thousand competitors were ready) has never been charged with its abuse; but, on the contrary, has preserved one line of conduct, founded by sourd sense and acute discernment on the most honourable basis, leaning
I have ever conceived this adventure as highly illustrative of the character of the sex conveyed in the culogium of Lediard, (the traveller in Africa) hich coniains sentiments I have always deliglit. ed to repeat.-“I have," says he, “always remarked, that women, in all countries, are civil, obliging, tender, and humane ; that they are ever inclined to be gay and cheerful, timorous and mudest ; and, that they do not hesitate, like men, to perform a kind, or generous action. Not haughty nor arrogant, nor supercilious, they are full of courtesy, and fond of society more liable in general io crr than man, but in general, also, more virtuous, and performing more good actions than he. To a woman, whether civilized or savage, I never addressed myself in the language of decency and friendship, without receiving a decent and friendly answer With man it has often been otherwise."
. With many opportunities of judging in various countries, and in various situations, I warmly subscribe to this just encomium.' +7