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ous mad bigots who now tease us with their silly petari ons, have, in a fit of blind zeal, freed their slaves, it was uot generosity, it was not humanity, that moved them to the action ; it was from the conscious búrthen of a load of sins, and hope, from the supposed merits of so good a work, to be exempied from damnation. How grossly are they mistaken, in imagining slavery to be disavowed by the Alcoran ! Are not the two precepts, to puote no more, “ Masters, treat your slaves with kindness-Slaves serve your masters with cheerfulness and fidelity," clear proofs to the contrary? Nor can the plundering of infidels be in that sacred book forbidden ; since it is well known from it, that God has give en the world, and all that it contains, to his faithful Mussulmen, who are to enjoy it, of right as fast as they can conquer it. Let us then hear no more of this detestable proposition, the manumission of Christian slaves, the adoption of which would, by depreciating our lands and houses, and thereby depriving so many good citizens of their properties, create universal discontent, and provoke insurrections, to the endangering of government, and producing general confusion. I have, there. fure, no doubt that this wise council will prefer the comfort and happiness of a whole nation of true believe ers, 10 the whim of a few Erika, and dismiss their petition.”
The result was, 'as Martin tells us, that the Divan came to this resolution : « That the doctrine, that the plundering and enslaving the Christians is unjust, is at best problematical; but that it is the interest of this state to continue the practic, is clear'; therefore, let the petition be rejected."-And it was rejected accordingly.
And since like motives are apt to produce, in the minds of men, like opinions and resolutions, may we not venture to predic, from this account, that the per titions to the parliament of England for abolishing the slave trade, to say nothing of other legislatures, and the Rebates upon them, will have a similar conclusioni. March 23, 1790.
OBSERVATIONS ON WAR. ; * By the original law of nations, war and extirpation were the punishment of injury. Humanizing by de. grees, it adınitted slavery instead of death: a farther step was the exchange of prisoners instead of slavery: another, to respect more the property of private per. sons under conquest, and be content with acquired dominion. Why should not this law of nations go on inproving? Ages have intervened between its several steps; but as knowledge of late increases rapidly, why should not those steps be quickened? Why should it not be agreed to, as the future law of nations, that in any war hereafter the following description of men should be undisturbed, have the protection of both sides, and be permitted to follow their employmente in security ?-V1Z.
1. Cultivators of the earth, because they labour for the subsistence of mankind.
2. Fishermen, for the same reason.
3. Merchants and traders in unarmed ships, who accommodate different nations by communicating and exchanging the necessaries and conveniences of life.
4. Artists and mechanics, inhabiting and working in open towns.
It is hardly necessary to add, that the hospitals of enemies should be unmolested--they ought to be assisted. It is for the interest of humanity in general, that the occasions of war, and the inducernents to it, should be diminished. If rapine be abolished, one of the encouragements to war is taken away; and peace there fore more likely to continue and be lasting.
The practice of robbing merchants on the high seas ma remnant of ancient piracy-thougı it may be acci. dentally beneficial to particular persolis, is for from be. ing profitable to all engaged in it, or w the nation that authorises it. In the beginning of a Wa, some rich ships are surprised and taken. This encourages the first adventurers to fit out more acind vessels; and many others to do the same. But the enemy at lile sa inę time become more careful; aran tacir merchant
ships better, and render them not so easy to be taken; they go also more under the protection of convoys. Thus, while the privateers to take them are multiplied, the vessels subject to be taken, and the chances of profit, are diminished so that many cruises are made, where. in the expences overgo the gains; and, as is the case in other lotteries, though particulars have got prizes, the mass of adventurers are losers, the whole expense of fitting out all the privateers during a war being much greater than the whole amount of goods taken.
Then there is the national loss of all the labour of so many men during the time they have been employed in robbing; who besides spend what they get in riot, drunkenness, and debauchery; lose their habits of industry; are rarely fit for any sober business after a peace, and serve only to increase the number of highwaymen and housebreakers. Even the undertakers who have been fortunate, are, by sudden wealth, led in. to expensive living, the habit of which continues when the means of supporting it cease, and finally ruins them : a just punishment for having wantonly and unfeelingly ruined many honest, innocent traders and their families, whose substance was employed in serving the common interest of mankind.
ON THE IMPRESS OF SEAMEN. Notes copied from Dr. Franklin's writing in · pencil on the margin of Judge Foster's cele · brated Argument in favor of the Impressing
of Seamen....published in the folio edition of his works.
JUDGE FOSTER, P. 158. « Every Man.”—The conelusion here from the whole to a part, does not seem to be good logic. If the alphabet should say, Let us alt fight for the defence of the whole; that is equal, and may therefore be just. But if they should say, Let Avis
B, C and D go out and fight for us, while we stay at home and sleep in whole skins; that is not equal, and . therefore cannot be just. '
Ib. “ Employ.”-If you please. The word signifies engaging a man to work for me, by offering him such wages as are sufficient to induce him to prefer my ser-, vice. This is very different from compelling him to work on such terms as I think proper.
Ib. " This service and employment, &c." These are false facts. His employments and services are not the same-Under the merchant he goes in an unarmed vessel, not obliged to fight, but to transport merchandize. In the king's service he is obliged to fight, and to hazard all the dangers of battle. Sickness on board of king's ships is also more common and more mortal. The merchant's service, too, he can quit at the end of the voyage; not the king's. Also, the merchant's wages are much higher.
Ib. “I am very sensible, &c." Here are two things put in comparison that are not comparable : viz. injury to seamen, and inconvenience to trade. Inconvenience to the whole trade of a nation will not justify injustice to a single seaman. If the trade would suffer without his service, it is able and ought to be willing to offer him such wages as may induce him lo afford his service voluntarily.
Page 159. “ Private mischief must be borne with patience, for preventing a national calamity."-Where is this maxiin in law and good policy to be fou:id? And how can that be a maxim which is not consistent with common sense? If the maxim had beell, ihat private mischiefs, which prevent a national calamity, ought to be generously compensateci by the nation, one might understand it; bui that such private mischiels are only to be borne with patience, is absurd!
16. " The expedient. &c. Anci, &c.” [Haragraphs 2 and 3)-Twenty jueti ctual or inconvenient scheines will not justify one that is unjust.
Ib. " Upon the foot of, &c."-Your reasoning; ia
deed, like a fie, stands but upon one foot; truth upon two.
Page 160. “ Full wages."-Probably the same they had in the merchant's service.
Page 174. “ I hardly admit, &c."-(Paragraph 5.) When this author speaks of impressing, page 158, he diminishes the horror of the practice as much as possible, by presenting to the mind one sailor only suf. fering hardship (as he tenderly calls it) in some fiarticular cases only; and he places against this private mise chief the inconvenience to the trade of the kingdom. But if, as be supposes is often the case, the sailor who is pressed, and obliged to serve for the defence of trade, at the rate of twenty-five sliiliings a month, could get three pounds ffteen shillings in the merchant's service, you take from him 6 fiy shillings a month; and if you have 100,000 in rour service, yoti rob this honest industrious part of society, and their poor families, of 250,0001. per month, or three millions a year, and at the same ime oblige them 10 hazard their lives in fighting for the defence of your trade; to the defence. of which all ought indeed to contribute (and sailors among the rest) in proportion to their profits by it; but this three millions is inore than their share, if they did not pay with their persons; but when you force that, methinks you should excuse the other.
But it may be said, to give the king's seamen mercharit's wages would cost the nation too much, and call for more taxes. The question then will amount to this: whether it be just in a community, that the ricli
er part should compel the poorer to fight in defence of • them and their properties, for such wages as they
think fit to allow, and punish them if they refuse? Our author tells us that it is “legal.” I have not law enough to dispute his authorities, but I cannot persuade myself that it is equitable. I will, however, own for the present, that it may be lawful when necessary; but then I: contend it may be used so as to produce the same good effects the public security, without doing so much in