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Icth, Forfeited and unclaimed shares of prize and bounty
The conftitution of the hofpital is afterwards fully and accurately detailed; with the establishment of in and out-penfioners, a description of the painted hall, chapel, council-room, infirmary, and school. The hall is about 106 feet long, fiftyfix wide, and fifty high; ornamented with a range of Corin thian pilafters ftanding on a basement, and fupporting a rich entablature above. Between them, on the fouth fide, are the windows, two rows in height, the jambs of which are ornamented with roses impanelled. On the north fide are recesses anfwering to the windows, in which are painted, in chiaro ofcuro, a variety of allegorical figures. The painting of this hall, which is executed in a masterly manner, was undertaken by Sir James Thornhill, in 1708.
The interior part and roof of the former chapel having been deftroyed by fire, on the 2d of January, 1779, has been reftored in the most beautiful and elegant style of Grecian architecture, from the defigns of the late celebrated Mr. Stuart. The chapel is 111 feet long and 52 broad, and capable of conveniently accommodating a thousand penfioners, nurses, and boys, exclufive of pews for the directors, and for the feveral officers, under-officers, &c. The portal confifts of an architrave, frize, and cornice of ftatuary marble, the jambs of which are twelve feet high in one-piece, and enriched with excellent sculpture. The great folding-doors are of mahogany highly enriched; and we agree with the authors of the narra. tive, that the whole compofition in this portal is not to be paralleled in this, or, perhaps, in any other country. For the defcription of the interior parts of this ftructure, which is enriched with many noble paintings, we must refer our readers to the work; or, what would prove yet more fatisfactory, to the ocular inspection of the whole of this magnificent hospital, every part of which is executed upon the noblest scale, and in a manner most happily adapted to the effential purposes of the inftitution.
To the hiftorical account of the hofpital, the rev. authors have added an account of the ancient royal palace, called Placentia, which ftood upon the spot that is occupied by the prefent magnificent inftitution: of which palace, as well as of feveral parts of the hofpital, they have likewife given elegant plates. On the whole, we think the public highly indebted to the conjunct authors of the narrative, for the full and distinct account which they have given of an edifice fo magnificent in itfelf, and fo honourable, from the excellence of its internal regulations, both to the generofity and humanity of the nation. FOREIGN
FOREIGN LITERARY INTELLIGENCE.
AMONG the advantages derived from our extended limits, fionally to give fome fhort account of mifcellaneous works, and of memoirs on general fubjects, publifhed on the continent. It has been long our practice to preferve remarks of this kind, perhaps not without a difant hope of fome time realizing the plan, which would alone allow us to collect them into one view. But, as thefe accounts have not that intimate connection, which fubjects in one department of fcience have, our readers will excufe its mifcellaneous appearance, though we thall connect them as well as we are able.
At the time when the abolition of the flave-trade has fo much engaged the attention of England, it may not probably be wholly ufelefs to confider what our neighbours on the continent have faid on the fubject; and reafon as well as imagination have been brought to aid the cause we shall even give a fhort account of a novel written with this view. Its title is, The Negro equalled by few Whites' (le Negre comme il y a peu de Blancs). The first obfervations on the injuftice of the flavetrade, which we recollect in any French author, occur in Montefquieu he was followed by Voltaire and Rouffeau, who were ably fupported by the abbé Raynal: thefe authors are in every one's hands; and fo early as the year 1786 a professed antagonist to thefe liberal principles appeared, whofe name was, however, concealed. It was entitled, A Difcourfe on the Slavery of the Negroes, and on the Idea of their Emancipation in the Colonies: by a Colonist of St. Domingo.' This dif course is written with great force and fpirit: it is from the principles of the authors we have mentioned that he tells us he means to argue. I might, fays he, have concealed my being a colonist; but no; I will appear openly, whatever be the fuccefs; and if, availing themselves of the franknefs of my declaration, my readers fhould prophecy that this work is the bold effort of the apclogift for flavery, and the contemptible oppofition of perfonal intereft, let them reject at once, and condemn without hearing me. I will appeal from the eager fanatic to the fenfible and judicious enquirer.'
The work is divided into two parts: in the firft, the author points out the mischievous confequences which the fuppreffion of the negro flavery would produce, and endeavours to prove that it can never be the interest of France to attempt it. In the fecond he explains the best methods of rendering the condition of thofe, doomed to live and die in flavery, more happy. The project of reforming the abuses, and rendering fociety more perfect, has produced many fpeculative works; but it is eafier to form a beautiful ideal picture, and to model it to a fystem, than to investigate real practical truths. It is not neceffary, adds our author, to break this old machine of fociety in pieces, in
order to new-model it; the interior fprings may be repaired, and their motion rendered more free and eafy, while its exterior form is preferved.' On thefe ideas the Colonist examines the question, and his conclusions are drawn from a view of the prefent ftate of circumstances, the form of administration, the political relations of France, the government of its colonies, and the nature of their foil and productions. He does not difcufs the general question of flavery fo far as refpects the rights of mankind, and the methods employed to procure flaves: he examines the expediency of continuing this fyftem, when once admitted, and points out the inconvenience of changing it. In this view, he dwells on the injustice of attacking private property guarantied by laws; enlarges on the ruin which would enfue to many innocent individuals, individuals fo numerous, and property fo great, that every reimbursement would be impracticable. Befides, that the mother country fupplies the colonies with neceffaries, and receives from them fupplies; fo that the event of the abolition would be ruinous to kt. Every argument of this kind is now become familiar to us, and it will be at once feen, that, if flavery is allowed, thefe reafons are in force; but, if it is abfurd, cruel, and unjust, they immediately lofe their power, and only regain it, when flavery, as we have formerly faid, lofes every thing but its name; and when, by a proper treatment of the flaves, a fupply from Africa is no longer neceffary. The fyftem of our author, and his followers, refembles a building on a bad foundation, which it would be too expenfive to pull down; it is fupported therefore with columns which, though they may have fome ufe, are chiefly ornamental, give it an impoling appearance, and conceal the defects, without adding to the fecurity of the foundation.
Our Colonist, like his followers in this kingdom, next endeavours to show, that the state of flavery is not only not painful, but defirable. He defcribes the fociety, under a kind of mild patriarchal government, fpeaks much of the black code, and forgets only to fhow, how the negro fhould in most inftances avail himself of it with fuccefs. If the advocates for the abolition with for a highly worked up defcription of the miferies of negros, from an unfufpected and judicious witnefs, we would refer them to M. St. Pierre's Voyage to the lile of France, val. i. p. 192 and 198.
While the argument remained in this state, the abolition of the trade in America, and the decifive steps of the quakers in Pennsylvania, gave a new force to the fpirit of liberty, which, though dormant, was not quite extinguifhed. Interest and connexions gave an equal force on the oppofite fide to the reasoning we have just detailed; and the establishment of societies in London and Paris contributed to diffeminate the arguments of either party very widely. At this time, the very able and judicious marquis de Condorcet published his Reflec 23
tions on the Slavery of the Negroes, under the fictitious name of M. Schwartz (the German word for black), Minister of the Gospel at Bienne. The work is concife, but fingularly judicious and benevolent. His arguments do not, however, always apply to our English colonies.
The first chapter is on the unreasonableness of the flavetrade: to buy, to fell, to take from his own country, and forcibly retain in flavery any man, is a crime worse than robbery,' if liberty be confidered as a poffeffion. Though opinion does not ftigmatife the crime; though the laws of the country tolerate it, neither opinion nor laws can change the nature of an action.' On thefe principles, and in this manner, the marquis often argues; and with a force which it is not eafy to clude, except juftice be facrificed to expediency and interest. In the fecond chapter, he examines the reasons of thofe who would juftify flavery as an act of humanity, and then treats of the pretended neceffity of flavery, confidered in the relation to the rights of the mafters. But the most important part of the work is, the enquiry, whether the plantations cannot be cultivated without negros. It is alledged, that the whites are unfit for the work; in other words, fays the advocate for the negros, the whites are covetous, drunkards, glut1ons at least very idle-ergo, the negros must be flaves.-But, fuppofe negros abfolutely neceflary, may they not be employed without enflaving them: no; they are idle. That is, fays the marquis, that the avarice and the factitious wants of the whites being more numerous, or more importunate than those of the blacks, the latter must be fcourged to fupply the vices of the former. Again: if the negros were free, they would foon become a flourishing nation; but how would this be injurious, if our vices did not make them a nation of enemies? In the feventh chapter, the marquis contends that the colonist ought to have no compenfation for the freedom of his flaves, for what compenfation would a perfon expect if a field, or goods, bought from a robber, were claimed. The compenfation fhould be given to the flave' for all the evils which he has fuffered. Our author next examines the reasons which may prevent the emancipation of the negros, and point out the regulations neceffary to prevent the emancipation being attended with tumults, dangers, or inconveniencies. But the number and magnitude of thefe fhow, that it is a work of vaft importance, and deferves to be confidered with mature attention. Even our author would proceed by degrees; and, at this time, it may be useful to tranfcribe the outline of his plan. The fale, and efpecially the importation of the negros, should be, he thinks, immediately forbidden: all the children that are born fhould be confidered as immediately free, at least after having paid the expences of their education by fome years of fervitude, which the marquis fixes, feemingly against his inclination, at thirtyfive years: every negro, under fifteen at the publication of the
law, is to be free at forty, the others to be so at fifty with a penfion. This method has, he thinks, the advantage of abolifhing flavery by degrees: it gives time to enable the colonists to cultivate their plantations with free negros or whites, and government an opportunity of changing the police and legiflation of the colonies. In this way, if the period of fertility of the females be placed at fifty, and that of the lives of the men at fixtyfive, there will be no flave left at the end of feventy years; the clafs of negroes who are flaves for life would be loft at the end of fifty years, and the other claffes would not be numerous. In the twelfth chapter, M. Schwartz examines the pretended comparison of the free peafants of Europe and the flaves. The former are supposed to be the happier, because they are free: Freedom is reprefented as the moft effential ingredient In the estimation of happiness. Warm, eager, enthufiaftic Frenchmen! you deferve liberty, for you know how to value it :-you deferve it; for you are willing to difpenfe it.
This is nearly the fate of the argument on the continent on this fubject, for to examine whether this paffion for liberty was infufed by a liberal philofophy or by the gospel, is not a fufficient object to induce us to extend our sketch, which, from its nature, must be flight, but which we have endeavoured to render characteristic. No other work, except it be tranflatęd from the English, has yet reached us in a foreign language, and we fhall conclude this fubject by a fhort review of the novel we have already mentioned.
The author of Cecilia, daughter of Achmet III. a work which we have examined in an English dress, has written the
Negro equalled by few Whites. But it is not, fays he, a romance that I have written: it is the history of a national cha racter in that of an individual.' The colonists have unanimoufly exclaimed, that their flaves are unworthy of liberty, and naturally vicious. M. Diannyere, in a note on the Eloge of M. du Paty, has endeavoured to fhow that the Black code,' barbarous in all its claufes, was the cause of the vices of the negro; and our prefent author has drawn into action, by a fictitious ftory, what he confiders as the true character of the African. This man, fays he, has virtues, and is amiable: if thefe virtues are thofe of his nation, we ought to respect it; this is the plan and object of my work.' He adds, what have I to fear? If the flavery of the negros fhould be at a future period abolished, I shall have no reason to dread the hatred of the prefent age, or the contempt of pofterity. If the chains remain, I fhall have fulfilled, towards my equals, one of those duties which the name of man lays on me. The story is interefting; and, notwithstanding fome occafional improbabilities, well conducted. The negro is painted in very flattering, colours; but many of his advantages are fuppofed to be owing to Dumont, a Frenchman, fhipwrecked on the coaft. The 2-4 daughter