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mad wars continually raging, by which are often destroyed in one year the works of many years peace. So that we may hope, the luxury of a few merchants on the coaft will not be the ruin of America.
One reflection more, and I will end this long rambling letter. Almost all the parts of our bodies require fome expence. The feet demand fhoes; the legs ftockings; the rest of the body clothing; and the belly a good deal of victuals. Our eyes, though exceedingly ufeful, afk, when reafonable, only the cheap affiftance of fpectacles, which could not much impair our finances. But the eyes of other people are the eyes that ruin us. If all but myself were blind, I fhould want neither fine clothes, fine houses, nor fine furniture.
ON THE SLAVE TRADE.
READING in the newspapers the fpeech of Mr. Jackfon in congress, against meddling with the affair of flavery, or attempting to mend the condition of flaves, it put me in mind of a fimilar fpeech, made about one hundred years fince, by Sidi Mehemet Ibrahim, a member of the divan of Algiers, which may be seen in Martin's account of his confulship, 1687. It was against granting the petition of the fect called Erika, or Purifts, who prayed for the abolition of piracy and flavery, as being unjust.— Mr. Jackson does not quote it; perhaps he has not feen it. If, therefore, fome of its reasonings are to be found in his eloquent speech, it may only fhew that men's interefts operate, and are operated
on, with furprizing fimilarity, in all countries and climates, whenever they are under fimilar circumftances. The African fpeech, as tranflated, is as fol lows:
« Alla Bifmillah, &c. God is great, and Mahomet is his prophet.
"Have these Erika confidered the confequences of granting their petition? If we cease our cruifes against the Chriftians, how fhall we be furnished with the commodities their countries produce, and which are fo neceffary for us? If we forbear to make flaves of their people, who, in this hot climate, are to cultivate our lands? Who are to perform the common labours of our city, and of our families? Muft we not then be our own flaves? And is there not more compaffion and more favour due to us Muffulmen, than to those Chriftian dogs?-We have now above fifty thousand flaves in and near Algiers.
This number, if not kept up by fresh supplies, will foon diminish, and be gradually annihilated. If, then, we cease taking and plundering the infidel ships, and making flaves of the feamen and paffengers, our lands will become of no value, for want of cultivation; the rents of houses in the city will fink one half; and the revenues of government, arifing from the fhare of prizes, must be totally destroyed. And for what? To gratify the whim of a whimfical fect, who would have us not only forbear making more flaves, but even manumit those we have. But who is to indemnify their masters for the lofs? Will the ftate do it? Is our treafury fufficient? Will the Erika do it? Can they do it? Or would they, to do what they think justice to the flaves, do a greater injustice to the owners? And if we set our flaves free, what is to be done with them? Few of them will return to their native countries; they know too well the VOL. I. L
greater hardships they muft there be fubject to. They will not embrace our holy religion they will not adopt our manners our people will not pollute themselves by intermarrying with them. Must we maintain them as beggars in our streets; or fuffer our properties to be the prey of their pillage? for men accustomed to flavery will not work for a livelihood, when not compelled.-And what is there fo pitiable in their present condition? Were they not flaves in their own countries? Are not Spain, Portugal, France, and the Italian ftates, governed by defpots, who hold all their fubjects in flavery, without exception? Even England treats her failors as flaves, for they are, whenever the government pleafes, feized and confined in ships of war, condemned not only to work, but to fight for fmall wages, or a mere fubfiftence, not better than our flaves are allowed by us. Is their condition then