« ПретходнаНастави »
the institution; and visited the apartments of those who were slightly ill with a cold, and of those who were more seriously ill. It was a holiday, or the hour was that of amusement, and we saw the children and young ladies in small groups, or sitting at their large windows, grated in the fashion of Spanish houses, all neatly dressed, and some tastefully. Some were amusing themselves with reading, and some with work, and the little girls were innocently sporting from hall to hall.
“Having passed over the apartments appropriated to the females, their school-rooms, their eating-rooms, their immense hall in which their cots are arranged for the night, after the manner of the Moravians, but decently removed to a private room for the day, we entered on a distinct suite of rooms for the accommodation of the boys, in most respects similar to to the other.
"A useful education is given in this institution to two hundred females and forty boys, and to all except ten, at the expense of the institution. The ornamental kinds of needlework are taught, as well as the more useful, and even music. In the boys' apartment we found the Lancasterian plan adopted; the walls were hung with the usual tablets, and the benches with slates. It is remarkable that females once entered into this establishment remain as long as they please, or till they are married ; if married from the house, they are portioned as daughters of the family, each bride receiving a dowry of five hundred dollars. Several of the young ladies we saw in friendly conversation with young gentlemen, their brothers possibly, and possibly friends entertaining for them still tenderer sentiments.” pp. 123–125.
The Spaniards have ever maintained an unexceptionable character for temperance. In this respect, they hold out an example worthy of all imitation, and it would, perhaps, be as well for us to compare our own condition with theirs in that respect. It would require, we apprehend, rather more, even than that extravagant self-complacency with which we are (not without reason) charged by foreigners, to make us blind to the humiliating difference.
The negroes in Cuba, like those in our own country, are its liege subjects. The observations of Dr. Abbot on this topic, are so just and so applicable to the state of the case among tbe Carolina negroes, that few readers will not be struck with their truth.
“In travelling in Cuba, I have heard the remarks of many planters on the subject of arguadiente, or ardent spirit, and its effects on negroes. As it is sold for half a bit for a junk bottle of it; as taverns are thick all over the country, where it can be bought; as few negroes are without money, and most of them are passionately fond of the liquor, it follows pretty naturally that they drink it, and the usual evils, physical and moral, are lamentably frequent. Most of the quarrels on plantations are traced to this cause ; more punishments are inflicted for intemperance, and crimes committed in consequence of drinking, probably, than
for all other faults whatever. The accidents befalling volantes may be commonly charged to the intoxication of caleseros.
“ The evils are manifestly many and great. To correct them, some masters and administrators punish intoxication with great severity. This, however, does not prevent the repetition of the crime; for the temptation is irresistible, when the habit of drinking has been once formed.
'On some plantations, a little indulgence is given; a moderate quantity is allowed to the negroes at the birth or christening of a master's
and in the rainy season, to prevent colds and fevers when they have been wet. One thing is certain-in these ways, the relish is kept in lively remembrance in the elder negroes, and a dangerous appetite is awakened in the younger, which must be expected to seek irregular gratification. And this will lead to those rigorous measures on a plantation, for which neither the pleasure, nor even the benefit of the indulgence, if there be any, can be considered as any compensation.
I would be the last man to abridge the comforts of this unfortunate class of men, but I am entirely satisfied that the greatest kindness which can be rendered them, is to place the liquor on all occasions, wet and dry, beyond their reach. As an article of materia medica, prescribed by an enlightened physician, I would not absolutely proscribe it. That, however, should be the only exception.
“On three contiguous estates of more than four hundred slaves, has been made, with fine success, the experiment of a strict exclusion of ardent spirit at all seasons of the year. Not only drunkenness, but drinking is punished, however moderate. A sure method is practised for detecting the drinker, however sober he may be. It is impossible to disguise his breath. Various expedients were attempted, such as infusion of strong scented herbs in his posset. But the unerring nose of the administrator or mayoral, always detected the offender, and inevitable correction followed, till the offence is almost unknown on the estates.
" It was a deep conviction on the part of the proprietor that the bad health and early death of many of his slaves, and the irregular conduct in their families, and consequent suspicions, and jealousies, and bloody revenges, in some cases amounting to murder of child and parent, were chiefly imputable, directly or indirectly to ardent spirit, which brought him to the resolution of banishing it entirely from his estates. The success bas very far exceeded his most sanguine hopes. Peace, and quietness, and contentment, reign among the negroes; a better state of health is evident; creoles are reared in much greater numbers than formerly ; the estates are in the neatest and highest state of cultivation, and order and discipline are maintained with very litle correction, and the mildest means.
“The writings of enlightened physicians of the present day, accord with the theory of this humane planter. They utterly deny the neces
. sity of spirit to the labourer in heat and cold, in seasons wet and dry. Substitutes more salutary may, in cases of exposure to drenching rains, be adopted. Molasses, hot water, and ginger, are the best correctives of the chill, followed by a warm and fine garment. What is the effect of the sudden flash of liquid fire, compared with the genial warmth obtained by these milder means ?
“A serious evil on the other hand arises from the custom of giving a glass of spirit to a wet negro or a wet gang. They will love to get wet and.cold, that they may be warmed by their favourite beverage.
" But cut off all hope of the indulgence, and cases of exposure, of fever, and death will be diminished. As a means then, of order and peace, and contentment on a plantation; a means of keeping the hospital empty, and the bohea full of vigorous labourers, and the plantation populous, and cheerful with creoles, let ardent spirit be banished from the plantation.
“Nine-tenths of all the crimes, and poverty, and calamity of the United States, spring from ardent spirit, and the abuse of liberty in the use of that dangerous poison. Can a humane planter, whose word is law in this regard, confer a greater blessing on his slaves, than to provide that they live in happy ignorance of the moral and physical evils which oppress so many of the free ?" pp. 149–152.
Within a few years, no opinion could be accurately formed in regard to the population of Cuba. Few persons would conjecture the truth. We, at any rate, were much surprised at the results as given by our author, which are widely different both as respects number and the relative proportions of the different classes, from what we should have expected. We confess, however, that our information amounted to nothing more than could be gathered from the vague estimates of such of our friends as had visited the island for other purposes, and who, of course, did not examine this subject with statistical exactness. Dr. Abbot himself acknowledges that he found great difficulty in forming a correct statement; but after making large allowances for the number of slaves, which he makes much greater than either Humboldt er Huber, or the government census in 1817, still the free white and coloured population is equal in number to the slaves. We subjoin several statements on this interesting subject :
“There is no subject connected with Cuba, of greater interest to a curious stranger, than that of its population; and none concerning which there is greater difficulty in coming to a correct statement. I have listened to conversation on the subject among well-informed
men, Spanish and foreigners; and have carefully examined the most recent authorities in public documents, and consulted the last edition of Baron Humboldt, 1827, and the statistical exposé of B. Huber, 1827; not with the hope of coming to any accurate result, but of arriving at something near the truth, as to the present population of the island, and the several proportions of white, and colored, and negro, of freemen and of slaves.
". The latest census of the island was taken in 1817; and from various circumstances it cannot be supposed very accurate, especially in regard to the slave population. As slaves may be subjects of taxation, some masters would be likely to keep back part of their number. As the
importation of slaves has been prohibited by law, those which have been brought to the island since 1819, a very considerable number, cannot regularly enter into the enumeration. Much must be left to conjecture, therefore, in estimating the population of the island. Without going into dry details, not very suitable in a letter, but which may be seen at a minute extent in Humboldt, and also in Huber, in which latter, however, there are some very considerable errors, and some manifest inconsistencies, I shall content myself with giving a few tables from these authors, and stating the opinion of the most judicious and intelligent men, with whom I have had the privilege of conversing in the country, and two of the principal cities.
“ Population of Cuba, according to Census in 1817. Males.
Monks. Troops. Total. Secular. Regular. 129,656 109,140 515 348 171 19,430 259,260
715,000 “ Till the census which is taking by the Captains of Partidos, and the Alcaldis of jurisdictions throughout the island, intended to be very exact, but which will, from the nature of the operation in this country, be liable to considerable imperfection, shall make its appearance, I venture to put down the whole population of the island, at 1,000,000 of souls; of which 500,000 are free, and 500,000 are slaves. Of the free, 300,000 are white, 115,470 are mulattos, and 74,530 negroes. Of the slave population, about 50,000 are mulattos.
“ The proportion of slaves in this estimate is considerably greater than the writers before me have acknowledged. It is a favourite idea
in this island, and very well founded too, that so great is the proportion of the free, that there is no manner of danger from insurrection of the slaves. Fully to enjoy the comfort of this idea, there seems to have been a pretty general consent to diminish the number of slaves. But whoever has travelled in the cultivated parts of the island, which is an extensive portion of the whole surface, where a few caballerias of land call for a hundred labourers—whoever considers the imposing fact that in the twelve Partidos of the province of Havana alone, in 1817, there were no less than 625 sugar estates, and 779 coffee estates ; and that both have been increased, the latter astonishingly, since that time, perhaps doubled in number, in consequence of the high price which coffee then bore, will have no difficulty, I think, in allowing the above estimate of the slave population of the island.” pp. 152–154.
The yeomanry of Cuba, known as “Monteros,” being a large majority of the free white population, and always armed, in common with every other white man in the island, form a military force abundantly sufficient to suppress any internal commotion. Combining activity, courage and hardihood, with a familiar use of their weapons, this important class will present a preponderating influence in any future revolutionary movements; at least, no important or violent political change can be effected without their concurrence.
We regret that our space is too limited to permit us to proceed farther in the examination of the work before us, but we feel confident that enough has been said to draw the attention of our readers towards a book so well deserving their notice.
Art. VI.-1. The Republic of Cicero, translated from the Latin ;
and accompanied with a Critical and Historical Introduction. By G. W. FEATHERSTONHAUGH, Esq. Fellow of the Geological Society of London ; of the American Philosophical Society; of the Lyceum of Natural History of New York,
&c. &c. &c. New-York. G. & C. Carvill. 1829. 2. M. Tullii Ciceronis de Republica, librorum reliquia e palimp
sesto. Ab ANGELO MAIO, nuper erutæ ad editionem Romanam diligentissime expressa. Boston. Everett. 1823.
We should be very sorry to consider this pretended translation of Cicero's Republic, by a “Fellow of the Geological Society of London," as a fair specimen of the scholarship of New-York. Although it may argue ourselves unknown, we candidly confess