Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

DR. BENJAMIN RUSH.

TRUTH AND POETRY.

had spoken in her sickness. I can con- there is an established school both of ceive great advantages may be derived surgery and medicine, under the inspecfrom this retentive power in our memo

tion of talented men. The doctrine of ries, in the advancement of the mind fatalism opposes itself in limine to the towards perfection in knowledge (so very profession of medicine and surgery. essential to its happiness) in a future A French officer, who has written an world.

account of the conquest, describes an

interesting scene which he witnessed beThere is a quaint conceit of old Mal

tween a young Arab, who was brought herbe, the father of French poetry, his aged father, who came to visit him.

in wounded to the French camp, and « that God repented of having made The leg-bone of the youth had been man, but never repented of having created woman.” Without her, Paradise shattered, but his life might have been was joyless ; for to taste joy, it must be saved by amputation of the limb. The shared, and's happiness was born a twin." old man hung over him in agony, beIn his “ Pleasures of Hope,” Mr. Camp. seeching him not to offend God and bell has a fine allusion to this truth :

Mahomet by submitting to the operation, « Till Hymen brought his love delighted hour, homet took him to himself in reward of

His son followed the advice, and MaThere duelt no joy in Eden's rosy bower! In vain the viewless seraph lingered there, his piety. There are, nevertheless, Moors At starry midnight charmed the silent air; and Jews who pretend to make both In vain the wild bird carolled on the steep, clinical and surgical cures, and women To hail the son slow wheeling from the deep; In vain to soothe the solitary shade,

who are called in as sages femmes; but Aerial notes in mingling measure played ; the native doctors know not a tittle of The summer wind that shook the spangled tree, anatomy, and scarcely the names of their The whispering wave, the murmur of the bee: Still slowly passed the melancholy day,

own medicines, many of which are noxiAnd still the stranger wist not where to stray;

ous in the cases in which they are preThe world was sad! the garden was a wild ! scribed. In surgery they understand And man the hermit, sighed till woman smiled!”

not even the use of a lancet. They conALGERINE SURGERY.

sole the cholic, the stone, and pleurisy The art of healing does not seem to

with the application of red-hot iron to be in' a very palmy state in Algiers, if the suffering parts. This treatment we may judge by the pithy description often elicits shrieks of assurance from given by the author of the “ Pleasures of the patients that they are perfectly cured; Hope," of what he observed during his and intreaties that the application may sojourn there. These gentry have been be removed. They bleed and amputate so long accustomed to the summary with a razor, and stop hæmorrhage with method of striking off heads, hands; boiling pitch. Dr. Abernethy, in lec. noses and ears, that it is scarcely to be turing on the disease of wens, declared expected that they should become all at

that he knew not how to cure them, and once proficients in pharmacy; as they that perhaps whistling to them was not have given up privateering, however, we the worst prescription. In like madner, see no reason why their naval officers it is possible that the amulets bestowed should not betake themselves to hospital on the Algerines by their holy maraboots, practice, for which their previous extem- are among the most innocent of their pore quickness of operation must have cures." a little qualified them.

IDLE PEOPLE. “ The Mussulman's bigotry must ultimately retreat before civilization; and Heaven knows there is room enough for improvement in this barbarous land.

Under the greenwood tree The native population, though it will

Who loves to lie with me, sometimes show you heads and forms

And tnne his merry note

Unto the sweet bird's throat, worthy of a scriptural picture, exhibits

Come hither, come hither, come 'hither! incomparably more numerous objects of

Here shall he see such wretchedness as you would not meet with in an European city : ele

But winter and rongh weather. Shakspeare. phantiasis and blindness are excessively THERE is no class of human beings common, and disease and poverty may visited with more matter-of-course vitube said to walk the streets. Until the peration than idle people. Idleness ! it French arrived, there was scarcely an is the greatest vice of civilization, for it European surgeon or physician in the is the least profitable. Men may lie, regency, except some runaway druggists' and cheat, and game, and drink, and apprentices from Christendom; break the ten commandments in what

nd

BY WILLIAM Cox.

No enemy,

now

soever way they please, and they will be supposed that any reproach is meant to find apologists; but for idleness, no one be cast on the industrious. No--the man lifteth up his voice to speak. From the who sacrifices his love of ease, and labours busy haunts of men, from the toil and unremittingly that his wife may be at rest, turmoil of the marts of traffic, from and his little ones comfortably clothed the din and smoke of manufactories, and fed—that he may be free from duns from the high courts of Mammon, it is and debts, and walk through the world for ever banished : only on the pleasant fearing and beholden to no living creabill side, in the waving meadow, and ture--such a man is worthy of admiraunder the ancient forest trees, or by the tion. But there are others, who have babbling brook and lazy river hath it enough and to spare, but still go onsought out an undisturbed retreat ; and the slaves of avarice and habit; who there its devotee is to be found, stretched dignify their love of gain with the name luxuriously along the greensward, wor- of industry, and plume themselves shipping his divinity after his own calm mightily on “never being a single minute and easy fashion. Foolish fellow! up idle;" why, what are they at best but and away unto the crowded city, for miserable earth-worms, voluntary bondsthere money, “ the white man's god,” is men; the worldly wise, and yet the to be made-spend thy days in bargain- most egregious fools ! ing, and wrangling and over-reaching, One thing that has undeservedly and thy nights in scheming and calculat- brought idleness into bad repute, is the ing, until thou art worth a million! but confounding it with laziness, than which rest not, relax not, toil and bargain and no two things can be more different. wrangle on, and thou mayest yet be The lazy sluggard, who hates motion in worth a million and a half! and then if every shape, and lies upon the earth an death some morning put a stop unto thy inert piece of animation, is scarcely upon profitable speculations, think, for all thy a par with the beasts that perish. А care and anxiety—thy joyless days and five specimen of this tribe was a fat old sleepless nights-what a glorious conso- gentleman of the city, a prodigious lation is thine! The poor idler goes to eater, who, in summer time, used to sit, his gravé not worth a groat, while thou by the day together, smoking and steamdescendest to thine everlasting rest with ing like a cauldron. The only exercise more money invested in the funds than he was ever known to take consisted in any man on 'change!

calling out, after he had sat on one seat “ Idleness,” saith the proverb, “is the long enough to make it uncomfortably mother of mischief.” How strange that warm, “John, bring me a cool chair !” such a noisy brawling urchin should and then moving from one chair to the spring from so inoffensive a parent! other, Now idle people are the very For my own part, I have a respect for reverse of this.

In all sorts of games idle people ; and when no one suffers by and sports they are first and foremost. their idleness, they are the most sensible It is they who can pitch a quoit or bowl people on the face of the earth-your a cricket-ball straighter and truer than only true philosophers. Love of ease is any one else; the swiftest runners and natural to man, and industry came into most active wrestlers of the district. It the world with original sin. Hard work is they who have roamed the country far occasioned the first murder. If Cain, and wide, and know where the finest instead of tilling the stubborn earth and fishing streams are to be found, and earning his bread “ by the sweat of his where the birds are most plentiful—the brow," had had nothing to do but lounge healthiest, bardiest, and most ventureon the mountain-side like his brother some of heaven's creatures ; who will Abel, play his pipe, watch his sheep scramble up a precipice, and risk their feeding, and then feed himself, he would necks for a bird's nest, but droop and pine never have envied him, and the second away under a regular routine of moneygreat transgression would never have making tasks. There are, however, come to pass.

different varieties of this species, like That idleness is the natural state of every other. Some of a more contemman, cannot be doubted. Like the plative turn, who seek out the pleasant flowers of the field it springeth up with- nooks and shady places, known but to out care or culture ; but industry is a themselves, and there muse away their hot-house plant, of forced and artificial hours. These are intimate acquai growth, and is apt to wither away, if not tances of nature, and are initiated into anxiously tended and cherished. In as- thousands of her little secrets that serting these undeniable truths, let it not others know not of; and with Shakspeare in their hand, they read unfolded “ Necessity the master still of will, mysteries of mind and matter, that seem,

How strong soe'er it is,” and are, not the records of observation, did not drag him back to his toils ? Oh! but the outpourings of inspiration. what a clog it is on a man's spirit, to Such an one was Jaques, though rather feel that he is a slave--for what are they too cynical ; and, at times, even such an but slaves with the privilege of change, one must Shakspeare have been. It whose daily labour buys their daily appears impossible that the scenes in the bread ?) -to long for liberty, yet feel that forest of Arden could have been engen- the pure air, the green fields, the blue sky, dered anywhere except “under the shade the very commonest gifts of nature, that of melancholy boughs.”. So thoroughly are enjoyed by the brutes of the earth and are they imbued with a true pastoral the birds of the air, are denied to him? spirit, so free from the noise and smoke True, he may break through all restraints of cities, that it is really strange, after and go about inhaling as much fresh air reading “ As you like it,” with your as he pleases; but when the cravings of mind filled with images of lonely forest appetite hint to him that it is dinner walks and their denizens, the Duke of time, whence are to come the victuals Amiens and his “co-mates and brothers that constitute that important item in in exile,” to walk to the window and see the sum total of human happiness ? so many streets, houses, carriages, and Man is unfortunately a carnivorous anifantastically dressed men and women. mal, and must, once a day at least, be How pitiable would he be who could fed with flesh, fowl, or fish : he cannot afford to dream away hours amid such make an unsophisticated repast off the scenes, and yet who should forsake them fruits of the earth, for though « For so much dross as may be grasped thus |”

“his anatomical construction Yet idle people are looked upon as the

Bears vegetables in a grumbling sort of way,

Yet certainly he thinks, beyond all question, very worst and “most good-for-nothing Beef, veal, and mutton easier of digestion.” people in existence. They are under the ban of society.

Then, why are idle people, who The worldly father

can afford to be so without wrong to points them out to his son as a warning, and the prudent mother watches that her any one, so hardly dealt with, when all marriageable daughter's eyes rest not on

men, deserving the name, would be idle

if they could? Who ever knew a creathem; their names are stricken from

ture that could make use of the tooinvitation-lists; and every griping scoundrel twitteth' them, and vaunteth his unless I am doing something,” that was

common expression, “I am never easy superior pack horse qualifications. And for what 2-why, their comparative pov- shewed the slightest symptoms of having

worth passing an hour with, or that erty and practical philosophy. Yet they

a soul?

He cannot be easy without are in one sense the wealthiest of men,

doing something, merely because he Poor and content, is rich, and rich enough ; But riches, fineless, is as poor as winter

cannot hold communion with himself ; To him that ever fears he shall be poor.” be bas no treasures of thought to which In towns a person of this tempera- itself unless exercised in the miser

he can revert, and his mind preys upon ment is altogether out of his element.

able distinctions and petty gains and He is a connoisseur in sweet, wholesome

is at air, and sighs to rove about in search of triumphs of business, which

With a few

best but a necessary evil, it. As long as the grizzly tyrant winter keeps the fair spring in chains, it matters exceptions, I much admire the state of little where he is; but when one of things that the old courtier in the Temthose glorious days that herald her pest proposes to introduce into the approach breaks forth, and nature be enchanted island if he were king of itcomes, on the instant, all life and

" No kind of traffic animation, there are few men, let them

Would I admit; no name of magistrate;

Letters should not be known; no use of service, be as industrious as they may, who have Of riches, or of poverty; no contracts, not experienced his feelings. Who, on Successions; bound of land, tilth, vineyard none: such a day, has not felt a pleasing lan

No use of metal, corn, or wine, or oil;

No occupation; all men idle, all; gour steal over him, and a distaste for

And women too; but innocent and

pure. ordinary pursuits and avocations? Who All things in common nature should produce does not long to leave the hubbub of the Without sweat or endeavour ; treason, felony, city far behind, to stroll forth into the Would' l not have; but nature should bring fields, and have the taint of the smoke

forth blown off by the fresh April winds ? and Of its own kind, all foison, all abundance, who would not do so if

To feed my innocent people."

A STORY OF ST. DOMINGO.

MAKANDAL.

He selected his mistresses from every quarter, and seemed constantly more

charmed with the woman that contri. (From the Mercure de France, Feb. 1787.)

buted most to his happiness; and an un.

common fierceness of jealousy defended It is not more than twenty-five years ago the empire of his love. that the island of St. Domingo, or Hayti, The white overseer of the plantation trembled at the single name of Makandal. in which Makandal was a slave, was Born in Africa, in one of the countries smitten with a young woman with whom at the foot of Mount Atlas, he was un- Makandal also fell in love. We may questionably of high rank : for his edu. imagine how much the poor girl must cation had been attended to with an

have been embarrassed, to choose be assiduity not common among the negroes. tween a despotic and severe master and He could read and write the Arabic the most distinguished of all the negroes; language ; nor was he the only negro but at last her heart voted for her equal, fallen by chance into slavery, and con- and the overseer was refused. veyed to our colonies, that could boast of

Enraged at this indignity, be disthis talent. Makandal, moreover, had covered that Makandal was the cause of a fine taste for music, painting, and it, and resolved to be revenged. Ma sculpture; and although he was no more kandal, notwithstanding his nocturnal than twelve years of age when he was courses, and the attention he devoted to sent to the West Indies, he had a great pleasure, performed his duty as a slave knowledge of the medicine of his country, with so much zeal and punctuality that and of the virtues of simples : a know. he had never been exposed to the slightest ledge so useful, and often so dangerous punishment,—

;-a very astonishing circumin the burning zone that extends between

stance in a country where the wbip inthe tropics.

cessantly tears the bodies of the wretched Makandal was sold to a planter in the negroes, and excites terror and comvicinity of Cape Francois. He not only passion in the breast of an European not gave great satisfaction to his master, by rendered callous by barbarous habit, to his uncommon understanding and assi. the horror of such a sight. duity ; but he was beloved and revered

The overseer, impatient to surprise by all the slaves, on account of the care Makandal in some fault, redoubled his he took to contribute to their amusement vigilance ; but in vain—the slave was by multiplying their holidays, and by irreproachable. His enemy, not finding curing their diseases when the white

any reason for punishing him, deterphysicians had given them over. He mined to form a pretext; and one day, soon became the soul of all their dancing in the midst of a new plantation of sugar assemblies, of which the negroes are canes, he ordered him to lie down on the passionately fond; and, from one end of ground and receive fifty lashes. The the island to the other, the sick that high-spirited Makandal appeared shocked were given over invoked the name of at this piece of injustice. Far from Makandal, and sent to him to entreat humbling himself, and imploring the some leaf of an herb, or some root, intercession of the other slaves, who which almost constantly restored them were all astonished and affected, he to health.

fiercely threw his working tools at his At this period, young Makandal was rival's feet, and told him that his indistinguished for beneficence, and a pas. human order was now, the signal of sion for pleasure. , Happy, indeed, had liberty. At the same time he fled to. he made no other use of such extraor- wards the mountains, and escaped, notdinary talents ;—but they proved, in the withstanding the fury of the overseer, sequel, to be sources of the most enor- and the feigned pursuits of the negroes, mous crimes.

who had no inclination to take him, At fifteen or sixteen years of age, love From that moment he was in the displayed its influence in his soul with number of the runaway negroes, and the most astonishing impetuosity. In- continued to be so for twelve years bestead of an exclusive inclination for a fore he could be apprehended. single, female, all that possessed more stantly lived, however, in the midst of than ordinary attractions participated in bis comrades. There was not an enterhis homage, and inflamed his desires.

tainment of any consequence of which His passion acquired greater energy and he was not the head. How, indeed, activity, in proportion as the objects could any of the negroes be induced to that inspired it became more numerous. betray their friend, their comforter, and

He con

their propbet ?-for he had the des. fetiche, and executed the command of terity to persuade them, at least, that he the pretended prophet, without daring possessed supernatural virtues, and en- to mention it to any one. The vietim joyed divine revelations.

expired; and dying, perhaps, at a disHe had curiously engraved, at the end tance from the predictor, the prescience of an orange stick, a small human figure of Makandal was the subject of admiwhich, when it was touched a little ration. below the head, moved its eyes and lips, His friends thus found in him a for. and seemed to be animated. He pre. midable avenger, and his rivals—his tended that this fetiche answered all bis inconstant mistresses, and those, in partiquestions, as an oracle ; and when he cular, who refused his solicitations, never thought fit to predict the death of any escaped his cruelty. But at last, love, one, it is certain he was never mistaken. which had so much favoured him-love,

From the great knowledge Makandal for which he had committed innumerable had of simples, he was enabled to dis- crimes; love hurried him to destruction, cover, at St. Domingo, many poisonous Makandal had two accomplices, or plants; and it was through this that be lieutenants, blindly devoted to his will; acquired such extensive credit. Without the one was named Teysselo, the other explaining the means that he employed, Mayombo ; and it is probable that they he would declare that such a negro, alone were partly in the secret of the whether male or female, who lived some means which he employed to establish times fifty leagues from the place where his dominion. be uttered the prediction, would die the In the day time, he retired with these same day or the day after, and those who two chiefs, and a considerable number heard him soon learned, to their terror, of other runaway negroes, to the almost that the prediction was accomplished. inaccessible heights of the mountains,

It is now proper to explain the means where they kept their wives and children that he employed in the commission of with well-cultivated plantations. Bands crimes that were not conceived to be of armed robbers sometimes thence de such, till they had been carried to an scended, at the command of Makandal, extreme of enormity.

to spread terror and devastation in the The negroes, in general, have a great habitations of the neighbouring plains, propensity to commerce. Numbers of or to exterminate those who had disthem act as hawkers or pedlars, in dis- obeyed the prophet. persing the European goods about the He seemed, moreover, to be attached country; and in the French colonies, to many young negroes, who gave him they are called pacotilleurs.

It was

an account of whatever passed in the amongst these that. Makandal had his plantations where they were slaves. disciples and most confidential partisans; Among these was one named Zami, and these, in particular, he employed in about eighteen years old, beautiful as the all the good or evil of which he was the Belvedere Apollo, and distinguished by author.

both courage and

understanding. Another custom, moreover, among

One Sunday, Zami had repaired to a the negroes, is to exercise the rites of dance about three leagues from his mashospitality with a religious attention, ter's house. The whole assembly, with and to take a repast together on seeing transports of admiration and pleasure, each other again, after the smallest ab- encircled a negro girl called Samba, who

Now, whenever Makandal had danced with an enchanting grace, and determined that any particular person who, to a tender and voluptuous air, should perish, he dispatched one of these united the most timid modesty. Her pedlars who were his friends, to present shape was elegant and easy, like the to the devoted person some fruit that he pliant reeds that are balanced by the gave him, declaring, at the same time, winds. Her eyes beamed inexpressible that it contained the death of the person lustre ;-her teeth eclipsed the whiteness who was to eat it. The pedlar, instead of snow; and her complexion, black as of supposing that Makandal had poisoned ebony, added fascination to her charms. the fruit, trembled at the power of his Zami beheld this uncommon beauty,

and, for the first time felt the tender • Fetiche is a name given in Guinea to their sensation. Samba, at the same instant, divinities ; one of whom is supposed to preside fixed her fine eyes, by chance, on Zami, over a whole province, and one over a whole and was struck with the same dart that family. This idol is a tree, the head of an ape, had pierced the young negro. a bird, or any such thing as their fancy may suggest.

After the dance was over, a conversa

sence.

« AnteriorContinuar »