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positions of the author affording little evidence of his skill as tc writer. Bui two hundred and thirteen pages are exhausted, before we arrive at the only part of this performance whick excites any degree of interest, and are enabled to judge of the present situation of Ilispaniola, of its resources, itspower, and the probabilities of its future fate. Yet through, every part of his course, Captain Rainsford appears as the advoeatc and encomiast of the negro race,, who are represented by htm in a fairer point of view than- they have hitherto appea*ed to the unprejudiced eye. An association of rebellious slaves rs adorned with the virtues of civilized life, and the constant recurrence of eulogium throws an inevitable air of suspicion over the entire narrative.
In the year 1799, our author proceeding from Jamaica to Martinique in order to join his corps, was driven by stress of weather to take refuge in the port of Cape Francois, where be was permitted to land,. and was favoured with an interview with thecelebrated Totissainl. who was anxious to inquire lor news. Here Captain Rainsford was struck with the multitude of A merican sailors, and with the fondness which the black women shewed for them. Being however in great want of rest, he proceeded without delay to the Hotel de la Republique, ' an-edifice,' he aflirms>' of rather an elegant appearance,' and on the whole, excepting in the article of complexion, 'he perceived but little difference from, an European city.' The manners, however, were little accordant with this partial description, and. the. following particulars ore related as having ocVBueti'.in \tfe.'co4j<;*-5house of the
'Here were officers and privajei,;tjie;<;<>t<>ppl ajul the u'rummcr, at the same table indiscrimnatel^;. and .the.wxiuvr bad been scarcely seated at a repast in the first n^rf/jxothVeWfe. jvat conducted, when :i fiit negro, to initiate him in the'gfiiWafsysVem,*h"elped himself frequently from his dish, and took occasion to season his character by large draughts of the wine, accompanied with, the address of "-Mon -Amcricain." The appearance of the house, and its accommodations, were not much inferior to a London cotfce-bouse, and on particular occasions exhibited a superior degree of elegance. Toussaint not infrequently dined here himself, but he did not sit at the head of the table, from the idea, (as was asserted,) that the hours of refection and relaxation should not be damped by the affected forms of the old jrogimen, and that no man should assume a real superiority in any oilier place than the field. He was in the evenings at the billiardtable, where the writer conversed and played with hkm several times; and he could not help, on some occasions, when a want of etiquette disturbed him for a moment, congratulating himself, that if he experienced not the refinement of European intercourse, he saw no room. for insincerity: and that if delicate converse did not always present itself, he was free from the affectation of sentiment/
The appearance of the city of the Cape, presents every where vestiges of departed grandeur; and magnificent ruins, once the site of voluptuous luxury, afford a wretched shelter to the poor or the stranger: in many places even these superb structures contained within them the unburied and mouldering remains of their former possessors. Such spectacles in the midst of a populous city argue more against the refinement and civilization of the inhabitants, than can be counterbalanced by all the praises so liberally bestowed on them by our author. According to that gentleman, the negroes are not less expert in the arts of war than in those of peace, and have adapted their discipline to the country, with the utmost skill and address:
'Having been informed of a review which was to take place on the plain of the Cape, the writer availed himself of the opportunity, accompanied by some Americans, and a few of his own countrymen who resided there under that denomination. Of the grandeur of the scene he had not the smallest conception. Two thousand officers were in the tield, earrying arms, from the general to the ensign, yet with the utmost attention to rank; without the smallest symptom of the insubordination that existed in the leisure of the hotel. Each general officer had a demi-brigade, which went through the manual exercise with a degree of expertness seldom witnessed, ard performed equally well several manoeuvres applicable to their method of fighting. At a whistle a whole brigade ran three or four hundred yards, then separating, threw themselves flat on the ground, changing to their backs or sides, keeping up a strong lire the whole of the time, till they were recalled; they then formed again, in an Instant, into their wonted regularity. This single manoeuvre was executed with such facility and precision as totally to prevent, cavalry from charging them in bushy and hilly countries. Such complete subordination, such promptitude and dexterity, prevailed the whole time, as would have astonished any European soldier who had the smallest idea of their previous situation.'
After all, however, it appeared that the discipline of the French troops was an overmatch for these new ^inventions, and that the climate is a still more effectual barrier to the conquest of Hayti, than the arms of its inhabitants. The representations of Captain Ruinsford are, however, obviously tinged by a strong partiality; and, when he informs us that negroes from the lowest rank of slavery, and even natives of Africa, filled situations of trust and responsibility, we are compelled to believe either that their functions were miserably performed, or their duties of the lightest nature,, ft 4
lias neveryet been pretended that the negro is more than ec|iial to the European, and yet most will admit that white men born in low slavery or torn from barbarous countries, would be wholly unequal to the proper discharge of such offices. But not only are the blacks wise in council and formidable in war, but they had already, according to this gentleman, cultivated a delicacy of tasle, and acquired an elegance of demeanour so truly surprising as to approach to the incredible.
'The superior order had attained a sumptuousness of life, with al} the enjoyments which dignity could obtain or rank confer.—The interior oi their houses was, in many instances, furnished with a luxe beyond that of the most voluptuous European, while no want of trans atlunticelegance appeared; nor, amidst a general fondness for shew, was the chasteness of true taste alwass neglected. Their etiquette extended to a degree of refinement scarcely to be conceived; and the services of their domestics, among whom were, from what cause was not ascertained, some nuilattoes, was performed with more celerity than in many instances in Europe. A conscious ease, and certain gnicli du cocur, presided over every repast.'
'The men,'says the author a little farther on,' were in general, sensible and polite, often dignified and impressive ; the women frequently elegant and engaging. The intercourse of the sexes was on the most rational looting.' That some advances towards these attainments had been made, we could very well believe, but it is not in the nature of things, that plants of so slow a growth as delicacy and refinement, should have been nurtured in a few years amid the storms of a convulsive revolution, to such a height and to so great perfection, as is here described. In many other instances we are disposed to give every credit to Captain Rainsford's, statements, and we are not surprised to learn that the negroes are rapidly increasing in numbers, that they are much happier than in a state of slavery, and that their conduct in private is upon the whole correct. These things we should expect from men in their situation, but not the fastidious polish of civilized society.
The following account is given of a negro cottage, and the manners of its inhabitants:
'The menage of the labourer in the town and its vicinity, was improved in a proportion equal to his.condition. A rough, yet neat couch, supplied tfie place of t!ie wretched bedding of a former period, and the visitor was not unprovided for, though it is lamentable to state, tha' in several instances the furniture of the cottage was beholden to the public commotions, and in one instance, painfully iisible, a beautiful fire-screen, the dextrous workmanship of sonic fair strfferer, concealed a <io« then roasting from some of their felluws> y\ho considered it opprobrious to be mttngeurs des cliieus*'
Captain Kainsford at last becomes suspected of r>eing a spy, is imprisoned, is tended vvitli great tare and fidelity by a woman of colour, is tried by a black court-martial with great judgment and acuteness, and is condemned to death, his partiality almost tempts him to say, withgreat justice. A plate is presented, where the reader may view the author with manacled hands and an apprehensive countenance, surveying his negro judges, who sit in state, and with high foreheads, aquiline noses, thin lips, and short chins, resemble their black progenitors no more in their features than in their manners. In fact, excepting in the darkness,of their complexion and the woolliness of their hair, Captain K.'s portraits in every part of the work, have no resemblance whatever to the subjects from whence they were taken: he would not only adorn his favourites with the talents and polish of the Gothic tribes, but with their very features. The picture may be extremely fine and have every good quality, but the author will probably find himself in the situation of the painter, who was obliged to explain by letters what he could not express by his pencil.
At last Captain Kainsford received a pardon from General Toussaiut.and was ordered to quit the island, with which command he speedily complied, after-having in vain attempted to trace the haunts of ' his benevolent incognita' who had relieved him in prison; but it was in vain, for, in the language of the author, we are informed that ' she was impervious.'
In the fifth chapter of this volume, we are presented with an account of the black army, and of the war between the French republic and the negroes in the short interval of the late peace: in the same place there is an ample account of 'that beneficent and able black,Toussainl L'Ou verture,' composed in a style of uniform panegyric. The account is notwithstanding interesting, and alFovds many particulars, which have at least the air of authenticity. Toussaiut certainly was a man of superior merit to most of the negro race, and the conduct ofLe Clerc towards him formed an union of the vilest treachery with the greatest impolicy. Many of
'* Let it not excite wonder that the blacks deriving their origin from somepeculiar part* nf Africa, are remarkably fond of the flesh of this animal, (of which an account m»y be seen at large, I believe, in Iht Ttvtrc) lot it has heen often found an excellent substitute for other food at sea, and has been used with Micccss bj convalescents. Sec Cotik'i Vnyget. I quote the incideri < Ictita Hcniory.' •
the writings,however, which, under the titles of proclamations and decrees, have attracted the attention of the public as instances of the progress of the negroes in knowledge, were in truth the production of the Frenchmen in St. Domingo, and Pascal a descendant of the celebrated writer of that name, contributed his assistance to polish the asperities of Toussaint's compositions. As to the account which is here
fiven of the war carried on against the negroes by the rench government with so much bloodshed and so little success,we cannot enter into any full consideration of it. The particulars have been already presented to the public, and this differs from Former statements in no very essential circumstances. It appears clearly however, that the French were deceived as to the facility of the conquest. They expected to have carried all before them by open force, and, with the most manifest and extraordinary impolicy, hardly deigned to conceal their design of restoring slavery. It might have been very differeut,liowever,had the continuance of peace in Europe permitted them to pour in fresh legions of brave and veteran troops. It is obvious that the negro chiefs are not strongly attached to each other, that by mutual jealousy and ignorance of their own interests they may be readily disunited, and prove an easier and successive prey, aud that measures of conciliation joined to those of force may effect what neither is alone adequate to accomplish. In another expedition, which will not be delayed many months after the conclusion of peace, the fruits, of past misfortune wi)l be gathered in future prudence, and we do not doubt that the French will again establish their dominion in the fertile plains of Hayti, not indeed as the lords of a troop of slaves, but as the governors of a numerous race of free cultivators of the soil. The remembrance, it is true, of the barbarities on both sides,may oppose a cordial re-union; but it is melancholy for the credit of Europe to reflect that our neighbours greatly exceeded in every species of atrocious inhumanity their despised and uneducated negroes.
When we reflect on the probability of new attempts on the part of the French to subjugate St. Domingo, and that the permission of our government must be asked, before troops in numbers sufficient for the purpose can be sent to the West Indies, it is a matter of consequence to consider how fur we ought toco-operate in re-establishing the power of our enemies over an extensive and fertile district,weil calculated to promote the increase of their languishingcornmerce, and to afford Lhein the means nl'opposing us again on the ocean,from which our late triumphs have almost swept their entire navy.