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are of no consequence to any one but the writer. The details which he sometimes gives are not introduced because they relate to himself, but because they tend to illustrate the state of the country through which he is travelling, and the manners of its inhabitants.
In the year 1828, Viscount Strangford went to Brazil as Ambassador Extraordinary from Great Britain. Dr. Walsh accompanied him as chaplain. It was on this occasion that the work before us was prepared. Besides the notices of Brazil, the volumes contain an account of the voyage to Rio Janeiro, some particulars respecting Madeira, at which island our author and his fellow voyagers landed on their passage, and an account of the voyage on their return to England. Dr. Walsh, from his situation in the British embassy, enjoyed peculiar advantages for obtaining information concerning Brazil. These advantages he has diligently improved. On many subjects his knowledge appears to be extensive, accurate, and well digested. The general appearance of the country through which he travelled, its climate, diseases, agriculture, and commerce, the amusements, education, literature, and religion of the people, the administration of justice, and the recent history of Brazil, all attract his attention, and all are rendered entertaining or instructive to the reader. We are not aware of any work which presents so full and clear, and at the same time so lively and agreeable an account of the moral and social condition of the Brazilians, and of their political opinions and prospects. Indeed, all former travellers in Brazil, whose works have fallen under our notice, have given very crude, superficial, and unsatisfactory representations on these subjects. Our author, on the contrary, appears to have studied and entered into the very spirit of the people, and that rather like a judicious and sympathizing friend and fellow-citizen than a heartless stranger.
We shall not detain our readers with any further general remarks
the work before us, but shall content ourselves with extracting from it a few passages, which will enable them to judge of its character better than any formal criticism.
The principal cause of the low moral and political condition of Brazil, and of the little benefit which has hitherto been reaped from its vast natural resources, is the frightful system of slavery under which the country is groaning. This subject our author has examined with great attention. His remarks upon it, in various parts of his volumes, are highly judicious and instructive; and the facts which he relates cannot be read by the most careless without a deep and melancholy interest. No one, probably, who has not made slavery a study, with however much abhorrence he may regard the system in theory, can imagine the nature and extent of the evil which flows from this fountain of bitterness.
When Dr. Walsh first landed at Rio Janeiro, he was very much struck with the appearance of the negro population.
The whole labor of bearing and moving burdens is performed by these people, and the state in which they appear is revolting to humanity. Here was a number of beings entirely naked, with the exception of a covering of dirty rags tied about their waists. Their skins, from constant exposure to the weather, had become hard, crusty, and seamed, resembling the coarse black covering of some beast, or like that of an elephant, a wrinkled hide scattered with scanty hairs. On contemplating their persons, you saw them with a physical organization resembling beings of a grade below the rank of man; long projecting heels, the gastrocnemius muscle wanting, and no calves to their legs; their mouths and chins protruded, their noses flat, their foreheads retiring, having exactly the head and legs of the baboon tribe. Some of these beings were yoked to drays, on which they dragged heavy burdens.
Some were chained by the necks and legs, and moved with loads thus encumbered. Some followed each other in ranks, with heavy weights on their heads, chattering the most inarticulate and dismal cadence as they moved along. Some were munching young sugar-canes like beasts of burden eating green provender, and some were seen near the water, lying on the bare ground among filth and offal, coiled up like dogs, and seeming to expect or require no more comfort or accommodation, exhibiting a state and conformation so unhuman, that they not only seemed, but actually were, far below the inferior animals around them. Horses and mules were not employed in this way; they were used only for pleasure, and not labor. They were seen in the same streets, pampered, spirited, and richly caparisoned, enjoying a state far superior to the negroes, and appearing to look down on the fettered and burdened wretches they were passing, as on beings of an inferior rank in the creation to themselves. Some of the negroes actually seemed to envy the caparisons of their fellow brutes, and eyed with jealousy their glittering harness. In imitation of this finery, they were fond of thrums of many-colored threads ; and I saw one
creature, who supported the squalid rag that wrapped his waist by a suspender of gaudy worsted, which he turned every moment to look at, on his naked shoulder. The greater number, however, were as unconscious of any covering for use or ornament, as a pig or an ass.
The first impression of all this on my mind, was to shake the conviction I had always felt, of the wrong and hardship inflicted on our black fellow creatures, and that they were only in that state which God and nature had assigned them; that they were the lowest grade of human existence, and the link that connected it with the brute, and that the gradation was so insensible, and their natures so intermingled, that it was impossible to tell where one had terminated and the other commenced; and that it was not surprising that people who contemplated them every day, so formed, so employed, and so degraded, should forget their claims to that rank in the scale of beings in which modern philanthropists are so anxious to place them. I did not at the moment myself recollect, that the white man, made a slave on the coast of Africa, suffers not only a similar mental but physical deterioration from hardships and emaciation, and becomes in time the dull and deformed beast I now saw yoked to a burden.
"A few hours only were necessary to correct my first impressions of the negro population, by seeing them under a different aspect. We were attracted by the sound of military music, and found it proceeded from a regiment drawn up in one of the streets. Their colonel had just died, and they attended to form a procession to celebrate his obsequies. They were all of different shades of black, but the majority were negroes. Their equipment was excellent; they wore dark jackets, white pantaloons, and black leather caps and belts, all which, with their arms, were in high order. Their band produced sweet and agreeable music, of the leader's own composition, and the men went through some evolutions with regularity and dexterity. They were only a militia regiment, yet were as well appointed and disciplined as one of our regiments of the line. Here then was the first step in that gradation by which the black population of this country ascend in the scale of humanity; he advances from the state below that of a beast of burden into a military rank, and he shows himself as capable of discipline and improvement as a human being of any other color.
* Our attention was next attracted by negro men and women bearing about a variety of articles for sale; some in baskets, some on boards and cases carried on their heads. They beVOL. XI.
N. S. VOL. VI. NO. II.
longed to a class of small shop-keepers, many of whom vend their wares at home, but the greater number send them about in this way, as in itinerant shops. A few of these people were still in a state of bondage, and brought a certain sum every evening to their owners, as the produce of their daily labor. But a large proportion, I was informed, were free, and exercised this little calling on their own account. They were all very neat and clean in their persons, and had a decorum and sense of respectability about them, superior to whites of the same class and calling. All their articles were good in their kind, and neatly kept, and they sold them with simplicity and confidence, neither wishing to take advantage of others, nor suspecting that it would be taken of themselves. I bought some confectionary from one of the females, and I was struck with the modesty and propriety of her manner; she was young mother, and had with her a neatly dressed child, of which she seemed very fond. I gave it a little comfit, and it turned up its dusky countenance to her and then to me, taking my sweetmeat and at the same time kissing my hand. As yet unacquainted with the coin of the country, I had none that was current about me, and was leaving the articles; but the poor young woman pressed them on me with a ready confidence, repeating in broken Portuguese, outo tempo. I am sorry to say, the “other time
never came, for I could not recognise her person afterwards to discharge her little debt, though I went to the same place for the purpose.
It soon began to grow dark, and I was attracted by a number of persons bearing large lighted wax tapers, like torches, gathering before a house. As I passed by, one was put into my hand by a man who seemed in some authority, and I was requested to fall into a procession that was forming. It was the preparation for a funeral, and on such occasions, I learned that they always request the attendance of a passing stranger, and feel hurt if they are refused. I joined the party, and proceeded with them to a neighbouring church. When we entered we ranged ourselves on each side of a platform which stood near the choir, on which was laid an open coffin, covered with pink silk and gold borders. The funeral service was chanted by a choir of priests, one of whom was a negro, a large comely man, whose jet black visage formed a strong and striking contrast to his white vestments. He seemed to perform his part with a decorum and sense of solemnity, which I did not observe in his brethren. After scattering flowers on the coffin, and fumigating it with incense, they retired, the procession dispersed, and we returned on board.
'I had been but a few hours on shore, for the first time, and I saw an African negro under four aspects of society; and it appeared to me, that in every one his character depended on the state in which he was placed, and the estimation in which he was held. As a despised slave, he was far lower than other animals of burthen that surrounded him; more miserable in his look, more revolting in his nakedness, more distorted in his person, and apparently more deficient in intellect than the horses and mules that passed him by. Advanced to the grade of a soldier, he was clean and neat in his person, amenable to discipline, expert at his exercises, and showed the port and bearing of a white man similarly placed. As a citizen, he was remarkable for the respectability of his appearance, and the decorum of his manners in the rank assigned him ; and as a priest, standing in the house of God, appointed to instruct society on their most important interests, and in a grade in which moral and intellectual fitness is required, and a certain degree of superiority is expected, he seemed even more devout in his impressions, and more correct in his manners, than his white associates. I came, therefore, to the irresistible conclusion in my mind, that color was an accident affecting the surface of a man, and having no more to do with his qualities than his clothes — that God had equally created an African in the image of his person, and equally given him an immortal soul; and that an European had no pretext but his own cupidity, for impiously thrusting his fellow man from that rank in the creation which the Almighty had assigned him, and degrading him below the lot of the brute beasts that perish.'— Vol. 1. pp. 82 – 85.
The last paragraph of the foregoing extract ought to be studied by every slave-holder. In other passages the author points out some of the evils arising from slavery in Brazil. We extract a single one.
'A very considerable part of the wealth of Rio is vested in this property, and slaves form the income and support of a vast number of individuals, who hire them out, as people in Europe do horses and mules. This is one great cause, that prevents the adoption of machinery in abridging manual labor, as so many persons have an interest in its being performed by the slaves alone. This is particularly the case in the custom-house. A crane was imported from England, capable of enabling two negroes to move and manage weights which now require twenty ; but this was violently opposed and effectually resisted, as every person in the establishment possessed a number of negroes, even down to the lowest clerks, who had five or six