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could be awarded to him could compensate him for the loss of the man's services. I also heard, indirectly, that the attempt to procure his liberty had been already made, unsuccessfully, some years ago, by the Duke de Montebello, when he visited Jamaica, on his return from his South American travels, and had even ineffectually applied at the Colonial Office, to be assisted in devising means for procuring his freedom. But, though a duke had failed, I had the modesty to think it was no reason why I should. I was certainly disheartened, but not dissuaded from renewing the attempt.
Some weeks passed over before any further step was taken. I now waited on Mr. Anderson, and I frankly stated to him what my wishes and intentions were. Mr. Anderson was a perfect stranger to me; and what I had to propose, in case he objected to a public valuation, was to enter into a private agreement for his release.
I know not with what earnestness I may have pressed the matter; but this I know, that I found myself talking to a man whose disposition, if Nature ever writes a legible hand on human features, was as benevolent as any I ever met with.
No adventitious advantages of mien or manner may enhance the merit of a noble action; but these advantages do enhance the pleasure which the contemplation of such merit always affords us.
This gentleman, I should think, is upwards of sixty; his hair is white as snow: but a hale, freshcoloured, happy-looking, kind-hearted person, whose patriarchal mien, and genuine old-Englishgentlemanism (if I may coin with impunity) of air and manner, give even a stranger a favourable impression of one to whom Nature has been so kind, and Time itself more indulgent than usual.
There are some men whom, perhaps, you see for the first time in your life, and why or wherefore you know not, but you feel your spirit in communion with theirs from the first moment of your intercourse. Anderson was one of these men. A great many words did not pass between us: I expressed the wish I felt to obtain the man's release: he said, I need say no more on the subject. The man was valuable to him; his services were worth more to him than those of negroes for whom he had paid £300; but the man had been a good servant to him—a faithful and a good negro and he would take no money for him-he would give him his liberty!!! I pressed him to name any reasonable sum for his release, but he positively refused to receive one farthing in the way of indemnity for the loss of the man's services.
The following day was appointed to execute the act of manumission, at the public office of the special magistrate. It is needless to make any
observation on conduct like this: a generous action, that is serviceable to a man's prospects or pecuniary affairs, every one can appreciate; but a noble action, that does honour to human nature, while it confers on one, in whose person the rights of human nature have long been outraged, the greatest of all earthly privileges, no language can do justice to the merits of; and few, who feel all the admiration for it it deserves, are fit to make it the subject of description.
The time appointed for carrying the release into effect having become known, a great number of the respectable inhabitants of Kingston attended the office was indeed crowded at an early hour with persons of all complexions, who had come to witness the ceremony. Mr. Anderson and his negro, Edward Donlan, being in attendance, the manumission papers were prepared; but before they were signed, the nature of the circumstances which had led to the effort that had been made to obtain the man's freedom, and the manner in which that boon had been granted by his master, were dwelt on at some length; and the merits of the fidelity of the one, and the generosity of the other, were feebly perhaps described, however forcibly they might be felt. Indeed, the merits of the latter could not be overrated. It might be very easy for a stranger to recommend Mr. Anderson to be generous on such an occasion, but it is easy
to be generous when nothing is to be given, and very agreeable to be philanthropic when the exercise of our humanity is indulged at no expense. But with Mr. Anderson it was very different, for no sums of money that a bench of magistrates could honestly award, could adequately compensate him for the loss of this man's services. But, nevertheless, he performed this most generous act of manumission as it became a good man to perform a gracious action-freely and without hesitation or condition. Though I do say it, who perhaps should not say it, the scene was one of no ordinary interest. Beside the bench stood a negro of exalted rank in his own country, in the act of obtaining his liberty, after many a long year of slavery, and near him his venerable master, "prepared to give unto his servant that which was just and equal, knowing that he also had a Master in heaven." There were tears of joy on some of the black features before me, and there were smiles of satisfaction even on white faces in that assemblage. It is said the gods are pleased to behold the successful exertions of a good man struggling with adversity; but if we are justified in estimating what is pleasing to that intelligence by the extent of the advantages conferred on man by human beneficence, perhaps the sight of a good master, voluntarily making a faithful bondsman free, and laying down authority which it may not
be in his nature to abuse, but yet which he knows it is not safe for mortal man to be entrusted with, is one of the exhibitions of humanity in which its affinity with a higher nature appears at a distance less remote than in almost any other situation in which we can conceive it. And on such an occasion one might address the chief actor in that scene in the words of sacred commendation, in speaking of the redemption of the slave,—“ It shall not seem hard unto thee when thou sendest him away from thee, for he hath been worth a double hired servant to thee, in serving thee six years, and the Lord thy God shall bless thee in all that thou doest."
I did not allow the public to be unmindful of the concluding part of the injunction, "When thou sendest him out free, thou shalt not let him go away empty;" for the following notice was presented to the public attention, and in a few days I had the satisfaction of putting twenty pounds in the hands of the liberated negro of Timbuctoo.
Kingston, Sept. 9, 1834. "To the humane attention of the inhabitants of Kingston, the case is earnestly recommended of Abon Becr Sadiki, lately the apprentice of Mr. Anderson; a man of noble rank in his own country, who for many years has been in servitude in