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The anti-slavery argument. Source 3 transcript
slaves more useful by being thus humbled to the condition of brutes, than
they would be if suffered to enjoy the privileges of men? The freedom
which diffuses health and prosperity throughout Britain answers you –
No. When you make men slaves you deprive them of half their virtue, you
set them in your own conduct an example of fraud, rapine, and cruelty,
and compel them to live with you in a state of war; and yet you complain
that they are nor honest or faithful! You stupify them with strips, and
think it necessary to keep them in a state of ignorance; and yet you assert
that they are incapable of learning; that their minds are such a barren
soil or moor, that culture would be lost on them; and that they come from
a climate, where nature, though prodigal of her bounties in a degree unknown
to yourselves, has left man alone scant and unfinished, and incapable
of enjoying the treasures she has poured out for him!- An assertion at
once impious and absurd. Why do you use those instruments of torture?
Are they fit to be applied by one rational being to another. And are ye
not struck with shame and mortification, to see the partakers of your
nature reduced so low? But, above all, are there no dangers attending
this mode of treatment? Are you not hourly in dread of an insurrection?
Nor would it be surprising: for when
peace is given,
But if you changed your behaviour and treated your slaves as men, there would be no reason to be afraid. They would be faithful, honest, intelligent and vigorous; and peace, prosperity and happiness would attend you."
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