Page:Guatimala or the United Provinces of Central America in 1827-8.pdf/24

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Black Population,—Character,—Amusements,—Morals,—State of Religion,—Inhabitants of the Mosquito Shore,—Coronation of their King,—Customs, &c.

That slavery must necessarily have a lowering and degrading influence on the character of the slave is self-evident: but it is requisite to live among such, in order to know and feel the extent of the degradation. The moral effects of this evil, not the growth of a day or a year, but of ages, are so deep, as at first sight, almost to seem indelible. In proportion as the avarice of man has tightened the chain around his victim, has its degrading and depressing influence infused itself into his principles and habits, withered all his energies, and impeded the growth of every thing noble and elevated in his character.

If any thing could lessen our sympathy in the unhappy fate of the negro, it would be to view his debasing character, apart from the causes which have induced it. Indolent and unprincipled, he will never work, excepting when under the eye of a