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with ridicule, and deem highly inconvenient to their employers ; but which, in reality, is an enviable peculiarity in the class, seeing that it is so essentially connected with good conduct. When our pride shrinks from any marks of spirit' on the part of a servant, we little think what the reverse costs us ; and that where there is an enforced servility, there can scarcely exist any of the hardy virtues. It may not be possible for individuals entirely to avoid, in their own case, the evils which arise from national errors; but undoubtedly 'love' will have its power with English servants as it has with all other human beings. A kindly manner of dealing with them, demonstrations of an unaffected concern for their interests, behaviour calculated to foster, and never to wound or bruise their self-respect, must always tend, if consistently, perseveringly followed out, to evoke the better nature of servants, and make them agreeable and obliging inmates.
Perhaps those who at present experience the greatest annoyances from their servants, would be astonished to find how little is required on many occasions to bring out their better qualities. A story is told in the French army, that a company of soldiers conducted themselves gallantly, and always behaved well under one captain, and in the reverse manner under his successor ; when, on inquiry, it was ascertained that the sole cause was in a small difference of manner between the two officers. The one always said: 'Allons, mes enfants' (Come on, my children); and the other: 'Allez, mes enfants' (Go on,'my children). The one captain put himself on a human level with his men, and thus won their regard ; the other acted as if he had stood on a height above them. It is exactly so with servants. Where their feelings of self-esteem-feelings as sure to be planted in them as in the highest nobility on earth-are respected, and an appeal made to their kindly sympathies, they are forced by something in their own bosoms to act as duty requires. In the other case it will always be 'up-hill work. It is not from any want of real benevolence that masters and mistresses fail in this respect. They are often seen to mean well, but to be prevented from taking right methods by the effects of prejudice and habit, or to be turned aside from a right course by disappointment at little failures. They may depend upon this, that there will never be perfect comfort in their connections with servants while they stand upon pride, or force, or self-defence, or anything, in short, but the kindly sympathies which God has designed all his creatures to feel for each other.
Joseph Holt, who acted as general to the rebel peasantry of Ireland in 1798, was withheld from execution, and only banished, in consequence of his having, by humane interference, saved the life of an English officer. Carried to Australia, he was there employed as an overseer on the estate of a Mr Cox, where he had under his charge forty-five convicts and twenty-five freemen. In his life of himself, which was published in 1838, he says : 'It required all my energies to keep them in proper order. My freemen I always employed by the piece, &c. As to the convicts, there was a certain quantity of work which, by the government regulations, they must. do in a given time; and this may be given to them by the day, week, or month, as you pleased, and they must be paid a certain price for all the work they did beyond a certain quantity. If they were idle, and did not do the regulated quantity of work, it was only necessary to take them before a magistrate, and he would order them twentyfive lashes of the cat on their backs for the first offence, fifty for the second, and so on; and if that would not do, they were at last put into a jail-gang, and made to work in irons from morning till night.
'In order to keep them honest, I paid them fully and fairly for everything they did beyond their stipulated task at the same time I paid the freemen; and if I thought the rations not sufficient for their comfortable support, I issued to each man six pounds of wheat, fourteen of potatoes, and one of pork, in addition. By this means the men were well fed; for the old saying is true : “Hunger will break through stone walls ;” and it is all nonsense to make laws for starving men. When any article was stolen from me, I instantly paraded all hands, and told them that if it were not restored in a given time, I would stop all extra allowances and indulgences. "The thief,” said I, “is a disgrace to the establishment, and all employed in it; let the honest men find him out, and punish him among yourselves : do not let it be said that the flogger ever polluted this place by his presence. You all know the advantages you enjoy above gangs on any other estate in the colony ; do not then throw them away. Do not let me know who the thief is, but punish him by your own verdict.” I then dismissed them.
'The transports would say among themselves, that what I had told them was all right. “We won't," they would reason, “be punished because there happens to be an ungrateful thief among us." They then called a jury, and entered into an investigation; and on all occasions succeeded in detecting and punishing the offender. I was by this line of conduct secure from plunder; and the disgusting operation of flaying a man alive with a cat-o'-nine-tails did not disgrace the farms under my superintendence. Mr Cox said one day to me: “Pray, Joseph, how is it that you never have to bring your men to punishment? You have more under you.than, I believe, any man in the colony, and, to the surprise of all, you have never had one flogged, or, indeed, have made a complaint against one. They look well, and appear contented, and even happy.” “Sir," said I, “ Í have studied human nature more than books. I had the management of many more men in my own country, and I was always rigidly just to them. I never oppressed them, or suffered them to cheat their employers, or each other. They knew if they did their duty they would be well treated ; and if not, sent to the right about. I follow the same course with the men here. .... I should think myself very ill qualified to act as your overseer were I to have a man or two flogged every week. Besides the horrible inhumanity of the practice, the loss of a man's week or fortnight's work will not be a trifle in the year, at twelve and sixpence per week; for a man who gets the cat is incapable of work till his back is well; so, in prudence, as well as in Christian charity, it is best to treat our fellow-creatures like men, although they be degraded to the state of convict slaves.")
Mr Holt also gives the following account of Colonel Collins, governor of the settlement at the Derwent River in Van Diemen's Land from 1804 till his death in 1810 : “This gentleman had the good will, the good wishes, and the good word of every one in the settlement. His conduct was exemplary, and his disposition most humane. His treatment of the runaway convicts was conciliatory, and even kind. He would go into the forests among the natives to allow these poor creatures, the runaways, an opportunity of returning to their former condition; and, half-dead with cold and hunger, they would come and drop on their knees before him, imploring pardon for their behaviour.
“Well,” he would say to them, “now that you have lived in the bush, do you think the change you made was for the better? Are you sorry for what you have done?” “Yes, sir.” “And will you: promise never to go away again ?” “Never, sir.” “Go to the storekeeper, then,” the benevolent Collins would say,"and get a suit of slops and your week's ration, and then go to the overseer, and attend to your work. I give you my pardon ; but remember that I expect you will keep your promise to me."
'I never heard of any other governor or commandant acting in this manner, nor did I ever witness much leniency from any governor. I have, however, been assured that there was less crime and much fewer faults committed among the people under Governor Collins than in any other settlement; which I think is a clear proof that mercy and humanity are the best policy
Miss Martineau, in her works on Ainerica, gives several delightful illustrations of this principle, which almost sound like oddities. She speaks of a Tunker, a kind of Baptist, whom she found in the enjoyment of considerable wealth on a farm settlement near Michigan City. 'He had gone through life on the non-resistance principle; and it was animating to learn how well it had served him-as every high exercise of faith does serve every one who has strength and simplicity of heart to commit himself to it. It was animating to learn not only his own consistency, but the force of his moral power over others; how the careless had been won to thoughtfulness of his interests, and the criminal to respect of his rights. He seemed to have unconsciously secured the promise and the fruit of the life that now is, more effectually than many who think less of that which is to
in men.'* In her notice of the relation between mistresses and servants in America, Miss Martineau states that much of what English people have to complain of in that country in respect of servants arises from their imperious and exacting habits, irreconcilable as these are with the natural rights of their fellow-creatures. Where servants are treated upon a principle of justice and kindness, they live on agreeable terms with their employers, often for many years.t But even slaves may be made more useful, as well as more agreeable companions, when treated in such a way as to call forth their better feelings. “A kind-hearted gentleman in the South, finding that the laws of his state precluded his teaching his legacy of slaves according to the usual methods of education, bethought himself at length of the moral training of task-work. It succeeded admirably. His negroes soon began to work as slaves are never, under any other arrangement, seen to work. Their day's task was finished by eleven o'clock. Next they began to care for one another : the strong began to help the weak; first, husbands helped their wives; then parents helped their children ; and at length the young began to help the old. Here was seen the awakening of natural affections which had lain in a dark sleep.'
The vigour,' says Miss Martineau elsewhere, 'which negroes shew when their destiny is fairly placed in their own hands, is an answer to all arguments about their helplessness, drawn from their dulness in a state of bondage. A highly satisfactory experiment upon the will, judgment, and talents of a large body of slaves was made a few years ago by a relative of Chief-justice Marshall. This gentleman and his family had attached their negroes to them by a long course of judicious kindness. At length an estate at some distance was left to the gentleman, and he saw, with much regret, that it was his duty to leave the plantation on which he was living. He could not bear the idea of turning over his people to the tender mercies or unproved judgment of a stranger overseer. He called his negroes together, told them the case, and asked whether they thought they could manage the estate themselves. If they were willing to undertake the task, they must choose an overseer from among themselves, provide comfortably for their own wants, and remit him the surplus of the profits. The negroes were full of grief at losing the family, but willing to try what they could do. They had an election for overseer, and chose the man their master would have pointed out; decidedly the strongest head on the estate. All being arranged, the master left them, with a parting charge to keep their festivals, and take their appointed holidays, as if he were present. After some time he rode over to see how all went on, choosing a festival-day, that he might meet them in their holiday gaiety. He was surprised, on approaching, to hear no merriment; and on
* Society in America, i. 333.
entering his fields, he found his “force” all hard at work. As they flocked round him, he inquired why they were not making holiday. They told him that the crop would suffer in its present state by the loss of a day, and that they had therefore put off their holiday; which, however, they meant to take by-and-by. Not many days after, an express arrived to inform the proprietor that there was an insurrection on his estate. He would not believe it ; declared it impossible, as there was nobody to rise against : but the messenger, who had been sent by the neighbouring gentlemen, was so confident of the facts, that the master galloped with the utmost speed to his plantation, arriving as night was coming on. As he rode in, a cry of joy arose from his negroes, who pressed round to shake hands with him. They were in their holiday clothes, and had been singing and dancing ; they were only enjoying the deferred festival. The neighbours, hearing the noise on a quiet working-day, had jumped to the conclusion that it was an insurrection.
There is no catastrophe yet to this story. When the proprietor related it, he said that no trouble had arisen; and that for some seasons-ever since this estate had been wholly in the hands of his negroes—it had been more productive than it ever was while he managed it himself.'
It is particularly striking to find the principle thus exemplified in dealings with convicts and slaves; for if there successful, it has surely a chance of being still more so amongst classes less degraded.
In the well-meant efforts of the affluent classes to improve the condition of their poorer neighbours, there is often an experience of disappointment, from the little effect which immediately follows. They find, perhaps, the bad habits kept up, notwithstanding all their exhortations; or that arrangements which they have been at pains to introduce are neglected and overlooked. Sometimes prejudice starts up to oppose the best designs of the philanthropic gentleman or lady; and then they give up the matter in despair or in disgust, and the ancient evils are allowed to remain in full luxuriance. Now, the difficulties thus experienced are to be deplored; but if the philanthropic would reflect a little, they would see that, to work out such ends, much patience must ever be required. Nor are they themselves always free of blame. They often come forward with their suggestions in a manner that piques their poor neighbours, as implying that these persons have only to listen and obey, The honest cottager does not like to be treated as if he were a child. The common feelings of human nature must be studied, if we would be successful in such efforts. Not that cajolery is to be called into exercise; that were immoral, and probably would defeat its own end. But to shew what sort of appeal will be successful, we will relate an instance in which a kindly expression, even casually dropped, had a good effect.