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painter was much cenfured by an auction-connoiffeur, who declared that it was impoffible the iky could be warm in winter.

I believe it is a common miftake to apply the red and purple tints to the morning, and the crange and yellow to the evening. We hear pictures of Claude called mornings and evenings, which may be either. It is really odd enough, that there fhould not be a fingle circumftance to diftinguish the morning from the evening, unless it be in a view of a particular placein this cafe, the reverfing of the light thews the difference. In a picture,

there is no diftinction between going to work, or milking, or returning from it-men ride, drive cattle, are fishing, &c. as well early as late.

Thefe confiderations fhould foften the peremptory ftyle of fome judges, and extend their tafte, which at prefent feems much confined. We have feen that there are more natural hues than one or two. I will allow them to fay, that a picture is too warm, too cold, too red, too yellow to please them, but let them not deny that these hues are all in nature, and that wellmanaged they are all picturefque.

FOR THE LONDON MAGAZINE,
WRONG REPRESENTATIONS OF THE SOLAR SYSTEM.

I Have often tryed to have a proper

idea of vaft fpace great numbers-enormous fize, and as you may fuppofe, without fuccefs. But though I fail in getting a competent idea, I fometimes make an approach towards it, which is better than nothing.

The Solar Syftem is one of thefe fublime fubjects, in the confideration of which I have frequently been loft. I never attempted to conceive the size of the fun, or the distance of Saturn; the impoffibility inftantly repels the moft daring imagination. No, all that I have attempted is, to have a juft idea of the proportion (upon any fcale) that the fun and planets bear to each other, in refpect to fize and diftance, At first fight, this feems easily done-Draw fome concentric circles on a fheet of paper, make the fun the centre, and place the planets round in their order. Or, if you would have an idea of their motion as well, look at an orrery, But a little examination will convince you, that this is doing nothing towards having an idea of their fize and diftance in proportion to each other, which is the point fought. Nay, it is worfe than nothing, for it impofes a falfity as a reality. Imagination by itself can do a great deal, if affifted it can do more, but if perverted, nothing. Let us try to affift the imagination then.

If the fun be only a million times LOND. MAG. May 1785.

bigger than the earth (exactness is of no confequence to my argument, fo that I am within the truth) it is plain that I cannot make two circles upon a fheet of paper (without confidering any thing about distance) that will bear this proportion to each other; and if this cannot be done for the earth, much lefs will it ferve for other planets and moons where the difproportion is greater. Let us take the floor of a large room-on this make a circle of two feet diameter for the fun

the fize of the earth will be about a large pin's head. The diftance of the fun from the earth is about eighty of the fun's diameters; if fo, there must be a circle of three hundred and twenty feet diameter for the earth's orbit, which no room, nor indeed any other building, will contain. Let us try a field-here we may put our fun, and draw the earth's orbit round. If we ftand in the centre (which we should do) the earth is too fmall to be seen. Thefe difficulties occurring fo foon, how will they increase when we take in the fuperior planets? The ingeni ous Ferguson has endeavoured to affift our imagination by fuppofing St. Paul's dome, in diameter one hundred and forty-five feet, to be the fun-upon this fcale, Mercury is between nine and ten inches, and placed at the Tower; Venus near eighteen, at St. 3 A

James's

James's palace; the Earth, eighteen, at Marybone; Mars ten, at Kenfington; Jupiter fifteen feet, at Hampton-Court; and Saturn eleven feet and half, at Cliffden. Let us be on the top of the dome, and look for the planets where he has placed them. Do you think we could fee any thing of Jupiter and Saturn? to fay nothing of their moons or that we could conceive properly the difference between four miles and twenty, when feen on a line? the four may be two, or one mile; and the twenty may be ten, or thirty, for aught we can judge by the appearance. All that we get by this is, the knowing that a sheet of paper or an orrery, give us wrong ideas; and that we cannot, by any contrivance, put the fize and diftance of the planets upon a proportionable fcale, fo as to take in the whole with our eye or understanding.

We are as much at a lofs to comprehend the flownefs of their motion-I have not miftaken-I mean flownefs. A circuit which is fix or twelve months, or twice as many years performing, is flow almoft beyond conception; and yet this motion is called whirling as if the planets went round their orbits like a top! Though quick and flow are comparative terms, we have ideas of each arifing from the medium of the two, from obfervation, and common application, that do not ftand in need of any comparison to be understood. The motion of a flea is quick; of a fnail, flow; and the common walk of a man is neither quick nor flow. Let us imagine an elephant to walk, and a flea to hop the fame distance in the fame time-would you hefitate to say that the motion of the one was flow, and the other quick? In fhort, fwiftnefs or flowness does not depend upon the abfolute quantity of ground the animal paffes in a certain time, but upon the relative quantity to its own fize. The earth is about eight minutes in moving the space of one diameter, therefore its abfolute motion is flowit is twenty-four hours making one revolution round its axis, which gives no idea of velocity. It is certain, that if we were placed very near the earth (unaffected by its

attraction) there would appear an exceeding quick change of furface-and fo would the motion of a fnail appear to an animalcule. The quantity of space, when compared to any we can move in the fame time, is vaft, and the motion quick, but when confidered as belonging to a body of the size of a world, the motion is flow. Suppofe a common globe was turned round once in twenty-four hours-imagine an animal as much inferiour to it in fize as we are to the earth, placed as I conceived the human fpectator placed to view the earth-would the apprehenfion of this being induce you to call a fingle revolution in twenty-four hours, whirling? Would not you fay that though the furface paffed quick in review before him, yet that the abfolute motion of the whole was exceedingly flow. Perhaps it is our meafuring this motion by miles that makes us fancy it is quick, which is much like taking the height of a mountain in hairs-breadths. When we are told that Saturn moves in his orbit more than twenty-two thousand miles in an hour, we conceive the velocity to be great; but when we find that he is more than three hours moving his own diameter, we must then think it, as it really is, flow. Bishop Wilkins is the only writer I have met with who confiders the motion of the heavenly bodies as I do, and am rather proud of having my opinion fupported by fo great a man.

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There is another circumftance which prevents the Solar Syftem, as monly delineated, from bearing a true refemblance to the apparent pofition and motion of the planets. It is always drawn in plan inftead of section, whereas the appearance of the orbits of the heavenly bodies is always in section and never can be in plan. This difference is not, as far as I know, noticed in any account of the Solar Syftem; and yet if it be not attended to, it is impoffible to prove the truth of the fyftem by the apparent paths of the planets. This will be beft understood by confidering the inferior ones. Mercury and Venus remove to a certain diftance from the fun, and then, after

feeming

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feeming at reft, return in nearly the fame line and remove to the fame diftance on the other fide, where the fame thing is repeated. This to the eye is not a revolution in plan, but a

revolution in fection-and it might be explained by a draught which thould always accompany the common delineation of the planetary orbits.

FOR THE LONDON

MAGAZINE.

THOUGHTS ON THE SLAVERY OF THE NEGROES.

HE humanity of the prefent

The inftitutions of

Thas eftablished a great variety of iflands are calculated to deprefs this

inftitutions for the relief of the numerous misfortunes incident to our infirm nature. The fick, the lame, the blind, the infane; those whom disease or accident, united with poverty, have rendered helpless, become the objects of compaffion and affiftance to their more fortunate neighbours. But, as it is an obfervable characteristic of the human mind, to be more affected by objects which are near, than by thofe which are remote, their vicinity is an important circumstance in the excitement and the application of this benevolence. The relation of diftant calamities, however terrible, of famines, of peftilence, of earthquakes, of countries defolated by war, produces indeed a temporary fympathy, but it is foon difperfed by cares or pleafures, which prefs for more immediate attention. Evils of fuch magnitude, it is true, are beyond the reach of our partial fuccour, and we may. be excufed from the romantic attempt of relieving every diftrefs, in every quarter of the globe; but there is one flagrant inftance, in which every Briton is interested, in which multitudes of our unhappy and unoffending fellow-creatures are exposed to fufferings that humanity fhudders at, and in which relief is withheld, though within our power, becaufe the fcene of oppreffion is distant, and the hearts of those who are immediately engaged in it, are hardened by the powerful influence of avarice and habit, and because these very sufferings are the fource of public revenue and private wealth. The fubject alluded to, is the fyftem adopted for employing the negroes in the Weft-Indian islands, and that ignominious traffic, called the Slave Trade.

unhappy clafs of mankind below the rank of manhood, and have accordingly established a very great disproportion between their offences and their punishments. If a negro, from whatever provocation, kills a white man, he is burnt alive. If a white man kills a negro of his own, under whatever circumstances of cruelty and injuftice, his punifhment is commuted for a fmall fine, which yet is feldom exacted. An affault, amongst the negroes, is conftrued into rebellion, and rebellion is punished with tortures and death. For offences of a fainter complexion, for inattention, or negligence, the mafter, according to Sir Hans Sloane*, is fatisfied with dismemberment, or severe flagellations, with pepper and falt fcattered on the wounds, for the purpose of increafing the pain. These poor people are indeed confidered as much the property of the owner, as his horfe or his dog, but they are not fo much the objects of his humane attention. There is no controul in the laws to prevent his treating them in whatever manner he thinks fit, except indeed the fine above-mentioned. Nor in a country, inured to fcenes of oppression, can much reliance be had on its manners and principles, perhaps a furer fafeguard, when preferved pure, to the morals of a people, than the strictest regulations of law. The only resource which remains to defend the life of the negro, is the confideration that it is involved in the intereft of his employer; the force of which may indeed protect his wretched existence till fickness or age render him incapable of labour, but allows none of those comforts which alleviate the miferies of life. 3 A 2

* Hift. of Jamaica.

His

4

His fufferings receive no mitigation from the humble hope that his manumiffion, though diftant, may at length arrive; but day after day prefents the fame dreary rotation of unrewarded toil, miferable food, and fevere whippings, inflicted often for trifling, and fometimes for imaginary offences. When this fituation is compared with the liberty, the cafe, and the independence which the Africans enjoy in their own country, where, according to the relations of travellers*, there feems to be a fort of exemption from the general doom of man to perpetual labour, and nature produces the fruits of the earth almoft fpontaneously, who but muft condemn the rough hand of power which forces them, or the arts of treachery which entice them, to leave it!

A fyftem of law favourable to the protection, the inftruction, and even the manumiffion, of the negroes has been adopted in fome of the foreign iflands, particularly the French, where the negroes are allowed, for religious inftruction and reft from labour, not only the first day of the week, but every feftival ufually observed by the Romish church. In others, encouragements are held out to indufiry by allotting to the flave one day in the week, befides Sunday, for his own ufe, and by that means furnishing him with an opportunity of gradually purchafing his freedom by voluntary labour. It is no wonder the poor wretches fhould be tempted to efcape, though at the hazard of fevere punishment, to thofe places where there is a certainty of milder treatment, and fome poffibility of recovering their liberty. Attempts to inftruct the Britifh flaves, or to mitigate their fufferings, have, on the contrary, generally been difcouraged by the narrow prejudices of the planters, or by the illiberal policy of the governing powers. The improvements of reafon, and the inftructions of religion, are, indeed, not without fome propriety, difcountenanced, as obnoxious to that jealoufy and pride of power which always accompany the distinction between mafter and flave.

It has, however, been faid, in favour of the flave trade, that the negroes are of a race inferior in talents and docility to the white nations, and that the ftubbornnefs and indolence of their temper can only be wrought upon by the moft rigorous treatment, of which they have no right to complain, fince, being captives of war, their flavery is the condition of their existence, and the only change they experience is that of masters: that it is impoffible to cultivate fugar, rice, and other commodities, without fuch affiftance, and that the fuperior number of negroes, in the places where they are kept, to the white inhabitants, renders the moft rigid fubjection neceffary, as is evident from the frequency of infurrections: laftly, flavery has always been practifed, it is faid, amongst the moft liberal and enlightened nations, the Greeks, the Romans, and even the Jews under the theocracy; a circumftance which proves the state of flavery to be not inconfiftent with the difpenfations and appointments of Providence.

The

That there is, in every nation, a very confiderable difparity between man and man, in the degree, and the exertion, of the intellectual faculties, cannot be denied. But the inferiority which is attributed to the whole race of negroes, probably arises from that depreffion of mind which accompanies a itate of flavery, and from the difcouragement thrown in the way of every liberal inquiry, rather than from any original, intellectual defect. definition of flavery, according to Cicero, is the obedience of a broken and abject fpirit, poffeffing no will of its ownt. And Montefquieu thus delineates more particularly its baleful effects on the human mind: "It is not good in itself. It is neither ufeful to the mafter, nor to the flave. Not to the flave, because he can do nothing from virtuous motives. Not to the mafter, because he contracts among his flaves all forts of bad habits, and accuftoms himself to the neglect of all the moral virtues. He be

* See Adanfon's Voyage to Senegal, and the Modern Universal History. + Par. 5. I. De l'Esprit des Loix. 1. xv. c. I.

comes

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comes haughty, paffionate, obdurate, vindictive, voluptuous, and cruel." And, with refpect to this particular fpecies of flavery, he proceeds to, fay, It is impoffible to allow that the negroes are men, because if we allow them to be men, it will begin to be believed, that we ourfelves are not Chriftians." It cannot be expected that, in their low ftate of civilization, the Africans can have arrived at any great attainment in the arts; but the Letters of Ignatius Sancho, and the Poems of Phillis Wheatly, fufficiently prove that they are neither deficient in the feelings of humanity, nor the powers of the understanding. Adanfon, in his Voyage to Senegal, relates that the negroes are well acquainted with most of the planets, and that with proper inftruments they might become good aftronomers*. And Bofman, Brue, Barbot, and Holben, who had all been refidents in the country, bear ample teftimony to the ingenuity of thefe unhappy people in the mechanical arts, and to their capacity for the adminiftration of civil governmentt.

Even granting the inferiority contended for, they cannot be denied to be men, and the inhumanity of treating them worse than brutes can derive no juftification from thence. The pro

SIR

bable means of removing their ignorance one would naturally fuppofe to be patient and gentle inftruction, adminiftered gradually as their unenlightened minds are capable of receiving it. But the violence with which they are feparated from their native country, and the rigid difcipline of the whip, must as naturally tend to create an averfion to the doctrines of those who adopt fuch modes of communicating them. If they are fullen and intractable to labour, it would not be amifs if the mafter was ferioufly to confider from what principle he claims a title to compel them. Purchafe transfers no title but that which the feller poffeffed, namely power. If indeed power always implies right, the Europeans may, with a fafe confcience, opprefs and deftroy the negroes at pleasure. Tyranny and cruelty have, in all times, fought to palliate their conduct by recriminatory charges of obftinacy, confpiracies, and rebellion. There is no' proof that the negroes would not be equally tractable with the whites, under a mild and generous treatment. Indolence and ftubbornnefs are the natural confequence of hopeless poverty and ill ufage.

(To be continued.)

FOR THE LONDON MAGAZINE.
STRICTURES ON ACTORS AND AUTHORS.
BY MR. WALDRON.

IR RICHARD BAKER, in his Chronicle, fays, "Rofcius, the comedian, is recorded in hiftory with fuch commendation, it may be allowed us to do the like with fome of our nation. Richard Bourbidge, and Edward Alleyn, two fuch actors as no age must ever look to fee the like; and to make their comedies complete, Richard Tarieton, who for the part called the clownes part, never had his match, never will have." Edit. 1653, p. 581.

This never will have is a filly compliment, because the truth of the affertion can never be ascertained by a comparison between the performance

* P. 254

of actors, who live a century or two before and after each other: we might, with equal propriety and likelihood of truth, fay the fame of fome actors of our time. The lately-deceafed Mr. Vernon's performance of the Clown in Twelfth Night, with the epiloguefong, which he fet to mufic himself, was fingularly entertaining; the late luxuriantly-humourous comedian, Mr. Shuter's whimfical reprefentation of the clown, Launcelot, in the Merchant of Venice, was, though very different in manner from the former, equally, if not more excellent: and the prefent manager of Drury-lane theatre, Mr. King's

Mod. Univ. Hift. b. xvii. ch. 7.-Benezet on the Slave Trade,

acting

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