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To the Editor of the Bee.
I AM forry I have it in my power to affure you, that the story which gave rife to the following lines, is not fictitious, but a real fact, that happened in the Island of Jamaica, not many years ago. The man who perpetrated the deed, a Scotchman too, is, I believe, alive in that Island at this time. It was the practice of this from deliberate system, to work out his flaves with hard labour; and when the doctor reported that they were no longer able to work, nor any hopes remained of their recovery, they were ordered to be carried immediately to the launch, an inclined plane made of several boards fastened together, whofe lower extremity pointed over the edge of a precipice feveral hundred feet in height, that hung over a deep ravine on his plantation. This was, in general, a pretty certain launch into eternity, though, in the prefent cafe, it failed. Noak had been declared by the Doctor incapable of any further fervice, and was ordered, as ufual, to the launch. The poor fellow begged hard that he might not be carried to the launch, as he faid he was not yet dead-But nothing could prevail with his inhuman mafter. Like his fellows, he must take his fate; but, by a kind of miracle, he efcaped with life, and made a fhift to crawl away from the foot of the rocks. Some of his black friends fell in with him, had compaffion on him, and ufed means for his recovery. Some time after, the mercilefs wretch who had caufed him to be launched over the precipice, was fome what furprized at feeing his flave, whom he had believed to be in the other world, begging in one of the streets of a neighbouring town; but had the modeft affurance to wish to reclaim him as his property. The poor fellow's ftory, however, prevailed, even in the West Indies, to make all agree in thinking he
had got a full discharge from his fervice: And the tyrant
If I fhall be told this ftory cannot be true, because it is contrary to the laws provided for the fafety of the negroes, I anfwer, that I difpute not about the law; but that the fact is literally true, I do maintain, and am ready to prove it upon the most undeniable evidence, fhould it be neceffary-And this I aver, though I am no friend to the abolition of the flave-trade.
The negroes themselves made up a ballad in their own way, which they used to fing at their public merry makings, the chorus of which was,
Maffa, Maffa, no launch,
Maffa, no dead yet,-or fomething to that purpose, which I am forry I did not then take down. Thefe gave rife to the following lines:
THOUGH, Sir, I obferve you avoid faying any thing that
A COUNTRY READER.
The Poor Negro Beggar's Petition and Complaint.
O MASSA, poor negro! God Almighty you blefs:
Much beating, much lashing, poor Noffak endur'd;
got faft afleep, but awaking again,
Alas! I awoke to much forrow and pain;
My legs they were broke,-all my body much bruif'd;
No hope; even death to relieve me refus'd;
Dry bones of poor negroes were scatter'd around;
Like me they were launch'd; but sweet death they had found;
Their fpirits high foaring had croff'd the wide main,
God Almighty you bless, no distress may you know.
To the iron chain which they wear conftantly, a half hundred weight is appended, to prevent their running away during the night; and the collar has long spikes running out from it in every direction, to prevent their laying down their heads to reft.
The Wee Thing; or Mary of Castle Cary, an old Scots
Saw ye my wee thing? Saw ye mine ain thing? Saw ye my true love
down on yon lea? Crofs'd fhe the meadow, ye
ftreen at the gloaming? Sought the the burnie whar flow'rs the haw tree?
"Her hair it is lint white! her kin it is milk-white!
I faw na your wee thing, I faw na your ain thing,
But I met my bonny thing late in the gloaming,
Down by the burnie whar flow'rs the haw tree."
Her hair it was lint white, her skin it was milk white, 'Dark was the blue o' her faft rolling ee! • Red war her ripe lips, and sweeter than rofes! Sweet war the kiffes that the gae to me!'
"It was na my wee thing! it was na mine ain thing!
"Her name it is MARY, fhe's frae CASTLE CARY,
"It was then your MARY, fhe's frae CASTLE CARY,
• Sweet war the kiffes that fhe gae to me!'
Sair gloom'd his dark brow, blood red his cheek grew,
"Ye's rue fair this morning, your boasts and your fcorning; "Defend ye faufe traitor, for loudly ye lie!
Awa' wi' beguiling,' then cried the youth smiling;
"Is it my wee thing? is it mine ain thing? "Is it my true love here that I fee?"
O JAMIE! forgie me, your heart's conftant to me; 'I'll never mair wander, my true love, frae thee.'
To the Editor of the Bee.
To George Dempster.
DEMPSTER! thy country's friend! I call thee mine!