docile race of people; but still it is true of them, as of all other barbarous people, that they have but little conception of moral influence as an element of government.
Fear is the motive to which in all cases they appeal — and with the best intentions.
They have but little idea of any thing else.
Whatever authority, therefore, is placed in their hands is likely to be exercised with great harshness, perhaps with cruelty.
Many masters avail themselves of the services of an intelligent servant, and make him “head-man,” instead of incurring the expense of an overseer.
In many cases the plan succeeds remarkably well.
But in most cases of the kind, the master owes an important duty to his other slaves: it is to overlook the exercise of the delegated authority, and restrain the tendency to excessive severity.
There are other points at which this tendency is liable to display itself.
The husband is likely to exhibit it in the authority exercised over the wife, and both the husband and the wife in the authority exercised.
over the children.
The husband is often found to beat and otherwise maltreat the wife.
In fits of passion, some of them are extremely cruel.
The children are brought up in the same way. They are often subjected to cruel treatment.
Impatience, fretfulness, and stunning blows, make up the system of cabin-discipline.