obtain grounds for a claim against the underwriters, thirty-six of the negroes, having become blind, were thrown into the sea and drowned!Speech of M. Benjamin constant, in the French chamber of Deputies, June 17, 1820.
In the midst of their dreadful fears lest the solitary individual. whose sight remained unaffected, should also be seized with the malady, a sail was discovered. It was the Spanish slaver, Leon. The same disease had been there; and, horrible to tell, all the crew had become blind! Unable to assist each other, the vessels parted. The Spanish ship has never since been heard of. The Rodeur reached Guadaloupe on the 21st of June; the only man who had escaped the disease, and had thus been enabled to steer the slaver into port, caught it in three days after its arrival. Bibliotheque Ophthalmologique for November, 1819.‘all ready?’ cried the captain;
‘Ay, ay!’ the seamen said;
“Heave up the worthless lubbers,—
The dying and the dead.”
Up from the slave-ship's prison
Fierce, bearded heads were thrust:
“Now let the sharks look to it,—
Toss up the dead ones first!”
Corpse after corpse came up,—
Death had been busy there;
Where every blow is mercy,
Why should the spoiler spare?
Corpse after corpse they cast
Sullenly from the ship,
Yet bloody with the traces
Of fetter-link and whip.
Gloomily stood the captain,
With his arms upon his breast,
With his cold brow sternly knotted,
And his iron lip compressed.