carried the most repulsive forms of slavery to England
where not half the population could assert a right to freedom, and where the price of a man was but four times the price of an ox. The importation of foreign slaves was freely tolerated: in defiance of severe penalties, the Saxons sold their own kindred into slavery on the continent; nor could the traffic be checked, till religion, pleading the cause of humanity, made its appeal to conscience.
Even after the conquest, slaves were exported from England
, till the reign
of Henry II., when a national synod of the Irish, to remove the pretext for an invasion, decreed the emancipation of all English slaves in the island.1
The German nations made the shores of the Baltic
the scenes of the same desolating traffic; and the Dnieper formed the highway on which Russian
merchants conveyed to Constantinople
the slaves that had been purchased in the markets of Russia
The wretched often submitted to bondage, as the bitter but only refuge from absolute want.
But it was the long wars between German and Slavonic tribes which imparted to the slave-trade its greatest activity, and filled France
and the neighboring states with such numbers of victims, that they gave the name of the Slavonic nation to servitude itself; and every country of Western Europe
still preserves in its language the record of the barbarous traffic in ‘Slaves.’2
Nor did France
abstain from the slave-trade.
, the Jews were able to purchase slaves for their Saracen customers.3
, and perhaps in Italy
, the children of Asia
, in their turn, were exposed for sale.