Just Realise This, And That Your Government Says That
Whenever Native Law Is Not Blood-Stained It Must Be Supported,
you may be able to realise the giddy mazes of a native palaver,
which if you conscientiously attempt to
Follow with the
determination that justice shall be duly administered, will for
certain lay you low with an attack of fever.
The law of ownership is not all in favour of the owner, masters
being responsible for damage done by their slaves, and this law
falls very heavily and expensively on the owner of a bad slave.
Indeed, when one lives out here and sees the surrounding conditions
of this state of culture, the conviction grows on you that, morally
speaking, the African is far from being the brutal fiend he is often
painted, a creature that loves cruelty and blood for their own sake.
The African does not; and though his culture does not contain our
institutions, lunatic asylums, prisons, workhouses, hospitals, etc.,
he has to deal with the same classes of people who require these
things. So with them he deals by means of his equivalent
institutions, slavery, the lash, and death. You have just as much
right, my logical friend, to call the West Coast Chief hard names
for his habit of using brass bars, heads of tobacco, and so on, in
place of sixpenny pieces, as you have to abuse him for clubbing an
inveterate thief. It's deplorably low of him, I own, but by what
alternative plan of government his can be replaced I do not quite
see, under existing conditions.
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