“When each reflects upon the condition of the other, we think that we can appreciate the sorrows of the slave ; but we cannot counterbalance these with the bliss which springs from ignorance and from the exuberance of mere animal life.
“On the other hand, while the slave must often look upon the white man with envy,–chiefly because he is better fed and clothed, and has less labor to perform than himself,–how very far he is from any possible sympathy with the woes which civilization entails!–disappointed ambition, unrequited affection, society’s poisonous breath of slander, loss of property, the fruit of that very tree of knowledge which we are all so anxious to reach, and which, when attained, so often disagrees with our mental digestion, sometimes changing the faith of childhood to scepticism in maturer years; even the wisdom which grasps ‘ star-eyed [sic on the space after the quote] Science,’ receiving in return her ‘ message of despair!’ Is freedom from all this misery nothing to set off against the white man’s superiority? And of these evils how little does the slave know in his own person! Therefore it is that he pities us as little as we envy him.
-John Codman, Ten Months in Brazil (Lee and Shepard, 1867), chapter 10 pp. 84-85
A world gone to hell to return to a “regular” posting schedule sometime soon-ish. Maybe. Hopefully. My project on Burton and Blunt is going to be an actual paper now, so those updates will start soon and not stop for the two-semester academic year.
No one will read this, and that’s OK.