Le Code dEsther (French Edition)


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Children born from marriages between slaves shall be slaves, and if the husband and wife have different masters, they shall belong to the masters of the female slave, not to the master of her husband. Article XIII. We desire that if a male slave has married a free woman, their children, either male or female, shall be free as is their mother, regardless of their father's condition of slavery. And if the father is free and the mother a slave, the children shall also be slaves. Article XV.

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We forbid slaves from carrying any offensive weapons or large sticks, at the risk of being whipped and having the weapons confiscated. The weapons shall then belong to he who confiscated them. The sole exception shall be made for those who have been sent by their masters to hunt and who are carrying either a letter from their masters or his known mark. Article XVI. We also forbid slaves who belong to different masters from gathering, either during the day or at night, under the pretext of a wedding or other excuse, either at one of the master's houses or elsewhere, and especially not in major roads or isolated locations.

They shall risk corporal punishment that shall not be less than the whip and the fleur de lys, and for frequent recidivists and in other aggravating circumstances, they may be punished with death, a decision we leave to their judge. We enjoin all our subjects, even if they are not officers, to rush to the offenders, arrest them, and take them to prison, and that there be no decree against them. We forbid slaves from selling sugar cane, for whatever reason or occasion, even with the permission of their master, at the risk of a whipping for the slaves and a fine of ten pounds for the masters who gave them permission, and an equal fine for the buyer.

Article XIX.

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We also forbid slaves from selling any type of commodities, even fruit, vegetables, firewood, herbs for cooking and animals either at the market, or at individual houses, without a letter or a known mark from their masters granting express permission. Slaves shall risk the confiscation of goods sold in this way, without their masters receiving restitution for the loss, and a fine of six pounds shall be levied against the buyers. Slaves who are infirm due to age, sickness or other reason, whether the sickness is curable or not, shall be nourished and cared for by their masters.

In the case that they be abandoned, said slaves shall be awarded to the hospital, to which their master shall be required to pay six sols per day for the care and feeding of each slave. Article XXXI. Slaves shall not be a party, either in court or in a civil matter, either as a litigant or as a defendant, or as a civil party in a criminal matter.

And compensation shall be pursued in criminal matters for insults and excesses that have been committed against slaves. The slave who has struck his master in the face or has drawn blood, or has similarly struck the wife of his master, his mistress, or their children, shall be punished by death. The fugitive slave who has been on the run for one month from the day his master reported him to the police, shall have his ears cut off and shall be branded with a fleur de lys on one shoulder.

If he commits the same infraction for another month, again counting from the day he is reported, he shall have his hamstring cut and be branded with a fleur de lys on the other shoulder. The third time, he shall be put to death. The masters of freed slaves who have given refuge to fugitive slaves in their homes shall be punished by a fine of three hundred pounds of sugar for each day of refuge.

Article XL. The slave who has been punished with death based on denunciation by his master, and who is not a party to the crime for which he was condemned, shall be assessed prior to his execution by two of the principal citizens of the island named by a judge. The assessment price shall be paid by the master, and in order to satisfy this requirement, the Intendant shall impose said sum on the head of each Negro.

The amount levied in the estimation shall be paid for each of the said Negroes and levied by the [Tax] Farmer of the Royal Western lands to avoid costs. Article XLII.

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The masters may also, when they believe that their slaves so deserve, chain them and have them beaten with rods or straps. They shall be forbidden however from torturing them or mutilating any limb, at the risk of having the slaves confiscated and having extraordinary charges brought against them. We enjoin our officers to criminally prosecute the masters, or their foremen, who have killed a slave under their auspices or control, and to punish the master according to the circumstances of the atrocity. In the case where there is absolution, we allow our officers to return the absolved master or foreman, without them needing our pardon.

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Article XLIV. We declare slaves to be charges, and as such enter into community property. They are not to be mortgaged, and shall be shared equally between the co-inheritors without benefit to the wife or one particular inheritor, nor subject to the right of primogeniture, the usual customs duties, feudal or lineage charges, or feudal or seigneurial taxes. They shall not be affected by the details of decrees, nor from the imposition of the four-fifths, in case of disposal by death or bequeathing. Husband, wife and prepubescent children, if they are all under the same master, may not be taken and sold separately.

We declare the seizing and sales that shall be done as such to be void. For slaves who have been separated, we desire that the seller shall risk their loss, and that the slaves he kept shall be awarded to the buyer, without him having to pay any supplement. Article LV. Masters twenty years of age may free their slaves by any act toward the living or due to death, without their having to give just cause for their actions, nor do they require parental advice as long as they are minors of 25 years of age.

Article LVI. The children who are declared to be sole legatees by their masters, or named as executors of their wills, or tutors of their children, shall be held and considered as freed slaves. We declare their freedom is granted in our islands if their place of birth was in our islands.

We declare also that freed slaves shall not require our letters of naturalization to enjoy the advantages of our natural subjects in our kingdom, lands or country of obedience, even when they are born in foreign countries. Article LIX. Above, like a clap of thunder! All his expressions are bright flashes one after another.

And what adds to their value is that, outside of councils and private conversations, he abstains from them, employing them only in the service of thought; at other times he subordinates them to the end he has in view, which is always the practical effect; ordinarily, he writes and speaks in a different language, in a language suited to his audience; he retrenches the singularities, the fits and starts of the imagination and of improvisation, the outbursts of genius and inspiration.

All that he retains and allows himself the use of are merely those which are intended to impress the personage whom he wishes to dazzle with a great idea of himself, a Pius VII. When with his generals, ministers, and head clerks, Edition: current; Page: [ 30 ] he falls back on the concise, positive, technical business style; any other would interfere with that; the impassioned soul reveals itself only through the brevity and imperious strength and rudeness of the accent.

Jean Baudrillard

For his armies and the common run of men, he has his proclamations and bulletins, that is to say, sonorous phrases composed for effect, a statement of facts purposely simplified and falsified, 1 in short, an excellent effervescent wine, good for exciting enthusiasm, and an equally excellent narcotic for maintaining credulity, 2 a sort of popular mixture retailed out by him just at the proper time, and whose ingredients are so well proportioned that the public drinks it with delight, and becomes at once intoxicated.

His style on every occasion, whether affected or spontaneous, shows his wonderful knowledge of the masses and of individuals; except in two or three cases, on one exalted domain, of which he always remains ignorant, he has ever hit the mark, applying the appropriate lever, giving just the push, weight, and degree of impulsion which best accomplishes his purpose. A series of brief, accurate memoranda, corrected daily, enables him to frame for himself a sort of psychological tablet whereon he notes down and sums up, in almost numerical valuation, the mental and moral dispositions, characters, faculties, passions, and aptitudes, the strong or weak points, of the innumerable human beings, near or remote, on whom he acts.

Read his correspondence, day by day, then chapter by chapter; 3 for example, in , after the battle of Edition: current; Page: [ 31 ] Austerlitz, or, still better, in , after his return from Spain, up to the peace of Vienna; whatever our technical shortcomings may be, we shall find that his mind, in its comprehensiveness and amplitude, largely surpasses all known or even credible proportions.

The second, which is civil, resembles the heavy, thick volumes published every year, in which we now read the state of the budget, and comprehend, first, the innumerable items of ordinary and extraordinary receipt and expenditure, internal taxes, foreign contributions, the products of the domains in France and out of France, the fiscal services, pensions, public works, and the rest; next, all administrative statistics, the hierarchy of functions and of functionaries, senators, deputies, ministers, prefects, bishops, professors, judges, and those under their orders, each where he resides, with his rank, jurisdiction, and salary.


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Each label, card, or strip of paper has its summing-up; all these partial summaries, methodically classified, terminate in totals, and the totals of the three atlases, combined together, thus furnish their possessor with an estimate of his disposable forces. But these errors are rather the product of his will than of his intelligence, he recognizes them at intervals; if he has illusions it is because he forges them; left to himself his good sense would rest infallible, it is only his passions which blurred the lucidity of his intellect.

As to the other two atlases, the topographical and the military, they are as complete and as exact as ever; it is in vain that the reality which they present to him has become swollen and complex; however monstrous at this date, they correspond to it in their fulness and precision, trait for trait. But this multitude of notations forms only the smallest portion of the mental population swarming in this immense brain; for, on his idea of the real, germinate and swarm his conceptions of the possible; without these conceptions there would be no way to handle and transform things, and that he did handle and transform them we all know.

Before acting, he has decided on his plan, and if this plan is adopted, it is one among several others, 1 after examining, comparing, and giving it the preference; he has accordingly thought over all the others. At the very beginning we feel its heat and boiling intensity beneath the coolness and rigidity of his technical and positive instructions.

I magnify to myself all the dangers and all the evils that are possible under the circumstances. I am in a state of agitation that is really painful. But this does not prevent me from appearing quite composed to people around me; I am like a woman giving birth to a child. I am always living two years in advance. Accordingly, on this side, the power, alertness, fecundity, play, Edition: current; Page: [ 35 ] and jet of his thought seem illimitable. What he has accomplished is astonishing, but what he has undertaken is more so; and whatever he may have undertaken is far surpassed by what he has imagined.

However vigorous his practical faculty, his poetical faculty is stronger; it is even too vigorous for a statesman; its grandeur is exaggerated into enormity, and its enormity degenerates into madness.


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I stir up and arm all Syria. I march on Damascus and Aleppo; as I advance in the country my army will increase with the discontented. I proclaim to the people the abolition of slavery, and of the tyrannical government of the pachas. I reach Constantinople with armed masses. I overthrow the Turkish Empire; I found in the East a new and grand empire, which fixes my place with posterity, and perhaps I return to Paris by the way of Adrianople, or by Vienna, after having annihilated the house of Austria.

I mean that every king in Europe shall build a grand palace at Paris for his own use; on the coronation of the Emperor of the French these kings will come and occupy it; they will grace this imposing ceremony with their presence, and honor it with their salutations. Where could the Holy See be better off than in the new capital of Christianity, under Napoleon, heir to Charlemagne, and temporal sovereign of the Sovereign Pontiff?

Through the temporal the emperor will control the spiritual, 2 and through the Pope, consciences. Paris will extend out to St. Archimedes proposed to lift the world if he could be allowed to place his lever; for myself, I would have changed it wherever I could have been allowed to exercise my energy, perseverance, and budgets.

Alexander started as far off as Moscow to reach the Ganges; this has occurred to me since St. To reach England to-day I need the extremity of Europe, from which to take Asia in the rear. Suppose Moscow taken, Russia subdued, the czar reconciled, or dead through some court conspiracy, perhaps another and dependent throne, and tell me whether it is not possible for a French army, with its auxiliaries, setting out from Tiflis, to get as far as the Ganges, where it needs only a thrust of the French sword to bring down the whole of that grand commercial scaffolding throughout India.

It would be the most gigantic expedition, I admit, but practicable in the nineteenth century. Through it France, at one stroke, would secure the independence of the West and the freedom of the seas. While uttering this his eyes shone with strange brilliancy, and he keeps on accumulating motive after motive, in calculating obstacles, means, and chances: the inspiration is under full headway, and he gives himself up to it.

The master faculty finds itself suddenly free, and it takes flight; the artist, 2 sheathed in the political scabbard, has escaped from it; he is creating out of the ideal and the impossible.

We take him for what he is, a posthumous brother of Dante and Michael Edition: current; Page: [ 38 ] Angelo; in the clear outlines of his vision, in the intensity, coherency, and inward logic of his reverie, in the profundity of his meditations, in the superhuman grandeur of his conceptions, he is, indeed, their fellow and their equal. His genius is of the same stature and the same structure; he is one of the three sovereign minds of the Italian Renaissance. Only, while the first two operated on paper and on marble, the latter operates on the living being, on the sensitive and suffering flesh of humanity.

On taking a near view of the contemporaries of Dante and Michael Angelo, we find that they differ from us more in character than in intellect.

Le Code dEsther (French Edition) Le Code dEsther (French Edition)
Le Code dEsther (French Edition) Le Code dEsther (French Edition)
Le Code dEsther (French Edition) Le Code dEsther (French Edition)
Le Code dEsther (French Edition) Le Code dEsther (French Edition)
Le Code dEsther (French Edition) Le Code dEsther (French Edition)
Le Code dEsther (French Edition) Le Code dEsther (French Edition)
Le Code dEsther (French Edition) Le Code dEsther (French Edition)
Le Code dEsther (French Edition) Le Code dEsther (French Edition)
Le Code dEsther (French Edition)

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