Apple Blossoms by John Everett Millais

Ah, friend, let us be true
To one another! For the world, which seems
To lie before us like a land of dreams,
So various, so beautiful, so new,
Hath really neither joy, nor love, nor light,
Nor certitude, nor peace, nor help for pain,
And we are here as on a darkling plain
Swept with confused alarms of struggle and flight,
Where ignorant armies clash by night.

–Matthew Arnold.


Envy is Ignorance

There is a time in every man’s education when he arrives at the conviction that envy is ignorance; that imitation is suicide; that he must take himself for better or worse, as his portion; that, though the wide universe is full of good, no kernel of nourishing corn can come to him but through his toil bestowed on that plot of ground which is given him to till.
–Ralph Waldo Emerson.

The Letter (c. 1878), by James Tissot

For where envy and self-seeking exist, confusion and every evil thing are there. 17 But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality and without hypocrisy. James 3:16-17




“Affranchi is a former French legal term denoting a freedman or emancipated slave. It is used in English to describe the class of freedmen in Saint-Domingue and other slave-holding French territories, who held legal rights intermediate between those of free whites and enslaved Africans. In Saint-Domingue, roughly half of the affranchis were gens de couleur libres (free people of color; Mulatto) and the other half African slaves.

The affranchis had legal and social advantages over enslaved Africans. They became a distinct class in the society between whites and slaves. They could get some education, were able to own land, and could attend some French colonial entertainments. Planters who took slave women or free women of color as concubines often sent their sons to France for education and, in some cases, to enter the military. They were more likely to settle property on them as well. Because of such property and class issues, some free men of color considered themselves to have status above that of the petits blancs, shopkeepers and workers. Nonetheless, the latter had more political rights in the colony until after the Revolution.

Ambitious mulattoes worked to gain acceptance from the white colonists who held power in that society. As they advanced in society, affranchis often also held land and slaves. Some acted as creditors for planters. One of their leaders in the late 18th century, Julien Raimond, an indigo planter, claimed that affranchis owned a third of all the slaves in the colony at that time. In the early years of the French Revolution and Haitian Revolution, many gens de couleur were committed to maintaining the institution of slavery. They wanted political equality based on class – that is, extended for men of property, regardless of skin color.” WIKIPEDIA