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to become, by silence, a participator in! We have now seen that, by this the outrages going on around him, had period, Mrs. Stowe must have become very nearly destroyed, at least for the fully aware of the workings of slavery, time, his weight and influence at home." and most have known from her own
Só that from a little, and at first maternal feelings how slave-mothers insignificant body of men, aided by the felt, when their offspring was taken printing-press, such great consequences from them.' She had lost children, had arisen. Small tracts and papers | herself, and in the true spirit of from their press had made slavery the question du jour. It was these tracts
“Non ignora mali miseris succurrere disco," that had thrown the whole south- she had gifted the oppressed slave with planters, politicians, merchants, law- feelings as poignant as her own. She yers, divines, into an agony of terror, a was right. Those who have of late deterror with which even the people of cried her book, have presumed that the the north so far sympathized, as to be negro's affection is unnaturally blunted, ready to trample under foot, for the and that a finer education educes feel extinction of these horrible innovators, ings, which, in less civilized natures, do every safeguard of liberty hitherto not exist. Such reasoning is both esteemed the most sacred. Free speak-dangerous and false. Relying upon it, ing and free writing were not to be nothing great was ever done. Acting any longer tolerated. Throughout the upon a knowledge to the exact conUnited States, so far as related to the trary, by appealing to the finer feelings subject of slavery, they were to be of the mobile vulgus, Cicero succeeds; suppressed by mob violence.
and Cæsar, addressing the honor, Cincinnati itself had borne, as we touching to the quick that sense, in an have said, a very prominent part in otherwise brutal and revolted soldiery, favour of abolition, but the discussion quells a tumult with two words "Ego, was felt to be dangerous, and thoughquirites." It is useless to multiply once encouraged by the President of examples: the universal voice has ape Lane Seminary, he at last felt it incum-plauded, not condemned; and the bent on him to endeavour to put a stop coming years will endorse in bold chato it. It was too late. The discussion racters the opinion of to-day. still continued, and the anti-abolitionists Arrived at this point; this 1850, the increased in number and in violence. most remarkable portion of the life of Slave owners came over from Kentucky, the authoress is reached. Her soul and urged on the mob to violence, and had revolted at the cruelties she had for some time there was a danger of witnessed ; and expression was not Lane Seminary, and the houses of Dr. denied her. She had a plain tale to Beecher and Professor Stowe, being tell--one of suffering and endurance ; burned or pulled down. At last the and she told it. The very modesty Board of Trustees interfered, and abo- and quietness of the appeal gave it a litionist discussions were strictly for- redoubled force; the mute look of the bidden. To this necessary rule, the mendicant has more power than the students gave a singularly laconic reply, urgent voice; the veiled face of Agaby withdrawing en masse. The seminary memnon beapeaks grief more deeply was deserted, or but a handfull of than the falling tear. pupils left. The great object of the So that, when in that year, busy lives of Professor Stowe and Dr. Beecher enough, and preparing for the coming entirely overthrown. For several fair of the world, the simple chapters years afterwards these faithful teachers of a simple tale first appeared in the still remained, endeavouring to raise “ Washington National Era," there the fallen academy, and to bring back were ready ears to listen, and plenty some little of its prosperity ; but in willing to mark its teachings. Each 1850, Dr. Beecher retired, and Professor successive number added to its strength Stowe gave up the fruitless attempt, and fame; but at first that fame grew and accepted the chair of Biblical Lit- but slowly. It is always 80; and it is erature in the theological seminary at quite a mistake to suppose that any Andover, Massachusetts_“an institu- work of genius ever bursts suddenly tion which stands," says a contem- upon the eye. They calculate the porary,“ to say the least, as high as appearance of comets now-a-days, and any in the United States."
give shrewd surmises upon Le Verriers planet. When the weekly issue nity, how shall we wonder that in our in the columns of the paper were at an own time we find men too ready to end, there was, however an universal deny what is good, and to credit what call for its re-appearance before the is evil in humanity ? curtain. And it came. Then came Besides this, there is a very great the shout of applause, the clapping of feeling in literary men against the too hands, the rising in the pit, the tears, near approach of what is called evancheers, laughter, and wild excitement; | gelical religion. The celebrated John and the hook was made. Critics abso-Foster has, in his Essays, noticed this. lutely seem to have lost themselves in It has, for instance, a language pecureviewing it as much as the ordinary liarly its own. Classical quotation, readers. They pronounced it at once Dr. Johnson has told us, is the parole “the story of the age," and one declares of literary men, and it is true ; no “that a hundred thousand families less true is it that biblical quowere either every day bathed in tears, tations and biblical phrases are the or moved to laughter by the work.” parole of the lower classes of deep and
Such eulogies strike our English ears earnest religionists, and just as much as peculiarly American and vulgar; at this time as they were in the time and they, moreover, by their extrava- of Cromwell and the elder Puritans, gance, injure the book. We naturally They have no other literature than the suspect those wares which are too sacred pages of the Bible. Their extravagantly cried up. We fancy the mind has nothing to obliterate its chapman has some extra per centage deep and earnest teachings, and for being so voluble. The Quarterlies, | the very sympathy they feel with we know, cannot afford so much praise, the trials of St. Paul, and the deep and we know also that certain country contrition of David gives them in papers, happily not the whole, keep the time of their trouble, a language certain praiseful paragraphs in type, which clothes their ideas in an eastern ready upon emergency for any work imagery, which is unsuited to the nawhatever. So hereon people grew ture or idiom of our colder tongue. suspicious, but “Uncle Tom's Cabin” To them no teacher has said :stood the storm, and increased in fame, even under such friends ; but these
"I nunc et versus, tecum meditare canoros.'' puffs excited the hostility of some of in bitter allusion to the nonsense of the better portion of the press; the the schools ; for them Homer, even as writers of which were annoyed in the a translation, is a sealed book; nor are same way that Hazlitt was by the they acquainted with the polished sarperpetual talk upon the “Pickwick casms of Pope, or the glittering heartClub." Even now, when the “row" is lessness of Chesterfield or Rochefousubsiding, we can point to more than cauld. Consequently their language one literary man of high standing and becomes, as we have said, essentially known ability, who had not read the biblical. The hypocrite observes this, book, having, by the means we have and, seeking no further, he adopts this enumerated, conceived a prejudice language as a cloak to his villainy, against it.
nay, he is so much the more earnest, The insinuations of the “Times," and voluble, and fluent, in such a tongue, other papers, against “Uncle Tom's in exactly the inverse ratio of his want Cabin, appear to us to bear an almost of real belief and godliness. interested aspect. There is very little Hence .such language has become doubt but that the purest motives in hateful to the world, and those who use the world, were they propounded it are for the most part condemned at openly, would find some to deny and once as hypocrites and knaves; and impugn them. If the philosophic this is almost enough to excite a feelPliny could have believed, and have ing of opposition against a work which transmitted to us, accusations of so contains a hero who is a type of the deep a dye against the earlier Chris- puritanism of which we have spoken. tians ; if their meetings for the pur- Taking this into consideration, we pose of celebrating our Lord's supper, shall at once see how it is that the could be reported to be but a licentious chief character of her book has been assemblage, for the indulgence of the pronounced “too good,” and overWorst passions which disfigure huma- drawn. There is yet another reason. Great Britain, as a nation of traders, “It has been said that the slavehas an immense interest in a perfect population of America is a degraded peace with America; and when it is race, utterly unprepared for and inknown that that republic is our best capable of freedom, and that such customer, the simplest intellect will characters as are described in this book understand why it would be unwise to are not to be found among them. irritate her. A great part of this Whatever may be true of the pure trade is confined to the slave-holding African race, it is a fact that the mastates, and in exchange for negro- jority of the slave-population of Amegrown cotton, sugar, and rice; textile rica are a mixed race, in whose veins and hardware manufactures are sent is circulating the blood of their opout in great quantities. Abolish sla-pressors ; and characters such as that very, and for a time at least the supply of George Harris and Eliza are not ceases, and probably the relations of the unfrequently found among them. Lest two nations would become entangled. the character of Uncle Tom be conThe “Times," ever far-sighted, saw sidered merely a creation, with no type this, and it is possible that in this way in reality, the author places beside it the views of the writer were biassed. the following description of a favourite Consequently Mrs. Stowe's work was slave, from the published will of Judge pronounced to be extremely exagge- | Upshur, late Secretary of State, under rated and mischievous. In her last the administration of President Tyler:new preface she has met these general “I hereby emancipate and set free accusations, and, as it is new to the | my servant, David Rice, and direct my reader, and an answer from the author executors to give him one hundred herself, we print it here :
dollars. I recommend him, in the “That great mystery which all strongest manner, to the respect, esteem, Christian nations hold in common- and confidence, of any community in the union of God with man, through which he may happen to live. He has the humanity of Jesus Christ-invests been my slave for twenty-four years, human existence with an awful sacred during all which time he has been ness; and in the eye of the true believer | trusted to every extent and in every in Jesus, he who tramples on the rights respect. My confidence in him has of his meanest fellow-man is not only been unbounded ; his relations to myinhuman, but sacrilegious; and the self and family have always been such worst form of this sacrilege is the in- as to afford him daily opportunities to stitution of slavery.
deceive and injure us, and yet he has “It has been said that the repre never been detected in any serious sentations of this book are exaggera fault, or even in an unintentional breach tions. Would that this were true ! of the decorum of his station. His would this book were indeed a fiction, intelligence is of a high order- his and not a close-wrought mosaic of fact ! sense of right and propriety correct, But that it is not a fiction, the proofs and even refined. I feel that he is lie bleeding in thousands of hearts justly entitled to carry this certificate they have been attested by responding from me in the new relations which he voices from almost every slave state, must now form; it is due to his long and from slave-owners themselves, and most faithful services, and to the with express reference to the repre sincere and steady friendship which I sentations of this book. If more is bear him ; in the uninterrupted and wanting, we can point the whole civi- confidential intercourse of twenty-four lised world to the written published years, I have never given nor had occaslave-code of the southern states, where sion to give him one unpleasant word. may be seen a calm, clear, legal crystal- I know no man who has fewer faults or lization and arrangement of every more excellences than he.” enormity and every injustice which “Such a character, of course, is not despotic power can inflict on the soul common, either in fiction or fact; but and body of a fellow-man. Let any | so much of degradation, obloquy, and man read the laws, and he will never of enforced vice, has been heaped upon doubt the results.
the head of the unhappy African, that “Since so it is, thanks be to God that he is in justice entitled to the very this mighty cry, this wail of an unut-fairest representation which may conterable anguish, has at last been heard ! | sist with probability and fact. .'
“It is not in utter despair, but in “The internal struggles of no other solemn hope and assurance, that the nation in the world can be so interestfriends of freedom may regard the ing to Europeans as those of America ; struggle that now convulses America. for America is fast filling up from It is the outcry of the demon of Europe, and every European who slavery, which has heard the voice of lands on her shores has almost immea coming Jesus, and is rending the diately his vote in her councils. noble form from which at last he will "If, therefore, the oppressed of other bid it depart.
nations desire to find in America an “It cannot be that so monstrous a asylum of permanent freedom, let solecism can long exist in the bosom them come prepared, heart, hand, and of a nation which in all other respects vote, against the institution of slavery, is the best exponent of the principles for they who puslave others cannot of universal brotherhood. In America, long themselves remain free. True the Frenchman, the German, the Ita- are the great living words of Kossuthlian, the Hungarian, the Swede, and “No nation can remain free with the Celt, all mingle on terms of frater- whom freedom is a privilege and not a nity and equal right. All nations principle.'” there display their characteristic ex Owing to the still unsettled state of cellence, and are admitted by her the copyright question, certain London liberal laws to equal privileges ; every booksellers have a kind of advanced thing there is tending to liberalize, guard established who are on the humanize, and elevate ; and for that watch for novelties of value in the very reason it is that the contest with | book way published on the other side slavery there grows every year more of the water, which are then sent off, terrible. The stream of human pro (posted wet from the press) and make gress, widening, deepening, strengthen their appearance over here as a new ing, from the confluent forces of all book, by which pleasant and equitable nations, meets this barrier, behind arrangement, the author gets nothing which is concentrated the ignorance, for his copyright, and the “enteroppression, and cruelty of the dark prising publisher” is entirely secured ages : it roars and foams, now at its | from loss by undertaking only the base, but every year it has been stea- works of such authors as have underdily rising, till at last, with a rush like | gone the ordeal of publication and Niagara, it will sweep the barrier away. approval before another and critical
“ In its commencement, slavery over- public. It is but fair to state, and we spread every state in the union. The do it in order to prevent our bookprogress of society has already eman sellers from getting all the praise due cipated a majority of the states from to this generous act, that the Ameriits yoke. In Kentucky, Tennessee, cans were the first to begin, and are Virginia, and Maryland, at different those mostly benefited, by such artimes, strong movements have been rangements. Our Quarterlies and best made for emancipation, movements magazines are reprinted by the Harpers enforced by a comparison of the pro-(we were about to write harpies), as gressive march of the free states, with well as the works of our best authors. the poverty and sterility induced by a Under such existing circumstances, system which in a few years exhausts we find it stated in an extraordinary the resources of the soil without the advertisement, of an inflated nature, power of renewal. The time cannot that Mr. Bogue, of Fleet Street, got be distant when these states must the first copy of “ Uncle Tom,” which emancipate for self-preservation : and went the round of the trade without if no new slave territory be added, the any purchaser. The reader will proincrease of slave population will en- bably recollect that “Robinson Crusoe" force measures of emancipation in the did the same. “At last,” says our remainder.
authority, “a very reputable printer “Here, then, is the point of the got hold of it, and sat up half the battle. Unless new slave territory is night reading it; then woke up his gained, slavery dies—if it is gained, it wife, who read it too, and was moved lives. Around this point political to tears thereby, whereon the printer, parties fight and manoeuvre, and every like Molière, who judged of his year the battle waxes hotter.
comedies by the effect they had upon
his old nurse, declared it was good, / the slightest degree towards the reand forthwith published it.
moval of the gigantic evil that afflicts Let not the reader think such anec- her soul, is a point upon which we may dotes puerile. Boswell, (or Mrs. Thrale) | express the greatest doubt ; nay, is a have carefully packed up, and sent matter upon which, unfortunately, we down to posterity the epitaph of the have very little doubt at all, inasmuch nine years old Johnson on,
as we are certain, that the very readiest “Good Master Duck,
way to rivet the fetters of slavery, in That Samuel Johnson trod on
these critical timnes, is to direct against If he had lived and had been good luck,
all slaveholders in America, the opproFor then we'd had an odd 'un.”
brium and indignation which such
works as 'Uncle Tom's Cabin' are sure And some may be curious to know to excite. ... The gravest fault of the upon how slender a thread, the popu- book has, however, to be mentioned. larity of a very famous novel depended. Its object is to abolish slavery. Its
But however veracious the advertise- effect will be to render slavery more ment may have been, certain it is, that difficult than ever of abolishment. Its the book lay comparatively still for very popularity constitutes its greatest nearly five months, and then the edi- difficulty. It will keep ill-blood at tions multiplied as fast as night-worked boiling point, and irritate instead of compositors and steam-power could pacifying those, whose proceedings Mrs. make them. We are afraid to say how Stowe is anxious to influence on behalf many there have been. They are of of humanity." The review concludes all prices from sixpence to ten and six- in the following words, "Liberia, and pence already, and one is advertised at similar spots on the earth's surface, a guinea. Looked at in a merely utili- proffer aid to the South, which cannot tarian point of view, the labour and be rejected with safety. That the aid employment, which that single pro- may be accepted with alacrity and good duction of a single mind, has created heart, let us have no more Uncle has been immense. The families of Tom's Cabins' engendering ill-will, printers, type-founders, paper-makers, keeping up bad blood, and rendering binders and artists have reason to well-disposed, humane, but critically thank it.
placed men their own enemies, and the But we cannot go into the history of stumbling-blocks to civilization, and to editions, printed in type as fine as the spread of glad tidings from heaven." Elzevirs, or as ragged as that of So that to reason by analogy, it is Catnach, with the book we have to do unwise to convince any one of the hateas an emanation from Mrs. Stowe, and fulness of sin ! lest he should continue as the central point of interest in her in the “gigantic evil ;" nay should biography. The “Times” was asto "bad blood” being engendered by such nished at the popularity of the work, | preaching, go on to worse sins or to and thought it worthy of a critique. rivet the fetters of those which already
Now the critic or critics of the hold him. It so, farewell to gospel "Times” have peculiar minds. No ministry, and welcome the Laissez faire one scarcely ever agrees with them, system of opposing and denouncing they are not generally clever, but from nothing their position they have a certain The critique, which was considerably weight, and they produce “reverberated softened down by another, on a book of thunder" elsewhere. The position that an opposite tendency, is not worth the critic took, in this instance, was a answering, except in one point. We guarded one. The recent Fishery dis allude to the attack upon the character pute had made the English fear a dis- of“ Uncle Tom” himself, who appears turbance of peace between America to have been universally declared to be and England, and the “Times” wrote, “ too good." We who never heard of therefore, on the safe side of the the black bishops of Carthage in the question. It carried with it the quiet | early ages of the church, seem surprised sts of the country.
to find a negro drawn as a perfect “That she will convince the world of Christian, and seem to think it almost the purity of her own motives, and of the a personal affair, that “Uncle Tom" hatefulness of the sin she denounces is should be so much better than we feel equally clear, but that she will help in ourselves to be. But this, which some