Admired such wisdom in a Yankee shape, And showed an Irving as they show an ape.'
[Loud cheers.] And yet, strange to tell, not only of late have we been almost deluged with editions of new and excellent American writers, but the most popular book of the century has appeared on the west side of the Atlantic. Let us hear no more of the poverty of American brains, or the barrenness of American literature. Had it produced only Uncle Tom's Cabin, it had evaded contempt just as certainly as Don Quixote, had there been no other product of the Spanish mind, would have rendered it forever illustrious. It is the work of a woman, too! None but a woman could have written it. There are in the human mind springs at once delicate and deep, which only the female genius can understand, or the female finger touch. Who but a female could have created the gentle Eva, painted the capricious and selfish Marie St. Clair, or turned loose a Topsy upon the wondering world? [Loud and continued cheering.] And it is to my mind exceedingly delightful, and it must be humiliating to our opponents, to remember that the severest stroke to American slavery has been given by a woman's hand. [Loud cheers.] It was the smooth stone from the brook which, sent from the hand of a youthful David, overthrew Goliath of Gath; but I am less reminded of this than of another incident in Scripture history. When the robber and oppressor of Israel, Abimelech, who had slain his brethren, was rushing against a tower, whither his enemies had fled, we are told that 'a certain woman cast a piece of a millstone upon Abimelech's head, and all to break his skull,' and that he cried hastily to the young man, his armor-bearer, and said unto him, 'Draw thy sword, and slay me, that men say not of me, A woman slew him.' It is a parable of our present position. Mrs. Stowe has thrown a piece of millstone, sharp and strong, at the skull of the giant abomination of her country; he is reeling in his death pangs, and, in the fury of his despair and shame, is crying, but crying in vain, 'Say not, A woman slew me!' [Applause.] But the world shall say, 'A woman slew him,' or, at least, 'gave him the first blow, and drove him to despair and suicide.' [Cheers.] Lastly, it is the work of an evangelical Christian; and the piety of the book has greatly contributed to its power. It has forever wiped away the vile calumny, that all who love their African brother hate their God and Savior. I look, indeed, on Mrs. Stowe's volume, not only as a noble contribution to the cause of emancipation, but to the general cause of Christianity. It is an olive leaf in a dove's mouth, testifying that the waters of scepticism, which have rolled more fearfully far in America than here,—and no wonder, if the Christianity of America in general is a slaveholding, man-stealing, soul-murdering Christianity—that they are abating, and that genuine liberty and evangelical religion are soon to clasp hands, and to smile in unison on the ransomed, regenerated, and truly 'United States.' [Loud and reiterated applause.]"
ADDRESS OF THE STUDENTS OF GLASGOW UNIVERSITY—APRIL 25.
This address is particularly gratifying on account of its recognition of the use of intoxicating drinks as an evil analogous to slaveholding, and to be eradicated by similar means. The two reforms are in all respects similar movements, to be promoted in the same manner and with the same spirit.
MRS. HARRIET BEECHER STOWE.
MADAM: The Committee of the Glasgow University Abstainers' Society, representing nearly one hundred students, embrace the opportunity which you have so kindly afforded them, of expressing their high esteem for you, and their appreciation of your noble efforts in behalf of the oppressed. They cordially join in the welcome with which you have been so justly received on these shores, and earnestly hope and pray that your visit may be beneficial to your own health, and tend greatly to the furtherance of Christian philanthropy.
The committee have had their previous convictions confirmed, and their hearts deeply affected, by your vivid and faithful delineations of slavery; and they desire to join with thousands on both sides of the Atlantic, who offer fervent thanksgiving to God for having endowed you with those rare gifts, which have qualified you for producing the noblest testimony against slavery, next to the Bible, which the world has ever received.
While giving all the praise to God, from whom cometh every good and perfect gift, they may be excused for mentioning three characteristics of your writings regarding slavery, which awakened their admiration—a sensibility befitting the anguish of suffering millions; the graphic power which presents to view the complex and hideous system, stripped of all its deceitful disguises; and the moral courage that was required to encounter the monster, and drag it forth to the gaze and the execration of mankind.
The committee feel humbled in being called to confess and deplore, as existing among ourselves, another species of slavery, not less ruinous in its tendency, and not less criminal in the sight of God—we mean the slavery by strong drink. We feel too much ashamed of the sad preeminence which these nations have acquired in regard to this vice to take any offence at the reproaches cast upon us from across the Atlantic. Such smiting shall not break our head. We are anxious to profit by it. Yet when it is used as an argument to justify slavery, or to silence our respectful but earnest remonstrances, we take exception to the parallelism on which these arguments are made to rest. We do not justify our slavery. We do not try to defend it from the Scriptures. We do not make laws to uphold it. The unhappy victims of our slavery have all forged and riveted their own fetters. We implore them to forbear; but, alas! in many cases without success. We invite them to be free, and offer our best assistance to undo their bonds. When a fugitive slave knocks at our door, escaping from a cruel master, we try to accost him in the spirit or in the words of a well-known philanthropist, "Come in, brother, and get warm, and get thy breakfast." And when distinguished American philanthropists, who have done so much to undo the heavy burdens in their own land, come over to assist us, we hail their advent with rejoicing, and welcome them as benefactors. We are well aware that a corresponding feeling would be manifested in the United States by a portion, doubtless a large portion, of the population; but certainly not by those who justify or palliate their own oppression by a reference to our lamentable intemperance.
We rejoice, madam, to know that as abstainers we can claim an important place, pot only in your sympathies, but in your literary labors. We offer our hearty thanks for the valuable contributions you have already furnished in that momentous cause, and for the efforts of that distinguished family with which you are connected.
We bear our testimony to the mighty impulse imparted to the public mind by the extensive circulation of those memorable sermons which your honored father gave to Europe, as well as to America, more than twenty-five years ago. It will be pleasing to him to know that the force of his arguments is felt in British universities to the present time, and that not only students in augmenting numbers, but learned professors, acknowledge their cogency and yield to their power.
Permit us to add that a movement has already begun, in an influential quarter in England, for the avowed purpose of combining the patriotism and Christianity of these nations in a strenuous agitation for the suppression, by the legislature, of the traffic in alcoholic drinks.
In conclusion, the committee have only further to express their cordial thanks for your kindness in receiving their address, and their desire and prayer that you may be long spared to glorify God, by promoting the highest interests of man; that if it so please him, you may live to see the glorious fruit of your labors here cm earth, and that hereafter you may meet the blessed salutation, "Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me."
NORMAN S. KERR, Secretary.
STEWART BATES, President.
GLASGOW, 25th April, 1853.
LOUD MAYOR'S DINNER AT THE MANSION HOUSE, LONDON—MAY 2.
MR. JUSTICE TALFOURD,[D] having spoken of the literature of England and America, alluded to two distinguished authors then present. The one was a lady, who had shed a lustre on the literature of America, and whose works were deeply engraven on every English heart. He spoke particularly of the consecration of so much genius to so noble a cause—the cause of humanity; and expressed the confident hope that the great American people would see and remedy the wrongs so vividly depicted. The learned judge, having paid an eloquent tribute to the works of Mr. Charles Dickens, concluded by proposing "Mr. Charles Dickens and the literature of the Anglo-Saxons."
Mr. CHARLES DICKENS returned thanks. In referring to Mrs. H.B. Stowe, he observed that, in returning thanks, he could not forget he was in the presence of a stranger who was the authoress of a noble book, with a noble purpose. But he had no right to call her a stranger, for she would find a welcome in every English home.
STAFFORD HOUSE RECEPTION—MAY 7.
The DUKE OF SUTHERLAND having introduced Mrs. Stowe to the assembly, the following short address was read and presented to her by the EARL OF SHAFTESBURY:—
"Madam: I am deputed by the Duchess of Sutherland, and the ladies of the two committees appointed to conduct 'The Address from the Women of England, to the Women of America on the Subject of Slavery,' to express the high gratification they feel in your presence amongst them this day.
"The address, which has received considerably more than half a million of the signatures of the women of Great Britain and Ireland, they have already transmitted to the United States, consigning it to the care of those whom you have nominated as fit and zealous persons to undertake the charge in your absence.
"The earnest desire of these committees, and, indeed, we may say of the whole kingdom, is to cultivate the most friendly and affectionate relations between the two countries; and we cannot but believe that we are fostering such a feeling when we avow our deep admiration of an American lady who, blessed by the possession of vast genius and intellectual powers, enjoys the still higher blessing, that she devotes them to the glory of God and the temporal and eternal interests of the human race."
The following is a copy of the address to which Lord Shaftesbury makes reference:—
"The affectionate and Christian Address of many thousands of Women of Great Britain and Ireland to their Sisters, the Women of the United States of America.
"A common origin, a common faith, and, we sincerely believe, a common cause, urge us at the present moment to address you on the subject of that system of negro slavery which still prevails so extensively, and even under kindly-disposed masters, with such frightful results, in many of the vast regions of the western world.
"We will not dwell on the ordinary topics—on the progress of civilization; on the advance of freedom every where; on the rights and requirements of the nineteenth century; but we appeal to you very seriously to reflect, and to ask counsel of God, how far such a state of things is in accordance with his holy word, the inalienable rights of immortal souls, and the pure and merciful spirit of the Christian religion.
"We do not shut our eyes to the difficulties, nay, the dangers, that might beset the immediate abolition of that long-established system; we see and admit the necessity of preparation for so great an event; but in speaking of indispensable preliminaries, we cannot be silent on those laws of your country which, in direct contravention of God's own law, instituted in the time of man's innocency, deny, in effect, to the slave the sanctity of marriage, with all its joys, rights, and obligations; which separate, at the will of the master, the wife from the husband, and the children from the parents. Nor can we be silent on that awful system which, either by statute or by custom, interdicts to any race of men, or any portion of the human family, education in the truths of the gospel, and the ordinances of Christianity.
"A remedy applied to these two evils alone would commence the amelioration of their sad condition. We appeal to you, then, as sisters, as wives, and as mothers, to raise your voices to your fellow-citizens, and your prayers to God, for the removal of this affliction from the Christian world. We do not say these things in a spirit of self-complacency, as though our nation were free from the guilt it perceives in others. We acknowledge with grief and shame our heavy share in this great sin. We acknowledge that our forefathers introduced, nay, compelled the adoption of slavery in those mighty colonies. We humbly confess it before Almighty God; and it is because we so deeply feel, and so unfeignedly avow, our own complicity, that we now venture to implore your aid to wipe away our common crime, and our common dishonor."
CONGREGATIONAL UNION—MAY 13.
The REV. JOHN ANGELL JAMES said, "I will only for one moment revert to the resolution.[E] It does equal honor to the head, and the heart, and the pen of the man who drew it. Beautiful in language, Christian in spirit, noble and generous in design, it is just such a resolution as I shall be glad to see emanate from the Congregational body, and find its way across the Atlantic to America. Sir, we speak most powerfully, when, though we speak firmly, we speak in kindness; and there is nothing in that resolution that can, by possibility, offend the most fastidious taste of any individual present, or any individual in the world, who takes the same views of the evil of slavery, in itself, as we do. [Hear, hear!] I shall not trespass long upon the attention of this audience, for we are all impatient to hear Professor Stowe speak in his own name, and in the name of that distinguished lady whom it is his honor and his happiness to call his wife. [Loud cheers.] His station and his acquirements, his usefulness in America, his connection with our body, his representation of the Pilgrim Fathers who bore the light of Christianity to his own country, all make him welcome here. [Cheers.] But he will not be surprised if it is not on his own account merely that we give him welcome, but also on account of that distinguished woman to whom so marked an allusion has already been made. To her, I am sure, we shall tender no praise, except the praise that comes to her from a higher source than ours; from One who has, by the testimony of her own conscience, echoing the voice from above, said to her, 'Well done, good and faithful servant.' Long, sir, may it be before the completion of the sentence; before the welcome shall be given to her, when she shall hear him say, 'Enter thou into the joy of thy Lord.' [Loud cheers.] But, though we praise her not, or praise with chastened language, we would say, Madam, we do thank you from the bottom of our hearts, [Hear, hear! and immense cheering,] for rising up to vindicate our outraged humanity; for rising up to expound the principles of our still nobler Christianity. For my own part, it is not merely as an exposition of the evils of slavery that makes me hail that wondrous volume to our country and to the world; but it is the living exposition of the principles of the gospel that it contains, and which will expound those principles to many an individual who would not hear them from our lips, nor read them from our pens. I maintain, that Uncle Tom is one of the most beautiful imbodiments of the Christian religion that was ever presented in this world. [Loud cheers.] And it is that which makes me take such delight in it. I rejoice that she killed him. [Laughter and cheers.] He must die under the slave lash—he must die, the martyr of slavery, and receive the crown of martyrdom from both worlds for his testimony to the truth. [Turning to Mrs. Stowe, Mr. James continued:] May the Lord God reward you for what you have done; we cannot, madam—we cannot do it. [Cheers.] We rejoice in the perfect assurance, in the full confidence, that the arrow which is to pierce the system of slavery to the heart has been shot, and shot by a female hand. Right home to the mark it will go. [Cheers.] It is true, the monster may groan and struggle for a long while yet; but die it will; die it must—under the potency of that book. [Loud cheers.] It never can recover. It will be your satisfaction, perhaps, in this world, madam, to see the reward of your labors. Heaven grant that your life may be prolonged, until such time as you see the reward of your labors in the striking off of the last fetter of the last slave that still pollutes the soil of your beloved country. [Cheers.] For beloved it is; and I should do dishonor to your patriotism if I did not say it—beloved it is; and you are prepared to echo the sentiments, by changing the terms, which we often hear in old England, and say,—
'America! with all thy faults I love thee still!'
But still more intense will be my affection, and pure and devoted the ardor of my patriotism, when this greatest of all thine ills, this darkest of the blots upon thine escutcheon, shall be wiped out forever." [Loud applause.]
The REV. PROFESSOR STOWE rose amid loud, and repeated cheers, and said, "It is extremely painful for me to speak on the subject of American slavery, and especially out of the borders of my own country. [Hear, hear!] I hardly know whether painful or pleasurable emotions predominate, when I look upon the audience to which I speak. I feel a very near affinity to the Congregationalists of England, and especially to the Congregationalists of London. [Cheers.] My ancestors were residents of London; at least, from the time of Edward III.; they lived in Cornhill and Leadenhall Street, and their bones lie buried in the old church of St. Andrew Under-Shaft; and, in the year 1632, on account of their nonconformity, they were obliged to seek refuge in the State of Massachusetts; and I have always felt a love and a veneration for the Congregational churches of England, more than for any other churches in any foreign land. [Cheers.] I can only hope, that my conduct, as a religious man and a minister of Christ, may not bring discredit upon my ancestors, and upon the honorable origin which I claim. [Hear! and cheers.] I wish to say, in the first place, that in the United States the Congregational churches, as a body, are free from slavery. [Cheers.] I do not think that there is a Congregational church in the United States in which a member could openly hold a slave without subjecting himself to discipline.[F] True, I have met with churches very deficient in their duty on this subject, and I am afraid there are members of Congregational churches who hold slaves secretly as security for debt in the Southern States. At the last great Congregational Convention, held in the city of Albany, the churches took a step on the subject of slavery much in advance of any other great ecclesiastical body in the country. I hope it is but the beginning of a series of measures that will eventuate in the separation of this body from all connection with slavery. [Hear, hear!] I am extensively acquainted with the United States; I have lived in different sections of them; I am familiar with people of all classes, and it is my solemn conviction, that nine tenths of the people feel on the subject of slavery as you do;[G] [cheers;] perhaps not so intensely, for familiarity with wrong deadens the conscience; but their convictions are altogether as yours are; and in the slaveholding states, and among slaveholders themselves, conscience is against the system. [Cheers.] There is no legislative control of the subject of slavery, except by slaveholding legislators themselves. Congress has no right to do any thing in the premises. They violated the constitution, as I believe, in passing the Fugitive Slave Act. [Cheers.] I do not believe they had any right to pass it. [Hear, hear!] I stand here not as the representative of any body whatever. I only represent myself, and give you my individual convictions, that have been produced by a long and painful connection with the subject. [Hear, hear!] As to the resolution, I approve it entirely. Its sentiment and its spirit are my own. [Cheers.] At the close of the revolutionary war, which separated the colonies from the mother country, every state of the Union was a slaveholding state; every colony was a slaveholding colony; and now we have seventeen free states. [Cheers.] Slavery has been abolished in one half of the original colonies, and it was declared that there should be neither slavery nor the slave trade in any territory north and west of the Ohio River; so that all that part is entirely free from actual active participation in this curse, laying open a free territory that, I think, must be ten times larger in extent than Great Britain. [Loud cheers.] The State of Massachusetts was the first in which slavery ceased. How did it cease? By an enactment of the legislature? Not at all. They did not feel there was any necessity for such an enactment. The Bill of Rights declared, that all men were born free, and that they had an equal right to the pursuit of happiness and the acquisition of property. In contradiction to that, there were slaves in every part of Massachusetts; and some philanthropic individual advised a slave to bring into court an action for wages against his master during all his time of servitude. The action was brought, and the court decided that the negro was entitled to wages during the whole period. [Cheers.] That put an end to slavery in Massachusetts, and that decision ought to have put an end to slavery in all states of the Union, because the law applied to all. They abolished slavery in all the Northern States—in Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Connecticut, and Rhode Island; and it was expected that the whole of the states would follow the example. When I was a child, I never heard a lisp in defence of slavery. [Hear, hear, hear!] Every body condemned it; all looked upon it as a great curse, and all regarded it as a temporary evil, which would soon melt away before the advancing light of truth. [Hear, hear!] But still there was great injustice done to those who had been slaves. Every body regarded the colored race as a degraded race; they were looked upon as inferior; they were not upon terms of social equality. The only thing approaching it was, that the colored children attended the schools with the white children, and took their places on the same forms; but in all other respects they were excluded from the common advantages and privileges of society. In the places of worship they were seated by themselves; and that difference always existed till these discussions came up, and they began to feel mortified at their situation; and hence, wherever they could, they had worship by themselves, and began to build places of worship for themselves; and now you will scarcely find a colored person occupying a seat in our places of worship. This stain still remains, and it is but a type of the feeling that has been generated by slavery. This ought to be known and understood, and this is just one of the out-croppings of that inward feeling that still is doing great injustice to the colored race; but there are symptoms of even that giving way.
"I suppose you all remember Dr. Pennington—[cheers]—a colored minister of great talent and excellence—[Hear, hear!]—though born a slave, and for many years was a fugitive slave. [Hear, hear.] Dr. Pennington is a member of the presbytery of New York; and within the last six months he has been chosen moderator of that presbytery. [Loud cheers.] He has presided in that capacity at the ordination of a minister to one of the most respectable churches of that city. So far so good—we rejoice in it, and we hope that the same sense of justice which has brought about that change, so that a colored man can be moderator of a Presbytery in the city of New York, will go on, till full justice is done to these people, and until the grievous wrongs to which they have been subjected will be entirely done away. [Cheers.] But still, what is the aspect which the great American nation now presents to the Christian world? Most sorry am I to say it; but it is just this—a Christian republic upholding slavery—the only great nation on earth that does uphold it—a great Christian republic, which, so far as the white people are concerned, is the fairest and most prosperous nation on earth—that great Christian republic using all the power of its government to secure and to shield this horrible institution of negro slavery from aggression; and there is no subject on which the government is so sensitive—there is no institution which it manifests such a determination to uphold. [Hear, hear!] And then the most melancholy fact of all is, that the entire Christian church in that republic, with few exceptions, are silent, or are apologists for this great wrong. [Hear, hear!] It makes my heart bleed to think of it; and there are many praying and weeping in secret places over this curse, whose voices are not heard. There is such a pressure on the subject, it is so mixed up with other things, that many sigh over it who know not what to say or what to do in reference to it. And what kind of slavery is it? Is it like the servitude under the Mosaic law, which is brought forward to defend it? Nothing like it. Let me read you a little extract from a correspondent of a New York paper, writing from Paris. I will read it, because it is so graphic, and because I wish to show from what sources you may best ascertain the real nature of American slavery. The commercial newspapers, published by slaveholders, in slaveholding states, will give you a far more graphic idea of what slavery actually is, than you have from Uncle Tom's Cabin; for there the most horrible features are softened. This writer says, 'And now a word on American representatives abroad. I have already made my complaint of the troubles brought on Americans here by that "incendiary" book of Mrs. Stowe's, especially of the difficulty we have in making the French understand our institutions. But there was one partially satisfactory way of answering their questions, by saying that Uncle Tom's Cabin was a romance. And this would have served the purpose pretty well, and spared our blushes for the model republic, if the slaveholders themselves would only withhold their testimony to the truth of what we were willing to let pass as fiction. But they are worse than Mrs. Stowe herself, and their writings are getting to be quoted here quite extensively. The Moniteur of to-day, and another widely-circulated journal that lies on my table, both contain extracts from those extremely incendiary periodicals, The National Intelligencer, of February 11, and The N.O. Picayune, of February 17. The first gives an auctioneer's advertisement of the sale of "a negro boy of eighteen years, a negro girl aged sixteen, three horses, saddles, bridles, wheelbarrows," &c. Then follows an account of the sale, which reads very much like the description, in the dramatic feuilletons here, of a famous scene in the Case de l'Oncle Tom, as played at the Ambigu Comique. The second extract is the advertisement of "our esteemed fellow-citizen, Mr. M.C.G.," who presents his "respects to the inhabitants of O. and the neighbouring parishes," and "informs them that he keeps a fine pack of dogs trained to catch negroes," &c. It is painful to think that there are men in our country who will write, and that there are others found to publish, such tales as these about our peculiar institution. I put it to Mr. G., if he thinks it is patriotic. As a "fellow-citizen," and in his private relations, G. may be an estimable man, for aught I know, a Christian and a scholar, and an ornament to the social circles of O. and the neighboring parishes. But as an author, G. becomes public property, and a fair theme for criticism; and in that capacity, I say G. is publishing the shame of his country. I call him G., without the prefatory Mister, not from any personal disrespect, much as I am grieved at his course as a writer, but because he is now breveted for immortality, and goes down to posterity, like other immortals, without titular prefix.' [Cheers.] Now, here is where you get the true features of slavery. What is the reason that the churches, as a general thing, are silent—that some of them are apologists, and that some, in the extreme Southern States, actually defend slavery, and say it is a good institution, and sanctioned by Scripture? It is simply this—the overwhelming power of the slave system; and whence comes that overwhelming power? It comes from its great influence in the commercial world. [Hear!] Until the time that cotton became so extensively an article of export, there was not a word said in defence of slavery, as far as I know, in the United States. In 1818, the Presbyterian General Assembly passed resolutions unanimously on the subject of slavery, to which this resolution is mildness itself; and not a man could be found to say one word against it. But cotton became a most valuable article of export. In one form and another, it became intimately associated with the commercial affairs of the whole country. The northern manufacturers were intimately connected with this cotton trade, and more than two thirds raised in the United States has been sold in Great Britain; and it is this cotton trade that supports the whole system. That you may rely upon. The sugar and rice, so far as the United States are concerned, are but small interests. The system is supported by this cotton trade, and within two days I have seen an article written with vigor in the Charleston Mercury, a southern paper of great influence, saying, that the slaveholders are becoming isolated, by the force of public opinion, from the rest of the world. They are beginning to be regarded as inhuman tyrants, and the slaves the victims of their cruelty; but, says the writer, just so long as you take our cotton, we shall have our slaves. Now, you are as really involved in this matter as we are—[Hear, hear!]—and if you have no other right to speak on the subject, you have a right to speak from being yourselves very active participators in the wrong. You have a great deal of feeling on the subject, honorable and generous feeling, I know—an earnest, philanthropic, Christian feeling; but if you have nothing to do, that feeling will all evaporate, and leave an apathy behind. Now, here is something to be done. It may be a small beginning, but, as you go forward, Providence will develop other plans, and the more you do, the further you will see. I am happy to know that a beginning has been made. There are indications that a way has been so opened in providence that this exigency can be met. Within the last few years, the Chinese have begun to emigrate to the western parts of the United States. They will maintain themselves on small wages; and wherever they come into actual competition with slave labor, it cannot compete with them. Very many of the slaveholders have spoken of this as a very remarkable indication. If slavery had been confined to the original slave states, as it was intended, slavery could not have lived. It was the intention that it should never go beyond those boundaries. Had this been the case, it would increase the number of slaves so much that they would have been valueless as articles of property. I must say this for America, that the slaves increase in the slave states faster than the white people; and it shows that their physical condition is better than was that of the slaves at the West Indies, or in Cuba, where the number actually diminished. We must have more slave territories to make our slaves valuable, and there was the origin of that iniquitous Mexican war, whereby was added the vast territory of Texas; and then it was the intention to make California a slave state; but, I am happy to say, it has been received into the Union as a free state, and God grant it may continue so. [Hear, hear!] What has been the effect of this expansion of slave territory? It has doubled the value of slaves. Since I can remember, a strong slave man would sell for about four hundred or six hundred dollars—that is, about one hundred pounds; but now, during the present season, I have known instances in which a slave man has been sold for two hundred and thirty pounds. There are more slaves raised in Virginia and Maryland than they can use in those states in labor, and, therefore, they sell them at one hundred, two hundred, or three hundred pounds, as the case may be, for cash. All that Mrs. Tyler intimates in that letter about slavery in America, and the impression it is calculated and intended to convey, that they treat their slaves so well, and do not separate their families, and so forth, is all mere humbug. [Laughter and cheers.] It is well known that Virginia has more profit from selling negroes than from any other source. The great sources of profit are tobacco and negroes, and they derive more from the sale of negroes than tobacco. You see the temptation this gives to avarice. Suppose there is a man with no property, except fifteen or twenty negro men, whom he can sell, each one for two hundred pounds, cash; and he has as many negro women, whom he can sell for one hundred and fifty pounds, cash, and the children for one hundred pounds each: here is a temptation to avarice; and it is calculated to silence the voice of conscience; and it is the expansion of the slave territory, and the immense mercantile value of the cotton, that has brought so powerful an influence to bear on the United States in favor of slavery. [Hear, hear.] Now, as to free labor coming into competition with slave labor: You will see, that when the price of slaves is so enormous, it requires an immense outlay to stock a plantation. A good plantation would take two hundred, or three hundred hands. Now, say for every hand employed on this plantation, the man must pay on an average two hundred pounds, which is not exorbitant at the present time. If he has to pay at this rate, what an immense outlay of capital to begin with, and how great the interest on that sum continually accumulating! And then there is the constant exposure to loss. These plantation negroes are very careless of life, and often cholera gets among them, and sweeps off twenty-five or thirty in a few days; and then there is the underground railroad, and, with all the precautions that can be taken, it continues to work. And now you see what an immense risk, and exposure to loss, and a vast outlay of capital, there is in connection with this system. But, if a man takes a cotton farm, and can employ Chinese laborers, he can get them for one or two shillings a day, and they will do the work as well, if not better than negroes, and there is no outlay or risk. [Hear, hear!]. If good cotton fields can be obtained, as they may in time, here is an opening which will tend to weaken the slave system. If Christians will investigate this subject, and if philanthropists generally will pursue these inquiries in an honest spirit, it is not long before we shall see a movement throughout the civilized world, and the upholders of slavery will feel, where they feel most acutely—in their pockets. Until something of this kind is done, I despair of accomplishing any great amount of good by simple appeals to the conscience and right principle. There are a few who will listen to conscience and a sense of right, but there are unhappily only a few. I suppose, though you have good Christians here, you have many who will put their consciences in their pockets. [Hear, hear!] I have known cases of this kind. There was a young lady in the State of Virginia who was left an orphan, and she had no property except four negro slaves, who were of great commercial value. She felt that slavery was wrong, and she could not hold them. She gave them their freedom—[cheers]—and supported herself by teaching a small school. [Cheers.] Now, notwithstanding all the unfavorable things we see—notwithstanding the dark cloud that hangs over the country, there are hopeful indications that God has not forgotten us, and that he will carry on this work till it is accomplished. [Hear!] But it will be a long while first, I fear; and we must pray, and labor, and persevere; for he that perseveres to the end, and he only, receives the crown. Now, there are very few in the United States who undertake to defend slavery, and say it is right. But the great majority, even of professors of religion, unite to shield it from aggression. 'It is the law of the land,' they say, 'and we must submit to it.' It seems a strange doctrine to come from the lips of the descendants of the Puritans, those who resisted the law of the land because those laws were against their conscience, and finally went over to that new world, in order that they might enjoy the rights of conscience. How would it have been with the primitive church if this doctrine had prevailed? There never would have been any Christian church, for that was against the laws of the land. In regard to the distribution of the Bible, in many states the laws prohibit the teaching of slaves, and the distribution of the Bible is not allowed among them. The American Bible Society does not itself take the responsibility of this. It leaves the whole matter to the local societies in the several states, and it is the local societies that take the responsibility. Well, why should we obey the law of the land in South Carolina on this subject, and disobey the law of the land in Italy? But our missionary societies and Bible societies send Bibles to other parts of the world, and never ask if it is contrary to the law of these lands, and if it is, they push it all the more zealously. They send Bibles to Italy and Spain, and yet the Bible is prohibited by those governments. The American Tract Society and the American Sunday School Union allow none of their issues to utter a syllable against slavery. They expunge even from their European books every passage of this kind, and excuse themselves by the law and the public sentiment. So are the people taught. There has been a great deal said on the subject of influence from abroad; but those who talk in that way interfered with the persecution of the Madiai, and remonstrated with the Tuscan government. We have had large meetings on the subject in New York, and those who refuse the Bible to the slave took part in that meeting, and did not seem to think there was any inconsistency in their conduct.
"The Christian church knows no distinction of nations. In that church there is neither Greek nor Jew, Barbarian, Scythian, bond nor free, but all are one in Christ; and whatever affects one part of the body affects the other, and the whole Christian church every where is bound to help, and encourage, and rebuke, as the case may require. The Christian church is every where bound to its corresponding branch in every other country; and thus you have, not only a right, but it is your duty, to consider the case of the American slave with just the same interest with which you consider the cause of the native Hindoo, when you send out your missionaries there, or with which you consider Madagascar; and to express yourselves in a Christian spirit, and in a Christian way continually, till you see that your admonitions have had a suitable influence. I do not doubt what you say, that you will receive with great pleasure men who come from the United States to promote the cause of temperance, and you may have the opportunity of showing your sincerity before long; and the manner in which you receive them will have a very important bearing on the subject of slavery. [Cheers.] I have not the least doubt you will hail with joy those who will come across the Atlantic to advance and promote still more earnestly those noble institutions, the ragged schools and the ragged churches. [Cheers.] The men who want to do good at home are the men who do good abroad; and the same spirit of Christian liberality that leads you to feel for the American slave will lead you to care for your own poor, and those in adverse circumstances in your own land, I would ask, Is it possible, then, that admonition and reproof given in a Christian spirit, and by a Christian heart, can fail to produce a right influence on a Christian spirit and a Christian heart? I think the thing is utterly impossible; and that if such admonitions as are contained in the resolution, conceived in such a spirit, and so kindly expressed—if they are not received in a Christian spirit, it is because the Christian spirit has unhappily fled. I can answer for myself, at least, and many of my brethren, that it will be so; and, so far from desiring you to withhold your expressions on account of any bad feeling that they might excite, I wish you to reiterate them, and reiterate them in the same spirit in which they are given in this resolution; for I believe that these expressions of impatience and petulance represent the feelings of very few. Who is it that always speaks first? The angry man, and it comes out at once; but the wise man keeps it in till afterwards; and it will not be long before you will find, that whatever you say in a Christian spirit will be responded to on the other side of the water. Now, I believe our churches have neglected their duty on this subject, and are still neglecting it. Many do not seem to know what their duty is. Yet I believe them to be good, conscientious men, and men who will do their duty when they know what it is. Take, for example, the American Board of Foreign Missions. There are not better men, or more conscientious men, on the face of the earth, or men more sincerely desirous of doing their duty; yet, in some things, I believe they are mistaken. I think it would be better to throw over the very few churches connected with the Board which are slaveholding, than to endeavor to sustain them, and to have all this pressure of responsibility still upon them. But yet they are pursuing the course which they conscientiously think to be right. Christian admonition will not be lost upon them.[H] I will say the same of the American Home Missionary Society. They have little to do with slavery, as I have already remarked. Many think they ought not to say any thing upon the subject, because they cannot do so without weakening their influence. But then this question comes: If good men do not speak, who will?—[Hear, hear!]—and, as our Savior said in regard to the children that shouted, Hosannah, 'If these should hold their peace, the stones would immediately cry out.' It is in consequence of their silence that stones have begun to cry out, and they rebuke the silence and apathy of good men; and this is made an argument against religion, which has had effect with unthinking people; so I think it absolutely necessary that men in the church, on that very ground, should speak out their mind on this great subject at whatever risk—[cheers]—and they must take the consequences. In due time God will prosper the right, and in due time the fetters will fall from every slave, and the black man will have the same privileges as the white. [Applause.]"
ROYAL HIGHLAND SCHOOL SOCIETY DINNER, AT THE FREEMASON'S TAVERN, LONDON—MAY 14.
The Chairman, Sir ARCHIBALD ALISON, gave "The health of her Grace the Duchess of Sutherland, and the noble patronesses of the Society," which was received with great applause. It was extremely gratifying, he said, to find a lady, belonging to one of the most ancient and noblest families of the kingdom, displaying so great an interest in their institution. [Cheers.] Not the least of their obligations to her Grace was the opportunity she had given them to offer their respects to a lady, remarkable alike for her genius and her philanthropy, who had come from across the Atlantic, and who, by her philanthropic exertions in the cause of negro emancipation, had enlisted the feelings and called forth the sympathies of thousands and tens of thousands on both sides of the ocean. [Tremendous cheering.] She had shown that the genius, and talents, and energies, which such a cause inspired, had created a species of freemasonry throughout the world; it had set aside nationalities, and bound two nations together which the broad Atlantic could not sever; and created a union of sentiment and purpose which he trusted would continue till the great work of negro emancipation had been finally accomplished. [Cheers.]
PROFESSOR STOWE responded to the allusion which had been made to Mrs. Stowe, and was greeted with hearty applause. He said he had read in his childhood the writings of Sir Walter Scott, and thus became intensely interested in all that pertained to Scotland. [Cheers.] He had read, more recently, his Life of Napoleon, and also Sir Archibald Alison's History of Europe. [Protracted cheers.] But he certainly never expected to be called upon to address such an assembly as that, and under such circumstances. Nothing could exceed the astonishment which was felt by himself and Mrs. Stowe at the cordiality of their reception in every part of Great Britain, from persons of every rank in life. [Cheers.] Every body seemed to have read her book. [Hear, hear! and loud cheers.] Everyone seemed to have been deeply interested, [cheers,] and disposed to return a full-hearted homage to the writer. But all she claimed credit for was truth, and honesty, and earnestness of purpose. He had only to add that he cordially thanked the Royal Highland School Society for the kindness which induced them to invite him and Mrs. Stowe to be present that evening. [Cheers.] The work in which the society was engaged was one that they both held dear, and in which they felt the deepest interest, inasmuch as that object was to promote the education of youth among those whose poverty rendered them unable to provide the means of education for themselves. [Hear, hear!] In such works as that they had themselves for most of their lives been diligently engaged. [Cheers.]
ANTISLAVERY SOCIETY, EXETER HALL—MAY 16.
THE EARL OF SHAFTESBURY, who, on coming forward to open the proceedings, was received with much applause, spoke as follows: "We are assembled here this night to protest, with the utmost intensity, and with all the force which language can command, against the greatest wrong that the wickedness of man ever perpetrated upon his fellow-man—[loud cheers]—a wrong which, great in all ages—great in heathen times—great in all countries—great even under heathen sentiments—is indescribably monstrous in Christian days, and exercised as it is, not unfrequently, over Christian people. [Hear!] It is surely remarkable, and exceedingly disgraceful to a century and a generation so boastful of its progress, and of the institution of so many Bible societies, with so many professions and preachments of Christianity—with so many declarations of the spiritual value of man before God—after so many declarations of this equality of every man in the sight of his fellow-man—that we should be assembled here this evening to protest against the conduct of a mighty and a Protestant people, who, in the spirit of the Romish Babylon, which they had renounced, resort to her most abominable practices—making merchandise of the temples of God, and trafficking in the bodies and souls of men. [Cheers.] We are not here to proclaim and maintain our own immaculate purity. We are not here to stand forward and say, 'I am holier than thou.' We have confessed, and that openly, and freely, and unreservedly, our share, our heavy share, in by-gone days, of vast wickedness; we have, we declare it again, and we had our deep remorse. We sympathize with the preponderating bulk of the American people; we acknowledge and we feel the difficulties which beset them; we rejoice and we believe in their good intentions; but we have no patience—I at least have none—with those professed leaders, be they political or be they clerical, who mislead the people—with those who, blasphemously resting slavery on the Holy Scriptures, desecrate their pulpits by the promulgation of doctrines better suited to the synagogue of Satan—[cheers]—nor with that gentleman who, the greatest officer of the greatest republic in the whole world, in pronouncing an inaugural address to the assembled multitudes, maintains the institution of slavery; and—will you believe it?—invokes the Almighty God to maintain those rights, and thus sanction the violation of his own laws!—[Cries of 'Shame!'] This is, indeed, a dismal prospect for those who tremble at human power; but we have this consolation: Is it not said that, 'When the enemy shall come in like a flood, the Spirit of the Lord shall lift up a standard against him?' [Hear, hear!] He has done so now, and a most wonderful and almost inspired protector has arisen for the suffering of this much injured race. [Loud cheers.] Feeble as her sex, but irresistible as virtue and as truth, she will prove to her adversary, and to ours, that such boasting shall not be for his honor, 'for the Lord will sell Sisera into the hands of a woman.' [Hear, hear! and loud cheers.] Now, I ask you this: Is there one of you who believes that the statements of that marvellous book to which we have alluded present an exaggerated picture?—[Tremendous cries of 'No, no.'] Do they not know, say what they will, that the truth is not fully stated? [Hear, hear!] The reality is worse than the fiction. [Hear, hear!] But, apart from this, there is our solemn declaration that the vileness of the principle is at once exhibited in the mere notion of slavery, and the atrocities of it are the natural and almost inevitable consequences of the profession and exercise of absolute and irresponsible power. [Hear, hear!] But do you doubt the fact? Look to the document. I will quote to you from this book. I have never read any thing more strikingly illustrative or condemnatory of the system we are here to denounce. Here is the judgment pronounced by one of the judges in North Carolina. It is impossible to read this judgment, however terrible the conclusion, without feeling convinced that the man who pronounced it was a man of a great mind, and, in spite of the law he was bound to administer, a man of a great heart. [Hear, hear!] Hear what he says. The case was this: It was a 'case of appeal,' in which the defendant had hired a slave woman for a year. During this time she committed some slight offence, for which the defendant undertook to chastise her. After doing so he shot at her as she was running away. The question then arose, was he justified in using that amount of coercion? and whether the privilege of shooting was not confined to the actual proprietor? The case was argued at some length, and the court, in pronouncing judgment, began by deploring that any judge should ever be called upon to decide such a case, but he had to administer the law, and not to make it. The judge said, 'With whatever reluctance, therefore, the court is bound to express the opinion, that the dominion over a slave in Carolina has not, as it has been argued, any analogy with the authority of a tutor over a pupil, of a master over an apprentice, or of a parent over a child. The court does not recognize these applications. There is no likeness between them. They are in opposition to each other, and there is an impassable gulf between them. The difference is that which exists between freedom and slavery—[Hear, hear!]—and a greater difference cannot be imagined. In the one case, the end in view is the happiness of the youth, born to equal rights with the tutor, whose duty it is to train the young to usefulness by moral and intellectual instruction. If they will not suffice, a moderate chastisement maybe administered. But with slavery it is far otherwise.' Mark these words, for they contain the whole thing. But with slavery it is far otherwise. The end is the profit of the master, and the poor object is one doomed, in his own person, and in his posterity, to live without knowledge, and without capacity to attain any thing which he may call his own. He has only to labor, that another may reap the fruits.' [Hear, hear!] Mark! this is from the sacred bench of justice, pronounced by one of the first intellects in America! 'There is nothing else which can operate to produce the effect; the power of the master must be absolute, to render the submission of the slave perfect. [Hear, hear!] It is inherent in the relation of master and slave;' and then he adds those never-to-be-forgotten words, 'We cannot allow the right of the master to come under discussion in the courts of justice. The slave must be made sensible that there is no appeal from his master, and that his master's power is in no instance usurped; that these rights are conferred by the laws of man, at least, if not by the law of God.' [Loud cries of 'Shame, shame!'] This is the mode in which we are to regard these two classes of beings, both created by the same God, and both redeemed by the same Savior as ourselves, and destined to the same immortality! The judgment, on appeal, was reversed; but, God be praised; there is another appeal, and that appeal we make to the highest of all imaginable courts, where God is the judge, where mercy is the advocate, and where unerring truth will pronounce the decision![Protracted cheering.] There are some who are pleased to tell us that there is an inferiority in the race! That is untrue. [Cheers.] But we are not here to inquire whether our black brethren will become Shakspeares or Herschels. [Hear, hear!] I ask, are they immortal beings? [Great applause.] Do our adversaries, say no? I ask them, then, to show me one word in the handwriting of God which has thus levelled them with the brute beasts. [Hear, hear!] Let us bear in mind those words of our blessed Savior—'Whosoever shall offend one of these little ones who believe in me, it were better that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were cast into the depths of the sea.' [Loud cheers.] Now, then, what is our duty? Is it to stand still? Yes! when we receive the command from the same authority that said to the sun, Stand over Gibeon! [Loud cheers.] Then, and not till then, will we stand still. [Renewed cheers.] Are we to listen to the craven and miserable talk about 'doing more harm than good'? [Hear, hear!] This was an argument which would have checked every noble enterprise which has been undertaken since the world began. It would have strangled Wilberforce, and checked the very Exodus itself from the house of bondage in Egypt. [Hear, hear!] Out on all such craven talk! [Cheers.] Slavery is a mystery, and so is all sin, and we must fight against it; and, by the blessing of God, we will. [Loud cheers.] We must pray to Almighty God, that we and our American brethren—who seem now to be the sole depositories of the Protestant truth, and of civil and religious liberty, may be as one. [Cheers.] We are feeble, if hostile; but, if united, we are the arbiters of the world. [Cheers.] Let us join together for the temporal and spiritual good of our race."
PROFESSOR STOWE then came forward, and was received with unbounded demonstrations of applause. When the cheering had subsided, he said "he felt utterly exhausted by the heat and excitement of the meeting, and should therefore be glad to be excused from saying a single word; however, he would utter a few thoughts. The following was the resolution which he had to submit to the meeting: 'That with a view to the correction of public sentiment on this subject in slaveholding communities, it is of the first importance that those who are earnest in condemnation of slavery should observe consistency; and, therefore, that it is their duty to encourage the development of the natural resources of countries where slavery does not exist, and the soil of which is adapted to the growth of products—especially of cotton—now partially or chiefly raised by slave labor; and though the extinction of slavery is less to be expected from a diminished demand for slave produce than from the moral effects of a steadfast abhorrence of slavery itself, and from an unwavering and consistent opposition to it, this meeting would earnestly recommend, that in all cases where it is practicable, a decided preference should be given to the products of free labor, by all who enter their protest against slavery, so that at least they themselves may be clear of any participation in the guilt of the system, and be thus morally strengthened in their condemnation of it.' At the close of the revolutionary war, all the states of America were slaveholding states. In Massachusetts, some benevolent white man caused a slave to try an action for wages in a court of justice. He succeeded, and the consequence was, that slavery fell in Massachusetts. It was then universally acknowledged that slavery was a sin and shame, and ought to be abolished, and it was expected that it would be soon abolished in every state of the Union. Mr. Jefferson, Mr. Madison, and Benjamin Franklin would not allow the word 'slave' to occur in the constitution, and Mr. Edwards, from the pulpit, clearly and broadly denounced slavery. And when he (Professor Stowe) was a boy, in Massachusetts the negro children were admitted to the same schools with the whites. Although there was some prejudice of color then, yet it was not so strong as at present. In 1818, the General Assembly of the Presbyterian church in the United States passed, resolutions against slavery far stronger than those passed at the meeting this evening, and every man, north and south, voted for them. What had caused the change? It was the profitableness of the cotton trade. It was that which had spread the chains of slavery over the Union, and silenced the church upon the subject. He had been asked, what right had Great Britain to interfere? Why, Great Britain took four fifths of the cotton of America, and therefore sustained four fifths of the slavery. That gave them a right to interfere. [Hear, hear!] He admitted that our participation in the guilt was not direct, but without the cotton, trade of Great Britain slavery would have been abolished long ago, for the American manufacturers consumed but one fifth of all the cotton grown in the country. The conscience of the cotton growers was talked of; but had the cotton consumer no conscience? [Cheers.] It seemed to him that the British public had more direct access to the consumer than to the grower of cotton." Professor Stowe then read an extract from a paper published in Charleston, South Carolina, showing the influence of the American cotton trade on the slavery question. "The price of cotton regulated the price of slaves, who were now worth an average of two hundred pounds. A cotton plantation required in some cases two hundred, and in others four hundred slaves. This would give an idea of the capital needed. With free labor there was none of this outlay—there was none of those losses by the cholera, and the 'underground railroad,' to which the slave owners were subjected. [Hear, hear!] The Chinese had come over in large numbers, and could be hired for small wages, on which they managed to live well in their way. If people would encourage free-grown cotton, that would be the strongest appeal they could make to the slaveholder. There were three ways of abolishing slavery. First, by a bloody revolution, which few would approve. [Hear, hear!] Secondly, by persuading slaveholders of the wrong they commit; but this would have little effect so long as they bought their cotton. [Hear, hear!] And the third and most feasible way was, by making slave labor unprofitable, as compared with free labor. [Hear!] When the Chinese first began to emigrate to California, it was predicted that slavery would be 'run out' that way. He hoped it might be so. [Cheers.] The reverend gentleman then reverted to his previous visit to this country, seventeen years ago, and described the rapid strides which had been made in the work of education—especially the education of the poor—in the interval. It was most gratifying to him, and more easily seen by him than it would be by us, with whom the change had been gradual. He had been told in America that the English abolitionists were prompted by jealousy of America, but he had found that to be false. The Christian feeling which had dictated efforts on behalf of ragged schools and factory children, and the welfare of the poor and distressed of every kind, had caused the same Christian hearts to throb for the American slave. It was that Christian philanthropy which received all men as brethren—children of the same father, and therefore he had great hopes of success. [Cheers.]"
* * * * *
My remarks on the cotton business of Britain were made with entire sincerity, and a single-hearted desire to promote the antislavery cause. They are sentiments which I had long entertained, and which I had taken every opportunity to express with the utmost freedom from the time of my first landing in Liverpool, the great cotton mart of England, and where, if any where, they might be supposed capable of giving offence; yet no exception was taken to them, so far as I know, till delivered in Exeter Hall. There they were heard by some with surprise, and by others with extreme displeasure. I was even called proslavery, and ranked with Mrs. Julia Tyler, for frankly speaking the truth, under circumstances of great temptation to ignore it.
Still I have the satisfaction of knowing that both my views and my motives were rightly understood and properly appreciated by large-hearted and clear-headed philanthropists, like the Earl of Shaftesbury and Joseph Sturge, and very fairly represented and commented upon by such religious and secular papers as the Christian Times, the British Banner, the London Daily News and Chronicle; and even the thundering political Times seemed disposed, in a half-sarcastic way, to admit that I was more than half right.
But it is most satisfactory of all to know that the best of the British abolitionists are now acting, promptly and efficiently, in accordance with those views, and are determined to develop the resources of the British empire for the production of cotton by free labor. The thing is practicable, and not of very difficult accomplishment. It is furthermore absolutely essential to the success of the antislavery cause; for now the great practical leading argument for slavery is, Without slavery you can have no cotton, and cotton you must and will have. The latest work that I have read in defence of slavery (Uncle Tom in Paris, Baltimore, 1854) says, (pp. 56-7,) "Of the cotton which supplies the wants of the civilized world, the south produces 86 per cent.; and without slave labor experience has shown that the cotton plant cannot be cultivated."
How the matter is viewed by sagacious and practical minds in Britain, is clear from the following sentences, taken from the National Era:—
"COTTON is KING.—Charles Dickens, in a late number of his Household Words, after enumerating the striking facts of cotton, says,—
"'Let any social or physical convulsion visit the United States, and England would feel the shock from Land's End to John o'Groat's. The lives of nearly two millions of our countrymen are dependent upon the cotton crops of America; their destiny may be said, without any sort of hyperbole, to hang upon a thread.
"'Should any dire calamity befall the land of cotton, a thousand of our merchant ships would rot idly in dock; ten thousand mills must stop their busy looms, and two million mouths would starve for lack of food to feed them.'
"How many non-slaveholders elsewhere are thus interested in the products of slaves? Is it not worthy the attention of genuine philanthropists to inquire whether cotton cannot be profitably cultivated by free labor?"
SOIREE AT WILLIS'S ROOMS—MAY 25.
MR. JOSEPH STURGE took the chair, announcing that he did so in the absence of the Earl of Shaftesbury, who was prevented from attending.
It was announced that letters had been received from the Duke of Newcastle and the Earls of Carlisle and Shaftesbury, expressing their sympathy with the object of the meeting, and their regret at being unable to attend.
The Secretary, SAMUEL BOWLEY, Esq., of Gloucester, then read the address, which was as follows:—
"MADAM: It is with feelings of the deepest interest that the committee of the British and Foreign Antislavery Society, on behalf of themselves and of the society they represent, welcome the gifted authoress of Uncle Tom's Cabin to the shores of Great Britain.
"As humble laborers in the cause of negro emancipation, we hail, with emotions more easily imagined than described, the appearance of that remarkable work, which has awakened a world-wide sympathy on behalf of the suffering negro, and called forth a burst of honest indignation against the atrocious system of slavery, which, we trust, under the divine blessing, will, at no distant period, accomplish its entire abolition. We are not insensible to those extraordinary merits of Uncle Tom's Cabin, as a merely literary production, which have procured for its talented authoress such universal commendation and enthusiastic applause; but we feel it to be our duty to refer rather to the Christian principles and earnest piety which pervade its interesting pages, and to express our warmest desire, we trust we may say heartfelt prayer, that He who bestowed upon you the power and the grace to write such a work may preserve and bless you amid all your honours, and enable you, under a grateful and humble sense of his abundant goodness, to give him all the glory.
"We rejoice to find that the great principles upon which our society is based are so fully and so cordially recognized by yourself and your beloved husband and brother—First, that personal slavery, in all its varied forms, is a direct violation of the blessed, precepts of the gospel, and therefore a sin in the sight of God; and secondly, that every victim of this unjust and sinful system is entitled to immediate and unconditional freedom. For, however we might acquiesce in the course of a nation which, under a sense of its participation in the guilt of slavery, should share the pecuniary loss, if such there were, of its immediate abolition, yet we repudiate the right to demand compensation for human flesh and blood, as (to employ the emphatic words of Lord Brougham) we repudiate and abhor 'the wild and guilty fantasy that man can hold property in man.' And we do not hesitate to express our conviction, strengthened by the experience of emancipation in our own colonies, that on the mere ground of social or political expediency, the immediate termination of slavery would be far less dangerous and far less injurious than, any system of compromise, or any attempt at gradual emancipation.
"Let it be borne in mind, however,—and we record it with peculiar interest on the present occasion,—that it was the pen of a woman that first publicly enunciated the imperative duty of immediate emancipation. Amid vituperation and ridicule, and, far worse, the cold rebuke of Christian friends, Mrs. Elizabeth Heyrick boldly sent forth the thrilling tract which taught the abolitionists of Great Britain this lesson of justice and truth; and we honor her memory for her deeds. Again we are indebted to the pen of a woman for pleading yet more powerfully the cause of justice to the slave; and again we have to admire and honor the Christian heroism which has enabled you, dear madam, to brave the storm of public opinion, and to bear the frowns of the church in your own land, while you boldly sent forth your matchless volume to teach more widely and more attractively the same righteous lesson.
"We desire to feel grateful for the measure of success that has crowned the advocacy of these sound antislavery principles in our own country; but we cannot but feel, that as regards the continuance of slavery in America, we have cause for humiliation and shame in the existence of the melancholy fact that a large proportion of the fruits of the bitter toil and suffering of the slaves in the western world are used to minister to the comfort and the luxury of our own population. When this anomaly of a country's putting down slavery by law on the one hand, and supporting it by its trade and commerce on the other, will be removed, it is not for us to predict; but we are conscious that our position is such as should at least dissipate every sentiment of self-complacency, and make us feel, both nationally and individually, how deep a responsibility still rests upon us to wash our own hands of this iniquity, and to seek by every legitimate means in our power to rid the world of this fearful institution.
"True Christian philanthropy knows no geographical limits, no distinctions of race or color; but wherever it sees its fellow-man the victim of suffering and oppression, it seeks to alleviate his sorrows, or drops a tear of sympathy over the afflictions which it has not the power to remove. We cannot but believe that these enlarged and generous sympathies will be aroused and strengthened in the hearts of thousands and tens of thousands of all classes who have wept over the touching pages of Uncle Tom's Cabin. We have marked the rapid progress of its circulation from circle to circle, and from country to country, with feelings of thrilling interest; for we trust, by the divine blessing upon the softening influence and Christian sentiments it breathes, it will be made the harbinger of a better and brighter day for the happiness and the harmony of the human family. The facilities for international intercourse which we now possess, while they rapidly tend to remove those absurd jealousies which have so long existed between the nations of the earth, are daily increasing the power of public opinion in the world at large, which is so well described by one of our leading statesmen in these forcible words: 'It is quite true, it may be said, what are opinions against armies? Opinions, if they are founded in truth and justice, will in the end prevail against the bayonets of infantry, the fire of artillery, and the charges of cavalry.' Responding most cordially to these sentiments, we rejoice with thanksgiving to God that you, whom we now greet and welcome as our dear and honored friend, have been enabled to exemplify their beauty and their truth; for it is our firm conviction that the united powers of Europe, with all their military array, could not accomplish what you have done, through the medium of public opinion, for the overthrow of American slavery.
"The glittering steel of the warrior, though steeped in the tyrant's blood, would be weak when compared with a woman's pen dipped in the milk of human kindness, and softened by the balm of Christian love. The words that have drawn a tear from the eye of the noble, and moistened the dusky cheek of the hardest sons of toil, shall sink into the heart and weaken the grasp of the slaveholder, and crimson with a blush of shame many an American citizen who has hitherto defended or countenanced by his silence this bitter reproach on the character and constitution of his country.
"To the tender mercies of Him who died to save their immortal souls we commend the downcast slaves for freedom and protection, and, in the heart-cheering belief that you have been raised up as an honored instrument in God's hand to hasten the glorious work of their emancipation, we crave that his blessing, as well as the blessing of him that is ready to perish, may abundantly rest upon you and yours. With sentiments of the highest esteem and respect, dear madam, we affectionately subscribe ourselves your friends and fellow-laborers."
PROFESSOR STOWE was received with prolonged cheering. He said, "Besides the right which I have, owing to the relationship subsisting between us, to answer for the lady whom you have so honored, I may claim a still greater right in my sympathy for her efforts. [Hear!] We are perfectly agreed in every point with regard to the nature of slavery, and the best means of getting rid of it. I have been frequently called on to address public meetings since I have been on these shores, and though under circumstances of great disadvantage, and generally with little time, if any, for preparation, still the very great kindness which has been manifested to Mrs. Stowe and to myself, and to our country, afflicted as it is with this great evil, has enabled me to bear a burden which otherwise I should have found insupportable. But of all the addresses we have received, kind and considerate as they have all been, I doubt whether one has so completely expressed the feelings and sympathies of our own hearts as the one we have just heard. It is precisely the expressions of our own thoughts and feelings on the whole subject of slavery. As this is probably the last time I shall have an opportunity of addressing an audience in England, I wish briefly to give you an outline of our views as to the best means of dealing with that terrible subject of slavery, for in our country it is really terrible in its power and influence. Were it not that Providence seems to be lifting a light in the distance, I should be almost in despair. There is now a system of causes at work which Providence designs should continue to work, until that great curse is removed from the face of the earth. I believe that in dealing with the subject of slavery, and the best means of removing it, the first thing is to show the utter wrongfulness of the whole system. The great moral ground is the chief and primary ground, and the one on which we should always, and under all circumstances, insist. With regard to the work which has created so much excitement, the great excellence of it morally is, that it holds up fully and emphatically the extreme wrongfulness of the system, while at the same time showing an entire Christian and forgiving spirit towards those involved in it; and it is these two characteristics which, in my opinion, have given it its great power. Till I read that book, I had never seen any extensive work that satisfied me on those points. It does show, in the most striking manner, the horrible wrongfulness of the system, and, at the same time, it displays no bitterness, no unfairness, no unkindness, to those involved in it. It is that which gives the work the greater power, for where there is unfairness, those assailed take refuge behind it; while here they have no such refuge. We should always aim, in assailing the system of slavery, to awaken the consciences of those involved in it; for among slaveholders there are all kinds of moral development, as among every other class of people in the world. There are men of tender conscience, as well as men of blunted conscience; men with moral sense, and men with no moral sense whatever; some who have come into the system involuntarily, born in it, and others who have come into it voluntarily. There is a moral nature in every man, more or less developed; and according as it is developed we can, by showing the wrong of a thing, bring one to abhor it. We have the testimony of Christian clergymen in slave holding states, that the greater portion of the Christian people there, and even many slaveholders, believe the system is wrong; and it is only a matter of time, a question of delay, as to when they shall perform their whole duty, and bring it to an end.[I] One would believe that when they saw a thing to be wrong, they would at once do right; but prejudice, habit, interest, education, and a variety of influences check their aspirations to what is right; but let us keep on pressing it upon their consciences, and I believe their consciences will at length respond. Public sentiment is more powerful than force, and it may be excited in many ways. Conversation, the press, the platform, and the pulpit may all be used to awaken the feeling of the people, and bring it to bear on this question. I refer especially to the pulpit; for, if the church and the ministry are silent, who is to speak for the dumb and the oppressed? The thing that has borne on my mind with the most melancholy weight, and caused me most sorrow, is the apparent apathy, the comparative silence, of the church on this subject for the last twenty or five and twenty years in the United States. Previous to that period it did speak, and with words of power; but, unfortunately, it has not followed out those words by acts. The influence of the system has come upon it, and brought it, for a long time, almost to entire silence; but I hope we are beginning to speak again. We hear voices here and there which will excite other voices, and I trust before long they will bring all to speak the same thing on this subject, so that the conscience of the whole nation may be aroused. There is another method of dealing with the subject, which is alluded to in the address, and also in the resolution of the society, at Exeter Hall. It is the third resolution proposed at that meeting, and I will read it, and make some comments as I proceed. It begins, 'That, with a view to the correction of public sentiment on this subject in slaveholding communities, it is of the first importance that those who are earnest in condemnation of slavery should observe consistency, and, therefore, that it is their duty to encourage the development of the natural resources of countries where slavery does not exist, and the soil of which is adapted to the growth of products, especially cotton, now partially or chiefly raised by slave labor.' Now, I concur with this most entirely, and would refer you to countries where cotton can be grown even in your own dominions—in India, Australia, British Guiana, and parts of Africa. But it can be raised by free labor in the United States, and indeed it is already raised there by free labor to a considerable extent; and, provided the plan were more encouraged, it could be raised more abundantly. The resolution goes on to say, 'And though the extinction of slavery is less to be expected from a diminished demand for slave produce than from the moral effects of a steadfast abhorrence of slavery, and from an unwavering and consistent opposition to it,' &c. Now, my own feelings on that subject are not quite so hopeless as here expressed, and it seems to me that you are not aware of the extent to which free labor may come into competition with slave labor. I know several instances, in the most slaveholding states, in which slave labor has been displaced, and free labor substituted in its stead. The weakness of slavery consists in the expense of the slaves, the great capital to be invested in their purchase before any work can be performed, and the constant danger of loss by death or escape. When the Chinese emigrants from the eastern portion of their empire came to the North-western States, their labor was found much cheaper and better than that of slaves. I therefore hope there may be a direct influence from this source, as well as the indirect influence contemplated by the resolution. At all events, it is an encouragement to those who wish the extinction of slavery to keep their eyes open, and assist the process by all the means in their power. The resolution proceeds: 'This meeting would earnestly recommend, in all cases where it is practicable, that a decided preference should be given to the products of free labor by all who enter their protest against slavery, so that at least they themselves may be clear of any participation in the guilt of the system, and be thus morally strengthened in their condemnation of it.' To that there can be no objection; but still the state of society is such that we cannot at once dispense with all the products of slave labor. We may, however, be doing what we can—examining the ways and methods by which this end may be brought about; and, at all events, we need not be deterred from self-denial, nor shrink before minor obstacles. If with foresight we participate in the encouragement of slave labor, we must hold ourselves guilty, in no unimportant sense, of sustaining the system of slavery. I will illustrate my argument by a very simple method. Suppose two ships arrive laden with silks of the same quality, but one a pirate ship, in which the goods have been obtained by robbery, and the other by honest trade. The pirate sells his silks twenty per cent. cheaper than the honest trader: you go to him, and declaim against his dishonesty; but because you can get silks cheaper of him, you buy of him. Would he think you sincere in your denunciations of his plundering his fellow-creatures, or would you exert any influence on him to make him abandon his dishonest practices? I can, however, put another case in which this inconsistency might, perhaps, be unavoidable. Suppose we were in famine or great necessity, and we wished to obtain provisions for our suffering families: suppose, too, there was a certain man with provisions, who, we knew, had come by them dishonestly, but we had no other resource than to purchase of him. In that case we should be justified in purchasing of him, and should not participate in the guilt of the robbery. But still, however great our necessity, we are not justified in refusing to examine the subject, and in discouraging those who are endeavoring to set the thing on the right ground. That is all I wish, and all the resolution contemplates; and, happily, I find that that also is what was implied in the address. I may mention one other method alluded to in the address, and that is prayer to Almighty God. This ought to be, and must be, a religious enterprise. It is impossible for any man to contemplate slavery as it is without feeling intense indignation; and unless he have his heart near to God, and unless he be a man of prayer and devotional spirit, bad passions will arise, and to a very great extent neutralize his efforts to do good. How do you suppose such a religious feeling has been preserved in the book to which the address refers? Because it was written amid prayer from the beginning; and it is only by a constant exercise of the religious spirit that the good it had effected has been accomplished in the way it has. There is one more subject to which I would allude, and that is unity among those who desire to emancipate the slave. I mean a good understanding and unity of feeling among the opponents of slavery. What gives slavery its great strength in the United States? There are only about three hundred thousand slaveholders in the United States out of the whole twenty-five millions of its population, and yet they hold the entire power over the nation. That is owing to their unbroken unity on that one matter, however much, and however fiercely, they may contend among themselves on others. As soon as the subject of slavery comes up, they are of one heart, of one voice, and of one mind, while their opponents unhappily differ, and assail each other when they ought to be assailing the great enemy alone. Why can they not work together, so far as they are agreed, and let those points on which they disagree be waived for the time? In the midst of the battle let them sink their differences, and settle them after the victory is won. I was happy to find at the great meeting of the Peace Society that that course has been adopted. They are not all of one mind on the details of the question, but they are of one mind on the great principle of diffusing peace doctrines among the great nations of Europe. I therefore say, let all the friends of the slave work together until the great work of his emancipation is accomplished, and then they will have time to discuss their differences, though I believe by that time they will all think alike. I thank you sincerely for the kindness you have expressed towards my country, and for the philanthropy you have manifested, and I hope all has been done in such a Christian spirit that every Christian feeling on the other side of the Atlantic will be compelled to respond to it."
* * * * *
Since the preceding addresses were delivered, the aspect of things among us has been greatly changed. It is just as was predicted by the sagacious Lord Cockburn, at the meeting in Edinburgh, (see page xxvi.) The spirit of slavery, stimulated to madness by the indignation of the civilized world, in its frenzy bids defiance to God and man, and is determined to make itself respected by enlisting into its service the entire wealth, and power, and political influence of this great nation. Its encroachments are becoming so enormous, and its progress so rapid, that it is now a conflict for the freedom of the citizens rather than for the emancipation of the slaves. The reckless faithlessness and impudent falsehood of our national proslavery legislation, the present season, has scarcely a parallel in history, black as history is with all kinds of perfidy. If the men who mean to be free do not now arise in their strength and shake off the incubus which is strangling and crushing them, they deserve to be slaves, and they will be.
Liverpool, April 11, 1853.
MY DEAR CHILDREN:—
You wish, first of all, to hear of the voyage. Let me assure you, my dears, in the very commencement of the matter, that going to sea is not at all the thing that we have taken it to be.
You know how often we have longed for a sea voyage, as the fulfilment of all our dreams of poetry and romance, the realization of our highest conceptions of free, joyous existence.
You remember our ship-launching parties in Maine, when we used to ride to the seaside through dark pine forests, lighted up with the gold, scarlet, and orange tints of autumn. What exhilaration there was, as those beautiful inland bays, one by one, unrolled like silver ribbons before us! and how all our sympathies went forth with the grand new ship about to be launched! How graceful and noble a thing she looked, as she sprang from the shore to the blue waters, like a human soul springing from life into immortality! How all our feelings went with her! how we longed to be with her, and a part of her—to go with her to India, China, or any where, so that we might rise and fall on the bosom of that magnificent ocean, and share a part of that glorified existence! That ocean! that blue, sparkling, heaving, mysterious ocean, with all the signs and wonders of heaven emblazoned on its bosom, and another world of mystery hidden beneath its waters! Who would not long to enjoy a freer communion, and rejoice in a prospect of days spent in unreserved fellowship with its grand and noble nature?
Alas! what a contrast between all this poetry and the real prose fact of going to sea! No man, the proverb says, is a hero to his valet de chambre. Certainly, no poet, no hero, no inspired prophet, ever lost so much on near acquaintance as this same mystic, grandiloquent old Ocean. The one step from the sublime to the ridiculous is never taken with such alacrity as in a sea voyage.
In the first place, it is a melancholy fact, but not the less true, that ship life is not at all fragrant; in short, particularly on a steamer, there is a most mournful combination of grease, steam, onions, and dinners in general, either past, present, or to come, which, floating invisibly in the atmosphere, strongly predisposes to that disgust of existence, which, in half an hour after sailing, begins to come upon you; that disgust, that strange, mysterious, ineffable sensation which steals slowly and inexplicably upon you; which makes every heaving billow, every white-capped wave, the ship, the people, the sight, taste, sound, and smell of every thing a matter of inexpressible loathing! Man cannot utter it.
It is really amusing to watch the gradual progress of this epidemic; to see people stepping on board in the highest possible feather, alert, airy, nimble, parading the deck, chatty and conversable, on the best possible terms with themselves and mankind generally; the treacherous ship, meanwhile, undulating and heaving in the most graceful rises and pauses imaginable, like some voluptuous waltzer; and then to see one after another yielding to the mysterious spell!
Your poet launches forth, "full of sentiment sublime as billows," discoursing magnificently on the color of the waves and the glory of the clouds; but gradually he grows white about the mouth, gives sidelong looks towards the stairway; at last, with one desperate plunge, he sets, to rise no more!
Here sits a stout gentleman, who looks as resolute as an oak log. "These things are much the effect of imagination," he tells you; "a little self-control and resolution," &c. Ah me! it is delightful, when these people, who are always talking about resolution, get caught on shipboard. As the backwoodsman said to the Mississippi River, about the steamboat, they "get their match." Our stout gentleman sits a quarter of an hour, upright as a palm tree, his back squared against the rails, pretending to be reading a paper; but a dismal look of disgust is settling down about his lips; the old sea and his will are evidently having a pitched battle. Ah, ha! there he goes for the stairway; says he has left a book in the cabin, but shoots by with a most suspicious velocity. You may fancy his finale.
Then, of course, there are young ladies,—charming creatures,—who, in about ten minutes, are going to die, and are sure they shall die, and don't care if they do; whom anxious papas, or brothers, or lovers consign with all speed to those dismal lower regions, where the brisk chambermaid, who has been expecting them, seems to think their agonies and groans a regular part of the play.
I had come on board thinking, in my simplicity, of a fortnight to be spent something like the fortnight on a trip to New Orleans, on one of our floating river palaces; that we should sit in our state rooms, read, sew, sketch, and chat; and accordingly I laid in a magnificent provision in the way of literature and divers matters of fancy work, with which to while away the time. Some last, airy touches, in the way of making up bows, disposing ribbons, and binding collarets, had been left to these long, leisure hours, as matters of amusement.
Let me warn you, if you ever go to sea, you may as well omit all such preparations. Don't leave so much as the unlocking of a trunk to be done after sailing. In the few precious minutes when the ship stands still, before she weighs her anchor, set your house, that is to say, your state room, as much in order as if you were going to be hanged; place every thing in the most convenient position to be seized without trouble at a moment's notice; for be sure that in half an hour after sailing an infinite desperation will seize you, in which the grasshopper will be a burden. If any thing is in your trunk, it might almost as well be in the sea, for any practical probability of your getting to it.
Moreover, let your toilet be eminently simple, for you will find the time coming when to button a cuff or arrange a ruff will be a matter of absolute despair. You lie disconsolate in your berth, only desiring to be let alone to die; and then, if you are told, as you always are, that "you mustn't give way," that "you must rouse yourself" and come on deck, you will appreciate the value of simple attire. With every thing in your berth dizzily swinging backwards and forwards, your bonnet, your cloak, your tippet, your gloves, all present so many discouraging impossibilities; knotted strings cannot be untied, and modes of fastening which seemed curious and convenient, when you had nothing else to do but fasten them, now look disgustingly impracticable. Nevertheless, your fate for the whole voyage depends upon your rousing yourself to get upon deck at first; to give up, then, is to be condemned to the Avernus, the Hades of the lower regions, for the rest of the voyage.
Ah, those lower regions!—the saloons—every couch and corner filled with prostrate, despairing forms, with pale cheeks, long, willowy hair and sunken eyes, groaning, sighing, and apostrophizing the Fates, and solemnly vowing between every lurch of the ship, that "you'll never catch them going to sea again, that's what you won't;" and then the bulletins from all the state rooms—"Mrs. A. is sick, and Miss B. sicker, and Miss C. almost dead, and Mrs. E., F., and G. declare that they shall give up." This threat of "giving up" is a standing resort of ladies in distressed circumstances; it is always very impressively pronounced, as if the result of earnest purpose; but how it is to be carried out practically, how ladies do give up, and what general impression is made on creation when they do, has never yet appeared. Certainly the sea seems to care very little about the threat, for he goes on lurching all hands about just as freely afterwards as before.
There are always some three or four in a hundred who escape all these evils. They are not sick, and they seem to be having a good time generally, and always meet you with "What a charming run we are having! Isn't it delightful?" and so on. If you have a turn for being disinterested, you can console your miseries by a view of their joyousness. Three or four of our ladies were of this happy order, and it was really refreshing to see them.
For my part, I was less fortunate. I could not and would not give up and become one of the ghosts below, and so I managed, by keeping on deck and trying to act as if nothing was the matter, to lead a very uncertain and precarious existence, though with a most awful undertone of emotion, which seemed to make quite another thing of creation.
I wonder that people who wanted to break the souls of heroes and martyrs never thought of sending them to sea and keeping them a little seasick. The dungeons of Olmutz, the leads of Venice, in short, all the naughty, wicked places that tyrants ever invented for bringing down the spirits of heroes, are nothing to the berth of a ship. Get Lafayette, Kossuth, or the noblest of woman, born, prostrate in a swinging, dizzy berth of one of these sea coops, called state rooms, and I'll warrant almost any compromise might be got out of them.
Where in the world the soul goes to under such influences nobody knows; one would really think the sea tipped it all out of a man, just as it does the water out of his wash basin. The soul seems to be like one of the genii enclosed in a vase, in the Arabian Nights; now, it rises like a pillar of cloud, and floats over land and sea, buoyant, many-hued, and glorious; again, it goes down, down, subsiding into its copper vase, and the cover is clapped on, and there you are. A sea voyage is the best device for getting the soul back into its vase that I know of.
But at night!—the beauties of a night on shipboard!—down in your berth, with the sea hissing and fizzing, gurgling and booming, within an inch of your ear; and then the steward conies along at twelve o'clock and puts out your light, and there you are! Jonah in the whale was not darker or more dismal. There, in profound ignorance and blindness, you lie, and feel yourself rolled upwards, and downwards, and sidewise, and all ways, like a cork in a tub of water; much such a sensation as one might suppose it to be, were one headed up in a barrel and thrown into the sea.
Occasionally a wave comes with a thump against your ear, as if a great hammer were knocking on your barrel, to see that all within was safe and sound. Then you begin to think of krakens, and sharks, and porpoises, and sea serpents, and all the monstrous, slimy, cold, hobgoblin brood, who, perhaps, are your next door neighbors; and the old blue-haired Ocean whispers through the planks, "Here you are; I've got you. Your grand ship is my plaything. I can do what I like with it."
Then you hear every kind of odd noise in the ship—creaking, straining, crunching, scraping, pounding, whistling, blowing off steam, each of which to your unpractised ear is significant of some impending catastrophe; you lie wide awake, listening with all your might, as if your watching did any good, till at last sleep overcomes you, and the morning light convinces you that nothing very particular has been the matter, and that all these frightful noises are only the necessary attendants of what is called a good run.
Our voyage out was called "a good run." It was voted, unanimously, to be "an extraordinarily good passage," "a pleasant voyage;" yet the ship rocked the whole time from side to side with a steady, dizzy, continuous motion, like a great cradle. I had a new sympathy for babies, poor little things, who are rocked hours at a time without so much as a "by your leave" in the case. No wonder there are so many stupid people in the world.
There is no place where killing time is so much of a systematic and avowed object as in one of these short runs. In a six months' voyage people give up to their situation, and make arrangements to live a regular life; but the ten days that now divide England and America are not long enough for any thing. The great question is how to get them off; they are set up, like tenpins, to be bowled at; and happy he whose ball prospers. People with strong heads, who can stand the incessant swing of the boat, may read or write. Then there is one's berth, a never-failing resort, where one may analyze at one's leisure the life and emotions of an oyster in the mud. Walking the deck is a means of getting off some half hours more. If a ship heaves in sight, or a porpoise tumbles up, or, better still, a whale spouts, it makes an immense sensation.