« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »
ating spell of the sentiment contained in those lines which the far-famed comedian Garrick proposed as the commencement of an address for the opening of a theatre at Botany Bay
"True patriots we, for be it understood
We left our country for our country's good."
What distinguished magi we have got in America. Is it not wonderful to contemplate such so-called farreaching sagacity and benevolence?
It is no less amusing to observe these aristocrats seeking to penetrate into the "mysteries of infinity," and to hear them talk with impious familiarity of the
designs of an all-wise Providence" to silence their fears in connexion with their own over-shadowing iniquities, and smother conviction arising from obligations which bring pressing claims to love mercy, do justly towards all men, and walk humbly with their God.
What phantoms of evil imaginations, which vanish into "airy nothings" when looked at with cool and undistorted vision! And how absurd to suppose that a people dwelling in so wide and rich a land as ours is, should be constantly saying to the millions of Europe, spiced with an invitation to the "cotton lords" to bring their mills and machinery with them to our "poor man's paradise," exclaiming "there is room enough for all," and yet feel alarmed lest the coloured man should make his home amongst them to pollute or frighten them with the touch or colour of his skin.
How basely wicked is the thought! Oh, the deceitfulness of unrighteousness! Verily the "tender
mercies of the wicked are cruel." And as these two
forms of " privilege" cover our whole land, one pervading the South, and the other the North, it will be perceived that obnoxious as John Bright makes out "privilege" to be here; and sneeringly as he may refer to it, there are a few in the New World, and the writer amongst them, who have never been possessed or obsessed in favour of "privilege" there; and when "privilege" here and "privilege"there are brought into contrast would exclaim in regard to the former
"O give us the freedom and home of the brave,
Should the above be deemed worthy of a place in your columns, and the opportunity present itself in connexion with other urgent claims, I hope you will allow me the privilege and gratification of calling attention to some other monstrous fallacies which are propounded with all earnestness and gravity and sought to be industriously circulated in this country in regard to America. Meanwhile, allow me to subscribe myself Yours, for truth as well as liberty.
J. R. BALME.
An American Baptist Clergymar.
32 Sun-street, Brownlow-hill.
THE REPUBLIC OF AMERICA AND ITS
TO THE EDITORS OF THE LIVERPOOL MERCURY.
GENTLEMEN,—It is quite easy to fascinate men with the beauteous imagery which is employed by those who have embraced the Federal cause and policy in this country, and to excite their admiration and heroic appreciation of America by representing it as a "model country," "a thing for angels to dream of," for men are naturally fond of what is marvellous; but as the superb grandeur which invested the dignified order of our "squatter sovereigns" in America, and the bright halo of glory which surrounded their virtues, disappeared like the mist before the rising sun, on lifting up the mask in our last letter; even so, by pushing our inquiries into the real condition and true character of our country, we shall find that its bright colours will rapidly fade before us, and its towering glories speedily vanish at every step, and from every standpoint where we can have a glimpse of it.
If we look at America in the light of our great charters of freedom, such as the constitution and declaration of independence, and also our written laws, we shall find our honour as a people trampled in the dust, and our name made a reproach and byword
amongst the nations. The constitution provides for all, without limitation, restriction, and distinction of colour, the act of habeas corpus, trial by jury, civil and religious liberty, the right of petition, and protection to person and property; and yet to the negro these grand clauses in the constitution have been as “inoperative as a bull against a comet" from the first hour of our independence until now; whilst through the perversion and misapplication of it the victims of slavery have increased from 617,000 to 4,000,000. What a black heritage of guilt has this tremendous feat of jugglery entailed on our land! How wonderful that an instrument which was associated with the bright angel of liberty, and was made to carry the eagles of freedom, should by some mysterious process have been made to carry "a devil" with it instead of an angel. Our declaration of independence avows that "all men are equal, and are born to life, liberty, and the pursuits of happiness ;" and yet, although it has been the motto of a thousand speeches, and the text of a thousand sermons, it is gravely alleged by the president and governors from their chairs of state, the senator in the senate chamber, legislator in the house of legislature, the judge from the bench of judicature, and the divine from the pulpit, that the negro is not a man, and that his equality with them is simply neither more nor less than the equality of the ox; for as the law of Moses commanded that the mouth of the ox was not to be muzzled, that treadeth out the corn, even so, to use the language of President Lincoln, who denies the
right of negroes to vote, sit on juries, and intermarry with white people, yet this same negro has one right reserved by the President, and this right claimed by him and the magi who think with him, is simply and solely deemed to be the right of (the ox) to eat the bread which his own hand earns.
We have not only great charters of freedom in the documents referred to, but we have written laws. It has been truly said that no people are better than their laws. If so, in what a mean, low, and debased condition must our slave laws-our "black laws SO called in the Free States-and our congressional fugitive slave law, put us as a people. Our slave laws reduce the negro to a "chattel personal;" make every child born of a slave, the property of his master or owner so called; subject the slaves to the lash for learning to read, and the white man to fines and penalties for teaching them.
Our black laws in two of our Free States, so called, decree that no black man or mulatto shall enter, and in all but two exclude them from voting, and in one of these require a property qualification, whilst in all the Free States they are made the badge of an ignoble distinction, which excludes them from social rights and sanctuary privileges, and marks them out as the victims of a cruel prejudice. And then there is the Fugitive Slave Law, which strikes down in the most cruel and summary manner the natural right of the slave to be free, tramples under feet two of the most sacred guarantees of the constitution-the Habeas