« PředchozíPokračovat »
LIBERTY AND SLAVERY.
DISGUISE thyself as thou wilt, still, Slavery!-still thou art a bitter draught; and though thousands, in all ages, have been made to drink of thce, thou art not less bitter on that account. It is thou, Liberty !—thrice sweet and gracious goddess!—whom all, in public or in private, worship; whose taste is grateful, and ever will be so, till Nature herself shall change. No tint of words can spot thy snowy mantle, or chemic power turn thy sceptre into iron. With thee to smile
upon him as he eats his crust, the swain is happier than his monarch; from whose court thou art exiled. Gracious Heaven! grant me but health, thou great bestower of it! and give me but this fair goddess as my companion! and shower down thy mitres, if it seem good unto thy divine providence, upon those heads which are aching for them!
Pursuing these ideas, I sat down close by my table; and leaning my head upon my hand, I began to figure to myself the miseries of confinement. I was in a right frame for it, and so I
scope to my imagination. I was going to begin with the millions of my fellowcreatures, born to no inheritance but slavery; but finding, however affecting the picture was, that I could not bring it near me, and that the multitude of sad groups in it did but distract me
– I took a single captive; and having first shut him
up in his dungeon, I then looked through the twilight of his grated door to take his picture.
I beheld his body half-wasted away with long expectation and confinement; and felt what kind of sickness of the heart it is which arises from hope deferred. Upon looking nearer, I saw him pale and feverish. In thirty years, the western breeze had not once fanned his blood-he had seen no sun, no moon, in all that time—nor had the voice of friend or kinsman breathed through his lattice. His children—but here my heart began to bleed—and I was forced to go on with another part of the portrait.
He was sitting upon the ground, upon a little straw in the farthest corner of his dungeon, which was alternately his chair and bed. A little kalendar of small sticks was laid at the head, notched all over with the dismal days and nights he had passed there. He had one of these little sticks in his hand; and, with a rusty nail, he was etching another day of misery, to add to the heap. As I darkened the little light he had, he lifted up a hopeless eye towards the door-then cast it down-shook his head and went on with his work of affliction. I heard his chains upon his legs, as he turned his body to lay his little stick upon the bundle. He gave a deep sigh. I saw the iron enter into his soul. I burst into tears. I could not sustain the picture of confinement which my fancy had drawn.
THE POLISH MOTHER.
The Polish mother sat and wept,
One feature of a slave.
Ah, no! she cried, thou art my son-
Should dare enslave thee here.
But I will tell thee of thy sire-
To die in slavery!
I'll tell thee how that Europe gazed,
Thee-be a slave no more!
Away-away—my bosom glows,
Upon her face and smiled.
LORD TINSEL AND THE EARL OF ROCHDALE.
Tin. REFUSE a lord! A saucy lady this:
Roch. She'll change her mind.
Tin. How can you keep that Hunchback in his office?
He mocks you.
Roch. He is useful. Never heed him.
Tin. Distinguish'd well:
Tin. That a commoner should thwart a lord!
Roch. Is it so?
Tin. Believe me. You shall profit by my training; You grow
apace. I saw you meet A bevy of your former friends, who fain Had shaken hands with you. You gave them fingers! You're now another man. Your house is changed, Your table changed-your retinue—your horseWhere once you rode a hack, you now back blood; Befits it then you also change your
friends! Enter WILLIAMS. Wil. A gentleman would see your lordship. Tin. Sir! What's that? Wil, A gentleman would see his lordship. Tin. How know you, Sir, his lordship is at home?
Is he at home because he goes not out?
Williams having re-entered.
Tin. Do you know the thing?
Roch. Right well:- I’faith a hearty fellow, Son to a worthy tradesman, who would do Great things with little means; so enter'd him In the temple. A good fellow, on my life, Nought smacking of his stock.
Tin. You've said enough! His lordship’s not at home. (Exit WILLIAMS.) We
do not go
By hearts, but orders! Had he family-
pass for something; lacking such desert, Were it ten times the heart it is, 'tis nought!
Tin. A curate's! Better be a yeoman's son.