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join in the human chase; but yet he will not dare to lift his voice against that law. He places himself in the attitude of the sufferer, and will bear fine and imprisonment rather than obey a law which oppresses his conscience. Is he in truth, and honestly, a martyr to conscience here? Would he be encroaching on the freedom of a neighbour state were he to lift up his voice against wrong? Or, would he not rather be obeying the Scripture rule ?" Thou shalt in anywise rebuke thy neighbour, and not suffer sin upon him ;” or, “That thou bear no sin for him.”
Let us turn from this desolate landscape, and gladly survey a new scene which begins to open a corner of Virginia. Here are some repaired houses, and fields again fertile, but with other crops than those they formerly bore. These are the smiling fruits of labour, stimulated by proprietorship. Look at that hearty New England farmer and his cheerful family, recently settled there. See the soil turned with the plough instead of the hoe, its furrows reaching to a depth untried at least for a century. Look at its luxurious productions of fruits, vegetables, and grain. Observe that field covered with clover, which will be ploughed in presently, and left to manure the ground where it grew. Watch the waving crops, and inspect the early vegetables, which, borne by steam to northern markets, will bring a rich return to the labourer. He has, by favour of climate, produced them six weeks sooner than they can be grown at New York, and two
months earlier than at Boston. Will not such proof of the capabilities of a soil in the hand of free labour enlighten the minds of those who have worn it out and forsaken it, under the cultivation of the slave? Will not Virginia look to her mountain districts, held by free men, and compare or contrast them with her lowlands? Surely the time is hastening when the children of the free shall hail another and another state freed from that yoke a yoke that hangs on the neck of the slaveholder, and keeps his mind and conscience, like his fields, in bondage. Nay, it induces him to lay bonds on the necks of his free neighbours. When all things are fairly weighed, it appears that the slaveholder is as little really a freeman as is the slave. His system violates the eternal principles of justice, and, consequently, he dare not suffer the vicinity of the free negro, however just his claim to be there, or however it might advantage himself. Such an exhibition of liberty might spoil his gang. He dare not admit the instructor, lest the aurora of knowledge, dawning afar, should infuse into his gang some idea of a life above that of the passive brute. He dare not indulge even one favourite and promising coloured man with education, lest his skill and knowledge should make the others discontented. The freedom of the press cannot exist where he is. Rome is not more exact in her expurgated lists of books and newspapers, than is the legislature in a slave state. Nay, he must lord it over free states,
may the more easily keep his own in bondage. Is he, then, a freeman, or is he not rather the slave of a most evil and unhappy system?
Should a young lady from a free state, without sufficient knowledge of how matters stand, become the wife of a southerner, she, poor inexperienced child ! if she carry conscience and humanity with her, may be alarmed to find herself called upon to exercise the offices and wisdom of age, being looked up to by a band of people utterly unused to confide in themselves and each other. Though a coloured nurse watch by the bed of the sick domestic slave, the lady must drop the medicine. She must look upon the timepiece for the moment to administer it. She, though at midnight, or early morning hours, may be awakened to give the potion. She must not only provide clothes for her numerous family, which has no provident habit because it is untrusted, but she may find it necessary to shape them, and fix the seams for the overgrown children who can with . needle and thread be taught to fasten them together. Is she free? I speak not of her moral, but of her mere physical condition. Does she not discover that she has married into bondage? Some of the most elegant, refined, intelligent, princess-like women that I have met with in the United States were such. They have learnt to be waited upon, to have their slightest wish attended to, and, withal, because they, with woman's nature, are pitiful to the sick and feeble, they have exercised much benevolence.
They have, mayhap, endured much in being aware of cruelties which they had not power to mitigate. All this has refined their characters—still they are not Cornelias and Portias, fit mothers for the sons of a republic; they are refined into amiable despots, and fit mothers for the owners of slaves.
But the mouldering farms of Virginia have betrayed me into the subject which it is so unavailing for me to touch, though it never fails to oppress my heart; and I must resume my journey.
The railway which runs between Albany and Buffalo, though it passes many cities that were already made rich by possessing means of carriage on the great canal, establishes new centres of traffic, as well as greatly enhances the wealth of the old ones. Yet in some parts the country is but newly opened. The engineer goes forth in search of levels, not of fertility or beauty. And thus he has crashed his way through many a swamp inhabited by doleful creatures, and many a forest, untrodden since the Indian hunter has faded away before the white man.
We were told that we should have found plains and valleys smiling under the influence of skilful industry, if we had travelled by the high road. Yet it is only fifty years since that road was slowly piercing its way through regions as unaccustomed to man as those more recently penetrated by the iron path. In far less than fifty years more, those unsightly and tangled underwoods, those undrained marshes, and those dreary girdled trees and black
stumps, will disappear from the track of the railway, and smoother fields, and comfortable dwellings, and zigzag fences take their place. These fences are the reverse of pleasing objects in the landscape ; yet in a country where the quantity of wood to be cleared away forms the difficulty, it is a wiser plan to use the dead wood in forming divisions, than it would be to plant other shrubs and trees for fences. The English eye, accustomed to polished fields cultivated for centuries, chequered with beautiful hedgerows, finds this part of the country very rough, and in every part misses the hawthorn. But the circumstances are so different as to render comparison unreasonable. One is inclined to take up the prophetic strain of which the American is accused, and say what this district will presently become when we see what it is even already in its difficult and rugged progress. Here you see a brick-field, with two or three cottages near it. A little further on a forge, and by and by a carpenter's shop, and, in a position accessible to them all, though by deep and difficult footpaths, a store partaking the character of the village shop of Scotland, known by the familiar name of “Willie a' things.” Everything you can want in a rough way is to be had there, from cheese, ham, needles, nails, tea, hammers, sugar, and grindstones, down to spelling-books, butter, and Bibles, as I have seen “ Willie's” list of wares made out.
Who that has travelled through the cultivated parts of New York or New Jersey, or that has