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There isn't one in ten but thinks far more
Of his own grub than of his spouse's grammar. I know it is the greatest shame in lie;
But who among them (save, perhaps, myself), Returning hungry home, but asks his wife
What beef-not books—she has upon her shelf. Though Greek and Latin be the lady's boast,
They're little valued by her loving mate; The kind of tongue that husbands relish most
Is modern, boiled, and served upon a plate. Or if, as fond ambition may command,
Some home-made verse the happy matron show him, What mortal spouse but from her dainty hand
Would sooner see a pudding than a poem ? Young lady-deep in love with Tom or Harry
'Tis sad to tell you such a tale as this : But here's the moral of it; don't ye marry ;
Or, marrying, take your lover as he is, A very man, with something of the brute
(Unless he prove a sentimental noddy), With passions strong, and appetite to boot
A thirsty soul within a hungry body! A very man-not one of Nature's clods
With human feelings, whether saint or sinner; Endowed, perhaps, with genius from the gods,
But apt to take his temper from his dinner.
ON NEGRO EMANCIPATION.
MY LORDS,— I have had my attention directed, within the last two hours, to the new mass of papers laid on our table from the West Indies. The bulk I am averse to break, but a sample I have culled of its hateful contents. Eleven females were punished by severe flogging—and then put on the treadmill, where they were compelled to ply until exhausted nature could endure no more ;—when faint and about to fall off, they were suspended by the arms in a manner that has been described to me by a most respectable eye-witness of similar scenes, but not so suspended as that the mechanism could revolve clear of their persons; for the wheels at each turn bruised and galled their legs, till their sufferings had reached the pitch when life can no longer even glimmer in the socket of the weary frame. In the course of a few days these wretched beings languished, to use the language of our lawthat law which is thus so constantly and systematically violated—and "languishing died." Ask you
if crimes like these, murderous in their legal nature, as well as frightful in their aspect, passed unnoticed—if inquiry was neglected to be made respecting these deaths in a prison? No such thing! The forms of justice were on this head peremptory, even in the West Indies—and at those forms, the handmaids of justice were present, though their sacred mistress was far away. The coroner duly attendedthe jury were regularly empanelled-eleven inquisitions were made in order and eleven verdicts returned Murder! Manslaughter! Misdemeanour! Misconduct ! No—but “DIED BY THE VISITATION OF GOD!" Died by the Visitation of God! A lie! a perjury! a blasphemy! The Visitation of God! Yes, for it is among the most awful of those visitations by which the inscrutable purposes of his will are mysteriously accomplished, that he sometimes arms the wicked with power to oppress the guiltless; and if there be any visitation more dreadful than another; any which more tries the faith and vexes the reason of erring mortals, it is when Heaven showers down upon the earth the plaguemnot of scorpions, or pestilence, or famine, or
war-but of unjust judges and perjured jurors, wretches who pervert the law to wreak their personal vengeance, or compass their sordid ends, forswearing themselves on the Gospels of God, to the end that injustice may prevail, and the innocent be destroyed !
I hasten to a close; there remains little to add. It is, my lords, with a view to prevent such enormities as I have feebly pictured before you, to correct the administration of justice, to secure the comforts of the negroes, to restrain the cruelty of the tormentors, to amend the discipline of prisons, to arm the governors with local authority over the police; it is with these views that I have formed the resolutions now on your table. These improvements are, however, only to be regarded as temporary expedients, as mere palliatives of
enormous mischief, for which the only effectual remedy is the complete emancipation which I have demonstrated by the unerring and incontrovertible evidence of facts, as well as the clearest deductions of reason, to be safe and practicable, and, therefore, proved to be our imperative duty at once to proclaim.
From the instant that glad sound is wafted across the ocean, what a blessed change begins; what an enchanting prospect unfolds itself? The African placed on the same footing with other men, becomes in reality our fellow-citizen-to our feelings, as well as in his own nature our equal, our brother. No difference of origin or colour can now prevail to keep the two castes apart. Where the driver and the gaoler once bore sway, the lash resounds no more ; nor does the clank of the chain any more fall upon the troubled ear; the fetter has ceased to gall the vexed limb, and the very mark disappears which for awhile it had left. I do not deny that danger exists—I admit it to be not far distant from our path. You have gone too far if
you stop here and go no further; you are in imminent hazard if, having loosened the fetters, you do not strike them off -if, leaving them ineffectual to restrain, you let them remain to gall, to irritate, and to goad. Beware of that state, yet more unnatural than slavery itself-liberty bestowed by halves—the power of resistance given the inducement to submission withheld.
You have let the slave taste of the cup of freedom ; while intoxicated with the draught beware how you dash the cup away from his lips. You have produced the progeny of liberty, see the prodigious hazard of swathing the limbs of the gigantic infant, you know not the might that may animate it. Have a care, I beseech you have a care how you rouse the strength that slumbers in the sable peasant's arm! Every tribe, every shade of the Negro race will combine, from the fiery Koramantin to the peaceful Eboe, and the ghastly shape of colonial destruction meets the astonished eye.
I turn away from the horrid vision that my eye may rest once more on the prospect of enduring empire, and peace founded
freedom. I regard the freedom of the Negro as accomplished and sure. Why? because it is his right; because he has shown himself fit for it; because a pretext, or a shadow of a pretext, can no longer be devised for withholding that right from its possessor. My reliance is firm and unflinching upon the great change which I have witnessed—the education of the people, unfettered by party or by sect, witnessed from the beginning of its progress. I
may say from the hour of its birth; I watched over its cradle, I marked its growth, I rejoiced in its strength, I witnessed its maturity, I have been spared to see it ascend the very height of supreme power, directing the councils of state, accelerating every great improvement, uniting itself with every good work, propping all useful institutions, extirpating abuses in all our institutions, passing the bounds of our European dominions, and in the new world, as well as the old, proclaiming that freedom is the birthright of man, that distinction of colour gives no title to oppression, that the chains now loosened must be struck off, and even the marks they have left effaced, proclaiming this by the same eternal law of our nature which makes nations the masters of their own destiny, and which in Europe has caused every tyrant's throne to quake.
But they need feel no alarm at the progress of light who defend a limited monarchy and support popular institutions; who place their chief pride not in ruling over slaves, be they white or be they black, but in wearing a constitutional crown, in holding the sword of justice with the hand of mercy, in being the first citizen of a country whose air is too pure for slaves to breathe, and on whose shores, if the captive's foot but touch, his fetters of themselves fall off.
The time has come, the trial has been made, the hour is striking; you have no longer a pretext for hesitation, faltering, or delay. I demand his rights. I demand his liberty without stint. In the name of justice and of law, in the name of reason, in the name of God, who has given you no right to work injustice, I demand that your brother be no longer trampled upon as your slave! I make my appeal to the Commons who represent the free people of England, and I require at their hands the performance of that condition for which they have paid so enormous a price, that condition which all their constituents are in breathless anxiety to see fulfilled! I appeal to this house. Hereditary judges of the first tribunal in the world, to you I appeal for justice. Patrons of all the arts that humanize mankind, under your protection I place humanity herself. To the merciful sovereign of a free people I call aloud for mercy to the hundreds of thousands for whom half a million of her Christian sisters have supplicated, I ask that their cry may not have risen in vain.
But first I turn my eye to the throne of all justice, and devoutly humbling myself before him who is of purer eyes than to behold such vast iniquities, I implore that the curse hovering over the head of the unjust and the oppressor be averted from us, that
hearts may be turned to mercy, and that over all the earth His will may at length be done.