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النشر الإلكتروني

THE NEW SOUTH

II

It is a rare privilege, sir, to have had a part, however humble, in this work. Never was nobler duty confided to human hands than the uplifting and upbuilding of the prostrate and bleeding South, misguided, perhaps, but beautiful in her suffering, and honest, brave, and generous always. In the record of her social, industrial, and political restoration we await with confidence the verdict of the world.

But what of the negro? Have we solved the problem he presents, or progressed in honor and equity toward the solution? Let the record speak to the point. No section shows a more prosperous laboring population than the negroes of the South; none in fuller sympathy with the employing and land-owning class. He shares our school fund, has the fullest protection of our laws, and the friendship of our people. Self-interest, as well as honor, demands that they should have this. Our future, our very existence, depends upon our working out this problem in full and exact justice. We understand that when Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation, your victory was assured; for he then committed you to the cause of human liberty, against which the arms of man cannot prevail; while those of our statesmen who trusted to make slavery the corner-stone of the Confederacy doomed us to defeat as far as they could, committing us to a cause that reason could not defend or the sword maintain in the sight of advancing civilization. Had

are

Mr. Toombs said, which he did not say, that he would call the roll of his slaves at the foot of Bunker Hill, he would have been foolish, for he might have known that whenever slavery became entangled in war it must perish, and that the chattel in human flesh ended forever in New England when your fathers—not to be blamed for parting with what did not pay-sold their slaves to our fathers, not to be praised for knowing a paying thing when they saw it. The relations of the Southern people with the negro

close and cordial. We remember with what fidelity for four years he guarded our defenceless women and children, whose husbands and fathers were fighting against his freedom. To his credit be it said that whenever he struck a blow for his own liberty he fought in open battle, and when at last he raised his black and humble hands that the shackles might be struck off, those hands were innocent of wrong against his helpless charges, and worthy to be taken in loving grasp by every man who honors loyalty and devotion.

Ruffians have maltreated him, rascals have misled him, philanthropists established bank for him, but the South with the North protest against injustice to this simple and sincere people. To liberty and enfranchisement is as far as the law can carry the negro. The rest must be left to conscience and common sense.

It should be left to those among whom his lot is cast, with whom he is indissolubly connected, and whose prosperity depends upon their possessing his intelligent sympathy and confidence. Faith has been kept with him in spite of calumnious assertions to the contrary by those who assume to speak for us, or by frank opponents. Faith will be

THE

'HE Puritans are the patriarchs of liberty; they

opened a new world on the earth; they opened a new path for the human conscience; they created a new society. Yet, when England tried to subdue them and they conquered, the republic triumphed and slavery remained. Washington could only emancipate his slaves. Franklin said that the Virginians could not invoke the name of God, retaining slavery. Jay said that all the prayers America sent up to Heaven for the preservation of liberty while slavery continued, were mere blasphemies. Mason mourned over the payment his descendants must make for this great crime of their fathers. Jefferson traced the line where the black wave of slavery should be stayed.

Nevertheless, slavery increased continually. I beg that you will pause a moment to consider the man who cleansed this terrible stain which obscured the stars of the American banner. I beg that you will pause a moment, for his immortal name has been invoked for the perpetuation of slavery. Ah! the past century has not, the century to come will not have, a figure so grand, because as evil disappears so disappears heroism also.

I have often contemplated and described his life. Born in a cabin of Kentucky, of parents who could hardly read; born a new Moses in the solitude of the desert, where are forged all great and obstinate thoughts, monotonous like the desert, and, like the desert, sublime; growing up among those primeval forests, which, with their fragrance, send a cloud of incense, and, with their murmurs, a cloud of prayers to Heaven; a boatman at eight years in the impetuous current of the Ohio, and at seventeen in the vast and tranquil waters of the Mississippi; later, a woodman, with axe and arm felling the immemorial trees, to open a way to unexplored regions for his tribe of wandering workers; reading no other book than the Bible, the book of great sorrows and great hopes, dictated often by prophets to the sound of fetters they dragged through Nineveh and Babylon; a child of Nature, in a word, by one of those miracles only comprehensible among free peoples, he fought for the country, and was raised by his fellow-citizens to the Congress at Washington, and by the nation to the Presidency of the Republic; and when the evil grew more virulent, when those States were dissolved, when the slaveholders uttered their war cry and the slaves their groans of despair—the wood-cutter, the boatman, the son of the great West, the descendant of Quakers, humblest of the humble before his conscience, greatest of the great before history, ascends the Capitol, the greatest moral height of our time, and strong and serene with his conscience and his thought; before him a veteran army, hostile Europe behind him, England favoring the South, France encouraging reaction in Mexico, in his hands the riven country; he arms two millions of men, gathers a half million of horses, sends his artillery 1,200 miles in a week, from the banks of the Potomac to the shores of Tennessee; fights more than six hundred battles; renews before Richmond the deeds of Alexander, of Cæsar; and, after having emancipated 3,000,000 slaves, that nothing might be wanting, he dies in the very moment of victory-like Christ, like Socrates, like all redeemers, at the foot of his work. His work! Sublime achieve, ment! over which humanity shall eternally shed its tears, and God his benediction!

AFTER-DINNER SPEECH. Re-uniting the Hearts and Hands of England and America. By SIR HENRY LYTTON BULWER.

MR.

R. CHAIRMAN AND GENTLEMEN, if it be

true, that I have been so fortunate as to contribute in any way to the friendly relations which at present exist between the two countries, it is simply because I have taken a plain downright course for effecting this object. The fact of it is, gentlemen, that, according to old customs, when any causes for difference, however slight, existed between our two governments, down sat Her Majesty's Representative at his desk, and down sat the United States Secretary of State at his desk, and each penned to the other very pithy and pertinent despatches, showing the great motives for grievance there were on both sides, and then those despatches were carefully circulated throughout both countries; but when there were only causes for mutual good-will and satisfaction, no one thought it worth while to take notice of so simple a fact, nor to state to the English and American public what strong reasons, both in sentiment and interest, there existed, for their maintaining the closest and most friendly relations with each other. This was the old school of diplomacy, gentlemen; but I am of the new school-and my theory and practice are just the reverse of what I have been describing. I am for keeping as quiet as possible all those small differences which must occasionally take place between any two great States, having vast and complicated interests; but which differences are always easy of adjustment when they are not aggravated by unfriendly and untimely discussion. And I am for making as public

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