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settle the fare with the hackmen herself. With an imbecile sense of relief, on these occasions, the poor, prostrate Balaam says to her, with feeble jocularity, "My dear, you are the only fair that the coachman can't settle."
They go into the country. The house lies under the warm side of a hill. There are no trees. The Balaam bed-room is ten feet by fifteen, with a double bed in it, and the trunks about the floor. There are wall1-paper shades over the windows, in which the July sun nestles all the day long. There are fried pork and heavy home-made bread for breakfast, and venerable boiled beef and cabbage for dinner-hearty, homely fare," Mrs. Balaam says "none of your wateringplace kick-shaws."
Balaam bleats mild protests at intervals; and lately, as he was strolling along the dusty road, holding a cotton umbrella with one hand, to shield him from the sun, and with the other brandishing a cotton handkerchief about his brows to wipe the exuding moisture, he met a friend from town, going on to the sea-shore.
“Ah, Balaam, my boy, how do you like your lodging?"
B., who has a vague sense of the omnipresence of Mrs. B., and always speaks as in her dread hearing, answered:
'Oh! very well."
"Well," said his lugubrious friend, "I should think, if you were not eaten up with the musquitoes, did not come down with the fever and ague, or the bilious fever, or the gastric fever, or the low, slow country fever-and if you dared to be out in the evening, or sleep with your windows open, or go in to bathe it might be quite tolerable, only it must be infernally hot, of course.”
Mr. Balaam rose one morning with the firmness of despair, and said, with a careless, semi-resolute air, to his wife:
My dear, I think I shall smoke a cigar."
Very well, Mr. Balaam, as there is no spare room in the house, you will have to sleep in the barn."
He did not sleep in the barn; but he dreamed all night of being rolled up tight in a piece of straw matting, which smelt of Manilla diseases, and being scrubbed hard, on his defenseless face, by the energetic mop of Belinda Ba
I, who thank my stars that I am a jolly old bachelor, and who am the individual you see dancing every polka, every evening, at every hotel in Newport, who have no wife nor family, but that cigar and book, to which you have probably never heard any bachelor allude I often wonder how it happened; how he came to do it-I mean, how they ever came to be married.
That form of asking the question is a little painful to me, but it is quite strongly impressed upon my mind, and you shall know why.
I am, in fact, bald. The family hair falls out early, and my head shines, at this moment, like a huge ostrich's egg. In church, on Sundays, I usually leave a glove on the top of my head to protect it from draughts, for I hate the falsity of a wig. Before Balaam removed into his present house, which it is Mrs. Balaam's pride to keep clean, we boarded together, and I took pleasure in toying with an only child of theirs, who, I am devoutly thankful, has been since removed to a distant boarding-school.
One evening Balaam asked me in to tea. Now, though bald, I was not old; I was marriageable yet; I could still sigh and sing, and my toilette was choice and exact. The company was not large, and it was silent. I have noticed that the Balaam parties are, in a word, dreadful. Mrs. Balaam looks as if she were ready to mop up or sweep away upon the instant any remark that should chance to be dropped. The consequence is, that people grin, and squirm, and look at books of engravings, at the little social festivals of the Balaams, and smile so kindly upon dear Mrs. Balaam when they go away, thanking her for such a charming evening. Why should people arrange their hair, and put on lace dresses, and jewels, and gloves, and carry a bouquet, for the sake of looking into the Balaam picture-books?
As this party was a tea-party it was not large, and we all sat. You know what tragical moments of depression come over the best regulated tea-parties-but an ordinary festivity of the kind is a revel compared with this. The Balaam tea-parties are what the French would call "solemnities." At this particular one I endeavored to " carry it off" gayly. I smiled and chatted, and laughed at my own humor, and criticised the pictures in the drawing-room album, and tried in every way to
enliven the profound melancholy of the occasion.
But in the midst of one of my cheeriest efforts, while the eyes of the company were all fixed upon me, the young heir of Balaam-since happily removed, as I said-came and stood in front of me, and regarded me so steadfastly that my attention and that of every person in the room was attracted to him. Suddenly, as he stood staring before me, he began to rub the top of his head, still gazing at me. I thought the brat had gone out of his ridiculous wits, and paused; so did everybody else; perfect silence reigned in the room, while this wicked child kept rubbing the top of his head, and, contemplating the refulgent top of mine, he at length, in a loud voice, asked, before that company, "HOW D'YE DO IT?"
I pardoned the laughter of the party; I laughed myself. And whenever, since, I wonder at any circumstance, the formula of my inquiry is the same; and, therefore, when I think of the Balaams, I always wonder how they did it.
I know how it will be when they come home in the autumn. For weeks the house will smell of pepper, camphor, and tobacco, as the carpets, and curtains, and winter clothes are unrolled. Mrs. B. will come out in great force in every department. Pickling and preserving, and consequent checkedaprons and curl-papers will set in. In the latter days of September Balaam
will rub his hands, and say hopefully: Most time for a fire!" Mrs. Balaam, who is a woman of fixed principles, takes this symptom at the very outset, and replies: "You know, Mr. Balaam, that we never have fires until after the fifth of November; it's a foolish extravagance; don't pamper yourself!"
since the most memorable document, ever submitted to the approval of a free people, was read to the congress of the United States, assembled in a neighboring city. It was not ratified by that burst of external enthusiasm by which persons of more mercurial temperaments usually receive the programme of a revolution in their political situation-for large assemblies, ever hopeful, usually expect improvement from change-but with a sturdy English resolution and self-confidence, like that of the barons who wrested Magna Charta from King John, and the convention
Balaam has given up smoking; ho has given up drinking wine; he has given up going to the theatre; he has given up driving, or buying books, which only clutter up the house." He has given up asking a friend to dinner, or to pass the night. He has given up wearing a dressing-gown or slippers in the parlor, or reading the newspapers there, or putting his legs over the arms of the easy-chairs. He has given up little excursions, or lingering in the morning, after breakfast. He has given up having the rooms at a higher temperature than 65°. He has given up walking up and down the drawing-room, and going up the front stairs. He has given up scolding the servants for bringing him cold plates at dinner, and cold water for shaving. He has given up throwing a sixpence to hand-organs, and looking out of the window at dancing-monkeys, and putting the evening paper over his head and going to sleep. He has even given up all curiosity to know how he did it. And having given up all the flesh and blood of life, Balaam is quite ready to give up the ghost.
A SHORT EXERCISE FOR THE FOURTH OF JULY.
which replaced the corrupt and effete Stuarts by the present reigning house personified in the Hollandish William.
Yet the iron will and calm fixedness of purpose which animated the delegates from every province between New Hampshire and Georgia, which made the Puritan, the Quaker, the votary of the church of England, the Irish Catholic, and Rochelle Huguenot to lie down together, as the lion and the lamb are described in holy writ, was yet as fit a theme for the pen of a historian as the wildest scenes any chronicle records.
The document was no holiday declaration of rights already won, no holiday
inauguration of a monument of triumphs already achieved, but the solemn declaration of men who knew no such word as fail, of a fixed purpose to plant the tree of liberty-not to wither, as the olive branch of sunny France subsequently withered, but to stand like our own live-oak, almost eternal and evergreen. That declaration has become the evangel of nations struggling to be free, and its defects cannot be looked on as inherent, but, like the Spanish ⚫ moss, were parasitic and accidental, easily to be torn away, and never destined to do aught than veil the trunk of the firm and sturdy oak. They were not destined to remain. For that reason, when we read the Declaration of Independence, it does not seem to us like the emanation of a human mind, but assumes the grandeur and type of inspiration; and men in despotic lands, where liberty is treason, and the enunciation of the truth, that men are born equal, is a crime—all recognize Thomas Jefferson as the very apostle of popular right, and the Paul of the gospel of independence. The clear and distinct paragraphs, the grand yet simple eloquence, show this declaration was not a Rhetor's display, but the enunciation of the yearnings of a great and good man, who was aware of his duty to his nation, and willing, as he expresses it himself, to pledge his life, his fortune, and his sacred honor for its salvation.
It is at this time peculiarly proper to look back on Mr. Jefferson's glorious participation in the work, of which he might aptly say, quorum magna pars fui, and to show the mistake of those who pretend, at this day, to honor his memory, while they are engaged in the most subtle attacks on what he considered to be cardinal principles of the Union he formed, and for which he pledged his name, fame, and fortune. If we look through his biography and his letters-far more interesting even than those of Cicero to an Americanwe shall everywhere find clear and manifest indications of his abhorrence of the institution of slavery. Coleridge says, that there are axioms so true, that they lose their power and require a new demonstration to be brought home to the mind; and of this kind is the certainty that the first and most earnest free-soil politician in the country was
Thomas Jefferson. In these opinions he was firm and consistent, having, as he states in his autobiography, introduced a bill for the abolition of slavery into the colonial legislature, before the Revolution, and continued its consistent opponent until a few days before his death. On this subject he says:
"In 1769, I became a member of the legis lature by the choice of the country in which I live, and so continued until it was closed by the Revolution. I made one effort in that
body for the permission of the emancipation of slaves, which was rejected, and, indeed, during the regal government, nothing liberal could expect success."
Thus Mr. Jefferson began his public career by an effort for the emancipation of the slaves of his own state, before he made himself illustrious by far happier efforts for the establishment of national independence. His was no sentimental patriotism, but he loved liberty, for itself alone, in its broadest sense, and did not distinguish between chains for the individual and for the masses. He hated slavery per se, and his mind was too philosophical not to be aware that the establishment of an instance recognized the principle.
In the unamended portion of the Declaration of Independence, Mr. Jefferson speaks, in his own strong and peculiar style, of what he thought one of the greatest tyrannies of the government of George III. :
"He has waged cruel war against human nature itself, violating its most sacred rights of life and liberty in the persons of a distant people who never offended him, captivating and carrying them into slavery in another hemisphere, or to incur miserable death in their passage thither. This piratical warfare, the opprobrium of infidel powers, is the warfare of the Christian King of Great Britain. Determined to keep open a market where men should be bought and sold, he has prostituted his negative for suppressing every legislative attempt to prohibit or to restrain this execrable commerce. And that this assemblage of horrors might want no fact of distinguished die, he is now exciting those very people to rise in arms among us, and to purchase that liberty, of which he has deprived them, by murdering the people on whom he has obtruded them; thus paying off crimes which he has committed against the liberties of one people, with crimes which he urges them to commit against the lives of another."'*
At every stage of his political life, this subject seems to have occupied his thoughts; and, even when discharging high duties in Paris, he thus writes to Dr. Price:
* Vol. i., p. 376.
"PARIS, August 7, 1785.
"Sir:-Your favor of July 2d came duly to hand. The concern you therein express, as to the effect of your pamphlet in America, induces me to trouble you with some observations on that subject.
"From my acquaintance with that country, I think I am able to judge, with some degree of certainty, of the manner in which it will have been received. Southward of the Chesapeake, it will find but few readers concurring with it in sentiment, on the subject of slavery. From the mouth to the head of the Chesapcake, the bulk of the people will approve it in theory, and it will find a respectable minority ready to adopt it in practice-a minority which, for weight and worth of character, preponderates against the greater number, who have not the courage to divest their families of a property which, however, keeps their conscience unquiet. Northward of the Chesapeake, you may find, here and there, an opponent to your doctrine, as you may find, here and there, a robber and murderer, but in no greater number. In that part of America, there being but few slaves, they can easily disencumber themselves of them: and emancipation is put into such a train, that in a few years there will be no slaves north of Maryland. In Maryland I do not find such a disposition to begin the redress of this enormity, as in Virginia. This is the next State to which we may turn our eyes for the interesting spectacle of justice, in conflict with avarice and oppression-a conflict wherein the sacred side is gaining daily recruits, from the influx into office of young men grown, and growing up. These have sucked in the principles of liberty, as it were, with their mothers' milk; and it is to them I look with anxiety to turn the fate of this question. Be not, therefore, discouraged. What you have written will do a great deal of good; and could you still trouble yourself with our welfare, no man is more able to give aid to the laboring side. The college of William and Mary, in Williamsburg, since the remodeling of its plan, is the place where are collected together all the young men of Virginia, under preparation for public life. They are under the direction (most of them) of a Mr. Wythe, one of the most virtuous of characters, and whose sentiments on the subject of slavery are unequivocal. I am satisfied, if you could resolve to address an exhortation to those young men, with all that eloquence of which you are master, that its influence on the future decision of this important question would be great, perhaps decisive. Thus you see, that, so far from thinking you have cause to repent of what you have done, I wish you to do more, and wish it on an assurance of its effect. The information I have received from America, of the reception of your pamphlet in the different States, agrees with the expectations I had formed."
About the same time, breaking through diplomatic restraints, he writes the following letter to Mr. Warville :*
society for the abolition of the slave trade. You know that nobody wishes more ardently to see an abolition, not only of the trade, but of the condition of slavery; and certainly nobody will be more willing to encounter every sacrifice for that object. But the influence and information of the friends to this proposition in France will be far above the need of my association. I am here as a public servant, and those whom I serve, having never yet been able to give their voice against the practice, it is decent for me to avoid too public a demonstration of my wishes to see it abolished. Without serving the cause here, it might render me less able to serve it beyond the water. I trust you will be sensible of the prudence of these motives, therefore, which govern my conduct on this occasion, and be assured of my wishes for the success of your undertaking, and the sentiments of esteem and respect with which I have the honor to be, sir, your most obedient humble servant."
"PARIS, February 12, 1788. Sir:-I am very sensible of the honor you propose to me, of becoming a member of the
* Vol. ii., p. 357.
If, however, there was a subject in which Mr. Jefferson felt more interest than in any other, when he was able to divest himself, so to say, of his catholic sympathies, and narrow his colossal mind to the level of the analysis of lower intellects, it was on all that touched his home, Virginia. In his "Notes on Virginia," published both in America, France, and England, he thus expresses himself:†
"It is difficult to determine on the standard by which the manners of a nation may be tried-whether catholic or particular. It is more difficult for a native to bring to that standard the manners of his own nation, familiarized to him by habit. There must, doubtless, be an unhappy influence on the manners of our people produced by the existence of slavery among us. The whole commerce between master and slave is a perpetual exercise of the most boisterous passions-the most unremitting despotism on the one part, and degrading submissions on the other. Our children see this, and learn to imitate it; for man is an imitative animal. This quality is the germ of all education in him. From his cradle to his grave, he is learning to do what he sees others do. If a parent could find no motive either in his philanthropy or his selflove for restraining the intemperance of passion towards his slave, it should always be a sufficient one that his child is present. But generally it is not sufficient. The parent storms, the child looks on, catches the lineaments of wrath, puts on the same airs in the circle of smaller slaves, gives a loose to the worst of passions, and thus nursed, educated, and daily exercised in tyranny, cannot but be stamped by it with odious peculiarities. The man must be a prodigy who can retain his manners and morals undepraved by such circumstances. And with what execration should the statesman be loaded, who, permitting one half the citizens thus to trample on the rights of the other, transforms those into despots, and these into enemies-destroys the morals of the one part, and the amor patria
t Vol. viii., p. 403
of the other. For if a slave can have a country in this world, it must be any other in preference to that in which he is born to live and labor for another-in which he must lock up the faculties of his nature, contribute, as far as depends on his individual endeavors, to the evanishment of the human race, or entail his own miserable condition on the endless generations proceeding from him. With the morals of the people, their industry is also destroyed; for in a warm climate, no man will labor for himself who can make another labor for him. This is so true, that of the proprietors of slaves, a very small proportion, indeed, are ever seen to labor. And can the liberties of a nation be thought secure when we have removed their only firm basis-a conviction in the minds of the people that these liberties are the gift of God? That they are not to be violated but with his wrath. Indeed I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just; that his justice cannot sleep forever; that, considering numbers, nature, and natural means only, a revolution of the wheel of fortune, an exchange of situations is among possible events that it may become probable by supernatural interference. The Almighty has no attribute which can take side with us in such a contest. But it is impossible to be temperate and to pursue this subject through the various considerations of policy, of morals, of history, natural and civil. We must be contented to hope they will force their way into every one's mind. I think a change already perceptible since the orgin of the present Revolution. The spirit of the master is abating-that of the slave rising from the dust-his condition is mollifying-the way, I hope, preparing, under the auspices of Heaven, for a total emancipation-and that this is disposed, in the order of events, to be
with the consent of the masters, rather than
by their extirpation."
The following extract shows that Mr. Jefferson looked on the abolishment of slavery as equally important to the true interests of the white as of the black; but that he looked forward to the colonization of the negro outside of the United States. The multiplication of population has, since his day, made this scheme chimerical, and the extract is given merely to show that he did not consider the domestic institution a blessing :*
"To emancipate all slaves born after the passing of the act. The bill reported by the revisers does not itself contain this proposition; but an amendment containing it was prepared, to be offered to the legislature whenever the bill should be taken up, further directing, that they should continue with their parents to a certain age, then to be brought up, at the public expense, to tillage, arts or sciences, according to their geniuses, till the females should be eighteen, and the males twenty-one years of age, when they should be colonized to such place as the circumstances of the time should render most proper, sending them out with arms, implements of household and of
Letters, vol. viii., pp. 380, 381.
the handicraft arts, seeds, pairs of the useful domestic animals, etc. ; to declare them a free and independent people, and to extend to them our alliance and protection till they have acquired strength, and to send vessels, at the same time, to other parts of the world for an equal number of white inhabitants: to induce them to migrate hither, proper encourage. ments were to be proposed."
The foregoing extracts show plainly, what Mr. Jefferson thought of slavery, and leave us in no doubt of his opinion of the feasibility of maintaining slavery in connection with true republican institutions.
He prayed, worked, and toiled, for the eradication of this evil, from the "Old Dominion" he loved so well, almost from his boyhood to his very death; and the large party which, in the convention of the people of Virginia, advocated the abolition of slavery, immediately after his death, understood itself to be speaking his views. That party was unsuccessful, from the fact that interest swayed principle. It left behind it, however the nucleus of thought gradually ripening, and certain, at no distant day, to sweep away all “vestige of a darker age,' as Mr. Jefferson called slavery.
That Mr. Jefferson never approved of maintaining slavery, always esteemed it a curse, and one of the chief evils imposed on the province by the royal government, we think is not to be contradicted. A very little study of his correspondence must satisfy any one that he would have strenuously labored to reverse the decision of the Supreme Court in the Dred Scott case. In the seventh volume of his correspondence we find the following letter on the Supreme Court, to Mr. Jarvis, which shows his idea of the federal bench, and the dangers to be apprehended from it.†
"MONTICELLO, September 28, 1820.
I thank you, sir, for the copy of your Republican, which you have been so kind as to send, and I should have acknowledged it sooner, but that I am just returned home after a long absence. I have not yet had time to read it seriously, but in looking over it cursorily, I see much in it to approve, and shall be glad if it shall lead our youth to the practice of thinking on such subjects for themselves. That it will have this tendency, may be expected, and for that reason I feel an urgency to note what I deem an error in it, the more requiring notice as your opinion is strengthened by that of many others. You seem, in pages 84 and 148, to consider the judges as the ultimate arbiters
t Vol. vii., p. 177.