The fair Franconia, who has just been forced to accept the hand of a mere charlatan, disclosed the secrets of her mind to him; it was she who incited him to an act which might have sacrificed his freedom, perhaps his life. But mankind is possessed of an innate feeling to do good; and there is a charm added when the object to be served is a fair creature about to be dragged into the miseries of slavery. Even the rougher of our kind cannot resist it; and at times-we except the servile opinion which slavery inflicts upon a people through its profitable issues-prompts the ruffian to generous acts.
The little bark, bound for the haven of freedom, sailed onward over the blue waters, and when daylight dawned had crossed the bar separating the harbour from the ocean. Clotilda ascends to the deck, sits on the companion-seat, and in a pensive mood watches the fading hills where slavery stains the fair name of freedom,—where oppression rears its dark monuments to for ever torture and disgrace a harmless race. She looks intently upon them, as one by one they fade in the obscure horizon, seeming to recall the many associations, pleasant and painful, through which she has passed. She turns from the contemplation to the deep blue sea, and the unclouded arch of heaven, as they spread out before her: they are God’s own, man cannot pollute them; they are like a picture of glory inspiring her with emotions she cannot suppress. As the last dim sight of land is lost in the distance, she waves a handkerchief, as if to bid it adieu for ever; then looking at Maxwell, who sits by her side, she says, with a sigh, “I am beyond it! Free,—yes, free! But, have I not left a sufferer behind? There is my poor Annette, my child; I will clasp her to my bosom,—I will love her more when I meet her again. Good-bye, Franconia-dear Franconia! She will be a mother to my little one; she will keep her word.” Thus saying, she casts a look upward, invokes heaven to be merciful to her persecutors,—to protect her child,—to guard Franconia through life. Tears stream down her cheeks as she waves her hand and retires to the cabin.
Pleasant dealings with human property.
We must deal gently with our scenes; we must describe them without exaggeration, and in rotation. While the scenes we have just described were proceeding, another, of deeper import, and more expressive of slavery’s complicated combinations, was being enacted in another part of the city.