Woman knows the beatings of the heart; she can respond more quickly to its pains and sorrows. Our youthful missionary will sit down and write a letter to Mrs. Rosebrook-she will do something, the atmosphere of slavery will hear of her yet-it will!
The pretty children are to be sold.
How varied are the sources of human nature-how changing its tints and glows-how immeasurable its uncertainties, and how obdurate the will that can turn its tenderest threads into profitable degradation! But what democrat can know himself a freeman when the whitest blood makes good merchandise in the market? When the only lineal stain on a mother’s name for ever binds the chains, let no man boast of liberty. The very voice re-echoes, oh, man, why be a hypocrite! cans’t thou not see the scorner looking from above? But the oligarchy asks in tones so modest, so full of chivalrous fascination, what hast thou to do with that? be no longer a fanatic. So we will bear the warning-pass from it for the present.
More than two years have passed; writs of error have been filed and argued; the children have dragged out time in a prison-house. Is it in freedom’s land a prison was made for the innocent to waste in? So it is, and may Heaven one day change the tenour! Excuse, reader, this digression, and let us proceed with our narrative.
The morning is clear and bright; Mrs. Rosebrook sits at the window of her cheerful villa, watching the approach of the post-rider seen in the distance, near a cluster of oaks that surround the entrance of the arbour, at the north side of the garden. The scene spread out before her is full of rural beauty, softened by the dew-decked foliage, clothing the landscape with its clumps. As if some fairy hand had spread a crystal mist about the calm of morning, and angels were bedecking it with the richest tints of a rising sun at morn, the picture sparkles with silvery life. There she sits, her soft glowing eyes scanning the reposing scene, as her graceful form seems infusing spirit into its silent loveliness. And then she speaks, as if whispering a secret to the wafting air: “our happy union!” It falls upon the ear like some angel voice speaking of things too pure, too holy for the caprices of earth. She would be a type of that calmness pervading the scene-that sweetness and repose which seem mingling to work out some holy purpose; and yet there is a touching sadness depicted in her face.
“Two years have passed; how changed!” she exclaims, as if rousing from a reverie: “I would not be surprised if he brought bad tidings.”
The postman has reached the gate and delivered a letter, which the servant quickly bears to her hand. She grasps it anxiously, as if recognising the superscription; opens it nervously; reads the contents. It is from Franconia, interceding with her in behalf of her uncle and the two children, in the following manner:—“My dearest Friend,