LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY 251
" I know very well that you 've got the law on your side, and the power," said George, bitterly. " You mean to take my wife to sell in New Orleans, and put my boy like a calf in a trader's pen, and send Jim's old mother to the brute that whipped and abused her before, because he could n't abuse her son. You want to send Jim and me back to be whipped and tortured, and ground down under the heels of them that you call masters; and your laws will bear you out in it,— more shame for you and them ! but you have n't got us. We don't own your laws ; we don't own your country ; we stand here as free, under God's sky, as you are ; and, by the great God that made us, we '11 fight for our liberty till we die."
George stood out in fair sight, on the top of the rock, as he made his declaration of independence ; the glow of dawn gave a flush to his swarthy cheek, and bitter indignation and despair gave fire to his dark eye ; and, as if appealing from man to the justice of God, he raised his hand to heaven as he spoke.
If it had been only a Hungarian youth, now, bravely defending in some mountain fast* ess the retreat of fugitives escaping from Austria into America, this would have been sublime heroism ; but as^ it was a youth of African descent, defending the retreat of fagitives through America into Canada, of course we are too well instructed and patriotic to see any heroism in it; and if any of our readers do, they must do it on their own private responsibility. When despairing Hungarian fugitives make their way, against all the search-warrants and authorities of their lawful government, to America, press and political cabinet ring with applause and welcome. When despairing African fugitives do the same thing, — it is — what is it?
Be it as it may, it is certain that the attitude, eye, voice, manner, of the speaker for a moment struck the party below to silence. There is something in boldness and determination that for a time hushes even the rudest