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486             UNCLE TOM'S CABIN; OR
As Tom had informed them that their party would be looked for in Sandusky, it was thought prudent to divide them. Jim with his old mother was forwarded sepa­rately ; and a night or two after, George and Eliza, with their child, were driven privately into Sandusky, and lodged beneath a hospitable roof, preparatory to taking their last passage on the lake.
Their night was now far spent, and the morning star of liberty rose fair before them. Liberty ! — electric word ! What is it ? Is there anything more in it than a name, — a rhetorical flourish ? Why, men and women of America, does your heart's blood thrill at that word, for which your fathers bled, and your braver mothers were willing that their noblest and best should die ?
Is there anything in it glorious and dear for a nation, that is not also glorious and dear for a man ? What is freedom to a nation, but freedom to the individuals in it ? What is freedom to that young man, who sits there, with his arms folded over his broad chest, the tint of African blood in his cheek, its dark fires in his eye, — what is freedom to George Harris ? To your fathers, freedom was the right of a nation to be a nation. To him, it is the right of a man to be a man, and not a brute; the right to call the wife of his bosom his wife, and to protect her from lawless violence; the right to protect and edu­cate his child ; the right to have a home of his own, a re­ligion of his own, a character of his own, unsubject to the will of another. All these thoughts were rolling and seething in George's breast, as he was pensively lean­ing his head on his hand, watching his wife, as she was adapting to her slender and pretty form the articles of man's attire, in which it was deemed safest she should make her escape.
" Now for it," said she, as she stood before the glass, and shook down her silky abundance of black curly hair. " I say, George, it 's almost a pity, is n't it," she said, as she held up some of it, playfully, — " pity it 's all got to come off ? "