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544             UNCLE TOM'S CABIN; OR
from such peril and dangers, and by such unknown ways, had brought them together.
The note-book of a missionary, among the Canadian fugitives, contains truth stranger than fiction. How can it be otherwise, when a system prevails which whirls fam­ilies and scatters their members, as the wind whirls and scatters the leaves of autumn ? These shores of refuge, like the eternal shore, often unite again, in glad commun­ion, hearts that for long years have mourned each other as lost. And affecting beyond expression is the earnest­ness with which every new arrival among them is met, ift perchance, it may bring tidings of mother, sister, child, or wife, still lost to view in the shadows of slavery.
Deeds of heroism are wrought here more than those of romance, when, defying torture, and braving death itself, the fugitive voluntarily threads his way back to the terrors and perils of that dark land, that he may bring out his sis­ter, or mother, or wife.
One young man, of whom a missionary has told us, twice recaptured, and suffering shameful stripes for his heroism, had escaped again; and, in a letter which we heard read, tells his friends that he is going back a third time, that he may, at last, bring away his sister. My good sir, is this man a hero, or a criminal ? Would not you do as much for your sister ? And can you blame him?
But, to return to our friends, whom we left wiping their eyes, and recovering themselves from too great and sudden a joy. They are now seated around the social board, and are getting decidedly companionable; only that Cassy, who keeps little Eliza on her lap, occasionally squeezes the little thing, in a manner that rather astonishes her, and obstinately refuses to have her mouth stuffed with cake to the extent the little one desires, — alleging, what the child rather wonders at, that she has got something better than cake, and does n't want it.
And, indeed, in two or three days, such a change has