scene with such fury that history becomes unintelligible.
In the years that intervened between the Kansas
troubles and the outbreak of the war, so many things happened at once that all issues and all feelings were telescoped together.
There followed the picturesque horrors and scenes of war-time; there followed the new patriotism, the new heroes, the New Legend-all of it so vivid, so drenched in grief, so glorified by honor, so informed with the meaning of a new heaven and a new earth, that the immediate past was belittled.
The Abolitionists thus passed straight from the odium of people preaching unpleasant truth to the odium of people proclaiming what everybody knows.
They have never had a heyday.
Their cause triumphed but not they themselves.
They still remain under a cloud in America
, and are regarded with some distrust by the historian and by the common man. I can scarcely find a man who sees in these early Abolitionists, as I do, the lamp and light of the whole after-coming epoch.
Perhaps our age is still too near to theirs to do it justice; and the mere flight of time may bring men to a truer perspective of the whole matter.