previous next

Look how barbarous it is! Take a single instance. A young girl throws herself upon the bosom of a Northern boy who himself had shown mercy, and endeavors to save him from the Christian rifles of Virginia. They tore her off, and the pitiless bullet found its way to the brave, young heart. She stands upon the streets of that very town, and dares not avow the motive — glorious, humane instinct — that led her to throw herself on the bosom of the hapless boy! She bows to the despotism of her brutal State, and makes excuses for her humanity! That is the Christian Virginia of 1859. In 1608 an Indian girl flung herself before her father's tomahawk on the bosom of an English gentleman, and the Indian refrained from touching the English traveller whom his daughter's affection protected. Pocahontas lives to-day, the ideal beauty of Virginia, and her proudest names strive to trace their lineage to the brave Indian girl: that was Pagan Virginia, two centuries and a half ago. What has dragged her down from Pocahontas in 1608 to John Brown in 1859, when humanity is disgraceful, and despotism treads it out under its iron heel? Who revealed it?

One brave act of an old Puritan soul, that did not stop to ask what the majority thought, or what forms were, but acted. The revelation of despotism is the great lesson which the Puritan of one month ago has taught us. He has flung himself, under the instinct of a great idea, against the institutions beneath which we sit, and he says, practically, to the world, as the Puritan did: “If I am a felon, bury me with curses. I will trust to a future age to judge between you and me. Posterity will summon the State to judgment, and will admit my principle. I can wait.” Men say it is anarchy, that this right of the individual to sit in judgment cannot be trusted. It is the lesson of Puritanism. If the individual

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide Places (automatically extracted)

View a map of the most frequently mentioned places in this document.

Sort places alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a place to search for it in this document.
Puritan (Ohio, United States) (1)

Download Pleiades ancient places geospacial dataset for this text.

hide People (automatically extracted)
Sort people alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a person to search for him/her in this document.
Christian (1)
John Brown (1)
hide Dates (automatically extracted)
Sort dates alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a date to search for it in this document.
1859 AD (2)
1608 AD (2)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: