What is thus true of England
, is true in a less degree of the rest of Europe
Now, it is to such a nation as this that Kossuth
comes, -a nation sensitive to a fault, servile to the last degree; catching, with a watchful interest, the first breath of foreign criticism; hugging to its bosom with delight any eulogy that falls from the lips of noted men on the other side of the water.
Is there anything peculiar and to be remarked in the state of public affairs at the time of his visit?
Yes; he comes precisely at the moment when one absorbing question has banished all others from the nation's mind.
The great classes and interests of society crash and jostle against each other like mighty vessels in a storm.
The slave question having, like Aaron's rod, devoured all other political issues, claims and keeps the undivided attention of excited millions.
The lips of every public man are anxiously watched, and his lightest word scanned with relentless scrutiny.
Pulpit and forum are both busy in the discussion of the profoundest questions as to the relations of the citizen to the law, and the real value and strength of our institutions.
For the first time, some men have begun to doubt whether they are compatible with free speech and Christianity; while men, called statesmen, either emboldened by success, or hardened by desperate ambition, have been found ready openly to declare that the Union
is possible only on condition that the sons of the Pilgrims consent to hunt the slaves, and smother those instincts which have made the poets of all ages love to linger round the dungeon of the patriot and the stake of the martyr,with Tell and Wallace
, with Lafayette
and Silvio Pellico
, with Charles Stuart
hunted by the soldiery of Cromwell
, and the Covenanter shot by that same Charles Stuart
at his cottage door.
lands on a shore where humanity is illegal,