with the Lacedaemonians, “Be to Hungary
The time was when even he claimed more, when he could proclaim that the cause of liberty was one the world over.
That whoever struck a blow for justice and humanity anywhere, helped the oppressed the wide world through; while he who gave comfort to tyrants was the foe of all peoples.
We felt that that lightning which melted the chain of the Hungarian
serf, flashed a glad light into every hovel of the Carolinas; and that the blow which Garrison
was striking on the gates of the American Bastile
, lent strength to hosts that battled on the banks of the Danube
So thought Kossuth
once; but is it possible that his conviction was no manly faith, but only a fairy spell which legends tell us a running stream always dissolves, and that the waves of the Atlantic
have washed it out, and flung him upon our shores a mere Hungarian exile,--instead of one of those great spirits with which God at rare intervals blesses the ages, with hearts so large that for them the world is their country, and every man, especially every oppressed man, is a brother?
Men say, “Why criticise Kossuth
, when you have every reason to believe that, in his heart, he sympathizes with you?”
Just for that reason we criticise him; because he endorses the great American lie, that to save or benefit one class, a man may righteously sacrifice the rights of another.
Because, while the American
world knows him to be a hater of slavery, they see him silent on that question, hear him eulogize a nation of slave-holders, to carry his point.
What greater wrong can he do the slave than thus to strengthen his foes in their own good opinion of themselves, and weaken, by his example, that public rebuke to which alone the negro can trust for ultimate redemption?
He whom tyrants hated on the other side the ocean, is the