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‘ [348] all the land, nor in all the world.’ Rush Plumly, whose antislavery zeal you know, heard him, and was startled at hearing him speak thus. Again, in his speech at the Banquet, the very explicitness and fulness with which he declared that he had not meddled and would not meddle with our domestic questions —meaning, as he declared, the slavery question—indicate that he is under an erroneous impression. In the same breath in which he disclaimed meddling, he said with marked emphasis (altering the quotation), ‘Indeed, I more and more perceive,1 in the words of Hamlet, there are more things in heaven and earth than were dreamed of in my philosophy.’

Now may it not be that he has got the impression that we are2 all actually engaged in abolishing slavery? The men in the Senate who speak most eloquently and in his behalf are reported to him as on the abolition side. He falls in with H. W. Beecher, a leading clergyman—anti-slavery; with Bryant, an eminent3 poet and editor.4 How can he escape the idea that we have really taken the matter in hand, and how can he doubt that a nation which must appear to him so young and vigorous, is equal to the correction of any abuse? Does he not hear the most sweeping declamation about Liberty? He is not yet an American Abolitionist; and, as E. Q. says, who but an5 American Abolitionist can know how hypocritical, and, I may add, to use E. Q.'s own word, how ‘snobbish’ we are?

You may rely upon it, my dear Mr. Garrison, his philosophy has never dreamed that a nation as free as we are—a nation that has put forth the Declaration of Independence—a nation so many of whose prominent men he hears are anti-slavery, is all the while hugging slavery as the essential and blessed element of its life, union, and prosperity. I believe that he is beginning to dream of this, and that it was some obscure dream of this sort that suggested the quotation from ‘Hamlet.’ I do not know what else he could mean. He does not yet know that it is American Slavery which controls American policy, that it is the commanding principle of the administration of our Government, at home and abroad. He will find it out, because this it is that will make the failure of his appeal to the Government inevitable.


1 Lib. 22.3, 13.

2 Lib. 22.13.

3 W. C. Bryant.

4 Bryant presided and Mr. Beecher said grace at a press dinner given to Kossuth in New York on Dec. 15 (Lib. 21: 206). Kossuth subsequently spoke at Plymouth Church, netting $10,000 for the Hungarian fund (ibid.). See Beecher's humorous invention in the Independent of a clerical committee visiting Kossuth at quarantine, and catechising him as to his views on slavery (Lib. 21.174).

5 E. Quincy.

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