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Mr. Mitchel's commercial views.

among the most consistent philosophers at present engaged in the support and defence of Human Slavery, we must certainly rank that illustrious patriot, John Mitchel, the Irishman, who is at present grinding in the slaveholder's mill, and who will be transferred, [51] when his owners are ready, to the mill at Washington, in which the grinding will be worse and the pay proportionately better. Those who are not over-nice in their moral notions, who like to behold perversion perfect, and who find a fascination in the utter wreck of humanity, will be enraptured to learn that Mr. John Mitchel has reached the lowest depths of mental degradation, and is now about the most beautifully unpleasant person connected with the American press.

In his way — which is not a very fragrant way — he is now positively accomplished. We do not think that any future offenses of his can be ranker or smell higher than that which has now been committed. He is laudably ambitious to sink; but we believe that his ambition should, and in the nature of things must, now rest satisfied. When a man honestly believes — and, of course, Mr. John Mitchel is honest — in manstealing and man-selling, it is exceedingly creditable to him to have the moral courage to avow his belief promptly, plumply and plainly, without circumlocution or extenuation. “I am a villain,” said an Irish actor in a barn, with knit brow and general truculent physiognomy. “That's a fact!” exclaimed some admiring critic in the gallery. “You lie!” responded the indignant histrion.

But Mr. John Mitchel does not so answer, when his frankly avowal meets with a similar response. He puts on his sweetest smile, makes his bost bow, and blandly acknowledges that he is a villain — a traitor, and proud of his treason — a kidnapper, and proud of [52] his kidnapping. His brazen boldness is the most delicious thing of its kind which has ever come to our knowledge; except through the pages of Jonathan Wild the Great. He makes us think of the old Border Ruffian of Scotland, who “sae rantingly, sac dauntingly” danced round the gallows-tree. We are indebted to him in this prosaic time for a new sensation. A champion of Irish Emancipation transmogrified into “a nigger-driving Yankee,” and still yearning for new gangs and fresh niggers, is an object for any traveling menagerie, and cannot be gazed upon without awe, and other sensations too numerous and too peculiar to be mentioned.

We do not know that our readers will be at all surprised when they learn that this Irish patriot has plainly avowed himself the champion of the African Slave-trade. He is more Southern than the extremest Southern soldier of Slavery; and like most converts of the kind, he makes an ass of himself in avowing his conversion. Southern gentlemen who have heretofore deluded themselves into the belief that they were tolerably faithful to the Institution, are lectured with tremendous severity by this Irish brave, and are reminded by him, with more vigor than modesty, of their duties. They are told, in fact, that they lack “pluck,” which is, we suppose, the most mortal insult which can be offered to your genuine Southron; that until they come out boldly for piracy — that is for what the civilized world has agreed to consider as piracy — they are a set of wooden spoons, talking much, it is true, about chivalry, but without one particle [53] of chivalry in their composition. Such frankness is delightful to us; but the slave-mongers of the South, who have done their best to be bad, and have honorably struggled to be models of inhumanity, may think it a little unkind and altogether undeserved.

For our part, although South Carolina has small love for us, we will not stand calmly by and hear her thus slandered, without saying a good word in her defense. We say plainly to John Mitchel, that he does the slave-holder gross injustice. We do not believe that they lack a relish for piracy. On the contrary, we believe that they would engage in it with commendable alacrity, if they thought that it would pay expenses. They probably understand their own business quite as well as Mr. John Mitchel understands it; and if they are satisfied that a given course of action will not be profitable, they cannot be expected to engage in it simply to gratify him.

Mr. Mitchel propounds a theory of negro-importation in a gay, rollicking, humorous spirit, in which the blood-thirstiness of the thug is agreeably dashed with the overflowing humor of the Hibernian. He is especially funny about the king of Ashantee, who has a lot of “fine cheap fellows for sale,” and Mr. Mitchel proposes, in his light way, “to patronize the king of Ashantee.” He plants himself upon what he calls “the human-flesh platform,” and gloats and giggles over his horrible theories, as we may imagine the king of Dahomey dilating with rapture as he puts the last skull upon one of his amiable pyramids. Well is it to be merry and wise, but we suppose that we [54] must not blame this poor Exile of Erin for being merry, and otherwise. If a man must eat the bread of dependence, we will not grudge him the marmalade of merriment.

December 1, 1858.

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