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INTEREST in the subject of slavery has
during the present year been re-awakened by
an admirable book, in which its main features
as they exist in North Americaare
painted in the freshest colours. UNCLE TOM'S
CABIN with all its faults (and it is not free
from the fault of overstrained conclusions
and violent extremes) is a noble work; full
of high power, lofty humanity; the gentlest,
sweetest, and yet boldest, writing. Its
authoress, HARRIET BEECHER STOWE, is an
honour to the time that has produced her, and
will take her place among the best writers of
fiction, inspired by the best and noblest
purpose. Uncle Tom and Aunt Chloe, George
Harris, and the other negroes with whom
Mrs. Stowe has by this time made most of
us acquainted, are, no doubt, rare specimens
of slaves; but, the details of the slave system
among which they live have been carefully
collected, and are represented, bright or
black, fairly and with all due variety, so that
they may be generally accepted as remarkable
pictures of the every day truth. The
subject thus re-introduced is one that it
becomes all men to discuss, since the extinction
of slavery in America by any other than the
old process that has held good since the world
began, can take place only by the infection of
slaveholders with the epidemic of a very
prevalent opinion.

Slavery has at one time existed in most
countries, and from very many it has died out.
When population was much thinner than it
is, and there were few very spiritual notions
of the rights of man, prisoners of war, and even
the great bulk of conquered nations, were
considered acceptable importations upon any
soil that was too spacious to be managed by
its owners. As native populations grew, and
men and women came to cover their own
lands, they became less anxious to retain any
stranger within their gates, whom they would
have to feed for doing work that could be
done quite as well by the men born upon
their soil; in every such case, slavery has
languished and become extinct. In this
way, when the white population shall have
grown and come to press upon the borders
of the land, even though no higher motive
were to intervene and expedite the conclusion
of a moral wrong, slavery will become extinct
in the slaveholding states of North America.

In the meantime, though a full population
is incompatible with the continuance of
slavery, a thin one implies no demand for its
existence. It is no question in the present
day, we believe, with any man who speaks the
English language, whether slavery ought to
be abolished: the only question that awaits
solution now is, how to abolish it, and more
especially how it can be properly abolished in
the slave states of North America. A right
thing may be done in a wrong way; slaves
may be made wretched, as well as holders
ruined, by an act which, being only just and
merciful in its own essence, might be so done
as to become a gain and blessing to all men
whose lives are influenced by its effects.

It is but just to give credit to the slave-
holders of North America for having established
their system upon principles very much
more humane than those adopted by the
Spaniards in their neighbourhood. Negroes
under Spanish masters are urged to work
with an inhuman rigour; expense for their
food and clothing is deliberately kept down
to the lowest point; they are treated as tools
which it is good economy to wear out rapidly,
by putting them to the utmost use, and to
replace with new material as fast as they are
ground away. Under this system, administered
as it often is with cruelty beyond the
exigencies of its inhuman theory, the slaves
are tortured into frequent efforts to escape by
flight. Payment is then made to the slave
hunterthe ranchero of the districtas
distinct a professional man in Cuba as the parish
doctor here with us; arid the ranchero goes
a hunting with his dogs and gun after the
man who does not choose to be a chattel.

We have all heard of the Cuban dogs
trained to hunt men, and following
relentlessly upon the track of any fugitive whose
scent has been presented to them in a portion
of some article he may have worn. When
they have hunted down their prey, they do
not injure him, unless the black man should
dispute the dogs' superiority; the dogs,
hunting in couples, are trained quietly to
seize each an arm, and hold the slave
uninjured until the ranchero shall have come up
with his fetters. The fugitive, so caught,
rarely resists, for he knows that the dogs are