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Author Topic: A PLEA FOR CAPTAIN JOHN BROWN  (Read 560 times)
Superhero Member
Posts: 1663

« Reply #15 on: March 22, 2009, 04:46:46 pm »

But be sure you do die nevertheless. Do your work, and finish it. If
you know how to begin, you will know when to end.

  These men, in teaching us how to die, have at the same time taught
us how to live. If this man's acts and words do not create a
revival, it will be the severest possible satire on the acts and words
that do. It is the best news that America has ever heard. It has
already quickened the feeble pulse of the North, and infused more
and more generous blood into her veins and heart than any number of
years of what is called commercial and political prosperity could. How
many a man who was lately contemplating suicide has now something to
live for!

  One writer says that Brown's peculiar monomania made him to be
"dreaded by the Missourians as a supernatural being." Sure enough, a
hero in the midst of us cowards is always so dreaded. He is just
that thing. He shows himself superior to nature. He has a spark of
divinity in him.

                    "Unless above himself he can

        Erect himself, how poor a thing is man!"

  Newspaper editors argue also that it is a proof of his insanity that
he thought he was appointed to do this work which he did- that he
did not suspect himself for a moment! They talk as if it were
impossible that a man could be "divinely appointed" in these days to
do any work whatever; as if vows and religion were out of date as
connected with any man's daily work; as if the agent to abolish
slavery could only be somebody appointed by the President, or by
some political party. They talk as if a man's death were a failure,
and his continued life, be it of whatever character, were a success.

  When I reflect to what a cause this man devoted himself, and how
religiously, and then reflect to what cause his judges and all who
condemn him so angrily and fluently devote themselves, I see that they
are as far apart as the heavens and earth are asunder.

  The amount of it is, our "leading men" are a harmless kind of
folk, and they know well enough that they were not divinely appointed,
but elected by the votes of their party.

  Who is it whose safety requires that Captain Brown be hung? Is it
indispensable to any Northern man? Is there no resource but to cast
this man also to the Minotaur? If you do not wish it, say so
distinctly. While these things are being done, beauty stands veiled
and music is a screeching lie. Think of him- of his rare
qualities!- such a man as it takes ages to make, and ages to
understand; no mock hero, nor the representative of any party. A man
such as the sun may not rise upon again in this benighted land. To
whose making went the costliest material, the finest adamant; sent
to be the redeemer of those in captivity; and the only use to which
you can put him is to hang him at the end of a rope! You who pretend
to care for Christ crucified, consider what you are about to do to him
who offered himself to be the saviour of four millions of men.
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