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which had been specifically intrusted to something unusual was going to take their care and honor. As the great day place at the “big house " the next morndrew nearer, there was more singing in ing. There was little, if any, sleep that the slave quarters than usual. It was night. All was excitement and expectbolder, had more ring, and lasted later ancy. Early the next morning word was into the night. Most of the verses of the sent to all the slaves, old and young, to plantation songs had some reference to gather at the house. In company with freedom. True, they had sung those same my mother, brother, and sister, and a verses before, but they had been careful large number of other slaves, I went to to explain that the "freedom ” in these the master's house. All of our master's songs referred to the next world, and had family were either standing or seated on no connection with life in this world. the veranda of the house, where they Now they gradually threw off the mask, could see what was to take place and hear and were not afraid to let it be known what was said. There was a feeling of deep that the “ freedom” in their songs meant interest, or perhaps sadness, on their faces, freedom of the body in this world. The but not bitterness. As I now recall the night before the eventful day, word was impression they made upon me, they did sent to the slave quarters to the effect that not at the moment seem to be sad because of the loss of property, but rather because for himself. In a few hours the gre of parting with those whom they had questions with which the Anglo-Saxc reared and who were in many ways very race had been grappling for centurie close to them. The most distinct thing had been thrown upon these people to E that I now recall in connection with the solved. These were the questions of scene was that some man who seemed to home, a living, the rearing of childrei be a stranger, a United States officer, I education, citizenship, and the establis] presume, made a little speech and then ment and support of churches. Was read a rather long paper—the Emancipa- any wonder that within a few hours th tion Proclamation, I think. After the wild rejoicing ceased and a feeling reading we were told that we were all free, deep gloom seemed to pervade the slav and could go when and where we pleased. quarters ? To some it seemed that, no My mother, who was standing by my side, that they were in actual possession of i leaned over and kissed her children, while freedom was a more serious thing tha tears of joy ran down her cheeks. She they had expected to find it. Some of th explained to us what it all meant, that slaves were seventy or eighty years old this was the day for which she had been their best days were gone. They had n so long praying, but fearing that she would strength with which to earn a living in never live to see.
strange place and among strange people For some minutes there was great re- even if they had been sure where to fin joicing, and thanksgiving, and wild scenes a new place of abode. To this class th of ecstasy. But there was no feeling of problem seemed especially hard. Beside: bitterness. In fact, there was pity among deep down in their hearts there was the slaves for our former owners. The strange and peculiar attachment to “ol wild rejoicing on the part of the emanci- Marster” and “old Missus,” and to thei pated colored people lasted but for a brief children, which they found it hard to thin period, for I noticed that by the time they of breaking off. With these they ha returned to their cabins there was a change spent in some cases nearly a half-century in their feelings. The great responsibility and it was no light thing to think of par of being free, of having charge of them- ing. Gradually, one by one, stealthily a selves, of having to think and plan for first, the older slaves began to wande themselves and their children, seemed to from the slave quarters back to the “ bi take possession of them. It was very much house” to have a whispered conversa like suddenly turning a youth of ten or tion with their former owners as to th twelve years out into the world to provide future.
Booker T. Washington
By Paul Laurence Dunbar
[From the "New England Magazine "]
F you will take a bit of broadcloth, a never could there come to the land such bit of wood, a bit of marble, a strip of blessing as a merely natural sentiment
leather, a piece of iron, several frag- and process. No matter what dissensions, ments of paper and of bark, and samples owing to differences in blood, affiliations, of other substances in various sizes, and language, intelligence, ambitions, impulthen try to glue them all fast together into sive speech, we can imagine the l'nited one fabric for practical use, you have before States as possessing in the past, or present, you an excellent comparison with the pres- or future, no matter what similar different condition of the great Austro-Hunga- ences we can fancy as fighting against the rian political system. Homogeneity, like- unity and the future of any other great mindedness, the natural wish to cohere realm of our epoch, nothing equals the one part to another, a common national almost complete dissonance, the fierce aim, there is none, or next to none. But under-dissension, the effort at breaking
away from one common national govern- deserved affection, not by mere respect, ment, which Austria-Hungary is experienc- for one man. He is a lonely, sorrowful ing. It must experience it till something man, a ruler, not so much a strong one as occurs for the situation so much worse or an earnest one, whose whole life and soul so much better that we now cannot wisely are given to the business of trying to govbe prophetic. It has been so ever since, ern the ungovernable. I do not mean to by a most extraordinary succession of say that emphatic elements of practical events, the great kingdoms of Hungary, prudence, of sheer powerlessness to make Bohemia, and Galicia, and the long row of the first spring, and so on, do not enter once more or less independent if smaller into the situation of the quarreling Austrokingdoms, archduchies, principalities, Hungarian peoples. But it is certain that, marquisates and lordships, and so on, at any individual risks, the Empire would all slipped into the ownership of a little long ago have gone to pieces in blood and archduchy, Austria, which henceforth was territorial loss had not Francis Joseph to dominate almost all of their far more come to be regarded as a prince to be royal and imposing existences. The way spared all possible new trials, as a true in which Austria has become the “head father of the people, a man already so of the family"--a sadly quarreling and afflicted in his personal life, and a ruler of ill-tempered family-reminds one of noth- such unwearied effort for the common ing so much as the way in which a “pocket” weal, that he must be saved anxiety and on a billiard-table catches ball after ball grief, at any political sacrifice. rolling into it, and quietly keeps them, of The political story of Franz Joseph whatever color or value they might be. is an exceptional one, and only an altoIn they drop; and, helpless, there they gether exceptional man, physically and stay, willing or unwilling. Every variety mentally and morally, ever could have of racial temperament and soil and indus- lived to be seventy years of age after such try, eight absolutely different languages, a regnancy. Canute
nd the sea-waves with nearly fifty dialects, year by year are furnishes the nearest apologue for such a to be met in the Austro-Hungarian realm. case as was his from the start. One prede Its Emperor-to begin with, the name cessor had abdicated the throne; another “ Empire" is a misnomer when in partic- one had resigned his rights and was inular connection with the mere Archduchy valid. After a most careful " home" eduof Austria--its Emperor is King of nine cation, Francis Joseph came to his throne kingdoms, including the recognized and suddenly, a boy of eighteen years. He most vital one, Hungary.
mounted it in the middle of revolution at Now, we are not living in a particularly home and of wars abroad. He was utterly sentimental age. In politics there is not hateful, as a hereditary successor, to most overmuch place for sentiment as a main of the very people who love him best factor. But it is not too much to say that to-day! His nearest relatives were dead the cohesion garment of cloth, stone, or of no aid as counselors. His youthful leather, iron, and so on, above figured, the days and nights were, as Emperor, not of holding together of this restlessnd em- pleasure and repose, but of anxiety and bittered collection of sovereignties, is due regret. Vienna itself was a revolutionin a most extraordinary degree to one old spot; Hungary, which to-day is the greatfactor-love. It is the love for the Em- est jewel of the Imperial succession, and peror, the passionate affection of millions devoted to its crowned - King Ferencz of warring hearts for a good old man. Joseph ” (you must not talk of any “ EmThis condition of the popular mind in peror of Austria” when across the Leith), Austria-Hungary is not appreciated as would have none of him. Such was the fully outside of the Empire as it might be; first political outlook of the young Emperor. any more than do foreigners in general And, for a long time, bad counsels and realize how the different States under the unwise action by the ministry about the gentle scepter of Franz Joseph are jeal- boy, and fierce civil wars, made bad matous of each other, hate each other, hate ters worse. But, somehow, things hung Austria as a political usurper, long to be together. And, just in proportion to free of each other, come what will. Aus- Franz Joseph's development in years and tria-Hungary to-day hangs together by the quiet force of character, the nations under