Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 36.djvu/351

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335
Brilliant Eulogy on General W. H. Payne.

not assumed, but real, still addressed as "Mistis" the venerable lady of the manor, who, like another queen, might have celebrated her reign of three score years over a loyalty which had never wavered, never faltered. A higher force had so far counteracted the lower as to convert the lower into sympathy with the higher. How does the higher accomplish this? By taking merit from the lower? No: but by imparting merit to the lower. The higher is such, not by what is taken, but by what is given. The slaves had been taught in the school and out of the book of good example. They were pupils of the "old masters."' From them the slave had acquired that which is the secret of all growth; the trait of truly perceiving and then of truly revering a higher than himself. They had been taught the military lesson of well-disciplined duty; and taught so well that, when the master was fighting in the field, fidelity to discipline, devotion to duty, were unabated. Mrs. Morse Earle, herself a descendant of the pilgrims, writing of Boston at a time when this humane city was still a slave mart, says: "Negro children were advertised to be sold by the pound as other merchandise,"' citing proof. "We have," she adds, "a few records of worthy black servants who remind us of the faithful black house servants of old Southern families." "These are the men," said Wilson, of Massachusetts, of the freedmen after the war, "who have been elevated from chattelhood to manhood." Yes, but it was Massachusetts which sold them into chattelhood "by the pound." Virginia and her Southern sisters had elevated them to what Wilson esteemed "manhood." Not by Wilson, nor by them for whom he spoke, had the blind received sight. "Property in man," you say. Well, at least it was property impressed with a trust; a trust which the vendor would not perform but which the vendee did perform so admirably as to raise "chattelhood" to manhood. The social problem is to make authority that of real highest over real lowest. To this the name of slavery may be given. The reality of slavery is government of the highest over real lowest. To this they forced upon the South in the name of liberty. Of all the crimes committed in that name none surpass this. It said to the slave: "Be free;" to the free: "Be slave." The philanthropy which emancipates to corrupt imposes a far more deadly yoke than the one it assumes to break. The dogma that all men are born, or are by nature,