Thursday, September 13, 2012

Thomas Carlyle on the American Civil war

Of all else the remedy was easy in comparison; vitally important to every just man concerned in it; and, under all obstructions (which in the American case, begirt with frantic "Abolitionists," fire-breathing like the old Chimsera, were immense), was gradually getting itself done.
To me individually the Blacks' case was not the most pressing in the world, but among the least so! America, however, had got into Swamery upon it (not America's blame either, but in great part ours and that of the nonsense we sent over to them); and felt that in the Heavens or the Earth there was nothing so godlike, or incomparably pressing to be done. Their energy, their valour, their intelligence were worthy of the stock they sprang from:—and now, poor fellows, done it they have, with a witness. 
A continent of the earth has been submerged, for four years, by deluges as from the Pit of Hell; half a million (some say a whole million, but surely they exaggerate) of excellent White Men, full of gifts and faculty, have torn and slashed one another into horrid death, in a temporary humour, which will leave centuries of remembrance fierce enough: and three million absurd Blacks, men and brothers (of a sort), are completely "emancipated;" launched into the career of improvement,—likely to be 'improved' off the face of the earth in a generation or two! That is the dismal prediction to me, of the warmest enthusiast to their Cause whom I have known of American men, — who doesn't regret his great efforts either, in the great Cause now won, Cause incomparably the most important on Earth or in Heaven at this time. "Papae,papae"; wonderful indeed!

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