LETTER FROM DE GIRARDID.
freest of men drag after them, and even the strongest find it
difficult to break.
What I once believed, I believe no longer.
Of all the existing proofs that Liberty is to be conquered
or gained, not given, or dealt out by halves, the strongest
proof is that, in the United States, the freest of all countries,
the maintenance of Slavery is not made a question of time,
but of race. Now if the reasons there alleged for the per¬
petuating and the legalizing of Slavery are true, they will be
no less true a thousand years hence than to-day; if they are
false, they have no right to impose themselves for a day, for
an hour, for a moment. Error has no right against truth;
iniquity has no right against equity, for the same reason that
the dying have no right against death.
I hold, then, as false — incontestably and absolutely fai»C,—
all that blind self-interest and limping common-place are con¬
tinually repeating, in order to perpetuate and legalize Slavery
in the United States; just as I hold as false all that was said
and printed before 17S9, to perpetuate and legitimate serf¬
dom ; and all that is still said in Russia, in favor of the same
outrage of men against the nature of man. The slavery of
the blacks is the opprobrium of the whites. Thus every
wrong brings its own chastisement.
The punishment of the American people is to be the last
of the nations, while it is also the first. It is the first, by
that Liberty of which it has rolled back the limits, and it is
the last by that Slavery whose inconsistency it tolerates; for
there are no slaves without tyrants. What matter whether
the tyrant be regal or legal ?
Paris, (Office of La Presse,) 1855.