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MY DEAR FRIEND :- Though thousands of miles of angry ocean lie between us, I shall never forget you nor your “ Palatine Cottage.” Its quiet, unobtrusive beauty, nestled as it is among trees, and flowers, and singing birds, I have never seen surpassed. To me it is doubly dear from the fact, that when I was but a boy, (yet with a heart full of earnest aspirations for a reformed world,) it was a second home to me.
That sad, beautiful summer you nor I shall ever forget, nor will the dear ones of the “ cottage ” who watched me so tenderly when my brow burned with fever. I can see the exquisite sight from your windows even now, as I saw it then, and the fragrance of the flowers has crossed the Atlantic with me, and lingers round my heart still. So do the evenings rise up
before me when you gave me such graphic pictures of the English reformers. It was new and intensely interesting to me, especially as I was deeply sympathizing with several important reforms.
I am in my native land again; months, years have passed
away since I said farewell to you. While I write, my windows open out upon a landscape not so beautiful, but more grand than yours—upon more gorgeous though not sweeter flowers than those at Palatine! I am in a new world, where we have our own beauties and defects. Here—God knows how my heart aches to say it !—here we need reformers as well as you; here the sorrowful plaint of the bondman, and the wail of the drunkard's wife are heard. And so remembering your word-pictures of English agitators, I send you a few plain, honest portraitures of some of our American reformers of the present time. They do not by any means include all of our distin tinguished reformers. I am obliged to select, and have very likely sketched some persons not so distinguished as others I have not mentioned. With one exception, the subjects of these pen-portraits are living men. Rogers was so brilliant a man, was such an original, and was so intimately connected with our anti-slavery agitators, that I could not resist the temptation to speak of him in this volume. I have, in almost every instance, made extracts from the writings of the persons sketched, knowing that often wise quotation will give a better clue to character than pages of mere description. Begging that you will excuse the errors into which I
may have unintentionally fallen in this book, which was prepared for the people of this country, I am, always affectionately, yours,
DAVID W. BARTLETT.
HENRY WARD BEECHER.
HENRY WARD BEECHER is one of the most popular men in America, and at the same time he is one of our most radical reformers. He is the pulpit reformer—the man who thunders forth the most unpopular truths, every Sunday, from his pulpit, to an audience consisting not of independent country farmers, who have little temptation to do wrong, or young enthusiasts without prudence or position in societybut of sober, staid merchants, and their sons and daughters. No pulpit orator in this country is more fearless in his utterance of truth than Mr. Beecher ; yet he is loved and admired by his church and congregation. The reason is, that while he always insists upon being independent, he is at the same time manly and honest. His denunciations of oppression and oppressors do not proceed from a soured mind, but from a profound sympathy with the oppressed. It is at once evident to his hearers that he is agonizing over the wrongs of the poor; and in that frame of mind, with his great heart, it is impossible for him not to pour forth with astonishing power his convictions of right--his hot censures upon those who de.