In "Uncle Tom's Cabin" Mrs. Stowe has shown her estimate of the social oppression and degradation which exists in Great Britain. If she does give us "Patrick's Shanty," we know very well that her sympathies will be on "Patrick's" side. But, if she does, what will be said of her by all those in this country who so angrily bid the English ladies "mind their own business," whenever they venture to speak of American slavery?
Patrick's lot is hard, and John Bull is a selfish old rascal in more than one respect.—But, after all, Patrick is not sold at auction, neither are his children; and, if he takes it in his head to wander away in search of a better lot, there are neither man-hunters, blood-hounds, not fugitive slave laws, to interfere with him. Therefore, it cannot be said, with justice, that there is any more need of telling the world the story of his wrongs, than of telling the story of "Uncle Tom." —We think there is need enough that the story of both should be told and repeated faithfully.
"Patrick's Shanty," like "Uncle Tom's Cabin," cries out against those who govern the country where it exists. Patrick has no political power. He cannot bestow offices, honors, and emoluments. He is unpopular. Those who venture to speak for him become unpopular and "lose caste." To become his friend is to get lost and outlawed in the "unhealthy organization." Politicians shun his cause, in Great Britain, almost as promptly and selfishly as politicians shun the cause of "Uncle Tom," in the United States. The honest friends of the two, in both countries, are the same.
What would selfish politicians in the United States care for "Patrick," if some "fugitive law" had prevented his coming here, or if he could not be transformed into a voter, after he gets here? Human nature is the same everywhere; and the feelings and influences which lead men to support oppression, operate by the same law, in all countries. Those in the United States who find it expedient and profitable to sneer at the cause of "Uncle Tom," would, in Great Britain, be quite as certain to sneer at the cause of "Patrick."—Commonwealth.