RECEPTION OF MRS. BEECHER STOWE IN LONDON.
We have received the following graphic description of this ceremony from an eye-witness, whose authority may be implicitly relied upon, and who assures us that nothing like it has ever been seen in England, or will probably ever be seen again, unless the King of the Musquitos should accept the invitation of the ladies of Stafford House to pay them a visit.
Mrs. Beecher Stowe, who had, in compliment to the sympathies of the ladies of Stafford House, painted her face black, and put on a pair of black kid gloves, descended from the Liverpool cars, a few miles from London, where she was most enthusiastically received by the by the ladies of Stafford House, who saluted her with a most affectionate welcome, kissing her on both cheeks, whereby they got their lips a little soiled with lamp-black, which, however, was rather a fortunate circumstance, as the sympathies of all present were decidedly in favor of that color.
This ceremony being over, Mrs. Beecher Stowe was placed in a superb carriage, drawn by thirty-six horses, having the celebrated Frederick Douglas on her right, and the Right Hon. the Earl of Carlisle on her left, painted and dressed up to represent Uncle Tom, and carrying in his hand a superb copy of Uncle Tom's Cabin, edited by himself. Mrs. Beecher Stowewas delighted with his lordship's personification of Uncle Tom, and declared she could almost swear it was Uncle Tom himself, though she had never seen him. Mrs. Beecher Stowe, however, looked rather askew at Mr. Frederick Douglas, and showed a decided preference for Uncle Tom, which the ladies of Stafford House took notice of, and made amends to Mr. Frederick Douglas for the neglect of Mrs. Beecher Stowe, by redoubling their attention to Mr. Frederick Douglas. The Hon. Gerrit Smith, M. C., was said to be among the crowd; but, being a white man, escaped notice, and was cut by Mrs. Beecher Stowe, who, in fact, seemed entirely occupied by the Right Hon. editor, Uncle Tom.
Preliminary arrangements being made, which took up some time, the procession proceeded towards London in the following order:—
Mrs. Beecher Stowe's superb carriage, which it is whispered was furnished from a very high quarter, drawn by thirty-six horses, followed by the ladies of Stafford House, their faces covered with black crape, and their horses crowned with black nodding plumes, emblematic of mourning for the wrongs of Africa. Each lady carried a copy of Uncle Tom's Cabin, bound in calf, and superbly gilt, edited by the Right Hon. the Earl of Carlisle, alias Uncle Tom, in honor of Mrs. Beecher Stowe.
Immediately in the rear of the procession of carriages in honor of Mrs. Beecher Stowe, author of Uncle Tom's Cabin, edited
by the Right Hon. the Earl of Carlisle in honor of Mrs. Beecher Stowe, came a deputation from the colliers, who, being covered
with coal dust, it was supposed would be apt representatives of the American slaves. They were attended by their overseers,
who personated the "atrabilious tyrants and two-legged wolves of our
southern states," and were each armed with a cat-o'-nine-tails, with which they belabored the poor colliers, especially the little children, till they roared lustily, to the infinite delight of Mrs. Beecher Stowe and the noble ladies of Stafford House, who cried "Encore—let them roar once more," and took out their white pocket-handkerchiefs on the occasion. As this was the first time they had ever seen daylight, the poor colliers found great difficulty in keeping in the line of the procession in honor of Mrs. Beecher Stowe, until, by the bounty of the noble ladies of Stafford House, they were each furnished with a pair of green spectacles.
Next came a deputation of several hundred of the seamstresses of London, who, we are told by the London Times, the London Morning Chronicle, and other staunch advocates of the entire human race, are reduced to resort to street prostitution, to keep themselves from starving on the wages allowed them by those employed by the noble ladies of Stafford House, in making their chemises. These poor victims of British philanthropy looked very thin, pale, emaciated, and some half a dozen actually fainted by the way, from weakness occasioned by hard work and hard living. But the noble ladies of Stafford House turned away with horror and disgust from these naughty creatures; and Mrs. Beecher Stowe was very much affronted at being brought into such bad company. Some of the spectators, vast crowds of whom were gathered around, murmured their sympathy for these poor girls, whereupon the Right Hon. the Earl of Carlisle, editor of Uncle Tom's Cabin, read some passages from that work, to show how much better off they were than the African slaves in the United States, and they all cried out—"Liberty and old England for ever."
In the rear of these unfortunate spinsters, knitters, and seamstresses, came a large body selected from the hundred thousand freeborn Englishmen, who, the London Times, the London Morning Chronicle, and other sympathisers with the wrongs of Africa, tell us, rise in the morning, every day of their lives, without knowing where they are to get a morsel of bread. They looked very wretched, ragged, and dirty; and Mr. Frederick Douglas could not help obsevering to Mrs. Beecher Stowe, "that he never had seen any slaves in the States in such miserable condition." "Lord," said Mrs. Beecher Stowe, "who cares for their misery? Don't you see they are white people?" These representatives of the hundred thousand freeborn Englishmen begged of the noble ladies of Stafford House some small pittance to relieve their hunger, but were soon silenced by those great conservatives of English freedom, the policemen, who told them the noble ladies came there to honor Mrs. Beecher Stowe—not to bestow their charity on them. As the procession proceeded on slowly, we noticed, every now and then, some one or other of those hundred thousand freeborn Englishmen suddenly leave the ranks, to snatch an old cabbage leaf or potato paring, which they devoured with the greatest avidity. Whereupon Mrs. Beecher Stowe turned quite sick at the stomach, and thought to herself who much more enlightened and worthy of sympathy were the cannibals of Africa. But Uncle Tom, alias the Right Hon. the Earl of Carlisle, being used to these things, took no notice of them, and amused himself with looking over the preface to Uncle Tom's Cabin.
The next in order was a deputation from the women and children of the manufacturing operatives, who had put on their
best, for the honor of Mrs.
Beecher Stowe, but who, somehow or other, looked like vegetables that had grown up in cellars and root-houses, without the vivifying influence of the sun and air. Their complexions were a sort of mixture of blue and green—their eyes sunk in their heads—their stature deformed and diminutive; and, while the women looked as if they had never been young, the children looked as if they had always been old. A dead and senseless apathy, or rather, it might be said, an expression of utter hopelessness, coupled with an equal carelessness of the future, arising from that hopelessness, gave to their faces a more painful expression than any we had ever seen before; and we thought them even more worthy of emancipation than the twenty or thirty thousand poor seamstresses, or the hundred thousand half-starved freeborn Englishmen of London. We noticed, however, that Mrs. Beecher Stowe pointed out to the Right Hon. the Earl of Carlisle, editor of Uncle Tom's Cabin, one of these poor women who was a little hump-backed, leading a crippled child in each hand, and they had a hearty laugh together at the ludicrous trio, which, we think, was very ungracious, seeing they came to do honor to Mrs. Beecher Stow
In the rear of these melancholy examples of English freedom, came a band of representatives from the sister kingdom of Ireland, fugitives from their native land, whence they had been driven by having their hovels burnt over their heads, in order to expel them from their homes, like rats and vermin. A stranger who stood by us, contemplating this splendid demonstration in honor of Mrs. Beecher Stowe, on seeing these poor disinherited children of a fertile soil and genial air, thus plunged into ignorance and barbarity, and driven to distant climes, in search of that they could not find at home, said to us, with bitter emphasis, "I have been among the slaves of the United States—I have visited every country of Europe—I have seen the miserable barbarians of Patagonia, the negroes of Africa, the mongrel race of the Mosquitos, and the root-diggers of the desert of the great Salt Lake, but never did I behold the race of man reduced so low as in that country which is thus pretending to redress the wrongs of those very slaves, who at this moment are as much above the condition of those who are now passing before us, as the well-fed, well-lodged laborer in the United States is above the houselessl, starving beings, that flit along like spectres on their way to the land of souls, clothed in their worn-out winding sheets. Look," continued he—"look at that woman who pretends to sympathise so deeply in the sufferings of African slaves—look at her, the very personification of inflated vanity, who thinks these honors are paid to her superior talent, little dreaming that she is only the Punch of this puppet show, got up by Lord Palmerston and the Right Hon. representative of Uncle Tom, for purposes too deep for her shallow capacity to fathom."
The procession in honor of Mrs. Beecher Stowe was closed by a numerous deputation from one-sixth of the freeborn Englishmen,
who are either out-door paupers or denizens of poor houses, bearing a banner, with the device of three dried rats and an onion.
Though among the most miserable specimens of humanity we have ever seen, they seemed in high spirits, having learned from
Uncle Tom's Cabin, the statements of which were vouched for by the Right Hon. the Earl of Carlisle, editor, who was once a
great lion in the United States, as well as from the Manchester Guardian and other newspapers, that they were so much better
off than the slaves of America. They, however, looked like a pretty particular selection of vagrants; and Mr. Frederick
Douglas whispered to Mrs. Beecher Stowe, that even the free gentlemen of color in the United States would take the shine off of them. But Mrs. Beecher Stowe paid no attention to Mr. Frederick Douglas, being entirely preoccupied by the Right Hon. the Earl of Carlisle, editor of Uncle Tom's Cabin, and a lineal descendant of "Belted Will," the renowned moss-trooper, immortalized in the Lay of the Scottish Fiddle—we mean the Lay of the Last Minstrel.
On arriving at Hyde Park corner, Mrs. Beecher Stowe and the ladies of Stafford House separated from the deputies of the other classes of freeborn Englishmen, and proceeded to Stafford House, where a splendid entertainment was provided in honor of Mrs. Beecher Stowe, Mr. Frederick Douglas, and the Right Hon. Uncle Tom. The other members of the procession in honor of Mrs. Beecher Stowe, &c., proceeded to the Crystal Palace, where they partook of a sumptuous regale of cowheel and sheeps' trotters. Poor Gerrit Smith, M. C., was permitted to dine all alone at Dolly's Chop House, and poor Mr. Tappan received a dead cut from Mrs. Beecher Stowe and Mr. Frederick Douglas. And thus ended this triumphal entry of Mrs. Beecher Stowe into the great metropolis of the world.
We understand Mrs. Beecher Stowe has received pressing invitations from all the crowned heads of Europe, together with his Holiness the Pope, to pay them a visit, and bring Mr. Frederick Douglas and the Right Hon. Uncle Tom with her. But they say nothing of poor Gerrit Smith and Mr. Tappan. The Emperor of France, it is rumored, will get up an emeute, or conspiracy, and shoot down a few hundred red republicans in honor of Mrs. Beecher Stowe. The Emperor of Austria has intimated his intention of getting up a splendid spectacle, called "The Fall of Hungary," in honor of Mrs. Beecher Stowe. The Emperor of Russia is prepared to outdo even John Bull, by a procession of serfs, three hundred miles long, all eating raw turnips and cabbages. The great Padishah of Turkey intends, it is said, to use every effort to induce Mrs. Beecher Stowe to become the favorite sultana, understanding she has no particular attachment to the Mosaic law. And his Holiness the Pope intimates a design to make her a cardinal. Who knows but Mrs. Beecher Stowe may one day become a second Pope Joan?