The Liberator
Boston: 4 September 1857

  BLUNDERING CRITICISM. In the last number of the Quarterly Review is a review of Mrs. Stowe's 'Dred,' in which the writer take upon himself to designate some of the magnificent imagery of the prophetic writing as 'nonsense.' It is at page 334 that the following passage occurs: 'In some of his (Dred's) rhapsodies, he crosses the narrow line separating the sublime from the ridiculous. In others he passes the broad one which separates sense from nonsense. What is the meaning of "the line of confusion and the stones of emptiness?" or of "the bow is quite naked, according to the oaths of the tribes?"' Readers of the Bible know that the first expression, so confidently pronounced 'nonsense,' is found in Isaiah xxxiv. 11:—'But the cormorant and the bittern shall possess it; the owl also and the raven shall dwell in it: and He shall stretch out upon it the line of confusion, and the stones of emptiness.' The other expression is borrowed from the poetry which constitutes the third chapter of the prophet Habakkuk, at the ninth verse:—'Thy bow was made quite naked, according to the oaths of the tribes, even thy word. Thou didst cleave the earth with rivers.'


  TEN YEARS IN THE PENITENTIARY FOR READING 'UNCLE TOM'S CABIN.' A Baltimore correspondent of Zion's Herald, whose veracity Dr. Haven vouches for, furnishes the following in a late letter from Baltimore to that paper:—

  'A colored man, of very considerable respectability for one living in a slaveholding community, was, a few days ago, in Cambridge, Dorchester County, Maryland, sentenced to ten years in the State Penitentiary. His name was Samuel Green. What was his crime? He was indicted, tried, and convicted for having "incendiary publications." When the officers of the law had their attention directed to poor Green's house, as one containing evidence of complicity with Abolitionists, and, when search was instituted, they found a copy of "Uncle Tom's Cabin" in his possession. It was not proved that he read it to any other colored people in the neighborhood; indeed, we do not know that he could read himself; yet, for having that book, he was torn from his family and consigned for ten years to prison! Is this the spirit of the laws of a Christian State? Yes, thus it is where slavery is mild and gentle! Where the fangs of the tiger are drawn, and the claws clipped so short that some of our preachers see nothing but beauty, and feel nothing but velvet, when they talk of slavery as it exists within the territorial limits of the Philadelphia Conference!'