— Harriet Beecher Stowe
The Minister's Wooing (1859) Ch. 1 Pre-Railroad Times.
Contesto: He was called a good fellow, — only a little lumpish, — and as he was brave and faithful, he rose in time to be a shipmaster. But when came the business of making money, the aptitude for accumulating, George found himself distanced by many a one with not half his general powers. What shall a man do with a sublime tier of moral faculties, when the most profitable business out of his port is the slave-trade? So it was in Newport in those days. George's first voyage was on a slaver, and he wished himself dead many a time before it was over, — and ever after would talk like a man beside himself, if the subject was named. He declared that the gold made in it was distilled from human blood, from mothers' tears, from the agonies and dying groans of gasping, suffocating men and women, and that it would sear and blister the soul of him that touched it; in short, he talked as whole-souled, unpractical fellows are apt to talk about what respectable people sometimes do. Nobody had ever instructed him that a slaveship, with a procession of expectant sharks in its wake, is a missionary institution, by which closely. packed heathens are brought over to enjoy the light of the Gospel. So, though George was acknowledged to be a good fellow, and honest as the noon-mark on the kitchen floor, he let slip so many chances of making money as seriously to compromise his reputation among thriving folks. He was wastefully generous — insisted on treating every poor dog that came in his way, in any foreign port, as a brother — absolutely refused to be party in cheating or deceiving the heathen on any shore, or in skin of any color — and also took pains, as far as in him lay, to spoil any bargains which any of his subordinates founded on the ignorance or weakness of his fellow-men. So he made voyage after voyage, and gained only his wages and the reputation among his employers of an incorruptibly honest fellow.