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LIFE AND TIMES OF FREDERICK DOUGLASS 189

because I think what I say will have much effect in shaping the opinions of
the world, but because what influence I may possess, whether little or much,
I wish to go in the right direction, and according to truth. I hardly need say
that in speaking of Ireland, I shall be influenced by no prejudices in favor of
America. I think my circumstances all forbid that, I have no end to serve, no
creed to uphold, no government to defend; and as to nation, I belong to none.
I have no protection at home, or resting-place abroad. The land of my birth
welcomes me to her shores only as a slave, and spurns with contempt the
idea of treating me differently; so that I am an outcast from the society of
my childhood, and an outlaw in the land of my birth. 'I am a stranger with
thee and a sojourner, as all my fathers were. That men should be patriotic,
is to me perfectly natural; and as a philosophical fact, I am able to give it an
intellectual recognition. But no further can I go. If ever I had any patriotism,
or any capacity ltn the feeling, it was whipped out of me long since by the
lash of the American soul-drivers. In thinking of America, I sometimes find
myself admiring her bright blue sky, her grand old woods, her fertile fields,
her beautiful rivers, her mighty lakes, and star-crowned mountains. But my
rapture is soon checked — my joy is soon turned to mourning. When I
remember that all is cursed with the infernal spirit of slaveholding, robbery,
and wrong; when I remember that with the waters of her noblest rivers, the
tears of my brethren are borne to the ocean, disregarded and forgotten, and
that her most fertile fields drink daily of the warm, blood of my outraged
sisters. I am filled with unutterable loathing, and led to reproach myself that
anything could fall from my lips in praise of such a land. America will not
allow her children to love her. She seems bent on compelling those who
would be her warmest friends, to be her worst enemies. May God give her
repentance before it is too late, is the ardent prayer of my heart. I will continue
to pray, labor, and wait, believing that she cannot always be insensible
to the dictates of justice, or deaf to the voice of humanity. My opportunities
for learning the character and condition of the people of this land have been
very great. I have traveled from the Hill of Howth to the Giant's Causeway,
and from the Giant's Causeway to Cape Clear. During these travels I have
met with much in the character and condition of the people to approve, and
much to condemn; much that has thrilled me with pleasure, and much that
has filled me with pain. I will not, in this letter, attempt to give any description
of those scenes which give me pain. This I will do hereafter. I have said
enough, and more than your subscribers will be disposed to read at one time,
of the bright side of the picture. I can truly say I have spent some of the happiest
days of my life since landing in this country. I seem to have undergone

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