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CHAPTER V.
Hasty was dying. She knew that it was to be so. For herself it was a release which she hailed gladly; but the thought of leaving her child rent her heart with anguish. She could see what the lot of that poor waif of childhood, cast upon the sea of Southern despotism, would be, and she longed to protect her from it. Yet what is a slave mother's protection to her child? What blow can she arrest? What temptation avert? None. Even a mother's claim is unrecognized, and the child's affection unregarded. Hasty's strength gradually declined until Sunday, when, feeling that death was near, she sent Fanny for Mrs. Jennings, for the purpose of bidding her farewell, and asking her protection for her daughter. Mrs. Jennings, on learning from Fanny the condition of Hasty, immediately complied with the request. On entering the room she was surprised and shocked at the ravages that mental and bodily suffering had made on the once handsome woman. Seating herself by the bedside, Mrs. Jennings inquired in what way she could ease the mind of the dying mother. With earnestness did Hasty plead that her child might be rescued from her present condition. She entreated Mrs. Jennings to buy Fanny from Mrs. Le Rue, and bring her up in the fear of God, and beyond the reach of a slave girl's perils.

All this Mrs. Jennings promised, and with many a word of comfort she smoothed the passing of the immortal spirit into the unknown country. She pointed to the Saviour, and told of his wondrous love, of the equality of all in his sight, and of the saving power of his grace extended to all, whether bond or free.

Just as the sun threw his last rays upon the spires of the city, Hasty's spirit was released, and she was free. Fanny gave herself up to a child's grief, and refused to be comforted. To the slave, the affections are the bright spots in his wilderness of sorrow and care; and as an Arab loves the oasis the better that it is in the midst of the desert, so the slave centers the whole strength of his nature in his loved ones, the more so that he is shut out from the hopes of wealth, the longings of ambition, and the excitements of a freeman's life.

Mrs. Jennings verified her promise to Hasty, and soon after her death purchased Fanny. But her whole soul revolted at a system which could cause the suffering she had seen; and in the course of a few months she prevailed upon her husband to close his business in St. Louis, and remove to Chicago, where she is an active worker among the anti-slavery women in that liberty-loving city. She has instilled the principles of freedom for all men into the minds of her children, and recently wrote the following verses for them on the occasion of the celebration of the Fourth of July:

    "Little children, when you see
      High your country's banner wave,
    Let your thoughts a moment be
      Turned in pity on the slave.

    "When with pride you count the stars,
      When your hearts grow strong and brave,
    Think with pity of the scars
      Borne in sorrow by the slave.

    "Not for him is freedom's sound;
      Not for him the banners wave;
    For, in hopeless bondage bound,
      Toils the sad and weary slave.

    "All things round of freedom ring—
      Winged birds and dashing wave;
    What are joyous sounds to him
      In his chains, a fettered slave?"


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