By Harriet Beecher Stowe
At different times, doubt has been expressed whether the
scenes and characters pourtrayed in “Uncle Tom’s Cabin” con-
vey a fair representation of slavery as it at present exists. This
work, more, perhaps, than any other work of fiction that ever
was written, has been a collection and arrangement of real
incidents, of actions really performed, of words and expressions
really uttered, grouped together with reference to a general result,
in the same manner that the mosaic artist groups his frag-
ments of various stones into one general picture. His is a
mosaic of gems–this is a mosaic of facts.
Artistically considered, it might not be best to point out
in which quarry and from which region each fragment of the
mosaic picture had its origin; and it is equally unartistic to
disentangle the glittering web of fiction, and show out of what
real warp and woof it is woven, and with what real colouring
dyed. But the book had a purpose entirely transcending the
artistic one, and accordingly encounters at the hands of the
public demands not usually made on fictitious works. It is
treated as a reality–sifted, tried, and tested, as a reality; and
therefore as a reality it may be proper that it should be
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