Hester Piozzi, from a
letter to Penelope Pennington, June 19, 1802
Though many artists and writers
supported the abolitionist movement, some
felt threatened by its attack on slavery.
Hester Lynch Thrale Piozzi (1741–1821),
who had been a close friend of Samuel Johnson,
protested the breakdown of social order that
she ascribed to the new emphasis on equality
and human rights.
Well! I am really haunted by black shadows.
Men of colour in the rank of gentlemen; a
black Lady, cover'd with finery, in the
Pit at the Opera, and tawny children playing
in the Squares, — the gardens of the
Squares I mean, — with their Nurses,
afford ample proofs of Hannah More and Mr.
Wilberforce's success towards breaking
down the wall of separation. Oh! how
it falls on every side! and spreads its tumbling
ruins on the world! leaving all ranks, all
customs, all colours, all religions jumbled
together, till like the old craters of
an exhausted volcano, Time closes and covers
with fallacious green each ancient breach
of distinction; preparing us for the moment
when we shall be made one fold under one
Shepherd, fulfilling the voice of prophecy.