Mrs. Johnson

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Howells, William Dean “Mrs. Johnson”, RelRace, item créé par Baptiste Bonnefoy, dernier accès le 24 June 2024.
Contributeur Baptiste Bonnefoy
Sujet La malédiction de Guéhazi
Auteur William Dean Howells
Date 1868
Éditeur Boston : The Atlantic Monthly, .), Vol. 21, No. 123, Janvier 1868, p. 97-106
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I am loath to confess that Mrs. Johnson had not a flattering opinion of the Caucasian race in all respects. In fact, she had very good philosophical and Scriptural reasons for looking upon us as an upstart people of new blood, who had come into their whiteness by no creditable or pleasant process.

The late Mr. Johnson, who died in the West Indies, whither he voyaged for his health in quality of cook upon a Down-East schooner, was a man of letters, and had written a book to show the superiority of the black over the white branches of the human family.

In this he held that, as all islands have been at their discovery found peopled by blacks, we must needs believe that humanity was first created of that color. Mrs Johnson could not show us her husband’s work (a sole copy in the library of a English gentleman at Port-au-Prince is not to be bought for money) but she often developed its arguments to the lady of the house; and one day, with a great show of reluctance, and many protests that no personal slight was meant, [she] let fall the fact that Mr. Johnson believed the white race descended from Gehazi the leper, upon whom the leprosy of Naaman fell when the latter returned by Divine favor to his original blackness. “And he went out from his presence a leper as white as snow”, said Mrs. Johnson, quoting irrefutable Scripture. “Leprosy, leprosy,” she added thoughtfully, “noting but leprosy bleached you out” (p. 24-25).