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The writings of John Greenleaf Whittier, Volume 6. (ed. John Greenleaf Whittier), Old portraits and modern Sketches (search)
wrote his first satire, a humorous critique upon Richard Flecknoe, an English Jesuit and verse writer, whose lines on Silence Charles Lamb quotes in one of his Essays. It is supposed that he made his first acquaintance with Milton in Italy. At Paris he made the Abbot de Manihan the subject of another satire. The Abbot pretended to skill in the arts of magic, and used to prognosticate the fortunes of people from the character of their handwriting. At what period he returned from his travelsnned the flame of excitement, until the fury of demons possessed the misguided populace. To advocate emancipation, or defend those who did so, in New York, at that period, was like preaching democracy in Constantinople or religious toleration in Paris on the eve of St. Bartholomew. Law was prostrated in the dust; to be suspected of abolitionism was to incur a liability to an indefinite degree of insult and indignity; and the few and hunted friends of the slave who in those nights of terror la