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Southern Historical Society Papers, Volume 32. (ed. Reverend J. William Jones), chapter 1.50 (search)
e ranks of the most extreme radical party, who would dare import such a discussion into the case. Thaddeus Stevens could shock the moral sense of mankind by demanding the penitentiary of hell for millions of his fellow-countrymen; but even Thaddeus Stevens, we prefer to think, would shrink from condensing that vast and inclusive anathema into the practical, downright torture of a single human being. When Lafayette was suffering the extremes of cruelty in the Austrian dungeons of Olmutz, Edmund Burke, transported by a blind rage against the French revolution, could respond to an appeal in behalf of the injured and high-souled victim by exclaiming in his place in Parliament: I would not debase my humanity by supporting an application in behalf of such a horrid ruffian. But is it for a moment to be supposed that the most fanatical member of an American Congress, which assumes to itself a special philanthropy and sits in the year 1866, can be found to imitate the savage bigotry of an ex