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[369] entirely escape reproach.1 There are no eyes so sharp as the eyes of hatred; and now, for two long years, has General McClellan been watched and scanned by these, in hope to find some speck or flaw in his record; but vain has been the quest, fruitless the search. As a shield of steel dazzles and blinds the eye, so does the spotless purity of his character repel the envious and sinister glance. No slanderer, however base, no courtier, however fawning, has ever dared to accuse him of intemperance, licentiousness, rapacity, or profanity: nay, more, he has never been even suspected of them. No unscrupulous partisan sheet has ever insinuated or hinted at any such charges; no reckless platform-orator has ever suggested any thing of the kind; it has never been whispered round a camp-fire, or a dinner-table, or in a committee-room, a base Congressional mess, or a baser legislative lobby. The moral instincts of the American people are sound and good; and they have an instinctive and well-founded perception of General McClellan's moral worth which is proof against all the insinuations of malice, all the devices of calumny. The hold he has upon their hearts is due to their strong sense of his integrity, his sincerity, his disinterestedness, his loyalty to duty, his moral purity, his unspotted life; and it is a hold which cannot be lost or shaken.

1

I never knew a Warryer yet, but thee, From wine, tobacco, debts, dice, oaths, so free.

Thomas Carlton to Captain John Smith.

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George B. McClellan (2)
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