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[34]

Chapter 3: the figure

The essential quality of all this old society was that it was cold. In the last analysis,after the historical and constitutional questions have been patiently analyzed, after economics and sociology have had their say,the trouble with the American of 1830 was that he had a cold heart. Cruelty, lust, business interest, remoteness from European influence had led to the establishment of an unfeeling civilization. The essential quality of Garrison is that he is hot. This must be borne in mind at every moment as the chief and real quality of Garrison. Disregard the arguments; sink every intellectual conception, every bit of logic and of analysis, and look upon the age:--you see a cold age. Look upon Garrison:--you see a hot coal of fire. He plunges through the icy atmosphere like a burning meteorite from another planet.

There is a second contrast. The age was conciliatory: Garrison is aggressive. These

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