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‘ [12] age, there can be no peace that is not honorable; there can be no war that is not dishonorable.’ We shall give no space here to any part of that oration, since other speeches on the same subject were elicited by subsequent occasions, when his prophecies were fast becoming history, by the anticipations of war with Mexico being turned into the most active hostilities. But a careful reading of that oration, which marked Mr. Sumner's first appearance before the country as a public man, will satisfy any student of his Speeches, that on this Fourth of July, 1844, he gave clear indications of the policy he was to pursue in future life. Nor could a prophet have marked out with greater clearness, than the historian could afterwards, the course Mr. Sumner would take in whatever crisis might arise, involving the fortunes of freedom, or of peace, in the coming struggles of parties.

Another point should here be observed, for it gave an index to his character which distinguished him ever afterwards from nearly all the prominent men who were to flourish during the approaching times of excitement and trouble. We speak of his inflexibility of purpose; his steady persistence in opposing at any and at all hazards, whatever he believed to be morally, socially, or politically wrong,—his absolute insensibility to opposition or criticism, come from what quarter they might; and the admirable and absolutely unparalleled steadiness with which he pursued the great objects of his life.

He then began to experience, what he had so many occasions to encounter—the criticisms of his friends, as well as the assaults of his enemies; the one scarcely exceeding in bitterness the cold reproofs, or only halfconcealed

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July 4th, 1844 AD (2)
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