tools of a public opinion that he created.
The grandest name beside his in the America
of our times is that of John Brown
stood on the platform that Garrison
built; and Mrs. Stowe
herself charmed an audience that he gathered for her, with words which he inspired, from a heart that he kindled.
Sitting at his feet were leaders born of the Liberator
, the guides of public sentiment.
I know whereof I affirm.
It was often a pleasant boast of Charles Sumner
that he read the Liberator
, two years before I did; and among the great men who followed his lead and held up his hands in Massachusetts
, where is the intellect, where is the heart that does not trace to this printer-boy the first pulse that bade him serve the slave?
For myself, no words can adequately tell the measureless debt I owe him, the moral and intellectual life he opened to me. I feel like the old Greek
who, taught himself by Socrates
, called his own scholars “the disciples of Socrates
This is only another instance added to the roll of the Washingtons and the Hampdens whose root is not ability, but character
; that influence which, like the great Master
's of Judea (humanly speaking), spreading through the centuries, testifies that the world suffers its grandest changes not by genius, but by the more potent control of character
. His was an earnestness that would take no denial, that consumed opposition in the intensity of its convictions, that knew nothing but right.
As friend after friend gathered slowly, one by one, to his side, in that very meeting of a dozen heroic men to form the New England
Antislavery Society, it was his compelling hand, his resolute unwillingness to temper or qualify the utterance, that finally dedicated that first organized movement to the doctrine of immediate emancipation.
He seems to have understood,--this boy without experience,--he seems to have understood by