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[449] till between 11 and 12 o'clock. The first half hour was spent in an amicable and argumentative discussion, respecting the duty of immediate emancipation. Brother Phelps left me to manage the case, only now and then thrusting in a keen, pithy and pertinent remark. Mr. B., I am sorry to say, soon lost his temper, and overwhelmed us poor abolitionists with a tempest of epithets. His nervous system is extremely sensitive, and when it is excited he almost becomes frantic. His language towards me was really abusive, and unworthy of a Christian minister. Notwithstanding the provocations which he gave me, I endeavored—and I trust not without success—to preserve my equanimity. I said to him— “Mr. Breckinridge, we are both aware that the best men in our land are divided on the question of African colonization, and they need and are calling for more light. They wish to hear both sides of the question. Will you discuss it with me before the citizens of Boston?” “No,” said he, “I do not consider you my equal. You are too debased and degraded in community for me, occupying the station that I do, to hold a controversy with you.” “This,” I replied, “is a convenient mode of escape. Will you encounter my brother Phelps?” “No.” “Will you discuss the question with any abolitionist?” “No.” He was much excited when we separated, and intimated that he did not desire to have me call upon him again. I went home lamenting that our interview had not been more placid, but feeling no unkindness, but rather much pity, toward him. I fell down on my knees, and besought the Lord to forgive him for all his accusations against me, to open his eyes if he were in error, and to grant that no ill — will should be left to rankle in our hearts. I also earnestly besought forgiveness for myself, if I had said or done aught amiss. My mind was very tranquil.

The meeting was finally held in the lower hall of the1 Masonic Temple, in spite of direct incitement to violence by the press and by means of placards.2 Mr. Garrison was present, and, during the slight interruptions which ensued, besought the chairman, Horace Mann, to do3 his duty by the disturbers; though for his own part he regarded the Rev. John Breckinridge's speech as ‘ferocious ’

1 Lib. 4.123.

2 In his debate with George Thompson in Glasgow, in June, 1836, Mr. Breckinridge accused Mr. Garrison of having concocted and printed a mobbing placard (Lib. 6.135).

3 Lib. 4.127.

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