of imbecility. There are many calling themselves antislavery men who, because they are only “half-fledged” themselves, and have neither the strength nor the courage to soar, must needs flutter and scream because my spirit will not stoop in its flight heavenward, and come down to their filthy nest. It has gone, it is going upward, with a strong and steady wing, and it shall neither sink nor rest until it reach an eternal dwelling-place. To those who, with more labor than profit, and more captiousness than courage, in secret prepare, and anonymously send, grave indictments of my language, I will once for all remark, that they cannot possibly write their pieces with more complacency than I read them; that I am ever ready to publish any of their strictures; that I do not aim at the graces of composition; and that, so long as they only impeach my words, and acknowledge the soundness of my principles, I shall not be specially troubled in spirit, nor be induced to engage in a contest which must be confessedly a “wordy” one. To quarrel with my style is only to dispute my taste—and where is the standard of taste?—but to accuse me of holding corrupt and dangerous principles is a question of morality. My language may not be, and I am sure is not, always happily chosen; but let it be remembered that I usually and necessarily, as an editor, write in great haste, and cannot remodel and criticise ad libitum. Such errors, however, are trivial, to which every writer is liable. To carp at my composition, and yet confess the justness of my principles, as many do, is very much like sneering at the black man on account of his complexion, and yet conceding that he has all the marks and attributes of manhood. Fine and delicate phraseology may please the ear; but masculine truths are utterly divorced from effeminate words. and cannot be united without begetting a dwarfish progeny. This long episode, in the present review, is not without a pertinent application. It can easily be determined whether there is any sincerity or justness in the charge, so confidently and so incessantly made, that I am retarding the cause (i.e., the principles) of emancipation by my “hard language.” Of those who say that they like my principles, but object to my language, I would inquire, How do you know my principles but by my language? Now, every writer's style is his own—it may be smooth or rough, plain or obscure, simple or grand, feeble or strong—but principles are immutable. There are many able writers and advocates in the ranks of abolitionists, and they all
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