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[498] he shall have kindled a conflagration which is sweeping in desolation over the land, he has only to embark for his own country, and there look serenely back with indifference or exultation upon the wide-spread ruin by which our, cities are wrapt in flames, and our garments rolled in blood. . . . If the storm comes, we must abide its pelting; if convulsions come, we must be in the midst of them. To us, then, it belongs to judge of the exigencies of our own condition, to provide for our own safety, and perform our own duties without the audacious interference of foreign emissaries.

Such incendiary language, whatever its motive, could have but one logical effect in a community so overwrought as that of Boston. When the orator, in conclusion, bade the philanthropist go back to England, and see if he would be safe in denouncing the wrongs of Ireland and of India;1 and declared that Christ did not denounce Roman slavery in his native country, and was no immediate abolitionist (‘No, his precept was, “Servants [slaves], obey your masters,” ’), but allowed his religion to work changes in the condition of mankind by degrees, he had enumerated nearly all of the stock arguments against emancipation which were available in the next twenty-five years of moral conflict.

Harrison Gray Otis, who followed Peleg Sprague, was, like him, an eminent lawyer and ex-Senator of the United2 States, and more recently mayor of Boston, where few names, personal or family,3 were held in greater honor. He was a consummate orator, and his speech on this occasion was more measured and less violent than his colleague's, but even better calculated to make ‘society’ tolerate mob violence against the abolitionists. He began by affirming that to debate the expediency of abolishing4 slavery was the same as to debate that of abolishing the Union—a truism which in time Mr. Garrison acknowledged by making disunion a policy. Fresh from his first

1 It will appear hereafter how much Mr. Thompson's Indian labors in the meantime reconciled the Spragues to him on his second visit to America, in 1851.

2 1817-22.

3 He was a nephew of James Otis, of Revolutionary fame.

4 Lib. 5.144.

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