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[514] by an array of pertinent extracts from the Old and New Testaments. Then, after detailing the circumstances of the refusal of Faneuil Hall, three months before, by the city authorities, in response to the customary petition of citizens, for the needs of the New England Anti-Slavery Convention—as if the request were an ‘incendiary’ one, and the proposed use of the hall would pollute it—Mr. Garrison declared: ‘The cause of the bleeding slaves shall yet be pleaded in Faneuil Hall, in tones as thrilling, in language as stirring, in eloquence as irresistible, as were ever heard within its walls.’1 And his letter closed with lofty assurances of the ultimate and speedy triumph of the cause of freedom.

We need not try to imagine the effect of these letters (we pass over the second to Mr. Otis) on the eminent men to whom they were addressed, and who assuredly had never been publicly impeached before in such a manner. It is possible that the same ignorance of the Liberator's contents which had permitted Messrs. Sprague and Otis to libel the abolitionists, saved their dignity from being deeply wounded. To the editors of the city press, and to2 the public at large so far as the letters could reach them at first or second hand, there was something almost sacrilegious in Mr. Garrison's censure, particularly of Otis.3 An obscure young man, not yet thirty, whose name was

1 This prediction was recalled by its maker in Faneuil Hall itself when first opened by the city authorities to the abolitionists on Jan. 24, 1839; on which occasion ‘it was an affecting and thrilling sight to see the venerable Seth Sprague, of Duxbury, (father of Peleg Sprague of this city,) stand up in the very place where his son stood in 1835, advocating with all his soul a cause which that son had so strongly reprobated as detrimental to the Union, and repugnant to the spirit of the U. S. Constitution’ (Lib. 9.19, 25).

2 Boston Atlas, Oct. 22, 1835; Right and Wrong in Boston, 1836, (1) p. 57.

3 At the impeachment trial of Judge Prescott, April 26, 1821, Josiah Quincy, Jr., of the then graduating class at Harvard College, had on either side of him ‘personages of no less importance than President Kirkland and Harrison Gray Otis. This was much,’ he remarks, sixty years afterwards, ‘as if a student of Columbia College should find himself sitting between Secretary Evarts and Cardinal McCloskey on an occasion of great public interest. No, it would not be the same thing, after all; for none of the conspicuous men of to-day tower so majestically above the rest of the world as their predecessors seemed to rise above the smaller communities which were subject unto them’ ( “Figures of the past,” p. 47).

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