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[125] though I have been repeatedly warned since I first came to the city in 1826, yet never, until now, have I been called upon to pay a fine, or to give any reasons for my non-appearance; and I therefore concluded that I should again be let alone.

I told the fellow the circumstances of the case—that I had never trained—that my sight had always excused me—and that, in fine, I should not pay his bill. He wished me a ‘good morning,’ and in the course of the day sent a writ by the hands of a constable, charging me to appear at the Police Court on the 4th of July, and shew cause why I refused to pay the fine! Of course, there is no alternative but to ‘shell out,’ or to fee a lawyer to get me clear, which would be no saving in expense.

The writ and fine will be $5 or $6. I have not a farthing by me, and I shall need a trifle for the 4th. Can you make it convenient to loan me $8, for two or three weeks? I am pained to make this request, but my present dilemma is unpleasant.1

My address, for the Fourth, is almost completed; and, on the whole, I am tolerably well satisfied with the composition. The delivery will occupy me, probably, a little over an hour—too long, to be sure, for the patience of the audience, but not for the subject. I cannot condense it. Its complexion is sombre, and its animadversions severe. I think it will offend some, though not reasonably. The assembly bids fair to be overwhelming. My very knees knock together at the thought of speaking before so large a concourse. What, then, will be my feelings in the pulpit?

The public expectation, I find, is great. I am certain it will be disappointed; but I shall do my best. You shall know the result.

Rev. Mr. Pierpont honored me with a visit a few days since. He is an accomplished man, and his friendship worth cultivating. He has promised to give [me] an original ode for that day; and says he shall take a seat in some corner of Parkstreet

1 Mr. Garrison also gave an account of this experience in the Genius of Universal Emancipation of Sept. 16, 1829 (p. 14), with the following declaration of principles: ‘I am not professedly a Quaker; but I heartily, entirely and practically embrace the doctrine of non-resistance, and am conscientiously opposed to all military exhibitions. I now solemnly declare that I will never obey any order to bear arms, but rather cheerfully suffer imprisonment and persecution. What is the design of militia musters? To make men skilful murderers. I cannot consent to become a pupil in this sanguinary school.’

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