money, together with their still more precious approval, he wrote:
‘Foes are on my right hand and on my left.
The tongue of1 detraction is busy against me. I have no communion with the world—the world none with me. The timid, the lukewarm, the base, affect to believe that my brains are disordered, and my words the ravings of a maniac.
Even many of my friends—they who have grown up with me from my childhood—are transformed into scoffers and enemies.’
Worse things were in store.
To his readers he says presently:
‘In attacking the system of slavery, I clearly foresaw all that2 has happened to me. I knew at the commencement that my motives would be impeached, my warnings ridiculed, my person persecuted, my sanity doubted, my life jeoparded; but the clank of the prisoner's chains broke upon my ear—it entered deeply into my soul—I looked up to Heaven for strength to sustain me in the perilous work of emancipation, and my resolution was taken.
Thanks be to God, that resolution grows loftier with time, and sinks its base deeper and broader as danger approximates.
The following letters infuse new blood into my veins.’
Two of these letters were anonymous, and fairly 3
illiterate; the first, from Princeton, N. J.
, perhaps written by a Southern student, being an incoherent stream of vulgar profanity, introduced by ‘You d——d scoundrel,’ and containing rather predictions than threats, as, ‘Hell is gaping for you!
the devil is feasting in anticipation!’
The second was signed ‘A Freeman,’ and purported to be written by a Washington slaveholder.
‘Your paper, sir,’ it began, ‘cannot be much longer tolerated. . . . Shame on the Freemen of Boston
for permitting such a vehicle of outrage and rebellion to spring into existence among them. . . . Don't understand me,’ he adds, with a superfluous reminder of the prevailing estimate, North as well as South, of the free people of color, ‘to mean by the term “freemen” yellow-skins or knotty heads—these I do not recognize as such, nor are they ’