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[245] supporters a very few insignificant persons of all colors.1 This information, with the consent of the aldermen, I communicated to the above-named governors, with an assurance of my belief that the new fanaticism had not made, nor was likely to make, proselytes among the respectable classes of our people. In this, however, I was mistaken.

Although Mayor Otis was lawyer enough to write his brother lawyer in South Carolina: ‘You must perceive the intrinsic, if not insuperable, obstacles to legislative enactments made to prevent crimes from being consummated beyond the local jurisdiction,’ he did not refuse to help lay a possible ‘foundation’ for some kind of Federal or inter-State action. The prying visit of his officers needed a pretext, and under the head of ‘Information Wanted’ we read in the Liberator of October 29:2

1 This passage inspired Lowell's elevated poem to W. L. Garrison:

In a small chamber, friendless and unseen,
     Toiled o'er his types one poor, unlearned young man;
The place was dark, unfurnitured, and mean:—
     Yet there the freedom of a race began.

Help came but slowly; surely no man yet
     Put lever to the heavy world with less:
What need of help? He knew how types were set,
     He had a dauntless spirit, and a press.

Such earnest natures are the fiery pith,
     The compact nucleus, round which systems grow!
Mass after mass becomes inspired therewith,
     And whirls impregnate with the central glow.

O Truth! O Freedom! how are ye still born
     In the rude stable, in the manger nursed!
What humble hands unbar those gates of morn
     Through which the splendors of the New Day burst!

What! shall one monk, scarce known beyond his cell,
     Front Rome's far-reaching bolts, and scorn her frown?
Brave Luther answered Yes!—that thunder's swell
     Rocked Europe, and discharmed the triple crown.

“Whatever can be known of earth, we know,”
     Sneered Europe's wise men, in their snail-shells curled;
No! said one man in Genoa, and that No
     Out of the dark created this New World.

Who is it will not dare himself to trust?
     Who is it hath not strength to stand alone?
Who is it thwarts and bilks the inward must?
     He and his works, like sand, from earth are blown.

Men of a thousand shifts and wiles, look here!
     See one straightforward conscience put in pawn
To win a world! See the obedient sphere
     By bravery's simple gravitation drawn!

Shall we not heed the lesson taught of old
     And by the Present's lips repeated still.
In our own single manhood to be bold,
     Fortressed in conscience and impregnable will?

We stride the river daily at its spring,
     Nor, in our childish thoughtlessness, foresee
What myriad vassal streams shall tribute bring.
     How like an equal it shall greet the sea.

O small beginnings, ye are great and strong,
     Based on a faithful heart and weariless brain!
Ye build the future fair, ye conquer wrong,
     Ye earn the crown, and wear it not in vain!


2 Lib. 1.175.

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