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[314]

To Henry Egbert Benson, July 21, 1832:

Start, if you can, an auxiliary Anti-Slavery Society in1 Providence. And why may you not? There are at least friends Brewer, Chace, your brother and yourself, all seeing, thinking, acting alike. You need no more to begin with. Four men may revolutionize the world. Besides, the mere fact that such a society has been formed will help us here in Boston hugely.

To Samuel J. May, December 4, 1832:

Our cause goes on prosperously. Indeed, when I consider2 the brevity of the period in which we have been engaged, and the nature and number of the obstacles which towered in our path, I am surprised to observe the impression we have made upon the nation.

Our coadjutors in England are fighting most manfully, with spiritual weapons, against sin and cruelty. I have just received from them a large bundle of anti-slavery pamphlets, tracts, circulars, &c., the perusal of which is almost too much for my poor nerves. The British abolitionists waste no ammunition—every shot tells—they write in earnest—they call, as did old John Knox, a fig a fig, and a spade a spade. When I see what they are doing, and read what they write, I blush to think of my own past apathy, and mourn in view of my poverty of thought and language.

To Robert Purvis, December 10, 1832:

This is my twenty-eighth birthday!3 I am startled at the4 hurricane speed of time. My life seems to me to have been a blank. The older I grow, the less do I seem to accomplish. Days and weeks vanish like flashes of light upon a sombre sky, and seem to diminish to the duration of moments. I am twenty-eight! Infancy passed away unheedingly—passively; childhood in frolic and sports, in smiles and tears; boyhood in the school-room, and abroad in the fields, and in venturesome but forbidden excursions upon the river; youth in mechanical toil, assisted by dreams of future happiness and cheered by the phantom Hope; and now—what! has it come to this?—Yes, now I have struck deep into manhood! Well, then, manhood shall be my most serviceable stage; and, being so, the happiest of the whole!

1 Ms.

2 Ms.

3 See ante, p. 57.

4 Ms.

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