anti-slavery gathering I ever saw. Thompson had been very ill in the country and was looking quite ghastly, fit for a sick bed, but spoke gloriously; and his presence was, in a great degree, the inspiration to the rest.
Add to that, Garrison in tears—the occasion—and the company scarred with many a struggle—and you will easily see that we should feel deeply, and, like all times of deep feeling, it should be mingled of mirth and profound emotion.
Such hours come rarely in life.
‘I give you joy,’ said Edmund Quincy
in his function of1
on this happy occasion of our assembling ourselves together. . . . It is often our lot to weep with those that weep.
It is our felicity to-night to rejoice with those that rejoice.
And who, I should like to know, have a better right to2 rejoice than the American abolitionists?
Who have a better right to look upon the world with eyes of joy and gratitude than they who are attempting to rescue the slave from his despair, and the country from its disgrace?
I hold that we, of all men and of all women in this broad land, are those who have a right to rejoice, and to thank God for the lot which he has appointed us. And although our usual course lies in different paths from this, although it is not often that we find ourselves assembling on a festive occasion like the present, I am sure that we are not of those who,
When God sends a cheerful hour, refrain!
To the temperate toast—“Success and prosperity to the good ship Liberator
in her new departure, and health and long life to the pilot who has weathered so many storms” Lib. 21.18.
—which was greeted with nine cheers, Mr. Garrison
Mr. President—friends of freedom and humanity:— 3 If I could only put myself out of the bill to-night—if I could only be reduced to utter forgetfulness—there would be no drawback in my enjoyment of the festivities of the occasion.
But this is a commemoration somewhat personal to myself; and although many have supposed that I have no objection to personalities, yet I do not like to be pointed at myself (in a case like the present), though I am rather apt to point at others.
The truth is, he who commences any reform which at last becomes one of transcendant importance and is crowned with victory, is always ill-judged and unfairly estimated.