I am happy to be with4 you on this occasion. Whatever may be our peculiar views as to the best measures to be adopted, or the precise position to be occupied, one thing is true here—we are all “Hale fellows' (enthusiastic applause); and, what is better still, ” Hale fellows well met. “ (Continued cheers.) It is not often that antislavery men are in a majority. (Applause.) I believe we have it all our own way here this evening. It is not possible that there can be a single pro-slavery man or woman in this vast assembly; and I will prove it. Allow me to put it to vote. As many here as are in favor of the immediate and everlasting overthrow of slavery, will please to say Aye! (An almost universal shout of affirmation went up.) As many as are opposed to the abolition of slavery, will say No! (A few voices replied ” No!—evidently through a misconception of the speaker's remarks.) Sir, it is as I thought it would be—the Ayes have it! (Cheers and laughter.) And I hold that those who answered in the negative are bound, by their own rule of action, to come over to our side and make the vote unanimous; for pro-slavery in our country always is looking to majorities, and to be on the popular side. (Laughter and cheers.) . . . Sir, you will pardon me for the reference. I have heard something here about our Union, about the value of the Union, and the importance of preserving the Union. Gentlemen, if you have been so fortunate as to find a Union worth preserving, I heartily congratulate you. Cling to it with all your souls! For
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3 The first meeting of Garrison and C. M. Clay, whenever it took place, was not as early as 1844, as the latter records in his Autobiography (1: 99; see Lib. 16: 23). ‘I said to him: “ Why, Garrison, I had expected to see a long-faced ascetic; but I see you patriots are jolly, sleek fellows—not at all debarred of the good things of life.” He replied, in the same vein: “ And therein, Clay, you are wrong, and somewhat confound things. The ascetics are the wrong-doers! Who should be happy, if not those who are always right?” Garrison was a man of great common sense and much wit.’
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