position here is very firm. He is the leader of our bar, with an overwhelming superfluity of business, with a strong taste for books and learned men, with great amiableness of character, with uncommon eloquence, and untiring industry. I still stick to Adams;1 I admire the courage and talent he has recently displayed, and the cause in which they were exerted. I object most strenuously to his manner, to some of his expressions and topics, as unparliamentary, and subversive of the rules and orders of debate. These are among the great safeguards of liberty, and particularly of freedom of speech. I was taught this by you. By imposing certain restraints, they give freedom, enabling everybody to express his honest opinions without fear of bullies or interruptions. One of the worst signs at Washington is the subversion of these rules. No personality is too low for that House; and Mr. Adams erred very much when he spoke ‘of the puny mind of the gentleman from Kentucky,’ and when he alluded to his intemperance. His example swill encourage others in worse breaches of decorum. . . But I still stick to Adams. His cause was grand. If I had been in the House, I should have been proud to fight under his banners. He has rallied tile North against the South; has taught them their rights, and opened their eyes to the ‘bullying’ (I dislike the word as much as the thing) of the South. I wish you could extricate yourself from that coil.
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