closed with a tribute to the Revolution, as creating ‘a nation wherein freedom has taken a whole century's stride, permitting to each man the right to act and speak whatever he lawfully may, he himself being the best and only judge of the fitness of time, place, and presence.’
During the speeches Sumner
sat placidly, betraying no sensitiveness or even surprise at what was said.
If he was at all disturbed, it was by the speech of Dr. Palfrey
, from whom, on account of kindred studies and friendly associations, he may have expected support; but both as to him and all others, including even Mr. Park
, the occasion left with him no personal grief.
At length, when full vent had been given, Mr. Chandler
smoothed the troubled waters with some broad humor, which soon spread a laugh through the hall; saying that the chief trouble with his friend was that he was a bachelor, knowing nothing of domestic broils, and therefore nothing of war, and ended with the toast: ‘The Orator of the day!
However much we may differ from his sentiments, let us admire the simplicity, manliness, and ability with which he has expressed them.’
replied, saying pleasantly that he would not follow with a single word the apple of discord which he seemed to have thrown into the day, but would only call attention to that part of the performances at the Temple
with regard to which there could be no difference of opinion; closing with the toast: ‘The youthful choristers of the day!
May their future lives be filled with happiness, as they have to-day filled our hearts with the delight of their music.’
The tranquil spirit with which he bore himself, showing no resentment, nor striving for the last word, left a favorable impression even on his harshest critics.
, after describing the toasts and speeches made at Faneuil Hall, writes:—
Mr. Sumner stood all these fusilades with the most quiet good nature, and even with good-humored smiles.
No man could have behaved with more exact and refined courtesy.
I had, from our first acquaintance, been on terms of friendship with him,—thinking all the better of myself that he gave me that privilege.
He said soon after in a conversation with me, that of wars of defence he entertained the general opinion, and protection by force would be a necessity in case of an attack by force, other means failing.
But he added that he objected to the keeping up of armed bodies of men in times of peace;