was apparent when the pastor of the Old South Church, a persistent apologist for slavery, inopportunely undertook again its defence with certain texts of Leviticus, but was forced to desist amid cries of ‘shame.’
's declaration that he did not as a senator ‘find himself able to give a conscientious support to some
of the measures of the adjustment’ of 1850 was received, as one who was present wrote at the time, ‘with a tempest of applause, hearty and long-continued.’
The speakers were chary of phrases and points which would confound them with the antislavery pioneers, and emphasized the argument that the Compromise of 1850 did not impair the Missouri
prohibition; but nothing said by them was so effective as any incidental intimation that the day of compromise had forever passed.
The most inspiring presence of all was the venerable Quincy
, now eighty-two years of age, with no pro-slavery or Compromise record at his lack, and coming uninvited and hardly welcomed by the managers, who, with all the ardor of youth, rallied his countrymen to the great contest.
The speeches, except his, fell below the tone and spirit of the masses in the body of the hall, mingled with whom, in considerable numbers, were the Free Soilers
, who witnessed with no common satisfaction their revilers and persecutors now ranged on their side.
Despised, proscribed, and threatened so recently with social and legal penalties, they saw their old adversaries, the supporters of Webster
in 1850, at last confessing the failure of Compromise, and repeating the declarations and resolves which in them had been denounced as unpatriotic and treasonable.
They were the demonstrative part of the audience; while the commercial Whigs, who had been toned down by the Compromise policy of 1850, 1851, and 1852, were less responsive.
The antislavery veterans walked with heads erect, meeting on all sides the salutation ‘You were right’ in State and Milk streets, where before they had encountered only averted faces.1
They might be pardoned if in this hour some human feeling mingled with their patriotic devotion; and while ready to co-operate actively and in good faith with all opponents of the extension of slavery, they were determined that in some way there should be a public recognition of the services of Henry Wilson
, who more than any one had encountered obloquy for their cause.
It was remarked that