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[403] Republicans, would, it is altogether likely, have re-elected him as senator if his term had been then expiring.

On account of the peculiar direction which the politics of the State had taken, Sumner did not after his speech at Worcester make any political address during the recess of Congress; but his time was well occupied. He delivered, November 13, the evening of the State election, before the Mercantile Library Association, a lecture on ‘The position and duties of the merchant, illustrated by the life of Granville Sharp.’ He was received with enthusiasm by the audience which filled Tremont Temple.1 The lecture, though given in a literary course, had, as usual with him, a moral and political aim,—to stimulate peaceable and lawful resistance to the Fugitive Slave Act in imitation of the British philanthropist, whose antislavery labors, notably in the liberation of Somerset, in connection with the opposition he encountered from merchants and lawyers, suggested parallels in the recent slave cases. It is an interesting monograph on Sharp's life and work and the memorable judicial transaction in which he bore the most conspicuous part.

Mrs. Seward wrote, November 24, of the lecture, addressing him, as always, ‘Dear Charles Sumner’:—

The elevated tone of its moral teaching cannot fail to do good, though this result may not be immediately manifest. You will go soon to Washington. I shall learn something of your external life while you are well and prosperous. This would do well enough. Should the sky grow dark and your spirit be troubled, will you not tell me something more . . . I am stronger, but still write with difficulty. May God continue to guide you! Sincerely and affectionately yours.

Oliver Johnson wrote, November 18:—

I have read your lecture with deep interest and admiration, not alone in view of its merits as a literary performance, but on account of the genuine courage manifested in seizing upon such an opportunity to illustrate and enforce the great principles of righteousness and freedom. From my very heart I thank you. The larger portion of the lecture will appear in the next “Antislavery Standard.”

Sumner wrote to Dr. Howe, Jan. 15, 1854:—

With your note came one from my dear sister, giving me the first tidings of her engagement and of her illness. Tears of emotion and anxiety fill my eyes as I think of her. More than ever I feel the eminent excellence of her

1 The Liberator, November 17; Boston Telegraph, November 14.

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