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‘ [325] merely constitutional, but social, commercial, geographical, historical; to be preserved, not by compromise with slavery, but by rigid adherence to the principles of liberty and justice;’ and he insisted on the duty of every man under all discouragements to testify and act against slavery.1 Seward wrote, May 19:—

I read your speech at the Hale dinner with real admiration, as I did Hale's with delight, and the whole with sincere satisfaction. We are on the rising tide again, and the day of apology for principles of political justice draws to a close.

Sumner declined in May an invitation to deliver an address before the Story Association, composed of past and present members of the Law School at Cambridge, an appointment which Mr. Choate filled two years before. Wendell Phillips wrote to Sumner, March 21, 1853, when the illustrated edition of ‘White Slavery in the Barbary States2 came out:—

It is a good thing, and now most fitly adorned; but I value it the more just now, as its arrival brings to my mind the saw, “Old times, old books, old friends.” I am so proud that those I chose when young yet redeem their claim to be so much more thoroughly honest, hearty, and honorable than some whom the world places at their side. The older I grow (in the bustle of Washington you perhaps never feel old), the more I value old friends.

A convention was held in 1853 to revise the Constitution of Massachusetts, which was made in 1780, and first revised in 1820. The Free Soilers and Democrats, who had failed in November, 1852, to carry the Legislature, succeeded at the same election by their combined vote of 66,416 against the Whig vote of 59,112 in calling this third convention. Their special purpose was to re-adjust the basis of representation in the House of Representatives, particularly with the view of taking from Boston its disproportionate power. The city chose forty-four members by general ticket, being, as Sumner called them, ‘a well-knit Macedonian phalanx,’ and having the advantage that the State House was easily accessible to their houses and places of business. The Whigs of the city outnumbered largely their opponents, whether divided or combined, and were also sure of electing a solid delegation; whereas under the majority rule then established, the Democrats and Free Soilers, not always well united, or if united nearly balanced by the Whigs,

1 This speech is not found in Sumner's Works, but the speeches at the dinner, including his, are printed in the Boston Commonwealth, May 6, 7, 9.

2 Ante, p. 24.

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