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[223]

I need not dwell on the politics of that year. For Protection—for Clay—against Tyler—against his vetoes—for a law to punish seduction—against capital punishment—imagine countless columns.

In October, died Dr. Channing. ‘Deeply,’ wrote Mr. Greeley, ‘do we deplore his loss, most untimely, to the faithless eye of man does it seem—to the cause of truth, of order and of right, and still more deeply do we lament that he has left behind him, in the same department of exertion, so few, in proportion to the number needed, to supply the loss occasioned by his death.’ Soon after, the Tribune gave Theodore Parker a hearing by publishing sketches of his lectures.

An affair of a personal nature made considerable noise about this time, which is worth alluding to, for several reasons. Major Noah, then the editor of the “ Union,” a Tylerite paper of small circulation and irritable temper, was much addicted to attacks on the Tribune. On this occasion, he was unlucky enough to publish a ridiculous story, to the effect that Horace Greeley had taken his breakfast in company with two colored men at a boarding-house in Barclay street. The story was eagerly copied by the enemies of the Tribune, and at length Horace Greeley condescended to notice it. The point of his most happy and annihilating reply is contained in these, its closing sentences: ‘We have never associated with blacks; never eaten with them; and yet it is quite probable that if we had seen two cleanly, decent colored persons sitting down at a second table in another room just as we were finishing our breakfast, we might have gone away without thinking or caring about the matter. We choose our own company in all things, and that of our own race, but cherish little of that spirit which for eighteen centuries has held the kindred of M. M. Noah accursed of God and man, outlawed and outcast, and unfit to be the associates of Christians, Mussulmen, or even self-respecting Pagans. Where there are thousands who would not eat with a negro, there are (or lately were) tens of thousands who would not eat with a Jew. We leave to such renegades as the Judge of Israel the stirring up of prejudices and the prating of “usages of society,” which over half the world make him an abhorrence, as they not long since would have done here; we treat all men according to what they are and not whence they spring. That he is a knave, we think much to his discredit; ’

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