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[25] of his mother's,—a woman whose gentle wisdom and frank speech had made a deep impression upon him. The conversation is too long to be given in full.

In discussing John Brown, he was tempted, by the enthusiasm of some anti-slavery ladies, into some rather decided criticisms upon his course of action. For this he was afterwards taken to task by his hostess,—though in a sweet, motherly way,—as showing a want of the sympathy and enthusiasm so desirable in a very young man. ‘I could hardly avoid laughing at my situation,’ he says, ‘obliged to defend myself from the charge of being cold-blooded, when I was striving daily to gain coolness and self-restraint; when the fact was, not that I had no feelings, but was practising their control.’ He then entered into an earnest vindication of himself, avowing that nothing was so near his heart as the triumph of freedom, which was to be attained, in his judgment, by the success of the Republican party in 1860. He conscientiously objected to the acts of ‘that hardy old hero, John Brown,’ as likely to endanger that peaceful triumph, besides being intrinsically rash and violent. ‘But,’ he added with deep feeling, ‘my real longing for the triumph of the right is not less earnest and true, I venture to say, than your own’; and he went on to state his intention of throwing himself ‘heart and soul’ into the approaching political campaign.

He fulfilled his resolution.

‘Really,’ he writes (February 16, 1860), ‘I am getting into the political circles in a style that surprises me. Did I tell you I should go on my “stumping” tour with letters from Governor Banks and all the notables here to all the notables out West? I shall probably be engaged in speaking for two months. Not steadily. Meanwhile, I am reading up desperately, hearing and sifting arguments on both sides. I shall prepare myself on either five or six points which I think will tell well in the canvass.’

He went as delegate to the Republican State Convention at Worcester, in March, 1860. In the fall of the same year he went upon his electioneering tour through the West, and spoke

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