my hopes, that my faith will not easily be shaken, nor my earnestness chilled. Should I, however, be disappointed in Boston, I could hardly hope that such a plan could be brought to bear on general society, in any other city of the United States. But I do not fear, if a good beginning can be made. I am confident that twenty persons cannot be brought together from better motives than vanity or pedantry, to talk upon such subjects as we propose, without finding in themselves great deficiencies, which they will be very desirous to supply. Should the enterprise fail, it will be either from incompetence in me, or that sort of vanity in them which wears the garb of modesty. On the first of these points, I need not speak. I cannot be supposed to have felt so much the wants of others, without feeling my own still more deeply. And, from the depth of this feeling, and the earnestness it gave, such power as I have yet exerted has come. Of course, those who are inclined to meet me, feel a confidence in me, and should they be disappointed, I shall regret it not solely or most on my own account. I have not given my gauge without measuring my capacity to sustain defeat. For the other, I know it is very hard to lay aside the shelter of vague generalities, the art of coterie criticism, and the ‘delicate disdains’ of good society, and fearlessly meet the light, even though it flow from the sun of truth. Yet, as, without such generous courage, nothing of value can be learned or done, I hope to see many capable of it; willing that others should think their sayings crude, shallow, or tasteless, if, by such unpleasant means, they may attain real health
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