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[201] he should exercise it with no other limitations than those of his own judgment. A poor man, he admitted that he established the paper in the expectation of deriving from it a livelihood, but that even for that object he could not trim its sails to suit the varying breeze of popular prejudice. ‘If,’ said he, ‘a paper which makes the Right, and not the Expedient, its cardinal object, will not yield its conductor a support, there are honest vocations that will, and better the humblest of them than to be seated at the head of an influential press, if its influence is not exerted to promote the cause of truth.’ He was true to his promise. The free soul of a free, strong man spoke out in his paper. How refreshing was it, after listening to the inanities, the dull, witless vulgarity, the wearisome commonplace of journalists, who had no higher aim than to echo, with parrot-like exactness, current prejudices and falsehoods, to turn to the great and generous thoughts, the chaste and vigorous diction, of the Plaindealer! No man ever had a clearer idea of the duties and responsibilities of a conductor of the public press than William Leggett, and few have ever combined so many of the qualifications for their perfect discharge: a nice sense of justice, a warm benevolence, inflexible truth, honesty defying temptation, a mind stored with learning, and having at command the treasures of the best thoughts of the best authors. As was said of Fletcher of Saltoun, he was ‘a gentleman steady in his principles; of nice honor, abundance of learning; bold as a lion; a sure friend; a man who would lose his life to serve his country, ’

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