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In preparing the following brief Men: ir of the Hon. CHARLES SUMNER, we would mention three principal objects which we have had in view : 1st, The presentation of the leading events in his public life, in a chronological order; 2d, The introduction of the choicest specimens of his eloquence, especially those passages which best illustrate his character as an advocate of human rights, and, at the same time, afford the finest examples of his style of composition; and 3d, The delineation of his oratorical character.
The dates and circumstances connected with the delivery of his numerous orations and speeches are given, with comments on the passages quoted, particularly with regard to the style, the grandeur of their conception, or the happy and forcible illustration of their subjects. Nothing need be
said in commendation of the great speech on Kansas, which we have added as the masterpiece of Mr. Sumner. It speaks for itself, and we earnestly request every American citizen to peruse it carefully. The ingenuous reader will admire it as an eloquent production, a manly declaration of the noble sentiments of its author on an important question, and a glorious defence of Liberty in an oppressed Territory. It is full of the beautiful and sublime, grand in its diction, rich and instructive in its historical details, logical in its deductions, and powerful in its appeals.
In the Appendix will be found the scathing speech of Daniel Lord, Esq., delivered at the indignation meeting in New York, and the remarks made at the indignation meeting in Faneuil Hall, Boston, together with the speeches of Rev. Drs. Halley and Hague, at a similar meeting in Albany. We would here remark that the speeches of these distinguished clergymen are among the most eloquent and spirit-stirring that have been made on such occasions, and reflect much credit upon the genius and patriotism of their authors.
This biographical sketch, accompanied by an immortal speech, is now respectfully offered to the public, in the hope that it may prove both interesting and instructive to the thousands of our citizens who are manifesting their sympathy for the stricken senator. Would that it were a more worthy tribute of honor to the man, whose blood, unrighteously shed, calls aloud to heaven and earth for avenging justice, and whose name shall be transmitted to the most distant posterity, among the noble army of martyrs to the cause of Liberty!
May the reader rise from the perusal of this volume with feelings of admiration for CHARLES SUMNER, the ripe scholar, the able lawyer, the eloquent orator, the accomplished statesman, the noble champion of FREEDOM.
ARGYLE, N. Y., October, 1866.
“Tell me not of rights—talk not of the property of the planter in his slaves. I deny the right--I acknowledge not the property. The principles, the feel. ings of our common nature, rise in rebellion against it. Be the appeal made to the understanding or to the heart, the sentence is the same that rejects it. In vain you tell me of laws that sanction such a claim! There is a law abovo all the enactments of human codes—the same throughout the world, the same in all times; it is the law written by the finger of God on the heart of man; and by that law, unchangeable and eternal, while men despise fraud, and loathe rapine and abhor blood, they will reject, with indignation, the wild and guilty phantasy that man can hold property in man.”—LORD BROUGHAM.