“Solomon here approached him, and grasping his hand, exclaimed—
“’Thank you, my dear brother Cantwell—thank you a hundred times; yours is the part of a true Christian; so go on, I entreat you—here is nothing to be ashamed of—I know it is good to be tried.’
“’Now it was really the charity contained in the article from the True Blue that struck me so forcibly—for it not only breathed the scandal so gently, as that it would scarcely stain a mirror—and it did not stain the mirror against which the report was directed—but it placed it as it were, before his eyes, that he might not be maligned without his knowledge, on taking steps to triumph over it, which our friend did—and great was his triumph and meekly was it borne on the occasion. With respect to my political creed, gentlemen, you all know it is my boast that I belong to no party. I advocate broad and general principles; and the more comprehensive they are, so does my love of kind take a wider range. I am a patriot, that is my boast—a moderate man—an educated man; I am, at least, a competent master of the English language, which I trust I can write and speak like a gentleman. I am not given to low and gross habits of life; I am never found in a state of beastly intoxication late at night, or early in the day; nor do I suffer my paper to become the vehicle of gratifying that private slander or personal resentment which I am not capable of writing myself, and have not the courage to acknowledge as a man. I am not a poor, kicked, horse-whipped, and degraded scoundrel, whose malignity is only surpassed by my cowardice—whose principal delight is to stab in the dark—a lurking assassin, but not an open murderer—a sneaking, skulking thief, without the manliness of the highwayman—a pitiful, servile—but, I believe, I have said enough. Well, gentlemen, I trust I am none of these; nor am I saying who is. Perhaps it would be impossible to find them all centred in the same man; but if it were, it would certainly be quite as extraordinary to find that man seated at an Orange Lodge. Brother Yellowboy, I have the pleasure of drinking your health.’
“Brother Yellowboy felt that he was no match at all for Cantwell; so in order to escape the further venom of his tongue, he drank his in return, and joined in the cheers with which his speech was received; for by this time the audience cared not a fig what was said by either party.”
CHAPTER XX.—Sobriety and Loyalty
—A Checkered Dialogue—The Beauty and Necessity of Human Frailty —A Burning and Shining Light Going Home in the Dark—The Value of a Lanthorn.
“The character or forms of decency which had hitherto prevailed, now began to disappear. M’Clutchy’s blood-hounds, or wreckers—for they were indiscriminately termed both—having drank a great deal of liquor, became quite violent, and nothing now was heard but party songs, loud talk, and offensive toasts, mingled with a good deal of personal abuse, and private jealousies of each other’s influence with M’Clutchy.