d and thyself," is the cry of humanity ringing forever in the soul of the reformer. He must needs bestir himself in obedience to the high behest. The performance of this task is the special mission of great men. It was without doubt Sumner's, for he stood for the manhood of the North, of the slave, of the Republic. For this he toiled strenuously all his life long. It shines in every paragraph of that memorable speech, and of the shorter one in defence of the New England clergy made at midnight on that black Thursday of May, which closed the bitter struggle and consummated the demolition of the old slave wall.
From that time Sumner's position became one of constantly increasing peril. Insulted, denounced, menaced by mob violence, his life was every day in jeopardy. But he did not flinch nor falter. Freedom was his master, humanity his guide. He climbed the hazardous steps to duty, heedless of the dangers in his way.
His collisions with the slave leaders and their northern allies grew thenceforth