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The Vault at PfaffsAn Archive of Art and Literature by the Bohemians of Antebellum New York
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Text for Page 245 [10-29-1859]

              [newspaper clipping continued]
struct them.  If they neglected their business, I could
not perform my part, and it was a small thing to save
them and their agent, JOHN BROWN, from making a fool
of himself and each of them, to stop �the sword of
the Lord and of Gideon� once and again a second
time, and I should again a third time have stopped it
if I had not supposed that it had been dead and buried
long ago.
  Those men who have plundered, betrayed, and ca-
lumniated me, ought to have felt the profoundest grat-
itude; but some minds are so constituted as to be in-
capable of such a sentiment.  They know that they
have wronged me, and they hate me from that very
knowledge; let them enjoy their felings if they can.
And who are they who have this day resuscitated this
wild scheme; I know not.  But if they are the same
men whom I saved twice, then must I say with the
proverb: �Though thou shouldst bray a fool in a
mortar, among wheat with a pestle, yet will not his
foolishness depart from him.��PROV. xxvii., 22.
  Some may agree that no man should be stopped in
any foolish project.  When the project is hopeless, or
the man incapable of accomplishing it; and when
a failure would involve others in ruin, or would jeop-
ardize a great cause, then it is the duty of every friend
to consult the best heads in that cause, and act in
unison with them.  Had I not consulted leading Abo-
litionists in 1858, and had I not interered in unison
with them to stop the �sword of the Lord and of
Gideon� from committing suicide at Harper�s Ferry, or
unnecessarily and unprofitably risking the lives of such
superior men as KAGI, then I should have been blame-
able.  As it is, I did my duty, and I do not choose to
be made the scapegoat of the Tribune.
  And how did I stop them from doing an act of folly?
Not, as the Tribune basely and maliciously stated, by
betraying the plot to the Secretary of War, but by ap-
pealing to the good sense of influential men of the Ab-
olition cause.  In that I did my duty.  Did Mr.
GREELEY do his?
  I have been basely plundered, betrayed and calum-
niated  I will condescend to make no reply beyond
this present one, knowing that I have done right; I
care not a straw for the opinions or threats of any or
all of them.  I leave now lest I be taken by the State
as a witness; not but that those who have so barbar-
ously ill-used my family and have persecuted me do
not richly deserve all that I might do againt them,
yet to punish them for all I should have to attack
them on another matter, and it is repugnant for me to
testify in such a case, even against those who are vile; 
therefore do I put myself to the ruinous inconvenience
of quitting New-York, just as I find my affairs recover-
ing from the shock which they sustained through the 
perfidy of the humanitarians.
  As to the slaves obtaining their liberty, they are jus-
tified in so doing, wherever and howsoever they can,
whether by evasion, stampede, or open insurrection.
Though some pretended humanitarians have behaved
very ill by pillaging others, though every Abolitionist
and humanitarian in the world were to turn rascals,
that would not make the cause of Abolitionism less
true.  I hope they may always and everywhere suc-
ceed; but to obtain success, I caution them not to
count for aid upon impracticable poets and chatterers,
nor scheming politicians, cheating speculators, or
those animals of neutergender, men in petticoats,
and women in breeches, or even in men who expect
the Lord will do all for them.  Heaven helps those
only who help themselves; and all true men should
cooperate with those who try to burst their bonds
asunder.  Only let the mode of operation be practical,
and not poetical.  A day sooner or a day later, the
irrespressible conflict between Liberty and Slavery
must commence.       Respectfully yours,
					H. FORBES.               
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