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It is impossible by description or quotation to give the reader a just idea of Mr. Codding as a writer or speaker. He must be seen and heard to be appreciated. He is now in the full maturity of his powers, and though he perhaps lacks something of the impetuosity of his youth, he has more of wisdom and charity for his foes. We consider him, in many respects, a model reformer. He scarcely ever indulges in bitter denunciations of slaveholders — scarcely ever makes enemies, unless it be among the most depraved class of people. All over the north there are men opposed to him, in his political, anti-slavery views, who, nevertheless, respect and love him. Yet he does not ever flinch a hair from rigid adherence to principle.
N. P. ROGERS.
NEW ENGLAND has given birth to few men, who, in point of brilliancy, genius, and genuine philanthropy, are the superiors of N. P. Rogers. George Thompson, after a few hours spent in conversation with him, declared him to be “the most brilliant man in America.” There was
a fascination about the man, a charm in his conversation, in his presence, which was as superior to acquired politeness as nature is to art. Few discovered from his conversation, that he possessed great powers of sarcasm and indignant eloquence. For he was one of the gentlest men that ever drew breath. In many things he was like a woman.
His heart was sensitive, his fancy delicate, his love without bounds, and when insult was aimed at him, or when attempts were made to wrong him, he was silent. But when insult was aimed at the cause he loved so well, when his brother was wronged, his spirit rose lion-like, and he could throw his shafts of sarcasm home to the heart of an adversary, or could shower down upon his head the terrors of a denunciatory eloquence. He was a man overflowing with wit and humor. It showed itself in his conversation, in his speeches, in his writings. His bitterest enemies could not deny themselves of his brilliant newspaper writings, and many of their names were upon the subscription book of the newspaper of which he was the editor.
Mr. Rogers was born in Plymouth, New Hampshire, June 3d, 1794. His father was a physician of fine abilities, and his mother was a woman of more than ordinary intellect and heart.
His parentage was excellent, and as he was a lineal descendant of John Rogers, the martyr, he had no cause to be ashamed of the blood which coursed through his veins. In 1811, he entered Dartmouth College, but through ill health was obliged to leave, after remaining one year. He returned afterwards, and took his degree in 1816. He shortly afterward engaged in the study of the law, and practiced it in his native state.
By nature possessed of extraordinary talents, when to these was added the discipline of a collegiate course, he was fitted to adorn any station in the coun try. He became thoroughly acquainted with law, and yet its practice was always distasteful to him. He seldom appeared in the courts to plead, for his spirit was of too fine material not to shrink from the rough conflicts of such a life. He remained in his office-it was in his native town and counseled his clients, or prepared cases for the courts. His keen intellect won for him a fine reputation, and his advice was sought in intricate cases, far and wide. For many years, Mr. Rogers continued in the profession for which he was educated, but was never content with it. His love of nature was fervent, and the poetic instincts of his nature led him to abhor the dry technicalities of the statute book. He was born and lived among grand scenery, and his soul seemed to assimilate itself to the magnificent mountains, among the shadows of which he so dearly loved to wander. He gave up book-reading and read nature. The awful peaks of the White Mountains were more welcome to him than anything in Shakspeare or Byron, and the tender song of some early spring-bird morė sweet and beautiful to his ear than the measured cadences of more modern poets. He had room in his heart for everything good and gentle, sublime or beautiful.
At last the anti-slavery agitation arose, and being a true man, and in tune with nature, he at once received into his great heart God's truth, and became an abolitionist. He gave up profession, pecuniary independence, comfort; and heart and soul espoused the cause of the slave. He removed to Concord, and became the editor of the far-famed Herald of Fruc
dom, in which he wrote for many years some of the most brilliant editorials which have ever emanated from the newspaper writers of America. He adopted a style well calculated to attract attention; a pointed, homely, and, if we may use the term, a Yankee style. He eschewed the old rules, and being sure of always penning great ideas, cared little for the manner in which they were clothed. As a matter of course, he had to meet the cry “you are before the age ! ” and he answered it as follows:
BEFORE THE AGE
“You are too fast." Well, friends, you are too slow. “ You are altogether ahead of the times.” Well, you are altogether in the rear of the times—astern of the times—at the tail of the times, if I must say it. And which is the most honorable and useful position? It is ahead of the times to denounce slavery, and demand its abandonment. But that is no reason anti-slavery is wrong, or unreasonable, or imprudent, injudicious, or any of the epithets a laggard age casts upon it. · Is slave-holding right? Are the institutions that support it right? Are they for the happiness, benefit, improvement, usefulness, innocency of the people? These are the questions. “You are before the age!” Well, if I were not, it's high time I You ought to be before the
wrong. Whoever improves must go before. He must quit the age, wherein it is wrong, and the charge that he is before it is an admission that he is right. When Robert Fulton told them steam was better than wind on the water, or than horse-flesh on