WHAT is a man born for, but to be a reformer. So Emerson had said, and was startled when they took him at his word. Every institution was called before the bar of reason, and of sentiment -- the Church, the State, labor, slavery, law and punishment, war, the school, the press, the family. Nothing was taken for granted, nothing but the right of inquiry and the authority of conscience. It was downright uncomfortable to live in Boston in the forties and the fifties; it was not enough that you paid for your pew and stood well in State Street and sent your boys to Harvard College; someone was sure to tell you that the Church was rotten and State Street wicked and that Harvard College taught nothing that a good man need know. Wherever you went the reformers demanded your credentials and your passport, and challenged every signature but their own. Even your private life was not immune; you could not eat or drink in peace but someone would bob up to warn you that to touch meat was a vice and to sip wine a sin.

For the reformers, at least, Boston was the Hub of the Universe. Every town in New England sent its delegate there; they filled the halls with their conventions and the air with their clamor. There was an Aristides at every court, a Diogenes in every countinghouse. Here in this city of the Appletons and the Lees there were as many reformers as there were merchants. Call the roll of the radicals and their names crack out like a volley of musketry: Phillips, Sumner, Garrison, Mann, Quincy, Parker, Pierpont, Channing, Emerson, Alcott, Ripley, Loring, Lowell, Rantoul,


Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Cite this page

Cited page

Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Theodore Parker


Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen
/ 339

matching results for page

Cited passage

Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?