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‘ [203] for God, or are you for the Devil?’ After the wild shouts and screams of the assembly had subsided, he said:
Fellow-citizens, I speak plainly; nor can words exhibiting the enormity of Slavery be too plain, whether it be regarded simply in the legislative and judicial decisions by which it is upheld, or in the unquestionable facts by which its character is revealed. It has been my fortune latterly to see Slavery face to face in its own home, in the Slave States; and I take this early opportunity to offer my testimony to the open barbarism which it sanctions. I have seen a human being knocked off at auction on the steps of a court-house, and as the sale went on, compelled to open his mouth and show his teeth, like a horse; I have been detained in a stage-coach, that our driver might, in the phrase of the country, ‘help lick a nigger;’ and I have been constrained, at a public table, to witnesss the revolting spectacle of a poor slave, yet a child, almost felled to the floor by a blow on the head from a clinched fist. Such incidents were not calculated to shake my original convictions. The distant slave-holder, who, in generous solicitude for that truth which makes for freedom, feared that, like a certain Doctor of Divinity, I might, under the influence of personal kindness, be hastily swayed from these convictions, may be assured that I saw nothing to change them in one tittle, but to confirm them; while I was entirely satisfied that here in Massachusetts, where all read, the true character of Slavery is better known than in the Slave States themselves, where ignorance and prejudice close the avenues of knowledge.

And now, grateful for the attention with which you honor me, I venture to hope that you are assembled honestly to hear the truth; not to gratify prejudice, to appease personal antipathies, or to indulge a morbid appetite for excitement; but with candor and your best discrimination, to weigh facts and arguments in order to determine the course of duty. I address myself particularly to the friends of Freedom—the Republicans—on whose invitation I appear to-night, but I make bold to ask you of other parties, who now listen, to divest yourselves for the time, of partisan constraint—to forget for the moment that you are Whigs or Democrats, or how you are called, and to remember only that you are men, with hearts to feel, with heads to understand, and with consciences to guide. Then only will you be in a condition to receive the truth. ‘If men are not aware of the probable bias of party over ’

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