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[357] During their subsequent stay in the city occurred1 the interview with Wilberforce (at his residence) the bare prospect of which might well have decided the acceptance of the English mission.

‘It was in June, 1833,’ writes Mr. Garrison, years afterwards,2 with incidental comparisons of no little interest,

that we3 visited Mr. Wilberforce at his residence in Bath, accompanied by Mr. Thompson. It is seldom that men of renown meet the high expectations of the curious and enthusiastic as to their bodily proportions; for imagination is ever busy, in advance, in fashioning each distinguished object so as outwardly, as well as inwardly, “to give the world the assurance of a man.” Of all the truly great men whom we have seen, we think the physical conformation of Daniel Webster best agrees with the fame of his colossal mind. His body is compact, and of Atlantean massiveness, without being gross: his head is of magnificent proportions—the perfection of vast capaciousness: his glance is a mingling of the sunshine and the lightning of heaven: his features are full of intellectual greatness. De Witt Clinton was another rare specimen of the noble adaptation of the outward to the inward man. Washington, perhaps, was a third. When we were introduced to Mr. Wilberforce, his pygmean dimensions would have excited feelings almost bordering on the ludicrous, if we had not instantly been struck with admiration to think that so small a body could contain so large a mind! We realized the truth of Watts's spiritual phrenology, if we may so term it, (and Watts, like the apostle Paul, was weak and contemptible in his bodily appearance,) as set forth in the following verse:

Were I so tall to reach the pole,
Or grasp the ocean with my span,
I must be measured by my soul:
The mind's the standard of the man.

Wilberforce was as frail and slender in his figure as is Dr. Channing, and lower in stature than even Benjamin Lundy, the Clarkson of our country. His head hung droopingly upon his breast, so as to require an effort of the body to raise it when he spoke, and his back had an appearance of crookedness:

1 Lib. 6.7.

2 Lib. 6.7.

3 The editorial ‘we.’

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