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[358] hence, in walking, he looked exceedingly diminutive. In his earlier years he was probably erect and agile; but feeble health, long continued, had thus marred his person in the vale of time.

At his kind invitation we took breakfast with him and his interesting family, and afterwards spent four or five hours in interchanging sentiments respecting American slavery and the American Colonization Society. His mind seemed to be wholly unaffected by his bodily depression: it was a transparent firmament, studded with starry thoughts, in beautiful and opulent profusion. His voice had a silvery cadence, his face a benevolently pleasing smile, and his eye a fine intellectual expression. In his conversation he was fluent, yet modest; remarkably exact and elegant in his diction; cautious in forming conclusions; searching in his interrogations; and skilful in weighing testimony. In his manners he combined dignity with simplicity, and childlike affability with becoming gracefulness. How perfectly do those great elements of character harmonize in the same person, to wit—dovelike gentleness and amazing energy—deep humility and adventurous daring! How incomparably bland, yet mighty—humble, yet bold, was the wondrous Immanuel! These were traits that also eminently characterized the apostles Paul and John. These were mingled in the soul of Wilberforce.

We were particularly struck with the strong and deferential affection which he seemed to cherish for Mrs. Wilberforce, a woman worthy of such a man, of singular dignity of carriage, approaching to the majestic in size, and all-absorbed in her kind attentions to him—and he not less attentive to her. She could not drop her thimble or her cotton on the carpet but he would stoop down to find it, in spite of her entreaties. What greatness of amiability! Another thing which we remarked with surprise and delight was, the youthful freshness and almost romantic admiration which he cherished for natural scenery. During our interview with him, he took a recumbent position upon the sofa; but as we were about bidding him farewell, he called for his shoes, and, infirm as he was, proposed walking up and down the “South parade” with us, in order to point out some of the beauties of the landscape in view of his residence; but we begged him not to make the effort, and satisfied him by going to a front window, from which he showed us with considerable pleasure the house which Pope the poet occasionally occupied, and other interesting and beautiful objects.

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