Obeying the injunctions which had been reiteratedly sent them, Mr. Garrison
's friends endeavored, with a fair degree of success, to abstain from precipitating meetings and receptions upon him; but the desire to see and hear him was so strong that they could not resist the temptation to fill their parlors with invited guests, when he came among them, and to ask him to tell them about his early life, his anti-slavery experiences, and his views on one or another question of morals and reform.
Young and old thus gathered to listen to his discourse on slavery, war, intemperance, non-resistance, and the rights of women, and to gather inspiration from his clear and simple exposition of fundamental principles.
To his companion, who had been familiar from childhood with the facts he narrated, and his habitual phraseology in discussing these themes, it was a constant surprise to note the freshness with which he invested, and the vigor with which he presented them, and to find himself listening as to a new rather than an oft-told tale.
As to the effect on Mr. Garrison
's auditors generally, who listened with riveted attention as to one indeed ‘having authority,’ the evidence does not rest on filial testimony.
Expressions as to the influence thus exerted and the deep impression made came to him from many sources.
‘For three days we have heard the gospel preached,’ said one of the most admirable and intellectual women in the1
kingdom, after spending that length of time in Mr. Garrison
's company, and conversing with him on a wide range of topics; and a cultivated gentleman who met him for2
the first time, and entertained him for a single night in his charming country home, wrote subsequently, “He came among us like a perfected spirit, bearing testimony.”
The first person whom Mr. Garrison
sought, on his arrival in Liverpool
, was Mrs. Josephine E. Butler
, whom he had wished to meet ever since her inauguration of the movement for the repeal of the Contagious Diseases Acts3
had become known to him. The high opinion he had formed of her from her writings was more than confirmed