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<- Previous | Table of Contents | Next -> Digital Library-Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass

their intellects, darken their minds, debase their
moral nature, obliterate all traces of their relation-
ship to mankind; and yet how wonderfully they have
sustained the mighty load of a most frightful bond-
age, under which they have been groaning for cen-
turies! To illustrate the effect of slavery on the white
man,--to show that he has no powers of endurance,
in such a condition, superior to those of his black
brother,--DANIEL O'CONNELL, the distinguished
advocate of universal emancipation, and the mighti-
est champion of prostrate but not conquered Ireland,
relates the following anecdote in a speech delivered
by him in the Conciliation Hall, Dublin, before the
Loyal National Repeal Association, March 31, 1845.
"No matter," said Mr. O'CONNELL, "under what
specious term it may disguise itself, slavery is still
hideous. ~It has a natural, an inevitable tendency to
brutalize every noble faculty of man.~ An American
sailor, who was cast away on the shore of Africa,
where he was kept in slavery for three years, was, at
the expiration of that period, found to be imbruted
and stultified--he had lost all reasoning power; and
having forgotten his native language, could only ut-
ter some savage gibberish between Arabic and Eng-
lish, which nobody could understand, and which
even he himself found difficulty in pronouncing. So
much for the humanizing influence of THE DOMESTIC
INSTITUTION!" Admitting this to have been an ex-
traordinary case of mental deterioration, it proves at
least that the white slave can sink as low in the
scale of humanity as the black one.

Mr. DOUGLASS has very properly chosen to write
his own Narrative, in his own style, and according
to the best of his ability, rather than to employ some
one else. It is, therefore, entirely his own produc-
tion; and, considering how long and dark was the ca-
reer he had to run as a slave,--how few have been his
opportunities to improve his mind since he broke his
iron fetters,--it is, in my judgment, highly creditable
to his head and heart. He who can peruse it without
a tearful eye, a heaving breast, an afflicted spirit,--
without being filled with an unutterable abhorrence
of slavery and all its abettors, and animated with a
determination to seek the immediate overthrow of
<- Previous | Table of Contents | Next -> Digital Library-Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass

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