- Project Runeberg -  America of the Fifties: Letters of Fredrika Bremer /
302

(1924) [MARC] Author: Fredrika Bremer
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and speak. He did this with great simplicity,
without grace, but without any awkwardness or
confusion, and began his speech, without the
facility of the former speaker, but with calmness
and precision. In the first part of his speech he
took a hasty review of the nations of antiquity,
with regard to that which caused their greatness
or their fall. He showed that in all countries
where slavery had existed it had degraded the
people, and finally caused their downfall.

When I heard this, I confess that my heart
beat high. “Is it possible,” thought I, “that I
shall really hear in this slave state, before this
corporation of self-complacent advocates of slavery,
a youth publicly and like a man raise his voice
against slavery—the weak side of the South and
the nightshade of the New World?”

Yes, I shall! The youth continued boldly and
in the most logical manner to apply to America
those principles, the consequences of which he
exhibited in the history of Europe and Asia.
Without reservation and with great beauty and decision
of expression, he addressed his countrymen thus:
“I accuse you not of any deficiency in courage, in
nobility of mind, in feeling for the good and the
beautiful, in enterprise, in piety. But of this I
accuse you, that you do not give education to the
poor of your country, that you do not labor for

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