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Captain Judkins, they would probably, under the inspiration of slavery and
brandy, have attempted to put their threats into execution. I have no space to
describe this scene, although its tragic and comic features are well worth
description. An end was put to the melee by the captain's call to the ship's
company to put the salt-water mobocrats in irons, at which determined order
the gentlemen of the lash scampered, and for the remainder of the voyage
conducted themselves very decorously.

This incident of the voyage brought me, within two days after landing at
Liverpool, before the British public. The gentlemen so promptly withheld in
their attempted violence toward me flew to the press to justify their conduct,
and to denounce me as a worthless and insolent negro. This course was even
less wise than the conduct it was intended to sustain; for, besides awakening
something like a national interest in me, and securing me an audience, it
brought out counter statements, and threw the blame upon themselves which
they had sought to fasten upon me and the gallant captain of the ship.

My visit to England did much for me every way. Not the least among the
many advantages derived from it was in the opportunity it afforded me of
becoming acquainted with educated people, and of seeing and hearing many
of the most distinguished men of that country. My friend, Mr. Wendell
Phillips, knowing something of my appreciation of orators and oratory, had
said to me before leaving Boston: "Although Americans are generally better
speakers than Englishmen, you will find in England individual orators supe-
rior to the best of ours." I do not know that Mr. Phillips was quite just to
himself in this remark, for I found few, if any, superior to him in the gift of
speech. When I went to England that country was in the midst of a tremen-
dous agitation. The people were divided by two great questions of
"Repeal;"—the repeal of the corn laws, and the repeal of the union between
England and Ireland.

Debate ran high in Parliament, and among the people everywhere, espe-
cially concerning the corn laws. Two powerful interests of the country con-
fronted each other: one venerable from age, and the other young, stalwart,
and growing. Both strove for ascendancy. Conservatism united for retaining
the corn laws, while the rising power of commerce and manufacturers
demanded repeal. It was interest against interest, but something more and
deeper; for, while there was aggrandizement of the landed aristocracy on the
one side, there was famine and pestilence on the other. Of the anti-corn law
movement, Richard Cobden and John Bright, both then members of
Parliament, were the leaders. They were the rising statesmen of England, and
possessed a very friendly disposition toward America. Mr. Bright, who is

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