LIFE AND TIMES OF FREDERICK DOUGLASS 187
among them. According to him, the doctrine of substitution was carried so far
in that country that men sometimes procured others to suffer even the penalty
of death in their stead. Justice seemed not intent upon the punishment of the
actual criminal, if only somebody was punished when the law was violated.
William and Mary Howitt were among the kindliest people I ever met.
Their interest in America, and their well-known testimonies against slavery,
made me feel much at home with them at their house in that part of London
known as Clapton. Whilst stopping here, I met the Swedish poet and
author—Hans Christian Andersen. He, like myself, was a guest, spending a
few days. I saw but little of him, though under the same roof. He was singu-
lar in his appearance, and equally singular in his silence. His mind seemed
to me all the while turned inwardly. He walked about the beautiful garden as
one might in a dream. The Howitts had translated his works into English, and
could of course address him in his own language. Possibly his bad English
and my destitution of Swedish, may account for the fact of our mutual
silence, and yet I observed he was much the same towards every one. Mr.
and Mrs. Howitt were indefatigable writers. Two more industrious and kind-
hearted people did not breathe. With all their literary work, they always had
time to devote to strangers, and to all benevolent efforts, to ameliorate the
condition of the poor and needy. Quakers though they were, they took deep
interest in the Hutchinsons—Judson, John, Asa, and Abby, who were much
at their house during my stay there. Mrs. Howitt not inaptly styled them a
"Band of young apostles." They sang for the oppressed and the poor—for
liberty and humanity.
Whilst in Edinburgh, so famous for its beauty, its educational institu-
tions, its literary men, and its history, I had a very intense desire gratified—
and that was to see and converse with George Combe, the eminent mental
philosopher, and author of "The Constitution of Man," a book which had
been placed in my hands a few years before, by Doctor Peleg Clarke of
Rhode Island, the reading of which had relieved my path of many shadows.
In company with George Thompson, James N. Buffum, and William L.
Garrison, I had the honor to be invited by Mr. Combe to breakfast, and the
occasion was one of the most delightful I met in dear old Scotland. Of course
in the presence of such men, my part was a very subordinate one. I was a
listener. Mr. Combe did the most of the talking, and did it so well that
nobody felt like interposing a word, except so far as to draw him on. He
discussed the corn laws, and the proposal to reduce the hours of labor. He
looked at all political and social questions through his peculiar mental sci-
ence. His manner was remarkably quiet, and he spoke as not expecting
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