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An Essay on Slavery and Abolitionism by Beecher

When the two times should legally have expired


"'I

began the conversation by informing the emperor that as I supposed the congress of Aix la Chapelle might possibly be the last congress of sovereigns for settling the affairs of Europe, its connexions and dependencies, I had availed myself of the kind permission he gave me at Paris, of applying to him in behalf of the oppressed Africans, being unwilling to lose the last opportunity of rendering him serviceable to the cause.

"'The emperor replied, that he had read both my letter and my address to the sovereigns, and that what I asked him and the other sovereigns to do, was only reasonable.

"'Here I repeated the two great propositions in the address--the necessity of bringing the Portuguese time for continuing the trade (which did not expire till 1825, and then only with a condition,) down to the Spanish time, which expired in 1820; and secondly, when the two times should legally have expired, (that is, both of them in 1820,) then to make any farther continuance _piracy_. I entreated him not to be deceived by any other propositions; for that Mr. Wilberforce, myself, and others, who had devoted our time to this subject, were sure that no other measure would be effectual.

"'He then said very feelingly in these words, 'By the providence of God, I and my kingdom have been saved from a merciless tyranny, (alluding to the invasion of Napoleon,) and I should but ill repay the blessing,

if I were not to do every thing in my power to protect the poor Africans against their oppression also.'

"'The emperor then asked if he could do any thing else for our cause. I told him he could; and that I should be greatly obliged to him if he would present one of the addresses to the Emperor of Austria, and another to the King of Prussia, _with his own hand_. I had brought two of them in my pocket for the purpose. He asked me why I had not presented them before. I replied that I had not the honour of knowing either of those sovereigns as I knew him; nor any of their ministers; and that I was not only fearful lest these addresses would not be presented to them, but even if they were, that coming into their hands without any recommendation, they would be laid aside and not read; on the other hand, if he (the emperor,) would condescend to present them, I was sure they would be read, and that coming from him, they would come with a weight of influence, which would secure an attention to their contents. Upon this, the emperor promised, in the most kind and affable manner, that he would perform the task I had assigned to him.

"'We then rose from our seats to inspect some articles of manufacture, which I had brought with me as a present to him, and which had been laid upon the table. We examined the articles in leather first, one by one, with which he was uncommonly gratified. He said they exhibited not only


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