with capacity and courage for debate which were more than their match.
The crowd of both sexes—young men, and, above all, young women conspicuous in numbers—thronged to the Temple as to a tournament where the fame and gallantry of the knight awakened sentiments quite apart from the cause he espoused.
Sumner's reputation as an orator had during the previous year been greatly increased by his Phi Beta Kappa oration at Harvard College and his speeches on the Mexican War. His opposition to Mr. Winthrop's votes on the war and to his re-election, in which Dr. Howe had been associated with him, had made him warm friends as well as bitter enemies in politics and society.
He was in the freshness and vigor of his powers; He had become familiar with the platform; and it is remembered that as he handled one adversary after another, he seemed conscious of his strength.
The other speakers were without attractions of style and manner, and, except Mr. Gray and Dr. Howe, knew very little of the su