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[442] with classic models.1 It condensed into a phrase a statement of successive outrages and usurpations, beginning with the repeal of the Missouri Compromise and continued in the invasions from Missouri, all for the purpose of making Kansas a slave State,— a phrase often repeated,—‘the crime against Kansas,’ ‘the crime of crimes,’ ‘the crime against nature.’ The division of the argument into different heads, under which the crime itself, and the apologies offered and remedies proposed, were treated, gives to the speech as printed a too formal and studied character,—a feature, however, which does not appear to have marred its effect in the delivery. In his opening the senator pointed to the position of Kansas in the centre of the continent,—unequalled as she was in richness of soil and salubrity of climate, and ‘drawing to her bosom a population of free men larger than Athens crowded within her historic gates, when her sons, under Miltiades, won liberty for mankind on the field of Marathon;’ now the victim of a crime far exceeding that of Verres, whose name had been blasted for all time in a terrible impeachment. The crime, which involved outrage of every kind,—the overthrow of all the rights of American citizens,—was aggravated by the motive, which was ‘the rape of a virgin territory, compelling it to the hateful embrace of slavery, . . . traceable to a depraved desire for a new slave State, hideous offspring of such a crime, in the hope of adding to the power of slavery in the national government, . . . force being openly employed in compelling Kansas to this pollution.’2

One passage in the opening gave warning of the civil war which followed five years later:—

The strife is no longer local, but national. Even now, while I speak, portents lower in the horizon, threatening to darken the land, which already palpitates with the mutterings of civil war. The fury of the propagandists and the calm determination of their opponents are diffused from the distant

1 Works, vol. IV. pp. 137-249. Like Seward, Sumner wrote out his longer speeches in advance, but did not recur to his manuscript in the delivery. This one was already in type, though not put to press, and was to be corrected after delivery. (Wilson's speech, June 13, ‘Congressional Globe,’ p. 140:3.) Since then it has become a common occurrence for senators to read their speeches.

2 Douglas pretended to think these comparisons ‘indecent,’ and Cass thought the metaphor ‘unpatriotic.’ The latter, not appreciating Sumner's forbearance on account of old associations to reply to him, recurred to the subject, Dec. 11, 1856, when Sumner was absent, and said that the speech was ‘a most inflammatory appeal,’ and that ‘such an unpatriotic metaphor betokened a prurient imagination.’ What the two senators thought of the second book of ‘Paradise Lost’ is not known.

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