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[448] accompanied by a manner, all his own, befitting the tyrannical threat. Very well, let the senator try. I tell him now that he cannot enforce any such submission. The senator, with the slave-power at his back, is strong; but he is not strong enough for this purpose. He is bold; he shrinks from nothing. Like Danton, he may cry, “De l'audace! encore de l'audace! et toujours de l'audace!” But even his audacity cannot compass this work. the senator copies the British officer who, with boastful swagger, said that with the end of his sword he would cram the ‘stamps’ down the throats of the American people; and he will meet a similar failure. He may convulse this country with civil feud; like the ancient madman, he may set fire to this temple of constitutional liberty, grander than Ephesian dome; but he cannot enforce obedience to that tyrannical usurpation.

The senator dreams that he can subdue the North. He disclaims the open threat, but his conduct implies it. How little that senator knows himself, or the strength of the cause which he persecutes! He is but mortal man; against him is immortal principle. With finite power he wrestles with the infinite, and he must fall. Against him are stronger battalions than any marshalled by mortal arm,—the inborn, ineradicable, invincible sentiments of the human heart; against him is Nature, with all her subtile forces; against him is God. Let him try to subdue these.

These were all the personal references to senators on the first day of the speech.

After speaking three hours, he suspended his speech on a motion to adjourn, reserving the remainder till the next day. As he began in the morning, the partisans of the Administration—Douglas, Toombs, and Toucey—assumed an air of indifference, and kept themselves, to appearance, very busy at their desks writing letters; but as he went on this affectation ceased. The pro-slavery senators were at times noisy, gathering in groups and laughing, talking audibly, and were once at least called to order.1 At one time Sumner stopped, and asked the sergeant-at-arms to preserve order. A senator called him to order for not addressing his request directly to the chair, and Sumner replied that he did not think the president (Bright) observed the disorderly conduct, which the latter admitted to be the case.2 The incident shows how closely he was followed, and how fully disposed the senators were to interpose if he passed beyond any rule of the Senate.

The next day, Tuesday, he finished his speech at three in the

1 J. S. Pike, in New York Tribune, May 21; ‘First Blows in the Civil War,’ p. 336; ‘Evening Post,’ May 22. It was the custom of the pro-slavery party to annoy the antislavery senators in this way. Letter of Simonton in New York Times, May 23.

2 Giddings's speech, July 11, 1856.

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