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[483] revisions after its delivery, and was not put to press till then. Away with this petty objection! The senator says that twenty thousand copies have gone to England. Here, again, is his accustomed inaccuracy. If they have gone, it is without Mr. Sumner's agency. But the senator foresees the truth. Sir, that speech will go to England; it will go to the continent of Europe; it has gone over the country, and has been read by the American people as no speech ever delivered in this body was read before. That speech will go down to coming ages. Whatever men may say of its sentiments,—and coming ages will indorse its sentiments,—it will be placed among the ablest parliamentary efforts of our own age or of any age.1

Butler undertook to parry the force of his own record as exposed by Wilson, but with less than his usual spirit, pleading that most of it was too remote in time to bear on the present controversy. Some words between Wilson and Clay on the everrecurring question of social superiority assumed by Southern senators closed the debate for the day. Wilson came out of the contest with honor. It was his first full session in the Senate, but he bore well the test of debate with trained senators. He showed on the floor, as well as outside when called to account by duellists, readiness, self-restraint, wisdom, and, withal, courage,—the quality most needed in those exigent times.

Seward, who was throughout most sympathetic with Sumner, seeking him at his lodgings as soon as he heard of the assault, spoke June 24, following Hunter, who had treated the question of jurisdiction. He paid a tribute to Sumner as ‘a cherished personal friend and political associate,’ whose life, to his personal knowledge, had been in danger, and who ‘had fallen senseless and for all that was first known, lifeless—on the floor of the Senate of the United States, for utterances which, whether discreet or indiscreet, whether personally injurious or harmless, were utterances made in the cause of truth, humanity, and justice.. The blows,’ said he, ‘that fell on the head of the senator from Massachusetts have done more for the cause of human freedom in Kansas and in the territories of the United States than all the eloquence—I do not call it agitation—which has resounded in these halls from the days when Rufus King asserted that cause in this chamber, and when John Quincy Adams defended it in the other house, until the present hour.’ He rebuked with great effect the attempt of Brooks to assume the

1 Congressional Globe, p. 1403; Works, vol. IV. p. 299. Seward wrote, June 14 ‘Mr. Wilson yesterday made a triumphant reply to Mr. Butler, and the best possible vindication of Mr. Sumner.’ Seward's ‘Life,’ vol. II. p. 277.

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