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[556] had diverted his mind, and time was perhaps doing unobserved its work of restoration; but no substantial and certain gain was as yet apparent.

A number of friends met Sumner as he left the ship at East Boston, on the afternoon of November 19,—among them his colleague, Wilson, and Mr. Banks, who had just been chosen governor of Massachusetts. Driving with them to his mother's house in Hancock Street, he found a company of two or three hundred persons gathered in the street to give him welcome, to whom he said: ‘This welcome is entirely unexpected; it takes me by surprise; it fills me with gratitude. I am glad to be once more in my own country, on the firm earth and at home.’ Wilson also answered to the call of the people with congratulations on his colleague's return. Cheers came as Sumner entered his home; and to those who followed him he said, ‘My health is nearer to what it should be than it has been for a long time.’ Amasa Walker, who was among those now welcoming him, suggested that he should be left alone with his family, and all withdrew.

The next evening he attended in Tremont Temple a lecture by Mr. Banks before the mechanic Apprentices' Association, where the audience greeted with continuous cheers his appearance on the platform,1 and insisted, in spite of his evident reluctance, upon his coming forward. He yielded to the call, and spoke for a moment, saying with reference to the membership of the Association that, ‘notwithstanding poverty, hardships, obstacles, and odds of all kinds, merit will always command success.’ Many lingered after the meeting was over, observing him intently and giving him congratulations. When he attended, a few weeks later, the inauguration of the governor in the State House, the sergeant-at-arms found it impossible to repress the applause which, in violation of the rules, greeted his entrance into the hall.

The Thirty-fifth Congress, meeting Dec. 7, 1857, was occupied with a debate on slavery in Kansas, from the beginning of the session to the end of the next April. The Administration still held the Senate, and had recovered the House. The pro-slavery party in the Territory had, by means of a legislature and constitutional convention originating in violence and fraud, caused the so-called Lecompton constitution to be submitted

1 Longfellow's ‘Life,’ vol. II. p. 310.

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