the officers of the Society, affirmed the duty of treating the different systems of prison discipline fairly and impartially.
seconded the resolutions, and Dwight
also assented to them.
Genuine friends of the Society who had not yielded to the excitement thought this the best solution of the difficulty.1
It had been understood that Sumner
's speech was to close the debate; but his opponents feared its effect on a vote immediately taken, and insisted on further discussion.
replied, justifying Dwight
's good faith and his citations of Lafayette
's and Roscoe
began to speak, but at eleven the meeting adjourned.
At the next and final meeting Gray
replied to Sumner
's speech, and Sumner
followed with a rejoinder.
continued his defence of Dwight
's extracts from Lafayette
, the ever recurring point of contention, and moved a committee to investigate action in this respect only.
moved a recommitment, with instructions which included an examination of the whole subject.
It was now nearly midnight, and the audience was retiring, when the public discussions were brought to a close in an unexpected way. Charles P. Curtis
, a prominent member of the bar and relative of Stevenson
, and like him drawn to the meeting by political antipathy to Sumner
moved to lay the whole subject on the table.
After referring to the accumulation of charges and replications, and resolutions upon resolutions, which had resulted in perplexity and confusion, He recalled the incident in Congress when a member, known as ‘Apocalypse Smythe
,’ on being reminded that he was wearying the body by a long and tedious speech, answered that he was addressing, not this generation, but posterity, and drew the retort that if he kept on he would have his unborn audience before him. Mr. Curtis
thought the movement in the hall indicated that the present generation was about to leave it. His motion was carried unanimously, and the Society adjourned sine die
The lateness of the hour, the physical weariness of all present, and the skilful resort to a motion to lay on the table, which was a surprise to the supporters of positive action, prevented the adoption of Mr. Lothrop