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[299] personal liberty. Repeal this enactment; let its terrors no longer rage through the land. Mindful of the lowly whom it pursues; mindful of the good men perplexed by its requirements,—in the name of charity, in the name of the Constitution, repeal this enactment, totally and without delay. There is the example of Washington,—follow it. There, also, are words of Oriental piety, most touching and full of warning, which speak to all mankind, and now especially to us: “Beware of the groans of wounded souls, since the inward sore will at length break out! Oppress not to the utmost a single heart; for a solitary sigh has power to overturn a whole world.”

The speech occupied three hours and three quarters, and there was no interruption or disturbance of any kind. Though it was unexpected, the galleries and chambers filled soon after he began. The passages in the speech which appealed to human sympathies touched the hearts of many spectators. Mr. Webster, who happened to come in early in the speech, remained an hour;1 and as far as known it was his last visit to the Senate. It would be most interesting to know what passed in his mind as he listened to his successor affirming doctrines and exhibiting a spirit so opposite to his own recent course in the same place.

It was the desire of the more temperate section of the Compromise party to let the speech pass unnoticed, but the Southerners were too excitable to practise such self-restraint. Clemens of Alabama, whose public life was limited to the single term he was serving, a man of little prominence and ability, rose first, and contented himself with expressing the hope that ‘none of his friends would make any reply to the speech which the senator from Massachusetts had seen fit to inflict on the Senate;’ and added, without being called to order, ‘I shall only say, sir, that the ravings of a maniac may sometimes be dangerous, but the barking of a puppy never did any harm.’ Badger2 of North Carolina undertook a formal reply. He was a well-trained lawyer, and very ready in debate, but never rose to a statesmanlike manner of discussion, and withal was wanting in personal dignity and seriousness of character. Most of his speech, though a long one, was ad captandum, and (lid not attempt to meet the argument. He referred to the unseasonable time and occasion of Sumner's ‘elaborate oration, carefully written, studied, and committed to memory;’ upbraided him for delaying for eight months ‘the tirade of abuse’

1 Mann's Life, p. 381.

2 1795-1866.

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