A scene in the Yankee Congress.
correspondent of the Cincinnati Gazette thus describes the scene in the Yankee
House of Representatives when Mr. Harris
, of Maryland
, delivered the speech which first let some light into that "convocation of politic worms:"
Finally a tall, light boarded, bald headed Marylander
, sitting on the extreme wing of the Opposition side, of pleasing presence, but unmistakable "chivalric" air, gets the floor.
He is not an eloquent speaker, but he makes up in fluency and defiant boldness what he lacks in grace.
His first sentence fixes everybody's attention. "I indorse every word the gentleman from Ohio
, Mr. Long
, has uttered, and will stand by and defend it for weal or woe" "Ab, ha!
he's got one manly backer, at least," is the involuntary exclamation one hears on every side.
Stepping out into the aisle, and moving defiantly down toward the Administration members, as he warms with the subject, he continued in the same strain.
He is willing to go with his friends anywhere on that issue.
Cannot a man say he is for peace, the saving of life and treasure?
He is for peace.
He is a Union man — a better Union man than anybody on the other side of the chamber — for he is a Peace Union man. If we can't have use Government, let us have two, and let them be splendid ones.
He is a slaveholder, or was, till Ben. Butler
stole all his slaves.
His father was a slaveholder before him, and a good Christian; and when a man talks here of slavery being the sum of all villainies he calls him and his father villains, and he tells that man, whoever he may be, that he is a liar and scoundrel.
The scene is a curious one.
This man is standing in the House of Representatives of the United States
, surrounded by the Democrats and the Border State
men of what claims to be a layal opposition. He is talking the boldest treason, yet they have clustered in delighted circles around him; almost every man's face wore a grateful smile, and at every extremely extravagant declaration they burst into open laughter and applause.
Meantime the Administration men crowd over till the front of the Clerk
's desk ed, and an angry group is formed among the chuckling Democrats right under the Speaker
He continues enlogizing the rebels, than whom, he says, a braver set of men, a more gallant or honorable set of men, never existed on God's earth; abusing the Administration, declaring that be would never vote a dollar or a man to be used by that tyrant, the President
; denouncing the war for the Union
as the most stupendous folly that ever disgraced any people; and now and again striking an attitude and shouting to the opposite side, if this be treason, make the most of it.
Finally, there comes the startling passage:
"The South asks you to leave them in peace; but no, you say you will bring them into subjection.
That is not done yet, and God Almighty grant that it may never be. I hope you will never subjugate the South
," cried a stentorian voice from a group standing near the defiant Marylander
Members turned to look, a little space is formed about him, and Mr Harris
waits, "I ask if it is proper for a member to pray God Almighty."--A perfect storm of "Order, order, order," latterly drowned out the remainder of the sentence.
resumes with the same game cook air, when the stentorian voice breaks in again, fairly hoarse with passion: "I demand to know whether"-- "Order, order, order," from the Democrat side, while the members spring from their seats, and there is a general movement towards the actors in the excited scene. "I rise to a point of order," shouts the same excited voice. "Well, what's your point of order?
Let's hear it," ships Harris
, turning contemptuously upon him.
"The gentleman rises to a point of order.
The gentleman from Maryland
Gentlemen in the states will take their seats.
The Chair will not recognize any one till order is restored," says the Speaker pro tem
and the gavel thumps vigorously on the table, while the crowd slowly scatters, and members reluctantly go back to their seats.
Among them, walking up the centre aisle, in an old, rough looking Pennsylvanian with bushy, grizzled head, and rugged features, and face fairly livid with rage.
He shouts again the moment he reaches his seat, "I rise to a point of order"
"the gentleman will state his point of order."
"My poult of order is this, sir; what right, sir, has he to pray to God Almighty to defeat, sir — to defeat the American
armies" The words came struggling out, unconnected, hot with rage.
"What sort of a point of order is that, I'd like to know?" heers Mr. Harris
"I want to know (order, order, order, and an unconscionable din) whether a member has a right to utter, treason (order, order, order,) in these hall's " Mr. Tracy
's voice, never very gentle at beat, rises with the and the last words are ly screamed, while everybody starts to his feet, and the excitement grows intense.
In the midst of the hubbub, Washburns is seen pushing his way down, till he can catch the eye of the Speaker
He is accustomed to being beard when he speaks; and his bull dog way generally wins in a contest of this kind.
There's a good deal of swagger in it; but he never allows himself to be cowed.
"I demand that the language of the gentleman from Maryland
be taken down at the clerk's desk, in accordance with the rule." "Too late, order, go on, never mind, go ahead," came up from the Democratic
holds the floor, and the shouting of the whole rebel army lasted of this little detachment, wouldn't mage his little sturdily demands the reading of the rate.
The Chair rules that the point is well taken; the words of the Marylander are reported from the clerk's desk:
"The South ask you to leave them in peace; but no, you any you will bring them into subjection.--That is not done yet, and God.
Almighty grant that it never may be. I hope you will sever subjugate the South
meanwhile has been sending, with head thrown back and arms the very picture of a crowing game cock, or of the traditional Irishman
, anxious for somebody "id on the tip of me coat rall" "Well in that all. " he cries; "That's right ! I say that over again what have you to say about it? " And the Democrats not quite sobered ret to a since of the simalion, again rear at the exuberant fun of this beautiful spectacle.
The Speaker declares the language out of order, and announces that the gentleman from Maryland
having violated the rule, can only proceed under it by unanimous consent.
"For one I protest against say man using such language in this hall," says Washburne
, in his dogged way.
"You mean you're afraid of it"? exclaims Harris
, leaning forward and putting on his most offensive sneer.
Shouts of order from the Administration side drown out his voice as be is about to proceed, and the Speaker
commands him to take his scar.--As he does it, losing the self controlled scantness he has hitherto displayed, and quivering with rage, be shakes his fist at Washburne
, and hisses "You G — d d — n villain, you! " The crowding and conclusion, however, prosecuted Washburne
and most of the Unionisms from seeing or hearing.
, with his only face and pursuable way comes to the resene, Nobody has, in all this storm of attack on the estimable gentleman and worthy representative from Ohio
, really stated what be did say. Mr. Wood
proposes to show, and to make sure of accuracy he reads the original manuscript:
"I now believe there are but two alternatives — either an acknowledgement of the South
as an independent nation or their complete subjugation and extermination as a people.
Of these alternatives, I prefer the former"
"Now," says Mr. Wood
, assuming, like Harris
, the defiant role, "now, sir, I endorse every word of that.
If you are going to expel him for it, you may as well expel me too." And he ephorates his desire to be made a martyrs.
It isn't long, till the matter strikes him as being more serious, and he make occasion to change" mind.
Some questions arising as to what Mr. Long
did say, Mr. Colfax
proposes to postpone the discussion till the Globe
Appears with the official report. --Everybody agrees.