We are far from extenuating the inflammatory
and seditious speech which instigated the attack.
And then in its next issue, it copied approvingly from the Washington Star, a miserable paragraph, from which we quote the following:
His personal vilification and abuse of Senator
Butler, than whom a more considerate and higher
toned gentleman never graced a seat in the national
councils, caused a blush of shame to mantle the
cheeks of all present who respect the character of
the body before whom it was uttered; because it
was wholly unjust and untrue, and, in style, far
better suited to some low doggery in a region of
country wherein billingsgate is uttered with impunity,
because it is not customary there to resent
and punish such language personally.
Fortunately Mr. Sumner's speech will speak for
itself -- and it will show very clearly that its
character is as grossly misrepresented in this
paragraph, as is the character of Mr. Butler. Mr.
It is true that Mr. Sumner, in his speech, used the weapon of ridicule, but that, by universal consent, is as lawful and proper a weapon as argument. There is nothing in it so severe or ore personal than some remarks made by Mr. Webster on various occasions. We all remember that in his great speech in reply to Hayne, most decidedly the best political speech he ever made, he said:
I employ no scavengers -- no one is in attendance
on me, tendering such means of retaliation; and
if there were, with an ass's load of them, with a
bulk as large as that which the gentleman himself
has produced, I would not touch one of them.
It is well known that another Senator was "in attendance" on Mr. Hayne, furnishing him with, and referring him to, the pamphlets, &c., to which Mr. Webster referred. In view of this fact, there is nothing in Mr. Sumner's speech so personally offensive, as this declaration of Mr. Webster's about scavengers! We remember, too, Mr. Webster's terribly scathing castigation of C. J. Ingersoll, compared with which Mr. Sumner's speech may be called mild, and at another time he took occasion to compare Mr. Cass to Snug, the Joiner!
But we find this subject ably treated in an article from the Boston Transcript, part of which we copy:--
[Boston Transcript article omitted]
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