|Gen. Benjamin F. Butler|
|U.S. Capitol, 1861|
Few speakers are accorded more than five minutes of attentive silence; the debates are carried on at one end of the room, while at the other end no one is any longer paying the slightest heed. It is therefore necessary to speak like Demosthenes so as to be heard above the sound of the waves, to go right on speaking without giving any thought to ones audience and to shout loudly enough for the stenographers to hear. Hence the oratory of the House is full of long-winded bluster, accompanied by gesticulations -- in fact, the very image of a public meeting.
As usual, Duvergier de Hauranne demonstrates he is a keen observer of the political scene. With perhaps as little as five votes needed in the House to pass the anti-slavery Thirteenth Amendment, he describes how difficult the naysaying Democrats will be to win over but notes that the Republicans at the same time have the luxury of allowing their adversaries "to tear themselves to pieces" knowing the anti-slavery cause will ultimately prevail.
|Rep. Fernando Wood (D-NY)|