- Project Runeberg -  America of the Fifties: Letters of Fredrika Bremer /

(1924) [MARC] Author: Fredrika Bremer
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speech by the senator from South Carolina, Judge
Butler, an estimable man and a good friend of
mine (always excepting as regards this question),
I perceived that a thrill, as if from a noiseless
electric shock, had passed through the assembly;
a number of fresh persons entered by the principal
doors, and at once Daniel Webster was seen to
stand beside the speaking senator, indicating with
a deprecatory gesture that he must interrupt him
on account of some important business. The orator
bowed and was silent; a stillness as of death
reigned in the house, and all eyes were fixed upon
Webster, who himself stood silent for a few
seconds, as if to prepare the assembly for tidings
of serious import. He then spoke slowly, and
with that deep and impressive voice which is
peculiar to him.

“I have a sorrowful message to deliver to the
Senate. A great misfortune threatens the
nation. The President of the United States,
General Taylor, is dying, and may not survive the

Again that silent electrical shock was perceptible.
I saw many persons turn pale, and I felt
myself grow pale also from the unexpected
announcement, and from seeing the effect which it
had produced. One senator bowed his head upon
his hands, as if he heard the thunder of judgment.

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