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NHE Senate Chamber at Washington and altogether comfortable. Each Senator,
is shaped like an arc. The galleries too, in his moments of relaxation, predicates
outline the segment; in the center a double-gown and a pair of slippers. He of the chord is the marble dais whereon is not only has arrived, but he has brought his enthroned the presiding officer. In the area things with him, and is going to stay a little below are first the clerks and the reporters, while. And why not, indeed ?—who has a and then the Senators themselves, with the plainer right to fold the hands against politiDemocrats on the right and the Republicans cal worry? In a half-dozen years one may on the left, and the Populists sitting wherever survive a half-dozen tempests of unpopularthey can—the architect evidently not having ity and yet come forth for re-election to find been aware that there may be three sides to the sun shining never so brightly. Reprea question.
sentatives, it is true, can never escape from To the thoughtful, who realize the folly as the eternal“ next fall;" that is an old man of well as the futility of the cry, sometime pop- the sea that presses its knees and drives in ular, that the Senate should be abolished, its heels in House, lobby, and committeethere is something symbolical in the design room. But if a sword is suspended over any of this dignified and beautiful assembly-room; Senator's head, there are six strands that for it seems to denote that the Senate is an must be parted before damage can be done. important and essential part of the govern- Time is an emollient of bitterness. When mental circle, without which there would be Rip Van Winkle returned, he was fat and an unsightly break—a gap that could not be hearty and well liked by his neighbors. filled.
Together with this security of position, a The air of the Senate, like that of all high Senator has many high privileges. Like an altitudes, is clear and calm. Beneath are Ambassador, he has instant access to the the clouds and storms; here prevails the President. His name on a card can work all serenity of remoteness and permanence. As sorts of official wonders at the Departments, an exponent of this peculiar atmosphere, being a presto-change for positions not subVice-President Hobart seems the right man ject to civil service rules. Representatives in the right place: he can be so somnolent of his party bow down before him, delighted
to receive the scraps after he has taken the interviewing so prevalent about the entrances lion-share of the patronage. The sight of a of the House. At one side of the Senate Congressman talking with his Senator re- Chamber is a large anteroom, where decorum minds one of a good little boy being sent on reigns and hats are sternly admonished off an errand–he looks so pleased to do as he if not immediately doffed. At the passageis told. A Senator, too, is attended by the way to the inner apartment sits an elderly most expert of underlings. There is no man, with several youths in waiting. You clerk so full of whispered information, au. hand your card to this Lord Chamberlain in thentic, mark you, as the Senatorial clerk. mufti, at the same time breathing the name There is no page so spry as the Senatorial of the Senator whom you desire to see, page. When he gets to be too old to be in which he notes on the back. He then detwo places at one time, he is translated to the livers the pasteboard, thus still further stifHouse, and another little brother of Puck fened, to one of the esquires, with much of appointed in his stead. The Sergeant-at- the air of Gunkeeper No. I to the King handArms is a natural
ing the royal musborn coddler; it is
ket to Gunkeeper said that he sup
No. 2. Away goes plies mufflers and
the messenger, galoshes in the win
speedily or slothter, and lemonade
fully in direct proand fans in thesum
portion with his mer for his wards
length of service, in-arms. As for the
On his return he Capitol policeman,
stands in the doorhis hours are re
way and makes duced when he
the following anserves in the Sen
nouncements to ate wing, the strain
those seeking audiof responsibility is
ence, who again so intense. The
find themselves Senate doorkeeper
looking for pumps is a survival of the
and knee-breeches: fittest—an heir.
“ Senator Blank loom of deportment
is not here at presfrom the fathers.
ent.” “Senator SoSometimes he qua.
and-so will see you, vers of the days
sir. Juststep right before the war, as if
in to the receptionthey were but yes
room." “Senator terday. He means
X? Very sorry, the Mexican war. VICE-PRESIDENT GARRET A. HOBART
madam, but the The public seeking information finds a Senator makes it a rule not to see ladies at marked contrast for the better in the Senate the Capitol.” wing of the Capitol. Officials not only know, Other Senators do make it a rule to see but they seem anxious to impart. One ladies at the Capitol, as the lucky seeker gratefully misses that rollicking, transitory in after Senator So-and-so discovers as he difference so noticeable in the attaches of the passes right into the reception-room. For House. Take Mr. Amzi Smith, for instance, there is an aura of femininity prevalent Superintendent of the Senate Documents which seems to say that America is also Room from time immemorial. Any one who ruled by a queen. As for the room itself, it has the pleasure of consulting him meets a might well have been borrowed from a salon veritable index of the rolls, who has not only of mediæval Paris, or of a Hudson River the title and contents of every bill, but also night-boat, so profuse is it with heavy draabundant copies of the same, at his fingers' peries, puffy furniture, and glittering glass ends, all at the disposal of every comer. ornamentations. Soon the Senator appears,
Senators are much beset by visitors, but beaming as to the eye and grasping as to the there is none of that informal, pertinacious hand, and all aglow with the consciousness
of what a royal good fellow he is, to be sure. He leads to an unoccupied corner, and then the inevitable whispering begins. Suddenly an electric bell rings buzzily. “Executive session,” some one cries; and the visitors scurry away, while the Solons, with many a mental wink, leisurely return to talk scandal behind closed doors—or, in other words, to consider the nomination of John Smith as Postmaster at Porkopolis.
Procedure in the Senate differs from procedure in the House as suaviter in modo differs from fortiter in re. Yet some of the mightiest engines are the most noiseless. Everything is done by your leave instead of in your despite. The majority sits with, instead of on, the minority. “This is a Senate of equals," remarked Webster, although well knowing that he wore the largest hat. There have been occasional wrangles, it is true, but these have been started by new men, recent graduates of the House, not yet thoroughly etiolated, and have been instigated by the aggressive independence of such an elevation. Now, true Senatorial independence is unconscious; you must take it for granted, like all other blessings, without even being duly thankful. That man is most apt to lead in the Senate who has the least design to do so. During the last session several eminent Senators won the censure of their associates, besides a liberal supply of unreliable information, by attempting to canvass regarding certain important measures then pending—a custom meekly acquiesced in by the House. This was an innovation; and a Senatorial innovation, be it understood, is impertinent. The one unpardonable sin in the Senate is to be un-Senatorial.
From a lack of autocracy, it follows that committees in the Senate are less powerful than in the House, where each committee illustrates the anomaly of a part being considerably larger than the whole. Even the way in which Senatorial committee-assignments are made marks this difference; for they are reported from a select committee and ratified by ballot, instead of being dropped from a Speaker's hat. In regard to chairmanships, seniority of service generally controls, but not always. For example, Senator Davis was chosen Chairman of Foreign Relations, although junior in service to Senator Frye. Precedence in a committee is strictly observed. A Senator will say proudly, “I am number two on Claims,” and then add modestly, “I am number thirteen
still entitled to be called a deliberative body. prop, a not infrequent visitor at the National Debate is regarded as an agent and not as Capital, might observe. an interpellator. There is no clôture, al- From this very ease and breadth of prothough there have been several desperate cedure, it often happens that the Senate attempts to establish it, notably once by takes the initiative and both leads and conHenry Clay, and once again, in our own trols public opinion. This is contrary to the times, during Harrison's administration, in popular notion that the Senate is nothing the interest of a new force bill. It may ap- if not reactionary; but if all popular notions pear significant, except to those whose em- could be collated and published, the collection blem for the will of the majority is a blud- would be the most exhaustive epitome of geon, that in every instance where clôture delusions extant. Throughout the course of has been advocated, it has been as the last events leading up to the declaration that resort for the passage of some unpopular Spanish sovereignty must cease on the island and undemocratic measure. The Senate of Cuba, it was the will of the Senate that rules on the subject of debate merely pro- prevailed. The most efficient machine is the vide that no Senator shall speak more than simplest, not the most complex. Now, the twice in any one debate on the same day. Senate is a small, homogeneous body; it may Hence, when a Senator gets the floor, he almost be said to run itself, were not to run holds it at the will of his verbosity. A Sena. too active a verb to be used in such connectorial sense of what is decent and right, how- tion. ever, proves an efficient check. This sense, The Senators, necessarily, know one another by the way, like unconscious independence, well. Hence there is an imaginary line be. is a development—something to be acquired tween the two sides, and not a barrier as in by a new Senator, but second nature itself the House. It is a very common sight to see to an old one. As Senator Teller remarked members of different parties visiting with during the rancorous Hawaiian debate last each other. It seems as if the Republicans summer, it is assumed that no Senator says took the lead in this good fellowship, many more than he has to say, and hence it is the of their younger Senators being fond of pleasure of the Senate to hear him. In fact, wandering over to the Democratic seats and a certain noblesse does oblige, as Mrs. Mala- cracking a joke or arguing a point of law
SENATOR JUSTIN S. MORRILL
The oldest member of the Senate. with some fine old Southern Bourbon. The that infuence in the Senate is proportioned latter, after having once settled in his stock with years. The older Senators seem to and adjusted the wrinkles of his broadcloth, is come from the East and South; the younger, more apt to remain statuesquely stationary. from the Middle States and the West. All Many of the Senators are nomadic in their of the Senate are native-born except the propensities, folding up their papers and following : Pasco, Mantle, Jones of Nevada, stealing away from one seat to another like and Wetmore, who were born in England; peripatetic philosophers in search of a shadier Sewell, who was born in Ireland ; Gallinger grove. Does a Senator envy the title to a and McMillan, who were born in Canada; certain seat, he puts his name down in a book and Nelson, who was born in Norway. The kept for such records, and then, when the foregoing, therefore, are the only ones ineligipresent occupant retires to private life, if the ble to the Presidency. Not a serious disapplicant still survives Senatorially, he suc- ability, some will say, bearing in mind the old ceeds to it.
saying that the Senate is the graveyard of The average age of the present Senate is political hopes. But is this true ? Only to about fifty-seven, the oldest Senator, Morrill, the extent, it would seem, that, where only of Vermont, being eighty-eight, and the young- one can be successful at a time, many must est, Butler, of North Carolina, being thirty- be disappointed; for the Senate, assuredly, five. There is something significant about is a forcing-bed for Presidential candidates. these two extremes; for the former, in his There has rarely been an election, since Montendencies and beliefs, is all that is settled roe's era of good feeling, when not one of the and conservative, and the latter all that is nominees has ever served in the Senate. The new and radical. In general, it may be said graveyard generalization is probably a sur