fore yom to answer for themselves; to meet tie evidvrccc
which may be adduced against them, and await the decision
of the committee and the House. But the petitioners are
not prepared to support their allegations. They have no
witnesses to produce-no evidence of any sort to lay be-
fore you, and yet they ask for delay. Why are they not
ready I If the evils of which they complained existed, it
could not be difficult to prove them. They are of a pub-
lic nature-affecting not merely individuals, but the com-
munity. Can it require weeks and months and years to
prove their existence If the Shakers were guilty as is
alleged against them, there would be no lack of evidence
to prove their guilt. The witnesses would be all around,
and a week would not be wanted to bring them before you.
Canterbury is an adjoining town, and but afew steps from
you. The Shakers there are of the same society-the same
in principle and in practice, with those of Enfield; and the
same causes of complaint exist in the one town as in the
other. Why are not the petitioners' witnesses, if they have
any, upon the ground  It is not stated to you that they
are sick or at sea, or in other climes or other countries.-
No excuse is offered for their absence-it is not known
that any attempt has been made to procure their atten-
dance;-and yet you are urged to postpone the hearing
and require the attendance of the Shakers at another ses-
sion to answer to charges without foundation and without
a shadow of evidence to support them or justify the delay.
After the frequent investigations which have been had-
after the delay which has already taken place-and after
the acknowledged agreement of the petitioners on this day
to have a hearing-the petitioners are justified in asking
the committee to dispose of the petition and detain them
no longer. It may be sport to the agent of the complain-
ants to have this case pending before the Legislature from
session to session and from year to year. He is a member
of your House, paid by the State, and can attend here with-
out inconvenience and without expense. This agency for
the petitioners may secure him another election, and give
him an opportunity to ask at the next session for still fur-
ther delay. But it is not so with the accused. Their
towns do not send them here, and the State does not pay
them for their attendance. They attend at no trifling ex-
pense, with much inconvenience to themselves, and great
detriment to their interests. But however painful to their