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folly and wickedness of war. The shrieks and agonies, the rage and hatred, the wounds and curses of the battle-field, and the storm and the sack, had scattered in vain their terrible warnings throughout all lands. In vain had the insolent Lysander destroyed the walls and burnt the fleets of Athens, to the music of her own female flute-players. In vain had Scipio, amid the ruins of Carthage, in the spirit of a gloomy seer, applied to Rome herself the prophecy of Agamemnon,
“ The day shall come, the great avenging day,
In vain had Pyrrhus exclaimed, as for all the warrior gamblers of antiquity, “One such victory more and I am undone." In vain had the disgrace and the sufferings of Miltiades and Nicias, of Themistocles, Pausanias, and Alcibiades ; of Marius and Sylla, of Hannibal, Pompey, and Cesar, filled the nations with pity and dismay. The lamentations of the widow and the tears of the orphan, the broken hearts of age and the blasted hopes of youth, and beauty, and love, had pleaded in vain against the law of violence. The earth had drunk in the life-blood of the slain, and hidden their mangled bodies in her bosom: and there the garden, the orchard, and the harvest, flourished once more beautiful in the tints of nature, and rich in the melody of fount, and leaf, and breeze. The waters have swallowed into their depths the dying and the dead, and the ruined fleets both of victor and vanquished ; and again the waves danced in their sportiveness, or rushed in their fury, over the battle-plain of hostile navies. The innocence of childhood had forgotten the parent's violent death, the widow had recovered the lost smile of former years, the miserable old man had been gathered to his fathers, and affection had found new objects for its attachments.
Mr. Chairman,—I trust that I shall be indulged with some few reflections upon the danger of permitting the conduct on which it has been my painful duty to animadvert, to pass without a solemn expression of the disapprobation of this house. Recall to your recollection, sir, the free nations which have gone before us.
Where are they now?'
"Gone glimmering through the dream of things that were,
A schoolboy's tale, the wonder of an hour."
And how have they lost their liberties? If we could transport ourselves back, sir, to the ages when Greece and Rome flourished in their greatest prosperity, and, mingling in the throng, should ask a Grecian if he did not fear that some daring military chieftain, covered with glory, some Philip, or Alexander, would one day overthrow the liberties of his country,—the confident and indignant Grecian would exclaim, No! no! we have nothing to fear from our heroes; our liberties will be eternal. If a Roman citizen had been asked, if he did not fear that the conqueror of Gaul might establish a throne upon the ruins of public liberty, he would have instantly repelled the unjust insinuation. Yet Greece has fallen; Cesar has passed the rubicon ; and the patriotic arm even of Brutus could not preserve the liberties of his devoted country.
Sir, we are fighting a great moral battle for the benefit, not only of our country, but of all mankind. The eyes of the whole world are in fixed attention upon us. One, and the largest portion of it, is gazing with jealousy and with envy; the other portion with hope, with confidence, and with affection. Every where the black cloud of legitimacy is suspended over the world, save only one bright spot, which breaks out from the political hemisphere of the west, to enlighten, and animate, and gladden the human heart. Obscure that, by the downfall of liberty here, and all mankind are enshrouded in a pall of universal darkness. Beware, then, sir, how you give a fatal sanction, in this infant period of our republic, to military insubordination. Remember that Greece had her Alexander, Rome her Cesar, England her Cromwell, France her Bonaparte, and, that if we would escape the rock on which they split, we must avoid their errors.
I hope, sir, that gentlemen will deliberately survey the awful isthmus on which we stand. They may bear down all opposition. They may even vote the general* the public thanks. They may carry him triumphantly through this house. But if they do, sir, in my humble judgment, it will be a triumph of the principie of insubordination—a triumph of the military over the civil authority—a triumph over the powers of this house-a triumph over the constitution of the land—and I pray, sir, most devoutly, that it may not prove, in its ultimate effects and consequences, a triumph over the liberties of the people.
* General Jackson.
EVILS OF DISMEMBERMENT.-Webster.
Gentlemen, the political prosperity which this country has "attained, and which it now enjoys, it has acquired mainly through the instrumentality of the present government. While this agent continues, the capacity of attaining to still higher degrees of prosperity exists also. We have, while this lasts, a political life, capable of beneficial exertion, with power to resist or overcome misfortunes, to sustain us against the ordinary accidents of human affairs, and to promote, by active efforts, every public interest. But dismemberment strikes at the very being which preserves these faculties. It would lay its rude and ruthless hand on this great agent itself. It would sweep away, not only what we possess, but all power of regaining lost, or acquiring new, possessions. It would leave the country, not only bereft of its prosperity and happiness, but without limbs, or organs, or faculties, by which to exert itself, hereafter, in the pursuit of that prosperity and happiness.
Other misfortunes may be borne, or their effects overcome If disastrous war should sweep our commerce from the ocean, another generation may renew it; if it exhaust our treasury, future industry may replenish it; if it desolate and lay waste our fields, still, under a new cultivation, they will grow green again, and ripen to future harvests. It were but a trifle, even if the walls of yonder capitol were to crumble, if its lofty pillars should fall, and its gorgeous decorations be all covered by the dust of the valley. All these might be rebuilt. But who shall re-construct the fabric of demolished government? Who shall rear again the well-proportioned columns of constitutional liberty? Who shall frame together the skilful architecture which unites national sovereignty with state-rights, individual security, and public prosperity? No, gentlemen, if these columns fall
, they will be raised not again. Like the Coliseum and the Parthenon, they will be destined to a mournful, a melancholy immortality. Bitterer tears, however, will flow over them, than were ever shed over the monuments of Roman or Grecian art; for they will be the remnants of a more glorious edifice than Greece or Rome ever saw—the edifice of constitutional American liberty
But, gentlemen, let us hope for better things. Let us trust in that gracious Being who has hitherto held our country as in the hollow of his hand. Let us trust to the virtue and the intelligence of the people, and to the efficacy of religious obligation. Let us trust to the influence of Washington's example
Let us hope that that fear of heaven, which expels all other fear, and that regard to duty, which transcends all other regard, may influence public men and private citizens, and lead our country still onward in her happy career. Full of these gratifying anticipations and hopes, let us look forward to the end of that century which is now commenced. And may the disciples of Washington ther see, as we now see, the flag of the Union floating on the top of the capitol ; and then, as now, may the sun in his course visit no land more free, more happy, more lovely, than this our own country!
IMPRESSIONS DERIVED FROM THE STUDY OF HISTORY.
The study of the history of most other nations, fills the mind with sentiments not unlike those which the American traveler feels on entering the venerable and lofty cathedral of some proud old city of Europe. Its solenın grandeur, its vastness, its obscurity, strike awe to the heart. From the richly-painted windows, filled with sacred emblems and strange antique forms, a dim religious light falls around. A thousand recollections of romance, and poetry, and legendary story, come crowding in
He is surrounded by the tombs of the mighty dead, rich with the labors of ancient art, and emblazoned with the pomp of heraldry.
What names does he read upon them? Those of princes and nobles who are now remembered only for their vices, and of sovereigns, at whose death no tears were shed, and whose memories lived not an hour in the affections of their people.There, too, he sees other names, long familiar to him for their guilty or ambiguous fame. There rest, the blood-stained soldier of fortune—the orator, who was ever the ready apologist of tyranny-great scholars, who were the pensioned flatterers of power
and poets, who profaned their heaven-gifted talent to
pamper the vices of a corrupted court.
Our own history, on the contrary, like that poetical temple of fame, which was reared by the imagination of Chaucer, and decorated by the taste of Pope, is almost exclusively dedicated to the memory of the truly great. Or rather, like the Pantheon of Rome, it stands in calm and severe beauty amid the ruins of ancient magnificence and “ the toys of modern state.” Within, no idle ornament encumbers its bold simplicity. The pure light of heaven enters from above and sheds an equal and
serene radiance around. As the eye wanders about its extent, it beholds the unadorned monuments of brave and good men who have greatly bled or toiled for their country, or it rests on votive tablets inscribed with the names of the best benefactors of mankind.
Yes—land of liberty! thy children have no cause to blush for thee. What though the arts have reared no monuments among us, and scarce a trace of the muse's footstep is found in the paths of our forest, or along the banks of our rivers; yet our soil has been consecrated by the blood of heroes, and by great and holy deeds of peace. Its wide extent has become one vast temple and hallowed asylum, sanctified by the prayers and blessings of the persecuted of every sect, and the wretched of all nations. Land of refuge-land of benedictions! Those prayers
still arise, and they still are heard. May peace be within thy walls and plenteousness within thy palaces;"
May there be no decay, no leading into captivity, and no complaining in thy streets ;" “ May truth flourish out of the earth, and righteousness look down from heaven."
IMPORTANCE OF PRESERVING THE UNION.-Webster.
I profess, sir, in my career hitherto, to have kept steadily in view the prosperity and honor of the whole country, and the preservation of our federal union. It is to that union we owe our safety at home, and our consideration and dignity abroad. It is to that union that we are chiefly indebted for whatever makes us most proud of our country. That union we reached, only by the discipline of our virtues, in the severe school of adversity. It had its origin in the necessities of disordered finance, prostrate commerce, and ruined credit. Under its benign influences, these great interests immediately awoke, as from the dead, and sprang forth with newness of life. Every year of its duration has teemed with fresh proofs of its utility and its blessings; and although our territory has stretched out, wider and wider, and our population spread farther and farther, they have not outrun its protection, or its benefits. It has been to us all a copious fountain of national, social, and personal happiness.
I have not allowed myself, sir, to look beyond the union, to see what might lie hidden in the dark recess behind. I have not coolly weighed the chances of preserving liberty, when the bonds that unite us together shall be broken asunder. I have