Slike strani

heretofore unknown. Knowledge has, in our troversy. From the closet and the public halls time, triumphed, and is triumphing over dis- the debate has been transferred to the field; tance, orer difference of languages, over diver- and the world has been shaken by wars of unsity of habits, over prejudice, and over bigotry. exampled magnitude, and the greatest variety The civilized and Christian world is fast learn- of fortune. A day of peace has at length sucing the great lesson, that difference of nation ceeded; and now that the strife has subsided, does not imply necessary hostility, and that all and the smoke cleared away, we may begin to contact need not be war. The whole world is see what has actually been done, permanently becoming a common field for intellect to act in. changing the state and condition of human soEnergy of mind, genius, power, wheresoever it ciety. And without dwelling on particular cirexists, may speak out in any tongue, and the cumstances, it is most apparent, that, from the world will hear it. A great chord of sentiment before-mentioned causes of augmented knowland feeling runs through two continents, and edge and improved individual condition, a real, vibrates over both. Every breeze wafts intel- substantial, and important change has taken ligence from country to country; every wave place, and is taking place, greatly beneficial, on rolls it; all give it forth, and all in turn receive the whole, to human liberty and human hapit. There is a vast commerce of ideas; there piness. are marts and exchanges for intellectual dis- The great wheel of political revolution began coveries, and a wonderful fellowship of those to move in America. Here its rotation was individual intelligences which make up the guarded, regular, and safe. Transferred to the mind and opinion of the age. Mind is the great other continent, from unfortunate but natural lever of all things; human thought is the pro- causes, it received an irregular and violent imcess by which human ends are ultimately an- pulse; it whirled along with a fearful celerity; swered ; and the diffusion of knowledge, so till at length, like the chariot wheels in the astonishing in the last half century, has ren- races of antiquity, it took fire from the rapidity dered innumerable minds, variously gifted by of its own motion, and blazed onward, spreadnature, competent to be competitors, or fellow-ing conflagration and terror around. workers, on the theatre of intellectual opera- We learn from the result of this experiment, tion.

how fortunate was our own condition, and how From these causes, important improvements admirably the character of our people was calhave taken place in the personal condition of culated for making the great example of popuindividuals. Generally speaking, mankind are lar governments. The possession of power did not only better fed, and better clothed, but they not turn the heads of the American people, for are able also to enjoy more leisure; they pos- they had long been in the habit of exercising sess more refinement and more self-respect. A a great portion of self-control. Although the superior tone of education, manners, and habits paramount authority of the parent State existed prevails. This remark, most true in its appli- over them, yet a large field of legislation had cation to our own country, is also partly true, always been open to our colonial assemblies. when applied elsewhere. It is proved by the They were accustomed to representative bodies vastly augmented consumption of those articles and the forms of free government; they underof manufacture and of commerce, which con- stood the doctrine of the division of power tribute to the comforts and the decencies of among different branches, and the necessity of life; an augmentation which has far outrun the checks on each. The character of our countryprogress of population. And while the unex- men, moreover, was sober, moral, and religious; ampled and almost incredible use of machinery and there was little in the change to shock their would seem to supply the place of labor, labor feelings of justice and humanity, or even to disstill finds its occupation and its reward; so turb an honest prejudice. We had no domestic wisely has Providence adjusted men's wants throne to overturn, no privileged orders to cast and desires to their condition and their capa- down, no violent changes of property to encity.

counter. In the American Revolution, no man Any adequate survey, however, of the pro-sought or wished for more than to defend and gress made in the last half century, in the polite enjoy his own. None hoped for plunder or for and the mechanic arts, in machinery and man- spoil. Rapacity was unknown to it; the axe ufactures, in commerce and agriculture, in let- was not among the instruments of its accomters, and in science, would require volumes. I plishment; and we all know that it could not must abstain wholly from these subjects, and have lived a single day under any well-founded turn, for a moment, to the contemplation of imputation of possessing a tendency adverse to what has been done on the great question of the Christian religion. politics and government. This is the master It need not surprise us, that, under circumtopic of the age; and during the whole fifty stances less auspicious, political revolutions years, it has intensely occupied the thoughts of elsewhere, even when well intended, have termen.

The nature of civil government, its ends minated differently. It is, indeed, a great and uses, have been canvassed and investigated; achievement, it is the master work of the world, ancient opinions attacked and defended; new to establish governments entirely popular, on ideas recommended and resisted, by whatever lasting foundations; nor is it easy, indeed, to power the mind of man could bring to the con- I introduce the popular principle at all, into governments to which it has been altogether a will be less likely to become general and involve stranger. It cannot be doubted, however, that many nations, as the great principle shall be Europe has come out of the contest, in which more and more established, that the interest of she has been so long engaged, with greatly su- the world is peace, and its first great statute, perior knowledge, and, in many respects, a that every nation possesses the power of estabhighly-improved condition. Whatever benefit lishing a government for itself. But public has been acquired, is likely to be retained, for opinion has attained also an intluence over govit consists mainly in the acquisition of more ernments which do not admit the popular prinenlightened ideas. And although kingdoms and ciple into their organization. A necessary provinces may be wrested from the hands that respect for the judgment of the world operates, hold them, in the same manner they were ob- in some measure, as a control over the most tained; although ordinary and vulgar power unlimited forms of authority. It is owing, permay, in human affairs, be lost as it has been haps, to this truth, that the interesting struggle won; yet it is the glorious prerogative of the of the Greeks has been suffered to go on so long, empire of knowledge, that what it gains it never without a direct interference, either to wrest loses. On the contrary, it increases by the that country from its present masters, and add multiple of its own power; all its ends become it to other powers, or to execute the system of means; all its attainments helps to new con- pacification by force, and, with united strength, quests. Its whole abundant harvest is but so lay the neck of Christian and civilized Greece at much seed wheat, and nothing has ascertained, the foot of the barbarian Turk. Let us thank and nothing can ascertain the amount of ulti- God that we live in an age when something has mate product.

influence besides the bayonet, and when the Under the influence of this rapidly-increasing sternest authority does not venture to encounter knowledge, the people have begun, in all forms the scorching power of public reproach. Any of government, to think and to reason on affairs attempt of the kind I have mentioned, should of state. Regarding government as an institu- be met by one universal burst of indignation ; tion for the public good, they demand a knowl- the air of the civilized world ought to be made edge of its operations, and a participation in its too warm to be comfortably breathed by any exercise. A call for the representative system, who would hazard it. wherever it is not enjoyed, and where there is It is, indeed, a touching reflection, that while, already intelligence enough to estimate its value, in the fulness of our country's happiness, we is perseveringly made. Where men may speak rear this monument to her honor, we look for out, they demand it; where the bayonet is at instruction in our undertaking, to a country their throats, they pray for it.

which is now in fearful contest, not for works When Louis XIV. said, “I am the state," he of art or memorials of glory, but for her own expressed the essence of the doctrine of unlim- existence. Let her be assured, that she is not ited power. By the rules of that system, the forgotten in the world; that her efforts are appeople are disconnected from the state; they plauded, and that constant prayers ascend for are its subjects; it is their lord. These ideas, her success. And let us cherish a confident founded in the love of power, and long support- hope for her final triumph. If the true spark ed by the excess and the abuse of it, are yield of religious and civil liberty be kindled, it will ing in our age, to other opinions; and the burn. Human agency cannot extinguish it. civilized world seems at last to be proceeding to Like the earth's central fire it may be smothered the conviction of that fundamental and manifest for a time; the ocean may overwhelm it; mountruth, that the powers of government are but a tains may press it down; but its inherent and trust, and that they cannot be lawfully exercised unconquerable force will heave both the ocean but for the good of the community. As knowl- and the land, and at some time or another, in edge is more and more extended, this conviction some place or another, the volcano will break becomes more and more general. Knowledge, out and flame up to heaven. in truth, is the great sun in the firmament. Among the great events of the half century, Life and power are scattered with all its beams. we must reckon, certainly, the revolution of The prayer of the Grecian combatant, when South America; and we are not likely to overenveloped in unnatural clouds and darkness, is rate the importance of that revolution, either to the appropriate political supplication for the the people of the country itself or to the rest of people of every country not yet blessed with the world. The late Spanish colonies, now infree institutions:

dependent states, under circumstances less fa

vorable, doubtless, than attended our own rev“ Dispel this cloud, the light of heaven restore, Give me TO SEE--and Ajax asks no more.”

olution, have yet successfully commenced their

national existence. They have accomplished the We may hope, that the growing influence of great object of establishing their independence; enlightened sentiments will promote the perma- they are known and acknowledged in the world; nent peace of the world. Wars, to maintain and although in regard to their systems of govfamily alliances, to uphold or to cast down dy- ernment, their sentiments on religious toleration, nasties, to regulate successions to thrones, which and their provisions for public instruction, they have occupied so much room in the history of may have yet much to learn, it must be admiimodern times if not less likely to happen at all, I ted that they have risen to the condition of

settled and established states, more rapidly than ble to the experiment can ever be expected to could have been reasonably anticipated. They occur. The last hopes of mankind, therefore, already furnish an exhilarating example of the rest with us; and if it should be proclaimed, difference between free governments and des- that our example had become an argument potic misrule. Their commerce, at this moment, against the experiment, the knell of popular creates a new activity in all the great marts of liberty would be sounded throughout the earth. the world. They show themselves able, by an These are excitements to duty ; but they are exchange of commodities, to bear an useful part not suggestions of doubt. Our history and our in the intercourse of nations.

condition, all that is gone before us, and all that A new spirit of enterprise and industry begins surrounds us, authorize the belief, that popular to prevail; all the great interests of society re- governments, though subject to occasional variceive a salutary impulse ; and the progress of ations, perhaps not always for the better, in information not only testifies to an improved form, may yet, in their general character, be as condition, but constitutes itself the highest and durable and permanent as other systems. We most essential improvement.

know, indeed, that in our country, any other is When the battle of Bunker Till was fought, impossible. The principle of free governments the existence of South America was scarcely adheres to the American soil. It is bedded in felt in the civilized world. The thirteen little it; immovable as its mountains. colonies of North America habitually called And let the sacred obligations which have themselves the “continent.” Borne down by devolved on this generation, and on us, sink colonial subjugation, monopoly and bigotry, deep into our hearts. Those are daily dropping these vast regions of the South were hardly from among us, who established our liberty and visible above the horizon. But in our day there our government. The great trust now descends hath been, as it were, a new creation. The to new hands. Let us apply ourselves to that southern hemisphere emerges from the sea. Its which is presented to us, as our appropriate oblofty mountains begin to lift themselves into the ject. Wo can win no laurels in a war for indelight of heaven; its broad and fertile plains pendence. Earlier and worthier hands have stretch out, in beauty, to the eye of civilized gathered them all. Nor are there places for us man, and at the mighty bidding of the voice of by the side of Solon, and Alfred, and other political liberty the waters of darkness retire. founders of States. Our fathers have filled

And now, let us indulge an honest exultation them. But there remains to us a great duty of in the conviction of the benefit, which the ex- defence and preservation; and there is opened ample of our country has produced, and is likely to us, also, a noble pursuit, to which the spirit to produce, on human freedom and human hap- of the times strongly invites us. piness. And let us endeavor to comprehend, in business is improvement. Let our age be the all its magnitude, and to feel, in all its impor- age of improvement. In a day of peace, let us tance, the part assigned to us in the great drama advance the arts of peace and the works of of human affairs. We are placed at the head of peace. Let us develop the resources of our the system of representative and popular gov- land, call forth its powers, build up its instituernments. Thus far our example shows, that tions, promote all its great interests, and see such governments are compatible, not only with whether we also, in our day and generation, respectability and power, but with repose, with may not perform something worthy to be repeace, with security of personal rights, with membered. Let us cultivate a true spirit of good laws, and a just administration.

union and harmony. In pursuing the great obWe are not propagandists. Wherever other jects, which our condition points out to us, let systems are preferred, either as being thought us act under a settled conviction, and an habitbetter in themselves, or as better suited to ex- ual feeling, that these twenty-four states are one isting condition, we leave the preference to be country. Let our conceptions be enlarged to enjoyed. Our history bitherto proves, however, the circle of our duties. Let us extend our that the popular form is practicable, and that ideas over the whole of the vast field in which with wisdom and knowledge men may govern we are called to act. Let our object be, our themselves; and the duty incumbent on us is, country, our whole country, and nothing but to preserve the consistency of this cheering ex our country. And, by the blessing of God, may ample, and take care that nothing may weaken that country itself become a vast and splendid its authority with the world. If, in our case, monument, not of oppression and terror, but of the representative system ultimately fail, popu- wisdom, of peace, and of liberty, upon which lar governments must be pronounced impossible. the world may gaze with admiration, forever! No combination of circumstances more favora

Our proper

VOL. II.-24

we now are.


734 Daniel Peitter. In the Senate of the United States, on the might stand out of the way, or prepare ourtwenty-sixth of January, 1830, following Mr. selves to fall before it

, and die with decency, Hayne in the debate, Mr. Webster spoke as and with expectation awakened by the tone

has now been received. Under all advantages, follows:*

which preceded it, it has been discharged, and

has spent its force. It may become me to say Me. PreSIDENT,—When the mariner has been no more of its effect, than that, if nobody is tossed for many days, in thick weather, and on found, after all, either killed or wounded by it, an unknown sea, he naturally avails himself of it is not the first time, in the history of human the first pause in the storm, the earliest glance affairs, that the vigor and success of the war of the sun, to take his latitude, and ascertain have not quite come up to the lofty and soundhow far the elements have driven him from his ing phrase of the manifesto. true course. Let us imitate this prudence, and, The gentleman, sir, in declining to postpone before we float farther on the waves of this de- the debate, told the Senate, with the emphasis bate, refer to the point from which we departed, of his hand upon his heart, that there was somethat we may at least be able to conjecture where thing rankling here, which he wished to relieve.

I ask for the reading of the reso- [Mr. Hayne rose, and disclaimed having used lution.

the word rankling.] It would not, Mr. PresiThe Secretary read the resolution, as follows: dent, be safe for the honorable member to ap

Resolved, That the Committee on Public peal to those around him upon the question, Lands be instructed to inquire and report the whether he did, in fact, make use of that word. quantity of public lands remaining unsold with. But he may have been unconscious of it. At in each State and Territory, and whether it be any rate, it is enough that he disclaims it. But expedient to limit, for a certain period, the still, with or without the use of that particular sales of the public lands to such lands only as word, he had yet something here, he said, of have heretofore been offered for sale, and are which he wished to rid himself by an imme now subject to entry at the minimum price. diate reply. In this respect, sir, I have a great And, also, whether the office of surveyor-gene- advantage over the honorable gentleman. ral, and some of the land offices, may not be There is nothing here, sir, which gives me the abolished without detriment to the public in- slightest uneasiness; neither fear, nor anger, nor terest; or whether it be expedient to adopt that which is sometimes more troublesome than measures to hasten the sales, and extend more either-the consciousness of having been in the rapidly the surveys of the public lands." wrong. There is nothing, either originating

We have thus heard, sir, what the resolution here, or now received here by the gentleman's is, which is actually before us for consideration; shot. Nothing original, for I had not the slightand it will readily occur to every one that it is est feeling of disrespect or unkindness towards almost the only subject about which something the honorable member. Some passages, it is has not been said in the speech, running through true, had occurred since our acquaintance in two days, by which the Senate has been now this body, which I could have wished might entertained by the gentleman from South Caro- have been otherwise; but I had used philoso lina. Every topic in the wide range of our phy and forgotten them. When the honorable public affairs, whether past or present-every member rose, in his first speech, I paid bim the thing, general or local, whether belonging to respect of attentive listening; and when he sat national politics, or party politics, seems to down, though surprised, and, I must say, even have attracted more or less of the honorable astonished, at some of his opinions, nothing was member's attention, save only the resolution be- farther from my intention than to commence fore the Senate: He has spoken of every thing any personal warfare: and through the whole but the public lands. They have escaped his of the few remarks I made in answer, I avoided notice. To that subject, in all his excursions, studiously and carefully, every thing which I he has not paid even the cold respect of a pass-thought possible to be construed into disrepect ing glance.

And, sir, while there is thus nothing originating When this debate, sir, was to be resumed on here, which I wished at any time, or now wish Thursday morning, it so happened that it would to discharge, I must repeat, also, that nothing have been convenient for me to be elsewhere. has been received here which rankles, or in any The honorable member, however, did not in- way gives me annoyance. I will not accuse the cline to put off the discussion to another day. honorable member of violating the rules of civilHe had a shot, he said, to return, and he wished ized war,-I will not say that he poisoned to discharge it. That shot, sir, which it was his arrows. But whether his shafts were, or kind thus to inform us was coming, that we were not, dipped in that which would have

caused rankling, if they had reached, there was * See the Speech of Mr. Hayne, in the subsequent pages not, as it happened, quite strength enough in of this volume.

the bow to bring them to their mark. It he

wishes now to gather up those shafts, he must themselves. But the tone and manner of the look for them elsewhere; they will not be found gentleman's question forbid me that I thus in.' fixed and quivering in the object at which they terpret it. I am not at liberty to consider it as were aimed.

nothing more than a civility to his friend. It The honorable member complained that I had had an air of taunt and disparagement, someslept on his speech. I must have slept on it, or thing of the loftiness of asserted superiority, not slept at all. The moment the honorable which does not allow me to pass over it withmember sat down, bis friend from Missouri rose, out notice. It was put as a question for me to and, with much honeyed commendation of the answer, and so put, as if it were difficult for mo speech, suggested that the impressions which it to answer, Whether I deemed the member fron had produced were too charming and delightful Missouri an overwatch for myself in debate to be disturbed by other sentiments or other here. It seems to me, sir, that this is extraorsounds, and proposed that the Senate should dinary language, and an extraordinary tone, for adjourn. Would it have been quite amiable in the discussions of this body. me, sir, to interrupt this excellent good feeling? Matches and overmatches! Those terms are Must I not have been absolutely malicious, if I more applicable elsewhere than here, and fitter could have thrust myself forward to destroy for other assemblies than this.—Sir, the gentlesensations, thus pleasing? Was it not much man seems to forget where and what we are. better and kinder, both to sleep upon them my. This is a Senate; a Senate of equals: of men of self, and to allow others also the pleasure of individual honor and personal character, and sleeping upon them? But if it be meant, by of absolute independence. We know no massleeping upon his speech, that I took time to ters: we acknowledge no dictators. This is a prepare a reply to it, it is quite a mistake; hall for mutual consultation and discussion ; not owing to other engagements, I could not employ an arena for the exhibition of champions. I even the interval between the adjournment of offer myself, sir, as a match for no man; I throw the Senate and its meeting the next morning, in the challenge of debate at no man's feet. But attention to the subject of this debate. Never- then, sir, since the honorable member has put theless, sir, the mere matter of fact is undoubt the question in a manner that calls for an anedly true—I did sleep on the gentleman's swer, I will give him an answer; and I tell speech ; and slept soundly. And I slept equally him that, holding myself to be the humblest of well on his speech of yesterday, to which I am the members here, I yet know nothing in the now replying. It is quite possible that in this arm of his friend from Missouri, either alone, or respect, also, I possess some advantage over the when aided by the arm of his friend from South honorable member, attributable, doubtless, to a Carolina, that need deter even me from espouscooler temperament on my part; for, in truth, ing whatever opinions I may choose to espouse, I slept upon his speeches remarkably well. from debating whenever I may choose to deBut the gentleman inquires why he was made bate, or from speaking whatever I may see fit the object of such a reply? Why was he singled to say, on the floor of the Senate. Sir, when out?

If an attack has been made on the east, uttered as matter of commendation or complihe, he assures us, did not begin it-it was the ment, I should dissent from nothing which the gentleman from Missouri. Sir, I answered the honorable member might say of his friend. gentleman's speech because I happened to hear Still less do I put forth any pretensions of my it: and because, also, I chose to give an answer own. But, when put to me as matter of taunt, to that speech which, if unanswered, I thought I throw it back, and say to the gentleman that most likely to produce injurious impressions. I he could possibly say nothing less likely than did not stop to inquire who was the original such a comparison to wound my pride of perdrawer of the bill. I found a responsible en- sonal character. The anger of its tone rescued dorser before me, and it was my purpose to hold the remark from intentional irony, which otherhim liable, and to bring him to his just respon- wise probably would have been its general acsibility without delay. But, sir, this interroga- ceptation. But, sir, if it be imagined that by tory of the honorable member was only intro- this mutual quotation and commendation; if it ductory to another. He proceeded to ask me be supposed that, by casting the characters of whether I had turned upon him, in tkis debate, the drama, assigning to each his part ; to one from the consciousness that I should find an the attack, to another the cry of onset; or if it overmatch, if I ventured on a contest with his be thought that by a loud and empty vaunt of friend from Missouri. If, sir, the honorable anticipated victory any laurels are to be won member, ex gratia modestia, had chosen thus here; if it be imagined, especially, that any or to defer to his friend, and to pay him a compli- all these things will shake any purpose of mine, ment, without intentional disparagement to I can tell the honorable member, once for all, others, it would have been quite according to that he is greatly mistaken, and that he is dealthe friendly courtesies of debate, and not at all ing with one of whose temper and character he ungrateful to my own feelings. I am not one bas yet much to learn. Sir, I shall not allow of those, sir, who esteem any tribute of regard, myself on this occasion, I hope on no occasion, whether light and occasional, or more serious to be betrayed into any loss temper; but if and deliberate, which may be bestowed on provoked, as I trust I never shall be, into crimiothers, as so much unjustly withholden from nation and recrimination, the honorable mem

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