« ПретходнаНастави »
settled and established states, more rapidly than ble to the experiment can ever be expected to could have seen 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, differenze between free governments and des- that our example had become an argument putic misrule. Their commerce, at this moment, against the experiment, the knell of popular creates a now activity in all the great marts of liberty would be sounded throughout the earth. the orld. They show themselves able, by an These are excitements to duty; but they are ex bange 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 Hill 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. We 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. Our proper 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 ." vie isting condition, we leave the preference to be country. Let our conceptions be enlar»d to enjoyed. Our history hitherto proves, however, the circle of our duties. Let us exted on 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, vur 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
SPEECH ON MR. FOOT'S RESOLUTION.
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 MR. 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 sound how 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 band upon his heart, that there was somethat we may at least be able to conjecture where thing rankling here, which he wished to relieve. we now are. 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 bave heretofore been offered for sale, and are which he wished to rid himself by an immenow 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 abólished 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, bad 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 philosolina. 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 him 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 oline 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
cansed 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. If 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 infixed 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, his 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 me speech, suggested that the impressions which it to answer, Whether I deemed the member from had produced were too charming and delightful Missouri an overmatch 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 de But 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 this 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 modestiæ, 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 has 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 of 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
ber may perhaps find that, in that contest, there guilty, and the conscience smitton, and none will be blows to take as well as blows to give; others, to start, with, that others can state comparisons as significant, at least, as his own; and that his impunity may
"Pr'ythee, see there! behold !-look! lo!
If I stand here, I saw him!” possibly demand of him whatever powers of taunt and sarcasm he may possess. I com- their eyeballs were seared (was it not so sir ?) mend him to a prudent husbandry of his re- who had thought to shield themselves, by con
cealing their own hand, and laying the imputaBut, sir, the coalition! The coalition! Ay, tion of the crime on a low and hireling agency " the 'murdered coalition !” The gentleman in wickedness; who had vainly attempted to asks, if I were led or frightened into this debate stifle the workings of their own coward conby the spectre of the coalition—“ Was it the sciences, by ejaculating, through white lips and ghost of the murdered coalition,” he exclaims, chattering teeth, “Thou canst not say I did it!"
which haunted the member from Massacha- I have misread the great poet if those who had setts; and which, like the ghost of Banquo, no way partaken in the deed of the death, either would never down?” “The murdered coali- found that they were, or feared that they should tion !” Sir, this charge of a coalition, in refer- be, pushed from their stools by the ghost of the ence to the late administration, is not original slain, or exclaimed, to a spectre created by their with the honorable member. It did not spring own fears, and their own remorse, “Avaunt! up in the Senate. Whether as a fact, as an ar- and quit our sight!” gument, or as an embellishment, it is all bor- There is another particular, sir, in which the rowed.' He adopts it, indeed, from a very low honorable member's quick perception of reorigin, and a still lower present condition. It semblances might, I should think, have seen is one of the thousand calúmnies with which the something in the story of Banquo, making it not press teemed during an excited political canvass. altogether a subject of the most pleasant conIt was a charge of which there was not only no templation. Those who murdered Banquo, proof or probability, but which was, in itself, what did they win by it :-Substantial good i wholly impossible to be true. No man of com- Permanent power? Or disappointment, rather, mon information ever believed a syllable of it. and sore mortification;—dust and ashes—the Yet it was of that class of falsehoods, which, common fate of vaulting ambition, overleaping by continued repetition, through all the organs itself? Did not evenhanded justice ere long of detraction and abuse, are capable of mislead- commend the poisoned chalice to their own lips? ing those who are already far misled, and of Did they not soon find that for another they further fanning passion, already kindling into had "filed their mind?” that their ambition, flame. Doubtless it served in its day, and in though apparently for the moment successful, greater or less degree, the end designed by it. had but put a barren sceptre in their grasp? Having done that it has sunk into the general Ay, sir, mass of stale and loathed calumnies. It is the
"A barren sceptre in their gripe, very cast off slough of a polluted and shameless
Thence to be wrenched by an unlineal hand, press. Incapable of further mischief, it lies in No son of their's succeeding." the sewer, lifeless and despised. It is not now, sir, in the power of the honorable member to Sir, I need pursue the allusion no farther. give it dignity or decency, by attempting to I leave the honorable gentleman to run it out elevate it, and to introduce it into the Senate. at his leisure, and to derive from it all the gratHe cannot change it from what it is, an object ification it is calculated to administer. If he of general disgust and scorn. On the contrary, finds himself pleased with the associations, and the
contact, if he choose to touch it, is more prepared to be quite satisfied, though the parallikely to drag him down, down, to the place lel should be entirely completed, I had almost where it lies itself.
said, I am satisfied also—but that I shall think But, sir, the honorable member was not, for of. Yes, sir, I will think of that. other reasons, entirely happy in his allusion to In the course of my observations the other the story of Banquo's murder, and Banquo's day, Mr. President, I paid a passing tribute of ghost. It was not, I think, the friends, but the respect to a very worthy man, Mr. Dane of enemies of the murdered' Banquo, at whose Massachusetts. It so happened that he drew bidding his spirit would not down. The hon- the ordinance of 1787, for the government of orable gentlemen is fresh in his reading of the the northwestern territory. A man of so much English classics, and can put me right if I am ability, and so little pretence; of so great a cawrong; but, according to my poor recollection pacity to do good, and so unmixed a disposition it was at those who had begun with caresses, to do it for its own sake; a gentleman who had and ended with foul and treacherous murder, acted an important part forty years ago, in a that the gory locks were shaken! The ghost measure the influence of which is still deeply of Banquo, like that of Hamlet, was an honest felt in the very matter which was the subject of ghost. It disturbed no innocent man. It knew debate, might, I thought, receive from me a where its appearance would strike terror, and commendatory recognition. who would cry out, a ghost! It made itself But the honorable member was inclined to visible in the right quarter, and compelled the be facetious on the subject. He was rather disposed to make it matter of ridicule that I had led to interfere with them in their own excluintroduced into the debate the name of one sive and peculiar concerns. This is a delicate Nathan Dane, of whom he assures us he had and sensitive point in southern feeling: and of never before heard. Şir, if the honorable mem- late years it has always been touched, and genber had never before heard of Mr. Dane, I am erally with effect, whenever the object has been sorry for it. It shows him less acquainted with to unite the whole south against northern men the public men of the country, than I had sup- or northern measures. This feeling, always posed. Let me tell him, however, that a sneer carefully kept alive, and maintained at too infrom him, at the mention of the name of Mr. tense a heat to admit discrimination or reflecDane, is in bad taste. It may well be a high mark tion, is a lever of great power in our political of ambition, sir, either with the honorable gen- machine. It moves vast bodies, and gives to tleman or myself, to accomplish as much to them one and the same direction. But it is make our names known to advantage, and re- without all adequate cause; and the suspicion membered with gratitude, as Mr. Dane has ac- which exists wholly groundless. There is not, complished. But the truth is, sir, I suspect, and never has been, a disposition in the north that Mr. Dane lives a little too far north. He to interfere with these interests of the south, is of Massachusetts, and too near the north star Such interference has never been supposed to to be reached by the honorable gentleman's tel- be within the power of government; nor has it escope. If his sphere had happened to range been in any way attempted. The slavery.of the south of Mason and Dixon's line, he might, prob- south has always been regarded as a matter of ably, have come within the scope of his vision! | domestic policy, left with the States themselves,
I spoke, sir, of the ordinance of 1787, which and with which the federal government had prohibited slavery in all future times, northwest nothing to do. Certainly, sir, I am, and ever of the Ohio, as a measure of great wisdom and have been of that opinion. The gentleman, inforesight; and one which had been attended deed, argues that slavery, in the abstract, is no with highly beneficial and permanent conse- evil. Most assuredly I need not say I differ with quences. I supposed that on this point no two him, altogether and most widely, on that point. gentlemen in the Senate could entertain differ- I regard domestic slavery as one of the greatest ent opinions. But the simple expression of this of evils, both moral and political. But though sentiment has led the gentleman not only into it be a malady, and whether it be curable, and a labored defence of slavery, in the abstract, if so, by what means; or, on the other hand, and on principle, but, also, into a warm accusa- whether it be the “vulnus immedicabile" of tion against me, as having attacked the system the social system, I leave it to those whose right of domestic slavery now existing in the south- and duty it is to inquire and to decide. And ern states. For all this there was not the slight- this I believe, sir, is, and uniformly has been, est foundation in any thing said or intimated by the sentiment of the north. Let us look a litme. I did not utter a single word which any tle at the history of this matter. ingenuity conld torture into an attack on the When the present constitution was submitted slavery of the south. I said only that it was for the ratification of the people, there were highly wise and useful in legislating for the those who imagined that the powers of the northwestern country, while it was yet a wil- government which it proposed to establish, derness, to prohibit the introduction of slaves; might, perhaps, in some possible mode, be exand added, that I presumed, in the neighboring erted in measures tending to the abolition of State of Kentucky, there was no reflecting and slavery. This suggestion would of course atintelligent gentleman, who would doubt, that tract much attention in the southern convenif the same prohibition had been extended at tions. In that of Virginia, Governor Randolph the same early period over that commonwealth, said: ber strength and population would, at this day, “I hope there is none here, who, considering have been far greater than they are. If these the subject in the calm light of philosophy, will opinions be thought doubtful, they are, never- make an objection dishonorable to Virginia theless, I trust, neither extraordinary nor dis- that at the moment they are securing the rights respectful. They attack nobody and menace of their citizens, an objection is started, that nobody. And yet, sir, the gentleman's optics there is a spark of hope that those unfortunate have discovered, even in the mere expression men now held in bondage, may, by the operaof this sentiment, what he calls the very spirit tion of the general government, be made free.” of the Missouri question! He represents me At the very first Congress, petitions on the as making an onset on the whole south, and subject were presented, if I mistake not, from manifesting a spirit which would interfere with different States. The Pennsylvania society for and disturb, their domestic condition! Sir, this promoting the abolition of slavery took a lead, injustice no otherwise surprises me, than as it and laid before Congress a memorial, praying is committed here, and committed without the Congress to promote the abolition by such slightest pretence of ground for it. I say it only powers as it possessed. This memorial was resurprises me as being done here; for I know ferred, in the House of Representatives, to a full well that it is, and has been, the settled select committee, consisting of Mr. Foster, of policy of some persons in the south, for years, New Hampshire, Mr. Gerry, of Massachusetts, to represent the people of the north as dispos- | Mr. Huntington, of Connecticut, Mr. Lawrence,