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generous sentiment in his bosom, that be elsewhere. The honorable member, wjuld not be disposed, in the language of however, did not incline to put off the disBurke, to exclaim, “You must pardoncussion to another day. He had a shot, he something to the spirit of liberty ?" said, to return, and he wished to discharge
it. That shot, sir, which it was kind thus to inform us was coming, that we might
stand out of the way, or prepare ourselves Webster's Great Reply to Hayne, to fall before it, and die with decency, has In which he " Expounds the Constitution," delivered in now been received. Under all advantages, Senute, January 26, 1830.
and with expectation awakened by the Following Mr. Hayne in the debate, Mr. tone which preceded it, it has been disWebster addressed the Senate as fol- charged, and has spent its force. It may lows:
become me to say no more of its effect than Mr. President: When the mariner has that, if nobody is found, after all, either been tossed, for many days, in thick killed or wounded by it, it is not the first weather, and on an unknown sea, he natu- time in the history of human affairs that rally avails himself of the first pause in the the vigor and success of the war have not storm, the earliest glance of the sun, to quite come up to the lofty and sounding take his latitude, and ascertain how far the phrase of the manifesto. elements have driven him from his true The gentleman, sir, in declining to postcourse. Let us imitate this prudence, and pone the debate, told the Senate, with the before we float farther, refer to the point emphasis of his hand upon his heart
, that from which we departed, that we may at there was something rankling here, which least be able to conjecture where we now he wished to relieve. (Mr. Hayne rose are. I ask for the reading of the resolu. and disclaimed having used the word tion.
rankling. It would not, Mr. President, [The Secretary read the resolution as be safe for the honorable member to appeal follows:
to those around him, upon the question “ Resolved, That the committee on pub- whether he did, in fact, make use of that lic lands be instructed to inquire and re- word. But he may have been unconscious port the quantity of the public lands of it. At any rate, it is enough that he remaining unsold within each state and disclaims it. But still
, with or without the territory, and whether it be expedient to use of that particular word, he had yet limit, for a certain period, the sales of the something here, he said, of which he wished public lands to such lands only as have to rid himself by an immediate reply. In heretofore been offered for sale, and are this respect, sir, I have a great advantage now subject to entry at the minimum price. over the honorable gentleman. There is And, also, whether the office of surveyor nothing here, sir, which gives me the slightgeneral, and some of the land offices, may est uneasiness ; neither fear, nor anger, nor not be abolished without detriment to the that which is sometimes more troublesome public interest; or whether it be expedient than either, the consciousness of having to adopt measures to hasten the sales, and been in the wrong. There is nothing either extend more rapidly the surveys of the originating here, or now received here
, by public lands.")
the gentleman's shot. Nothing original
, We have thus heard, sir, what the reso- for I had not the slightest feeling of disre. lution is, which is actually before us for spect or unkindness towards the honorable consideration; and it will readily occur to member. Some passages, it is true, had every one that it is almost the only subject occurred, since our acquaintance in this about which something has not been said body, which I could have wished might in the speech, running through two days, have been otherwise; but I had used philby which the Senate has been now enter-osophy, and forgotten them. When the tained by the gentleman from South Caro- honorable member rose, in his first speech, lina. Every topic in the wide range of our ! paid him the respect of attentive listen. public affairs, whether past or present, - ing; and when he sat down, though sur: every thing, general or local, whether be- prised, and I must say even astonished, at longing to national politics or party poli- some of his opinions, nothing was farther tics, -seems to have attracted more or less from my intention than to commence any of the honorable member's attention, save personal warfare; and through the whole only the resolution before us. He has of the few remarks I made in answer, I spoken of every thing but the public lands. avoided, studiously and carefully, every They have escaped his notice. To that thing which I thought possible to be conqubject, in all his excursions, he has not strued into disrepect. And, sir, while paid even the cold respect of a passing there is thus nothing originating here
which I wished at any time, or now wish When this debate, sir, was to be resumed, to discharge, I must repeat, also, that no. on Thursday morning, it so happened that thing has been received here which rankles
, it would have been convenient for me to lor in any way gives me annoyance
. I will
not accuse the honorable member of violat-bate from the consciousness that I should ing the rules of civilized war-I will not find an overmatch if I ventured on a consay that he poisoned his arrows. But test with his friend from Missouri. If, sir, whether his shafts were, or were not, dipped the honorable member, ex gratia modestiæ, in that which would have caused rankling had chosen thus to defer to his friend, and if they had reached, there was not, as it to pay him a compliment, without intenhappened, quite strength enough in the tional disparagement to others, it would bow to bring them to their mark. If he have been quite according to the friendly wishes now to find those shafts, he must courtesies of debate, and not at all ungratelook for them elsewhere; they will not be ful to my own feelings. I am not one of found fixed and quivering in the object at those, sir, who esteem any tribute of regard, which they were aimed.
whether light and occasional, or more seriThe honorable member complained that ous and deliberate, which may be beI had slept on his speech. I must have stowed on others, as so much unjustly withslept on it, or not slept at all. The mo- holden from themselves. But the tone ment the honorable member sat down, his and manner of the gentleman's question, friend from Missouri arose, and, with much forbid me thus to interpret it. I am not at honeyed commendation of the speech, sug- liberty to consider it as nothing more than gested that the impressions which it had a civility to his friend. It had an air of produced were too charming and delight- taunt and disparagement, a little of the ful to be disturbed by other sentiments or loftiness of asserted superiority, which does other sounds, and proposed that the Senate not allow me to pass it over without notice. should adjourn. Would it have been quite It was put as a question for me to answer, amiable in me, sir, to interrupt this excel- and so put as if it were difficult for me to lent good feeling? Must I not have been answer, whether I deemed the member absolutely malicious, if I could have thrust from Missouri an overmatch for myself in myself forward to destroy sensations thus debate here. It seems to me, sir, that is pleasing? Was it not much better and extraordinary language, and an extraordikinder, both to sleep upon them myself, nary tone for the discussions of this body. and to allow others, also, the pleasure of Matches and overmatches? Those sleeping upon them? But if it be meant, terms are more applicable elewhere than by sleeping upon his speech, that I took here, and fitter for other assemblies than time to prepare a reply to it, it is quite a this. Sir, the gentleman seems to forget mistake; owing to other engagements, I where and what we are. This is a Senate; could not employ even the interval be- a Senate of equals; of men of individual tween the adjournment of the Senate and honor and personal character, and of abits meeting the next morning in attention solute independence. We know no masto the subject of this debate. Nevertheless, ters; we acknowledge no dictators. This sir, the mere matter of fact is undoubtedly is a hall of mutual consultation and distrue-I did sleep on the gentleman's speech, cussion, not an arena for the exhibition of and slept soundly. And I slept equally champions. I offer myself, sir, as a match well on his speech of yesterday, to which for no man; throw the challenge of deI am now replying. It is quite possible bate at no man's feet. But, then, sir, that, in this respect
, also, I possess some since the honorable member has put the advantage over the honorable member, at- question in a manner that calls for an tributable, doubtless, to a cooler tempera- answer, I will give him an answer; and I ment on my part; for in truth I slept upon tell him that, holding myself to be the his speeches remarkably well. But the humblest of the members here, I yet know gentleman inquires why he was made the nothing in the arm of his friend from object of such a reply. Why was he Missouri, either alone or when aided by singled out? If an attack had been made the arm of his friend from South Carolina, on the east, he, he assures us, did not be that need deter even me from espousing gin it-it was the gentleman from Missouri. whatever opinions I may choose to esSir, I answered the gentleman's speech, be- pouse, from debating whenever I may cause I happened to hear it; and because, choose to debate, or from speaking whatalso, I choose to give an answer to that ever I may see fit to say on the floor of the speech, which, if unanswered, I thought Senate. Šir, when uttered as matter of most likely to produce injurious impres- commendation or compliment, I should sions. I did not stop to inquire who was dissent from nothing which the honorable the original drawer of the bill. I found a member might say of his friend. Still less responsible endorser before me, and it was do I put forth any pretensions of my own. my purpose to hold him liable, and to But when put to me as a matter of taunt, I bring him to his just responsibility without throw it back, and say to the gentleman delay. But, sir, this interrogatory of the that he could possibly say nothing less honorable member was only introductory likely than such a comparison to wound to another. He proceeded to ask me my pride of personal character. The anwhether I had turned upon him in this de- ger of its tone rescued the remark from
intentional irony, which otherwise, pro- is not now, sir, in the power of the honorabably, would have been its general accep- ble member to give it dignity or decency, tation. But, sir, if it be imagined that by by attempting to elevate it, and to introthis mutual quotation and commendation; duce it into the Senate. He cannot change if it be supposed that, by casting the it from what it is an object of general characters of the drama, assigning to each disgust and scorn. On the contrary, the his part,—to one the attack, to another contact, if he choose to touch it, is more the cry of onset,-or if it be thought that likely to drag him down, down, to the by a loud and empty vaunt of anticipated place where it lies itself. victory any laurels are to be won here; if But, sir, the honorable member was not, it be imagined, especially, that any or all for other reasons, entirely happy in his althese things will shake any purpose of lusion to the story of Banquo's murder and mine, I can tell the honorable member, Banquo's ghost. It was not, I think, the once for all, that he is greatly mistaken, friends, but the enemies of the murdered and that he is dealing with one of whose Banquo, at whose bidding his spirit would temper and character he has yet much to not down. The honorable gentleman is learn. Sir, I shall not allow myself, on fresh in his reading of the English classics, this occasion—I hope on no occasion—to and can put me right if I am wrong; but be betrayed into any loss of temper; but according to my poor recollection, it was if provoked, as I trust I never shall allow at those who had begun with caresses, and myself to be, into crimination and recrimi- ended with foul and treacherous murder, nation, the honorable member may, per- that the gory locks were shaken. The haps, find that in that contest there will ghost of Banquo, like that of Hamlet, was be blows to take as well as blows to give; an honest ghost. It disturbed no innocent that others can state comparisons as signi- man. It knew where its appearance would ficant, at least, as his úwn; and that his strike terror, and who would cry out A impunity may, perhaps, demand of him ghost! It made itself visible in the right whatever powers of taunt and sarcasm he quarter, and compelled the guilty, and may possess. I commend him to a pru- the conscience-smitten, and none others, to dent husbandry of his resources.
start, with, But, sir, the coalition! The coalition !
“Prithee, see there! behold !-look! lo! Aye, “the murdered coalition!” The
If I stand here, I saw him!" gentleman asks if I were led or frighted into this debate by the spectre of the coali Their eyeballs were seared—was it not so, tion. "Was it the ghost of the murdered sir?—who had thought to shield themcoalition,” he exclaims, “which haunted selves by concealing their own hand and the member from Massachusetts, and laying the imputation of the crime on a which, like the ghost of Banquo, would low and hireling agency in wickedness; never down?” " The murdered coali- who had vainly attempted to stifle the tion!” Sir, this charge of a coalition, in workings of their own coward consciences, reference to the late administration, is not by circulating, through white lips and original with the honorable member. It chattering teeth, “Thou canst not say I did not spring up in the Senate. Whether did it!" I have misread the great poet
, as a fact, as an argument, or as an embel- if it was those who had no way partaken lishment, it is all borrowed. He adopts in the deed of the death, who either found it, indeed, from a very low origin, and a still that they were, or feared that they should lower present condition. It is one of the be, pushed from their stools by the ghost of thousand calumnies with which the press the slain, or who cried out to a spectre teemed during an excited political can- created by their own fears, and their own vass. It was a charge of which there was remorse, ". Avaunt! and quit our sight! not only no proof or probability, but There is another particular, sir, in which was, in itself, wholly impossible to which the honorable member's quick per. be true.. No man of common information ception of resemblances might, I should ever believed a syllable of it. Yet it was think, have seen something in the story of of that class of falsehoods which, by con- Banquo, making it not altogether a subtinued repetition through all the organs of ject of the most pleasant contemplation, detraction and abuse, are capable of mis- Those who murdered Banquo, what did leading those who are already far misled, they win by it? Substantial good? Perand of further fanning passion alreauy manent power? Or disappointment, rathkindling into flame. Doubtless it served er, and sore mortification-dust and ashes its day, and, in a greater or less degree, —the common fate of vaulting ambition the end designed by it. Having done that, overleaping itsself? Did not even-handed it has sunk into the general mass of stale justice, ere long, commend the poisoned and loathed calumnies. It is the very cast-chalice to their own lips? Did they not off slough of a polluted and shameless soon find that for another they had filed press. Incapable of further mischief, it their mind?” that their ambition though lies in the sewer lifeless and despised.' It apparently for the moment successful, had