Графични страници
PDF файл

It is a

of inquiry by extravagant and unconstitutional pretenses, the firmer shall be the tone in which I shall assert, and the freer the manner in which I shall exercise it.

It is the ancient and undoubted prerogative of this people to canvass public measures, and the merits of public men. “ home-bred right,” a fireside privilege. It hath ever been enjoyed in every house, cottage, and cabin, in the nation. It is not to be drawn into controversy. It is as undoubted as the right of breathing the air, or walking on the earth. Belonging to private life as a right, it belongs to public life as a duty; and it is the last duty which those whose representative I am shall find me to abandon. Aiming at all times to be courteous and temperate in its use, except when the right itself shall be questioned, I shall then carry it to its extent. I shall place myself on the extreme boundary of my right, and bid defiance to any arm that would move me from my ground.

This high, constitutional privilege I shall defend and exercise within this house, and without this house, and in all places; in time of peace, and in all times. Living, I shall assert it; and, should I leave no other inheritance to my children, by the blessing of God I will leave them the inheritance of free principles, and the example of a manly, independent, and constitutional defense of them.




I am not allowed, sir, to reach the merits of the question before the Senate without alluding to the body of men who bear the name of “Know Nothings.” They are said to have contrived their disguise with so much ingenuity that even a person who is not a novitiate can not disclaim a knowledge of their ceremonies and principles, without implying his communion and membership with them. Nevertheless, sir, I must be permitted to deny all connection with this new order. I am under no responsibility for its doings, and I have not the least sympathy with its principles or sentiments.

I belong to one voluntary association of men; one which has to do with spiritual affairs — it is a branch of the Christian church. That association is an open one; it performs all its rites and gives all its instructions with publicity; it invites every man to come in and partake of its privileges.

I belong to one temporal society of men, and that is the political party which embodies most fully and truly, according to my notions, though, I confess, very inadequately, the principles of



the Declaration of Independence and of the Constitution of the United States. This also is an open association. All its transactions are conducted in broad daylight; and it invites all citizens to coöperate with it in maintaining good government and advancing the cause of human nature.

These two are* the only voluntary associations to which I now belong, or ever have belonged, since I became a man; and, unless I am bereft of reason, they are the only associations of men to which I shall ever suffer myself to belong.

Secret societies, sir ? — Before I would place my hand between the hands of other men in a secret Lodge, Order, Class, or Council, and, bending my knee before them, enter into combination with them for any object, personal or political, good or bad, I would pray to God that that hand and that knee might be paralyzed, and that I might become an object of the pity, and even of the mockery, of my fellow-men. Swear, sir ? —1, a man, an American citizen, a Christian, swear to submit myself to the guidance and direction of other men, surrendering my own judgment to their judgment, and my own conscience to their keeping? No, sir, no !

Proscribe a man, sir, because he was not born in the same town, or county, or state, or country, in which I was born ? Why, sir, I do most earnestly and affectionately advise all persons, hereafter to be born, that they be born in the United States; and, if they can, without inconvenience, to be born in the State of New York, and thus avoid a great deal of trouble for themselves and for others. Mr. President, you now know the length and the breadth of my connection with the new and mysterious Order of patriots, the Know Nothings!


XXVII. — POLICY OF ROADS. It would be difficult, Mr. President, to exaggerate the influence of roads as a means of civilization. This, at least, may be said : Where roads are not, civilization can not be ; and civilization advances as roads are extended. By roads, religion and knowledge are diffused ; intercourse of all kinds is promoted; the producer, the manufacturer, and the consumer, are all

* Pronounce are like the letter r ; been, bin ; again, agěn. Give short e in yet, get, &c., its true sound. Say cătch, not ketch; just, not jest. In several words (but not in all) like evil, even, heaven, &c., the vowel before the finał consonant is unsounded. Give the ph in sphere its f sound. The t and e in often should be unsounded.


brought nearer together; commerce is quickened; markets are opened; property, wherever touched by these lines, is changed, as by a magic rod, into new values ; and the great current of travel, like that stream of classic fable, or one of the rivers of our own California, hurries in a channel of golden sand.

The roads, together with the laws of ancient Rome, are now better remembered than her victories. The Flaminian and Appian ways, once trod by returning proconsuls and tributary kings, still remain as beneficent representatives of her departed grand

Under God, the road and the schoolmaster are the two chief agents of human improvement. The education begun by the schoolmaster is expanded, liberalized, and completed, by intercourse with the world, and this intercourse finds new opporturities and inducements in every road that is built.

Our country has already done much in this regard. Through a remarkable line of steam communications, chiefly by railroad, its whole population is now, or will be soon, brought close to the borders of Iowa. The cities of the southern seaboard - Charleston, Savannah, and Mobile — are already stretching their lines in this direction ; while the traveler from all the principal points of the northern seaboard - from Portland, Boston, Providence, New York, Philadelphia, Baltimore, and Washington— now passes without impediment to this remote region, traversing a territory of unexampled resources, at once a magazine and a granary,— the largest coal-field, and at the same time the largest corn-field of the known globe, - winding his way among churches and school-houses, among forests and gardens, by villages, towns, and cities, along the sea, along rivers and lakes, with a speed which may recall the gallop of the ghostly horseman in the ballad :

“ Fled past on right and left how fast

Each forest, grove, and bower!
On right and left fled past how fast

Each city, town, and tower!
Tramp ! tramp! along the land they speed,

Splash ! splash ! along the sea ! On the banks of the Mississippi he is now arrested. The proposed road in Iowa will bear the adventurer yet further, to the banks of the Missouri; and this distant giant stream, mightiest of the earth, leaping from its sources in the Rocky Mountains, will be clasped with the Atlantic in the same iron bracelet. In all this I see not only further opportunities for commerce, but a new extension to civilization, and increased strength to our national Union.





It would seem that the white race alone received the divine command to subdue and replenish the earth ; for it is the only race that has obeyed it- the only one that hunts out new and distant lands, and even a new world, to subdue and replenish. Starting from western Asia, taking Europe for their field, and the sun for their guide, and leaving the Mongolians behind, they arrived, after many ages, on the shores of the Atlantic, which they lit up with the lights of science and religion, and adorned with the useful and the elegant arts. Three and a half centuries ago, this race, in obedience to the great command, arrived in the New World, and found new lands to subdue and replenish. Even four-score years ago the philosophic Burke was considered a rash man because he said the English colonists would top the Alleghanies, and descend into the valley of the Mississippi, and occupy without parchment, if the crown refused to make grants of land. What was considered a rash declaration eighty years ago, is old history in our young country at this day.

I cannot repine, sir, that this capitol has replaced the wigwam, this Christian people replaced the savages, white mātrons the red squaws, and that such men as Washington, Franklin, and Jefferson, have taken the place of Powhatan, Opechonecanough, and other red men, however respectable they may have been as savages.

Sir, the apparition of the van of the Caucasian race, rising upon the Oriental nations in the east, after having left them on the west, and after having completed the circumnavigation of the globe, must wake up and animate the torpid body of old Asia. Our position and policy will commend us to their hospitable reception; political considerations will aid the action of social and commercial influences. Pressed upon by the great powers of Europe, the same that press upon us,

they must in our approach see the advent of friends, not of foes; of benefactors, not of invaders.

The moral and intellectual superiority of the white race will do the rest ; and thus the youngest people and the newest land will become the reviver and the regenerator of the oldest. It is in this point of view, and as acting upon the social, political, and religious condition of Asia, and giving a new point of departure to her ancient civilization, that I look upon the settlement of the Columbia River by the van of the Caucasian race as the most momentous human event in the history of man since his dispersion over the face of the earth.




MONTALBA, GUIDO, PROCIDA, RAIMOND. Procida. Welcome, my brave associates ! — We can share The wolf's wild freedom here. The oppressor's haunt Is not 'midst rocks and caverns. Art thou here, With thy deep wrongs and resolute despair, Childless Montalba ?

Montalba (advancing). He is at thy side.
Call on that desolate father, in the hour
When his revenge is nigh.

Pro. Art thou, too, here,
Guido, the exile from thy mountain home?

Guido. Even so. I stood
Last night before my own ancestral towers,
An unknown outcast, while the tempest beat
On my bare head — what recked it ? — There was joy
Within, and revelry. They little deemed
Who heard their melodies. But there are vows
Known to the mountain-echoes. Pro'cida!
Call on the outcast when revenge is nigh.

Pro. I knew a young Sicilian, one whose heart
Should be all fire. On that most guilty day,
When, with our martyred Con'radin, the flower
Of the land's knighthood perished, he of whom
I speak, a weeping boy,
Stood by the scaffold, with extended arms,
Calling upon his father, whose last look
Turned full on him its parting agony.
Doth he remember still that bitter hour ?

Gui. He bears a sheathless sword !
Call on the orphan when revenge is nigh.
Pro. Our band shows gallantly

but there are men
Who should be with us now, had they not dared
In some wild moment of festivity
To give their full hearts way, and breathe a wish


« ПредишнаНапред »