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or not, if it were not for the fear that father, or son, or uncle, or brother, might be found under the load. Indeed, it is remarkable how frequently the fire of patriotism glows in the breasts of the holders of office. A thousand favored contractors shake with horrid fear, lest the proposed change should put the interests of the public in great danger. Ten thousand post-offices, moved by the same apprehension, join in the cry of alarm, while a perfect earthquake of disinterested remonstrance proceeds from the custom-houses. Patronage and favoritism tremble and quake, through every limb and every nerve, lest the people should be found in favor of a change, which might endanger the liberties of the country, or at least break down its present eminent and distinguished prosperity, by abandoning the measures. so wise, so beneficent, so successful, and so popular, which the present administration has pursued!
Fellow-citizens, we have all sober and important duties to perform. I have not addressed you to-day for the purpose of joining in a premature note of triumph, or raising a shout for anticipated victories. We are in the controversy, not through it, It is our duty to spare no pains to circulate information, and to spread the truth far and wide. Let us persuade those who differ from us, if we can, to hear both sides. Let us remind them that we are all embarked together, with a common interest and a common fate. And let us, without rebuke or unkindness, beseech them to consider what the good of the whole requires, what is best for them and for us.
There are two causes which keep back thousands of honest men from joining those who wish for a change. The first of these is the fear of reproach from former associates, and the pain which party denunciation is capable of inflicting. But. surely, the manliness of the American character is superior to this! Surely, no American citizen will feel himself chained to the wheels of any party, nor bound to follow it, against his conscience and his sense of the interest of the country. Resolution and decision ought to dissipate such restraints, and to leave men free at once to act upon their own convictions. Unless this can be done, party has entailed upon us a miserable slavery, by compelling us to act against our consciences on questions of the greatest importance.
The other cause is the constant cry that the party of the ad
ministration is the true democratic party, or the more popular party in the government and in the country. The falsity of this claim has not been sufficiently exposed. It should have been met, and should be now met, not only by denial, but by proof. If they mean the new democracy, — the cry against credit, against industry, against labor, against a man's right to leave his own earnings to his own children, — why, then, doubtless, they are right; all this sort of democracy is theirs. But if by democracy they mean a conscientious and stern adherence to the true popular principles of the Constitution and the government, then I think they have very little claim to it. Is the augmentation of executive power a democratic principle? Is the separation of the currency of the government from the currency of the people a democratic principle? Is the imbodying a large military force, in time of peace, a democratic principle?
Let us entreat honest men not to take names for things, nor pretences for proofs. If democracy, in any constitutional sense, belongs to our adversaries, let them show their title and produce their evidence. Let the question be examined; and let not intelligent and well-meaning citizens be kept to the support of measures which in their hearts and consciences they disapprove, because their authors put forth such loud claims to the sole possession of regard for the people.
Fellow-citizens of the County of Saratoga, in taking leave of you, I cannot but remind you how distinguished a place your county occupies in the history of the country. I cannot be ignorant, that in the midst of you are many, at this moment, who saw in this neighborhood the triumph of republican arms in the surrender of General Burgoyne. I cannot doubt that a fervent spirit of patriotism burns in their breasts and in the breasts of their children. They helped to save their country amidst the storms of war; they will help to save it, I am fully persuaded, in the present severe civil crisis. I verily believe it is true, that, of all that are left to us from the Revolution, nine tenths are with us in the existing contest. If there be living a Revolutionary officer, or soldier, who has joined in the attacks upon General Harrison's military character, I have not met with him. It is not, therefore, in the county of Saratoga, that a cause sustained by such means is likely to prevail.
Fellow-citizens, the great question is now before the country. If, with the experience of the past, the American people think proper to confirm power in the hands which now hold it, and thereby sanction the leading policy of the administration, it will be your duty and mine to bow, with submission, to the public will; but, for myself, I shall not believe it possible for me to be of service to the country, in any department of public life. I shall look on, with no less love of country than ever, but with fearful forebodings of what may be near at hand.
But I do not at all expect that result. I fully believe the change is coming. If we all do our duty, we shall restore the government to its former policy, and the country to its former prosperity. And let us here, to-day, fellow-citizens, with full resolution and patriotic purpose of heart, give and take pledges, that, until this great controversy be ended, our time, our talents, our efforts, are all due, and shall all be faithfully given, to Our Country.