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There was another remark of the honorable member, which I must be allowed to notice. The pulpit, sir, has not escaped invective. The ministers of the gospel have been represented, like the judges, forgetting the duties of their calling, and employed in disseminating the heresies of federalism. Am I then, sir, to understand, that religion is also denounced, and that your churches are to be shut up? Are we to be deprived, sir, both of law and gospel? Where do the principles of the gentleman end? When the system of reform is completed, what will remain? I pray God that this flourishing country, which, under his providence, has attained such a height of prosperity, may yet escape the desolation suffered by another nation from the practice of similar doctrines.
CXLIX.--THE CHANGES INCIDENT TO POLITICAL LIFE.
Extract from the same Speech.
Mr. Chairman,-IT has been stated, as the reproach of the bill of the last session, that it was made by a party, at the moment when they were sensible that their power was expiring and passing into other hands. It is enough, sir, for me, that the full and legitimate power existed. The remnant was plenary and efficient. And it was our duty to employ it, according to our judgments and consciences, for the good of the country. We thought the bill a salu. tary measure, and there was no obligation upon us to leave it as a work for our successors. Nay, sir, I have no hesitation in avowing, that I had no confidence in the persons who were to follow us. And I was the more anxious, while we had the means, to accomplish a work, which I believed they would not do, and which I sincerely thought would contribute to the safety of the nation, by giving strength and support to the constitution, through the storm to which it was likely to be exposed. The fears, which I then felt, have not been dispelled, but multiplied, by what I have since seen. I know nothing, which is to be allowed to stand. I observe the institutions of the government falling around me,
and where the work of destruction is to end, God alone knows. We discharged our consciences in establishing a judicial system, which now exists; and it will be for those, who now hold the power of the government, to answer for the abolition of it, which they at present meditate. We are told, that our law was against the sense of the nation. Let me tell those gentlemen, they are deceived, when they call themselves the nation. They are only a dominant party, and though the sun of federalism should never rise again, they will shortly find men, better or worse than themselves, thrusting them out of their places. I know it is the cant of those in power, however they have acquired it, to call themselves the nation. We have recently witnessed an example of it abroad. How rapidly did the nation change in France. At one time, Brissot called himself the nation; then Robespierre, afterwards Tallien and Barras, and finally Bonaparte. But their dreams were soon dissipated, and they awoke in succession upon the scaffold, or in banishment. Let not these gentlemen flatter themselves, sir, that heaven has reserved to them a peculiar destiny. What has happened to others in this country, they must be liable to. Let them not exult too highly in the enjoyment of a little brief and fleeting authority. It was ours yesterday, it is theirs to-day, but to-morrow it may belong to others.
CL. THE NECESSITY OF INDEPENDENCE IN THE JUDICATORY.
Extract from the same Speech.
Mr. Chairman,-I AM confident, that the friends of the measure now under consideration are not apprised of the nature of its operations, nor sensible of the mischievous consequences which are likely to attend it. Sir, the morals of your people, the peace of the country, the stability of the government, rest upon the maintenance of the independence of the judiciary. Let it be remembered, that no power is so sensibly felt by society, as that of the judiciary. The life and property of every man is liable to be in the hands of the judges. Is it not our great interest to place our judges upon such high ground, that no fear can intimidate, no hope seduce
them? The present measure humbles them in the dust, it prostrates them at the feet of faction, it renders them the tools of every dominant party. It is this effect which I deprecate; it is this consequence which I deeply deplore. What does reason, what does argument avail, when party spirit presides? Subject your bench to the influence of this spirit, and justice bids a final adieu to your tribunals. We are asked, sir, if the judges are to be independent of the people? The question presents a false and delusive view. We are all the people. We are, and as long as we enjoy our freedom, we shall be divided into parties. The true question is, shall the judiciary be permanent, or fluctuate with the tide of public opinion? I beg, I implore, gentlemen to consider the magnitude and value of the principle, which they are about to annihilate. If your judges are independent of political changes, they may have their preferences, but they will not enter into the spirit of party. But let their existence depend upon the support of the power of a certain set of men, and they cannot be impartial. Justice will be trodden under foot. Your courts will lose all public confidence and respect.
The judges will be supported by their partizans, who, in their turn, will expect impunity for the wrongs and violence they commit. The spirit of party will be inflamed to madness; and the moment is not far off, when this fair country is to be desolated by a civil war. We are standing on the brink of that revolutionary torrent, which deluged in blood one of the fairest countries of Europe. France had her national assembly, more numerous and equally popular with our own. She had her tribunals of justice, and her juries. But the legislature and her courts were but the instruments of her destruction. Acts of proscription and sentences of banishment and death were passed in the cabinet of a tyrant. Prostrate your judges at the feet of party, and you break down the mounds which defend you from this torrent. done. I should have thanked my God for greater power to resist a measure so destructive to the peace and happiness of the country. My feeble efforts can avail nothing. But it was my duty to make them. The meditated blow is mortal, and from the moment it is struck, we may bid a final adieu to the constitution.
CLI. THE INFLUENCE OF THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION.
Extract from Daniel Webster's Speech on the Panama Mission, delivered in the House of Representatives of the United States, April 14, 1826.*
Mr. Chairman, I WILL detain you only with one more reflection on this subject. We cannot be so blind-w cannot so shut up our senses, and smother our faculties, as not to see, that in the progress and the establishment of South American liberty, our own example has been among the most stimulating causes. That great light-a light which can never be hid-the light of our own glorious revolution, has shone on the path of the South American patriots, from the beginning of their course. In their emergencies, they have looked to our experience; in their political institutions, they have followed our models; in their deliberations, they have invoked the presiding spirit of our own liberty. They have looked steadily, in every adversity, to the great northern light. In the hour of bloody conflict, they have remembered the fields which have been consecrated by the blood of our own fathers; and when they have fallen, they have wished only to be remembered with them, as men who had acted their parts bravely, for the cause of liberty in the western world.
Sir, I have done. If it be weakness to feel the sympathy of one's nature excited for such men, in such a cause, I am guilty of that weakness. If it be prudence to meet their proffered civility, not with reciprocal kindness, but with coldness or with insult, I choose still to follow, where natural impulse leads, and to give up that false and mistaken prudence, for the voluntary sentiments of my heart.
The following Resolution being under consideration, in committee of the whole House upon the state of the Union, viz.:
Resolved, That, in the opinion of the House, it is expedient to appropriate the funds, necessary to enable the President of the United States to send Ministers to the Congress of Panama,"
LII. MARCELLUS TO THE ROMAN POPULACE, UPBRAIDING THEM FOR REJOICING AT CESAR'S SUCCESS.
Extract from Shakspeare. Julius Cæsar.-Act 1, Scene 1.
WHEREFORE rejoice that Cæsar comes in triumph? What conquests brings he home?
What tributaries follow him to Rome,
To grace in captive bonds his chariot wheels?
You blocks, you stones, you worse than senseless things!
And do you now put on your best attire ?
Run to your houses, fall upon your knees,
CLIII. THE DEATH AND CHARACTER OF WASHINGTON.
Extract from John M. Mason's Eulogy on Washington, delivered at New-York, February 22, 1800.
THE death of WASHINGTON, Americans, has revealed the extent of our loss. It has given us the final proof that we never mistook him. Take his affecting testament, and read