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are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness." Are we willing, sir, to pronounce this declaration, for the support of which the fathers of our revolution pledged their lives and fortunes, a flagrant falsehood! Was this declaration a solemn mockery? Did such men as Jefferson, Adams, Franklin, Sherman, and Livingston, proclaim to the world, as selfevident truth, doctrines they did not believe? Did they lay the foundations of this infant republic in fraud and hypocrisy? The supposition is incredible. These men composed the committee which reported the declaration of independence. The sentiments of their chairman have also been proclaimed in his "Notes on Virginia." His denunciation of slavery is there expressed in language too distinct to be misunderstood. Its injustice is portrayed in glowing colors, and its evils described with irresistible eloquence. While books are read, or truth revered, his sentiments on this subject will insure to their author unfading honor.
The ordinance of 1787, sir, was passed by the unanimous vote of all the states. That ordinance is an imperishable monument of glory and renown to its framers. They sacrificed prejudice on the altar of their country. Avarice found no place in their bosoms. Disinterested and inagnanimous were their acts, and the blessings of posterity will embalm their memories. Their names will be engraven on columns of marble, and preserved in the legislative hall of every state northwest of the Ohio. No American statesman was then found hardy enough to maintain the anti-republican doctrine, that man cannot be free without possessing the power to enslave his fellow man.
Sir, the strength of this nation chiefly consists in its moral power. The foundation of this is laid in the intelligence and virtue of the people. A wise administration will always, and especially in perilous times, receive the support of such a people. As difficulties thicken, and dangers threaten, they will put forth their strength. Being capable of understanding the necessity of great sacrifices, they will make them with cheerfulness, and will march to victory. But this moral power of a nation does not consist solely, nor chiefly in the distinguished science of her favored sons-the rich and noble few-but in the information and integrity of her yeo
manry, her farmers, her mechanics, her laborers. These, in a government like ours, possess as well the moral power, as the bone and sinew of the country. If a large portion of these be slaves, that power is not only impaired, but physical debility occupies its place.
We are bound, sir, by oath, to support the Constitution the United States. The duty imposed is to uphold, not impair and weaken it. Our obligation is as solemn to maintain the powers confided to this government, as to forbear the exercise of those which belong to others. The amend. ment, sir, opposes no state right. Gentlemen require us to admit that Missouri is a state, and then demonstrate, quite clearly, that we ought not to interfere with her municipal regu. lations. That Missouri, at some period, will become a state in the Union, I have no doubt; but that she ever will be admitted by an American Congress without recognising "the fundamental principles of civil and religious liberty," I cannot believe. Possessing, as we do, both the moral and constitutional right to require of Missouri a provision against slavery, as a condition of her admission,-if we fail to exert it, we shall justly incur the reproach of our contemporaries, and the malediction of posterity.
CLXXXI.—MR. GRATTAN'S REPLY TO MR. CORRY, CHANCELLOR
OF THE EXCHEQUER.
Mr. Speaker,-HAs the gentleman done? Has he completely done? He was unparliamentary from the beginning to the end of his speech. There was scarce a word he uttered that was not a violation of the privileges of the House. But I did not call him to order-why? because the limited talents of some men render it impossible for them to be severe without being unparliamentary. But, before I sit down, I shall show him how to be severe and parliamentary at the same time. On any other occasion, I should think myself justifiable in treating with silent contempt any thing which might fall from that honorable member; but there are times when the insignificance of the accuser is lost in the magnitude of the accusation. I know the difficulty the honorable gentle.
man labored under when he attacked me, conscious that, on a comparative view of our characters, public and private, there is nothing he could say which would injure me. The public would not believe the charge. I despise the falsehood. If such a charge were made by an honest man, I would answer it in the manner I shall do before I sit down. But I shall first reply to it, when not made by an honest man.
The right honorable gentleman has called me an un. impeached traitor." I ask, why not "traitor," unqualified by any epithet? I will tell him; it was because he durst not. It was the act of a coward, who raises his arm to strike, but has not courage to give the blow. I will not call him villain, because it would be unparliamentary, and he is a privy counsellor. I will not call him fool, because he hap⚫ pens to be Chancellor of the Exchequer. But I say he is one who has abused the pr ilege of Parliament and freedom of debate, by uttering language, which, if spoken out of the House, I should answer only with a blow. I care not how high his situation, how low his character, how contemp. tible his speech, whether a privy counsellor or a parasite, my answer would be a blow. He has charged me with being connected with the rebels; the charge is utterly, totally, and meanly false.
The right honorable member has also told me I desert. ed a profession where wealth and station were the reward of industry and talent. If I mistake not, that gentleman endeavored to obtain those rewaads by the same means; but he soon deserted the occupation of a barrister for those of a parasite and pander. He fled from the labor of study to flatter at the table of the great. He found, the lords' parlor a better sphere for his exertions than the hall of the four courts; the house of a great man a more convenient way to power and to place; and that it was easier for a statesman of middling talents to sell his friends, than a lawyer of no talents to sell his clients.
The right honorable gentleman says I fled from the coun. try after exciting rebellion; and that I have returned to raise another. No such thing. The charge is false. The civil war had not commenced when I left the kingdom; and I could not have returned without taking a part. On the one side, there was the camp of the rebel; on the other, the camp
of the minister, a greater traitor than the rebel. The strong hold of the constitution was no where to be found. I agree, that the rebel who rises against the government should have suffered; but I missed on the scaffold the right honorable gentleman. Two desperate parties were in arms against the constitution. The right honorable gentleman belonged to one of those parties, and deserved death. I could not join the rebel; I could not join the government; I could not join torture; I could not join half hanging; I could not join free quarter; I could not take part with neither. I was, therefore, absent from a scene where I could not be active without selfreproach, nor indifferent with safety.
I have returned, not, as the right honorable member has said, to raise another storm. I have returned to discharge an honorable debt of gratitude to my country, that conferred a great reward for past services, which, I am proud to say, was not greater than my desert. I have returned to protect that constitution, of which I was the parent and the founder, from the assassination of such men as the right honorable gentleman, and his unworthy associates. They are corrupt-they are seditious—and they, at this very moment, are in a conspiracy against their country. I have returned to refute a libel, as false as it is malicious, given to the public under the appellation of a report of the committee of the Lords. Here I stand ready for impeachment or trial. I dare accusation. I defy the honorable gentleman; I defy the government; I defy their whole phalanx; let them come forth. I tell the ministers, I will neither give them quarter, nor take it. I am here to lay the shattered remains of my constitution on the floor of this House, in de fence of the liberties of my country.
CLXXXII.—THE INFLUENCE OF GREAT MEN AFTER DEATH.
Extract from a Discourse in Commemoration of the Lives and Services of John Adams and Thomas Jefferson, delivered in Faneuil Hall, Boston, August 2, 1826, by Daniel Webster.
THIS is an unaccustomed spectacle. For the first time, fellow citizens, badges of mourning shroud the columns and overhang the arches of this HALL. These walls, which were consecrated, so long ago, to the cause of American liberty, which witnessed her infant struggles, and rung with the shouts of her earliest victories, proclaim, now, that distinguished friends and champions of that great cause have fallen. It is right that it should be thus. The tears which flow, and the honors that are paid, when the founders of the republic die, give hope that the republic itself may be immortal. It is fit, that by public assembly and solemn observance, by anthem and by eulogy, we commemorate the services of national benefactors, extol their virtues, and render thanks to God for eminent blessings, early given and long continued, to our favored country.
ADAMS AND JEFFERSON are no more. As human beings, indeed, they are no more. They are no more, as in 1776, bold and fearless advocates of independence; no more, as on subsequent periods, the head of the government; no more as we have recently seen them, aged and venerable objects of admiration and regard. They are no more. They are dead. But how little is there of the great and good which can die? To their country they yet live, and live for ever. They live in all that perpetuates the remembrance of men on earth; in the recorded proofs of their own great actions, in the offspring of their intellect, in the deep engraved lines of public gratitude, and in the respect and homage of mankind. They live in their example; and they live, emphatically, and will live in the influence which their lives and efforts, their principles and opinions, now exercise, and will continue to exercise, on the affairs of men, not nly in their own country, but throughout the civilized world. A superior and commanding human intellect, a truly great man, when Heaven vouchsafes so rare a gift, is not a temporary flame, burning bright for a while, and then expiring, giving place to returning darkness.