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And can he thus survive?
more lasting humiliation upon that haughty | nies and revolts--but are there not eruptive but exhausted country than has been visited social and political symptoms at home which upon any other nation in modern times. The
at present tax all the resources of the most riches from the tributes of enslaved peoples, consummate British statesmanship? Even succeeded by luxury and effeminacy, proved Gladstone's constituents petition him to resign to be apples that turned to ashes in the mouth. because he has made them paupers. In the
Take the case of Bonaparte, who would have event of internal commotion, or of a great war, made, to borrow the language of one of our Great Britain has no colony which could take best American thinkers, the earth for his | her part or that would contribute a penny to pasture and the sea for his pond," and where her exchequer or a man to her army. Charles are his possessions now? The ode of Byron | XII said he taught his enemies how to conquer fitly answers:
him, and it may be found that the British will *Is this the man of thousand thrones,
have taught the Irish, as well as the Indian Who strew'd our earth with hostile bones?
Sepoys, an art which may hereafter plague Since he, miscall’d the morning star,,,
even British conquerors. At any rate, it is Nor man nor fiend hath fallen so far.
apparent that Russian
, Denmark, and Spain, as And these words almost as well apply to well as England, no longer cling to colonies Napoleon the last as to the first.
with their ancient tenacity. They can part There is, however, still another recent exam. with them without any heart-breaking. ple. I mean that of the famous house of Haps- The framers and founders of our Governburg, or the emperor of Austria, who recently, I ment seem to have been diligent students of besides Germans, held under his command Ital. history, and the debates in the constitutional ians, Poles, Croats, Dalmatians, Slovaks, Ro- Convention, as well as the papers composing mans and Hungarians; but the battle of Sadowa the Federalist, show that they were keenly left Francis Joseph among the poorest and sad. alive to all the facts bearing upon the career dest monarchs of Europe, and from the first | and fate of republican forms of government. rank, Austria, cut in twain by the astute and Under the old Confederation a union of Canrelentless Bismark, fell to a second-rate posi- | ada and other British provinces with the United tion among the nations of the earth, henceforth States was openly contemplated and provided with ample leisure to reflect upon the hollow. || for, but when the Constitution of 1789 was ness and folly of incongruous annexations under ordained and established such a union had one dominion of separate, remote, and diverse become apparently hopeless, and the expatripeoples.
ated Tories having made the provinces their Are we to shut our eyes to such significant home, it was then undesirable, and perhaps facts, which stand forth, as light-houses upon repugnant to the ardent patriotism of the dangerous coasts, in all the pages of history ? || States. At all events, the peril which tracks Can any one be under the delusion that human the unlimited extension of territory in the pronature has greatly changed or that the United | gress of nations in all ages of the world was States are to have a charmed life and be ex. so obvious and so grave in its character that empt from all perils however recklessly guided ? no power was anywhere given, under our ConIt appears to me that these great historic facts stitution, by which such acquisitions were to should have their proper influence and I ask be ever authorized, directly or indirectly. In no more-in the decision of the question before other words, they were all forever soberly and
Shall we not first of all preserve the in- silently renounced. heritance of our fathers ?
This should be a barrier high enough at It may be said that England has not en- least to make us pause before we attempt to dangered its permanence, or its solid founda- leap over it. It is not enough that the plain tions, by its extensive colonial system. That and palpable force of the Constitution has been remains yet to be solved. Her mastery has disregarded ; ought it to be again and now? been maintained at the immense cost of her The advantages should be overwhelmingly in present national debt and her present and past favor of any scheme of annexation before it system of taxation, and of such a navy as should be even mooted, and its character makes it not inappropriate for her poets to such as would be cordially approved by the boast that “Britannia rules the waves ;'', but people of all sections and of all parties of our it must be borne in mind that no British colony country. Nothing less can justify any annexis represented, or has any control, in the home | ation. It should not be a doubtful question government. British statesmen are not em- carried by a beggarly and reluctant vote. Can barrassed by any such foreign admixture. Aus- it be doubted, if ever carried at all, it must tralia, New Zealand, India, and the African be by hesitating votes and by the leanest of and North American colonies may not forever constitutional numbers, whether by treaty or submit to imperial control, nor will their sepa- the legerdemain of a joint resolution? Can it ration from it be likely to be restrained by be doubted that the annexation of Santo Doforce. At present the British empire in India mingo, with the long, dark train which drags stands firmly-bating rather too frequent muti. ll just in the rear, would have been rejected with
scorn by the wise founders of our Govern. | sponsibility for its decision invoke the largest
Certainly it has no element of charac. | patriotism. ter and no advantage of position which can Individuals occupy but a brief space in the contribute to the safety or glory of our peer- march of time, and a generation blots them less Republic. All history shows that we ought oat, perhaps forever, but nations have a conto beware of what could not be other than a tinuity lasting for ages and a chardoter to be hot-bed for the germination of national dis- transmitted to the immortal pages of future cord, national extravagance, and national || history: The past of our country is secure, and effeminacy.
I would not jeopardize the future by the empty It will not be pretended that there has been || mockery of an exchange of moral grandeur for any enlightened public judgment in favor of apparent or even for real material greatness. the annexation of Santo Domingo. There has
If I can divine the secrets of my own heartbeen all that in favor of President Grant; and
and what I claim for myself I cordially concede his well-earned popularity, in spite of his Do- to others--there is no passion, no sentiment minicanism, cowjtutes the entire strength, the
lurking there wbich does not bow to a profound back.bone of the theasure. Unindorsed by him, desire that our country should stand foremost may I not venture to say it would not have had among the nations of the earth, foremost in or have a corporal's guard of supporters ? To
free and liberal institutions, foremost in its me, as well as to some others, it would have moral fiber and intellectual reach, foremost in given peculiar pleasure to have been able to literature, arts, and laws, and foremost in all support the measure because of the countenance the glories which crown the most elevated civlent to it by the present Administration, of ilization and the most liberal, and, I hope I whose integrity of purpose I have not a shadow may add, stable form of human government. of doubt; but it was and is a question in its But, regarding the annexation of Dominica scope beyond the life of any party and far in all its aspects, present and future, foreign above all parties, and my responsibility began | and domestic, as boding no good to our coun, at the point where that of the Executive most try, as a policy withering to its highest and properly leaves off;. and if I could not inde. noblest aspirations, and as at war with the pendently and conscientiously acquit myself
*Unity and married calm of States," of my whole duty on a question which so pro- which all of us should most diligently seek, I foundly coucerns the destiny of our country, shall vote against any measure even squintand, which once decided in the affirmative, is | ing at such an annexation, should such ever irrevocable, I should hold myself unworthy of | again come up, with a solemn and abiding my place. My age, if not my experience, conviction that I shall never have an oppor. warns me to endeavor to be earnestly for the tunity of tendering to my country , bigher right. The question and the measure of re