Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

peace and quiet of the country. I desire, most ardently, the res-
toration of affection and harmony to all its parts. I desire that
every citizen of the whole country may look to this govern-
ment with no other sentiments but those of grateful respect and
attachinent. But I cannot yield even to kind feelings the cause
of the constitution, the true glory of the country, and the great
trust which we hold in our hands for succeeding ages. If the con-
stitution cannot be maintained without meeting these scenes of
commotion and contest, however unwelcome, they must come.
We cannot, we must not, we dare not, omit to do that which,
in our judgment, the safety of the Union requires. Not re-
gardless of consequences, we must yet ineet consequences ;
seeing the hazards which surround the discharge of public duty,
it must yet be discharged. For myself, sir, I shun no respon-
sibility justly devolving on me, here or elsewhere, in attempt-
ing to maintain the cause. I am tied to it by indissoluble bands
of affection and duty, and I shall cheerfully partake in its fortunes
and its fate. I am ready to perform my own appropriate part,
whenever and wherever the occasion may call on me, and to take
my
chance
among

those
upon
whom blows

may

fall first and fall thickest. I shall exert every faculty I possess in aiding to prevent the constitution from being nullified, destroyed, or impaired; and even should I see it fall, I will still, with a voice feeble, perhaps, but earnest as ever issued from human lips, and with fidelity and zeal which nothing shall extinguish, call on the PEOPLE TO come to its rescue.

THE CONSTITUTION AND THE UNION.

THE COMPROMISES OF THE CONSTITUTION.

A SPEECH DELIVERED IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES, ON THE 7TH

OF MARCH, 1850.

MR. PRESIDENT-I wish to speak to-day, not as a Massachusetts man, nor as a northern man, but as an American, and a member of the senate of the United States. It is fortunate that there is a senate of the United States; a body not yet moved from its propriety, not lost to a just sense of its own dignity and its own high responsibilities, and a body to which the country looks, with confidence, for wise, moderate, patriotic, and healing counsels. It is not to be denied that we live in the midst of strong agitations, and are surrounded by very considerable dangers to our institutions of government. The imprisoned winds are let loose. The east, the west, the north, and the stormy south, all combine to throw the whole ocean into agitation, to toss its billows to the skies, and to disclose its profoundest depths. I do not affect to regard myself, Mr. President, as holding, or as fit to hold, the helm in this combat of the political elements; but I have a duty to perform, and I mean to perform it with fidelity, not without a sense of surrounding dangers, but not without hope. I have a part to act, not for my own security or safety, for I am looking out for no fragment upon which to float away from the wreck, if wreck there must be, but for the good of the whole, and the preservation of the whole; and there is that which will keep me to my duty during this struggle, whether the sun and the stars shall appear, or shall not appear for many days. I speak to-day for the preservation of the Union.

“ Hear me for my cause." I U*

VOL. II.

« AnteriorContinuar »