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Gontents for Wecember.
Causes of the Success OF THE Whigs,
* Who fell in Mexico.
PUBLISHED AT 118 NASSAU STREET.
That the Whigs have gained the elec- | PUBLIC SPIRIT, the sincere patriotism of the tion,—not by management or corruption, Wugs--exhibited in their opposition to but by the effect of free discussion and the grounds of the war, and their advocacy of the moral sentiment and enthusiasm of of a just system of national economy and the people; aided by a conviction that the policy; and, no less, to the character of interests not only of the manufacturing their candidates, in whom appeared those classes, but of all who live by honest in- traits most admired by a free people, dustry, either of the hand or head, the traits of honor, of truth and of courrequired a change of policy ; that age, and the wisdom of moderation, of it is a victory not of one section of the economy and of prudence. By the joint country, or of one class or interest over power of their principles, their measures another, but of an equalized majority; and their men, together indicating a public that it was achieved in the face of an spirit agreeable to the bias and enthusiasm executive faction, proposing, as party of modern and Christian freedom, the watchwords, “the glory of our arms,” Whig party have achieved this great and “the extension of our empire,” “the singular victory. freedom of trade," “ democracy,” and other A people of more than eighteen millions, great sayings, fine catch-words in the of a temper and courage unsurpassed, richer mouths of demagogues ; how and by than the wealthiest monarchy of the old what causes this has come about—by world, more laborious and more enterprising the operation of what sentiments, motives | than any; a nation founded like Rome by and convictions, is indeed an inquiry well refugees, but not like Rome by robbers and worth the attention of every serious man, assassins, composed of exiles from all lands of every lover of freedom, and (for a warn in search of liberty and lawful happiness ; ing sign,) of every opposer of the great such a people, self-educated, self-governcourse of liberty.
ed; such a people, without agitation or civil It will not, perhaps, be regarded as a tumult, have ejected from their seats, speech of mere presumption, or of affect- | under the forms of their constitution, a ed wisdom, to say that this remarkable set of rulers whose policy it has been to victory must be attributed first to the misemploy that noble temper and manly
courage; to waste that hard-earned wealth ; pear; confidence and trust soon took the to depress and deny its natural protection place of suspicion. to that unequalled industry and enterprise ; But who were they that elected honesty to imitate the policy of a nation founded by and consistency in place of falsehood and robbers and assassins, and to convert the deceit ? The Whigs; they saw it first, exiles of freedom from all lands into a and preferred it. community of land pirates.
Honor, says Montesquieu, is the prinThose, on the other hand, who have ciple of monarchies, virtue that of repubbeen chosen in their places, are men who, lics ; but that is an imperfect distinction; with the greatest distrust in their own for if virtue be in the people, honor will be abilities, have abjured all speculations of in the rulers. A republic, therefore, may their own; impressed with a wise and lay claim to both these principles, of which tempered respect for the wisdom of our monarchy asks but one. ancestors, they have proposed to them " During the reigns of the Kings of selves, as guides of conduct, the maxims Spain, of the Austrian family, whenever and the principles of those of their prede- they were at a loss in the Spanish councessors, by whose prudent care this great cils it was common for their statesmen to and flourishing empire has grown to its say, that they ought to consult the genius present height of glory.
of Philip the Second.” With our statesWhen, with a manly and becoming men, the genius of Washington presides modesty, the candidate professed himself over sincere and difficult deliberations ; unequal to the task of governing a great the genius of the Spanish conqueror misled nation, and suggested that the people and deceived, has almost destroyed, his nashould be permitted, as their fathers had tion; but the genius of Washington has been, to legislate for themselves, our so far saved and sustained ours. But who, ears, accustomed so long to the bragging of all that have come after him, have so accents of demagogues, would hardly re- nearly, and with such a close communion ceive the sounds, and we seemed only to of spirit, taken counsel from our great be listening to some new kind of decep- founder and guide, as the candidate who, tion, so totally had the style of heroism and modestly professed his unwillingness to atforbearance passed out of our remembrance. tempt to do what the Congress alone should Our faith in the honesty of rulers had lan- do, and who goes into office with but two guished by the absence of examples, and pledges, the oath to maintain, and the the idea of power had become separated promise not to usurp, the powers of the and almost naturally opposed to that of Constitution ? honesty, Enough, however, was lest, With a President elected upon grounds either of the tradition, or of the instinct, so important to the people, and so respectof greatness, to move the hearts of the able to himself, let us now inquire with people.
what views of policy and priaciples of Nor was that true ambition, which legislation, the party who have elected preferred the choice of a people to the him comes into power; deducing these choice of a party, less a problem to us from a survey of their past conduct and than the modesty that would not assume professions. a function which it could not justly use; They have elected a candidate who we mistook it for the low ambition of the would give no pledges ; because, by giving intriguer, who rides into power on the them, he would be compelled, in carrying back of confusion. Accustomed so long them into effect, to usurp the powers of to disbelieve and to distrust, we had no legislation, to exercise a corrupting paears for truth; our imaginations, occu- tronage, and to put his will and opinion, pied so long with rumors of plots and de- adopted or conceived, in place of that of ceptions, would not receive a clear unbro- the representatives and judges of the ken image of the truth. It was too simple people. and dignified ; the cry was, “ well acted," If the election be a test of their prinnot " well done." We waited to observe ciples, the first and most characteristic of the changes, the inconsistencies, the vacil these must be, that Congress, and not the lations, the anxiety, but they did not ap- Executive, shall exercise the legislative