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went into the appeal of battle. They stood for their rights in many a bloody field; and they conquered those rights from the mightiest and the haughtiest power the world ever saw. the first chapter of our history, read and studied by the nations of the Old World. But what is to be the second chapter ? At first we had but three millions of people; now we have twenty millions. Our wealth, our power, our energy, have increased in more than a like proportion. And now the same old enemy claims a great empire on our western coast; and the descendants of that same people resolve, sooner than resist, to surrender their rights, and let her take it. I trust no such chapter is to be written in our history.
Mr. President, I have but uttered the rights of my country, and by their side I plant myself
, ready to abide the issue—come peace, come war.
For the singleness and sincerity of my motives I appeal to Heaven. By them I am willing to be judged now and hereafter, so help me God, when, prostrate at thy foot, I falter forth my last brief prayer for mercy on an erring life,
JOHN QUINCY ADAMS,
Ex-PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES, MEMBER OF THE HOUSE
OF REPRESENTATIVES FOR NORFOLK, MASSACHUSETTS.
THE Whig ex-President, true to his own indefatigable nature, still assists in the Councils of his Country; he not unfrequently speaks and delivers his original and independent opinions with his wonted energy and courage, and with singular vigour for his years. He is most punctual in his attendance at the House, having missed but one day, I believe, during the Session of 1845-6. Mr. Adams is the representative of the opinions, and the recorder of the events of earlier days; his memory is very tenacious, and his knowledge universal. Is a question mooted, a subject started for investigation, a former transaction, or the actors therein alluded to, Mr. Adams can describe the attendant circumstances, can give the name of each man concerned, and the time in which he lived, and moved, and
had his being, in Congress or before his country. His seat is placed about mid-way between the Speaker's chair and the outer circle of the House of Representatives, and on the left hand of the Speaker. Unaffected apparently by heat, and cold, and fatigue, he gives his undivided and unwearied attention to all that goes forward ; and I have understood that he records, at home, the proceedings of every day. Sometimes the venerable statesman is attacked by a member of opposition, and then he rises in self defence with all the indignant warmth of youth, and the consciousness of an integrity which none can gainsay. I was present in the House, and seated in the gallery immediately above Mr. Adams, when Mr. Rhett, of South Carolina, made some remarks on the policy pursued by Mr. Adams in 1812-13. During Mr. Rhett's speech, I observed the emotion which gradually became evident in the countenance of the patriotic New Englander; his cheek flushed, his veins swelled, and the fervent blood of twenty summers rushed to his temples; at length he rose, and spoke just at the moment when he ought; when he knew not whether he felt more surprise
or indignation at the insinuation of British predilection flung suddenly against himself and his party; he had no time for preparation, but entered at once into an extempore history of the political affairs of that period, and concluded by completely vindicating himself individually, and the Whigs generally, from such vexatious censure. The sympa thy of all was with him; and, doubtless, reflection made, the better nature of the gentleman from South Carolina led him to regret that he had assailed a Statesman who so ably defended himself; whose years and services entitled him to the highest respect; and the purity of whose administration, during his Presidency, displays his disinterestedness and patriotism in the most honourable light. Mr. Adams is said never to have removed
any from office on account of his political opinions. If requested to change an officer, he asked the honest question—“Does he know and practise his duty in his post ?" If the reply was in the affirmative, the President answered, “ Then he cannot be touched. “If he fulfils his duty in his office with “industry, talent, and fidelity, I cannot consent “to his removal.”
Governor Seward, whose love and respect for the personal character of Mr. Adams are only equalled by his admiration of the public life of this eminent man, had frequently excited my anxious desire to have an opportunity of seeing Mr. Adams, when, the cares of the day being ended, he received the visits of his friends, and unbent his mind in social intercourse. I was as much gratified when admitted to these “ Attic Nights” as the intellectual Governor had predicted; and listened with delight to those instructive and fascinating lectures, in which learning and taste were so eloquently combined; poetry, painting, music, history, criticism, all in turn were the themes of his discourse; each Muse attended at his call. The question was one evening discussed, whether is it easier to render sculpture and painting into poetry, or poetry into sculpture and painting ?-assuming each to be perfect in its kind : that is, the poetry rendered into sculpture or painting must become material, and the sculpture or painting rendered into poetry must become spiritual. The subject expanded, and I was amazed at the range of knowledge displayed by Mr. Adams,