« ZurückWeiter »
these efforts are lost, and our condition hopeless. If so, it only remains for us to assume the garb of our condition. We must submit, humbly submit, crave pardon, and hug our chains. It is not wise to provoke where we cannot resist. But first let us be well assured of the hopelessness of our state before we sink into submission. On what do our opponents rest their despondent and slavish belief? On the recent events in Europe? I admit they are great, and well calculated to impose on the imagination. Our enemy never presented a more imposing exterior. His fortune is at the flood. But I am admonished by universal experience, that such prosperity is the most precarious of human conditions. From the flood the
tide dates its ebb. From the meridian the sun
commences his decline. Depend upon it, there is more of sound philosophy than of fiction in the fickleness which poets attribute to fortune. Prosperity. has its weakness, adversity its strength. In
many respects our enemy has lost by those very changes which seem so very much in his favour.
no more claim to be struggling for existence; no more to be fighting the battles
of the world in defence of the liberties of mankind. The magic cry of French influence is lost. In this very hall we are not strangers to that sound. Here, even here, the cry of “French influence,' that baseless fiction, that phantom of faction now banished, often resounded. I rejoice that the spell is broken by which it was attempted to bind the spirit of this youthful nation. The minority can no longer act under cover, but must come out and defend their opposition on its own intrinsic merits. Our example can scarcely fail to produce its effects on other nations interested in the maintenance of maritime rights. But if, unfortunately, we should be left alone to maintain the contest, and if, which inay God forbid, necessity should compel us to yield for the present, yet our generous efforts will not have been lost. A mode of thinking and a tone of sentiment have gone abroad which must stimulate to future and more successful struggles. What could not be effected with eight millions of people will be done
The great cause will yielded; no, never, never! Sir, I hear the future audibly announced in the past—in the splendid
victories over the Guerriere, Java, and Macedonian. We, and all nations, by these victories, are taught a lesson never to be forgotten. Opinion is power. The charm of British naval invincibility is gone."
was George Washington at Mount Vernon, retired from the scenes of public excitement and service, such is Henry Clay at Ashland. I had seen Calhoun at Washington in the early spring of 1846, calm amidst the strife and hurry of political warfare; I saw Henry Clay in the May following, in Kentucky, serene in “the mild majesty of private life.” Side by side these illustrious Americans had, for many years, proceeded in their separate courses; their ages not far dissimilar; their characters strongly contrasted; their politics invariably opposed, their various powers equally, though with different views, ardently devoted to the service of their country. Each spoke of the other with high esteem, and each inquired with earnest solicitude if health and cheerfulness were still the portion of his admired rival. Many sympathies, indeed, had bound them together;
each had rejoiced with the same triumph in the happiness of the Republic; each had partaken of the same exalted anguish in her difficulties. Clay and Calhoun are the MASTER SPIRITS of America.
Mr. Clay is the most popular man in the United States ; his very name is a spell, and no sooner is it heard than all mankind rise
up praise it ; nor all mankind only—but all womankind; for, as in England, ladies par métier are Conservatives, so they are in America, for the same reasons, doubtless, generally attached to the Whig standard; a lovely and graceful ornament, the ladies of America are the chaplet of roses in which is wreathed the name of Henry Clay. “You “cannot go back to your country without going " to Ashland.” “ You never heard such a voice, “ you never knew such a man in England, as our “ Mr. Clay.” All the children born in 1845-6, are, I believe, called after him; there is a little generation of two year old Henry Clays. Some ladies at Ithaca had lavished upon me every sort of hospitality and kindness, “How," said I on parting, “shall I repay you for so much goodness?', “You are going to see Mr. Clay, ask him for an