Abbildungen der Seite

and impenetrable shield, repelled the poisoned shafts that were aimed for my destruction, and vindicated my good name from every malignant and unfounded aspersion. I return with indescribable pleasure to linger a while longer, and mingle with the warm hearted and whole souled people of that State; and, when the last scene shall for ever close upon me, I hope that my earthly remains will be laid under her green sod with those of her gallant and patriotic sons.

“ That my nature is warm, my temper ardent, my disposition, especially in relation to the public service, enthusiastic, I am ready to own; and those who suppose that I have been assuming the dictatorship, have only mistaken for arrogance or assumption that ardour and devotion which are natural to my constitution, and which I may have displayed with too little regard to cold, calculating, and cautious prudence, in sustaining and zealously supporting important national measures of policy which I have presented and espoused.

“In the course of a long and arduous public service, especially during the last eleven years in which I have held a seat in the Senate, from the

same ardour and enthusiasm of character, I have no doubt, in the heat of debate, and in an honest endeavour to maintain my opinions against adverse opinions alike honestly entertained, as to the best course to be adopted for the public welfare, I may have often inadvertently and unintentionally, in moments of excited debate, made use of language that has been offensive, and susceptible of injurious interpretation toward my brother Senators. If there be any here who retain wounded feelings of injury or dissatisfaction produced on such occasions, I beg to assure them that I now offer the most ample apology for any departure on my part from the established rules of Parliamentary decorum and courtesy. On the other hand, I assure the Senators, one and all, without exception and without reserve, that I retire from this chamber without carrying with me a single feeling of resentment or dissatisfaction to the Senate or any one of its Members.

“I go from this place under the hope that we shall mutually consign to perpetual oblivion whatever personal collisions may at any time unfortunately have occurred between us; and

that our recollections shall dwell in future only on those conflicts of mind with mind, those intellectual struggles, those noble exhibitions of the powers of logic, argument, and eloquence, honourable to the Senate and to the Nation, in which each has sought and contended for what he deemed the best mode of accomplishing one common object, the interest and happiness of our beloved country. To these thrilling and delightful scenes it will be my pleasure and my pride to look back in my

retirement with unmeasured satisfaction.

May the most precious blessings of Heaven rest upon the whole Senate, and each Member of it, and may the labours of every one redound to the benefit of the nation and the advancement of his own fame and renown. And when you shall retire to the bosom of your Constituents, may you receive that most cheering and gratifying of all human rewards—their cordial greeting of Well done, good and faithful servant.'

“And now, Mr. President, and Senators, I bid you all a long, a lasting, and a friendly farewell.”

This Address was heard by the crowded Senate Chamber with profound feeling. When Mr. Clay

ceased to speak, many rose to take him by the hand. His noble rival, Mr. Calhoun, walked across the floor, and offered his hand; it was cordially taken ; but it is said that their mutual feelings overcame them; and they separated without the power of uttering a word.

And Henry Clay, in the full tide of popularity, returned to seek repose and happiness at Ashland. I trust that he will not refuse to an Englishwoman the privilege of mingling her vows with those of his countrymen, that length of days, and health, and peace, may wait upon him.



Mr. Clay first takes up the treaty of Fort Jackson, of August, 1814, which he regarded as the cause of the war. After reading enough of it to show its character, he said :

“I have never perused this instrument until within a few days past, and I have read it with the deepest mortification and regret. A more dictatorial spirit I have never seen displayed in

any instrument. I would challenge an examination of all the records of diplomacy, not excepting even those in the most haughty period of imperial Rome, when she was carrying her arms into the barbarian nations that surrounded her, and I do not believe that a solitary instance can be found of such an inexorable spirit of domination pervading a compact purporting to be a treaty of peace. It consists of the most severe and humiliating demandsof the surrender of a large territoryof the privilege of making roads through the remnant which was retained—of the right of establishing trading houses of the obligation of delivering into our hands their prophets! And all this of a wretched people reduced to the last extremity of distress, whose miserable existence we have to preserve by a voluntary stipulation to furnish them with bread ! When did all-conquering and desolating Rome ever fail to respect the Altars and the Gods of those whom she subjugated? Let me not be told that these prophets were impostors, who deceived the Indians. They were their prophets; the Indians believed and venerated them, and it is not for us to dictate a

« ZurückWeiter »