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have not that deep and ingrained veneration for State power which is to be found among the inhabitants of some of the older States. We have found that State lines, State names, State organizations, are in most cases the veriest creatures of accident. To us there is no savor of antiquity about them. Our people move into a region of country and make the State. We feel ourselves to be offshoots of the nation. We look to the nation for protection.
4. We need erect no bulwark of State sovereignty, behind which to shelter ourselves from the gifts which that nation so generously and bountifully showers upon us; and when the order of nature is reversed, and she calls to us in her extremity for help and protection, the farmer will be found leaving his plow in the furrow, and the woodman the tree half felled in the forest, to fly to the assistance of our common parent. Part of a mighty nation, we feel that our fame and our greatness reach to the uttermost ends of the earth, over all the seas, and through all the continents. Citizens of States, we are lost and buried from the gaze of mankind, the tributary Nubias of those governments which control the mouth of our Nile; without commerce, without a navy, without a flag; the merest insignificant accidents !
5. And now, Mr. Speaker, so surely as the eye of the All-Just is upon us, there is no safety for this nation while a spark of vitality remains in the institution of Slavery. Let us read history, and gather from it, as Lord Bolingbroke advises us, “not heat, butlight.” What have caused the most continuous and persistent wars ? The answer is, the attempts of dethroned dynasties to regain power. Slavery, with its hundred thousand autocrats, may come again to beg for it place and power, just as the old nobility came back after the revolution of France. Yet Slavery will have cost the nation its full capacity of suffering...
6. It is said that we propose to oppress the people of
the South. It would be well if such oppression could cover the whole surface of the known world! Ours is an oppression which makes free; ours a despotism which builds the school-house and the printing-office; ours a tyranny which sets the plow moving in the furrow, and covers the lakes and the rivers with the white wings of commerce. God give the world abundance of such oppression !
7. Worn with fruitless strugglings against us, — dusty and bloody from a thousand fields, with drooping jaws, glazed eyes, and dejected visage, - the monster Slavery asks shelter at our feet, repose, protection; space to stretch his weary limbs ; time for the exhausted juices of his body to resume their accustomed flow. Spare him but this little while, and once more he will be upon his feet; once more his roar will shake the world; once more his talons will be clotted with the flesh and blood of those near and dear to you and to me and to all of us.
8. God in his infinite mercy spare us such a fate! Let death fall upon the offender, Slavery! This is no wrestling-match which the nation can relinquish and resume at pleasure. This struggle means, and has meant from the beginning, death to one of the combatants. Why hesitate ? Death let it be to the conquered! Let Slavery die that the Nation may live!
Morn and BORNE are not perfect rhymes. The o in BORNE is long as in BORE; in MORN, it is short.
See in Index, GUARDIAN, SHORT-LIVED, MARS, LUNT.
Are wrapped the treasures of the heart;
Where'er that waving sheet is fanned
It bids the life-blood start.
The fiery crest of Mars shines out;
Flushed victory is bathed in tears ;
Flag of my country! on the heart,
At which the nations start.
y. Thou art a symbol of the power
Whose sheltering wings our homes surround;
Blessings abound where thou dost float;
And be our guardian as now !
Each wind of heaven salute thy streaks!
To bring that banner low!
CI. — THE SENSITIVE AUTHOR.
The following scene is from a dramatic piece entitled “The Critic, or a Tragedy Rehearsed.” In the character of “Sir Fretful Plagiary,” Sheridan has caricatured the foibles of Richard Cumberland, author of several plays, who died in 1811. He was an honorable and amiable man, but his literary vanity was excessive; and his irritable susceptibility to criticism was such that Garrick called him “the man without a skin."
See in Index, BOMBAST, SUGGEST, SHERIDAN.
Delivery. In reading the dialogue, bear in mind that Dangle and Sneer are amusing themselves with the well-known weakness of Sir Fretful, and that their praise is as insincere as their pretended quotations from a newspaper attack are mischievous.
DaNGLE, SNEER, SIR FRETFUL PLAGIARY. Dan. Ah, my dear friend! We were just speaking of your tragedy. Admirable, Sir Fretful, admirable !
Sneer. You never did anything beyond it, Sir Fretful,- never in your life.
Sir F. Sincerely, then, - you do like the piece ?
Sir F. But come now, there must be something that you think might be mended, hey? – Mr. Dangle, has nothing struck you ?
Dan. Why, faith, it is but an ungracious thing, for the most part, to —
Sir F. With most authors it is just so indeed ; they are in general strangely tenacious! But, for my part, I am never so well pleased as when a judicious critic points out any defect in me; for what is the purpose of showing a work to a friend, if you don't mean to profit by his opinion ?
Sneer. Very true. Why, then, though I seriously admire the piece upon the whole, yet there is one small objection ; which, if you 'll give me leave, I'll mention.
Sir F. Sir, you can't oblige me more.
Sneer. Yes; I own, I think the incidents are too few.
Sir F. Believe me, Mr. Sneer, there is no person for whose judgment I have a more implicit deference. But I protest to you, Mr. Sneer, I am only apprehensive that the incidents are too crowded. - My dear Dangle, how does it strike you?
Dan. Really, I can't agree with my friend Sneer. I think the plot quite sufficient; and the first four acts by many degrees the best I ever read or saw in my life. If I might venture to suggest anything, it is that the interest rather falls off in the fifth.
Sir F. Rises, I believe, you mean, sir —
Sir F. Yes, yes, you do, upon my word, — it certainly don't fall off, I assure you. No, no, it don't fall off.
Dan. Well, Sir Fretful, I wish you may be able to get rid as easily of the newspaper criticisms as you do of ours.
Sir F. The newspapers ! — Sir, they are the most villainous — licentious — abominable — infernal — Not that I ever read them! No! I make it a rule never to look into a newspaper.
Dan. You are quite right, — for it certainly must hurt an author of delicate feelings to see the liberties they take.
Sir F. No! - quite the contrary; their abuse is, in fact, the best panegyric; - I like it of all things. An author's reputation is only in danger from their support.