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tions with them. Upon these grounds, many desired to see him adopted by the second Convention. There were others who thought that he would, eventually, resign his nomination in favor of the candidate of the December Convention; believing that his influence would carry the Anti-Masons to the support of that nomination. It is very obvious, that such a move, on his part, would have been fruitless;-that it would have only offended the one party without adding strength to the other; in fact, that it would have exasperated many persons against both.

As December approached, all doubts, upon the course which was finally to be taken, were dispelled. Before the Convention met, it was well known that Mr. Clay was to be the candidate— and almost as generally surmised that both Conventions were to be defeated in the election.

In this state of affairs we have another letter.


BALTIMORE, December 5, 1831.



"There seems to be no doubt of Mr. Clay's nomination by the Convention here next Wednesday. So be it. In a personal point of view, I shall feel that I have made a lucky escape. told the Anti-Masons that they had rung the knell of my departed peace. I am relieved by seeing that I am likely to be reprieved. It is supposed, I have no doubt, that I shall be mortified by the rejection. How little do they know of me! A culprit pardoned at the gallows could not be more light-hearted. The simile, to be sure, is not altogether to my mind, any more than Corporal Trim's was to Uncle Toby's; but there is no small resemblance in the buoyancy of the feeling. As to the abuse I am to expect for having permitted my name to be offered, I do not expect much: but if it comes,-let it come! My happiness does not depend either on the censure or applause of the vulgar. No man, whose good opinion is worth a wish, shall doubt the purity or disinterestedness of my motives.

"It has been suggested to me by a clergyman, that the Presbyterians are thinking of coming to my aid. I belong to their

church. They are said to number a hundred and twenty thousand votes. My advice to them is, to stick to their religion, and not to sully it by mixing in political strife. They will make more hypocrites than christians by such a course. This is bad advice as a politician, but sound as a christian. When I say bad advice as a politician, I mean with regard to the particular occasion and the success of my election;-for it is throwing away so much support which, I believe, my wish would command. But on high political ground it is also sound. For the church and state should be kept separate, and religion should not be made a test for political service. As a christian, I would wish to see the President a christian; for his example might do much good. But it would not do to make it a sine qua non in such an office. honest and of superior capacity-that should be enough. "Mr. Chase writes from Ohio, that the delegates to the Convention from that State will come prepared to support me. So White of Florida, thinks of some of them from Virginia—and Judge Spencer of some of them from New York. But I have not the slightest confidence in these things.

If otherwise


"I tell you, mediocrity is the place for happiness at last-the aurea mediocritas. Give me the unpretending cottage in the vale, rather than the castle on the mountain. Oh, had I-not ' a cave on some far-distant shore'-but my plantation in Florida well stocked and settled, with a good house, my wife and children and a few friends around me, how happy would I be 'to daff the world aside! But I am talking as if I were yet a youth, instead of standing, as I do, on the brink of eternity. Are we not here to-day,-and gone-to-morrow?'

"I have just read the President's Message. It is supposed to be from Livingston's pen. He writes well, and it is a well-concocted dish. If the Government was to be administered by messages, we should do well enough. But saying and doing are two things. These messages have become mere popularity-traps. What a varnish have we here of a sepulchre full of corruption! Nothing was ever more unlike than the picture and the realitythe outside and the inside. How is the treatment of the poor Indians white-washed! And the paragraph relative to the amendment of the Constitution for the restriction of the Presidency to

a single term, and the non-appointment of members of Congress to office-was ever any thing more incongruous with the practice! The President acts as if he supposed the Constitution enjoined a double term and the appointment of members, and as if he required a constitutional prohibition to prevent him from doing what he declares to be wrong in principle. The Constitution leaves him free to practise upon his own principles,-why does he not do it, if he deems them so sacred and vital to the public purity and happiness?-But we are to be blessed with his fair words and foul weather for another term."




A VERY severe illness, during which, for a time, his life was thought to be in peril, had confined Mr. Wirt, for some weeks, at the close of the last year and the beginning of the present, to his bed. It was an attack of erysipelas, produced by cold. His constitution had become visibly impaired, of late years, by the frequent access of disease, induced often by his rigorous application to his professional duties. His recent sickness, at this period, it will be seen, did not wholly divert his mind from the solicitude produced by the late nomination. The determination to hazard the fortunes of the election upon Mr. Clay, with the irreconcilable division of the Anti-Masonic party in the field, he regarded as decisive of the result. His strong wish, therefore, in this condition of affairs, was to retire from the contest. The only impediment that stood in the way of this purpose was the difficulty of obtaining the consent of the Anti-Masonic party to the act. We shall find this subject adverted to and discussed in more than one of the letters which I have selected for this chapter.



BALTIMORE, January 12, 1832.

Be it known to you and all whom it may concern, that on this day, being the first day of the fifth week since I was taken sick, I put on, for the first time, my pantaloons and waistcoat, with my

new crimson, embroidered wrapper from Paris, said to be lined with eider down,—and which looks so regally purplish and crimsonish, that I call it my Tyrian, Sidonian and Phoenician wrapper,— and supported only on my cane, left my bed-chamber, mea sponte, and sallied up to the room above me, to see my dear C― and E- who are both sick in bed, the former with a sore throat, which I hope is getting well, and the latter, of the same debility which, you may remember, made her so shadowy at the Springs last summer. My wife was up there with them at the time, and started, on opening the door to my rap, as if she had seen a ghost. The girls were greatly amused at the various antics I cut for their entertainment.

And now, having made my boast, I thank you, my beloved friend, in the first place, for your very interesting letter enclosing a copy of your's to Mr. W

I cannot tell

you how much I am amused at the simplicity and single-heartedness of your proposal to the Anti-Masons to go over to Clay. I do most devoutly wish they would do it;-but there is no more chance for Clay with the Anti-Masons "than for the Pope of Rome," as poor old J used to say. I should like to see W-'s answer to your letter;-for it may give me a clue, I am puzzled to find,— that is, how to find my way out of the labyrinth of this nomination, with honor to myself and without any offence to the Anti-Masons. W called to see me on his way through Baltimore, and I expressed to him a wish that it were possible for the members of Congress, representing the various interests in the opposition, to unite on some one candidate and give him the whole vote of the opposition. I told him I wished the Anti-Masons to understand that I had no desire for the office of President-that my paramount wish was to see the government rescued out of the hands that now held the reins; and I begged that, in endeavoring to fix on a candidate, they would consider me and the nomination I had received, as entirely out of the question. "That is," said G——, who was present, "that you wish the Anti-Masons to consider you as entirely in their hands, to dispose of you as they please," to which I assented, though, in truth, I wished Wto understand something more by what I said, to wit:-that, perceiving the object I had in view in accepting the nomination (that of uniting the whole opposition,) not likely to be accomplished, I

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