« 上一頁繼續 »
Fifth regular toast :
The Judiciary of the Commonwealth — To their wisdom, learning and scrupulous fidelity we owe the preservation of our equal rights and constitutional liberty.
Hon. GEO. D. WELLS, Justice of the Police Court, responded. He said :
MR. MAYOR AND GENTLEMEN: I do not know why I am honored in being asked to respond to the sentiment just given, unless it be that as I am the youngest of all in appointment, and perhaps in years, I can say what is their due of the judiciary, without fear that any praise I may utter can fall upon myself. They are not mere words when I say that I do so with great diffidence, in view of the place, the occasion, the audience, and associations in which I stand. So too, as I consider the sentiment itself, and reflect upon all of the past and present included in that term," the judiciary," my mind runs backward, and I seem to see the forms and hear the voices of those great men whom we all reverence — whose names so stand out upon the pages we study — not alone the eloquent advocates, the subtle pleaders, the learned jurists, but lawyers, in the largest sense of the term, recognizing and enforcing to the uttermost those “unyielding abstractions" of truth, right, justice and equality of all men before the law, which the day we celebrate established, and which are the foundation of our civil and religious liberty and life — men “ who knew and owned the higher ends of law."
It is not easy for me, standing only on the threshold of the tabernacle wherein these dwell, to speak for them. I must put the shoes from off my feet if I would enter in.
For with us the judiciary seems to include what we most respect, in character, acquirements, and usefulness. Look through our whole State history, and where are our unjust or corrupt judges? In all time there have been many rulers
tyrannical and infamous, but how few judges of whom this can be said. When we do find these, their names stand in added blackness. They did, it may be, only the bidding of their masters; but as the function of the judge is higher and holier than that of president or king, so the guilt of these last is overshadowed by that of him who prostitutes this office to corrupt or selfish ends. So universally has this been the rule with us, that we receive the decrees of our judges almost without thought of criticism or question ; and when one comes so manifestly wrong that we must reject it — that we cannot but say it is some strange error, or a wilful prostitution of the office — we can hardly credit our senses; “ the carth seems to stand at gaze." We say, these men cannot err; it is a mistake, an impossibility; we gather about the decision
"As men aghast round some cursed fount,
So strongly was this felt in our earlier history, that the great men who framed our gorernment took extreme care to place our judges above all restraint or control, and put the Supreme Court under the especial charge of the Constitution. Even more — as showing their confidence, while in all else our government is one of checks and balances, no part without restraint, to the judiciary all is given; they are an absolute tyranny if they will. To execute their process, the sheriffs, with their posse, absorb the whole power of the State. Our Supreme Court is above our Constitution and laws, for it interprets both at its will. From its decrees there is no appeal, except to revolution or its equivalent. Our only reliance — and it has always been and is, in this Commonwealth, a sure one — is in the learning, ability, and above all, in the integrity of purpose of our judges. We regard that court with a just pride. So of our other courts, changing as they have and must, as the increasing need and want of our increasing and changing business and population demand. The memory of all which are gone is fresh and green. The names upon their rolls are everywhere known and honored. In all changes, the judiciary has been the same. It has been, as it is to-day, an organization of upright, learned, and earnest men. Their duties have been performed fearlessly, ably, and well. In one thing their duties have been rendered much easier. The humanity of our legislators, and the wise, generous, and noble policy of your rulers of the city of Boston, and your predecessors, has relieved the judges of your criminal court from their hardest and cruelest duty. For while I hold, in its strictest sense, that the object of criminal law is not the reformation or assistance of the criminal, but the security of the state — that the judge who loses sight of the latter in his desire for the former, does what he has no right to do, in sacrificing the state, whose servant he is, to the individual, whose servant he is not — yet it must be very hard to feel that in performing this duty, you are punishing the soul as well as the body; and that the poor wretch, whom vicious propensities or early neglect have driven into crime, will leave your sentence more wicked and hardened than when it began. Thanks to the policy of your State and city, with its admirably graded institutions, from that“ model” at South Boston to the reform school upon the island, your judges need no longer send the unfortunate victim of appetite to herd indiscriminately with persons hardened in crime, or give to the poor child his first and only education at the hands of thieves and prostitutes. Earlier judges were obliged to this as a duty. It is easier to feel, as we can now, that in punishing crime, and terrifying from evil doing, we are at the same time doing what is best for the criminal himself, and that justice and mercy can walk hand in hand.
Sixth regular sentiment:
The Cotton States — Producers of the staple we consume, and consumers of the manufactures we produce. May the reciprocal tie of the Union, which springs from our mutually advantageous commerce, be cemented by continued warm and generous social relations.
GEN. PALFREY, of New Orleans, responded as follows:
MR. PRESIDENT :-I must confess I am taken entirely by surprise in being called upon to respond to the toast. Although I am a military man, and contrary as I know it is to military rules, I assure you I am taken by surprise, and I feel that I cannot do justice to my feelings and to the senti. ment under the circumstances. But, Mr. President, I am sure I speak the sentiments of my fellow-citizens when I say every one of them cannot fail to reciprocate, without a single exception, every word contained in the toast just read. I assure you, Mr. President, I am very happy in having an opportunity to join you in the observances of the day. It is peculiarly interesting to me, from the fact that I am a native of the town of Boston. I was born within a few squares of this building, and in the year 1810 I removed to New Orleans. I say the present occasion is peculiarly interesting to me, and I am sure I have the right to call you my fellow-citizens, although I have the pleasure of a personal acquaintance with but very few here present. One of the gentlemen who addressed you, declared that he was willing that the bugle should sound a truce to political warfare, and I must say I join with him heart and soul in that sentiment. There is one thing, however, to which I should like to allude more particularly, had I not been called on so unexpectedly, and that is, that I think it is peculiarly a hard case for a man who has been a citizen of the South for fifty years, who was born in Boston, is an American citizen, and enjoys the protection of the stars and stripes, to return to his native city and hear such sentiments promulgated as I have been obliged to listen to in the Music Hall to-day. Now, perhaps, I stand alone in the expression of such an opinion, but I felt it my duty to say a word concerning the matter. I have my own opinions and you have yours. Bunker Hill is ours as well as yours, and King's Mountain yours as well as ours. Gentlemen, I hope you will excuse me, for what I say is in sorrow and not in anger. In conclusion, I will give you
Boston and New Orleans - Two of the most important cities of the United States — linked together by the strongest tie of commercial interest — may they always be ready, as in times past, to defend the principles of our glorious and happy Union.
Seventh regular sentiment:
The Orator of the Day – His eloquent address adds fresh laurels to the name of Sumner, already twice distinguished by a father and brother on the roll of the orators of Boston.
GEORGE SUMNER, Esq., the orator of the day, responded as follows:
I am deeply grateful, Mr. Mayor and Fellow-Citizens, for the manner in which this sentiment has been received, as it shows that the memory of my honored father, and the name of my absent brother, are fresh in your minds. The allusion to my father gratifies not alone my filial feelings, but those which I have as a citizen of Boston, glad to see honor rendered to every example of integrity, justice and patriotism. You have spoken of him as one of the orators of Boston. May I be permitted to recall an occasion (not the fourth of July) on which, as it seems to me, he spoke also for Boston and with a certain eloquence.
In 1812, the dominant interest of our city was strongly opposed to a war with England. At that time, a call was made for a national loan, and subscription books were sent to Boston. These were received in no complimentary man.