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it be expedient to adopt measures to two days, by which the Senate has been hasten the sales, and extend more rapidly now entertained by the gentleman from the surveys of the public lands.”]
South Carolina. Every topic in the wide We have thus heard, sir, what the reso- range of our public affairs, whether past lution is, which is actually before us for or present-everything, general or local, consideration; and it will readily occur whether belonging to national politics or to every one that it is almost the only party politics—seems to have attracted subject about which something has not more or less of the honorable member's been said in the speech, running through attention, save only the resolution before
He has spoken of everything but the able member. Some passages, it is true, public lands. They have escaped his had occurred, since our acquaintance in notice. To that subject, in all his ex. this body, which I could have wished cursions, he has not paid even the cold might have been otherwise; but I had used respect of a passing glance.
philosophy, and forgotten them. When When this debate, sir, was to be re- the honorable member rose, in his first sumed, on Thursday morning, it so hap- speech, I paid him the respect of attentive pened that it would have been convenient listening; and when he sat down, though for me to be elsewhere. The honorable surprised, and I must say even astonished, member, however, did not incline to put at some of his opinions, nothing was off the discussion to another day. He had further from my intention than to coma shot, he said, to return, and he wished mence any personal warfare; and through to discharge it. That shot, sir, which it the whole of the few remarks I made in was kind thus to inform us was coming, answer, I avoided, studiously and carethat we might stand out of the way, or fully, everything which I thought possible prepare ourselves to fall before it, and to be construed into disrespect. And, sir, die with decency, has now been received. while there is thus nothing originating Under all advantages, and with expecta- here, which I wished at any time, or now tion awakened by the tone which pre. wish, to discharge, I must repeat, also, ceded it, it has been discharged, and has that nothing has been received here, which spent its force.
It may become me to rankles or in any way gives me annoyance. say no more of its effect than that, if I will not accuse the honorable member of nobody is found, after all, either killed violating the rules of civilized war-I will or wounded by it, it is not the first time not say that he poisoned his arrows. But in the history of human affairs that the whether his shafts were, or were not, vigor and success of the war have not dipped in that which would have caused quite come up to the lofty and sounding rankling if they had reached, there was phrase of the manifesto.
not, it happened, quite strength The gentleman, sir, in declining to post- enough in the bow to bring them to their pone the debate, told the Senate, with the mark. If he wishes now to find those emphasis of his hand upon his heart, that shafts, he must look for them elsewhere; there was something rankling here, which they will not be found fixed and quiverhe wished to relieve. [Mr. Hayne rose ing in the object at which they are aimed. and disclaimed having used the word The honorable member complained that “rankling.”] It would not, Mr. President, I had slept on his speech. I must have be safe for the honorable member to ap- slept on it, or not slept at all. The moment peal to those around him, upon the ques- the honorable member sat down, his friend tion whether he did, in fact, make use of from Missouri rose, and, with much that word. But may have been uncon- honeyed commendation of the speech, sug. scious of it. At any rate, it is enough gested that the impressions which it had that he disclaims it. But still, with or produced were too charming and delightwithout the use of that particular word, ful to be disturbed by other sentiments or he had yet something here, he said, of other sounds, and proposed that the which he wished to rid himself by an im. Senate should adjourn. Would it have mediate reply. In this respect, sir, I have been quite amiable in me, sir, to interrupt a great advantage over the honorable this excellent good-feeling? Must I not gentleman. There is nothing here, sir, have been absolutely malicious, if I could which gives me the slightest uneasiness; have thrust myself forward to destroy neither fear nor anger, nor that which is sensations thus pleasing ? Was it not sometimes more troublesome than either— much better and kinder, both to sleep the consciousness of having been in the upon them myself, and to allow others, wrong. There is nothing either origi- also, the pleasure of sleeping upon theni? nating here or now received here by the But if it be meant, by sleeping upon his gentleman's shot-nothing original, for speech, that I took time to prepare a I had not the slightest feeling of disc reply to it, it is quite a mistake; owing respect or unkindness towards the honor. to other engagements, I could not employ
even the interval between the adjournment notice. It was put as a question for me of the Senate and its meeting the next to answer, and so put as if it were difmorning in attention to the subject officult for me to answer, whether I deemed this debate. Nevertheless, sir, the mere the member from Missouri an overmatch matter of fact is undoubtedly true—I did for myself in debate here. It seems to sleep on the gentleman's speech, and slept me, sir, that is extraordinary language, soundly. And I slept equally well on and an extraordinary tone for the dishis speech of yesterday, to which I am now cussion of this body. replying. It is quite possible that, in this Matches and overmatches! Those terms respect also, I possess some advantago are more applicable elsewhere than here, over the honorable member, attributable, and fitter for other assemblies than this. doubtless, to a cooler temperament on my Sir, the gentleman seems to forget where », part; for, in truth, I slept upon his speeches and what we are. This is a senate; a senremarkably well. But the gentleman in- ate of equals; of men of individual honor quires why he was made the object of such and personal character, and of absolute a reply. Why was he singled out? If an independence. We know no masters; we attack had been made on the East, he, acknowledge no dictators. This is a hall he assures us, did not begin it-it was the for mutual consultation and discussion, gentleman from Missouri. Sir, I an- not an arena for the exhibition of chamswered the gentleman's speech because I pions. I offer myself, sir, as a match happened to hear it; and because, also, I for no man; I throw the challenge of dechose to give an answer to that speech, bate at no man's feet. But then, sir, which, if unanswered, I thought most since the honorable member has put the likely to produce injurious impressions. question in a manner that calls for an I did not stop to inquire who was the answer, I will give him an answer; and original drawer of the bill. I found a I tell him that, holding myself to be the responsible endorser before me, and it humblest of the members here, I yet know was my purpose to hold him liable, and nothing in the arm of his friend from Misto bring him to his just responsibility souri, either alone or when aided by the without delay. But, sir, this interroga- arm of his friend from South Carolina, tory of the honorable member was only in- that need deter even me from espousing troductory to another. He proceeded to whatever opinions I may choose to espouse, ask me whether I had turned upon him in from debating whenever I may choose to this debate from consciousness that I debate, or from speaking whatever I may should find an overmatch if I ventured
see fit to say on the floor of the Senate. on a contest with his friend from Mis- Sir, when uttered as matter of commendasouri. If, sir, the honorable member, eu tion or compliment, I should dissent from gratia modestiæ, had chosen thus to defer nothing which the honorable member to his friend, and to pay him a compli- might say of his friend. Still less do I ment, without intentional disparagement put forth any pretensions of my own. But to others, it would have been quite ac- when put to me as matter of taunt, I cording to the friendly courtesies of de throw it back, and say to the gentleman bate, and not at all ungrateful to my that he could possibly say nothing less own feelings. I am not one of those, sir, likely than such a comparison to wound who esteem any tribute of regard, whether my pride of personal character. The anger light and occasional, or more serious and of its tone rescued the remark from intendeliberate, which may be bestowed on tional irony, which otherwise, probably, others as so much unjustly withholder would have been its general acceptation. from themselves. But the tone and man- But, sir, if it be imagined that by this ner of the gentleman's question forbid mutual quotation and commendation; if me thus to interpret it. I am not at it be supposed that, by casting the characliberty to consider it as nothing more ters of the drama, assigning to each his than a civility to his friend. It had an part--to one the attack, to another the air of taunt and disparagement, a little of cry of onset-or if it be thought that hy the loftiness of asserted superiority, which a loud and empty vaunt of anticipated does not allow me to pass it over without victory any laurels are to be won here;
if it be imagined, especially, that any or less press. Incapable of further mischief, all these things will shake any purpose of it lies in the sewer, lifeless and despised. mine, I can tell the honorable member, It is not now, sir, in the power of the once for all, that he is greatly mistaken, honorable member to give it dignity or and that he is dealing with one of whose decency, by attempting to elevate it, and temper and character he has yet much to introduce it into the Senate. He canto learn. Sir, I shall not allow myself, not change it from what it is—an object on this occasion—I hope on no occasion of general disgust and scorn. On the —to be betrayed into a loss of temper; contrary, the contact, if he choose to touch but if provoked, as I trust I shall never it, is more likely to drag him down, down, allow myself to be, into crimination and to the place where it lies itself. recrimination, the honorable member may, But, sir, the honorable member was perhaps, find that in that contest there not, for other reasons, entirely happy in will be blows to take as well as blows to his allusion to the story of Banquo's murgive; that others can state comparisons der and Banquo's ghost. It was not, I as significant, at least, as his own; and think, the friends, but the enemies of that his impunity may, perhaps, demand the murdered Banquo at whose bidding of him whatever powers of taunt and sar. his spirit would not down. The honorable casm he may possess. I commend him gentleman is fresh in his reading of the to a prudent husbandry of his resources. English classics, and can put me right
But, sir, the coalition! The coalition! if I am wrong: but according to my poor Ay, “the murdered coalition !” The gen- recollection, it was at those who had tleman asks if I were led or frightened begun with caresses, and ended with foul into this debate by the sceptre of the and treacherous murder, that the gory coalition.“ Was it the ghost of the mur- locks were shaken. The ghost of Banquo, dered coalition," he exclaims, “which like that of Hamlet, was an honest ghost. haunted the member from Massachusetts, It disturbed no innocent man. It knew and which, like the ghost of Banquo, where its appearance would strike terwould
down?” “ The murdered ror, and who would cry out, “A ghost !” coalition!” Sir, this charge of a coali- It made itself visible in the right quartion, in reference to the late administra- ter, and compelled the guilty, and the tion, is not original with the honorable conscience - smitten, and none others, to member. It did not spring up in the start, with, Senate. Whether as a fact, as an argu
“Prithee, see there! behold !-look! lo ! ment, or as an embellishment, it is all
If I stand here, I saw him !" borrowed. He adopts it, indeed, from a very low origin, and a still lower pres. Their eyeballs were seared—was it not ent condition. It is one of the thousand so, sir?—who had thought to shield themcalumnies with which the press teemed selves by concealing their own hands, and during an excited political canvass. It laying the imputation of the crime on was a charge of which there was not only a low and hireling agency in wickedness; no proof or probability, but which was, who had vainly attempted to stifle the in itself, wholly impossible to be true. workings of their own coward consciences No man of common information ever be- by ejaculating, through white lips and lieved a syllable of it. Yet it was of that chattering teeth, “ Thou canst not say I class of falsehoods which, by continued did it!” I have misread the great poet if repetition through all the organs of de- it was those who had in no way partaken traction and abuse, are capable of mislead in the deed of the death, who either found ing those who are already far misled, and that they were, or feared that they should of further fanning passion already kind- be, pushed from their stools by the ghost ling into flame. Doubtless it served its of the slain, or who cried out to a spectre day, and, in a greater or less degree, the created by their own fears, and their own end designed by it. Having done that, it remorse, Avaunt! and quit our sight!” has sunk into the general mass of stale There is another particular, sir, in which and loathed calumnies. It is the very the honorable member's quick perception east-off slough of a polluted and shame- of resemblances might, I should think, have
seen something in the story of Banquo, mak. I had supposed. Let me tell him, however, ing it not altogether a subject of the most that a sneer from him at the mention of pleasant contemplation. Those who mur- the name of Mr. Dane is in bad taste. It dered Banquo, what did they win by it? may well be a high mark of ambition, Substantial good? Permanent power? Or sir, either with the honorable gentleman disappointment, rather, and sore mortifi- or myself, to accomplish as much to make cation-dust and ashes——the common fate our names known to advantage, and reof vaulting ambition overlea ping itself? membered with gratitude, as Mr. Dane has Did not even-handed justice, ere long, com- accomplished. But the truth is, sir, I mend the poisoned chalice to their own suspect that Mr. Dane lives a little too lips? Did they not soon find that for far north. He is of Massachusetts, and another they had “ filled their mind”?— too near the north star to be reached that their ambition, though apparently for by the honorable gentleman's telescope. If the moment successful, had but put a bar- his sphere had happened to range south of ren sceptre in their grasp? Ay, sir,
Mason and Dixon's line, he might, prob
ably, have come within the scope of his “ A barren sceptre in their gripe,
vision ! Thence to be wrenched by an unlineal hand,
I spoke, sir, of the ordinance of 1787, No son of theirs succeeding."
which prohibited slavery in all future Sir, I need pursue the allusion no times northwest of the Ohio, as a measure further. I leave the honorable gentleman of great wisdom and foresight, and one to run it out at his leisure, and to derive which had been attended with highly from it all the gratification it is cal. beneficial and permanent consequences. I culated to administer. If he finds him- supposed that on this point no two gentleself pleased with the associations, and pre- men in the Senate could entertain differpared to be quite satisfied, though the ent opinions. But the simple expression parallel should be entirely completed, I of this sentiment has led the gentleman, had almost said I am satisfied also—but not only into a labored defence of slavery that I shall think of. Yes, sir, I will in the abstract, and on principle, but also think of that.
warm accusation against me, as In the course of my observations the having attacked the system of domestic other day, Mr. President, I paid a pass- sla very now existing in the Southern ing tribute of respect to a very worthy States. For all this there was not the man, Mr. Dane, of Massachusetts. It so slightest foundation in anything said or happened that he drew the ordinance of intimated by me. I did not utter a single 1787 for the government of the Northwest- word which any ingenuity could torture ern Territory. A man of so much ability, into an attack on the slavery of the and so little pretence; of so great a ca- South. I said only that it was highly pacity to do good, and so u ed a wise and usefu in legislating for the disposition to do it for its own sake; a Northwestern country, while it was yet a gentleman who acted an important part, wilderness, to prohibit the introduction forty years ago, in a measure the in- of slaves; and added that I presumed, in fluence of which is still deeply felt in the neighboring State of Kentucky, there the very matter which was the subject was no reflecting and intelligent gentleof debate, might, I thought, receive from man who would doubt that, if the same me a commendatory recognition.
prohibition had been extended, at the same But the honorable member was inclined early period, over that commonwealth, to be facetious on the subject. He was her strength and population would at this rather disposed to make it a matter of day have been far greater than they are. ridicule that I had introduced into the If these opinions be thought doubtful, they debate the name of one Nathan Dane, of are, nevertheless, I trust, neither extraorwhom he assures us he had never heard dinary nor disrespectful. They attack nobefore. Sir, if the honorable member had body and menace nobody. And yet, sir, never before heard of Mr. Dane, I am sor- the gentleman's opties have discovered, rv for it. It shows him less acquainted even in the mere expression of this sentiwith the public men of the country than ment, what he calls the very spirit of the