« EelmineJätka »
power and prosperity, but they will renew it to contribute to the general happiness of mankind.
(From a speech in Parliament on the death of President Lincoln, 1865.)
my country's government, not the fiat of any political organization, even could its will be ascertained.
In sessions preceding the present I have adverted to the difficulty attending the settlement of this great question, and have urgently besought action in advance at a time when the measure adopted could not serve to predicate its results to either party. My failure then gave me great uneasiness, and filled me with anxiety; and yet I can now comprehend the wisdom concealed in my disappointment, for in the very emergency of this hour, in the shadow of the danger that has drawn so nigh to us, has been begotten in the hearts of American senators and representatives and the American people a spirit worthy of the occasion,- born to meet these difficulties, to cope with them, and, God willing, to conquer them.
Animated by this spirit the partisan is enlarged into the patriot. Before it the lines of party sink into hazy obscurity; and the horizon which bounds our view reaches on every side to the uttermost verge of the great Republic. It is a spirit that exalts humanity, and imbued with it the souls of men soar into the pure air of unselfish devotion to the public welfare. It lighted with a smile the cheek of Curtius as he rode into the gulf; it guided the hand of Aristides as he sadly wrote upon the shell the sentence of his own banishment; it dwelt in the frozen earthworks of Valley Forge; and from time to time it has been an inmate of these halls of legislation. I believe it is here to-day, and that the present measure was born under its influence.--(Peroration of his speech on the Elect. oral Bill of 1877.)
On Reformers Exhausted by EnthusiasmI doubt not there is in this hall more than one publican who remembers that last year an act of Parliament was introduced to denounce him as a sinner." I doubt not there are in this hall a widow and an orphan who remember the profligate proposition to plunder their lonely herit. age. But, gentlemen, as time advanced it was not difficult to perceive that extravagance was being substituted for energy by the government. The unnatural stimulus was subsiding. Their paroxysms ended in prostration, Some took refuge in melancholy, and their eminent chief (Mr. Gladstone) alternated between a menace and a sigh. As I sat opposite the treasury bench the ministers reminded me of one of those marine landscapes not very unusual on the coast of South America. You behold a range of exhausted volcanoes. Not a flame flickers on a single pallid crest. But the situation is still dangerous. There are occasional earthquakes, and ever and anon the dark rumbling of the sea.-(From a speech at Manchester, April 3d, 1872.) Bede, The Venerable (England, 673-735.)
The Torments of the Damned - Sunday is a chosen day, in which the angels rejoice. We must ask who was the first to request that souls might (on Sunday) have rest in hell; and the answer is that Paul the Apostle and Michael the Archangel besought the Lord when they came back from hell; for it was the Lord's will that Paul should see the punishments of that place. He beheld trees all on fire, and sinners tormented on those trees; and some were hung by the feet, some by the hands, some by the hair, some by the neck, some by the tongue, and some by the arm. And again, he saw a furnace of fire burning with seven Aames, and many were punished in it; and there were seven plagues round about this furnace; the first, snow; the second, ice; the third, fire; the fourth, blood; the fifth, serpents; the sixth, lightning; the seventh, stench; and in that furnace itself were the souls of the sinners who repented not in this life. There they are tormented, and every one receiveth according to his works; some weep, some howl, some groan; some burn and desire to have rest, but find it not, because souls can never die. Truly we ought to fear that place in which is everlasting dolor, in which is groaning, in which is sadness without joy, in which are abundance of tears on account of the tortures of souls ; in which a fiery wheel is turned a thousand times a day by an evil angel, and at each turn a thousand souls are burnt upon it.-(From Bede's sermons in Brewer's “Orations.”) Beecher, Henry Ward (American, 1813-1887.)
The Horrors of Civil War--Since this flag went down on that dark day, who shall tell the
Beaconsfield, Lord (Benjamin Disraeli, Earl
of Beaconsfield. England, 1804-1881.) Political Assassination – Assassination has never changed the history of the world. I will not refer to the remote past, though an accident has made the most memorable instance of antiquity at this moment fresh in the minds and memory of all around me. But even the costly sacrifice of a Cæsar did not propitiate the inexorable destiny of his country. If we look to modern times, to times at least with the feelings of which we are familiar, and the people of which were animated and influenced by the same interests as ourselves, the violent deaths of two heroic men, Henry IV. of France, and the Prince of Orange, are conspicuous illustrations of this truth. In expressing our unaffected and profound sympathy with the citizens of the United States on this untimely end of their elected chief, let us not, therefore, sanction any feeling of depression, but rather let us express a fervent hope that from out of the awful trials of the last four years, of which the least is not this violent demise, the various populations of North America may issue elevated and chastened, rich with the accumulated wisdom and strong in the disciplined energy which a young nation can only acquire in a protracted and perilous struggle. Then they will be enabled not merely to renew their career of
mighty woes that have made this land a spec. tacle to angels and men ? The soil has drunk blood and is glutted. Millions mourn for myriads slain, or, envying the dead, pray for oblivion. Towns and villages have been razed. Fruitful fields have been turned back to wilderness. It came to pass, as the prophet said : « The sun was turned to darkness and the moon to blood.” The course of law was ended. The sword sat chief magistrate in half the nation; industry was paralyzed; morals corrupted; the public weal invaded by rapine and anarchy ; whole States ravaged by avenging armies. The world was amazed. The earth reeled. When the fag sunk here, it was as if political night had come, and all beasts of prey had come forth to devour. That long night is ended. And for this returning day we have come from afar to rejoice and give thanks. — (From the oration on the Raising of the Flag Over Fort Sumter, April 14th, 1865. Brewer's Text.)
say, that a thousand miles of this railroad leading from the Atlantic to the West, upon the line of the lakes, and nearly as much upon a line further south, are either completed, or nearly so. We have two thousand miles yet to compass, in the execution of a work which it is said has no parallel in the history of the world. No, sir ; it has no parallel in the history of the world, ancient or modern, either as to its extent and magnitude, or to its consequences, beneficent and benignant in all its bearings on the interests of all mankind. It is in these aspects, and in the contemplation of these consequences, that it has no parallel in the history of the world changing the course of the commerce of the world — bringing the West almost in contact, by reversing the ancient line of communication, with the gorgeous East, and all its riches, the stories of which, in our earlier days we regarded as fabulous; but now, sir, what was held to be merely fictions of the brain in former times, in regard to the riches of Eastern Asia, is almost realized on our own western shores.- (From a speech in favor of the Transcontinental Railroad Bill of 1858. «World's Best Orations.”)
Bible and Sharp's Rifles – You might just as well read the Bible to buffaloes as to those fellows who follow Atchison and Stringfellow; but they have a supreme respect for the logic that is embodied in Sharp's rifles. — (From a speech to a Kansas immigration meeting at Plymouth Church.)
Belhaven, Lord (Scotland, 1656–1708.)
Parricide and Patricide - None can destroy Scotland, save Scotland itself; hold your hands from the pen, you are secure. Some Judah or other will say: “Let not our hands be upon the lad, he is our brother. There will be a Jehovah-Jireh, and some ram will be caught in the thicket, when the bloody knife is at our mother's throat. Let us up then, my lord, and let our noble patriots behave themselves like men, and we know not how soon a blessing may come.
My lord chancellor, the greatest honor that was done unto a Roman was to allow him the glory of a triumph; the greatest and most dishonorable punishment was that of parricide. He that was guilty of parricide was beaten with rods upon his naked body till the blood gushed out of all the veins of his body; then he was sewed up in a leathern sack, called a culeus, with a cock, a viper, and an ape, and thrown headlong into the sea.
My lord, patricide is a greater crime than parricide, all the world over. – ( Delivered in the Scottish Parliament in 1706, protesting against union with England.)
Benjamin, Judah P. (American, 1811-1884.)
Jeterson and the Louisiana Purchase-Sir, it has been urged, on more than one occasion, in the discussions here and elsewhere, that Louisiana stands on an exceptional footing. It has been said that whatever may be the rights of the States that were original parties to the Constitution,-even granting their right to resume, for sufficient cause, those restricted powers which they delegated to the general government in trust for their own use and benefit,- still Louisi. ana can have no such right, because she was acquired by purchase.
I deny that the province of Louisiana, or the people of Louisiana, were ever conveyed to the United States for a price as property that could be bought or sold at will. Without entering into the details of the negotiation, the archives of our State Department show the fact to be, that although the domain, the public lands, and other property of France in the ceded province were conveyed by absolute title to the United States, the sov. ereignty was not conveyed otherwise than in trust. . . . I have said that the government assumed to act as trustee or guardian of the people of the ceded province, and covenanted to transfer to them the sovereignty thus held in trust for their use and benefit, as soon as they were capable of exercising it. What is the express language of the treaty ?
a The inhabitants of the ceded territory shall be incorporated in the Union of the United States, and admitted as soon as possible, according to the principles of the Federal Constitution, to the enjoyments of all rights, advantages, and immunities of citizens of the United States; and in the meantime they shall be maintained and protected in the enjoyment of their liberty, property, and the religion which they profess."
Ind, sir, as if mark the true nature of the cession in a manner too significant to admit of
Bell, John (American, 1797–1869.)
Joining the East and West - A grand idea it is. A continent of three thousand miles in extent from east to west, reaching from the Atlantic to the Pacific, is to be connected by a railway! Honorable senators will remember, that over one thousand miles -- one-third of this whole expanse of the continent -- the work is already accomplished, and that chiefly by private enterprise. I may, as a safe estimate,
misconstruction, the treaty stipulates no price; and the sole consideration for the conveyance, as stated on its face, is the desire to afford a strong proof of the friendship of France for the United States. By the terms of a separate convention stipulating the payment of a sum of money the precaution is again observed of stating that the payment is to be made, not as a consideration or a price or a condition precedent of the cession, but it is carefully distinguished as being a consequence of the cession. It was by words thus studiously chosen, sir, that James Monroe and Thomas Jefferson marked their understanding of a contract now misconstrued as being a bargain and sale of sovereignty over freemen. With what indignant scorn would those stanch advocates of the inherent right of self-government have repudiated the slavish doctrine now deduced from their action.--(From the speech on leaving the U. S. Senate in 1861.) Bennet, Nathaniel (American, nineteenth
century.) «No South, No North, No East, No West » - But a few years can elapse before the commerce of Asia and the islands of the Pacific, instead of pursuing the ocean track, by way of Cape Horn or the Cape of Good Hope, or even taking the shorter route of the Isthmus of Darien or the Isthmus of Tehuantepec, will enter the Golden Gate of California, and deposit its riches in the lap of our own city. Hence, on bars of iron, and propelled by steam, it will ascend the mountains and traverse the desert; and, having again reached the confines of civilization, will be distributed, through a thousand channels, to every portion of the Union and of Europe. New York will then become what London now is, the great central point of exchange, the heart of trade, the force of whose contraction and expansion will be felt throughout every artery of the commercial world; and San Francisco will then stand the second city of America. Is this visionary ? Twenty years will determine.
The world is interested in our success; for a fresh field is opened to its commerce, and a new avenue to the civilization and progress of the human race. Let us, then, endeavor to realize the hopes of Americans, and the expectations of the world. Let us not only be united amongst ourselves, for our own local welfare, but let us strive to cement the common bonds of brotherhood of the whole Union. In our relations to the Federal Government, let us know no South, no North, no East, no West. Wherever American liberty flourishes, let that be our common country! Wherever the American banner waves, let that be our home!-(1850.) Benton, Thomas H. (American, 1782-1858.)
(There Is East: There Is India )-- We live in extraordinary times and are called upon to elevate ourselves to the grandeur of the occasion. Three and a half centuries ago the great Columnbus, the man who afterwards was carried home in chains from the New World which he discovered, this great Columbus, in the year 1492,
departed from Europe to arrive in the east by going to the west. It was a sublime conception, he was in the line of success, when the intervention of two continents, not dreamed of before, stopped his progress. Now in the nineteenth century mechanical genius enables his great design to be fulfilled. In the beginning and in barbarous ages, the sea was a barrier to the intercourse of nations. It separated nations. Mechanical genius invented the ship, which converted the barrier into a facility. Then land and continents became an obstruction. The two Americas intervening have prevented Europe and Asia from communicating on a straight line. For three centuries and a half this obstacle has frustrated the grand design of Columbus. Now in our day, mechanical genius has again triumphed over the obstacles of nature and converted into a facility what had so long been an impassable obstacle. The steam car has worked upon the land among enlightened nations to a degree far transcending the miracle which the ship in barbarous ages worked upon the ocean. The land has now become a facility for the most distant communication. A conveyance being invented which annihilated both time and space, we hold the intervening land; we hold the obstacle which stopped Columbus ; we are in the line between Europe and Asia ; we have it in our power to remove that obstacle ; to convert it into a facility to carry him on to this land of promise and of hope with a rapidity and precision and a safety unknown to all ocean navigation. A king and queen started him upon this grand enterprise. It lies in the hands of a republic to complete it. It is in our hands, in the hands of us, the people of the United States, of the first half of the nineteenth century. Let us raise ourselves up. Let us rise to the grandeur of the oc. casion. Let us complete the grand design of Columbus by putting Europe and Asia into communication and that to our advantage, through the heart of our country. Let us give to his ships a continued course unknown to all former times. Let us make an iron road, and make it from sea to sea, States and individuals making it east of the Mississippi and the nation inaking it west. Let us now, in this convention rise above everything sectional, personal, local. Let us beseech the national legislature to build a great road upon the great national line which unites Europe and Asia — the line which will find on our continent the Bay of San Francisco on one end, St. Louis in the middle, and the great national metropolis and emporium at the other, and which shall be adorned with its crowning honor, the colossal statue of the great Columbus, whose design it accomplishes, hewn from a granite mass of a peak of the Rocky Mountains, the mountain itself the pedestal, and the statue a part of the mountain, pointing with outstretched arm to the western horizon, and saying to the flying passengers, “There is East : there is India ! )) — ( Text from the “World's Best Orations.” )
America and Asia-Sir, the apparition of the van of the Caucasian race, rising upon the Ori
public and private life that the men responsible for their direction are more powerful than even public characters. I speak particularly of the directors of the great corporate companies and financial institutions who are irresponsible, or at least their acts are impersonal and official and free from direct responsibility.- (From a speech of 1868.)
Bethune, George W. (American, nineteenth
century.) Americans — Not Anglo-Saxons - God is bringing hither the most vigorous scions from all the European stocks, to make of them all one new man; not the Saxon, not the German, not the Gaul, not the Helvetian, but the Ameri
Here they will unite as one brotherhood, will have one law, will share one interest. Spread over the vast region from the frigid to the torrid, from the Eastern to the Western Ocean, every variety of climate giving them choice of pursuit and modification of temperament, the ballot-box fusing together all rivalries, they shall have one national will. What is wanting in one race will be supplied by the characteristic energies of the others; and what is excessive in either, checked by the counter action of the rest.
ental nations in the east, after having left them on the west, and after having completed the cir. cumnavigation of the globe, must wake up and animate the torpid body of old Asia. Our position and policy will commend us to their hospitable reception; political considerations will aid the action of social and commercial influences, Pressed upon by the great powers of Europe,the same that press upon us,
- they must in our approach see the advent of friends, not of foes; of benefactors, not of invaders.-( On the settlement of Oregon.) Bernard of Clairvaux (France, 1091-1153.)
Advice to Young Men - Do not put forward the empty excuse of your rawness or want of experience; for barren modesty is not pleasing, Dor is that humility praiseworthy that passes the bounds of moderation. Attend to your work; drive out bashfulness by a sense of duty, and act as like master. You are young, yet you are a debtor; you must know that you were a debtor from the day you were born. Will youth be an excuse to a creditor for the loss of his profits ? Does the usurer expect no interest at the beginning of his loan? “But, you say, “I am not sufficient for these things.))
As if your offering were not accepted from what you have, and not from what you have not! Be prepared to answer for the single talent committed to your charge, and take no thought for the rest.
If thou hast much, give plenteously; if thou hast little, do thy diligence gladly to give of that little.)) ----(From a sermon in the World's Best Orations.”) Berrien, John M. (American, 1781-1856.)
Effect of the Mexican Conquest-I have united, heretofore,- at some personal hazard of popularity and station,--I have united with my friends of the free States : foreseeing the consequences of the measures which were then in operation – foreseeing the evils which they would bring upon us, I have joined with them at some such hazard in the effort to prevent it. We failed. The evil is upon us.
The territory which we have acquired by an expenditure of blood and treasure, is about to subject us — unless, under the mercy of Providence, we are guided by wiser counsels than those we have exhibited - to an expenditure, in comparison with which the blood and treasure expended upon the Mexican conquest will sink into insignificance.—(U. S. Senate, February 11th, 1850.) Berryer, Pierre Antoine (France, 1790–1868.)
Corporate Combinations — All public exist. ence created by great public interests and all variations of these interests create a responsi. bility, and this responsibility is moral as well as material There is no gainsaying this, and all public functionaries admit they are responsible for their personal actions. But in opposition to them we find a body of men occupying an anomalous position. Immense establishments have been founded, which have attained such exaggerated proportions in their influence on
Bingham, John A. (America, 1815–.)
The Assassination of President LincolnBooth proceeded to the theatre about nine o'clock in the evening, at the same time that Atzerodt, Payne, and Herold were riding the streets, while Surratt, having parted with his mother at the brief interview in her parlor, from which his retreating steps were heard, was walking the avenue, booted and spurred, and doubtless consulting with O'Laughlin. When Booth reached the rear of the theatre, he called Spangler to him (whose denial of that fact, when charged with it, as proven by three witnesses, is very sig. nificant), and received from Spangler his pledge to help him all he could, when with Booth he entered the theatre by the stage door, doubtless to see that the way was clear from the box to the rear door of the theatre, and look upon their victim, whose exact position they could study from the stage. After this view Booth passes to the street in front of the theatre, where, on the pavement, with other conspirators yet unknown, among them one described as a low-browed villain, he awaits the appointed moment. Booth himself, impatient, enters the vestibule of the theatre from the front and asks the time. He is referred to the clock and returns. Presently, as the hour of ten approached, one of his guilty associates called the time; they wait; again, as the moments elapsed, this conspirator upon watch called the time; again, as the appointed hour draws nigh, he calls the time; and, finally, when the fatal moment arrives, he repeats in a louder tone, « Ten minutes past ten o'clock.” Ten minutes past ten o'clock! The hour has come when the red right hand of these murderous conspirators should strike, and the dreadful deed of assassination be done.
soon, perhaps, for our most precious institutions. The man who, for any cause, save the sacred cause of public security, which makes all wars defensive,—the man who, for any cause but this, shall promote or compel this final and terrible resort, assumes a responsibility second to none, nay, transcendently deeper and higher than any – which man can assume before his fellow-men, or in the presence of God his Creator.
Bismarck, Prince Otto von (Germany, 1815
1898.) The Furor Teutonicus - A war which was not decreed by the popular will could be carried on if once the constituted authorities had finally decided on it as a necessity; it would be carried on vigorously, and perhaps successfully, after the first fire and the sight of blood. But it would not be a finish fight in its spirit with such fire and elan behind it as we would have in a war in which we were attacked. Then all Germany from Memel to Lake Constance would fame out like a powder mine; the country would bristle with arms, and no enemy would be rash enough to join issues with the juror Teutonicus (Berserker madness ) thus roused by attack.
(From the speech in the Reichstag, February 6th, 1888, in favor of the Army Bill.)
Booth, at the appointed moment, entered the theatre, ascended to the dress circle, passed to the right, paused a moment, looking down, doubtless to see if Spangler is at his post, and approached the outer door of the close passage leading to the box occupied by the President, pressed it open, passed in, and closed the passage door behind him. Spangler's bar was in its place, and was readily adjusted by Booth in the mortise, and pressed against the inner side of the door, so that he was secure from interruption from without. He passes on to the next door, immediately behind the President, and there, stopping, looks through the aperture in the door into the President's box and deliberately observes the precise position of his victim, seated in the chair which had been prepared by the conspirators as the altar for the sacrifice, looking calmly and quietly down upon the glad and grateful people whom, by his fidelity, he had saved from the peril which had threatened the destruction of their government, and all they held dear this side of the grave — whom he had come upon invitation to greet with his presence with the words still lingering upon his lips which, he had uttered with uncovered head and uplifted hand before God and his country, when on the fourth of last March he took again the oath to preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution, declaring that he entered upon the duties of his great office (with malice toward none, with charity for all.” In a moment more, strengthened by the knowledge that his co-conspirators were all at their posts, seven at least of them present in the city, two of them, Mudd and Ar. nold, at their appointed places watching for his coming, this hired assassin moves stealthily through the door, the fastenings of which had been removed to facilitate his entrance, fires upon his victim, and the martyr spirit of Abraham Lincoln ascends to God. « Treason has done his worst; nor steel nor poison,
Malice domestic, foreign levy, nothing
-(From the speech delivered at the trial of President Lincoln's assassins, 1865.) Binney, Horace (American, 1780–1875.)
The Supreme Court - What, sir, is the Supreme Court of the United States ? It is the august representative of the wisdom and justice and conscience of this whole people, in the exposition of their Constitution and laws. It is the peaceful and venerable arbitrator between the citizens in all questions touching the extent and sway of constitutional power. It is the great moral substitute for force in controversies between the people, the States, and the Union.
War -- War is a tremendous evil. Come when it will, unless it shall come in the necessary defense of our national security, or of that honor under whose protection national security reposes, it will come too soon ;--- too soon for our national prosperity ; too soon for our indi. vidual happiness; too soon for the frugal, industrious, and virtuous habits of our citizens; too
Black, Jeremiah Sullivan (American, 1810
1883.) Corporations as Parts of Civil Government-I aver that a or corporation appointed to do a public duty must perform it with an eye single to the public interest. If he perverts his authority to purposes of private gain he is guilty of corruption, and all who aid and abet him are his accomplices in crime. He defiles himself if he mingles his own business with that intrusted to him by the government and uses one to promote the other. If a judge excuse himself for a false decision by saying that he sold his judgment for the highest price he could get you cover his character with infamy. A ministerial officer, like a sheriff, for instance, who extorts from a defendant, or even from a convict in his custody, what the law does not allow him to collect, and puts the surplus in his pocket, is a knave upon whom you have no mercy. You send county commissioners to the penitentiary for consulting their own financial advantage to the injury of the general weal. When the officers of a city corporation make a business of running it to enrich themselves, at the expense of the public, you can see at a glance that they are the basest of criminals. Why, then, can you not see that the officers of a railway corporation are equally guilty when they pervert the authority with which they are clothed to purposes purely selfish? A railroad corporation is a part of the civil government as much as a city corporation. The officers of the former, as much as the latter, are agents and trustees of the public, and the public has an interest precisely similar in the fidelity of both.