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After a Photographic Study hy Bechl of St. Louis, from a Daguerreotype.
His remarkable portrait of Clay is reproduced by the courtesy of Mr. E
Boehl of St. Louis It is enlarged from a daguerreotype from life, and no
one who examines it will need to be toll of is extraordinary merit. When it becomes better known it will probably supplant ali otiier portraits of Clay. Certainly no other gives such a suggestion of persuasive power as there is in this face.
were astounded and hung their heads. You saw, too, when that illustrious man who presides over us adopted his pacific, moderate, and just course, how they once more lifted up their heads, with exultation and delight beaming in their countenances. And you saw how those minions themselves were finally compelled to unite in the general praises bestowed upon our government. Beware how you forfeit this exalted character! Beware how you give a fatal sanction, in this infant period of our Republic, scarcely yet two-score years old, to military insubordination ! Remember that Greece had her Alexander, Rome her Cæsar, England her Cromwell, France her Bonaparte ; and that, if we would escape the rock on which they split, we must avoid their errors.
I hope gentlemen will deliberately survey the awful isthmus on which we stand. They may bear down all opposition; they may even vote the general the public thanks; they may carry him triumphantly through this House. But, if they do, in my humble judgment, it will be a triumph of the principle of insubordination, a triumph of the military over the civil authority, a triumph over the powers of this House, a triumph over the Constitution of the land. And I pray most devoutly to heaven, that it may not prove, in its últimate effects and consequences, a triumph over the liberties of the people ! (1819.)
Cicero, Marcus Tullius - Continued But what then !- is it to come to this ? Shall an inferior magistrate, a governor, who holds his power of the Roman people, in a Roman province, within sight of Italy, bind, scourge, torture with fire and red-hot plates of iron, and at last put to the infamous death of the cross, a Roman citizen ? Shall neither the cries of innocence expiring in agony, nor the tears of pitying spectators, nor the majesty of the Roman commonwealth, nor the fear of the justice of his country, restrain the cruelty of a monster, who, in confidence of his riches, strikes at the root of liberty and sets mankind at defiance ?
Excess - All things that are pernicious in their progress must be evil in their birth, for no sooner is the government of reason thrown off, than they rush forward of their own accord; weakness takes a pleasure to indulge itself; and having, if the expression may be allowed, imper. ceptibly launched out into the main ocean, can find no place where to stop.
Example -- Be a pattern to others, and then all will go well; for as a whole city is infected by the licentious passions and vices of great men, so it is likewise reformed by their moderation.
Laws and Magistrates - As the laws are above magistrates, so are the magistrates above the people: and it may truly be said that the magistrate is a speaking law and the law a silent magistrate. Clay, Henry (American, 1777-1852.)
Jackson's Seizure of Pensacola — We are fighting a great moral battle, for the benefit, not only of our country, but of all mankind. The eyes of the whole world are in fixed attention upon us. One, and the largest portion of it, is gazing with contempt, with jealousy, and with envy; the other portion, with hope, with confidence, and with affection. Everywhere the black cloud of legitimacy is suspended over the world, save only one bright spot, which breaks out from the political hemisphere of the West, to enlighten, and animate, and gladden, the human heart. Obscure that by the downfall of liberty here, and all mankind are enshrouded in a pall of universal darkness. To you, Mr. Chairman, belongs the high privilege of transmitting, unimpaired, to posterity, the fair character and liberty of our country. Do you expect to execute this high trust, by trampling, or suffering to be trampled down, law, justice, the Constitution, and the rights of the people ? by exhibiting examples of inhumanity, and cruelty, and ambition? When the minions of despotism heard, in Europe, of the seizure of Pensacola, how did they chuckle, and chide the admirers of our institutions, tauntingly pointing to the demonstration of a spirit of injustice and ag. grandizement made by our country, in the midst of an amicable negotiation ! Behold, said they, the conduct of those who are constantly reproaching kings! You saw how those admirers
Government by Conquest – War, pestilence, and famine, by the common consent of mankind, are the three greatest calamities which can befall our species; and war, as the most direful, justly stands foremost and in front. Pestilence and famine, no doubt for wise although inscrutable purposes, are infictions of providence, to which it is our duty, there. fore, to bow with obedience, humble submission, and resignation. Their duration is not long, and their ravages are limited. They bring, indeed, great affliction, while they last, but society soon recovers from their effects.
War is the voluntary work of our own hands and whatever reproaches it may deserve should be directed to ourselves. When it breaks out, its duration is indefinite and unknown, - its vicissitudes are hidden from our view. In the sacrifice of human life, and in the waste of human treasure, - in its losses and in its burdens, - it affects both belligerent nations, and its sad effects of mangled bodies, of death, and of desolation, endure long after its thunders are hushed in peace.
War unhinges society, disturbs its peaceful and regular industry, and scatters poisonous seeds of disease and immorality, which continue to germinate and diffuse their baneful influence long after it has ceased. Dazzling by its glitter, pomp, and pageantry, it begets a spirit of wild adventure and romantic enterprise, and often disqualifies those who embark in it, after their return from the bloody fields of battle, for engaging in the industrious and peaceful vocations of life.
Clay, Henry — Continued
History tells the mournful tale of conquering dations and conquerors. The three most celebrated conquerors in the civilized world were Alexander, Cæsar, and Napoleon. The first, after ruining a large portion of Asia, and sighing and lamenting that there were no more worlds to subdue, met a premature and ignoble death. His lieutenants quarreled and warred with each other as to the spoils of his victories, and finally lost them all.
Cæsar, after conquering Gaul, returned with his triumphant legions to Rome, passed the Rubicon, won the battle of Pharsalia, trampled upon the liberties of his country, and expired by the patriot hand of Brutus. But Rome ceased to be free. War and conquest had enervated and corrupted the masses. The spirit of true liberty was extinguished, and a long line of emperors succeeded, some of whom were the most execrable monsters that ever existed in human form.
And Napoleon, that most extraordinary man, perhaps, in all history, after subjugating all continental Europe, occupying almost all its capitals, – seriously threatening proud Albion itself, - and decking the brows of various members of his family with crowns torn from the heads of other monarchs, lived to behold his own dear France itself in possession of his enemies, was made himself a wretched captive, and, far removed from country, family, and friends, breathed his last on the distant and inhospitable rock of St. Helena.
The Alps and the Rhine had been claimed as the natural boundaries of France, but even these could not be secured in the treaties to which she was reduced to submit. believe that the people of Macedon or Greece, of Rome, or of France, were benefited, individually or collectively, by the triumphs of their captains ? Their sad lot was immense sacrifice of life, heavy and intolerable burdens, and the ultimate loss of liberty itself.
Appeal in Behalf of Greece – There is reason to apprehend that a tremendous storm is ready to burst upon our happy country -- one which may call into action all our vigor, courage, and resources. Is it wise or prudent, then, in preparing to breast the storm, if it must come, to talk to this nation of its incompetency to repel European aggression, to lower its spirit, to weaken its moral energy, and to qualify it for easy conquest and base submission ? If there be any reality in the dangers which are supposed to encompass us, should we not animate the people, and adjure them to believe, as I do, that our resources are ample, and that we can bring into the field a million of freemen, ready to exhaust their last drop of blood, and to spend their last cent, in defense of the country, its liberty, and its institutions ? And has it come to this ? Are we so humble, so low, so debased, that we dare not express our sympathy for suffering Greece ; that we dare not articulate our detestation of the brutal excesses of which she
has been the bleeding victim, lest we might offend one or more of their imperial and royal majesties? Are we so mean, so base, so despicable, that we may not attempt to express our horror, our utter indignation, at the most brutal and atrocious war that ever stained earth or shocked high heaven; at the ferocious deeds of a savage and infuriated soldiery, stimulated and urged on by the clergy of a fanatical and inimical religion, and rioting in all the excesses of blood and butchery, at the mere details of which the heart sickens and recoils?
But it is not for Greece alone that I desire to see the measure adopted. It will give her but little support, and that purely of a moral kind. It is principally for America, for the credit and
haracter of our common country, for our own unsullied name, that I hope to see it pass. What appearance on the page of history would a record like this exhibit ? « In the month of January, in the year of our Lord and Savior, 1824, while all European Christendom beheld, with cold and unfeeling indifference, the unexampled wrongs and inexpressible misery of Christian Greece, a proposition was made in the Congress of the United States to send a messenger to Greece to inquire into her state and condition, with a kind expression of our good wishes and our sympathies -- and it was rejected !) Go home, if you can; go home, if you dare, to your constituents, and tell them that you voted it down. Meet, if you can, the appalling countenance of those who sent you here, and tell them that you shrunk from the declaration of your own sentiments - that you cannot tell how ; but that some unknown dread, some indescribable apprehensiou, some indefinable danger, drove you from your purpose that the spectres of scimiters, and crowns, and crescents, gleamed before you and alarmed you; and that you suppressed all the noble feelings prompted by religion, by liberty, by national independence, and by humanity. I cannot bring myself to believe that such will be the feelings of a majority of this committee. But, for myself, though every friend of the cause should desert it, and I be left to stand alone with the gentleman from Massachusetts, I will give to his resolution the poor sanction of my unqualified approbation. Civil War -- If there be any who want civil
who want to see the blood of any portion of our countrymen spilt, I am not one of them: I wish to see war of no kind; but, above all, do I not desire to see a civil war. When war begins, whether civil or foreign, no human foresight is competent to foresee when, or how, or where it is to terminate.-- (1850.)
(Free Trade and Seamen's Rights » -- We are told that England is a proud and lofty nation, which, disdaining to wait for danger, meets it half way. Haughty as she is, we once triumphed over her; and, if we do not listen to the counsels of timidity and despair, we shall again prevail. In such a cause, with the aid of providence, we must come out crowned with success;
Clay, Henry - Continued but, if we fail, let us fail like men,- lash ourselves to our gallant tars, and expire together in one common struggle, fighting for free trade and seamen's rights! — (1813.)
to the institutions with which he is familiar, his own lifeblood will saturate the soil, and his wife and children be driven forth as houseless wanderers, in proof of our tender consideration for the rights of humanity. Sir, this is a species of progress with which Satan himself might fall in love.
Mr. President, there are in this connection still other lights in which the question before us may be presented. Look at America as she now is, prosperous in all things, splendid, magnificent, rich in her agriculture, rich in her commerce, rich in arts and sciences, rich in learn. ing, rich in individual freedom, richer still in the proud prerogative of bending the knee to none but the God who made us, and of worshiping even in his temples according to the forms which conscience, not the law, has prescribed. Gaze upon that picture until your soul has drunk in all its beauty, all its glory, and then let me paint for you that which is offered as a substitute. Look upon a land where war has become a passion, and blood a welcome visitant; where every avenue to genius is closed save that which leads through a field of strife; where the widow and the orphan mingle unavailing tears for the husband and the father; where literature has become a mockery, and religion a reproach; upon a people, strong, indeed, but terrible in their strength, with the tiger's outward beauty and the tiger's inward fierceness ; upon a people correctly described by the poet when he said :
Government & Trust - Government is a trust, and the officers of the government are trustees, and both the trust and the trustees are created for the benefit of the people.- (At Ashland, Kentucky, March, 1829.)
No South, No North, No East, No WestI have heard something said about allegiance to the South. I know no South, no North, no East, no West to which I owe any allegiance.(In the United States Senate. 1848.)
Patriotism - The high, the exalted, the sublime emotions of a patriotism which, soaring towards heaven, rises far above all mean, low, or selfish things, and is absorbed by one soultransporting thought of the good and glory of one's country, are never felt in his impenetrable bosom. That patriotism which, catching its inspirations from the immortal God, and, leaving at an immeasurable distance below all lesser, groveling, personal interests and feelings, animates and prompts to deeds of self-sacrifice, of valor, of devotion, and of death itself,- that is public virtue; that is the noblest, the sublimest of all public virtues!
(Rather Be Right than President) - Sir, I had rather be right than President.- (To Senator W. C. Preston of South Carolina, 1839.) Clayton, John M. (American, 1796–1856.)
Taking Advantage of Weakne88—I never have been, and I am not now, willing to acquire one acre of ground from Mexico, or any other nation under heaven, by conquest or robbery. I hold that, in all our transactions with the other nations of the world, the great principle ought to be maintained by us that “Honesty is the best policy, and that an honorable reputation is of more value to a country than land or money. I hold that any attempt on our part, merely because we happen to possess superior strength, to compel a weaker nation to cede to us all that we choose to demand as indemnity, while we at the same time admit that we ask for more than she owes us, is nothing else but robbery.-- (1848.) Clemens, Jeremiah (American, 1814-1865.)
«Manifest Destiny) — Let us set about convincing the world that we are a power upon earth.) Let us rob Spain of Cuba, England of Canada, and Mexico of her remaining posses. sions, and this continent will be too small a theatre upon which to enact the bloody drama of American progress! Like the Prophet of the East, who carried the sword in one hand and the Koran in the other, American armies will be sent forth to proclaim freedom to the serf ; but if he happen to love the land in which he was born, and exhibit some manly attachment
« Religion, blushing, veils her sacred fires,
- (U. S. Senate. 1853.)
Foreign War and Domestic Despotism -The senator from Michigan was right when he said that our fears were to be found at home. I do fear ourselves. Commit our people once to unnecessary foreign wars,- let victory encour. age the military spirit, already too prevalent among them,- and Roman history will have no chapter bloody enough to be transmitted to posterity side by side with ours. In a brief period we shall have re-enacted, on a grander scale, the same scenes which marked her decline. The veteran soldier, who has followed a victorious leader from clime to clime, will forget his love of country in his love for his commander; and the bayonets you send abroad to conquer a kingdom will be brought back to destroy the rights of the citizen, and prop the throne of an emperor.
Cleon (Greece, (?) — 422 B. C.)
Democracies and Their (Subjects » – Upon many other occasions my own experience hath convinced me that a dem acy is incapable of ruling over others.