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as if she can afford to admit English goods free of duty, or under duties so far below our own as to warrant such an absurd apprehension; as if all Louisiana and Arkansas and Missouri were going to form a great copartnership of smuggling with Yorkshire and Liverpool ; as if, on this hypothesis, you must not have Mexico too, for she is under English influence, and will lend a hand to this hopeful scheme of turning the flank of the tariff; and Canada, — which is England herself, — in direct contact with more States than Texas touches; - nay, as if you must not, as a good Alabama Whig said, make up your minds to have “no outside row at all, for the squirrels to eat;” and so strike dead to the water all round, at once, not forgetting your right to a marine league, of say a couple of thousand miles long, to prevent hovering on your coasts.
No, Fellow-citizens, there is no case made for annexation at all. Let him who is making his mind up on that subject, and who desires to do so, not in the small spirit of a narrow and local selfishness, but as a patriot, a Unionist, a statesman, a Christian, a lover of his kind ; let him unroll the map of our territory as now we hold it, broad, boundless as an ocean ; let him, on that map, observe how that territory spreads itself out from the St. John to the Sabine, eight and twenty hundred miles of coast, and inland to the Rocky Mountains, aye, to the great tranquil sea, more than thirty-five hundred miles — wider than the vast Atlantic, let him mark how it extends through twenty parallels of latitude and thirty of longitude, through all climates and all soils; let him observe, as he descends from North
South, how it successively displays a sample and a rival of all the great productions and all the great productive regions of the globe, — pine forests, like those of Norway; wheat fields outmeasuring those of Poland; pastures ampler and fairer than the shepherds of England and Spain ever saw; cotton, rice, for the world, though Egypt and India were smitten with instant and perpetual sterility; let him reflect that there are limits of a nation's territorial extent, which the laws of nature and of man do not permit them to transcend, beyond which the warm tides of the national heart cannot be propelled, or cannot flow back,beyond which, unity, identity, nationality, are dissolved and dissipated; and then let him bear in mind that our territory is
already three times larger than England, Spain, France, and Italy, all put together, — larger than the Roman Empire in its zenith; and he will be prepared to say whether, with or without the cost of a war; with or without the violation of treaties; with or without the approval of the moral judgments of the world; irrespective of all influence upon his own State, or region of States, he thinks it well to add to this vast region another, forty times larger than Massachusetts, — larger than France, for the purpose of perpetuating slavery, on a soil, certain otherwise, and speedily, to be free. How far wiser, more innocent, more glorious, to improve what we have; to fell our forests; to construct our railroads; to reclaim our earth; to fit it all up to be the spacious and beautiful abode of one harmonious family of Man !
And, now, Fellow-citizens, if these are the evils of annexation; and if the election of Mr. Polk will, or probably may, effect annexation, and that of Mr. Clay will defeat, or postpone it indefinitely, what, I ask, once more, are the duties of the opponents of this measure, of all parties ? What are your moral duties? If the mischiefs of Mr. Polk's administration would agree to take any shape but this; if they were certain not to go beyond four years of disordered currency; interrupted improvements; indiscreet disposition of the lands; unstable and insufficient protection of labor — if this were all, — I would not ask a man I would not thank a man, to change or to withhold a vote. I know there are Whigs enough, Whigs from their mothers' arms — now and always such, who, without the stimulus of uncompromising hostility to Texas, — without that, - on a calm, habitual estimate of the general politics involved, —could turn Mr. Polk back again upon the convention that discovered him, and win anew the victory of 1840. But I acknowledge an earnest desire to see “this unwarrantable scheme," — as the New York Democrats have pronounced it, - encountered by an opposition approaching to unanimity. I should like to see it shamed out of sight, for at least our day. Why, the wisdom and patriotism of the better South disowns it! See how the old glorious North Carolina has gone
into action, and how she has come out of it! Hark to the thunder that announces the risen and triumphant Kentucky! Is this a day for New England to be inactive, or to
be distracted ? Do you need to be told, what I love not to dwell or touch upon, that if the designs of some of those who would annex Texas could be accomplished ; if they could succeed in turning Texas to the account which they dream of; if
, by that aid, they could subvert your industrial policy; could retransfer your workshops to Europe ; could prevent the industry of America from doing the work of America ; could suspend these diversified employments, which develop, discipline, occupy, and reward the universal faculties of this community; which give to every taste and talent the task best suited to it; which give occupation to the strong and weak; the bright and the dull; to both sexes and to all ages, and at all times, — in winter and summer ; in wet weather and in dry weather ; by daylight and lamplight; to all and each, — “a fair day's wages for a fair day's work ;" — if they could strike down the giant arm of Labor helpless to his side — if the politics which you are this day in the field to resist could triumph, - do you not know — that even if the Union were preserved, New England would be cast into provincial, into parochial insignificance ? aye, that this New England, the New England that we love ; the New England of our fathers and of historythat the places which once knew this New England, would know her no more? Having a form to live, she would be dead. Having a form of constitutional life, the strong, soaring, and beautiful spirit would have departed. If the Union were preserved; if the great constellation still held on its journey in the sky, these once jubilant stars of the morning would be silent and dim.
But I would rather show you a loftier motive than any impulse of local interest, or local affection, or local pride. I tell you, Fellow-citizens of all parties, here and everywhere, that if you love the Union as once you did, out of a pure heart, fervently; if neither the small gasconades of nullifiers, nor the gloomy ravings of fanatics have chilled that sweet, cherished and hereditary sentiment; if you yet love to turn away from the croaker who predicts, the hypocrite who desires, the bully who threatens, the arithmetician who computes, the traitor who plots, dissolution of the Union ; if you love, turning from these, to go and erect and refresh your spirits by pondering the farevell counsels of Washington, by drawing from that capacious
- if you,
national heart, by retracing that illustrious life, whoever you are, wherever you are, whatever you are, are for the Union against everybody, for the Union with anybody, for the Union first, last, and always, - then stand by us, and we will stand by you this once! This once! Another time, on other subjects, we can quarrel, but not now not now, when the legions throng up to the very walls of the city of David, and the engines thunder at its gate. Another time we can sleep on and take our rest, but not now:
Awake, arise, or be forever fallen!
SPEECH ON THE JUDICIAL TENURE.
DELIVERED IN THE MASSACHUSETTS STATE CONVENTION, JULY 14, 1853.
It is not my purpose to enter at large on the discussion of this important subject. That discussion is exhausted; and if it is not, your patience is; and if not quite so, you have arrived, I apprehend, each to his own conclusion. But as I had the honor to serve on the committee to whom the department of the judiciary was referred, I desire to be indulged in the statement of my opinions, abstaining from any attempt elaborately to enforce them.
I feel no apprehension that this body is about to recommend an election of judges by the people. All appearances; the votes taken; the views disclosed in debate; the demonstrations of important men here, indicate the contrary. I do not mean to say that such a proposition has not been strenuously pressed, and in good faith; yet, for reasons which I will not consume my prescribed hour in detailing, there is no danger of it. Whether members are ready for such a thing or not, they avow, themselves, that they do not think the people are ready.
What I most fear is, that the deliberation may end in limiting the tenure of judicial office to a term of years, seven or ten; that in the result we shall hear it urged, “as we are good enough not to stand out for an election by the people, you ought to be capable of an equal magnanimity, and not stand out for the present term of good behavior ; " and thus we shall be forced into a compromise in favor of periodical and frequent appointment, — which shall please everybody a little.
I have the honor to submit to the convention that neither change is needed. Both of them, if experience may in the least degree be relied on, are fraught with evils unnumbered.