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by the vehement exhortations of Cicero to Atticus: “If you are asleep, awake; if you are standing, move; if you are moving, run; if you are running, fly?"
All these considerations warn us,—the grave-stones of 5 almost every former republic warn us,--that a high stand
ard of moral rectitude, as well as of intelligence, is quite as indispensable to communities, in their public doings, as to individuals, if they would escape from either degeneracy or disgrace.
LESSON CXCVIII.-- POLITICAL CORRUPTION.-GEO. M'DUFFIE. Sir,—we are apt to treat the idea of our own corruptibility, as utterly visionary, and to ask, with a grave affectation of dignity,—what! do you
think a member of
congress can be corrupted ? Sir, I speak what I have long and de5 liberately considered, when I say, that since man was cre.
ated, there never has been a political body on the face of the earth, that would not be corrupted under the same circumstances. Corruption steals upon us, in a thousand
insidious forms, when we are least aware of its approaches. 10 Of all the forms in which it can present itself, the bribery
of office is the most dangerous, because it assumes the guise of patriotism to accomplish its fatal sorcery. We are often asked, where is the evidence of corruption ?
Have you seen it? Sir, do you expect to see it?' You 15 might as well expect to see the embodied forms of pesti
lence and famine stalking before you, as to see the latent operations of this insidious power. We may walk amidst it
, and breathe its contagion, without being conscious of its presence. All experience teaches us the irresistible
of temptation, when vice assumes the form of virtue. The great enemy of mankind could not have consummated his infernal scheme for the seduction of our first parents, but for the disguise in which he presented himself
. Had he appeared, as the devil, in his proper form; had the 25
spear of Ithuriel disclosed the naked deformity of the fiend of hell, the inhabitants of Paradise would have shrunk, with horror, from his presence. But he came, as the insinuating serpent, and presented a beautiful apple, the most de
licious fruit in all the garden. He told his glowing story, 30 to the unsuspecting victim of his guile. It can be no
crime to taste of this delightful fruit. It will disclose to you the knowledge of good and
evil. It will raise you to an equality with the angels.” Such, sir, was the process ;
and, in this simple but impressive narrative, we have the most beautiful and philosophical illustration of the frailty of man, and the power of temptation, that could possibly
be exhibited. 5 Mr. Chairman, I have been forcibly struck with the simi
larity between our present situation and that of Eve, after it was announced that Satan was on the borders of Paradise. We, too, have been warned that the enemy is on our
borders. But God forbid that the similitude should be car10 ried
farther. Eve, conscious of her innocence, sought temptation, and defied it. The catastrophe is too fatally known to us all. She went, “with the blessings of Heaven on her head, and its purity in her heart," guarded by the
ministry of angels,-she returned, covered with shame, un15 der the heavy denunciation of Heaven's everlasting curse.
Sir, it is innocence that temptation conquers. If our first parent, pure as she came from the hand of God, was overcome by the seductive power, let us not imitate her
fatal rashness, seeking temptation, when it is in our power 20 to avoid it. Let us not vainly confide in our own infalli
bility. We are liable to be corrupted. To an ambitious man, an honorable office will appear as beautiful and fascinating, as the apple of Paradise.
I admit, sir, that ambition is a passion, at once the most 25 powerful and the most useful. Without it, human affairs
would become a mere stagnant pool. By means of his patronage, the president addresses himself, in the most irresistible manner, to this, the noblest and strongest of our
passions. All that the imagination can desire,-honor, 30 power, wealth, ease--are held out, as the temptation. Man
was not made to resist such temptations. It is impossible to conceive,-Satan himself could not devise, –a system which would more infallibly introduce corruption and death,
into our political Eden. Sir, the angels fell from heaven, 35 with less temptation.
LESSON CXCIX.-INTELLIGENCE NECESSARY TO PERPETUATE
That education is one of the deepest principles of independence, need not be labored in this assembly. In arbitrary governments, where the people neither make the law,
nor choose those who legislate, the more ignorance, the 5 more peace. But in a government, where the people fill
all the branches of the sovereignty, intelligence is the life
of liberty. An American would resent his being denied the use of his musket; but he would deprive himself of a stronger safeguard, if he should want that learning which
is necessary to a knowledge of the constitution. It is easy 5 to see, that our Agrarian law, and the law of education,
were calculated to make republicans, to make men. Servitude could never long consist with the habits of such citizens. Enlightened minds, and virtuous manners, lead to the gates of glory:
The sentiment of independence must have been connatural in the bosoms of Americans; and, sooner or later, must have blazed out, into public action. Independence fits the soul of her residence, for every noble enterprise of humanity
and greatness. Her radiant smile lights up celestial ardor 15 in poets and orators, who sound her praises through all
agęs; in legislators and philosophers, who fabricate wise and happy governments, as dedications to her fame; in patriots and heroes, who shed their lives in sacrifice to her
divinity. At this idea, do not our minds swell with the 20 memory of those, whose godlike virtues have founded her most magnificent temple in America ? It is
easy maintain her doctrines, at this late day, when there is but one party, on the subject, an immense people.
But what tribute shall we bestow, what sacred pæan 25 shall we raise over the tombs of those who dared, in the
face of unrivalled power, and within the reach of majesty, to blow the blast of freedom throughout a subject continent? Nor did those brave countrymen of ours only ex
press the emotions of glory; the nature of their principles 30 inspired them with the power of practice, and they offered
their bosoms to the shafts of battle. Bunker's awful mount is the capacious urn of their ashes; but the flaming bounds of the universe could not limit the flight of their minds.
They fled to the union of kindred souls; and those who 35 fell at the strait of Thermopylæ, and those who bled on the
heights of Charlestown, now reap congenial joys, in the fields of the blessed.
for us to
LESSON CC.-SOUTH AMERICAN REPUBLICS.-DANIEL WEBSTER.
Sir, I do not wish to overrate,–I do not overrate,-the progress of these new states in the great work of establishing a well-secured popular liberty. I kxow that to be a
great attainment, and I know they are But pupils in the 5 school. But, thank God, they are in the school. They
are called to meet difficulties, such as neither we nor our
fathers encountered. For these we ought to make large allowances. What have we ever known, like the colonial vassalage of these states? When did we or our ancestors
feel, like them, the weight of a political despotism that 5 presses men to the earth, or of that religious intolerance
which would shut up heaven to all but the bigoted? Sir, we sprung, from another stock. We belong to another We have known nothing
-we have felt nothing, of the political despotism of Spain, nor of the heat of her 10 fires of intolerance.
No rational man expects that the south can run the same rapid career as the north ; or that an insurgent province of Spain is in the same condition as the English colonies,
when they first asserted their independence. There is, 15 doubtless, much more to be done in the first, than in the last case.
But, on that account, the honor of the attempt is not less; and if all difficulties shall be in time surmounted, it will be greater. The work may be more arduous; it is not less noble, because there may
be more of 20 ignorance to enlighten,—more of bigotry to subdue,-more of prejudice to eradicate.
If it be a weakness to feel a strong interest in the success of these great revolutions, I confess myself guilty of
that weakness. If it be weak, to feel that I am an Ameri25 can, to think that recent events have not only opened new
modes of intercourse, but have created also now grounds of regard and sympathy between ourselves and our neighbors; if it be weak to feel that the south, in her present
state, is somewhat more emphatically a part of America, 30 than when she lay obscure, oppressed and unknown, under
the grinding bondage of a foreign power; if it be weak to rejoice, when, even in any corner of the earth, human beings are able to get up from beneath oppression, to erect
themselves, and to enjoy the proper happiness of their in35 telligent nature ;-if this be weak, it is a weakness from which I claim no exemption.
A day of solemn retribution now visits the once proud monarchy of Spain. The prediction is fulfilled. The
spirit of Montezuma, and of the Incas, might now well say, 40
« Art thou, too, fallen, Iberia ? Do we see
Thy pomp is in the grave; thy glory laid 45 Low in the pit thine avarice has made.”
LESSON CCI.-EXCELLENCE OF THE HOLY SCRIPTURES.
Beattie. Is it bigotry to believe the sublime truths of the ospel, with full assurance of faith? I glory in such bigotry. I would not part with it for a thousand worlds. I congratu.
late the man who is possessed of it: for, amidst all the 5 vicissitudes and calamities of the present state, that man
enjoys an inexhaustible fund of consolation, of which it is not in the power of fortune to deprive him.
There is not a book on earth, so favorable to all the kind, and all the sublime affections; or so unfriendly to hatred 10 and persecution, to tyranny, to injustice, and every sort of
malevolence, as the Gospel. It breathes nothing throughout, but mercy, benevolence, and peace.
Poetry is sublime, when it awakens in the mind any great and good affection, as piety or patriotism. This is 15 one of the noblest effects of the art. The Psalms are re
markable, beyond all other writings, for their power of inspiring devout emotions. But it is not in this respect only, that they are sublime. Of the divine nature, they
contain the most magnificent descriptions, that the soul of 20 man can comprehend. The hundred and fourth Psalm, in
particular, displays the power and goodness of Providence, in creating and preserving the world, and the various tribes of animals in it, with such majestic brevity and beauty, as
it is vain to look for in any human composition. 25 Such of the doctrines of the Gospel, as are level to hu
man capacity, appear to be agreeable to the purest truth, and the soundest morality. All the genius and learning of the heather world, all the penetration of Pythagoras,
Socrates, and Aristotle, had never been able to produce 30 such a system of moral duty, and so rational an account
of Providence and of man, as are to be found in the New Testament. Compared, indeed, with this, all other moral and theological wisdom
Loses, discountenanced, and like folly shows.
SPEECH OF MR. GRIFFIN AGAINST CHEETHAM. I am one of those who believe, that the heart of the wilful and the deliberate libeller, is blacker than that of the highway robber, or of one who commits the crime of mid
night arson. The man who plunders on the highway, may 6 have the semblance of an apology for what he does. An