History, 1838–1856, volume F-1 [1 May 1844–8 August 1844]

  • Source Note
  • Historical Introduction
Page 31
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<​May 13​> character, and conduct”, places you as a Kentuckian would pleasantly term it ‘in a bad fix’; but, sir, when the nation has sunk deeper and deeper in the mud at every turn of the great wheels of the union, while you have acted as one of the principle drivers, it becomes the bounden duty of the whole community, as one man, to whisper you on every point of government to uncover every act of your life, and enquire what mighty acts you have done to benefit the nation, how much you have tithed the mint to gratify your lust, and why the fragments of your raiment hang upon the thorns by the path as signals to beware!
“But your shrinkage is truly wonderful! Not only your banking system, and high tariff project, have vanished from your mind ‘like the baseless fabric of a vision’, but the ‘annexation of ’ has touched your pathetic sensibilities of national pride so acutely, that the poor Texans, your own brethren, may fall back into the ferocity of , or be sold at auction to British stock jobbers, and all is well, for ‘I’, the old senator from Kentucky, am fearful it would militate against my interest in the north to enlarge the borders of the union in the south. Truly ‘a poor wise child is better than an old foolish King who will be no longer admonished’. Who ever heard a nation that had too much territory? Was it ever bad policy to make friends? Has any people ever become too good to do good? No, never; but the ambition and vanity of some men have flown away with their wisdom and judgment, and left a creaking skeleton to occupy the place of a noble soul.
“Why, sir, the condition of the whole earth is lamentable. dreads the teeth and toe nails of . has the rheumatism, brought on by a horrid exposure to the heat and cold of British and American trappers; has caught a bad cold from extreme fatigue in the patriot war; South America has the headache, caused by bumps against the beams of Catholicity and Spanish sovereignty; Spain has the gripes from age and inquisition; trembles and wastes under the effects of contagious diseases; groans with the gout, and wiggles with wine; Italy and the German states are pale with the consumption; Prussia, Poland, and the little contiguous dynasties, duchies, and domains, have the mumps so severely, that ‘the whole head is sick, and the whole heart is faint’; Russia has the cramp by lineage; Turkey has the numb palsy; Africa, from the curse of God, has lost the use of her limbs; China is ruined by the Queen’s evil, and the rest of Asia fearfully exposed to the small pox the natural way from British pedlars; the islands of the sea are almost dead with the scurvy; the Indians are blind and lame; and the , which ought to be the good physician with ‘balm from Gilead’, and an ‘asylum for the oppressed’, has boosted and is boosting up into the council chamber of the government, a clique of political gamblers, to play for the old clothes and old shoes of a sick world, and ‘no pledge, no promise to any particular portion of the people’, that the rightful heirs will ever receive a cent of their Father’s legacy! Away with such self-important, self-aggrandizing, and self-willed demogogues! their friendship is colder than polar ice; and their professions meaner than the damnation of hell.
“Oh man! when such a great dilemma of the globe, such a tremendous convulsion of Kingdoms, shakes the earth from center to circumference; when castles, prison houses, and cells, raise a cry to God against the cruelty of man; when the mourning of the fatherless and the widow causes anguish in heaven; when the poor among all nations cry day and night for bread and a shelter from the heat and storm; and when the degraded black slave holds up his manacled hands to the great statemen of the , and sings,
‘O liberty, where are thy charms,
That sages have told me were sweet!’ [p. 31]
May 13 character, and conduct”, places you as a Kentuckian would pleasantly term it ‘in a bad fix’; but, sir, when the nation has sunk deeper and deeper in the mud at every turn of the great wheels of the union, while you have acted as one of the principle drivers, it becomes the bounden duty of the whole community, as one man, to whisper you on every point of government to uncover every act of your life, and enquire what mighty acts you have done to benefit the nation, how much you have tithed the mint to gratify your lust, and why the fragments of your raiment hang upon the thorns by the path as signals to beware!
“But your shrinkage is truly wonderful! Not only your banking system, and high tariff project, have vanished from your mind ‘like the baseless fabric of a vision’, but the ‘annexation of ’ has touched your pathetic sensibilities of national pride so acutely, that the poor Texans, your own brethren, may fall back into the ferocity of , or be sold at auction to British stock jobbers, and all is well, for ‘I’, the old senator from Kentucky, am fearful it would militate against my interest in the north to enlarge the borders of the union in the south. Truly ‘a poor wise child is better than an old foolish King who will be no longer admonished’. Who ever heard a nation that had too much territory? Was it ever bad policy to make friends? Has any people ever become too good to do good? No, never; but the ambition and vanity of some men have flown away with their wisdom and judgment, and left a creaking skeleton to occupy the place of a noble soul.
“Why, sir, the condition of the whole earth is lamentable. dreads the teeth and toe nails of . has the rheumatism, brought on by a horrid exposure to the heat and cold of British and American trappers; has caught a bad cold from extreme fatigue in the patriot war; South America has the headache, caused by bumps against the beams of Catholicity and Spanish sovereignty; Spain has the gripes from age and inquisition; trembles and wastes under the effects of contagious diseases; groans with the gout, and wiggles with wine; Italy and the German states are pale with the consumption; Prussia, Poland, and the little contiguous dynasties, duchies, and domains, have the mumps so severely, that ‘the whole head is sick, and the whole heart is faint’; Russia has the cramp by lineage; Turkey has the numb palsy; Africa, from the curse of God, has lost the use of her limbs; China is ruined by the Queen’s evil, and the rest of Asia fearfully exposed to the small pox the natural way from British pedlars; the islands of the sea are almost dead with the scurvy; the Indians are blind and lame; and the , which ought to be the good physician with ‘balm from Gilead’, and an ‘asylum for the oppressed’, has boosted and is boosting up into the council chamber of the government, a clique of political gamblers, to play for the old clothes and old shoes of a sick world, and ‘no pledge, no promise to any particular portion of the people’, that the rightful heirs will ever receive a cent of their Father’s legacy! Away with such self-important, self-aggrandizing, and self-willed demogogues! their friendship is colder than polar ice; and their professions meaner than the damnation of hell.
“Oh man! when such a great dilemma of the globe, such a tremendous convulsion of Kingdoms, shakes the earth from center to circumference; when castles, prison houses, and cells, raise a cry to God against the cruelty of man; when the mourning of the fatherless and the widow causes anguish in heaven; when the poor among all nations cry day and night for bread and a shelter from the heat and storm; and when the degraded black slave holds up his manacled hands to the great statemen of the , and sings,
‘O liberty, where are thy charms,
That sages have told me were sweet!’ [p. 31]
Page 31