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who seek for renown in military achievements, or the more humble mercenaries “whose business 'tis to die.” It breaks in upon all the charities of domestic life, and interrupts all the pursuits of industry. The peasant quits his plough, and the mechanic is hurried from his shop, to commence without apprenticeship, the exercise of the trade of death. The irregularity of the resistance which is opposed to the invader, its occasional abstinacy, and occasional intermission, provoking every
bad passion of his soldiery, is the excuse for plunder, lust, and cruelty. These atrocities exasperate the sufferers to revenge ; and every weapon which anger can supply, and every device which ingenious hatred can conceive, is used to inflict vengeance on the detested foe.
But there is yet a more horrible war than this. As there is no anger so deadly as the anger of a friend, there is no war so ferocious as that which is waged between men of the same blood and formerly connected by the closest ties of affection. The
pen of the historian confesses its inability to describe, the fervid fancy of the poet cannot realize, the horrors of a civil
The invasion of Canada involves the miseries of both these species of war. You carry fire and sword among a people who are “united against you to a man;" among a people who are happy in themselves, and satisfied with their condition ; who view you not as coming to emancipate them from thraldom, but to reduce them to a foreign yoke. A people long and intimately connected with the bordering inhabitants of our country by commercial intercourse, by the ties of hospitality, and by the bonds of affinity and blood—a people, as to every social and individual relation, long identified with your own. It must be that such a war will rouse the spirit of sanguinary ferocity, that will overleap every holy barrier of nature and venerable usage of civilization. Already has “the bayonet of the brother been actually opposed to the breast of the brother.” Merciful heaven! that those who have been rocked in the same cradle, by the same maternal hand—who have imbibed the first genial nourishment of infant existence from the same blessed source, should be forced to contend in impious strife for the destruction of that being derived from their common parents. Every feel. ing of our nature cries aloud against it.
Before we enter, Mr. Chairman, upon this career of coldblooded massacre, it behooves us, by every obligation which we owe to God, to our fellow-men, and to ourselves, to be certain that the right is with us, or that the duty is imperative. Think for a moment, sir, on the consequences. True courage shuts not its eyes upon danger or its result. It views them steadily and calmly. Already this Canadian war has a character sufficiently cruel. Your part of it may, perhaps, be ably sustained—your way through the Canadas may be traced afar off by the smoke of their burning villages-your path may be marked by the blood of their furious peasantry—you may render your course audible by the frantic shrieks of their women and children. But your own sacred soil will also be the scene of this drama of fiends. Your exposed and defenseless seaboard, the seaboard of the south, will invite a terrible vengeance. An intestine foe, too, may be roused to assassination and brutality. Yes, sir, a foe that will be found every where, in our fields, in our kitchens, and in our chambers; a foe, ignorant, degraded, by habits of servitude, uncurbed by moral restraints; a foe, whom no recollections of former kindness will soften, and whom the remembrance of severity will goad to frenzy; a foe, from whom nor age, nor infancy, nor beauty, will find reverence or pity. Yes, such a foe may be added to fill up the measure of our calamities.
Reflect, then, well, I conjure you, before reflection is too late ; let not passion or prejudice dictate the decision; if erroneous, its reversal may be decreed by a nation's miseries, and by the world's abhorrence.
THE UNITED STATES NAVY, FRANCE, AND GREAT BRITAIN.
If we are going to war with Great Britain, let it be a real, effectual, vigorous war. Give us a naval force; this is the sensitive chord you can touch, and which would have more effect on her than ten armies. Give us thirty swift sailing, wellappointed frigates—they are better than seventy-fours ; two thirty-six gun frigates can be built and maintained for the same expense as onė seventy-four, and for the purpose of annoyance, for which we want them, they are better than two seventyfours: they are managed easier, ought to sail faster, and can be navigated in shoaler water-we do not want seventy-fours -courage being equal, in line of battle ships, skill and experience will always ensure success—we are not ripe for them— but butt-bolt the side of an American to that of a British frigate, and though we should lose sometimes, we should win as often as we should lose. The whole revolutionary war, when we met at sea on equal terms, would bear testimony in favor of this opinion. Give us, then, this little fleet well appointed
place your navy department under an able and spirited admin istration. Give tone to the service. Let a sentiment like the following precede every letter of instruction to the captain of a ship of war—“Sir, the honor of the nation is, in a degree, attached to the flag of your vessel; remember that it may be sunk without disgrace, but can never be struck without dishonor.” Do this—cashier every officer who struck his flag ; and you would soon have a good account of your navy. This may be said to be a hard tenor of service. Hard or easy, sir-embark in an actual vigorous war, and in a few weeks, perhaps days, I would engage completely to officer your whole fleet from New-England alone.
Give us this little fleet, and in a quarter part of the time you could operate upon her in any other way, we would bring her to terms with you. Not to your feet. No, sir : Great Britain is at present the most colossal power the world ever witnessed -her dominion extends from the rising to the setting sun.Survey it for a moment. Commencing with the newly-found continent of New-Holland; as she proceeds she embraces under her protection, or in her possession, the Philippine Islands, Java, Sumatra-passes the coast of Malacca-rests for a short time fruitlessly to endeavor to number the countless millions of her subjects in Hindostan—winds into the sea of Arabiaskirts along the coasts of Coromandel and Ceylon-stops for a moment for refreshment at the Cape of Good Hope--visits her plantations of the Isles of France and Bourbon-sweeps along the whole of the Antilles doubles Cape Horn to protect her whalemen in the northern and southern Pacific Oceanscrosses the American continent, from Queen Charlotte's Sound to Hudson's Bay-glancing in the passage at her colonies of the Canadas, Nova Scotia, and New-Brunswick—thence continues to Newfoundland, to look after and foster her fisheries, and then takes her departure for the united kingdoms of England, Ireland, and Scotland, nor rests until she reaches the Orkneys—the ultima Thule of the geography of the ancients. Such an overgrown commercial and colonial power as this, never before existed.-True, sir, she has an enormous national debt of seven hundred millions of pounds sterling, and a diurnal expenditure of a million of dollars, which, while we are whining about a want of resources, would in six short weeks wipe off the whole public debt of the United States.
Will these millstones sink her? Will they subject her to the power of France ? No, sir : burst the bubble to-morrow destroy the fragile basis on which her public credit stands, the single word, confidence-spunge her national debt-revolution
ize her government--cut the throats of all her royal familyand dreadful as would be the process, she would rise with renovated vigor from the fall, and present to her enemy a more imposing, irresistible front than ever. No, sir, Great Britain cannot be subjugated by France; the genius of her institutions ; the genuine, game-cock, bull-dog spirit of her people, will lift her head above the waves, long after the dynasty of Bonaparte, the ill-gotten power of France, collected by perfidy, plunder, and usurpation, like the unreal image of old, composed of clay, and of iron, and of brass, and of silver, and of gold, shall have crumbled into atoms.
As Great Britain wrongs us, I would fight her. Yet I should be worse than a barbarian, did I not rejoice that the sepulchres of our forefathers, which are in that country, would remain unsacked, and their coffins rest undisturbed, by the unhallowed rapacity of the Goths and Saracens of modern Europe.
THE GHOST OF BANQUO.-Webster:
But, sir, the coalition! The coalition! Aye, “the murdered coalition!” The gentleman asks if I were led or frightened into this debate by the spectre of the coalition—"was it the ghost of the murdered coalition,” he exclaims, “which haunted the member from Massachusetts; and which, like the ghost of Banquo, would never down?” “ The murdered coalition!" Sir, this charge of a coalition, in reference to the late administration, is not original with the honorable member. It did not spring up in the senate. Whether as a fact, as an argument, or as an embellishment, it is all borrowed. He adopts it, indeed, from a very low origin, and a still lower present condition. It is one of the thousand culumnies with which the press teemed, during an excited political canvass. It was a charge of which there was not only no proof or probability, but which was, in itself, wholly impossible to be true. No man, of common information, ever believed a syllable of it. Yet it was of that class of falsehoods, which, by continued repetition through all the
organs of detraction and abuse, are capable of misleading those who are already far misled, and of further fanning passion, already kindled into flame. Doubtless, it served its day, and, in greater or less degree, the end designed by it. Having done that, it has sunk into the general mass of stale and lothed calumnies. It is the very cast-off slough of a polluted and shameless press. Incapable of further mischief, it lies in the sewer,
lifeless and despised. It is not now, sir, in the power of the honorable member to give it dignity or decency, by attempting to elevate it, or to introduce it into the senate. He cannot change it from what it is, an object of general disgust and
On the contrary, the contact, if he choose to touch it, is more likely to drag him down, down to the place where it lies itself.
But, sir, the honorable member was not, for other reasons, entirely happy in his allusion to the story of Banquo's murder and Banquo's ghost. It was not, I think, the friends, but the
I enemies of the murdered Banquo, at whose bidding the spirit would not down. The honorable gentleman is fresh in his reading of the English classics, and can put me right, if I am wrong; but, according to my poor recollection, it was at those who had begun with caresses, and ended with foul and treacherous murder, that the gory locks were shaken. The ghost of Banquo, like that of Hamlet, was an honest ghost. It disturbed no innocent man. It knew where its appearance would strike terror, and who would cry out, a ghost! It made itself visible in the right quarter, and compelled the guilty and the consciencesmitten, and none others, to start, with
“Prythee, see there! behold !- look! lo!
If I stand here, I saw him !" Their eyeballs were seared, (was it not so, sir,) who had thought to shield themselves, by concealing their own hand, and laying the imputation of the crime on a low and hireling agency in wickedness, who had vainly attempted to stifle the workings of their own coward consciences, by ejaculating, through white lips and chattering teeth, “thou canst not say I did it!" I have misread the great poet, if it was those who had no way partaken in the deed of the death, who either found that they were, or feared that they should be, pushed from their stools by the ghost of the slain, or who cried out to a spectre created by their own fears and their own remorse, avaunt! and quit our sight.”
There is another particular, sir, in which the honorable member's quick perception of resemblances might, I should think, have seen something in the story of Banquo, making it not altogether a subject of the most pleasant contemplation. Those who murdered Banquo, what did they win by it? Substantial good ? Permanent power? Or disappointment, rather, and sore mortification dust and ashes the common fate of vaulting ambition, overleaping itself? Did not even-handed justice, ere long, commend the poisoned chalice to their own lips ?-Did they not soon find that for another they had “ filed their