of peace may rest upon it forever. We rear a memorial of
our conviction of that unmeasured benefit, which has been
conferred on our own land, and of the happy influences,
wiiich have been produced, by the same events, on the gen-
eral interests of mankind.
We come, as Americans, to
mark a spot, which must forever be dear to us and our pos-
terity. We wish, that whosoever, in all coming time, sliali
turn his eye hither, may behold that the place is not undis-
tinguished, where the first great battle of the Revolution was
fouirlit. W^e wish, that this structure may proclaim the
nuignitude and importance of that event, to every class and
every age. We wish, that infancy may learn the purpose of
its erection from maternal lips, and that weary and withered
age may behold it, and be solaced by the recollections which
it suggests. We wish, that labor may look up here, and be
proud, in the midst of its toil. We wish, that, in those days
of disaster, which, as they come on all nations, must be expected
to come on us also, desponding patriotism may turn its eyes
hitherward, and be assured that the foundations of our national
power still stand strong. We wish, that this column, rising
toward heaven among the pointed spires of so many temjiles
dedicated to God, may contribute also to produce, in all minds,
a pious feeling of dependence and gratitude. We wish, finally,
tliat the last object on the sight of him who leaves his native
shore, and the first to gladden his who revisits it, may be
something which shall remind him of the liberty and the glory
of his country. Let it rise, till it meet th.^ sun in its coming ;
let the earliest light of the morning gild it, and parting day
linger and play ou its summit.
CLIX.— MORAL POWER OF PUBLIC OPINION.
Tt may, in the next place, be asked, perhaps, supposing all
this to be true, what can xoe do ? Are we to go to war ?
Are we to interfere in the Greek cause, or any other Unro-
pean cause ? Are we to endanger our pacific relations ? —
No, certainly not. What, then, the question recurs, remains
for MS. If we will not endanger our own peace : ii' we will
210 THE BOOK OF ELOQUENCE.
neither furnish armies, nor navies, to the cause which we
think the just one, what is there in mir power ?
yir, this reasoning mistakes the age. The time has heen,
indeed, when fleets, and armies, and subsidies, were the
principal reUances, even in the best cause. But, happily ibr
mankind, there has arrived a great change in this respect.
Moral causes come into consideration, in proportion as the
progress of knowledge is advanced ; and the imblic ojunion
of the civilized world is rapidly gaining an ascendency over
mere brutal force. It is alreatly able to oppose the most for-
midable obstruction to the progress of injustice and oppres-
sion ; and, as it grows more intelligent and more intense, it
will be more and more formidable. It may be silenced by
military power, but it cannot be conquered. It is elastic,
irrepressible, and invulnerable to the weapons of ordinary
warfare. It is that impassible, unextinguishable enemy of
mere violence and arbitrary rule, which, like Milton's angels,
" Vital in every part,
Cannot, but by annihilating, die."
Until this be propitiated or satisfied, it is in vain for power
to talk of triumphs or of repose. No matter what fields are
desolated, what fortresses surrendered, what armies sub-
dued, or what provinces overrun. In the history of the year
that has passed by us, and in the instance of unhappy Spain,
we have seen the vanity of all triumphs, in a cause which
violates the general sense of justice oi' the civilized world. It
is nothing, that the troops of France have passed from the
Pyrenees to Cadiz ; it is nothing that an unhappy and pros-
trate nation has fallen before them ; it is nothing that arrests,
and confi.scation, and execution, sweep away the little rem-
nant of national resistance. There is an enemy that still
exists to check the glory of these triumphs. It follows the
conqueror back to the very scene of his ovations ; it calls upon
him to take notice that Europe, though silent, is yet indig-
nant ; it shows him that the sceptre of his victory is a barren
sceptre; that it shall confer neither joy nor honor, but shall
moulder to dry ashes in his grasp. In the midst of his ex-
ultation, it pierces his ear with the cry of injured justice, it
denounees against him the indignation of an enlightened and
civilized age, it turns to bitterness the cup of his rejoicing,
and wounds him with the sting which belongs to the con-
Bciousness of having outraged the opinion of mankinu.
SACRED FROM WAR. 211
CLX.— SACRED FROM WAR.
It is a beautiful picture in Grecian story, that there was
at least one spot, the smail island of Delos, dedicated to the
Gods, and kept at all times sacred from war. No hostile
foot ever soujrht to press this kindly soil ; and the citizens of
all countries here met, in common worship, beneath the aepis
of inviolable Peace. So let us dedicate our beloved coimtry ;
and may the bles,sed consecration be felt, in all its parts,
everywhere throughout its ample domain I The temple of
HONOR shall be surrounded, here at last, by the Temple of
Concord, that it may never more be entered through any
portal of War ; the horn ot Abundance shall overflow at its
pates ; the angel of Religion shall be the guide over its steps
of flashing adamant ; while within its enraptured courts,
purged of violence and wrong, justice, returned to earth from
her long exile in the skies, with mighty scales for Nations as
for men, shall rear her serene and majestic front ; and by her
side, greatest of all, charity, sublime in meekness, hoping
all, and enduring all, shall divinely temper every righteous
decree, and with words of infinite cheer, shall inspire those
good works that cannot vanisli away. And the future chiels
of the Republic, destined to uphold the glories of a new era,
unspotted by human blood, shall be "the first in Peace, and
the first in the hearts of their countrymen."
But while seeking these blissful glories for oiu'selves, let us
strive to extend them to other lands. Let the bugles sound
the truce of God to the whole world forever. Let the sel-
fisli boast of the Spartan women become the grand chorus of
mankind, that they have never seen the smoke of an enemv's
carnp. Let the iron belt of martial music, which now en-
coiupas.ses the earth, be exchanged for the golden cestus of
Peace, clothing all with celestial beauty.
212 THE BOOK OF ELOQUENCE,
CLXL— PLEA IN THE MICHIGAN RAILROAD CONSPIRACY
WILLIAM H. SEWARD.
Gentlemen, in the middle of the fourth month we draw
near to the end of what has seemed to be an endless laltor.
While we have been here, events have transpired which
have roused national ambition — kindled national resentment
— drawn forth national sympathies —and threatened to dis-
turb the tranquillity of empires. He who, althoufrh He work-
eth unseen, yet worketh irresistibly and unceasin<rly, has sns-
pended neitiier His guardian care nor His paternal discipline
on ourselves. iSome of you have sickened and convalesced.
Others have parted with cherished ones, who, removed be-
Ibre they had time to contract the stain of earth, were al-
ready prepared Ibr the kingdom of Heaven. There have
heen changes, too, among the unfortunate men whom I have
defended. The sound of the hammer has died away in the
workshops of some ; the harvests have ripened and wasted in
the fields of others. W;uit, and fear, and sorrow, have en-
tered into all tiieir dwellings. Their own rugged tbrms have
drooped ; their sunburnt brows have blanched ; and their
hands have becoriie as soft to the pressure of iriendship as
yours or mine. One of them — a vagrant boy — whom I
foutid imprisoned here for a few extravagant words, that,
perhaps, he never uttered, has pined away and died. An-
other, he who was feared, haled, and loved most of all, has
fallen in the vigor of life,
" hacked down,
His thick summer leaves all fallen."
When such an one falls, amid the din and smoke of the
battle-field, our emotions are overpowered — suppressed— lost
in the excitement of public passion. But when he perishes
a victim of domestic or social strife — when we see the iron
enter his soul, and see it, day by day, sinking deeper and
deeper, until nature gives way, and he lies lifeless at our feet —
then there is nothing to check the flow of forgiveness, com-
pa.ssion, and sympathy. If, in the moment when closing his
eyes on earth, he declares : " I have committed no crime
against my country ; I die a martyr for the liberty of speech,
and perish of a broken heart" — then, indeed, do we feel that
the tongues of dying men enforce attention, like deep har-
DANGER OF MILITARY SITPRRMACV. 213
mony. Who would willingly consent to decide on the fruilt
or innocence of one who has thus beeu withdrawn from our
erriiijr jud<rment, to the tribunal of eternal justice? Yet it
cannot be avoided. If Abel F. Fitch was guilty of the
crime charged in this indictment, every man here may never-
theless be innocent ; but if he was innocent, then there is not
one of these, his associates in lile, who can be guilty. Try
liim, then, since you must condemn him, if you must — and
with him condemn them. But remember that you are mor-
tal, and he is now immortal ; and that, before that tribunal
where he stands, you must stand and confront him, and vin-
dicate your judgment. Remember, too, that he is now free.
He has not only left behind him the dungeon, the cell, and
the chain, but he exults in a freedom, compared with which,
the liberty we enjoy is slavery and bondage. You stand,
then, between the dead and the living. There is no need to
bespeak the exercise of your caution — of your candor — and
of your impartiality. You will, I am sure, be just to the
living, and true to your country ; because, under circumstan-
ces so solemn — so full of awe — you cannot be unjust to the
dead, nor lalse to your country, uor to your (Jod.
CLXII.— DANGER OF MILITARY SUPREMACY.
Recall to your recollection the free nations which have
gone before us. Where are tl>ey now ?
" Gone ^limnierini^ throii|[jh the dream of thing.s that were,
A .sclioolboy's tale, the wuiuier of an hour.'"
And how have they lost their liberties ? If we could tran-
sport ourselves to the ages when (xreece and Rome flourished
in their greatest prosperity, and, min2flirig in the throng,
shoidd ask a (Trecian, if he did not fear that .some darinir
military chiettain, covered with glory, .some Philip or Alex-
ander, would one day overthrow the liberties of his country,
the confident and indignant Grecian would exclaim, " No I
no I we have nothing to fear from our heroes ; our liberties
will be eternal." II" a Koiuau citizen had been asked, if he
did not fear that the conqueror of Gaul might establish a
214 THE BOOK OF ELOQUENCR.
throne upon the ruins of public liberty, he would have in-
stantly repelled the unjust insinuation. Yet Greece fell ;
Cajsar passed the Rubicon, and the patriotic arm even of
Brutus could not preserve the liberties of his devoted country!
We are fighting a great moral battle, for the benefit, not
onlj^ 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 confi-
dence, and with afiection. Everywhere the black cloud of
legitimacy is suspended over the world, save only one bright
spot, which breaks out fi-om the political hemisphere of the
west, to enlighten and animate, and gladden the human
heart. Observe that, by the downfall of liberty here, all
mankind are enshrouded in a pall of universal darkness.
To you 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
sulfering to be trampled down, law, justice, the constitution,
and the rights of the people ? by exhibiting examples of in-
humanity, and cruelty, and ambition ? 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 Uassar,
England her Cromwell, France her i3onaparte, and that if
we would escape the rock on which they split, we mu^-t
avoid their errors.
CLXIIL— EXECUTIVE CLEMENCY.
HENRY W. BEECHER.
Executive clemency, on its frequency, has been a tempta-
tion to dishonesty. Who will fear to be a culprit when a
legal sentence is the argument of pity, and the prelude of
pardon? What can the community expect but growing dis-
honesty, when juries connive at acquittals, and judges con-
demn only to petition a pardon ; Avhen honest men and ofll-
cers fly before a mob; when jails are besieged and threat-
ened, if felons are not relinquished ; when the Executive,
consulting the spirit of the community, receives the demands
DEATH OF JEFFERSON AND ADAMS. 215
of the mob, and humbly complies, throwinjj down the fences
of the law, that base rioters may walk unimpeded, to llieir
work of vengeance, or unjust mercy ? A sickly sentimen-
tality too often enervates the administration of justice ; and
the pardoning power becomes the master-key to let out un-
washed, unrepentant criminals. They have fleeced us, rob-
bed us, and are ulcerous sores in the body politic; yet our
heart turns to water over their merited punishment. A line
young fellow, by accident, writes another's name for his own ;
by a mistake equally unfortunate, lie presents it at the bank ;
innocently draws out the large amount ; generously spends
a part, and absent-mindedly liides the rest. Hard-hearled
■wretches there are, who would punish him for this I Young
men, admiring the neatness of the aOkir, pily his misfortune,
and curse a stupid jury tliat knew no better than to send to
a penitentiary, him, whose skill deserved a cashiership. He
goes to his cell, the pity of a wiiole metropolis. Bulletins
irom Sing-Sing inform us daily what Edwards is doing, as if
he were Napoleon at St. Helena. At length pardoned, he
will go forth again to a renowned liberty !
CLXIV.— DEATH OF JEFFERSON AND ADAMS.
The jubilee of America is turned into mourning. Its joy
is mingled ^with sadness ; its silver trumpet breathes a
mingled strain. Henceforth, while America exists among
the nations of earth, the first emotion on the Fourth oi July
will be of joy and triumph in the great event which immor-
talizes the day ; the second will be one of chastened and
tender recollection of the venerable men, wlio departed on
tile morning of tlie jubilee. T-his mingled emotion of triumph
and sadness has sealed the beauty and sublimity oi Our great
anniversary. In the sim[)le commemoration ot a victorious
political achievement, there seems not enough to occiqiy our
jjurest and best feelings. The Fourth of July was before a
day of triumph, exultation, and national pride ; but the
angel of death bas mingled in tlie glorious pageant to teach
us we are men. Had our venerated latlirrs left us on any
other day, it would have been heucelurtli a day of mournful
216 THE BOOK OF ELOQUENCE.
recollection. But now, the whole nation feels, as with one
heart, that since it must sooner or later have been bereaved
of its revered fathers, it could not have wished that any
other day had been the day of their decease. Our anniver-
sary festival was before triumphant ; it is now triumphant
and sacred. It before called out the young and ardent, to
join in the public rejoicings ; it now also speaks in a touch-
ing voice, to the retired, to the gray-headed, to the mild and
peaceful spirits, to the whole family of sober freemen. It is
henceforth, wliat the dying Adams pi-onounced it, " a great
and a good day." It is full of greatness and full of goodness.
It is absolute and complete. The death of the men who
declared our independence, — their death on the day of the
jubilee, — was all that was wanting to the Fourth of July.
To die on that day, and to die together, was all that was
wanting to Jefferson and Adams.
CLXV.— EXECUTIVE POWER.
Mii. President, the contest, for ages, has been to rescue
liberty from the grasp of executive power. Whoever has
engaged in her sacred cause, from the days of the downfall
of those great aristocracies, which had stood between the
king and the people, to the time of our own independence,
has struggled for the accomplishment of that single object.
On the long list of the champions of human freedom, there
is not one name dimmed by the reproach of advocating the
extension of executive authority : on the contraiy, the uni-
form and steady purpose of all such champions has been to
limit and restrain it. To this end the spirit of liberty, grow-
ing more and more enlightened, and more and more vigorous
from age to age, has been battering for centuries, against the
solid hutments of the feudal system. To this end, all that
could be gained from tlie imprudence, snatched from the
weakness, or wrung from the necessities, of crowned heads,
has been carefully gathered up, secured and hoarded, as the
rich treasures, the very jewels of liberty. To this end, popu-
lar and representative right has kept up its warfare against
prerogative, with various success ; sometimes writing the
history of a whole age in blood ; sometimes witnessing the
martyrdom of Sidneys and Russells, often baffled and re-
GREATNESS OF NAPOLEOK. 21*7
pulseil, but still gfaining on the whole, and holding what is
gained with a grasp which nothing but the complete extinc-
tion of its own being could compel it to relinquish. At
length, the great conquest over executive power, in the lead-
ing western states of Europe, has been accomplished. The
feudal system, like other stupendous fabrics of past ages, is
known only by the rubbish which it has left behind it.
Crowned heads have been compelled to submit to the re-
straints of law, and the people, with that intelligence and
that spirit which makes the voice resistless, have been able
to say to prerogative, " Thus lar shalt thou come, and no
farther." I need hardly say, sir, that, into the full enjoyment
of all which Europe has reached only through such slow
and painful steps, we sprang at once, by the declaration of
nidependeuce, and by the establishment of free representa-
tive governments ; governments borrowing more or less from
the models of other free states, but strengthened, secured,
improved in their symmetry^ and deepened in their founda-
tion, by those great men of our own country, whose names
will be as familiar to future times as if they were written on
the arch of the sky.
CLXVI.— GREATNESS OF NAPOLEON.
W. E. CHANXI.VO
By the greatness of action, we mean the sublime power of
conceiving bold and extensive plans ; of constructing and
bringing to bear on a mighty object a complicated machinery
of means, energies, and arrangements, and of accomplishing
great outward effects. To this head belongs the greatness of
Bonaparte, and that he pos.sessed it, we need not prove, and
none will be hardy enough to deny. A man, who raised
himself from obscurity to a throne, who changed the face of
the world, who made himself felt through powerful and civil-
ized nations, who sent the terror of his name across seas an J
oceans, whose will was pronounced and feanMl as destiny,
whose donatives were crowns, whose ante-chamber was
tlironged with submissive princes, who broke down the awful
barrier of the Alps and made them a higliway, and whose
fame was s.pread beyond the boundaries of civilization to the
steppes of the Cossack, and the deserts of the Arab; a man,
who has left this record of himself in history, has taken oul
218 THE BOOK OF ELOQUENCE.
of our hands the question, whether he shall be called great.
All must concede to him a sublime power of action, an energy
equal to great elFects.
We are not disposed, however, to consider him as preemi-
nent even in this order of greatness. War was his chief
sphere. He gained his ascendency in Europe by the sword.
But war is not the field for the highest active talent, and
Napoleon, we suspect, was conscious of this truth. The ghiry
of being the greatest general of his age would not have satis-
fied him. He would have scorned to take his place by the
siile of Marlborough or Tnrenne. It was as the founder of
an empire, which threatened for a time to comprehend the
world, and which demanded other talents besides that of
war, that he challenged unrivalled fame. And here we
question his claim. Here we cannot award him supremacy.
The project of universal empire, however imposing, was not
original. The Revolutionary governments of France had
adopted it before ; nor can we consider it as a sure indication
of greatness, wlien we remember that the weak and vain
mind of Louis the Fourteenth was large enough to cherish it.
The question is ; did Napoleon bring to this design the capa-
city of advancing it by bold and original conceptions, adapted
to an age of civilization, and of singular intellectual and moral
excitement ? Did he discover new foundations of power ?
L'id he frame new bonds of union ior subjugated nations?
Did he breathe a spirit which could supplant the old national
attachments, or did he Invent any substitutes for those Aailgar
instruments of force and corrujition, which any and every
usurper would have used ? Never in the records of time did
the wcndd furnish such materials to work with, such means
of modelling nations afresh, of building up a new powx^r, of
iatruduciug a new era, as did Europe at the period ol the
French Revoluliou. Never was the human mind so capable
of new impulses. And did Napoleon prove himself equal to
the condition of the world ? Do we detect one original con-
ception in his means of universal em[)ire ? Did he seize on
the enthusiasm of his age, that poweri'ul principle, more effi-
cient than arms or policy, and bend it to his purpose ? He
did nothing but follow the beaten track, but apply force and
fraud in their very coarsest forms. With the sword in one
hand and bribes in the other, he imagined himsell' absolute
master of the human mind.
SELECTIONS FROM EUROPEAN ELOQUENCE,
ANCIENT AND MODERN.
SELECTIONS FROM EUROPEAN ELOQUENCE.
I— THE PERFECT ORATOR.
Imagine to yoixrselves a Demosthenes, addressing the most
ilhistrious assembly in the world, upon a point whereon the
fate of the most illustrious of nations depended. — How awlul
such a meeting ! how vast the subject I By the power of
his eloquence, the augustness of the assembly is lost in the
dignity of the orator; and the importance of the subject, for
a while, superseded by the admiration of his talents.
With what strength of argument, with what powers of
the fancy, with what emotions of the heart, does he assault
and subjugate the whole man ; and, at once, captivate his
reason, his imagination, and his passions I To efi'ect this,
must be the utmost of the most improved state of human
nature. Not a faculty that he possesses, but is here exerted
to its highest pitch. All his internal powers are at work ;
all his external, testify their energies. Within, the memory,
the fancy, the judgment, the passions, are all busy ; without,
every muscle, every nerve is exerted ; — not a feature, not a
limb, but speaks. The organs of the body, attuned to the
exertions of the mind, through the kindred organs of the
hearers, instantaneously vibrate the.se energies from soul to
soul. Notwithstanding the diversity of mind in such a nuilti-
tude, by the lightning of eloquence they are melted into one
mass ; the whole assembly, actuated in one and the same
way, become, as it were, but one man, and have but one
voice. The universal cry is — I^et us march against Philip,
let as fv^hi fur our liberties — let us conquer or die /
222 THE BOOK OF ELOQUENCE.
II.— APPEAL FOR QUEEN CAROLINE.
Such, my lords, is the case before you I such is the evi-
dence in support of this measure— evidence inadequate to
prove a debt, impotent to deprive of a civil right, ridiculous
to convict of the lowest ofience, scandalous, if broug^ht for-
ward to support a charge of the highest nature which tlie
law knows, monstrous to ruin the honor and blast the name
of an English queen I What shall I say, then, if this is the