David J. (David Josiah) Brewer.

Crowned masterpieces of eloquence, representing the advance of civilization, as collected in The world's best orations, from the earliest period to the present time (Volume 4) online

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HE text of The Psalms in the "Book 6f Hours," a manuscript
illuminated for Pope Paul III in the sixteenth century, shows the
full effect of the revival of classical learning on Italian design.
Both the Gothic and the Hebrew motive disappear, and while the drawing
becomes once more as good as it was in the Rome of Augustus, there is no
longer a sense of fitness which can prevent David's Psalms from being
illustrated with Pans and Cupids.

Victoria Edition

Crowneb flibastcrpiecee




As Collected in

ZTbe ^KIlorl^'0 3Bc0t ©rations

From the Earliest Period
to the Present Time

With Special Introductions by






international lllniver8it\> Society



Registered at Stationers' Hall
london, england
All Rights Reserved

Copyright 1910



H. K. JUDD & CO., Ltd.


London, E. C.

& I a I:







CivAY, Henry 1777-1852 11

Dictators in American Politics
On the Expunging Resolutions
On the Seminole War
The Emancipation of South America
"The American System" and the Home Market
In Favor of a Paternal Policy of Internal Im-
For "Free Trade and Seamen's Rights"
The Greek Revolution
The Noblest Public Virtue
Sixty Years of Sectionalism

Clayton, John M. 1796-1856 66

The Clayton-Bulwer Treaty and "Expansion"
Justice the Supreme Law of Nations

Clemens, Jeremiah 1814-1865 75

Cuba and "Manifest Destiny"

Cleon (?)-422B. C. 79

Democracies and Subject Colonies

Cleveland, Grover 1837- 1908 82

First Inaugural Address

Clinton, De Witt 1769-1828 87

Federal Power and Local Rights
Against the Military Spirit

Cobb, Howell 1815-1868 94

"Fifty-Four Forty or Fight !"


CoBBETT, William 1762-1835 97

The Man on the Tower

CoBDEN, Richard 1804- 1865 102

Free Trade with All Nations
Small States and Great Achievements

CoCKRAN, William BouRKE 1854- 116

Answering William J. Bryan

Coke, Sir Edward 1552- 1634 T19

Prosecuting Sir Walter Raleigh

Coleridge, John Duke 1820-1894 127

The Sacredness of Matrimony

Colfax, Schuyler 1823-1885 133

The Confiscation of Rebel Property

CoNKLiNG, RoscoE 1 829- 1 888 137

Nominating General Grant for a Third Term
The Stalwart Standpoint
Against Senator Sumner

Constant, Benjamin ^ 1767-1830 148

Free Speech Necessary for Good Government

Cook, Joseph

1 838- 1 90 1


Ultimate America

Corbin, Francis



Answering Patrick Henry

CoRwiN, Thomas

1 794- 1865


Against Dismembering Mexico

Cousin, Victor

I 792- I 867


Eloquence and the Fine Arts
Liberty an Inalienable Right
The Foundations of Law
True Politics



Cox, Samuel Sullivan 1824-1889 202

Against the Iron-Clad Oath
The Sermon on the Mount
Stephen A. Douglas and His Place in History

Cranmer, Thomas 1489- 1556 220

His Speech at the Stake
Against the Fear of Death
Forgiveness of Injuries

Crawford, William Harris 1772-1834 228

The Issue and Control of Money under the Con-

Crispi, Francesco 1819-1901 233

At the Unveiling of Garibaldi's Statue
Socialism and Discontent

Crittenden, John Jordan 1787-1863 239

Henry Clay and the Nineteenth-Century Spirit
Against Warring on the Weak

Crockett, David 1786- 1836 248

A Raccoon in a Bag

Cromwell, Oliver 1599-1658 251

Debating Whether or Not to Become King of

Crookes, Sir William 1832- 260

The Realization of a Dream

CuLPEPER, Sir John (?) -1660 264

Against Monopolies

CuRRAN, John Philpot 1750-1817 268

In the Case of Justice Johnson
For Peter Finnerty and Free Speech
The Diversions of a Marquis
Against Pensions
England and English Liberties
The Liberties of the Indolent
His Farewell to the Irish Parliament
On Government bv Attachment


lived page

Curtis, Benjamin Robbins 1809-1874 334

Presidential Criticisms of Congress

Curtis, George William 1824- 1892 340

His Sovereignty Under His Hat
Wendell Phillips as a History-Maker

CuRzoN, Lord 1859- 347

All Civilization as the Work of Aristocracies
"Native Gentlemen" at Home and Abroad
The Most Valuable British Asset

CusHiNG, Caleb 1800- 1879 355

The Primordial Rights of the Universal People
England and America in China
The Extermination of the Indians




Unshackled Living




The Infinite Artifices of Nature

Dallas, George M.

I 792- I 864


"The Pennsvlvania Idea"

Damiani, Peter

I 007- I 072


The Secret of True Greatness

New Testament History as Allegory

Daniel, John W. 1842-1910 383

At the Dedication of the Washington Monument
Was Jefferson Davis a Traitor ?

D ANTON, George Jacques , 1759- 1794 394

"To Dare, to Dare Again; Always to Dare"
"Let France Be Free Though My Name Were

Against Imprisonment for Debt
Education, Free and Compulsory
Freedom of Worship
"Squeezing the Sponge" ,




The Book of Hours (Facsimile of Missal Illumination) Frontispiece

Henry Clay (Portrait, Photogravure) n

The Home of Cranmer (Photogravure) . 220

Cromwell Visiting Milton (Photogravure) 251

Danton on the Tenth of August ( Photogravure "> 394

After a Photographic Portrait from Life.



(enry Clay was born in Hanover County, Virginia, April 12th,
1777. He was called the "Mill Boy of the Slashes" by his
American admirers, but he never really felt himself a mem-
ber of the class in the Southern United States which produced Crockett
in Tennessee and Lincoln in Kentucky. His family was poor and his
early education was defective, but his reading in law and in general lit-
erature gave him the remarkable grasp of fact which co-operated with
some undefined power of controlling language melodiously, to give him
his great reputation as an orator. It has been said that his power as an
orator lay so largely in the musical tones of his voice that his speeches
are "not worth reading," but this is a radical mistake. A few of them
are dull, and in none of them is there the systematic art which marshals
every idea towards a final climax. Mr. Clay's climax is as apt to come
in the middle of his speech as it is anywhere else ; and after it is reached,
it does strain the attention to go on following him through arguments
on a lower plane than that to which he himself had elevated the mind.
But when this is admitted, it still remains true that his best orations and
hundreds of pages of others which are not his best easily command at-
tention and excite warm admiration. He was greater as a statesman
and political manager than he was as an orator, if oratory is to be
judged by those severe classical standards of which he knew nothing.
But he was eloquent by nature, a man of multitudinous ideas, of what
Taine calls "thronging imaginations," with a poetical sense of the beau-
tiful and with a musician's ear for the harmonies of language. The
same training as a linguist which gave Erskine his sense of the order
in language might have made Clay the greatest orator of modern times.
If, as Macaulay and Choate agree, that honor belongs to Edmund
Burke, it is nevertheless certain that Clay will always be studied and
admired as one of the greatest of those great orators whose eloquence,
if it did not give them a permanent supremacy in history, made them
pre-eminent in their own generations, with an influence reaching far
into the generations after them.

From the Compromise of 1850 until the close of the first two decades
after the Civil War in the United States, it was not possible for justice to

be done the fundamental idea Clay and Webster represented in their efforts



to maintain the Union without bloodshed. Perhaps it is not possible
yet, but it is no longer possible to hear Webster called a traitor to
liberty in New England, or Clay denounced as a coward at the South.
Both believed that there was no necessity whatever for Americans to
fight each other, and that every issue it was possible to imagine could
be settled better by evolution and the slow processes of intellectual and
moral development than it could possibly be by force. Both held to
the doctrine of nonintervention and laissez /aire, by which they meant
that they were bound to trust the innate good in human nature to
work out reforms and to insure continuous progress without violent
attempts to accelerate it. This theory grew in popularity in England
and America during the first quarter of the nineteenth century, but
the Crimean War impaired its influence in England — while our own
Civil War so weakened it that for nearly a generation it has been too
much out of the public mind to be taken into general consideration
as an explanation of the course followed by Clay and Webster in
what have been denounced as their compromises of principle. In
fact, compromise was with them a principle rather than a method.
Those who hold that if the world is made freer it will become bet-
ter; that they do most for progress who do most to keep the peace;
that a policy of co-operation between neighboring States and coun-
tries without the << intervention '^ of one to correct the domestic abuses
of the other, is the only mode of insuring evolutionary and steady
development, necessarily believe in the continuous concessions which
their theory forces, even when the question is not merely of the
weakness but of the actual crimes of others beyond their jurisdiction.

The opponents of this idea in America asserted the jurisdiction of
every man born into the world to interfere wherever wrong was per-
petrated against weakness. *' Are we not our brother's keeper ? '' they
said, summing up their creed in the question.

The issue between two theories so antagonistic is not likely soon
to be decided, but it must be understood before Clay's place in Amer-
ican history can be determined. From the time of the first Missouri
Compromise, of which he has been called the chief designer, to the
compromise tariff of 1833, and again up to the Compromise of 1850
and his death, Clay strove always to impress on the country his own
governing idea that Americans of all sections were bound to tolerate
each other in their mutual sins of ignorance, of lack of development,
and of slowness to improve. Webster held with him, but in New
England Webster was finally denounced as a renegade, and only a
short time before the death of Clay, Mr. Jefferson Davis, listening to
his pleas for the postponement of the crisis, concluded that it was
cowardly for one generation to unload its responsibilities on the next,
instead of meeting them at once.


It is seldom desirable to attempt a judgment of what events
might have been had they been what they were not, but nothing
which has occurred or is likely to occur can permanently obscure the
fact that the great Americans who believed in the slow processes of
growth were not mere cowards vacillating in the presence of every
crisis, but were consistent followers of an ideal. Perhaps Clay was
too consistent when his habit of compromising public questions led
him to commit himself against himself in his presidential canvasses
as he did when he lost the vote of New York and the Presidency
by a partial recession from his position of resistance to war with
Mexico. But it is hardly to be expected that a man who had in him
so little of bitterness, so much of the genial, the tolerant, the chari-
table, as Clay had, could force any issue radically.

The ideas for which he stood as a constructive statesman were
the use of all the powers of the Federal Government for internal im-
provements without being too strict in searching out constitutional
objections; and after developing the internal trade of the country
thus, to hold it against Europe, to give it commercial control of the
hemisphere and, by excluding European products, to stimulate << com-
petition in the home market." This he called <<the American sys-
tem," and his policy of supporting the South American countries
against Europe seemed to him to be a part of it. He was, however,
fundamentally opposed to coercive government where coercion could
be avoided, and his denunciations of Andrew Jackson were the result
of inherent intellectual tendencies, not of the mere prejudices cre-
ated by rivalry. Clay believed in Republican institutions, but he
believed government should be intrusted largely to those who shave
regularly, bathe habitually, and do not ordinarily << expectorate '* on
the floor in public places. This made him the fit leader as it made
him the idol of the "gentleman's party," and naturally enough it
brought him into the strongest antagonism with Jackson who was
accused by his enemies of smoking a corncob pipe, of sitting with
his feet on the mantel, and of being a headstrong and violent advo-
cate of the theory that "every one who did not interfere with his
(Jackson's) own plans ought to be allowed the fullest liberty to inter-
fere with those of other people." There was little of laissez /aire in
the policies of the man who hanged Arbuthnot and Ambruster first and
considered the lawpoints involved afterwards. He came into collision
with Clay as logically as he did with Calhoun and Webster. How-
ever else these three remarkable men differed, they agreed in detest-
ing the theory of government which Jackson represented as a leader
of what it is said Miss Nelly Custis once called the "dirty Democ-
racy." It is fortunate for the reader that it is possible to see the
element of humor in such antagonisms as this. Otherwise, such lives


as those of Clay and Webster, closing with the country on the verge
of war and ending in what seemed complete failure, might seem
sadder than they really were. For it is not yet demonstrated that
they really did fail or that those who force radical issues to imme-
diate settlement are more successful in improving the world than
those who hold what Clay proclaimed and Webster practiced.

Clay entered national politics as United States Senator from Ken-
tucky in 1806. After serving until 1807, he retired, and returned for
another year of service in 18 10. He was elected to the House of
Representatives in 181 1, and served, with an intermission of two
years, until 1825. During twelve years of this period he was Speaker
of the House. His candidacy for the Presidency in 1824 was followed
by his acceptance of the Secretaryship of the State under John
Quincy Adams and his long quarrel with Jackson, whose supporters
accused him of a corrupt bargain with Adams, by which they al-
leged that their favorite was cheated out of the Presidency. From
that period until his death Mr. Clay was charged with being, and
probably was, continuously a candidate for the Presidency. In 1832,
and again in 1844, he was the nominee of the Whig party, defeated,
as some have said, by his own disposition to compromise, rather than
by the inherent weakness of his party. He died in the city of Wash-
ington, June 29th, 1852, after being more enthusiastically admired in
all sections of the Union than any other American had been since
the time of Washington. W. V. B.


(Denouncing Andrew Jackson, Delivered in the United States Senate on the
Poindexter Resolution, April 30th, 1834)

NEVER, Mr. President, have I known or read of an adminis-
tration which expires with so much agony, and so little
composure and resignation, as that which now unfortunately
has the control of public affairs in this country. It exhibits a
state of mind, feverish, fretful, and fidgety, bounding recklessly
from one desperate expedient to another, without any sober or
settled purpose. Ever since the dog days of last summer, it has
been making a succession of the most extravagant plunges, of
which the extraordinary cabinet paper, a sort of appeal from a
dissenting cabinet to the people, was the first; and the protest, a
direct appeal from the Senate to the people, is the last and the


A new philosophy has sprung up within a few years past,
called Phrenology. There is, I believe, something in it, but not
quite as much as its ardent followers proclaim. According to its
doctrines, the leading passion, propensity, and characteristics of
every man are developed in his physical conformation, chiefly in
the structure of his head. Gall and Spurzheim, its founders, or
most eminent propagators, being dead, I regret that neither of
them can examine the head of our illustrious chief magistrate.
But, if it could be surveyed by Dr. Caldwell, of Transylvania
University, I am persuaded that he would find the organ of de-
structiveness prominently developed. Except an enormous fabric
of executive power for himself, the President has built up noth-
ing, constructed nothing, and will leave no enduring monument
of his administration. He goes for destruction, universal de-
struction; and it seems to be his greatest ambition to efface and
obliterate every trace of the wisdom of his predecessors. He
has displayed this remarkable trait throughout his whole life,
whether in private walks or in the public service. He signally
and gloriously exhibited that peculiar organ when contending
against the enemies of his country in the battle of New Orleans.
For that brilliant exploit, no one has ever been more ready than
myself to award him all due honor. At the head of our armies
was his appropriate position, and most unfortunate for his fame
was the day when he entered on the career of administration as
the chief executive officer. He lives by excitement, perpetual,
agitating excitement, and would die in a state of perfect repose
and tranquillity. He has never been without some subject of
attack, either in individuals, or in masses, or in institutions. I,
myself, have been one of his favorites, and I do not know but
that I have recently recommended myself to his special regard.
During his administration this has been his constant course.
The Indians and Indian policy, internal improvements, the colo-
nial trade, the Supreme Court, Congress, the bank, have suc-
cessively experienced the attacks of his haughty and imperious
spirit. And if he tramples the bank in the dust, my word for
it, we shall see him quickly in chase of some new subject of his
vengeance. This is the genuine spirit of conquerors and of con-
quest. It is said by the biographer of Alexander the Great, that,
after he had completed his Asiatic conquests, he seemed to sigh
because there were no more worlds for him to subdue; and,
finding himself without further employment for his valor or his



arms, he turned within himself to search the means to gratify
his insatiable thirst of glory. What sort of conquest he achieved
of himself, the same biographer tragically records.

Already has the President singled out and designated, in the
Senate of the United States, the new object of his hostile pur-
suit; and the protest, which I am now to consider, is his declara-
tion of war. What has provoked it? The Senate, a component
part of the Congress of the United States, at its last adjourn-
ment left the Treasury of the United States in the safe custody
of the persons and places assigned by law to keep it. Upon re-
assembling, it found the treasure removed; some of its guardians
displaced; all, remaining, brought under the immediate control of
the President's sole will; and the President having free and un-
obstructed access to the public money. The Senate believes that
the purse of the nation is, by the Constitution and laws, in-
trusted to the exclusive legislative care of Congress. It has
dared to avow and express this opinion, in a resolution adopted
on the twenty-eighth of March last. That resolution was pre-
ceded by a debate of three months' duration, in the progress of
which the able and zealous supporters of the Executive in the
Senate were attentively heard. Every argument which their
ample resources, or those of the members of the Executive, could
supply was listened to with respect, and duly weighed. After
full deliberation, the Senate expressed its conviction that the
Executive had violated the Constitution and laws. It cautiously
refrained, in the resolution, from all examination into the mot-
ives or intention of the Executive; it ascribed no bad ones to
him; it restricted itself to a simple declaration of its solemn
belief that the Constitution and laws had been violated. Thi^
is the extent of the offense of the Senate. This is what it hc^s
done to excite the Executive indignation and to bring upon it
the infliction of a denunciatory protest.

The President comes down upon the Senate and demands
that it record upon its journal this protest. He recommends no
measure — no legislation whatever. He proposes no Executive
proceeding on the part of the Senate. He requests the record-
ing of his protest, and he requests nothing more nor less. The
Senate has abstained from putting on its own record any vindi-
cation of the resolution of which the President complains. It
has not asked of him to place it, where he says he has put his
protest, in the archives of the Executive. He desires, therefore,



to he done for him, on the journal of the Senate, what has not
been done for itself. The Senate keeps no recording office for
protests, deeds, wills, or other instruments. The Constitution
enjoins that ^* each House shall keep a journal of its proceed-
ings.* In conformity with this requirement, the Senate does
keep a journal of its proceedings — not the proceedings of the
Executive, or any other department of the government, except so
far as they relate directly to the business of the Senate. The
President sometimes professes to favor a strict construction of
the Constitution, at least in regard to the powers of all the de-
partments of the government other than that of which he is the
chief. As to that, he is the greatest latitudinarian that has ever
filled the office of President. Upon any fair construction of the
Constitution, how can the Senate be called upon to record upon
its journal any proceedings but its own ? It is true that the or-
dinary messages of the President are usually inserted at large in
the journal. Strictly speaking, it perhaps ought never to have
been done; but they have been heretofore registered, because
they relate to the general business of the Senate, either in its
legislative or executive character, and have been the basis of
subsequent proceedings. The protest stands upon totally distinct

The President professes to consider himself as charged by
the resolution with ^*the high crime of violating the laws and
Constitution of my country. " He declares that ^' one of the most
important branches of the Government, in its official capacity, in
a public manner, and by its recorded sentence, but without prec-
edent, competent authority, or just cause, declares him guilty
of a breach of the laws and Constitution.^^ The protest further
alleges that such an act as the Constitution describes ^^consti-
tutes a high crime, — one of the highest, indeed, which the Presi-
dent can commit, — a crime which justly exposes him to an
impeachment by the House of Representatives; and, upon due
conviction, to removal from office, and to the complete and im-
mutable disfranchisement prescribed by the Constitution." It
also asserts: ^^ The resolution, then, was an impeachment of the
President, and in its passage amounts to a declaration by a
majority of the Senate, that he is guilty of an impeachable
offense.'* The President is also of opinion that to say that the
resolution does not expressly allege that the assumption of power
and authority which it condemns was intentional and corrupt, is
4 — 2



no answer to the preceding view of its character and effect. The
act thus condemned necessarily implies volition and design in the
individual to whom it is imputed; and, being lawful in its char-
acter, the legal conclusion is, that it was prompted by improper

Online LibraryDavid J. (David Josiah) BrewerCrowned masterpieces of eloquence, representing the advance of civilization, as collected in The world's best orations, from the earliest period to the present time (Volume 4) → online text (page 1 of 39)