101

DANIEL WEBSTER.

the most violent opposition, both from the North and the South; an opposition which could not have been successfully resisted by the united and commanding ability and influence of Mr. CLAY, Mr. Cass, and the other patriotic Statesmen of both parties, who acted with them, if Mr. WEBSTER had not come to the rescue. In that hour of peril, when the stoutest hearts felt apprehensions for the safety of the Republic, he infused new confidence, and inspired fresh hopes into the public mind, by his great speech for the Constitution and the Union, pronounced in the Senate of the United States, on the 7th of March, 1850. This speech produced a most powerful effect, not only in the Halls of Congress, but throughout the whole country. It was the last time the great "Defender of the Constitution" had to mount its ramparts to repulse the assaults of its enemies. And he fought this last battle in defence of the Constitution of the United States, the great charter of political and social rights, most nobly and triumphantly. Let us listen for a moment to the fervent and patriotic exhortation with which the Orator concludes:

"And now, Mr. President, instead of speaking of the possibility or utility of secession; instead of dwelling on those caverns of darkness; instead of groping with those ideas so full of all that is horrid and horrible, let us come out into the light of day; let us enjoy the fresh air of liberty and union; let us cherish those hopes which belong to us; let us devote ourselves to those great objects that are fit for our consideration and our action; let us raise our conceptions to the magnitude and importance of the duties that devolve upon us; let our comprehension be as broad as the country for which we act, our inspiration as high as its certain destiny; let us not be pigmies in a case that calls for men. Never did there devolve on any generation of men higher trusts than now devolve on us, for the preservation of this Constitution, and the harmony and peace of all who are destined to live under it. Let us make our generation one of the strongest and brightest links in that golden chain which is destined, I fondly believe, to grapple the people of all the States to this Constitution for ages to come. We have a great popular Constitutional Government, guarded by law and by judicature, and defended by the affections of the whole people. No monarchical throne presses these States together; no

Page 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60 61 62 63 64 65 66 67 68 69 70 71 72 73 74 75 76 77 78 79 80 81 82 83 84 85 86 87 88 89 90 91 92 93 94 95 96 97 98 99 100 101 102 103 104