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all, without any discrimination, except of services. But that act, partly by subsequent laws, and partly by illiberal rules of construction, has been narrowed far within its original scope. I am constrained to say, that in the practical execution of these laws, the whole beneficent spirit of our institutions seems to have been reversed. Instead of presuming every man to be upright and true, until the contrary appears, every applicant seems to be pre-supposed to be false and perjured. Instead of bestowing these hard-earned rewards with alacrity, they appear to have been refused, or yielded with reluctance; and to send away the way-worn veteran, bowed down with the infirmities of age, empty from your door, seems to have been deemed an act of merit.
So rigid has been the construction and application of the existing law, that cases most strictly within its provisions, of meritorious service and abject poverty, have been excluded from its benefits. Yet gentlemen tell us, that this law, so administered, is too liberal; that it goes too far, and they would repeal it. They would take back even the little which they have given! And is this possible ? Look abroad upon this wide extended land, upon its wealth, its happiness, its hopes ; and then turn to the aged soldier, who gave you all, and see him descend in neglect and poverty to the tomb ?
The time is short. A few years, and these remnants of a former age will no longer be seen. Then we shall indulge unavailing regrets for our present apathy: for, how can the ingenuous mind look upon the grave of an injured benefactor ? How poignant the reflection, that the time for reparation and atonement has
for ever! In what bitterness of soul shall we look back upon the infatuation which shall have cast aside an opportunity, which never can return, to give peace to our consciences !
We shall then endeavor to stifle our convictions, by empty honors to their bones. We shall raise high the monument, and trumpet loud their deeds, but it will be all in vain. It cannot warm the hearts which shall have sunk cold and comfortless to the earth. This is no illusion. How often do we see, in our public gazettes, a pompous display of honors to the memory of some veteran patriot, who was suffered to linger out his latter days in unregarded penury!
“How proud we can press to the funeral array
Of him whom we shunned in his sickness and sorrow;
INFLUENCE OF NATIONAL GLORY.—Clay.
We are asked, what have we gained by the war? I have shown that we have lost nothing in rights, territory, or honor; nothing for which we ought to have contended, according to the principles of the gentlemen on the other side, or according to
Have we gained nothing by the war? Let any man look at the degraded condition of this country before the war, the scorn of the universe, the contempt of ourselves, and tell me if we have gained nothing by the war. What is our present situation? Respectability and character abroad, security and confidence at home. If we have not obtained, in the opinion of some, the full measure of retribution, our character and constitution are placed on a solid basis, never to be shaken.
The glory acquired by our gallant tars, by our Jacksons and our Browns on the land—is that nothing ? True, we had our vicissitudes : ther were humiliating events which the patriot cannot review without deep regret—but the great account, when it comes to be balanced, will be found vastly in our favor. Is there a man who would obliterate from the proud pages of our history the brilliant achievements of Jackson, Brown, and Scott, and the host of heroes on land and sea, whom I cannot enumerate ? Is there a man who could not desire a participation in the national glory acquired by the war? Yes, national glory, which, however the expression may be condemned by some, must be cherished by every genuine patriot.
What do I mean by national glory? Glory such as Hull, Jackson, and Perry have acquired. And are gentlemen insensible to their deeds—to the value of them in animating the country in the hour of peril hereafter ? Did the battle of Thermopylæ preserve Greece but once? Whilst the Mississippi
? continues to bear the tributes of the Iron Mountains and the Alleghanies to her Delta and to the Gulf of Mexico, the eighth of January shall be remembered, and the glory of that day shall stimulate future patriots, and nerve the arms of unborn freemen in driving the presumptuous invader from our country's soil.
Gentlemen may boast of their insensibility to feelings inspired by the contemplation of such events. But I would ask, does the recollection of Bunker's Hill, Saratoga, and Yorktown, afford them no pleasure ? Every act of noble sacrifice to the country, every instance of patriotic devotion to her cause, has its beneficial influence. A nation's character is the sum of its splendid deeds ; they constitute one common patrimony, the nation's inheritance. They awe foreign powers-they arouse and animate our own people. I love true glory. It is this sentiment which ought to be cherished; and, in spite of cavils, and sneers, and attempts to put it down, it will finally conduct this nation to that height to which God and nature have destined it.
For a season,
25. FRAUDS UPON THE REVENUE.—Hayne. Mr. President,—The gentleman complains of frauds upon the revenue-and fraudulent invoices and smuggling—but it is his system which has produced these evils. Smuggling, from the very nature of things, must exist, when the duties exceed the risk and expense of the illicit intercourse. sir, the high moral sense of a young and uncorrupted people, may oppose some obstacle to these practices. No government on earth can prevent them. Napoleon, the plenitude of his power, was unable to maintain his continental system. His prohibitions and restrictions were constantly violated with impunity. Yes sir, he who sported with kingdoms, who constructed thrones upon the ruins of empires, and appointed the officers of his household to fill them; whose armies were his customhouse officers, who drew his cordons around the nations which he conquered, was utterly unable to put down the great principles of free trade. It has been well said, sir, “that when all Europe was obedient to his nod—the smuggler disputed his commands, set at naught his edicts, laughed to scorn his power, and overthrew his policy.” How is it with England, that seagirt isle, surrounded with a thousand ships, and thirty thousand guardians of her revenue ? Sir, do we not all know that smuggling is there a profitable trade, and that the revenue laws of England are constantly violated with impunity ? And how is it in Spain ? A modern traveler asserts that there are a hundred thousand persons in that unhappy country who live by smuggling, and that there are thirty thousand others, paid by the government, to detect their practice, but who are in a league with the offenders; and as to the condition of things in our own country, the gentleman has told us a tale this day, which, if he be not himself deceived, shows what fearful progress these practices have already made. The time was when smuggling was absolutely unknown any where in this country, as it still is in the southern states. It is your protecting system which has introduced it. It is the natural consequence of high duties -the evil was foretold, and, as we predicted, it has come upon
us. The protecting system has already, in the minds of many, removed the odium which formerly rested on this practice. It was but the last year that a distinguished senator rose up in his place here and held this language: “ Your tariff policy compels respectable men to violate your law; you force them to disregard its injunctions, in order to elude its oppressions. It was his perfect conviction, that there was not a virtuous man throughout the union, who would now think it criminal to smuggle into the country every article consumed in itand why? Because you force them to it in self-defense.”—Sir, when these sentiments shall become prevalent, what think you will become of that system ? How long will it last after the payment of duties shall come to be considered as a badge of servitude ?
INFLUENCE OF GREAT ACTIONS DEPENDENT ON THEIR
Great actions and striking occurrences, having excited a temporary admiration, often pass away and are forgotten, because they leave no lasting results, affecting the prosperity of communities. Such is frequently the fortune of the most brilliant military achievements. Of the ten thousand battles which have been fought; of all the fields fertilized with carnage; of the banners which have been bathed in blood; of the warriors who have hoped that they had risen from the field of conquest to a glory as bright and as durable as the stars, how few that continue long to interest mankind! The victory of yesterday is reversed by the defeat of to-day; the star of military glory, rising like a meteor, like a meteor has fallen ; disgrace and disaster hang on the heels of conquest and renown; victor and vanquished presently pass away to oblivion, and the world holds on its course, with the loss, only, of so many lives, and so much treasure.
But if this is frequently, or generally, the fortune of military achievements, it is not always so. There are enterprises, military as well as civil, that sometimes check the current of events, give a new turn to human affairs, and transmit their
consequences through ages. We see their importance in their results, and call them great, because great things follow. There have been battles which have fixed the fate of nations. These come down to us in history with a solid and permanent influence, not created by a display of glittering armor, the rush of adverse battalions, the sinking and rising of pennons, the flight, the pursuit, and the
victory; but by their effect in advancing or retarding human knowledge, in overthrowing or establishing despotism, in extending or destroying human happiness. When the traveler pauses on the plains of Marathon, what are the emotions which strongly agitate his breast; what is that glorious recollection that thrills through his frame, and suffuses his eyes ? Not, I imagine, that Grecian skill and Grecian valor were here most signally displayed; but that Greece herself was saved. It is because to this spot, and to the event which has rendered it immortal, he refers all the succeeding glories of the republic. It is because, if that day had gone otherwise, Greece had perished. It is because he perceives that her philosophers and orators, her poets and painters, her sculptors and architects, her government and free institutions, point backward to Marathon, and that their future existence seems to have been suspended on the contingency, whether the Persian or Grecian banner should wave victorious in the beams of that day's setting sun. And as his imagination kindles at the retrospect, he is transported back to the interesting moment: he counts the fearful odds of the contending hosts; his interest for the result overwhelms him; he trembles as if it was still uncertain, and seems to doubt whether he may consider Socrates and Plato, Demosthenes, Sophocles, and Phidias, as secure, yet, to himself and to the world.
War is the law of violence. Peace the law of love. That law of violence prevailed without mitigation from the murder of Abel to the advent of the Prince of Peace.
We might have imagined, if history had not attested the reverse, that an experiment of four thousand years would have sufficed to prove, that the rational and valuable ends of society can never be attained, by constructing its institutions in conformity with the standard of war. But the sword and the torch had been eloquent in vain. A thousand battle-fields, white with the bones of brothers, were coun as idle advocates in the cause of justice and humanity. Ten thousand cities, abandoned to the cruelty and licentiousness of the soldiery: and burnt, or dismantled, or razed to the ground, pleaded in vain against the law of violence. The river, the lake, the sea, crimsoned with the blood of fellow-citizens, and neighbors, and strangers, had lifted up their voices in vain to denounce the