Page images

it, (as we probably shall not,) she will then apply to the

case the remedy of her doctrine. She will, we must sup2 pose, pass a luw of her legislature, declaring the several acts of congress, usually called the tariff laws, null and void, so far as they respect South Carolina, or the citizens thereof. So far, all is a paper transaction, and easy enough. But the collector at Charleston, is collecting the duties imposed by these tariff laws_he, therefore, must be stopped. The colector will seize the goods if the tarifi duties are not paid. The state authorities will undertake their rescue : the marshal with his posse, will come to the

collector's aid, and here the contest begins. The militia 3 of the state will be called out to sustain the nullifying act.

They will march sir, under a very gallant leader : for I believe the honorable member himself commands the militia of that part of the state, He will raise the NULLIFYING Act on his standard, and spread it out as his banner! It will have a preamble bearing, That the tariff laws are palpable, deliberate, and dangerous violations of the constitution! He will proceed, with this banner flying, to the custom-house in Charleston

" All the while, Sonoi vus metal, blowing martial sounds." 4 Arrived at the custom-house, he will tell the collector that

he must collect no more duties under any of the tariff laws. This, he will be somewhat puzzled to say, by the way, with a grave countenance, considering what hand South Carolina herself, had in that of 1816. But, sir, the collector would probably, not desist, at his bidding. He would show him the law of Congress, the treasury instruction, and his own oath of office. He would say, he should perform his duty, come what come might. Here would ensue a pause:

for they say that a certain stillness precedes the tempest. 5 The trumpeter would hold his breath awhile, and before

all this military array should fall on the custom-house, collector, clerks and all

, it is very probable some of those composing it, would request of their gallant commander-inchief, to be informed a little upon the point of law: for they have, doubtless, a just respect for his opinions as a lawyer, as well as for his bravery as a soldier. They know he has read Blackstone and the Constitution, as well as Turrenne and Vauban They would ask him, therefore, something concern

then say,

ing their rights in this matter. They would inquire, whether 6 it was not somewhat dangerous to resist a law of the United

States. What would be the nature of their offence, they would wish to learn, if they, by military force and array, resisted the execution in Carolina of a law of the United States, and it should turn out, after all, that the law was constitutional. He would answer, of course, treason. No lawyer could give any other answer. John Fries, he would tell them, had learned that, some years ago. How, then, they would ask, do you propose to defend us? We are not

afraid of bullets, but treason has a way of taking people off, 7 that we do not much relish. How, then, they would ask,

do you propose to defend us ? “ Look at my floating banner,” he would reply ; see there the nullifying law."Is it your opinion, gallant commander," they would

66 that if we should be indicted for treason, that saine floating banner of your's would make a good plea in bar ?” “ South Carolina is a sovereign state,” he would reply. " That is true—but would the judge admit our plea ?" 6 'These tariff laws,” he would repeat, are unconstitutional,

palpably, deliberately, dangerously.” “ That all may be so; 8 but if the tribunal should not happen to be of that opinion,

shall we swing for it? We are ready to die for our country, but it is rather an awkward business, this dying without touching the ground! After all, that is a sort of hemp-tax, worse than any part of the tariff.”

Mr. President, the honorable gentleman would be in a dilemma, like that of another great general. He would have a

not before him which he could not untie. He must cut it with his sword. He must say to his followers, defend yourselves with your bayonets; and this is warcivil war.

Ambiguous Promises. 1 Where the terms of a promise admit of more senses than one, the promise is to be performed in that sense in which the promiser apprehended at the time, that the promisee received it. Temures promised the garrison of Se. bastia if they would surrender, no blood should be shed. The garrison surrendered, and Temures buried them all alive. Now Temures fulfilled the promise in one sense, and in the sense too in which he intended it at the time; but not the sense in which the garrison of Sebastia actually received it: which last sense, according to our rule, was the sense in which he was in conscience bound to have performed it.

From the account which we have given of the obligation of promises, it is evident, that this obligation depends upon the expectations which we knowingly and voluntarily excite. Consequently any action or conduct towards another, which we are sensible excites expectations in that other, is as much a promise, and creates as strict an obligation, as the most express assurances.-Paley.

[ocr errors]


Republican Equality. --Story. 1 GENTLEMEN have argued, as if personal rights only

were the proper objects of government. But what, I would ask, is life worth, if a man cannot eat in security the bread earned by his own industry? If he is not permitted to transmit to his children the little inheritance, which his affection has destined for their use ? What enables us to diffuse education among all the classes of society, but property? Are not our public schools, the distinguishing blessing of our land, sustained by its patronage? I will say

no more about the rich and the poor. There is no parallel 2 to be run between them, founded on permanent constitu

tional distinctions. The rich help the poor, and the poor in turn adıninister to the rich.

In our country the highest man is not above the people; the humblest is not below the people. If the rich may be said to have additional protection, they have not additional power. Nor does wealth here form a permanent distinction of families. Those who are wealthy to-day pass to the tomb, and their children divide their estates. Property

is thus divided quite as fast as it accumulates. No family 3 can, without its own exertions, stand erect for a long time

under our statute of descents and distributions, the only true and legitimate agrarian law. It silently and quietly dissolves the mass, heaped up by the toil and diligence of a long life of enterprise and industry.


Property is continually changing, like the waves of the

One waye rises and is soon swallowed up in the vaso abyss, and seen no more. Another rises, and having reache.. its destined limit, falls gently away, and is suc

ceeded by yet another, which in its turn, breaks and dies 4 away silently on the shore. The richest man among us

may be brought down to the humblest level; and the child with scarcely clothes to cover his nakedness, may rise to the highest office in our government. And the poor man while he rocks his infant on his knees, may justly indulge the consolation, that if he possess talents and virtue, there is no office beyond the reach of his honorable ambition.

To die, they say, is noblemas a soldier-
But with such guides to point the unerring road,
Such able guides, such arms and discipline
As I have had, my soul would sorely feel
The dreadful pang which keen reflections give,
Should she in death's dark porch, while life was ebbing
Receive the judgment, and this vile reproach :

Long hast thou wandered in a stranger's land,
A stranger to thyself and to thy God.
The heavenly hills were oft within thy view,
And oft the shepherd called thee to his flock,
And called in vain. -A thousand monitors
Bade thee return, and walk in wisdom's ways.
The seasons, as they rolled, bade thee return;
The glorious sun, in his diurnal round,
Beheld thy wandering, and bade thee return ;
The night, an emblem of the night of death,
Bade thee return; the rising mounds,
Which told the traveller where the dead repose
In tenements of clay, bade thee return;
And at thy father's grave, the filial tear,
Which dear remembrance gave, bade thee return,
And dwell in Virtue's tents, on Zion's hill !”-Pollok.

LESSON LII. Man and Animals.- JANE TAYLOR. MR. F. and his children were walking one summer evening, in what are familiarly called the high woods. А narrow path conducted them through the underwood, where straggling branches of the wild rose intercepted them at every step : the rich and variegated stems of the forest trees were illumined here and there in bright spots, by golden beams of the setting sun, which streamed through the interstices of the massy foliage. - Swarms of merry gnats danced in the open spaces of the wood; birds of

every ote sang, in uninterrupted gladness, amid its deep 2

recesses; the nimble squirrel was observed occasionally leaping from bough to bough; and the timid eye of the wild rabbit was seen peeping from behind the roots of the trees, and then swiftly disappearing, she escaped into her inaccessible fortresses. How happy are young people, whose taste is raised to the enjoyment of these elevated and simple pleasures, and who find in their parents, intelligent friends, capable of cultivating this taste, of inspiring and guiding their love of knowledge, and of giving a right

direction to both! 3 The liberty and happiness evidently enjoyed by the va

rious little inhabitants of these woods, gave a turn to the evening's conversation, as the party returned home.

“I think,” says little Joe, “that if I were going to be changed into any thing else, I should like best to be a rabbit, and to live in the woods; they seem so happy and comfortable here. Father. Can


me, Joe, what is the greatest differ. ence between you and a rabbit.

Joe. Why, papa, we are as different as can be. Rabbus 4 have got long ears, and four legs, and are covered all over with soft hair.

Father. So far, then, the rabbit seems to have the advantage of you, for it can run faster with four legs than yju can with only two; and its long ears enable it to hear more acutely; and it has a warm dress, ready made, without any trouble or expense: now can you think of any thing in which you are better off than a rabbit ?.

Joe was such a very little boy that he could not think of any thing ; but his brother, Edward, soon answered for 5 him, saying, “ Why, we are better off than rabbits, almost

in every thing : we can talk, and laugh, and read, and write, and learn Latin."

Father. It is true the rabbit can not do these things, but

« PreviousContinue »