American Eloquence, Volume 1 eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 194 pages of information about American Eloquence, Volume 1.
page in the volume of faithful history, I ask so much confidence only as may give firmness and effect to the legal administration of your affairs.  I shall often go wrong through defect of judgment.  When right, I shall often be thought wrong by those whose positions will not command a view of the whole ground.  I ask your indulgence for my own errors, which will never be intentional; and your support against the errors of others, who may condemn what they would not, if seen in all its parts.  The approbation implied by your suffrage, is a great consolation to me for the past; and my future solicitude will be, to retain the good opinion of those who have bestowed it in advance, to conciliate that of others, by doing them all the good in my power, and to be instrumental to the happiness and freedom of all.

Relying then on the patronage of your good-will, I advance with obedience to the work, ready to retire from it whenever you become sensible how much better choices it is in your power to make.  And may that infinite Power which rules the destinies of the universe, lead our councils to what is best, and give them a favorable issue for your peace and prosperity.

JOHN RANDOLPH,

—­Of Virginia’ (born 1773, died 1833.)

ON THE MILITIA BILL—­HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES, DEC. 10, 1811.

MR. SPEAKER: 

This is a question, as it has been presented to this House, of peace or war.  In that light it has been argued; in no other light can I consider it, after the declarations made by members of the Committee of Foreign Relations.

The Committee of Foreign Relations have, indeed, decided that the subject of arming the militia (which has been pressed upon them as indispensable to the public security) does not come within the scope of their authority.  On what ground, I have been, and still am, unable to see, they have felt themselves authorized to recommend the raising of standing armies, with a view (as has been declared) of immediate war—­a war not of defence, but of conquest, of aggrandizement, of ambition—­a war foreign to the interests of this country; to the interests of humanity itself. * * *

I cannot refrain from smiling at the liberality of the gentleman in giving Canada to New York in order to strengthen the northern balance of power; while, at the same time, he forewarns her that the western scale must preponderate.  I can almost fancy that I see the Capitol in motion toward the falls of Ohio; after a short sojourn, taking its flight to the Mississippi, and finally alighting at Darien; which, when the gentleman’s dreams are realized, will be a most eligible seat of government for the new republic (or empire) of the two Americas!  But it seems that in 1808 we talked and acted foolishly, and to give some color of consistency to that folly we must now commit a greater.

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American Eloquence, Volume 1 from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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