American Eloquence, Volume 2 eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 239 pages of information about American Eloquence, Volume 2.

And now, Mr. President, instead of speaking of the possibility or utility of secession, instead of dwelling in 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 the 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 the importance of the duties that devolve upon us; let our comprehension be as broad as the country for which we act, our aspirations 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 upon 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 iron chain of military power encircles them; they live and stand under a Government popular in its form, representative in its character, founded upon principles of equality, and so constructed, we hope, as to last forever.  In all its history it has been beneficent; it has trodden down no man’s liberty; it has crushed no State.  Its daily respiration is liberty and patriotism; its yet youthful veins are full of enterprise, courage, and honorable love of glory and renown.  Large before, the country has now, by recent events, become vastly larger.  This Republic now extends, with a vast breadth across the whole continent.  The two great seas of the world wash the one and the other shore.  We realize, on a mighty scale, the beautiful description of the ornamental border of the buckler of Achilles: 

     “Now, the broad shield complete, the artist crowned
     With his last hand, and poured the ocean round;
     In living silver seemed the waves to roll,
     And beat the buckler’s verge, and bound the whole.”

[Illustration:  Henry Clay]


OF KENTUCKY, (BORN 1777, DIED 1852.)



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American Eloquence, Volume 2 from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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