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by regiments and brigades, while the want of discipline will unfit those whom pestilence spares, for an honorable contest with an experienced soe. Instead, therefore, of the hurry and bustle of filling your ranks with recruits, and rushing with them into Canada, attend rather to the training and improvement of those now in the service. Make soldiers of them; by gradual enlistments you may regularly add to their number, and insensibly incorporate the new levies with the disciplined troops. If it should hereafter become necessary to march into the field, you will then have an army under your command, not a multitude without subordination. Suspend, therefore, hostilities while you negotiate. Make an armistice until the result of the negotiation is ascertained. You can lose nothing; you can gain every thing by such a course; then negotiate fairly, with a view to obtain for our native seamen a practicable and reasonable security against impressment, and with a disposition to aid Britain in commanding the services of her
Such an arrangement might have been made on the revocation of the orders in council, could you have been then satisfied with any thing short of an abandonment of the British claim to search. I doubt not but that it may now be made ; more you can. not probably obtain. The time may come, when, with greater effect, you can prefer, if necessary, higher claims. All is hazarded by precipitately urging more than your relative strength enables you to enforce. Permit your country to grow ; Jet no just right be abandoned; if any be postponed, it may be advanced at a more opportune season, with better prospect of success. If you will quit this crusade against Canada, , and seek peace in the spirit of accommodation; and (permit me to add) if you will forego your empiric schemes of embargo, and commercial restrictions, you will restore harmony at home, and allay that wide spread, and in some places alarming spirit of discontent that prevails in our land. And if your pacific efforts fail, if an obstinate and implacable foe will not
agree to such a peace as the country can with credit accept, then appeal to the candor and spirit of your people, for a constitutional support, with a full assurance that such an appeal, under such circumstances, cannot be made in vain.
It is time, Mr. Chairman, that I should release you from the fatigue of hearing me.
There is but one more topic to which I solicit your attention. Many admonitions have been addressed to the minority, by gentlemen on the ministerial side of the House, not without merit, and I hope not without edification, on the evils of violent opposition and intemperate party spirit. It is not to be denied, that opposition may exceed all reasonable bounds, and a minority become factious. But when I hear it seriously urged, that the nature of our government forbids that firm, manly, active opposition, which, in countries less free, is salutary and necessary; and when I perceive all the dangers of faction, apprehended only on the side of a minority, I witness but new instances of that wonderful ductility of the human mind, which, in its zeal to effect a favorite purpose, begins with the work of self-deception.
Why, sir, will not our form of government tolerate or require the same ardor of constitutional opposition, which is desirable in one wherein the chief magistrate is hereditary? • Because,” says the gentleman from South Carolina, (Mr. Calhoun,)“ in a monarchy, the influence of the executive and his ministers, requires continual vigilance, lest it obtain too great a preponderance, but here the executive springs from the ple, can do nothing without their support, and cannot therefore overrule and control the public sentiment. Sir, let us not stop at the surface of things, the influence of the executive in this country, while he retains his popularity, is infinitely greater than that of a limited monarch. It is as much stronger, as the spasm of convulsion is more violent than the voluntary tension of a muscle. The warmth of feeling excited during the contest of an election, and the natural zeal to up
hold him whom they have chosen, create, between the executive and his adherents, a connexion of passion, while the distribution of office and emolument adds a communion of interest, which, combined, produce a union almost indissoluble. •Support the administration,' becomes a watchword, which passes from each chieftain of the dominant party to his subalterns, and thence to their followers in the ranks, till the President's opinion becomes the criterion of orthodoxy, and his notions obtain a dominion over the public sentiment, which facilitates the most dangerous encroachments, and demands the most jealous supervision. In proportion as a government is free, the spirit of bold inquiry, of animated interest in its measures, and of firm opposition where they are not approved, becomes essential to its purity and continuance. And he, who, in a democracy, or republic, attempts to control the will of the popular idol of the day, may envy the luxurious ease with which ministerial oppressions are opposed and thwarted in goveroments which are less free.
Intemperance of party, wherever found, never will meet with an advocate in me. It is a most calamitous scourge to our country—the bane of social enjoyment, of - individual justice, and of public virtueunfriendly to the best pursuits of man, his interest and his duty; it renders useless or even pernicious the highest endowments of intellect, and the noblest disposition of the soul. But, sir, whatever may be the evil necessarily inherent in its nature, its ravages are the most enormous and desolating when it is seated on the throne of power, and vested with all the attributes of rule.
I mean not to follow the gentleman from South Carolina over the classic ground of Greece, Carthage and Rome, to refute bis theory, and show, that not to vehement opposition, but to the abuse of factious and intolerant power, their doom is to be attributed. Nor will I examine some more modern instances of republics whose destruction has the same origin. The thing is no longer matter of discussion ; it has passed into a settled truth in the science of political philosophy. One, who, on a question of historical deduction, of political theory, is entitled to high respect, has given us an admirable summary of the experience of republics on this interesting inquiry. In the tenth number of the Federalist, written by Mr. Madison, we find the following apt and judicious observations• By a faction, I understand a number of citizens, whether amounting to a majority or minority of the whole, who are united and actuated by some common impulse of passion or of interest, adverse to the rights of other citizens, or to the permanent and aggregate interests of the community. The inference to which we are brought is, that the causes of faction cannot be removed; and that relief is only to be sought in the means of controlling its effects. If a faction consists of less than a majority, relief is supplied by the republican principle, which enables the majority to defeat its sinister views by regular vote. It may clog the administration, it may convulse the society; but it will be unable to execute and mask its violence under the forms of the constitution. When a majority is included in a faction, the form of popular government, on the other hand, enables it to sacrifice to its ruling passion or interest, both the public good and the rights of other citizens. To secure the public good and private rights gainst the danagers of such a faction, and, at the same time, to preserve the spirit and the form of popular government, is then the great object to which our inquiries are directed. Let me add, that it is the great desideratum by which alone this form of government can be rescued from the opprobrium under which it has so long labored, and be recommended to the esteem and adoption of mankind.'
If this doctrine were, then, to be collected from the history of the world, can it now be doubted, since the experience of the last twenty-five years ? Go to France, once Revolutionary, now Imperial France, and ask her whether factious power, or intemperate opposition, be the more fatal to freedom and happiness ? Perhaps at some moment when the eagle eye of her master is turned away, she may whisper to you, to behold the demolition of Lyons, or the devastation of La Vendee. Perhaps she will give you a written answer-Draw near to the once fatal lamp-post, and by its flickering light, read it as traced in characters of blood that flowed from the guillotine—“ Faction is a demon! faction out of power is a demon enchained! faction, vested with the attributes of rule, is a Moloch of destruction !"
Sir, if the denunciations which gentlemen have pronounced against factious violence, are not merely the image of rhetorical pomp, if they are, indeed, solicitous to mitigate the rancor of party feuds, in the sincerity of my soul, I wish them success.
It is melancholy to behold the miserable jealousies and malignant suspicions which so extensively prevail, to the destruction of social comfort, and the eminent peril of the republic. On this subject I have reflected much ; not merely in the intervals stolen from the bustle of business, or the gaieties of amusement; but in the moments of “ depression and solitude,” the most favorable to the correction of error. For one, I am willing to bring a portion of party feeling and party prejudice, as an oblation at the shrine of my country. But no offering can avail any thing, if not made on the part of those who are the political favorites of the day. On them it is incumbent to come forward and set the magnanimous example. Approaches or concessions on the side of the minority would be misconstrued into indications of timidity, or of a bankering for favor. But a spirit of conciliation arising from those ranks would be hailed as the harbinger of sunny days, as a challenge to liberality, and to a generous contention for the public weal. This spirit requires not any departure from deliberate opinion, unless it is shown to be erroneous. Such a concession would be a dereliction of duty. Its injunctions would be few, and it is to be hoped not difficult of observance. Seek to uphold your measures by the force of argu