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(Feb. 4, 1831. these unworthy men, or that, if he knew them, he would gislation; and although we found no instances yvhere the have permitted them to remain. The friends of the pre- power of removal had been abused, we deemed it safe to sent incumbent profess to respect the character and merits regulate and restrain it. The mischief which might befal of the late Postmaster General, and we hope they are sin- us from Executive influence, by means of the post office cere; but surely it is a poor compliment to his talents or and the press, were foretold in the spirit of prophecy. integrity to impute to him the employment of such a regi- That report was drawn by the Senator from Missouri, ment of bad officers, either from ignorance or design. Sir, (Mr. Benton,) and the facts embodied there are good it is my prima facie opinion, that scarcely one in a hundred proof that the committee were not then over scrupulous has been removed for sufficient cause; but still, if, upon in their inquiry. The slavish doctrines of the present day inquiry, it should be otherwise, I will be the first to re- would not now tolerate a report couched in such language, tract, and exonerate the Postmaster General from all pro- and breathing such a spirit. The committee proceed: scription.
“The whole of this great power will centre in the PreThe Senator from Tennessee [Mr. Gnuxdy) thinks it a sident. The King of England is the fountain of honor;' drudgery, a small business, to make this inquiry. He the President of the United States is the source of patronsurely cannot mean this as a reflection upon the Senate age. He presides over the entire system of federal apfor directing it. If the Postmaster General shall have pros: pointments, jobs, and contracts. He has power' over the tituted his office for purposes of proscription, and shall : support of the individuals who administer the system. have descended to an inquiry into the party preferences He makes and unmakes them. He chooses from the circle of every obscure deputy in the United States, for the pur- of his friends and supporters, and may dismiss them, and, pose of fixing the seal of reprobation upon every one who upon all the principles of human action, will dismiss them, would not sacrifice to this modern Moloch, is it humiliat- as often as they disappoint his expectations. His spirit will ing to follow him, and expose him in his degrading occu- animate their actions in all the elections to State and Fede. pation? No, sir; if an officer will descend to petty, con- ral offices. There may be exceptions, but the truth of a temptible persecutions, low as the business is, it is proper general rule is proved by the exception. The intended to ferret him out.
check and control of the Senate, without new constitutional I cast no imputation upon the members of the committee or statutory provisions, will cease to operate. Patronage who think differently. They probably believe themselves will penetrate this body, subdue its capacity of resistance, to be right, and we are satisfied that we are right; and chain it to the car of power, and enable the President to thus the account is balanced between us.
rule as easily, and much more securely, with than without For myself, I cannot indulge a doubt that this inquiry the nominal check of the Senate. If the President was is not only legitimate, but necessary, and demanded by the himself the officer of the people, elected by them, and reAmerican people.
sponsible to them, there would be less danger from this Since the committee was appointed, not only have the concentration of all power in his hands; but it is the busipublic papers, but private letters from respectable indivi- ness of statesmen to act upon things as they are, and not duals, urged on the inquiry. And just as we are com as they would wish them to be. We must then look formencing it with adequate power and authority, the whole ward to the time when the public revenue will be doubled; is to be suppressed!
when the civil and military oflicers of the Federal GorI hold in my hand a letter from a highly respectable ernment will be quadrupled; when its influence over indiVirginian to one of its Senators here, making high charges viduals will be multiplied to an indefinite extent; when the of corruption and fraud in mail contracts, and naming the nomination by the President can carry any man through witnesses to be called to prove them. It was my opinion, the Senate, and his recommendation can carry any meaand that of the chairman, that the witnesses should be sure through the two Houses of Congress; when the prinimmediately summoned to testify. But a inajority thought ciple of public action will be open and avowed--the Prethat we ought first to seek for evidence at the department; sident wants my vote, and I want his patronage; I will vote thus expecting that, if any thing was wrong, the Postmas- as he wishes, and he will give me the office I wish for. ter General would furnish the necessary evidence to con- What will this be but the government of one man? and vict himself. Now, if it be proper to inquire at all, why what is the government of one man but a monarchy proceed in this circuitous way? When a respectable citi. Names are nothing. The nature of a thing is in its subzen alleges fraud, or that he believes it, and names the stance, and the name of a thing soon accommodates itself witnesses by whom he would prove it, why not send for to the substance. The first Roman Emperor was styled them, when our powers are so ample? It seems to me Emperor of the Republic, and the last French Emperor that so cautious a procedure as this is to induce a prema- took the same title; and their respective countries were ture suspicion of error or guilt.
just as essentially monarchical before as after the assulapThe Postmaster General' is in no danger of injustice by tion of these titles. It cannot be denied or disse mbled but the inquiry into the causes of removal. If a man is re- that this Federal Government gravitates to the same point, moved for good cause, he would not be very forward to and that the election of the Executive by the Legislature complain or to testify, when he would know that thereby quickens the pulsation.” his own demerits would be madle manifest. If these re. movals have been made as a punishment for the exercise “ The committee must, then, take things as they are. of the freedom of opinion, a remedy should be promptly Not being able to lay the axe to the root of the tree, they provided.. Sir, the people of the United States will never must go to pruning among the limbs and branches. Not tamely suffer a department of such power and influence being able to reform the constitution in the election of Preto become an engine which may one day batter down their sident, they must go to work upon his powers, and trim liberties. Sir, the suppression of inquiry is among the down these by statutory enactments, wherever it can be new fashions introduced by this administration. Inquiry, done by law, and with a just regard to the proper efficiency hitherto, has been always popular; so much so, that a of the Government. For this purpose, they have reported member would scarcely hazard his reputation in opposing the six bills which have been enumerated. They do not it. No apprehension that we might meet with impeacha- pretend to have exhausted the subject, but only to have ble matter could deter us. Indeed, such an arguinent seized a few of its prominent points. They have only would have been ridiculed. The Select Committee of the touched in four places the vast and pervading system of Senate of 1826, on the subject of Executive patronage, Federal Executive patronage--the press, the post office, were not so timid lest they should compromit their impar- the arined force, and the appointing power. They are tiality. They inquired into facts, as the foundation of le. (few compared to the whole number of points which the FEB. 7, 1831.]
Post Office Contracts. — Vavy Officers.--Duties on Sugar.
system presents, but they are points vital to the liberties making the statements, besides preporing copies of about of the country. The press is put foremost, because it is fourteen hundred contracts, comprising together nearly the moving power of human action; the post office is the six thousand large folio pages, has required the constant handmaid of the press; the armed force its executor; and and diligent service of several clerks for about six months. the appointing power the directress of the whole. If the The current business of the department has been delayed, appointing power was itself an emanation of the popular so far as could be done without producing permanent loss; will, if the President was himself the officer and the organ and, together with the new arrangements rendered neof the people, there would be less danger in leaving to his cessary in answering the sevtral calls for information from will the sole direction of all these arbiter's of human fate. the committee instituted by the Senate on the 15th of DeBut things must be taken as they are; statesmen must act cember, it has not been practicable, with all the force for the country they live in, and not for the island of Uto- that could be applied, to finish the report at an earlier pepia; they must act upon the state of facts in that country, riod.”] and not upon the visions of fancy. In the country for Mr. GRUNDY moved that it be referred to the Comwhich the committee act, the press, with some exceptions, mittee on the Post Office and Post Roads, with a view to the post office, the armed force, and the appointing power, a selection of such parts as it would be proper to have are in the hands of the President, and the President him- printed. In its present shape it was too voluminous for self is not in the hands of the people. The President printing. The gentleman from Ohio, (Mr. Burnet) who may, and, in the current of human affairs, will, be against offered that resolution, calling for the information contained the people; and, in his hands, the arbiters of human fate in the report, belonged to that committee, and it seemed must be against them also. This will not do. The possi- proper that it should have that reference. bility of it must be avoided. The safety of the people is Mr. BURNET said he would not oppose the reference the supreme law;' and, to ensure that safety, these arbi- suggested by the gentleman from Tennessee, (Mr. Grunters of human fate must change position, and take post on dy,] but he had supposed the subject would be referred to the side of the people.”
the select committee on the present state of the Post Sir, you can never legislate correctly without inquiring Office Department. into the necessity. You should search deep, and ascertain Mr. GRUNDY remarked that his object was to refer the the length, breadth, depth, and height of the mischief to subject to the committee who had the least business before be remedied. Both Houses of Parliament, by their com- it
. To himself it was totally immaterial, as he belonged to mittees, collect and embody the evidence on cach subject both of the committees proposed. The standing Post Of. as a foundation for legislation; and who ever heard it ob-fice Committee were not overwhelmed with business, while jected that they might find impeachable matter?
the other was. The Committce of the House of Representatives of 1818 Mr. CLAYTON contended the report should be sent to had no scruples, no delicacy like that here manifested. the select committee, as that committee were now enThey summoned not only the clerks, but the chiefs of the gaged in the investigation of this very subject; and he did departments themselves. They used the incision knife not apprehend that there was any inquiry before the other and the caustic," and searched the wound to the bottom. committee which bore any relation to it. As for the selecThey did not stop at a summons; but, when that was dis- tion of the documents which it would be proper to have obeyed, they issued a capias, and brought in the witness printed, the select committee could do it as well as any by force. No one then complained of want of decorum. other. He hoped the gentleman would withdraw his proThe Representatives of the people spoke, by their com. position, and allow the report to go to the select committee, and their voice was obeyed.
mittee. We do not find another case where a call of such mag- Mr. GRUNDY said he could not withdraw his motion. nitude was refused, and we ask the gentlemen on the other The gentleman from Ohio, who called for the report, beside to give us a single example. Strange doctrines, in- longed to the standing committee, and it was proper he deed, which cover your executive officers with such a should have an opportunity of acting upon it. Besides, it panoply!
was useless to disguise another fact. The select com. (Here Mr. GRUNDY requested Mr. HOLMES to sus- mittee had taken so wide a field for its investigations that pend his remarks until to-morrow, as he had just under the prospect of its soon terminating its labors was but a stood that there was some executive business before the gloomy one. These committees met in the same room, Senate, wbich it was indispensably necessary to act on to- and any information possessed by one could easily be comday.
municated to the other. Mr. HOLMES acquiesced in the suggestion; when, The question was then taken on the first proposition to
On motion of Mr. TYLER, the Senate proceeded to the refer the report to the Committee on the Post Office and considl -ration of executive business, and spent half an hour Post Roads, and decided in the affirmative-yeas 19, nays within closed doors; and then adjourned until Monday. 18.
Mr. BARNARD submitted the following resolution:
Resolved, that the Committee on Naval Affairs be in
structed to inquire into the expediency of increasing the A report was received from the Postmaster General, in pay and emoluments of Masters Commandant in the Navy obedience to a resolution of the Senate, giving a list of lof the United States; and, also, of allowing additional comcontracts made by that department, together with the pensation to Lieutenants when acting as first Lieutenants number and compensation of clerks employed in that de. of a ship of the line, frigate, or sloop of war, according partment.
to the rate of the vessel. [The documents consisted of copies of all contracts made by him or his predecessor, on which additional al
DUTIES ON SUGAR. lowances had been made for additional services; copies of Mr. BROWN, of North Carolina, introduced a bill to all contracts existing when his immediate predecessor came reduce the duty on imported sugar. into office, on which similar allowances were made, and Mr. BROWN moved to refer the bill to the Committee copies of all contracts made by his immediate predecessor, on Commerce. The motion was rejected--yeas 16, nays on which similar allowances had been made. The letter 25. adds, “that the labor required for the investigation of On motion of Mr. JOHNSTON, of Louisiana, it was then each case, on more than seventeen hundred routes, and referred to the Committee on Manufactures.
(FEB. 7, 1831. DUTY ON SALT.
President of his innocence. A full examination was had, Mr. BENTON gave notice, that tomorrow he should the guilt proved, and the officer removed. I state this ask leave to bring in a bill to abrogate the duty on salt.
case, sir, to show that any apparent reluctance of the
Postmaster General to submit to this examination, or any JAMES MONROE.
disposition to limit or restrict it, will be ground of suspicion The bill for the adjustment of the claim of James Mon-against him before the American people. roe, passed in the other House, was read a first time, and But, say gentlemen, we are prejudging a case which laid on the table until tomorrow, at the suggestion of Mr. we may be called to try as a high court of impeachment. POINDEXTER, who wished time to prepare an amend. We answer-our duties are legislative, executive, and ment to it.
judicial; and shall we refuse to perform one class of these POST OFFICE INVESTIGATION.
duties, because it may contiet with the others? If we are
never to perform legislation, lest by possibility we should The resolution of Mr. GRUNDY, declaring that the meet with impeachable matter, there are few cases where select committee, appointed to examine into the present we can act at all. In all this, however, our course is a condition of the Post Office Department, are not autho- very plain one. The framers of the constitution supposed rized to call witnesses who have been removed before the cases of impeachment would rarely occur, and they them for the purpose of ascertaining the causes of their judged correctly. It was never expected or intended that removal, being again taken up-
this power should in the least conirol or restrain our leMr. HOLMES rose, and resumed the remarks which gislative duties. In the course of inquiry into facts or he commenced when the subject was last under consider- conduct as a basis of legislation, we are never to anticipate ation. I confess, said Mr. H., that since our last adjourn- high misdemeanors or impeachable matter; and it is the ment, my surprise has been increased, rather than dimin- same with our executive duties. Suppose a district judge, ished, at the objection to the inquiry. What possible rea. while under impeachment in the other House, should be son can there be why the Senate should not have an an- nominated to the Senate for a justice of the Supreme Court, swer to this question--" for what cause or causes were must we not inquire into his qualifications, and conseyou removed from office?" It cannot arise from a sym- quently into the offence of which he stands charged? Or pathy for the witness. If the answer would criminate are we to translate him to the Supreme bench, without him, he has a right to withhold it. The question is, ne noticing the fact that he stands charged with official tyvertheless, proper, whether he can exculpate or is willing ramy or corruption by the grand inquest of the nation to criminate himself, or refuses to answer at all. In every Sir, it appears to me there is in this an affectation of judicial tribunal, a question which may possibly, or will delicacy--a morbid sensibility--it is altogether new; the probably, criminate the witness, is always proper, but the Senate has never hesitated to inquire into official misconobligation to answer is another affair.
duct, the better to enable them to perform legislative or But here the witness does not objec:, but is willing to executive duties. Let me instance a distinguished caseanswer. Every obstacle in regard to the witness is, there- that of the Seminole war. A committee of the Senate fore, removed. Why, then, is this merely preliminary was elected by ballot purposely to investigate the conduct question to be refused:
of General Jackson in that war. This investigation invols. Is the Postmaster General afraid of the answer? Has ed the questions whether the commander of the army had he been consulted, and does he think it most prudent to violated the constitution of the United States, in waging object? If so, there is strong ground to suspect him. war against a foreign Power; and, if so, whether he could What high-minded, honorable, and honest man would fear be justificd by orders from the President or Secretary of an answer to such a question? Is he -afraid or ashamed War. This was looking into impeachable matter which that the people of the United States should know the prin- might involve the Secretary of War, and even the Presiciples by which he acts?
dent; both, by the constitution, impeachable officers. Is this objection without his consent? If so, it is surely The committee were not restricted in that case, but they using him unfairly; and, if it came from a political foe, did investigate, and made a report, which, in explicit and might be just ground of complaint. But public opinion decisive terms, censures the conduct of the commanding will, at any rate, ascribe this reluctance at inquiry to him. general, and this at a time too when the public pulse beat The resolution to trammel the inquiry comes from his per- high in his favor. sonal and political friends, and it will be believed that it is But, sir, this objection proves too much. There is by his consent, and at his request. Why, it will be in- scarcely a branch of the resolution of inquiry but is liable quired, do you suppress an answer to such a question? If|to the same. The present condition and entire manage. this officer removed does not, in his answer, give the true ment of this department gives us a broad commission incause, cannot you? Do you fear his perjury? You have deed, and we cannot move a single step without being the means to answer and detect liim. Do you fear his exposed to meet, by possibility, impeachable matter. The truth? That is just what we want. A witness who has Senator from New Hampshire is willing for general, but been Assistant Postmaster General thirty years, and against not for particular inquiry as a basis of legislation. What whom no official misconduct has been alleged, is not to be can be mean? What would be general enough to suit liim? lightly esteemed. His testimony would be believed quite Is an inquiry into the causes of removal too * particular." as soon as that of the Postmaster General himself. How are we to inquire into “the entire management of
I remember that an officer, a friend of mine, of high the Post Office Department,” without going into particurespectability, was accused of misconduct, and the charges lars? What prudent man would be satistied with the conwere grave and serious. They were made to President cerns of his farm or plantation, without examining the Monroe at the close of his administration, and he left them detail? to his successor. I expressed to Mr. Adams a strong belief The Senator from Tennessee insinuates strongly that the of the innocence of my friend, and insisted that at least he question which so much afficts him and his friendl, the Postought to be heard in his own defence. To this request master General, is “unbecoming, and calculated to convey in his behalf the President assented--a commission was false impressions." With all due deference to that Senainstituted to bear the parties and evidence. On my return tor, I must take the liberty to be my own judge of prohome, I informed my friend that an inquiry was directed, priety, subject, however, to the discipline which the rules at my request, at which he seemed dissatisfied, and to of the Senate prescribe. Unbecoming! Not suitably rethink it was unnecessary. From that time I began to sus- spectful, I suppose, to the high dignitary to whom it repect, and to regret that I had spoken so confidently to the lated! Unbecoming to inquire of a witness, why this dig. FEB. 7, 1831.]
Post Office Investigation.
nitary did a certain official act? And has it come to this rendered as available funds. Now, were it true that Mr. so soon? Sir, if decorum is to be properly graduated, let McLean had reduced the funds $74,714 15, and had calthis clerk of the President, this new fledged head of a culated $26,541 88 as good, which afterwards turned out department, always solicit, and with all humility, that this to be bad, still is it fair to charge Mr. McLean with an Senate will charitably examine his case, and hear his rea- expenditure of $101,256 03 over his income? But Mr. sons or his excuses. Calculated to convey false impressions! Barry's excess of expenditure over his income from July, How? Impressions are made every where that these re- 1829, to July, 1830, is
$82,000 movals are persecutions. Are these impressions correct Add to this the sum expended by him from April to or false? If false, how can an inquiry into the true cause July, which he has included in the $74,714 15, make them more false than they are?
charged to Mr. McLean's administration, 32,000 These removals may have been made purposely to in- Add, moreover, as in the general appropriation crease Executive power and patronage. If so, a bill like bill,
60,640 that of 1826 may be reported to correct this abuse. If, then, when no proscription in that department had been And you will find that in the first five quarters of felt or even suspected, it was deemed necessary to pre- Mr. Barry's administration, he has expended vent even the possibility of post office patronage, how over and above the income,
174,640 much more is it now necessary to interpose, when every This is not all. Under the act of May, 1828, there one opposed or even suspected is swept off as with a were established two hundred and thirty additional post whirlwind? Then no post office patronage had been felt; routes, at an expense, probably, of $40,000. More ihan even jealousy had scarcely imagined it. Then the Post- half of this expense was, probably, incurred by Mr. master General had not subscribed to the proscription sys. McLean. These routes went into operation in January, tem. The late Postmaster General had never seemed it 1829, and the profits of the first quarter did not fall due consistent with his official duty to require a political creed until April, and were, consequently, not paid in to Mr. as a qualification for office. His inquiries were, “is he McLean, but to Mr. Barry. He admits, also, that the inhonest, capable, and faithful to the constitution?” Adams come from the office has increased in the last year about or Jackson were no questions with him; and had it not $150,000. Now, the appropriation bill of the first year been for this his Roman virtue, he would still have been of Mr. Barry paid him about $10,000 more than it did in retained—the managers had need of his character and in- the last year of Mr. McLean; and with all these facilities, fluence, but they were afraid of his integrity. To keep how does it happen that Mr. Barry has consumed, in five him, they made his department a constituent part of the quarters, $114,000 of the Post Office funds over and above cabinet, that his acts may be under its control. If they the income, received upwards of $10,000 from the genecould get him in their team, they might use him to their ral appropriation bill above the former year, the avails of purpose. But Mr. McLean had too much integrity and the whole first quarter of the new routes established in independence of character to become a machine to execute May, 1828, $150,000 of additional revenue, and yet that a system which he abhorred; he was not proscribed, but the available funds, which, in 1828, were $332,000, should, laid on the political shell. Removals from office are to be in 1830, be down to $148,000? Should we this year apmade for the benefit of the people, for whose protection propriate no more than the $60,640, (the appropriation and safety these officers are established. If officers who of the last,) and the draft upon the surplus fund should were unworthy should have been retained, the error be no greater than for the year 1830, $82,000, the expenshould be corrected; if officers worthy should have been diture for 1831 would consume the whole amount of this displaced for the purpose of providing for others less surplus fund, and the department will be literally bankqualified or vicious, why should not this mischief require rupt. That is, for the first tiine since its establishment, a remedy? In the case before us, it may be that the re- it will fail to support itself, morals in the Post Office Department have created the Now, this aspect of affairs may be erroneous, but I can embarrassment--that there are embarrassments, we have see no error. It presents at least a subject of inquiry. no reason to doubt.
We would examine if these things are so! and, if they Would it not be well, then, to inquire into the causes, are, whether the changes of the officers may not bave and, if these unprecedented removals should have been produced this effect. If Mr. McLean had retained six the causes, to prescribe a remedy?
bundred bad officers, so bad that they deserved to be reIt is most certain that since the present Postmaster Gen- moved even without notice, and his successor had substieral took charge of the department, its movements have tuted as many faithful men in their stead, it would seem a been retrograde.
little strange that while the officers were becoming better, The late Postmaster General, Mr. McLean,
the office was growing worse. In the first aspect of this states that, in 1828, the funds were, $616,394 affair, it would seem that in these exchanges we had made That the bad debts or unavailable funds were 284,289 a bad bargain.
The late Postmaster General had never proscribed-Leaving of available funds at the disposal of
and never inquired of the party feelings of an officer or a the department,
332,105 candidate. Yet, it is believed that, when the present In November, 1829, Mr. Barry has reduced
Chief Magistrate came into office, a decided majority of these funds from $616,394 to
541,680 the postmasters were in his favor. I do not ascribe this From which he deducts the unavail.
majority to any sinister conduct of the late Postmaster able funds reported by his prede
General; it was probably because it was the settled cessor,
plan of the supporters of General Jackson's election, He then deducts further bad debts
that they took care, and were on the alert, to recommend which he pretends to have disco
one of his partisans to fill every vacant office. Take an vered,
example in Maine: in the county of York, my own coun310,830 ty, there were thirty-one postmasters--Jackson twenty
three, Adams eight. One would have supposed that the Leaving a balance of,
$230,850 proportion of twenty-three to eight, in a district that chose He then endeavors to give the cause of this diminution an Adams elector, would have satisfied the most insatiable thus: he says Mr. McLean reduced this fund $101,256 03 and vindictive persecutor; especially as the remaining in this way: he expended $74,714 15, and the residue, eight were offices so insignificant, that they were scarcely $26,541 88, is composed of unavailable, which Mr. McLean worth holding, and most of them, probably, more trouble
(Feb. 7, 1831. than profit. But no! the knife was applied even bere: made to sanctify the means. When Constantinople was three of these have been removed, two resigned “ to save taken by the Turks, Irene, a beautiful Grecian lady, of the trouble," and one remains; and of the remaining two an illustrious family, fell into the hands of Mahomet the I am not certain. Thus we see in a single congressional Second, then in the prime of youth and glory. His sadistrict, the whole post office influence, with custom- vage heart was subdued by her charms; he made her his house officers and all others, brought to bear on the wife, and secluded himself with her, denying access even freedom of election, and then the administration will boast to his ministers. The soldiers, accustomed to activity and of success! An army of officers let loose to dragoon the plunder, began to murmur, and the infection soon spread people, the election is carried, and then you stand upon even among the commanders. The Pacha Mustapha was public opinion. Now, this is the very evil that the inquiry the first to acquaint his master of stories told publicly to is intended to remedy. It is the abuse of public opinion; the prejudice of his glory. The tyrant, after an awful it is the morbid state of the body politic, produced by this pause, formed his resolution: he ordered Mustapha to asdeleterious influence by a subsidized press and a corrupt semble the army, and then retired to Irene's apartment. post office, which we deprecate.
"Never before,” says the historian, “did that princess In New Hampshire there are two hundred and thirty- appear so charming; never before was the prince so apsix postmasters, and between the 4th of March, 1829, parently kind and affectionate.” He ordered her maidens and the 22d March, 1830, forty-five had been removed; to dress ber in the most splendid and costly attire--led her and without any notice, as I am told, of the least com- into the midst of the army, and, taking off her veil, de. plaint against them, except they would not obey your manded of his officers if they had ever beheld such a god, nor worship the image which ye have set up. It is beauty? Then drawing his cimeter, and seizing her by reported to me, and from a source entitled to full credit, her locks, he severed her head from her body at one that a certain distinguished officer of the palace, upon stroke! Then, turning to his grandees, with eyes wild whom this Senate has since stamped its veto, presented on and furious, with the gasping head in one hand, and the one morning a proscription list containing twenty-five, bloody sword in the other -- " This sword,” he exclaimed, with an order that they should be removed, and, without " when it is my will, knows how to cut the bands of love!" examination or scruple, they were all struck from the Thus does a mad ambition extinguish all the tender symurolls at a single dash. sir, it is said that the chief of the pathies and endearing charities of social and domestic life. Cyclops, Polypheinus, would be satisfied with two full Your sword of proscription, regardless of them all, is now grown Greeks for his supper, including fesh, blood, and brandished, reeking with blood. The charms of virtue, bones; but your Postmaster General must, to satisfy his the ties of friendship, the sufferings of revolutionary pamaw, devour twenty-five Yankees at a breakfast! Only triotism, are no protection, no security against this rethink! Insatiable! unconscionable! Twenty-five full lentless monster, proscription. blooded New Hampshire Yankees at a single meal! Such And rivals, sir, when they can agree in a distribution of a monster can scarcely be found even in the regions of power, will each claim to be allowed his proscription list. fiction; but this is a horrid reality.
The triumvirate agreed to divide the Roman Empire, and But every thing is done now upon “high responsi- each to take his share—I do not allude to the first triumbility.” This panoply of oppression and fraud is to shield virate, composed of Julius Cæsar, Pompey, and Crassus: the subordinate officers as well as the President. Every I mean the last-Lepidus, Mark Antony, and Octavius
. It petty tyrant is to cover his crimes by this ægis. No, sir, was concluded to meet on an island in the Rhine to settle the truth must be that neither the President nor his mi- the compact. Each was to be protected by a selected nions can give any good reason for these corrupt and cor- guard, and such is the jealousy of rival politicians, that, rupting measures, and they, therefore, have to resort to in this case, the island must first he searched, to ascertain silence as their only defence against an indignant and in- if assassins were lurking there; next, each of their persulted people. They know, and every one here knows, sons must be examined, to see if there were daggers that the removals have been chiefly made to provide for concealed in their clothes. Finding all safe in these particupartisans, and they are ashamed to acknowledge it. Sir, lars, they proceeded to divide the empire. Both Antony it must be so; for what rational man would not even volun- and Octavius considered Lepidus a sort of dead weight, a teer his reasons, where his motives were just and honora- millstone about their neck; and, to get rid of him, they ble? A gentleman was waked in the night by some one assigned him the West, including Spain, where the Roin his cellar stealing his meat; he jumped out of bed, and man authority was very precàrious.
Mark Antony's went and opened his cellar door. It was all dark: he share was the North, including Gaul; and Octavius took listened; all was still as death. “Who is there?” he in- the South, including Africa, the islands, and the south part quired. No answer. “What are you doing in my cel- of Italy, embracing Rome. lar?” Not a word. “Why don't you speak?” “Why, This being settled, each presented his proscription list faith, sir,” replied the other, “it is because I don't know of those who were to become the victims of this very diswhat to say." Now, these men have got into the people's interested, patriotic distribution of the republic. When cellar, and are making dreadful havoc with the meat, and Octavius saw Cicero, his old friend and preceptor, stand they won't speak, because they don't know what to say. at the head of Antony's list, his youthful heart was horLast session we predicted that irresponsibility, which is ror struck, and he vehemently and peremptorily protested the legitimate meaning of “high responsibility,” would against the barbarous deed. But all would not do; it was descend to the subordinate officers of the Executive de a sine qua non, and ambition at last yielded to the demand; partments; that espionage and proscription would be the lists were all confirmed, and, in consequence, there pursued with a corrupt and cruel hand; and, not being a were assassinated in one night three hundred Senators, subject of inquiry, it would be beyond the people's reach, and two thousand Roman Knights! Proscription here is because it was beyond their means of knowledge. You not yet quite so bloody, nor do I know that each of any see, then, the principle which this resolution involves-- triumvirate here has presented his list. In looking round a principle fit only for tyrants—a rod fit only for slaves. us, however, it would not, I think, require a very fertile Pass this resolution, and you make proscription a legiti- fancy to find an analogy to this triumvirate to which I bave mate work. Pass this resolution, and it is fair to infer referred. You recollect the catastrophe there; I express that each petty, officer of the President will become a no wish in regard to the result here. "I should prefer that partisan tyrant, beyond the reach of the representatives some Brutus should be found to succeed against the whole of the people, and answerable to no luman tribunal. coalition. But if not, if the result is to be the same, and
When ambition is set upon its purpose, the end is always young Octavius is to subdue his rivals, and to become the