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known and admitted power to alter or heart is full, and I have not been willing amend the Constitution, peaceably and to suppress the utterance of its sponquietly, whenever experience shall point taneous sentiments. I cannot, even now, out defects
imperfections. And, persuade myself to relinquish it, without finally, the people of the United States expressing once more my deep conviction, have at no time, in no way, directly or in- that, since it respects nothing less than directly, authorized any state legislature the union of the states, it is of most vital to construe or interpret their high instru- and essential importance to the public ment of government; much less, to inter- happiness. I profess, Sir, in my career fere, by their own power, to arrest its hitherto, to have kept steadily in view the course and operation.
prosperity and honor of the whole counIf, Sir, the people in these respects had try, and the preservation of our Federal done otherwise than they have done, their Union. It is to that Union we owe our constitution could neither have been pre- safety at home, and our consideration served, nor would it have been worth and dignity abroad. It is to that Union preserving. And if its plain provisions that we are chiefly indebted for whatshall now be disregarded, and these new ever makes us most proud of our country. doctrines interpolated in it, it will be- That Union we reached only by the discome as feeble and helpless a being as its cipline of our virtues in the severe school enemies, whether early or more recent, of adversity. It had its origin in the necould possibly desire. It will exist in cessities of disordered finance, prostrate every state but as a poor dependent on commerce, and ruined credit. Under its state permission. It must borrow leave benign influences, these great interests to be; and will be, no longer than state immediately awoke, as from the dead, pleasure, or state discretion, sees fit to and sprang forth with new.css of life. grant the indulgence, and to prolong its Every year of its duration has teemed poor existence.
with fresh proofs of its utility and its But, Sir, although there are fears, blessings; and although our territory has there are hopes also. The people have stretched out wider and wider, and our preserved this, their own chosen Constitu- population spread farther and farther, tion, for forty years, and have seen their they have not outrun its protection or its happiness, prosperity, and renown grow benefits. It has been to us all a copious with its growth, and strengthen with its fountain of national, social, and personal strength. They now, generally, happiness. strongly attached to it. Overthrown by I have not allowed myself, Sir, to look direct assault, it cannot be; evaded, un- beyond the Union, to see what might lie dermined, NULLIFIED, it will not be, hidden in the dark recess behind. I have if we, and those who shall succeed us not coolly weighed the chances of prehere, as agents and representatives of the serving liberty when the bonds that unite people, shall conscientiously and vigilantly us together shall be broken asunder. I discharge the two great branches of our have not accustomed myself to hang over public trust, faithfully to preserve, and the precipice of disunion, to see whether, wisely to administer it.
with my short sight, I can fathom the Mr. President, I have thus stated the depth of the abyss below; nor could I rereasons of my dissent to the doctrines gard him as a safe counsellor in the afwhich have been advanced and main- fairs of this government, whose thoughts tained. I am conscious of having de- should be mainly bent on considering, tained you and the Senate much too long. not how the Union may be best preserved, I was drawn into the debate with no pre- but how tolerable might be the condition vious deliberation, such as is suited to the of the people when it should be broken discussion of so grave and important a up and destroyed. While the Union subject. But it is a subject of which my lasts, we have high, exciting, gratifying
prospects spread out before us, for us and and honored throughout the earth, still our children. Beyond that I seek not to full high advanced, its arms and tropenetrate the veil. God grant that in phies streaming in their original lustre, my day, at least, that curtain may not not a stripe erased or polluted, nor a sinrise. God grant that on my vision never gle star obscured, bearing for its motto, may be opened what lies behind! When no such miserable interrogatory as “What my eyes shall be turned to behold for the is all this worth ?" nor those other words last time the sun in heaven, may I not of delusion and folly, "Liberty first and see him shining on the broken and dis- Union afterwards”; but everywhere, honored fragments of a once glorious spread all over in characters of living Union; on states dissevered, discordant, light, blazing on all its ample folds, as belligerent; on a land rent with civil they float over the sea and over the land, feuds, or drenched, it may be, in fra- and in every wind under the whole heav. ternal blood! Let their last feeble and ens, that other sentiment, dear to every lingering glance rather behold the gor- true American heart-Liberty and Ungeous ensign of the republic, now known ion, now and forever, one and inseparable!
MAHOMET, THE HERO PROPHET
THOMAS CARLYLE The eccentric, brilliant, occasionally explosive prose of Thomas Carlyle (1795-1881) stands out in sharp contrast with the quiet prose-melodies of other Victorians. Fiery in nature, the Scotch historian dauntlessly attacks huge tasks—a history of the French Revolution, a life of Frederick the Great, and yet another of Cromwell. These works glow with the ardor of compelling enthusiasm. A born hero-worshiper himself, he boldly asserts that history is but the biography of great men, and is easily convinced that sincerity and dynamic energy are the twin virtues of greatness. Mahomet is Carlyle's representative of “The Hero as Prophet," Lecture II. of Heroes and Hero-Worship (1841).
From the first rude times of Paganism maker of this world? Perhaps not: it among the Scandinavians in the North, was usually some man they remembered, we advance to a very different epoch of or had seen. But neither can this any religion, among a very different people: more be. The Great Man is not recogMahometanism among the Arabs. A nized henceforth as a god any more. great change; what a change and pro- It was a rude gross error, that of gress is indicated here, in the universal counting the Great Man a god. Yet let condition and thoughts of men!
us say that it is at all times difficult to The Hero is not now regarded as a know what he is, or how to account of God among his fellow-men; but as one him and receive him! The most signifiGod-inspired, as a Prophet. It is the cant feature in the history of an epoch is second phasis of Hero-worship: the the manner it has of welcoming a Great first or oldest, we may say, has passed Man. Ever, to the true instincts of men, away without return; in the history of there is something godlike in him. the world there will not again be any Whether they shall take him to be a god, man, never so great, whom his fellow- to be a prophet, or what they shall take men will take for a god. Nay we might him to be? that is ever a grand question; rationally ask, Did any set of human be- by their way of answering that, we shall ings ever really think the man they saw see, as through a little window, into the there standing beside them a god, the very heart of these men's spiritual condi
tion. For at bottom the Great Man, as 1The first was “The Hero as Divinity"
he comes from the hand of Nature, is (Odin).
ever the same kind of thing: Odin,
Luther, Johnson, Burns; I hope to make be now untenable to any one. The lies, it appear that these are all originally of which well-meaning zeal has heaped one stuff; that only by the world's recep- round this man, are disgraceful to ourtion of them, and the shapes they assume, selves only. When Pocock inquired of are they so immeasurably diverse. The Grotius, Where the proof was of that worship of Odin astonishes us to fall story of the pigeon, trained to pick peas prostrate before the Great Man, into from Mahomet's ear, and pass for an andeliquium of love and wonder over him, gel dictating to him? Grotius answered and feel in their hearts that he was that there was no proof! It is really time denizen of the skies, a god! This was to dismiss all that. The word this man imperfect enough: but to welcome, for spoke has been the life-guidance now of a example, a Burns as we did, was that hundred-and-eighty millions of men these what we can call perfect? The most twelve-hundred years. These hundredprecious gift that Heaven can give to the and-eighty millions were made by God as Earth; a man of "genius” as we call it; well as we. A greater number of God's the Soul of a Man actually sent down creatures believe in Mahomet's word at from the skies with a God's-message to us, this hour, than in any other word what—this we waste away as an idle artificial Are we to suppose that it was a firework, sent to amuse us a little, and miserable piece of spiritual legerdemain, sink it into ashes, wreck and ineffectu- this which so many creatures of the Alality: such reception of a Great Man I mighty have lived by and died by? I, do not call very perfect either! Looking for my part, cannot form any such supinto the heart of the thing, one may per- position. I will believe most things haps call that of Burns a still uglier phe- sooner than that. One would be ennomenon, betokening still sadder imper- tirely at a loss what to think of this world fections in mankind's ways, than the at all, if quackery so grew and were Scandinavian method itself! To fall into sanctioned here. mere unreasoning deliquium of love and Alas, such theories are very lamentable. admiration, was not good; but such un- If we would attain to knowledge of anyreasoning, nay irrational supercilious no- thing in God's true Creation, let us love at all is perhaps still worse !—It is disbelieve them wholly! They are the proa thing forever changing, this of Hero- duct of an Age of Scepticism; they indiworship: different in each age, difficult cate the saddest spiritual paralysis, and to do well in any age. Indeed the heart mere death-life of the souls of men: more of the whole business of the age, one may godless theory, I think, was never prosay, is to do it well.
mulgated in this Earth. A false man We have chosen Mahomet not as the found a religion? Why, a false man most eminent Prophet; but as the one we cannot build a brick house! If he do are freest to speak of. He is by no not know and follow truly the properties means the truest of Prophets; but I do of mortar, burnt clay and what else he esteem him a true one. Farther, as there works in, it is no house that he makes, is no danger of our becoming, any of us, but a rubbish-heap. It will not stand Mahometans, I mean to say all the good for twelve centuries, to lodge a hundredof him I justly can.
It is the way to
and-eighty millions; it will fall straightget at his secret: let us try to understand way. A man must conform himself to what he meant with the world; what the Nature's laws, be verily in communion world meant and means with him, will with Nature and the truth of things, or then be a more answerable question. Our Nature will answer him, No, not at all! current hypothesis about Mahomet, that Speciosities specious—ah me!-a he was a scheming Imposter, a Falsehood Cagliostro, many Cagliostros, prominent incarnate, that his religion is a mere mass world-leaders, do prosper by their quackof quackery and fatuity, begins really to ery, for a day. It is like a forged bank
note; they get it passed out of their utters are as no other man's words. Diworthless hands: others, not they, have to rect from the Inner Fact of things ;-he smart for it. Nature bursts-up in fire- lives, and has to live, in daily communion flames, French Revolutions and suchlike, with that. Hearsays cannot hide it from proclaiming with terrible veracity that him; he is blind, homeless, miserable, folforged notes are forged.
lowing hearsays; it glares-in upon him. But of a Great Man especially, of him Really his utterances, are they not a kind I will venture to assert that it is in- of “revelation";—what we must call such credible he should have been other than for want of some other name? It is true. It seems to me the primary foun- from the heart of the world that he dation of him, and of all that can lie comes; he is a portion of the primal in him, this. No Mirabeau, Napoleon, reality of things. God has made many Burns, Cromwell, no man adequate to do revelations: but this man, too, has not anything, but is first of all in right earnest God made him, the latest and newest of about it; what I call a sincere man. I all? The “inspiration of the Almighty should say sincerity, a deep, great, genu- giveth him understanding": we must lisine sincerity, is the first characteristic of ten before all to him. all men in any way heroic. Not the sincerity that calls itself sincere; ah no, that This Mahomet, then, we will in no is a very poor matter indeed ;-a shallow wise consider as an Inanity and Thebraggart conscious sincerity; oftenest
atrically, a poor conscious ambitious self-conceit mainly. The Great Man's schemer; we cannot conceive him so. sincerity is of the kind he cannot speak The rude message he delivered was a real of, is not conscious of: nay, I suppose, he one withal; an earnest confused voice is conscious rather of insincerity; for what from the unknown Deep. The man's man can walk accurately by the law of words were not false, nor his workings truth for one day? No, the Great Man here below; no Inanity and Simulacrum; does not boast himself sincere, far from a fiery mass of Life cast-up from the great that; perhaps does not ask himself if he bosom of Nature herself. To kindle the is so: I would say rather, his sincerity world; the world's Maker had ordered it does not depend on himself; he cannot Neither can the faults, imperfechelp being sincere! The great Fact of tions, insincerities even, of Mahomet, if Existence is great to him. Fly as he will, such were never so well proved against he cannot get out of the awful presence him, shake this primary fact about him. of this Reality. His mind is so made; he On the whole, we make too much of is great by that, first of all. Fearful and faults; the details of the business hide the wonderful, real as Life, real as Death, is real centre of it. Faults? The greatthis Universe to him. Though all men est of faults, I should say, is to be conshould forget its truth, and walk in a scious of none. Readers of the Bible vain show, he cannot. At all moments above all, one would think, might know the Flame-image glares-in upon him; un- better. Who is called there "the man deniable, there, there! I wish you to take according to God's own heart"? David, this as my primary definition of a Great the Hebrew King, had fallen into sins Man. A little man may have this, it is enough; blackest crimes; there was no competent to all men that God has made: want of sins. And thereupon the unbebut a Great Man cannot be without it. lievers sneer and ask, Is this your man
Such a man is what we call an original according to God's heart? The sneer, I man; he comes to us at first-hand. A must say, seems to me but a shallow one. messenger he, sent from the Infinite Un
What are faults, what are the outward known with tidings to us. We may call details of a life; if the inner secret of it, him Poet, Prophet, God in one way the remorse, temptations, true, oftenor other, we all feel that the words he baffled, never-ended struggle of it, be
forgotten?"It is not in man that walk- where as the standard of all law and all eth to direct his steps.” Of all acts, is practice; the thing to be gone-upon in not, for a man, repentance the most di- speculation and life: the message sent divine? The deadliest sin, I say, were that rect out of Heaven, which this Earth has same supercilious consciousness of no sin; to conform to, and walk by; the thing to —that is death; the heart so conscious is be read. Their Judges decide by it; all divorced from sincerity, humility and Moslem are bound to study it, seek in it fact; is dead: it is “pure” as dead dry for the light of their life. They have sand is pure. David's life and history, mosques where it is all read daily; thirty as written for us in those Psalms of his, I relays of priests take it up in succession, consider to be the truest emblem ever get through the whole each day. There, given of a man's moral progress and war- for twelve-hundred years, has the voice fare here below. All earnest souls will of this Book, at all moments, kept soundever discern in it the faithful struggle of ing through the ears and the hearts of so an earnest human soul towards what is
many men. We hear of Mahometan good and best. Struggle often baffled, Doctors that had read it seventy-thonsore baffled, down as into entire wreck; sand times ! yet a struggle never ended; ever, with Very curious: if one sought for “distears, repentance, true unconquerable pur-crepancies of national taste," here surely pose, begun anew. Poor human nature! were the most eminent instance of that! Is not a man's walking, in truth, always We also can read the Koran; our Transthat: "a succession of falls”? Man can lation of it, by Sale, is known to be a do no other. In this wild element of a very fair one. I must say, it is as toilLife, he has to struggle onward; now some reading as I ever undertook. A fallen, deep-abased; and ever, with tears, wearisome confused jumble, crude, inconrepentance, with bleeding heart, he has dite; endless iterations, long-windedness, to rise again, struggle again still onwards. entanglement; most crude, incondite ;That his struggle be a faithful uncon- insupportable stupidity, in short! Nothquerable one: that is the question of ing but a sense of duty could carry any questions. We will put-up with many European through the Koran. We read sad details, if the soul of it were true. in it, as we might in the State-Paper Details by themselves will never teach us Office, unreadable masses of lumber, that what it is. I believe we misestimate Ma- perhaps we may get some glimpses of a homet's faults even as faults: but the remarkable man. It is true we have it secret of him will never be got by dwell- under disadvantages: the Arabs see more ing there. We will leave all this behind method in it than we.
Mahomet's folus; and assuring ourselves that he did lowers found the Koran lying all in fracmean some true thing, ask candidly what tions, as it had been written-down at first it was or might be.
promulgation; much of it, they say, or shoulder-blades of mutton, Aung pellmell
into a chest: and they published it, withIt was during [the] wild warfarings out any discoverable order as to time or and strugglings, especially after the otherwise ;-merely trying, would Flight to Mecca, that Mahomet dictated seem, and this not very strictly, to put the at intervals his Sacred Book, which they longest chapters first. The real beginname Koran or Reading, “Thing to be ning of it, in that way, lies almost at the read.” This is the Work he and his dis- end: for the earliest portions were the ciples made so much of, asking all the shortest. Read in its historical sequence world, Is not that a miracle? The Ma- it perhaps would not be so bad. Much hometans regard their Koran with a of it, too, they say, is rhythmic; a kind of reverence which few Christians pay even wild chanting song, in the original. This to their Bible. It is admitted every- may be a great point; much perhaps has