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with our enemies, as with those who may one day become our friends.

And now, gentlemen, let me turn for a few moments, and in this spirit, to the immediate questions we are assembled to consider. For the first time since its formation, the Whig party of the State and nation is called upon to take the field, if it takes the field at all, not so much as an independent phalanx, to advance any distinct objects, and promote the success of any distinct candidates of its own,-it acknowledges itself too feeble to attempt that, — but as an auxiliary force, to advance the cause and sustain the candidates of that one of the three other parties of the country which shall most nearly approve itself to our best judgment. We are here for no purposes of ratification or of coalition, in any just sense of those terms,— nor, indeed, in any

But if I may be allowed to borrow an illustration from scenes suggested to me by a morning's sail from Nahant, I would liken our party at this moment to one of those loaded cars which are so often seen dragged from one side to the other of some inland steamer, to turn the scale at a critical moment of its navigation, and to give it a better chance of passing safely through some intricate channel, or along some perilous shore. not be able to furnish a hand of our own for the helm; we may not even be able to supply any great amount of propelling power to the keel; but we may throw our weight in a direction to keep the ship of state more steadily and safely on its course, and to prevent it from dashing upon the breakers, or even from sliding upon the banks. The great want of that gallant bark at this moment is well-adjusted ballast, and if we shall do something towards supplying that want, we shall have deserved well of our country.

And what is the question which ought to present itself first and foremost to our careful and conscientious consideration in the discharge of this humble but most important service?

It is not in my judgment, gentlemen, a question of party platforms. No honest man can have watched the course of politics for half-a-dozen years without realizing that the resolutions of conventions are slippery things for anybody to stand upon, and treacherous things for the people to trust to. We all know,

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for we all have seen, how phrases may be artfully cooked up so as to convey a great deal more, or a great deal less, than they are really intended to mean, and so as to be one thing at Cincinnati or Philadelphia, and another thing at Boston, Charleston, or New Orleans. The great art of modern political platform-making seems to be the art of suppression, equivocation, and paltering in a double sense;" as if language had really been invented only to conceal the meaning of those who employ it. And no man has uttered a juster sentiment than that eminent leader of the Temperance cause, Mr. Delavan of Albany, in his admirable speech in favor of Mr. Fillmore, when he declared that it was the man, and not the platform, that he felt bound to regard.

But the question, in my judgment, is not one of men, or of candidates, merely. There is not one of the candidates now before the country of whom I would utter an unkind or disparaging word, and I rejoice that out of all the confusion and collision of the times has come at least one good result, - that of compelling all parties to nominate for the great offices of the Republic, men of unexceptionable private character, and of more than ordinary ability and endowments. If Mr. Buchanan has thought it necessary to transform himself into a platform, for the purposes of the campaign, I doubt not he will be seen turning back again into a man, and an able and worthy man, after it is over. For Mr. Fremont I entertain nothing but respect and esteem. Our seats were next to each other during his brief term in the Senate of the United States, and I was a witness to his intelligent and faithful service. Our homes in Washington were within a biscuit's throw of each other for a much longer period, and I can bear the most cordial testimony to the attractions and accomplishments of more than one of those beneath his roof. His scientific attainments and explorations have reflected the highest credit on his country as well as on himself,— though I do confess that a certain Royal Geographical Medal, which was so worthily bestowed upon him, has a somewhat ominous ring in my ears just now, in connection with the peculiar composition and character of the party of which he is the chosen Representative. I had rather have geographical accomplishments displayed in any other sphere whatever, than in running out the boundary lines of political parties.

For the gentleman associated with Col. Fremont, as a candidate for the Vice-Presidency, I cannot restrain a still warmer expression of personal regard and friendship. I have known him as a messmate for four or five years in succession. We have consulted together and acted together during many of the most exciting scenes of our Congressional service, and if I ever differed from him, upon any occasion, it was with an unfeigned mistrust of my own judgment. We voted alike, I believe, on almost every question relating to the Compromises of 1850, including the question of the Ten Million Texas Boundary Bill; and I am glad to perceive that certain gentlemen, not a thousand miles off, have so far relaxed their views, as to find themselves able to sustain the Republican candidate for the Vice-Presidency in a course of proceeding, for which they thought no condemnation of myself too severe. Gentlemen, I can truly say, that if any mere personal attachments were to govern my course at the coming election, no name has been presented to the people which would weigh more with me than that of my friend, William L. Dayton, of New Jersey.

But the issues of the coming election to my mind, fellowWhigs, rise far, far above all consideration of persons as well as of platforms. What is to be the influence, the immediate influence and the permanent influence, upon this whole great country of ours, and upon all the interests of that country, and upon all the relations by which it is held together as one country, under one Constitution and with one destiny, — what, I repeat, is to be the direct or the ultimate and upshot influence, upon our whole country, of the triumph of one or the other of the political parties which are now arrayed against each other for the conflict ? This is the question most worthy, and I had almost said, alone worthy of the attention of any one who calls himself an American patriot. I include, most certainly I include, the condition of Kansas and the unhappy struggle which is now going on there, as a part, and a most important part, of this question; but not as the whole of it,- never, never as the whole. The whole of my country must always be more to me than any part.

I cannot forget, moreover, that there are diseases in the political, as well as in the physical system, for which mere local applications and mere topical treatment are utterly insufficient and often injurious, and where the only hope of a radical cure is in purifying and invigorating and building up anew the general health of the patient. Wise physicians in such cases prescribe what I believe they call an alterative medicine. And this deplorable Kansas malady will, in my opinion, prove to be precisely one of this class of disorders. It demands an alterative; and those who rely so much upon direct applications for the relief of the superficial symptoms, distressing as they are, will find themselves, I fear, grievously disappointed.

Now, gentlemen, if I contemplate, on the one side, the renewed success of the Democratic party at the approaching election, identified, as it is, with what I must always consider as the unwarrantable as well as most impolitic overthrow of the Missouri Compromise, and with so many of the calamitous consequences which have resulted from that repeal, — identified as it is, moreover, in the person of its immediate candidate for the Presidency with the Ostend Conference, and with the unjustifiable foreign policy therein disclosed and avowed, — I can see before us no promise, and but little prospect, of either domestic or foreign peace. There is no alterative here.

On the contrary, such a result presents to my mind nothing but an indefinite continuance and prolongation of that wretched state of things which has distressed the heart of every true patriot for the last six or seven months,- fears without and fightings within, the abomination of desolation standing where it ought not, fresh conflicts upon our own soil springing from the squatter-sovereignty doctrines which have been so disastrously inaugurated in Kansas, and fresh panics of war with foreign powers, disturbing our trade and finances, and to be followed, perhaps, by the dread catastrophe itself.

I do not forget the adroitness with which Mr. Marcy has conducted so much of the foreign correspondence of the government, during the past year or two. I give the Democratic party all due credit for the ability with which it has sometimes extricated the country from the dangers of war, and for its determined effort to maintain unimpaired the integrity of the Union. But I cannot fail to remember, also, how often that party has rashly and recklessly created those very emergencies, both at home and abroad, which it has been so prompt and patriotic in meeting; and I cannot find it in my conscience to join hands with those who exhibit so constant a proclivity to bring about the very dangers, domestic and foreign, which they afterwards call upon us to aid them in averting. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

If I turn, on the other hand, to a contemplation of the triumph of the Republican party, I perceive clouds and darkness, by no means less dense or threatening, resting upon the future of our domestic peace. It is no new thing for me, my friends, to resist the organization of a party on a basis which naturally and necessarily excludes from its ranks one-half of the States of the Union. It is now nine years since I was first called on to meet this question in a Whig convention under circumstances not to be forgotten. I have no desire to revive past controversies with anybody, but I have always rejoiced at the stand which was taken, and at the success which was achieved, on that occasion. I have

I always rejoiced that the Whigs of Massachusetts did not cut themselves off by a rash resolution from the opportunity of giving their votes for the gallant and generous TAYLOR, — notwithstanding that he was one of that “ tyrannical oligarchy” which is now held up to such daily reproach and vituperation by those who might be better employed. I adhere unchangeably to the views and principles on which I acted at Springfield in 1847. I hold now, as I held then, that the day which witnesses the triumph of a party organized upon a single anti-slavery principle, will be a day of darker omen to our country, than any which has yet occurred in its calendar. It is easy, I know, to exaggerate that danger on one side, and it is equally easy to ridicule all idea of danger on the other. It is easy to cry, wolf, wolf, like the lad in the fable, until every one shall become heedless of such appeals; and it is equally easy to forget the fact which the same fable discloses, that the wolf may come in the end, after all such, fears have been dispelled.

I am not one of those who think that the South ought not to submit, or will not submit, to the primary result of any fairly conducted popular election. I like the spirit of that excellent Whig, Edward Bates, of Missouri, who, in a recent speech in

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