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Caudine Forks. “Dismiss your captives unmolested and unransomed," said he," or exterminate them to the last man. There is no third counsel.” That was the heroic practice. That was the lesson of heathen morality. And perhaps the sequel of the history may seem to have justified the policy of the advice. But there is, there is a more excellent way. The better principle, if not the better policy, of our Christian times, is that which inculcates moderation, which points out a middle path of forbearance and conciliation, and which avoids and condemns at once the extremes and ultraisms of inaction and of violence. And never was there in my humble judgment, and within the limits of my narrow observation and experience, a period in American history, when just this Christian principle of moderation and forbearance -- discarded, as it is, in so many places where we should most confidently have looked for it - was so much needed for the preservation and protection of all that is dearest to us as a people.

We have, indeed, fallen upon strange times. We hear one of the great political parties, into which our country is divided, indulging in frantic shouts that the institutions of the North — our free labor, our free speech, our free territory -- are all in imminent danger of being overthrown or overrun; and we see vast masses of men among us rushing along in a wild, unreasoning frenzy to their rescue. We hear another great party vociferating with an even noisier clamor in other quarters, that the institutions of the South are in immediate jeopardy, — their property, their slave labor, their equal rights to the enjoyment of common privileges and possessions, — and we see them banding themselves together to meet the assault with whatever of desperate energy a sense of impending wrong can stimulate. Take up a Southern paper, or listen to a Southern speech, and you would suppose that the whole history of this government, from its earliest organization, and a little before, had been one unbroken succession of injuries and oppressions committed by the North upon the South. Take up a Northern paper, or listen to a Northern speech, and you would imagine that there had been no glorious liberty enjoyed, no unrivalled prosperity experienced, no unexampled progress witnessed among us, but that year after year all the hopes and expectations and promises of our free institutions had been blasted and overwhelmed by the aggressions of a domineering and detestable Southern Oligarchy.

Now, fellow-citizens, exaggerated and ridiculously intensified as I hold all such representations on both sides to be, I believe there is as much sincerity in the authors of them at one end of the Union as at the other; and I am not of that class, if any such there be, who hold them to be altogether and absolutely unfounded at either end. Without going into any of the details of the case, at present, on either side, I do not hesitate to express my belief that the success of the Democracy on the principles of the Cincinnati platform and the Ostend Circular would be dangerous to the rightful interests and claims of the free States; and that, on the other hand, the success of the Republican party it might better be called the semi-Republican party, for its organization embraces only about half the republic — would be dangerous to the legitimate power and rights of the Southern States. And I, therefore, rejoice that there is a third party, which sees that out of these two local and sectional dangers is made up one great national danger, — that the whole country is in danger from the success of either of them, and that the best safety of the Union is to be found in the defeat of them both. And most heartily do I wish that this third party could be seen rising up, like an army with banners, in sufficient strength to come effectually between the two angry combatants, who are sacrificing the concord and unity of the nation to their intemperate violence, just as some stout policeman, or some brave and philanthropic bystander, would thrust himself between two quarrelsome customers in the streets, interposing his stalwart form and brawny arm as a barrier to all further blows, and crying No, you don't, to them both. Yes, that's the word, - no, you don't - to both of them. “No, you don't disturb our domestic peace. No, you don't blot out that meinory of common dangers and common glories which has so long bound us together as brethren. No, you don't break up that noble fabric of constitutional law and liberty, which is the best protection of all who enjoy it, and the best hope of all who, at home or abroad, are still struggling in bondage. No, you don't dissolve the Union. Back, both of you, and get cool. No more broken compacts, no more personal assaults, no more challenges and duels, no more sectional strife. Hands off from each others' throats. Back, both of you, and learn to govern yourselves before you presume to govern the country!” That is the spirit, fellow-citizens, in which we are assembled here this evening. That is the spirit in which you and I and all of us, who still cling to the old Whig banner, have come here to ratify the nomination of Millard Fillmore. And that is the spirit in which we believe that he would enter upon his administration, and conduct it safely and prosperously to its close. We seek not to commit the reins of our Chariot of the Sun to any veteran Jehu whose vision may have grown oblique by gazing too intently on the Southern Cross; nor are we quite ready to intrust them to any youthful Phaeton who would incline too closely to the Northern Bear; -- but we would deliver them once more to that experienced and even-handed patriot, who has once guided the fiery coursers safely along the Ecliptic, holding them as steadily upon the track through the perilous passes of the Lion and the Scorpion as over the gentler elevations or declivities of the Virgin and the Scales, and keeping successively in sight, and always and equally in mind, the whole one and thirty stars of our great American Constellation !

Undoubtedly, fellow-citizens, the approaching election is to decide most important issues for our country. And let us rejoice that upon some points of the great controversy which so fearfully agitates the land, a vast majority of the people of New England, and of many States out of New England, entertain but one sentiment. A vast majority of them believe that the old line of separation between the soil that shall be subject to slave labor and the soil which shall know nothing but free labor, ought never to have been obliterated. We hold that the act by which that line was abolished, was both unwisely and unjustly passed. There is not one of us who would not have prevented its passage by any means in our power, and there is not one of us who would not co-operate in any just, practicable, and constitutional mode for remedying the consequences of that fatal repeal. We all hold that Kansas ought to have been, and ought still to be, a free State ; and we all hold that the abhorrent and tyrannical laws which have disgraced an American statute book in that region ought long ago to have been abrogated. These are points, I repeat, on which there are no two opinions among a vast majority of the people of the North. It is utterly unfounded and unjust, therefore, to set forth the controversy in which we are engaged, so far as the Northern States are concerned, as a question between the friends of free labor and the friends of slave labor in the territories. It is a most arbitrary and unjustifiable assumption for any set of men to arrogate to themselves all the concern for Kansas, all the devotion to freedom, all the opposition to the extension of slavery. It is a baseless imputation, -- and I had almost stopped at the first syllable, and pronounced it a base imputation, - on the part of certain gentlemen to ascribe to those who may not happen to agree with them as to their nominations and conventions and sectional parties, any thing of hostility, or any thing of indifference, to the rightful interests of free labor, or free speech, or free soil, or free men, or any other description of free thing, unless it be Fremont. If they choose to make that issue with the South, let them make it; but here, at the North, so far as the Fillmore Whigs at least are concerned, it is altogether a false issue, - unfounded in any thing but their own determination to make capital for themselves at the expense of their neighbors, and at the expense of justice and of truth.

There seem to be not a few men among us at this moment who content themselves with the briefest form of syllogistic statement, I will not call it reasoning, in regard to their duties to the country in the present emergency, and who do not scruple moreover to take all their premises for granted. This is a contest, say they, between freedom and slavery; we are for freedom; ergo, we vote for Fremont. And when a suggestion is made that Mr. Fillmore is a man, as he is, who has always been true to every just interest and rightful claim of the North as well as the South, and will be so still, they leap as suddenly and as blindly to the arbitrary and unwarranted conclusion, – that every vote given for Fillmore is indirectly a vote for Buchanan ; ergo, again, we vote for Fremont. They shut their eyes and shut their ears to the fact, that in at least fifteen States of this Union the only


votes given against Mr. Buchanan will be those for Mr. Fillmore,

that there are no other names recognized as candidates in all those States, — and that unless they desire to see the whole phalanx of Southern States marshalled in solid column and witli absolute unanimity for Buchanan, Mr. Fillmore is to be and must be supported.

And even here in Massachusetts, what pretence is there for this off-hand and ill-considered declaration? In my judgment, not a particle. It is utterly unfounded that every vote, or any vote, cast for Millard Fillmore in Massachusetts — as mine will be-is indirectly given for Mr. Buchanan. No such intention exists, as I believe, on the part of those who give such votes, and no such result can in any likelihood be produced. It would be far more just to say, that those who have nominated Mr. Fremont have taken the responsibility, or certainly have taken the risk, of electing Mr. Buchanan, if he shall be elected. Mr. Fillmore was first in the field, a Northern man, who had done his duty to both parts of the Union and to the whole country, and whose had been sustained and commended not only by those great Whig leaders, Clay and Webster, who are now no more, but by a large number of the living men who are now arrayed against him. He could have been chosen beyond the shadow of a doubt, if the old Whig party of the North would have come up in a line to his support. By him the Buchanan party could have been beaten, and could still be beaten, - it is not even now too late, -- and the ruthless repealers of the Missouri Compromise rebuked and routed. And if Mr. Buchanan and the Southern Democracy shall succeed in the end, it will be because Northern men, not satisfied with a Northern nomination every way fit to be made, and in which all sections of the country had united, insisted on organizing an extreme party, composed naturally and necessarily and intentionally of the free States alone. In this view, it might, I repeat, be far more justly said, that every vote given for Fremont is a vote indirectly given for Buchanan.

But, say these gentlemen, a vote for Mr. Fillmore is simply thrown away, and we have heard some weak words from sensible men comparing such a vote to firing at a target. Well now, it would puzzle a Philadelphia lawyer - my friend, who is to

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