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the present campaign, — believing that whatever efforts it might be in my power to make, could be turned to better account in other directions. Two considerations, however, have induced me to deviate from this decision this evening; and both of them have been drawn from what I have found on the printed programme which was sent to me a few days since, and which I hold in my hand at this moment. It seems from this paper, that the National McClellan Legion, of which the Massachusetts Divisions are here assembled, have adopted for their mottu a passage from the farewell remarks addressed to the Army of the Potomac by the gallant leader whose promotion to the Presidency they have so deeply at heart. Of that motto the most striking and significant phrase is the one in which our noble candidate declares to the fellow-officers and fellow-soldiers from whom he was so suddenly and so rashly compelled to part, —“We shall be comrades still, in supporting the Constitution of our country.” Comrades in supporting the Constitution of our country! What prouder or more glorious companionship could any one desire than that? Some of our opponents seem to imagine that they can frighten us from our position, by modestly assuming that they have all the virtues, and all the talents, and all the accomplishments, and all the patriotism, and all the piety, on their side, and by holding up in derision the names of men on our side who, justly or unjustly, have been rendered obnoxious or odious, here or elsewhere. It would be easy to suggest to them, that they could find men equally obnoxious and equally odious in their own ranks, if they would only take the trouble to look for them. And they need not search for them with a candle or a microscope either. But it is enough for ourselves at this hour, that we are comrades in supporting the Constitution of our country. That is a fellowship which we prize above all others; and no consideration of who may be with us, or who may be against us, can induce us to renounce it. This is the one great idea, not of this McClellan Legion only, but of the whole McClellan party throughout the land. This is the one all-important and only important principle on which we are all arrayed against the existing Administration. No true friend of the old Constitution of our Fathers no one who loves and reverences that sacred instrument which was signed by Washington, which was expounded and advocated by Hamilton and Madison and Jay, and which was so grandly defended by Webster — can fail to have marked with the deepest concern and apprehension, how it has been treated by 6 the Powers that be," and how it is habitually spoken of by not a few of the leading supporters of the existing Administration. Who has forgotten the bold and unrebuked declaration of the official leader of the Republican party, on the floor of Congress, that “the Union never shall, with his consent, be restored under the Constitution as it is ” ? Who has forgotten the hardly less bold assertion at Faneuil Hall only a few days ago, that “the necessities of internal war have thrown the nation back upon the first law of nature, and that the present situation is one for which written constitutions make no provision”? Where, where, my friends, are such doctrines as these about to lead us? Where have they led us already? Who does not perceive that when the President and his party renounce the Constitution, they renounce the only authority upon which we have any government at all, - the only authority on which they themselves have any more claim to rule this nation than you or I have ?

I do not forget that exceptional cases will occur in times of great political convulsion which demand exceptional treatment; and I have been disposed, and am still disposed, to make every reasonable allowance for the Administration on this score. Martial law, we all admit, must sometimes be declared, and must sometimes be rigidly executed. But when martial law is deliberately and permanently substituted for almost every other kind of law; when it is promulgated and enforced in places and under circumstances where it has no relation whatever to military affairs; when this extreme medicine of government is adopted and administered as its daily bread; when we see persons arrested and imprisoned, and even sent out of the country without examination or trial at the demand of foreign Powers; when we see newspapers silenced and suppressed at the tinkling of an Executive bell, a thousand miles away from the scene of hostilities; when we find test oaths prescribed by military authorities, like those in Tennessee, striking at the very root of all freedom of elections, and virtually forbidding any votes except for the very party which prescribes the test; when we hear those who have solemnly sworn to support the Constitution proclaiming a prospective and permanent policy in utter disregard and defiance of that great charter of free government, and deriding and denouncing all who are for holding fast to it as it is, --- who can help being alarmed for the future? Who can help feeling that it is time for us to rally to the rescue of our rights, and to become comrades in earnest in supporting the Constitution of our country? Why, listen again, my friends, to that same recognized Republican leader on the floor of Congress. Hear him telling the people of Philadelphia, a few evenings since, that, “by the well-known law of nations, war abrogates all compacts, — that such compacts are never to be revived as they were, and that we are now governed by the laws of war and the laws of nations alone.” What a doctrine is this! The Constitution a mere.compact! A compact, too, which has been already abrogated by war! A compact, still again, which is never to be revived as it was! A compact which has been completely superseded by the laws of war and the laws of nations, by which alone we are now governed! Or take the same general idea as it was enunciated still more recently, and still nearer hoine, by an ex-Governor of Massachusetts, when, instead of recognizing the old division of powers under the Constitution, -- judicial, legislative, and executive, - he declared the three kinds of power to be “ judicial, democratic, and despotic,” and more than intimated that the only kind of power which could be effectively exercised in these times was the despotic! Where again, I ask, are doctrines like these about to land us? Is it not time for the friends of law and order, for the lovers of constitutional liberty and republican government, to make a stand -- a firm and decided stand — against the utter subversion of all those principles and all those institutions which have hitherto made us a free people ? Truly, if such doctrines are to prevail, it is something more than a joke to suggest, that when our fathers established a General Government, they only intended the government of a General. No one, I think, fellow-citizens, can fail to perceive that there are among us, and around us, men who are so eager, so impatient, so frantic, for the entire abolition of domestic slavery in the Southern States, that they are ready to trample under foot every thing of human, or, I had almost said, of Divine law, which seems to stand in their way. A real or imaginary philanthropy is with them, certainly, an all-sufficient excuse for disregarding both the letter and the spirit of the Constitution of our country, — of that very Constitution which not a few of them are solemnly sworn to support. How well might they borrow a lesson of caution from that world-renowned dramatist, the three hundredth anniversary of whose birthday has recently been commemorated in both hemispheres. There are few things more impressive or more beautiful in all the productions of that mighty master, than the language and the thoughts which he has put into the mouth of the accomplished and admirable Portia. You all remember, - none of her own sex certainly can have forgotten,

that after she had pleaded the cause of mercy in the most impassioned and exquisite strains which ever fell from mortal lips, and when her whole soul seemed absorbed with the one idea of accomplishing a signal act of humanity, - it was suddenly suggested to her that the law might for once be wrested from its true intent and rightful interpretation, and she was implored to sanction a little wrong in order to effect a great right. “ To do a great right, do a little wrong,” this was the language addressed to her. But her immediate and noble reply was,

66 It must not be,'twill be recorded for a precedent. And many an error, by the same example, will rush into the State."

I have no claim to be listened to by the leaders of the Republican party, or I would implore them not to forget such words of caution and of wisdom. I would implore them, in pressing their schemes of real or imaginary philanthropy, still to remember the sanctity of the Constitution; still to remember the oath which they have taken to support, preserve, protect, and defend it. I would implore them to beware what examples they set, what precedents they establish, for those who may succeed them in power. I would implore them not to adopt the abhorrent maxim that the end justifies the means,

not to do a little wrong even in order to accomplish what they may consider as a great right. But let me not for a moment be thought to imply that abrogating or violating the Constitution of our country would be only a little wrong. No greater or more irreparable wrong could be perpetrated by man than to set at nought that Constitution which is the only bond of our Union, the only bulwark of our liberty. Abandon that Constitution, or accept the doctrine that it has been abrogated by war, and we are without all government and all law as a nation; we are in a state of national anarchy and chaos. The election of rulers and representatives becomes an empty form, and the inauguration of a President a mere farce and mockery. Abandon the Constitution, and the Ship of State is left tossing upon a shoreless sea, without rudder or compass, liable at any moment to be dashed to pieces on the rocks. And, though I have no heart for pleasantry on such a topic, let me add that if in such a case the good old ship shall escape such a catastrophe, and be rescued from final wreck, it will be only because she will have been treated in advance to a thorough sheathing of copper from stem to stern.

My friends, there is, in my judgment, no hope of rescuing or re-establishing the Union of our country except by adhering resolutely and rigidly to the Constitution of our Fathers, and by seeking exclusively constitutional ends by constitutional means. The Constitution gives ample power to the President and Congress to enforce the laws and to suppress insurrection and rebellion ; but it nowhere authorizes them to go about suppressing and abolishing whatsoever they may please to regard as the cause or causes of the rebellion, and to postpone a restoration of Union and Peace until we have re-organized the whole social structure of the Southern States. Nor does it anywhere contemplate such ideas as subjugation, extermination, or the annihilation of States. President Lincoln himself had the right idea in his head when he resisted the pressure of the Chicago clergymen, and refused for a time to issue a certain memorable proclamation. “We have already,” said he, “an important principle to rally and unite the people, in the fact that Constitutional Government is at stake. That is a fundamental idea, going down about as deep as any thing." Deeper, deeper than any thing, he might well have said. Constitutional Government is the very foundation of all the liberty we enjoy for ourselves, and of all the liberty that we can hope for our children. Other foundation can no man lay than that which has been laid, - Constitutional Government as the basis of all political and civil freedom. Most

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