planted us in this Western world, and at the same time,
placed along side of us the African, who was finally to
be our overthrow and ruin."
" When I think of the controversy, David, now raging
between the North and South, the African appears alone
to be the apple of discord. If he were out of the ques-
tion, the harmony of the Union would be safe and undis-
turbed. We are not distracted in any other respect."
" That is a mortifying spectacle for this great nation to
present, uncle. Our whole political machinery works
discordant in consequence of this African ingredient in
our body politic."
"i That is true, David, and must be obvious to the most
superficial observer. Our National Government is almost
prostrated. So numerous are the factions in Congress, so
split up and divided are the members of the Lower House,
that a majority cannot unite in the election of Speaker.
After fifty-two ballots, no choice has been made; and
without one, there can be no organization of the House.
What may be the final result, no one can tell; but even
if a speaker be elected, still the government is incapable
of any definite action. It will be a mere incubus upon
the country. As to its fulfilling the great objects of its
creation, that 'is foreign to the hope.' The great interests
of the nation must suffer and be neglected. I can see no
" not this an extremely unfortunate position for this
nation to be in, uncle, at this critical conjuncture in the
affairs of the old world " Our divisions and distractions
produce weakness, and weakness invites insult and
"So it seems to me, David. The alliance between
England and France was not only to circumscribe and
humble Russia, but extends to this hemisphere. We, too,
must feel their chastening rod, and be brought to lick
the dust from their proud and haughty feet, so soon as
this war with Russia can be brought to an honorable close."
" The great SPIRIT of WASHINGTON, uncle, if it could
be invoked to look down upon our feeble and helpless
national condition, would weep over the distractions and
follies of his countrymen1."