"Our government has lost its capacity for action,
David. Anarchy, confusion, and bloodshed must follow;
then despotism steps in to close the scene. Thus all
ancient republics have fallen, and can we escape a similar
fate One remarkable fact will strike the attention in
reading the history of nations, that LIBERTY can be easily
lost, but never can be permanently regained."
" That makes her, uncle, so precious a jewel-a jewel
that can only be preserved by eternal vigilance. 'Why
are not all mankind free How came they to be other-
wise Let the response come up from England, France-
nay, all the nations of the earth."
" But one response, David, could be heard, and that
would be, We were incapable of appreciating and preserv-
ing so great a blessing-so valuable a jewel as liberty.
Though the confession would be derogatory to the intelli-
gence of our race, yet it would be true. France recently
had it in her power to be free-was free-but she soon
bowed her neck, gentle as a lamb, under the iron yoke of
Louis Napoleon. England has beheaded kings, but the
work was in vain-in the end, monarchy was re-estab-
lished. Rome had her commonwealth-it perished; the
die was cast when Caesar passed the Rubicon. Pompey
fell, and with him liberty vanished. The usurper was
slain in the Senate house, by Brutus, Cassius, and others.
His death, however, did not put an end to tyranny-that
endured while Rome had an existence."
"These are historic truths, uncle, and should impress
upon the minds of all the weighty responsibility of main-
taining, in their vigor and purity, our Free Institutions, and
transmiting them unimpaired to succeeding generations.
Oh ! what a rich heritage has descended to us ! Shall it
be said of those now living, they were incapable of its
preservation My humble aim has been to strengthen
the bonds of the Union, to show its immense value to
our happiness, individually and collectively, and warn
my countrymen of the dangers that now environ it. If
my efforts, however feeble, have had a tendency to nerve
their arms in its defense, I shall retire satisfied to the
sunny fields of the South, there to await, with fearful
anxiety, the momentous issues of the future."