the task, of construing the Constitution of a great nation, as you would an indictment to rescue a culprit.
His object was to preserve and enforce it, not to escape from it by little technical subterfuges.
He wished to perpetuate, not to destroy.
He gave no countenance to a doctrine, an innovation which would be fatal to the Federal Government, fatal to the Union, and fatal to the hopes of liberty and humanity, and present a catastrophe at which all ought to shudder.
Mr. Webster and Mr. Adams, too, have been invoked to support the heresy.
If their spirits had been permitted to revisit the Senate Chamber, so often the theatre of their fame and glory, and to have heard the invocation, can you not imagine the sternness and indignation with which they would instantly have rebuked so unfounded an imputation on their wisdom and patriotism — Webster the advocate or the apologist of secession?
His speech already referred to, of January, 1830, in almost every line o