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front chamber above the parlor, he arranged the specimens of art and the books he had secured abroad, and there for many years pursued his literary course. His books were his society, his pen the instrument of his toil. He labored unremittingly; now delving into classical lore, now poring over the tomes of mediaeval learning, now studying the works of the French and English statesmen, and now communing with the spirits of the Revolutionary patriots,--Adams, Ames, Jay, Franklin, Jefferson, Hamilton, Washington. To use the language which he loved, it could be truly said of him,--Come l'ape succhia i fiori, Succhia i detti de‘ migliori. Thus he treasured up that precious store of facts, principles, and illustrations with which he embellished (sometimes at the risk of being called a pedant) his discourses. He resumed the practice of the law: but his thoughts were given rather to its principles and its literature than to its prosaic and dry details; and he therefore found it a rel
he Union was introduced by Southern members into Congress. This republic, which had declared itself free from Mexican rule in 1835, embraced an area of 237,500 square miles, extending from the Sabine and Red Rivers on the east, to the Rio Grande (as some held), separating it from Mexico, on the west. The acquisition of such a vast extent of territory would give the slave states the command of the Gulf of Mexico, and insure to them the balance of political power. It would give, said Gen. James Hamilton, a Gibraltar to the South; and Texas or disunion! became the Southern war-cry. Mr. Webster, with the Whig party, opposed the annexation; and Mr. Van Buren said it would in all human probability draw after it a war with Mexico. On this question turned the election of James K. Polk, in 1844; and three days previous to the expiration of his term of office, John Tyler signed the bill for the annexation of Texas to the United States. On the 4th of July, 1845, the Texan legislature appr