me that he, in his speech to-day, pointed out anything I had stated, respecting him: as being erroneous.
I presume there is no such thing.
I have reason to be gratified that the care and caution used in that speech, left it so that he, most of all others interested in discovering error, has not been able to point out one thing against him which he could say was wrong.
He seizes upon the doctrines he supposes to be included in that speech, and declares that upon them will turn the issues of this campaign.
He then quotes, or attempts to quote, from my speech.
I will not say that he willfully misquotes, but he does fail to quote accurately.
His attempt at quoting is from a passage which I believe I can quote accurately from memory.
I shall make the quotation now, with some comments upon it, as I have already said, in order that the Judge
shall be left entirely without excuse for misrepresenting me. I do so now, as I hope, for the last time.
I do this in great caution, in order that if he repeats his misrepresentation, it, shall be plain to all that he does so willfully.
If, after all, he still persists, I shall be compelled to reconstruct the course I have marked out for myself; and draw upon such humble resources as I have, for a new course, better suited to the real exigencies of the case.
I set out, in this campaign, with the intention of conducting it strictly as a gentleman, in substance at least, if not in the outside polish.
The latter I shall never be, but that which constitutes the inside of a gentleman I hope I understand, and am not less inclined to practice than others.
It was my purpose and expectation that this canvass would be conducted upon principle, and with fairness on both sides, and it shall not be my fault if this purpose and expectation shall be given up.
He charges, in substance, that I invite a war of sections; that I propose all the local institutions of the different States shall become consolidated and uniform.
What is there in the language of that speech which expresses such purpose, or bears such construction?
I have again and again said that I would not enter into any of the States to disturb the institution of slavery. Judge Douglas
said, at Bloomington
, that I used language most able and ingenious for concealing what I really meant ; and that while I had protested against entering into the slave States, I nevertheless did mean to go on the banks of the Ohio
and throw missiles into Kentucky
, to disturb them in their domestic institutions.
I said, in that speech, and I meant no more, that the institution of slavery ought to be placed in the very attitude where the framers of this Government placed it and left it. I do not understand that the framers of our Constitution left the people of the free States in the attitude of firing bombs or shells into the slave States.
I was not using that passage for the purpose for which he infers I did use it. I said : “We are now far advanced into the fifth year since a policy was created for the avowed object and with the confident promise of putting an end to slavery agitation.
Under the operation that policy that agitation has not only not ceased, but has constantly augmented.
In my opinion it will not cease till a crisis shall have been reached and passed.
‘ A house divided against itself cannot stand.’
I believe that this Government cannot endure permanently half slave and half free.
It will become all one thing or all the other.
Either the opponents of slavery will arrest the further spread of it, and place it where the public mind shall rest in the belief that it is in the course of ultimate extinction, or its advocates will push it forward till it shall become alike lawful in all the States, old as well as new, North as well as South.”
Now you all see, from that quotation, I did not express my wish
In that passage I indicated no wish or purpose of my own; I simply expressed my expectation
. Cannot the Judge
perceive a distinction between a purpose
and an expectation
? I have often expressed an expectation to die, but I have never expressed a wish
to die. I said at Chicago
, and now repeat; that I am quite aware this Government has endured, half slave and half free, for eighty-two years. I understand that little bit of history.
I expressed the opinion I did, because I perceived-or thought I perceived — a new set of causes introduced.
I did say at Chicago
, in my speech there, that I do wish to see the spread of slavery arrested, and to see it placed where the public mind shall rest in the belief that it is in the course of ultimate extinction.