liberties of the country.
On the other hand, the principle of slavery
, which is the great practical force
of the government, enfeebled as it is by a prevailing popular enthusiasm for the widest freedom, and deriving no present
aid from interest, finds this deficiency so fully supplied by the fact that its impersonation is the will of the majority
, that it is competent to resist the most violent shocks which may come up from the misguided self-control of the masses.
How often have we seen, in the history of our glorious republic the excited passions of the masses, misdirecting their power of self-control, sweep like a hurricane over the bosom of our political sea, and lash the waters into a storm that threatened to engulf the hopes of the nation!
But so vital
and so active
was that principle which constitutes the true force of the government, that that great ideal, the State
--the “Ship of state!” --outrode the tempest in. perfect safety; and last, as first, the flag of liberty still streamed from the mast-head.
Now, this is as far as the science of free government, so called, has been carried into practical operation; and in this we cannot fail to see that the restraining and controlling principle of slavery
is still in vigorous operation.
We call it, by way of eminence, a free
government; and so it is, relatively to other forms, a very free government