is effected between their several backers, so that A. votes for the bills of B., C., D., etc., as the indispensable means of securing the passage of his own darling; and thus a whole litter of bills become laws, whereof no single one was demanded by the public interest, or could have passed without the aid of others as unworthy as itself.
Such is substantially the process whereby our statute-books are loaded with acts which subserve no end but to fill the pockets of the few, at the expense of the rights or the interests of the many.
It was entirely proper that Congress should provide at once for the temporary government of all the territories newly acquired from Mexico
; and there was no radical objection to doing this in one bill, if that should seem advisable.
As the establishment of a definite boundary between New Mexico
was essential to the tranquillity and security of the Territory
, that object might fairly be contemplated in the act providing a civil government therefor.
But why Texas
should be paid Ten Millions of dollars for relinquishing her pretensions to territory never possessed by, nor belonging to, her — territory which had been first acquired from Mexico
by the forces and then bought of her by the money of the Union
--is not obvious; and why this payment, if made at all, should be a make-weight in a bargain covering a variety of arrangements with which it had no proper connection, is still less explicable.
And when, on the back of this, was piled an act to provide new facilities for slave-catching in the Free States
, ostensibly balanced by another which required the slave-traders of Washington
to remove their jails and auction-rooms across the Potomac
to that dull old dwarf of a city which had recently been retroceded to Virginia
, as if on purpose to facilitate this arrangement, the net product was a corrupt monstrosity in legislation and morals which even the great name of Henry Clay
should not shield from lasting opprobrium.