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[223] vibrates with martial strains, and the earth shakes with armed men. In view of this grand demonstration for self-preservation in the history of nationalities, desponding patriotism may be assured that the foundations of our national greatness still stand strong, and the sentiment which beats to-day in every loyal heart will for the future be realized. No flag alien to the sources of the Mississippi will ever float permanently over its mouth till its waters are crimsoned in human gore, and not one foot of American soil can be wrenched from the jurisdiction of the Constitution of the United States until it is baptized in fire and blood. (Vociferous applause upon the floor and in the galleries, which lasted for many minutes.) [Gentlemen, as your presiding officer, it becomes my duty to apprise you that any demonstrations of approval or disapproval of any thing done or said during your sessions is in violation of parliamentary decorum, and the Chair would also inform the persons in the galleries that applause by them is a violation of good order, and a breach of the rules of the House. The Chair hopes, therefore, that any demonstration of applause will not be repeated.] In God is our trust, and

The star spangled banner forever shall wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave.

(Suppressed applause.) Those who regard it as mere cloth bunting, fail to appreciate its symbolical power. Wherever civilization dwells, or the name of Washington is known, it bears on its folds the concentrated power of armies and navies, and surrounds the votaries with a defence more impregnable than battlement of wall or tower. Wherever on the earth's surface an American citizen may wander — called by pleasure, business, or caprice — it is a shield that will secure him against wrong and outrage, save on the soil of the land of his birth. As the guardians of the rights and liberties of the people, your paramount duty is to make it honored at home as it is respected abroad. A government that cannot command the loyalty of its own citizens is unworthy the respect of the world, and a government that will not protect its own loyal citizens deserves the contempt of the world. (Applause.) He who would tear down this grandest temple of constitutional liberty, thus blasting forever the hopes of crushed humanity, because its freemen, in the mode prescribed by the Constitution, select a chief magistrate not acceptable to him, is a parricide to his race, and should be regarded as a common enemy of mankind. The Union once destroyed is a shattered vase that no human power can reconstruct in its original symmetry. Coarse stones when they are broken may be cemented again — precious ones never. If the Republic is to be dismembered, and the sun of its liberty must go out in endless night, let it set amid the roar of cannon and the din of battle, when there is no longer an arm to strike or a heart to bleed in its cause, so that coming generations may not reproach the present with being too imbecile to preserve the priceless legacy bequeathed by our fathers, so as to transmit it unimpaired to future times. Again, gentlemen, thanking you for your confidence and kindness, and invoking guidance from that Divine Power that led our fathers through the Red Sea of the Revolution, I enter upon the discharge of the duties to which you have assigned me, relying upon your forbearance and cooperation, and trusting that your labors will contribute not a little to the greatness and glory of the Republic.


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