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 States--you are told this is not to be a war of aggression. In one sense that is true; in another, not. We have committed aggression upon no man. In all the broad land, in their rebel nest, in their traitor's camp, no truthful man can rise and say that he has ever been disturbed, though it be but for a single moment, in life, liberty, estate, character, or honor. (Cheers and cries of “That's so.” ) The day they began this unnatural, false, wicked, rebellious warfare, their lives were more secure, their property more secure, by us — not by themselves, but by us — guarded far more securely than any people ever have had their lives and property secured from the beginning of the world. (Applause.) We have committed no oppression, have broken no compact, have exercised no unholy power; have been loyal, moderate, constitutional, and just. We are a majority of the Union, and we will govern our own Union, within our own constitution, in our own way. (Cries of “Bravo,” and applause.) We are all democrats. We are all republicans. We acknowledge the sovereignty of the people within the rule of the constitution; and under that constitution and beneath that flag, let traitors beware. (Loud cheers.) In this sense, then, young men of New York, we are not for a war of aggression. But in another sense, speaking for myself as a man who has been a soldier, and as one who is a senator, I say, in the same sense, I am. for a war of aggression. I propose to do now as we did in Mexico — conquer peace. (Loud and enthusiastic applause.) I propose to go to Washington and beyond. (Cheers.) I do not design to remain silent, supine, inactive — nay, fearful — until they gather their battalions and advance their host upon our borders or in our midst. I would meet them upon the threshold, and there, in the very State of their power, in the very atmosphere of their treason, I propose that the people of this Union dictate to these rebels the terms of peace. (Loud cheers.) It may take thirty millions; it may take three hundred millions. What then? We have it. (Cries of “Good,” and applause.) Loyally, nobly, grandly do the merchants of New York respond to the appeals of the Government. It may cost us seven thousand men. It may cost us seventy-five thousand men in battle; it may cost us seven hundred and fifty thousand men. What then? We have them. (Renewed cheering.) The blood of every loyal citizen of this Government is dear to me. My sons, my kinsmen, the young men who have grown up beneath my eye and beneath my care, they are all dear to me; but if the country's destiny, glory, tradition, greatness, freedom, government, written constitutional government — the only hope of a free people — demand it, let them all go. (Enthusiastic cheers.) I am not here now to speak timorous words of peace, but to kindle the spirit of manly, determined war. I speak in the midst of the Empire State, amid scenes of past suffering and past glory; the defences of the Hudson above me; the battle-field of Long Island before me, and the statue of Washington in my very face--(loud and enthusiastic cheers)--the battered and unconquered flag of Sumter waving in his hands, which I can almost now imagine trembles with the excitement of battle. (Great enthusiasm). And as I speak, I say my mission here to-day is to kindle the heart of New York for war — short, sudden, bold, determined, forward war. (Applause.) The Seventh regiment has gone. (Three cheers for the Seventh regiment.) Let seventy and seven more follow. (Applause.) Of old, said a great historian, beneath the banner of the cross, Europe precipitated itself upon Asia. Beneath the banner of the constitution let the men of the Union precipitate themselves upon disloyal, rebellious Confederate States. (Tremendous applause.) A few more words, and I have done. (Cries of “Go on,” “You're the man,” “We'll hear you till night.” ) Let no man underrate the dangers of this controversy. Civil war, for the best of reasons upon the one side, and the worst upon the other, is always dangerous to liberty — always fearful, always bloody; but, fellow-citizens, there are yet worse things than fear, than doubt and dread, and danger and blood. Dishonor is worse. (Prolonged cheers.) Perpetual anarchy is worse. States forever commingling and forever severing are worse. (Renewed cheers.) Traitors and Secessionists are worse. To have star after star blotted out--(Cries of “Never! Never!” )--to have stripe after stripe obscured--(cries of “No! No!” )--to have glory after glory dimmed — to have our women weep and our men blush for shame throughout generations yet to come — that and these are infinitely worse than blood. (Tremendous cheers.) People of New York, on the eve of battle allow me to speak as a soldier. Few of you know, as my career has been distant and obscure, but I may mention it here to-day, with a generous pride, that it was once my fortune to lead your gallant New York regiment in the very shock of battle. (Applause.) I was their leader, and upon the bloody heights of Cerro Gordo I know well what New York can do when her blood is up. (Loud applause, and “three cheers for Baker.” ) Again, once more, when we march, let us not march for revenge. As yet we have nothing to revenge. It is not much that where that tattered flag waved, guarded by seventy men against ten thousand; it is not much that starvation effected what an enemy could not compel. (Prolonged applause.) We have as yet something to punish, but nothing, or very little, to revenge. The President himself, a hero without knowing it — and I speak from knowledge, having known him from boyhood — the President says:--“There are wrongs to be redressed, already long enough endured.” And we march to battle and to victory because we do not choose to endure this wrong any longer. (Cheers.) They are wrongs not merely against us; not against you, Mr. President; not against me, but against our sons and against our grandsons that surround us. They are wrongs against our ensign--(cries of “That's so,” and applause)--they are wrongs against our Union; they are wrongs against our Constitution; they are wrongs against human hope and human freedom; and thus, if it be avenged, still, as Burke says: “it is a wild justice at last,” and we will revenge them. While I speak, following in the wake of men so eloquent, so conservative, so eminent, so loyal, so well known — even while I speak, the object of your meeting is accomplished; upon the wings of the lightning it goes out throughout the world that New York, the very heart of a great city, with her crowded thoroughfares, her merchants, her manufacturers, her artists — that New York, by one hundred thousand of her people, declares to the country and to the world that she will sustain the Government (applause) to the last dollar in her treasury — to the last drop of your blood. (Renewed cheers.) The national banners leaning from ten thousand
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