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[234] response to the royal edict for the massacre of St. Bartholomew; and such a spirit, I trust, will yet animate the people of this country, when pressed to the service of ‘dogs!’

To that other question, which has been proposed, whether Massachusetts, by State laws, will carry out the offensive clause in the Constitution, according to the understanding of the venerable Senator from South Carolina, I reply that Massachusetts, at all times, has been ready to do her duty under the Constitution, as she understands it; and, I doubt not, will ever continue of this mind. More than this I cannot say.

In quitting this topic, I cannot forbear to remark that the assault on me for my disclaimer of all constitutional obligation, resting upon me as a Senator or citizen, to aid in making a man a slave, or in surrendering him to Slavery, comes with an ill grace from the veteran Senator from Virginia, a State which, by its far-famed resolutions of 1798, assumed to determine its constitutional obligations, even to the extent of openly declaring two different Acts of Congress null and void; and it comes also with an ill grace from the venerable Senator from South Carolina, a State which, in latter days, has arrayed itself openly against the Federal authorities, and which threatens nullification as often as babies cry.

Surely the Senator from South Carolina, with his silver-white locks, would have hesitated to lead this assault upon me, had he not, for the moment, been entirely oblivious of the history of the State which he represents. Not many years have passed since an incident occurred at Charleston, in South Carolina—not at Boston, in Massachusetts—which ought to be remembered. The postmaster of that place, acting under a controlling Public Opinion there, informed the head of his Department at Washington that he had determined to suppress all Antislavery publications, and requested instructions for the future. Thus, in violation of the laws of the land, the very mails were rifled, and South Carolina smiled approbation of the outrage.

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