How is it to be done?
We have a court; we have a legislature; what we want is an executive.
Now, friends, before I begin to speak on that point, let me say one thing.
If the metropolitan police does not succeed, we shall ask something more.
You need not think you will get rid of us with that.
This is our solemn conviction of duty.
We have converted the public opinion of the Commonwealth
; we mean now to exhaust Yankee ingenuity in the invention of machinery to execute the law; and when Universal Yankeedom confesses that it is bankrupt, we will give up, and not till then.
[Applause.] If the metropolitan police is not enough, then we will devise something stronger and better, before we sit down and say that the Commonwealth of Massachusetts
, in General Court assembled, does not rule this Commonwealth, but that the liquor dealers of Boston
do,--for that is the issue.
The question is, where is the law to be made?
In the gilded saloons of Boston
, or in the state-house on yonder hill?
If the million of people who inhabit this Commonwealth make the law, this is law, and Boston
has no right to complain — having abdicated by her own confession — that we go now to the State
, and claim other and better machinery to carry it out.
One other point.
You must not expect that this law will convert the whole Commonwealth in a moment.
Look at the history of all law. The time was, six or eight centuries ago, when it was a disputed point whether a man owned a separate lot of land.
That was settled by public opinion.
Then remained a second question; whether, owning it at his death, he could bequeath it. Public opinion nibbled at that question for a hundred years, and then settled it. Doubtless, when the first statute-book to that extent was enrolled among the parchments, many men relucted; but it