to an entireness of devotion that made the people feel he was all their own; to a masterly brain that made them sure they were always safe in his hands.
Behind them were ages of bloodshed: every rising had ended at the scaffold; even Grattan
brought them to 1798.
said, “Follow me: put your feet where mine have trod, and a sheriff shall never lay hand on your shoulder.”
And the great lawyer kept his pledge.
This unmatched, long-continued power almost passes belief.
You can only appreciate it by comparison.
Let me carry you back to the mob-year of 1835, in this country, when the Abolitionists were hunted; when the streets roared with riot; when from Boston
, from St. Louis
, a mob took possession of every city; when private houses were invaded and public halls were burned; press after press was thrown into the river; and Lovejoy
baptized freedom with his blood.
You remember it. Respectable journals warned the mob that they were playing into the hands of the Abolitionists.
Webster and Clay and the staff of Whig statesmen told the people that the truth floated farther on the shouts of the mob than the most eloquent lips could carry it. But law-abiding, Protestant, educated America could not be held back.
Neither Whig chiefs nor respectable journals could keep these people quiet.
Go to England
When the Reform Bill
of 1831 was thrown out from the House of Lords, the people were tumultuous; and Melbourne and Grey
, Lansdowne, Holland
, and Macaulay
, the Whig
chiefs, cried out, “Don't violate the law: you help the Tories!
Riots put back the bill.”
But quiet, sober John Bull
, law-abiding, could not do without it. Birmingham
was three days in the hands of a mob; castles were burned; Wellington
ordered the Scotch Greys
to rough-grind their swords as at Waterloo