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[453] feelings of my early days, and never dreaming that anything would ever separate me from it, or lead me to desire its dissolution. Men do not change the institutions which have come down to them from the past lightly, or for transient reasons. They must be placed in a trying emergency,—they must feel a strong moral obligation pressing upon them,—they must clearly perceive some great impending evil to be shunned, some great good to be gained,—before they will go into revolution; whether it be a physical revolution, attended with the shedding of human blood, or a moral revolution, attended with the loss of friends and popularity, and the sacrifice of worldly interests. If the great mass of the people were ready to respond at once in favor of the dissolution of the Union, with no more light on the subject than they now enjoy, I would give little or nothing for the response, because I should be certain it was but the mere impulse of the moment; but when they hesitate, and hold back, and forbear to the last, trusting that there may be some way of escape; when they beg for a little longer time to look at a question involving such momentous consequences, before openly committing themselves, I say: “Well, that is all right and proper—it is human nature.” When such men move, it is with the force of the thunderbolt; they are as reliable as the everlasting hills.

If, therefore, Disunion be a matter of slow growth—as it is—I am sure it is a true growth, and that everything is gained thereby. I expect it will go on, slowly gathering to itself friends and advocates, until at last it shall culminate in an all-pervading Northern sentiment, and the great work be easily accomplished. Our Revolutionary fathers hesitated long before they threw off the yoke of the mother country. How many years did they hope, and pray, and struggle for redress of their wrongs, trusting to the justice of England—that Parliament would give heed to their petitions, and that they might be spared the necessity of raising the banner of independence—all the while avowing their loyalty to the British throne! Yet the hour came when, in spite of their veneration for the past, in spite of their feebleness in regard to numbers and resources, and in spite of the colossal power of Great Britain, they said, We will submit no longer! The time has come for us to throw off the yoke, and declare ourselves free and independent. The men who, after that time, through cowardice or selfishness, sided with the mother country, were justly branded as Tories. Sir, the race of Tories did not die off with the Revolutionary

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