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As some men do, for Right or Wrong.
But for this subject (long and vext)
I must refer you to my next,
As also for a list exact
Of goods with which the Hall was packed.1
The author of the ‘Biglow Papers’ had already begun that inimitable satire of the national crime against Mexico, marked, so far, by Taylor's military successes at2 Matamoras and Monterey. The demoralization which war immediately produces as a mere status, was lamentably shown by the compliance of the Whig governors Briggs3 and Slade (of Massachusetts and Vermont respectively) with the President's request for a State call for volunteers.4 This action did not prevent the party from renominating Briggs, nor did Robert C. Winthrop's acceptance of the5 war afford a sufficient handle to the Conscience Whigs (as6 Charles Francis Adams denominated those who were not Cotton Whigs) to deprive him of a renomination. The Cotton Whigs swept the State. One heard Daniel Webster proclaim in Faneuil Hall: “I am for the Constitution as our fathers left it to us, and standing by it and dying by it.” Lib. 16.182. But also one heard John Quincy Adams, from his home in Quincy, deny that there was anything left to7 stand by: ‘The Constitution of the United States—stat magni nominis umbra.’ This quotation, said the editor of the Liberator, ‘indicates pretty clearly the position and8 feelings of this venerable statesman in regard to the American Union. . . . Then if it be only a shadow that is left to us, it is at best but a mockery, and ought not to be treated as a reality. . . . Let Daniel Webster, the greatest and meanest of his countrymen, exhaust his powers of eulogy upon it, if he will: the effort will but ’
1 Referring to her husband's Hudibrastic production, Maria Lowell wrote from Cambridge to Maria Mott Davis (Ms. Jan. 8, 1847): ‘I wonder if you enjoyed his description of the Fair as much as I did. I saw Garrison the other day, and he seemed to be especially pleased with it, and the account of Stephen Foster delighted him. Of that and Maria Chapman he spoke most particularly. Miller made one error, and only one, in his copy, and that was “sweet” instead of “swift” eyes. Mrs. Chapman's eyes are not sweet, but swift expresses exactly their rapid, comprehensive glance.’
5 Ante, p. 139.
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