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[267] at noon, July 10, the Vice-President was publicly sworn into office, with the greatest solemnity, and in the presence of both Houses of Congress, but without the least show or bustle, not a soldier being visible on the occasion, nor any form observed or any word spoken but the accustomed simple and awful oath of fidelity to the Constitution.

Nor was the effect on the country different from what it was in the Capitol Men were everywhere shocked by it, as a warning of God's power, and felt grieved for the loss of one in whose faithfulness, moderation, and wisdom even those originally opposed to his election had come very generally to place great confidence. But there was no convulsion, no alarm. Neither private nor public credit was affected to the amount of a penny, nor did any man in the country feel as if his personal happiness and security, or those of his children, were to be any way involved in this sudden death of the political head of the nation . . . .

Nor has there been any ground for alarm. The popular will, which gives the main impulse to all governmental action in free institutions like ours, will be as efficient in carrying on the state under Mr. Fillmore as it was under General Taylor. The people know this, and therefore feel little affected by the change. And Mr. Fillmore, on his part, knows that power will be given to him by this popular will only so far as he consults the real interests of the whole country, or what the whole people—little likely to be deceived on such great matters affecting themselves—believe to be their real interests . . . .

The affair of Cuba, I suppose, made much noise for a time in Germany, and perhaps the American government was blamed. But it did not deserve to be. We have, as you know, no secret police, nor anything approaching it; the numbers concerned in the piratical expedition1 were inconsiderable; and they were embarked cunningly for Chagres,—as if they were going to California,—in a regular packet from New Orleans, and then, when at sea, were transferred to the steam-vessel that carried them to Cuba. The government officers and the agents of the Spanish Minister at Washington, who suspected what was going on, had been watching for some time at New Orleans, New York, and Philadelphia, and made several seizures of vessels not concerned in the attempt; but the true one escaped them. Those who have returned to the United States, and others suspected of being concerned with them, have been arrested, and will be tried. It was a

1 Walker's.

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