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[256] venom of the shaft aimed at him, has destroyed the vigor of the bow.

To return, after this digression. Should the House, by the institution of Covode committees, votes of censure, and other devices to harass the President, reduce him to subservience to their will, and render him their creature, then the well-balanced Government which our fathers framed will be annihilated. This conflict has already been commenced in earnest by the House against the Executive. A bad precedent rarely if ever dies. It will, I fear, be pursued in the time of my successors, no matter what may be their political character. Should secret committees be appointed with unlimited authority to range over all the words and actions, and, if possible, the very thoughts of the President, with a view to discover something in his past life prejudicial to his character, from parasites and informers, this would be an ordeal which scarcely any mere man since the fall could endure. It would be to subject him to a reign of terror from which the stoutest and purest heart might shrink. I have passed triumphantly through this ordeal. My vindication is complete. The committee have reported no resolution looking to an impeachment against me; no resolution of censure; not even a resolution pointing out any abuses in any of the executive departments of the Government to be corrected by legislation. This is the highest commendation which could be bestowed on the heads of these departments. The sovereign people of the States will, however, I trust, save my successors, whoever they may be, from any such ordeal. They are frank, bold, and honest. They detest delators and informers. I therefore, in the name and as the representative of this great people, and standing upon the ramparts of the Constitution which they “have ordained and established,” do solemnly protest against these unprecedented and unconstitutional proceedings.

There was still another committee raised by the House on the 6th March last, on motion of Mr. Hoard, to which I had not the slightest objection. The resolution creating it was confined to specific charges, which I have ever since been ready and willing to meet I have at all times invited and defied fair investigation upon constitutional principles. I have received


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