One of Mr. Crittendents
reasons in his Philadelphia
speech for considering the dissolution of the Union
a most deplorable and quite impossible event is, that the United States
"rises like a column among the nations of the past."
We don't know whether most to admire the rhetoric or the logic of this superannuated political hybrid.
We were not aware of the fact of the United States
"rising like a column, " &c., before he announced it; nor, conceding the fact, do we know why a column should be any more sacred or indestructible than any other work of art of nature.--A column may be a broken column, like that erected ever youth out off in its rich bloom of promise; or it may be an unfinished column, like the Washington Monument
at the Federal
city, which, in its present condition, is the most suggestive and significant of all columns; or it may be a pillar of salt, like that of Lot's wife, and which commemorates the fate of one of the seceders from Sodom
, who lingered, like Mr. Crittenden
, upon the "borders," and could not bear to think of dissolving her blessed union with the cities of the plain.
It does not follow, therefore, even if the United States
were a column, that it is deserving of universal respect, and destined to immortal duration.
It is an unfortunate figure employed by Mr. Crittenden
, this "column rising among the nations of the past." If he had said among the nations of the present we could have understood his meaning, whilst we should not have admired his modesty.
But a column among the dead and buried nations is strongly suggestive of a graveyard.
In this light Mr. Crittenden
may have stumbled upon a just and applicable figure.
It is a column rising over the grave of constitutional liberty, indicating the spot where the death-worm is busy with his prey, and which none but a maniac would mistake for the emblem of life, hope, and happiness.