previous next

The Northern journals do not seem disposed to patronize His Excellency, Andy Johnson, Vice- President of the United States. The exhibition he made of himself on the Inauguration Day was not worthy of the wisest and most virtuous people in the world and the best government under the sun. The American Eagle was much chagrined by the lowering of the dignity, on that occasion, of the greatest and most powerful nation on the face of the earth. The New York Tribune deals the Hon. Andy some awful licks, and the Army and Navy Gazette dissects him with a sharp instrument, and with evident loathing, as if it were dissecting something very disagreeable to its while hands. Our readers recollect Hon. Andy's speech to the assembled wisdom and virtue of the nation on the occasion of his being sworn in. We do not recollect any speech that seems to have created a like sensation except that of the red-nosed apostle of temperance, Rev. Mr. Stiggins, when he attended the "Ebenezer Branch" in a high state of inebriation, and invited several of the prominent friends of temperance to engage with him in single combat.

The Army and Navy Gazette says that Mr. Johnson's "bearing at the capitol, 'trembling a little, probably, with excitement,' and his rather incoherent speech, 'which was scarcely audible on account of the noise in the galleries, ' have not escaped the reporters. And what is meant when, in public, a man utters platitudes, and makes those platitudes personal, and cannot help repeating those personal platitudes a great number of times, as if there were some magnetic attraction in the words — is very well known. We do not intend, of course, to intimate that high officials do not often confine themselves to platitudes, even in their most sober and intellectual efforts. But we do mean to say that the assertion that, in this country, office-holders 'd'rive their power from the people' is too obvious a truism to require 'two minutes and a half on that point.'

"On that fatal occasion, the prominent idea in Mr. Johnson's mind seems to have been that he was a 'plebeian'; and that he was 'proud of the title.' --In the strict sense of the term, however, the claim he makes at distinction on that ground cannot be conceded. He must show some other reason than that why he should fill the second office in this country. Here, every man is supposed to be a plebeian."

And then the Gazette goes on to express the hope that "the peril of assassination with which, according to rumor, Mr. Lincoln was threatened a week since, may be averted for the sake of the country."

We cannot express our own shame and dejection that the free and enlightened country should elect such a Vice-President, and, what is worse, that he should compromise the superior gentility thereof before those benighted, insolent foreigners, the European Ministers, who were looking on and listening all the while, and no doubt drawing the most unfavorable conclusions against the virtue and intelligence of the people who could select such a man for such a place. -- Those proud and bigoted aristocrats will, no doubt, write home satirical and scornful accounts of this lamentable transaction, calculated to impair the high repute of the great and glorious nation of the United States for being the best bred, as well as the most humane and pious, population of the universe. Why did not his Excellency Andy, before he went to Washington, familiarize himself with the counsels of Mr. Sam Slick when appointed attache at the Court of "St. Jimses, Buckin'ham," and instructed "to sustain the honor of the nation on all occasions, demanding and enforcing your true, place in society, at the top of the pot, and our exalted rank at foreign courts as the greatest, freest, and most enlightened nation now existin'." Mr. Slick, now, was a man who could realize that it would not do to carry the clockmaker to court. "An attache! " says he. "Well, it's a station of great dignity, too, aint it? It makes me feel kinder narvous and whimble-cropped, for I have got to sustain a new character (which Andy forgets) and act a new part in the play of life. To dine at the palace with kings, queens and princes; what a pretty how d'ye-do that is, aint it? Won't it be tall feedin' at the queen's table? that's all; and I am a rael whale at ducks and green peas. But I'm afeerd I shall feel monstrous onconvenient, and as if I wa'nt jist made to measure. Carryin' a sword so as to keep it from stickin' atween your legs and throwin' you down aint no easy matter, nother; but practice makes perfect, I do suppose.--Well, I vow, our noble institutions do open avenues to ambition and merit to the humblest citizens, too, don't they?"

It's a pity that Andy had'nt practiced a little at playing Vice-President, and making imauguration speeches, before disgracing the great and growing Republic in foreign eyes. It is'nt his ignorance, or clownishness, or drunkenness,--but letting himself be found out. that hurts us so. And, moreover, what did he mean by saying and repeating, and calling the particular attention of the foreign plenipotentiaries to the fact, that he was a plebeian; rushing in among the blooded stock, and Devons, and Durhams, and kicking up his heels and shouting out that he was a scrub, and was proud of it? We are entirely mortified; sunk in the depths of humiliation, not on Andy's account alone, but of the great and glorious Union, and the popular principle of self government, which may be brought to grief by such an illustration of its infallibility.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide Places (automatically extracted)

View a map of the most frequently mentioned places in this document.

Sort places alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a place to search for it in this document.
United States (United States) (2)
Rock Creek (Mississippi, United States) (1)
Capitol (Utah, United States) (1)

Download Pleiades ancient places geospacial dataset for this text.

hide People (automatically extracted)
Sort people alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a person to search for him/her in this document.
Andy Johnson (3)
Andy (3)
Sam Slick (2)
Stiggins (1)
Lincoln (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: