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absolute safety. Let it be assured that no representative of Massachusetts, – that no representative of any State in the Union, — is to be deterred by violence ‘from espousing whatever opinions he may choose to espouse, from debating whenever he may see fit to debate, or from speaking whatever he may see fit to say on the floor of the Senate.” Let it be remembered that there are other forms of oppression more odious than a colonial government and a Boston Port Bill, bad as they were. The stamp act and the tea tax convulsed the civilized world. But taxation, even without representation, is but as the small dust of the balance, when compared with the constitutional right of freedom of debate, within the limits of parliamentary law, in the halls of legislation. “For myself, personally, I am, perhaps, known to most of you as a peaceable citizen, reasonably conservative, devotedly attached to the Constitution, and much too far advanced in life for gasconade; but, under present circumstances, I may be pardoned for saying that some of my father's blood was shed on Bunker Hill, at the commencement of one revolution, and that there is a little more of the same sort left, if it shall prove that need be, for the beginning of another.”
I am not willing to suppose that no difference has been perceived between this expression of opinion, that, When freedom of debate in the halls of legislation is suppressed by violence, and the government utterly fails of being a free representative government, the time will have arrived for a revolution, which shall restore it to its former purity, - and that declaration of Mr. Fillmore, substantially, that, The election of the candidate of one party, according to all constitutional modes and forms, will cause a dissolution of the Union, and should be regarded as furnishing a justification for such a result. — Mr. John M. Botts, a citizen of a Southern State, said of the allegation, that Mr. Fillmore had made such a declaration, that it was a libel upon him, and that if Mr. Fillmore had said it, he would be the last man in the United States that would vote for him. A citizen of a Northern State admits that he so said, but calls it, “an off-hand, and misunderstood remark,” and censures those who take exception to it.
But it is alleged that I have compromised “the neutrality of my position.” If such be the fact, it will be the subject of profound regret, as I have, just at this time, a very poor opinion of compromises. In the Revised Statutes of Massachusetts, Chapter 23, Section 7,
I read as follows: —
QUERE: — How far a Professor of a College “compromises the neutrality of his position,” when, as a private citizen, before a different auditory, and in another connection, he endeavors to maintain those principles of piety, justice, regard of truth, love of country, humanity, and those other virtues which are the ornament of human society and the basis upon which a Republican Constitution is founded, which it is made his duty, by statutory enactment, to impress upon the minds of his pupils?—How far he departs from “the propriety of his course” when he endeavors to lead others “into a clear understanding of the tendency of the above-mentioned virtues to preserve and perfect a Republican Constitution, and secure the blessings of liberty;”— and when he attempts to disseminate a knowledge of the true principles of the Constitution of the United States?
Perhaps it may be admitted as some extenuation of my failure to know when, and where, and upon what subjects I may speak, that I was not before aware of the fact that upon great questions of morals and politics, involving, possibly, the very existence of a free government, I hold any neutral position. J. P.
RIGHT OF SECESSION.
OF THE MESSAGE OF JEFFERSON DAVIS TO THE CONGRESS
OF THE CONFEDERATE STATES.
BY JOEL PARKER.
PRINTERS TO THE UNIVERSITY.