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rights of the American people, and with those wholesome rules which give to public law simplicity and system, and tend to the quiet of the world.

We are now, thank God, once more at peace. Our belligerent rights may therefore sleep for a season. May their repose be long and profound! But the time must arrive when the interests and honour of this great nation will command them to awake, and when it does arrive, I feel undoubting confidence that they will rise from their slumber in the fulness of their strength and majesty, unenfeebled and unimpaired by the judgment of this high Court.

The skill and valour of our infant navy, which has illuminated every sea, and dazzled the master states of Europe by the splendour of its triumphs, have given us a pledge, which I trust will continue to be dear to every American heart, and influence the future course of our policy, that the ocean is destined to acknowledge the youthful dominion of the West. I am not likely to live to see it, and, therefore, the more do I seize upon the enjoyment presented by the glorious anticipationThat this dominion, when God shall suffer us to wrest it from those who have abused it, will be excrcised with such justice and moderation as will put to shame the maritime tyranny of recent times, and fix upon our power the affections of mankind, it is the duty of us all to hope; but it is equally our duty to hope that we shall not be so inordinately just to others as to be unjust to ourselves.

No. V.


[IN the debate upon the bill to carry into effect the British convention of 1815, Mr. Pinkney said,] he intended yesterday, if the state of his health had permitted, to have trespassed on the House with a short sketch of the grounds upon which he disapproved of the bill. What I could not do then, [said he,] I am about to endeavour now, under the pressure, nevertheless, of continuing indisposition, as well as under the influence of a natural reluctance thus to manifest an apparently ambitious and improvident hurry to lay aside the character of a listener to the wisdom of others, by which I could not fail to profit, for that of an expounder of my own humble notions, which are not likely to be profitable to any body. It is, indeed, but too probable that I should best have consulted both delicacy and discretion, if I had forborne this precipitate attempt to launch my little bark upon what an honourable member has aptly termed the torrent of debate' which this bill has produced. I am conscious that it may

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with singular propriety be said of me, that I am noves hospes here; that I have scarcely begun to acquire a domicil among those whom I am undertaking to address; and that recently transplanted hither from courts of judicature, I ought for a season to look upon myself as a sort of exotic, which time has not sufficiently familiarized with the soil to which it has been removed, to enable it to put forth either fruit or flower. However all this may be, it is now too late to be silent. I proceed, therefore, to entreat your indulgent attention to the few words with which I have to trouble you upon the subject under deliberation.

That subject has already been treated with an admirable force and perspicuity on all sides of the House. The strong power of argument has drawn aside, as it ought to do, the veil which is supposed to belong to it, and which some of us seem unwilling to disturb; and the stronger power of genius, from a higher region than that of argument, has thrown upon it all the light with which it is the prerogative of genius to invest and illustrate every thing. It is fit that it should be so; for the subject is worthy by its dignity and importance to employ in the discussion of it all the powers of the mind, and all the eloquence by which I have already felt that this assembly is distinguished. The subject is the fundamental law. We owe it to the people to labour with sincerity and diligence, to ascertain the true construction of that law, which is but a record of

their will. We owe it to the obligations of the oath which has recently been imprinted upon our consciences, as well as to the people, to be obedient to that will when we have succeeded in ascertaining it. I shall give you my opinion upon this matter, with the utmost deference for the judgment of others; but at the same time with that honest and unreserved freedom which becomes this place, and is suited to my habits.

It is

Before we can be in a situation to decide whether this bill ought to pass, we must know precisely what it is; what it is not is obvious. not a bill which is auxiliary to the treaty. It does not deal with details which the treaty does not bear in its own bosom. It contains no subsidiary enactments, no dependent provisions, flowing as corollaries from the treaty. It is not to raise money, or to make appropriations, or to do any thing else beyond or out of the treaty. It acts simply as the echo of the treaty.

Ingeminat voces, auditaque verba reportat. It may properly be called the twin brother of the treaty; its duplicate, its reflected image, for it reenacts with a timid fidelity, somewhat inconsistent with the boldness of its pretensions, all that the treaty stipulates, and having performed that work of supererogation, stops. It once attempted something more, indeed; but that surplus has been expunged from it as a desperate intruder, as something which might violate, by a misinterpretation of the treaty, that very public faith which we

are now prepared to say the treaty has never plighted in any the smallest degree. In a word, the bill is a fac-simile of the treaty in all its clauses.

I am warranted in concluding, then, that if it be any thing but an empty form of words, it is a confirmation or ratification of the treaty; or, to speak with a more guarded accuracy, is an act to which only (if passed into law) the treaty can owe its being. If it does not spring from the pruritas leges ferendi, by which this body can never be afflicted, I am warranted in saying, that it springs from an hypothesis (which may afflict us with a worse disease) that no treaty of commerce can be made by any power in the state but Congress. It stands upon that postulate, or it is a mere bubble, which might be suffered to float through the forms of legislation, and then to burst without consequence or notice.

That this postulate is utterly irreconcileable with the claims and port with which this convention comes before you, it is impossible to deny. Look at it! Has it the air or shape of a mere pledge that the President will recommend to Congress the passage of such laws as will produce the effect at which it aims? Does it profess to be preliminary, or provisional, or inchoate, or to rely upon your instrumentality in the consummation of it, or to take any notice of you, however distant, as actual or eventual parties to it? No, it pretends upon the face of it, and in the solemnities with which it has been accompanied and


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