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those special cases existed, could at any time call forth the whole of the militia and subject them to the command of the president, it might produce “ a military consolidation of the states,” without any constitutional remedy. And that under the act of February 28th, 1795, the militia of the several states would be in fact at his command at any
time when he thought proper, whether the exigency existed or not.
But whatever weight might have been found in these objections against adopting the constitution, they ceased when it was adopted. It was then the choice of the people to repose this confidence in congress to enable them to provide for the common defence and general welfare. If it had been thought necessary to impose any check or control; if in opposition to the whole spirit of the instrument, it had been deemed expedient to disunite the system, by requiring the concurrence of the states, it could undoubtedly have been so expressed, and in this respect at least we should not have advanced a step beyond the imbecility of the old government. Nothing would be more likely to enteeble the Union than to have subjected the right of exercising these powers to the governors, or even the legislatures of the different states, some of which might hold one opinion, and some insist upon another; and it is by no means clear that the people did not apprehend a greater danger of abuse of confidence from the governor and legislature of a state, than from the government of the United States.
There are several bad misprints in this work; one particularly in the paragraph at the bottom of the 311th page. In the appendix No IV, which purports to present “the entire constitution,” we notice the extraordinary omission (also, we presume, a typographical error) of the whole of the preamble.
An Address, delivered at the Laying of the Corner Stone of the
Bunker Hill Monument. By DANIEL WEBSTER. Boston. 8vo.
40. The celebration which gave occasion to this address, considered in all its circumstances, is one of the most remarkable events of our time; and that is to say, of all times. It will be scarcely less famed, than the battle which it was intended to commemorate. History, poetry, and painting, will claim the one as much as the other; and fifty years hence, to have been a spectator of the scene of 1825, will be a distinction, as it now is to have been an actor in that of 1775. The ordinary epithets and images expressive and illustrative of moral grandeur are too tame, and too familiar, to be enıployed in describing the solemnities of this august and joyous jubilee. It was the result of so many causes, too high for human agency; it was dignified and graced by so many cir
cumstances which time and Providence only could have created and combined, that no loftiness of language, no strength of conception, no liveliness of fancy, which we may bring to the task, can fitly represent it to our distant friends in this and in other lands. The time, the place, the purpose, the audience, the orator, " the guest,” and the unclouded day, each in itself a separate source of sublime and pleasing emotions, ALL, ALL, united in happy confluence to swell the tide of universal joy; without presumption may we say, that no ceremony of its kind ever equalled, none can surpass it,
“ The Nation's Guest,” having journeyed by land and water through every state in the union with incredible celerity, giving every where the purest pleasure, and receiving unexampled proofs of love and veneration, with a modesty and 'unpremeditated propriety, which form one of the most remarkable traits of his extraordinary character; having escaped, with characteristic good fortune, from a new danger, scarcely less threatening than those which had beset his previous and ever perilous career-arrived, and was again publicly and privately welcomed among us, with a less boisterous and eager gladness than at first, but with a steady affection, and chastened admiration, better suited to his character and to our own.
The survivors of Bunker Hill battle and of the revolutionary army, -none of them less than three score and ten, and many of them more than four score, one four score and fifteen,-assembled from different and distant quarters, and were gratefully welcomed, and hospitably entertained by the opulent gentlemen of the metropolis. Some of them had not revisited the neighbourhood since they fought the battle, whose fiftieth anniversary they were now called to celebrate. They had left Charlestown wrapt in flames, and the harassed inhabitants of this captive and beleaguered city, Boston, more wretched in retaining their homes, than those of Charlestown in losing them. How changed was the whole scene—themselves how changed! Charlestown, risen like Phænix from her ashes, more beautiful than before-Boston, from a town of hovels and wooden houses, become a splendid city of brick and granite, exhibiting,—instead of here and there a solitary citizen with anxious and care-worn looks, scudding along the concealed alley, or cautiously emerging, fearful of an insulting and exasperated foe,-a countless multitude of happy and cultivated men and women, crowding her broad avenues with
life, and motion, and joy, anxious only for improvement, and fearing no power but that which all must fear; instead of a wretched ferry-boat, propelled by the tardy and labouring oar, four sublician * bridges, so extended that their converging lights seem to deny the passenger an egress; and greater and better than these, that stupendous bulwark of the waves, which bids them, proud as they are, be stayed; steam-boats, which move with the power and rapidity of the leviathan, and the precision and safety of a stage-coach! Often did those aged and homebred heroes exclaim, “How every thing has changed ; little did I think that I should live to see this day!” Verily the effects of time, and industry, and knowledge, and good government, are marvellous in our eyes.
About a week before the celebration, ground was broken on the summit of Breed's Hill, exactly on the site of the little redoubt which the yeomanry of New England threw up with so much vigour in half of a single brief night, and defended, all faint, fatigued, and unrefreshed, as they were, with so much valour on the following day. The digging was attended with the constant exhumation of the bones of those valiant men. These venerated remains were religiously collected and preserved. Stones of massive granite were hewn, to take the place of the earth and the relics thus removed, and to form the foundation of a suitable monument of ancestral glory and filial gratitude. One of them was excavated to receive the records of history. A little below, towards the north, on the spot where our fathers gathered for the fight, and where a portion of them fell and lie buried, were erected under the open firmament extensive and successive rows of seats, rising in the manner of an amphitheatre to the summit of the hill. In the centre of the lower side, and near the foot of the declivity, was raised the rostrum, covered with an awning, resembling a triumphal arch, decorated with wreaths and roses, and surmounted by a colossal eagle. On the right and left of the rostrum, were two ranges of seats, also covered with an awning, extending on either hand about two hundred feet, and designed for the accommodation of ladies.
On the top of Bunker Hill, about half a mile from the battle ground, was erected a spacious awning, larger than was ever beheld in this country, or perhaps in any country, decorated with flags and pendants; and tables were set beneath it for four thousand
* Ob commoditatem itineris, ponte sublicio, tum primum in Tiberim facto. Liv. i. 33.
guests. Twenty beautiful companies of militia, light troops, from Boston, Charlestown, Cambridge, Roxbury, Salem, and other towns from five to twenty miles distant, had volunteered, and were arriving and encamping on the Boston Common. Such and much more were the preparations on the evening of the sixteenth of June, which, after a moderate rain, shut in with a cloudless sky and a clear and temperate atmosphere, promising for the day following all that patriotism, eloquence, or curiosity could wish. And never was happy omen more happily fulfilled; never dawned a morning more fair and bright. The showers of the preceding day had imprisoned the dust, and enlivened the tints of the gay and variegated landscape. The bells of the metropolis, and the neighbouring towns rung an animaling peal; the clamours of cannon were re-echoed from the wooded hills, whose shadows, an echo to the sight, were reflected from the mirrors of Mystic and Charles, and from the broad bay where their waters unite and wash the foot of the consecrated mount. As the day advanced, the different corps of citizen soldiers began to move to their assigned places, and to address themselves to their several duties. A well dressed, orderly, and delighted multitude gathered and spread over that superb park, for which we are so much indebted to the taste and forecast of our fathers, and thronged the streets from thence to the scene of the expected ceremonies. Glass windows were removed, and their places supplied by animated faces, as light and transparent as they
At mid-day the procession began to move from the Capitol under a splendid escort of sixteen companies of infantry, and a corps of cavalry. First appeared the survivors of Bunker Hill battle, bearing badges on their breasts with this inscription, “ Bunker Hill Battle, June 17th, 1775;" some of the most infirm in open carriages, but about one hundred on foot. Next followed the members of the association for building the monument. Then the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts, with deputations from the Grand Lodges of six states, a Grand Encanıpment of Knights Templars, a Grand Royal Arch Chapter, all arrayed in their appropriate and splendid “ clothing, and bearing among other jewels a golden urn, containing a relic of Washington. Next advanced the Orator of the day, who was also President of the Association, accompanied by the other officers of that body; next to these the Chaplains of the day and the respected and beloved head of our oldest
University. Then came the “Nation's Guest,” accompanied by his countryman, the gallant General Lallemand, his son, and secretary; next the survivors of the Revolutionary army, bearing badges expressive of that fact. Then advanced the Governor of Massachusetts, followed by the civil officers of this commonwealth; then the Governor of the state of Rhode Island, the Secretary of War and late Governor of Virginia, Senators and Representatives of the United States, Oflicers of the army and navy, Clergy, Officers of the militia, and, lastly, private citizens.
This procession formed a solid and continuous column, two miles in length, stretching from city to city, and from hill to hill; those twin and classic hills, hallowed by history and poetry, equal in height, hul unequal in fame ; for on one was crected a beacon to New England, but on the other a brighter one to the world! Numerous as was the procession, it forored but a slender stream, compared with the dense crowd of human and happy beings, who occupied the sides of the streets, the bridge, the public squares, the windows, and housetops, wherever it passed. After the ceremony of laying the corner stone hy General Lafayette, the procession occupied the amphitheatre in front of the rostrum, the Bunker Hill survivors being on the right, and the Revolutionary on the left front; the side ranges having been already filled with ladies, whose faces added a bright charm to the severe solemnities of this precious day: Lafayette was at the head of the Revolutionary Survivors on a seat slightly raised. The amphitheatre was crowded to the summit and along the sides of the hill. The number within hearing distance was estimated at fifteen thousand. The Orator and Chaplains appeared upon the rostrum, which was a simple platform, raised five feet above the seats immediately round it. priate prayer was offered by the Rev. Mr Thaxter, aged eighty-three, the Chaplain of Prescott's regiment,—the one which erected and defended the redoubt,-himself a brave and efficient soldier. This most venerable and interesting old gentleman deserves a particular description, but our limits will not admit of details so minute. No picture could be more patriarchal. His voice had nothing of childish treble, but was clear and sonorous. He was heard distinctly by many thousands. Then arose the Orator, a man emphatically made for the occasion, and realizing, if it ever is to be realized, our conception of the great Greek orator, pronouncing, before the