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Page 441 of Life and speeches of Henry Clay (vol. 2)

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b3 THE PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION. These, fellow citizens) are views both of the structure of the go. vernment and of its administration, which appear to me worthy of commanding the grave attention of the public and its new servants. klthough, I repeat, I have neither authority nor purpose to commit any body else, I believe most, if not all of them, are entertained by the political friends with whom I have acted. Whether the salutary reforms which they include will be effected or considered, depends upon the issue of that great struggle which is now going on through- out all this country. This contest has had no parallel since the period of the revolution. In both instances there is a similarity of object. That was to achieve, this is to preserve the liberties of the country. Let us catch the spirit which animated, and imitate the virtues which adorned our noble ancestors. Their devotion, their constancy, their untiring activity, their perseverance, their indomitable resolution, their sacrifices, their valor! If they fought for liberty or death, in the memorable language of one of the most illustrious of them, let us never forget that the prize now at hazard, is liberty or slavery. We should be encouraged by the fact that the contest to the success of which they solemnly pledged their fortunes, their lives, and their sa- cred honor, was far more unequal than that in which we are engaged. But, on the other hand, let us cautiously guard against too much con- fidence. History and experience prove that more has been lost by self-confidence and contempt of enemies, than won by skill and courage. Our opponents are powerful in numbers and in organiza- tion active, insidious, and possessed of ample means, and wholly un- scrupulous in the use of them. They count upon success by the use of two words, Democracy and Federalism-Democracy which, in vio- lation of all truth, they appropriate to themselves, and Federalism which, in violation of all justice, they apply to us. And allow me to conjure you not to suffer yourselves to be diverted, deceived, or dis- couraged by the false rumors which will be industriously circulated, between the present time and the period of the election, by our oppo- nents. They will put them forth in every variety and without num- ber, in the most imposing forms, certified and sworn to by conspicuous amines. They will brag, they will boast, they will threaten. Re- gardless of all their arts, let us keep steadily and faithfully, and fear- lessly at work. But if the opposition perform its whole duty, if every member of it act, as in the celebrated battle of Lord Nelson, as if the eyes of the 441

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