stance along the line which his tiny diamond has drawn—
101 getting that no great institution, and, least of all, a coun¬
try, has ever broken up or can break up in peace, and with¬
out a struggle commensurate to its own magnitude ; and
that when vehement passion dashes down a noble mirror, no
one can hope to gather a dozen well-framed looking-glasses
from the ground.
There are those even who think that the lines along which
our Union will split, are ready-marked like the grooved lines
on some soft substance, intended from the beginning to be
broken into parts for ultimate use.
There are those who speak of the remedy of secession—a
remedy—an amputation would be a remedy, indeed, to cure
a troublesome corn, or as cutting one's throat would remedy
There are those, even, it seems to me, who have first rashly
conceived of secession as a remedy, and now adhere to it as
the end and object to be attained, when they are shown that
it would not cure the evils complained of, but, on the con¬
trary, would induce others, infinitely greater and infinitely
more numerous. They fall into the common error of getting
so deeply interested in the means, that the object for the ob¬
taining of which the means was first selected is forgotten.
But though the error be of daily occurrence, it is. a fearful
one in this case, because the consequence would be appalling.
They almost remind us of those good people in Tuscany, who
had contracted so great a fondness for St. Komualdus, that
when the saint had concluded to remove from among them,
they resolved, in a grave town-meeting, to slay their patron
saint, so that they might have at least his bones, and wor¬
ship them as sacred relics.
We have heard much of secession. It is still daily dinning
in our ears. What is secession ? Is it revolution, or is it a
lawful remedy to which a state is permitted to resort in right
of its own sovereignty ? Many persons—and there are some
of high authority in other matters among them—maintain
that even though it might not be expedient in the present
case it cannot be denied that the right of seceding belongs