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Messrs. Hale And Foote

Messrs. Hale And Foote image
Parent Issue
Day
13
Month
April
Year
1848
Copyright
Public Domain
OCR Text

During the discussion of the proposed mission to the Papal States, March 20, an amusing colloquy took place, between Messrs. Hale of New Hampshire, and Foote of Mississippi, in which we presume the Senator from Mississippi, is well satisfied, that, a man may be too fastidious - as the way in which the Granite Senator handled him, and his own discomforture gives evidence. It appears that Hale, in the course of his remarks gave it as his opinion that it was an attempt on the part of the President to pander to the Catholic influence, which offended the nice ear of the Mississippi Senator, who replied with acrimony and personality; but the perfect good humor in which Mr. Hale treated the subject, and his amusing reference to the Michigan Senator, produced much merriment in the Senate and the galleries, in which Mr. Foote heartily joined.

Although it has had a wide circulation, we insert it as given in Houston's Senate Reports, for the gratification of those of our readers, that have not seen it.

Mr. HALE. Now, one word as to what was said which produced such a flood of eloquence from the gentleman of Mississippi. I certainly did not expect that that gentleman and myself would very cordially agree in certain political matters. Our positions on some subjects are wide apart; and, therefore, it does not seriously disturb my equanimity to find him quite antagonistic in reference to these questions. - When he come down upon my political position, with all his Jupiter Tonan , thundering eloquence, I regarded it as a matter of course. But really, sir, when a gentleman of his refined taste - eloquence of diction - purity of style - chastness of matter - and everything contributing to the character of a perfect orator, is compelled, reluctantly compelled, I doubt not, to pronounce my poor efforts vulgar, I do "feel bad!" [Laughter.]

Mr. FOOTE. I did not pronounce the effort vulgar.

Mr. HALE. It was the language, then!

Mr. FOOTE. No, it was the sentiment; and, if the Senator will refer to the original, he will find that what I say is strictly true. "Vulgar" is derived from the word "vulgus," which means the common people; and the term simply implies that the sentiment is common among the masses.

Mr. HALE. Ah! That is all?

Mr. FOOTE. Certainly.

Mr. HALE. Then I am very glad to find that my sentiments are becoming so popular! [Laughter.] Now, I do not travel with the dictionary in my pocket, but one of the pages has brought me one of those big dictionaries which we had in the Senate the other day, when the Senator from Kentucky lost so much in not being present to hear.

Mr. FOOTE. Ah! take care - that may have been in secret session.

Mr. HALE. If so, it has got out! I don't know however, but that if the public were here, and listened to our poor debates, it might be well for some of us if the injunction were taken off the dictionaries! But I have the dictionary before me, and I find that this "vulgar" word -

Mr. FOOTE. What dictionary is it?

Mr. HALE. Written by one Sam Johnson! [Laughter.] I find, sir, that this vulgar word was used in common by that vulgar fellow, Shakespeare, [Laughter;] also by one of the Dryden, one Rowe, and a man who used to write doggerel, one John Milton. [Great laughter.] All of them used this "vulgar" word "pander!" Now, in its direct application to this very case, I said that I believed that this was an attempt, on the part of the Administration, to "pander" to the Roman Catholic voters, or Roman Catholic prejudices; and I gave credit to the Senator from North Carolina - Mr. Foote The Senator has not read the authorities. Will he allow me to see them for a moment? I do not deny that the word is to be found in the dictionary, or that Shakespeare used it. But I meant to say that it was a word always intended for the purposes of scurrility - of vulgar meaning; and, like many other epithets in Shakespeare, not appropriate on all occasions, and certainly not becoming in such a dignified body as this.

Mr. HALE. I shall read the authorities, - Here is one:

"Oh, ye pandering rascals, there's a conspiracy against me!" [Great Laughter.]

Mr. FOOTE. Very well. Would the Senator affirm that "rascal" is Parliamentary language!

Mr. CAMERON. Would the senator be so good as to read the authority again? Some of us on this side did not hear it distinctly.

Mr. HALE. Certainly; with great pleasure, sir,

"Oh, ye pandering rascals, there's a conspiracy against me!" [Laughter.]

Why, sir, if I had searched the dictionary from beginning to end, I could not have hit upon a word which more clearly expresses what I meant to convey! This is an attempt no the part of the Administration to pander to the passions of the Roman Catholic voters. That is what I think. When the honorable Senator from Mississippi says he has great confidence in the Administration -

Mr. FOOTE. Will the honorable Senator allow me to interrupt him for a moment? The most serious part of what I said was not so much a denial of his allegation, as a solemn call upon him for evidence in support of the charge.

Mr. HALE. I understand.

Mr. FOOTE. Allow me further to state my proposition?

Mr. FOOTE. If a person were arraigned as a criminal, and no evidence of his guilt was produced, he would certainly go free of punishment; I therefore invoke the Senator to adduce his proofs. I challenge him to the proof.

Mr. HALE. The evidence is to be found in the absence of all proof to the contrary. - This is a fair mode of argument, as the Senator must admit. When there is something palpable on the face of the case, if not other motive strikes the mind as being the palpable motive, then the inference is legitimate, in the absence of all proof to the contrary, that is really the motive.

Mr. FOOTE. Suppose the Senator were charged with a grave offence, of which he was altogether innocent, though appearances were against him; and if he failed to adduce proof of his innocence, would he then be justly found guilty?

Mr. HALE. Non constat! The conclusion does not follow from the premises - not at all. But the Senator from Mississippi said that Pop Pius IX was "the man of the age." - Who I thought James K. Polk was "the man of the age!" [Laughter.] I should like to know what right any Democrat, sound in the faith, has to pronounce Pope Pius IX "the man of the age!" [Laughter.] I did not propose, however, to go into this question of a mission to Rome. I rose only for the purpose of freeing myself from the charge of using a vulgarism. As modified, however, by the Senator from Mississippi, instead of a charge, it is a compliment. I feel flattered. He says that my sentiment is becoming very common amongst the people. I agree with him. I do believe the people regard this as an attempt on the part of the Administration to pander to the Roman Catholic prejudices.

Mr. FOOTE. I hope the Senator will allow me to correct him. I did not say that the sentiment was common amongst the people, but that his language was of a very common caste and character.

Mr. HALE. Well, I am a common man! - I do not pretend to be anything else, And now having exposed the attempt on the part of the Administration as well as I can, I would appeal to Senators; and if there are any other ambitious men in the Senate beside myself, I would call on them to see to it that the man who has prepared this measure doesn't "bring all the grist into his hopper." If there be any other Presidential aspirant here beside myself, I think he had better look well to his business. Did the Senator from Michigan speak to me? [Great laughter, in which the reply of Mr. Cass was lost to the reporter.]

A writer in the Daily Telegraph of Columbia, South Carolina, draws a striking contrast between his own State and N. York, in which he bitterly complains of the inaction of the South Carolinians, without once referring to the cause of the declension of their prosperity, or the system that benumbs every faculty of enterprise or casts a blighting influence over that otherwise favored land. But he speaks interestedly of the depreciation of commerce and want of manufactories, and predicts the final result of this ruinous state of things:

"And now what position do we hold as a State and city? How does South Carolina and her commercial capital compare with other States? How does the "Queen City," standing midway between New York and New Orleans, and in possession of a splendid harbor, directly upon the seaboard, with the railroad communication to Tenn. and steam to the Mississippi - how does she appreciate her advantages, and how is the State benefited by the wonderful advances which the lights of science have caused in commerce and manufactures? Her present position, the result of long and obstinate adherence to the 'one' idea, is unfortunately but too well known, Carolina, one of the "old thirteen," is far behind her sisters in the race. With a large extent of territory, she has a very sparse population. In a year or two more, the city of New York will contain as man souls as all South Carolina; and while every other State is filling up, she stands still. The direct trade with Europe, which was once very large, extending even to Calcutta, has been gradually taken away: and now, even the carrying of her own cotton and rice is, to a very large extent, in the hands of others. The rich valleys of the West are waiting to pour their products into the lap of our city, but there is no answering spirit here; no flourishing mills are built; no shot-towers; and the profusion of those vast agricultural regions, with us, can find no market or consumption, even if there is a liberality and enterprise along the line of roads sufficient to allow these products to pass without being wholly absorbed in the freiglit and charges.

"We have too long left others to work for us; and our people seem to be under the impression that there is no need of exertion on their part, inasmuch as business must come by the efforts of those around us. A most fatal and delusive notion! It is true the West will find an outlet; but it will be through us, and not into us. Charleston will become a mere roadside inn; ambitious, perhaps, of levying a drayage upon the goods in transit, and furnishing dinners for travelers, but nothing more. South Carolina, and Charleston especially, must awake from this position; must use for herself, and her own advantage, the splendid facilities she possesses. She must manufacture her self, and use her own staples, furnishing thereby employment to a larger and constantly increasing population, and making her cotton worth three times its price in the raw material. All this can and will do; and to do this result it behooves all, who feel any interest in her welfare, to lend their aid.

The Blue Hen's Chicken, of Wilmington Deleware, seems to fully understand the different position of the laboring classes North and South in point of respectability under the president institutions, with the effect such a state upon the morals, enterprise, and improvements of the country.

"In the Eastern States, no man is respectable who has not some business or employment, except he be superannuated; every man is a working bee; there are no drones: consequently, the country is prosperous. The poor & rich are happy, and live in the midst of plenty. - Not so in the South, where slavery exists. - There labor is disreputable, and no one works who can by any means to avoid it. Consequently the labor of one-half the population is lost. The country looks desolate and decaying; morals are at a low ebb: there is no enterprise and no improvement; and a few white slaveholders enjoy all the honors and offices. The many whites are ignorant, and degraded almost to the level of the slaves, except that they cannot be sold like cattle. Then, must these few slaveholders be permitted to plant their accursed institution in new and free territory, to the exclusion of whites laboring and producing freemen, from free and slave States? Forbid it, Heaven!"

A Scotch newspaper of the year of 1777, gives the following as an extract of a letter from Lanerk: - Old William Douglass and his wife are lately dead; you know that he and his wife were born on the same day, and within the same hour, that they were constant companions till nature inspired them with love and friendship; and at the age of nineteen were married with the consent of their parents, and at the church where they were christened. These are not the whole of the circumstances attending this extraordinary pair. They never knew a day's sickness, until the day before their deaths; and the day on which they died, they were exactly one hundred years old.

CHLOROFORM. - A few drops placed upon a sponge and held to the nose of a wife for a minute or two, has been found to answer "first rate" in stopping a curtain lecture. She falls asleep as gently as a lamb or young kitten. [Exchange paper.]

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Subjects
Michigan Liberty Press
Old News