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the face of broad Europe can he find refuge but in the land of your forefathers, in Britain? There, God be thanked, there would be a welcome and a home for him. Are you prepared to give to the world evidence that you cannot receive the representative of liberty and republicanism, whom England can honor, shelter, and protect ?
But, Mr. President, will this transaction end there? I fancy that I see the exile wending his lonely way, with downcast looks, along the streets and thoroughfares of the great metropolis of Britain and the world, forsaken and abandoned, but not forgotten. Will it end in that? No, sir. Beyond us, above us, there is a tribunal, higher and greater than the Congress of the United States. It is a tribunal whose existence and jurisdiction and authority we have acknowledged, and to whose judgment-seat we have already called the Turk, the Austrian, and the Russian, to account for their action in regard to Hungary and to Kossuth. It is the tribunal of the public opinion of the world—the public opinion of mankind. Sir, that tribunal is unerring in its judgments. It is constituted of the great, the wise, and the good of all nations not only of the great, and wise, and good who are now living, but of the great, the wise, and the good of all ages. Before that tribunal, states, great and small, are equal. Ay, before that tribunal the proudest empire is equaled by its humblest citizen or subject. Yes, the Indian and the serf are equal there to the American Republic and to the Russian Empire. I know no living man entitled by the consent of Christendom to preside in that august tribunal. But there is a venerable form that seems to rise up before me, and all the congregated nations and people deferentially make way as he advances and takes the judgmentseat. It is the shade of Franklin. And there I see the parties opposed. On the one side stands Hungary, downcast and sorrowful, but she is surrounded by the people of many lands, who wait her redemption and their own. On the other side I see the United States of America, sustained—most singular conjunction by the youthful and impatient Bonaparte, the sickly successor of the Romans, and the Czar of all the Russias. I hear the impeachment read. It is, that the United States have dishonored and insulted the unfortunate representative of unfortunate Hungary ; that they found him a captive in Asia Minor, under the protection of the Turk, but subjected to the surveillance of the Russian
tyrant; that they addressed to him words of sympathy and hope, and that they brought to the doors of his captivity a national vessel, with their time-honored flag, and bade him to come upon its deck and be conveyed to a land of constitutional freedom-a land where the advocates and champions of universal liberty were sure to enjoy respect and sympathy, and fraternal welcome; and that when they had so seduced him from a place of obscurity, but of safety, and had thus brought him to their own shores, and when he stood waiting there for one simple word of welcome, one simple look of recognition, they turned away from him, spurned him from their presence, and cast him back upon the charities of Christian or Turk, in whatever land they might be found.
That is the impeachment. And the United States hold up the right hand and answer, “Not guilty.” I see the books of testimony opened on behalf of Hungary. Here they are. A resolution of the Congress of the United States of America, passed in the year 1850, tendering the hospitalities of the nation, and the use of a national ship, to Louis Kossuth ; then the message of the President of the United States, in 1851, calling upon Congress to say what shall be the ceremonial of receiving him who has been brought here under their authority; and then the record of this Senate, that upon a division of its members, a resolution of welcome was rejected. That constitutes the case on the part of Hungary. Sir, the United States appear in that august tribunal by learned and eloquent defenders and advocates. I see there my ardent and enthusiastic young friend from Alabama, [Mr. CLEMENS,) and the candid and learned Senator from Kentucky, [Mr. UNDERWOOD,] the impulsive and generous Senator from Georgia, [Mr. Dawson,] the very learned and astute advocate the honorable Senator from North Carolina, Mr. BADGER) and, lastly, he who holds the first place in our veneration of living senators, save only one, [Mr. ClAy] the honorable Senator from Georgia, [Mr. BERRIEN.] I listen to the long, elaborate, and earnest defence which they make against this impeachment. Hungary declines to reply; and Kossuth, the orator of modern times, upon whom she leans for support, for the first time overcome by a sense of cruel insult, is silent, dumb.
The defence is weighed by that august Shade, in whose placid countenance I read at once the sagacity of the lightning hunter
and the common sense of Poor Richard: “You
your invitation to the Magyar justified on his part and on the part of Hungary no expectation of a welcome.' How, then, came Kossuth, how came Hungary, how came the world, how came you. how came your President to misunderstand the invitation which was addressed to the exile ? When did you first revise your diplomacy to ascertain to what extent you might abridge the hospitalities to which you had invited him? Not until you were committed before the world. You say that Kossuth was invited to be a resident, to become a citizen of the United States, and yet that he came, on the contrary, as a transient guest.' Grant it; what then? Is a welcome less due to him whom you have invited as a perpetual guest, when he comes to thank you and decline the courtesy, than if he had accepted it and had become a perpetual charge upon your hospitalities? You say that the honors to Kossuth were moved in your Senate by ambitious aspirants for place and distinction.' Has, then, my country degenerated so much that there are no true, genuine patriots in the Senate of the United States who could lead that illustrious body in the discharge of so great a national obligation? You plead that the Hungarian chief ' was a noble by birth, an aristocrat by education and association, and that he had devoted himself in an effort not to disseminate the spirit of universal liberty, but to fortify the privileges of the Magyar race?' If that be so, did you not know it when you invited him? If you did not, how can you justify your ignorance of a character that was blazoned to the world ? But it is not true. Kossuth's first public action in early youth, was an effort, through the Hungarian Diet, to extend equal privileges of representation, of suffrage, and of taxation, to all the people of Hungary, without distinction of rank, or caste, or race. For his fidelity to the great cause of human equality and freedom, he was imprisoned three long years in a dungeon in the castle of Buda by the hand of the Austrian despot. When he came out from that captivity, he commenced that career of agitation for the restoration of the constitution of his country, which ended with success in the year 1848. When he had wrung that charter from the Emperor of Austria, his constitutional king, the first exercise of Hungarian authority by the legislature which he directed, was an act which abolished all the feudal tenures, that brought land within the reach of all, and put the Croat, the Wallachian, the Illyrian, the Jew, and the
Magyar, upon the same platform of equality before the law, equality before the government, equality in representation, equality in suffrage, and equality in enduring the burdens of government. It was for this that he was hunted from his native land and came an exile to your shores. Who pursued him there with reproaches of falsehood to freedom ? Not the Jew, the Croat, or the Sclave, but the tyrant of Austria, who has reduced all the people of Hungary, of whatever rank or race or caste, to the level of slaves. You say that you were willing to give Kossuth a welcome, but that he demanded more. How did you know that he demanded more? How did you learn that Kossuth demanded more than a cordial welcome? Where did he ask of you even so much as a welcome? Was it in your capital? To whom did he address his extravagant and offensive reclamation? Was it to your President? to your Ministry? to your Congress ? No; all alike refused to receive him, refused even to hear him speak, and yet you say he demanded too much. You closed his mouth before he had time to tell you what he thought, and what he wanted, or whether he wanted anything. But you reply, he was overheard to say that he expected arms, men, money, 'material aid, and intervention.' Overheard? What! did you deliver Kossuth from Russian surveillance in Turkey to establish an espionage over him of your own? Shame! shame to the country that so lightly regards the sanctity of the character of a stranger and an exile ! But you say that he would have demanded intervention. Suppose he should have demanded intervention ? Would you have been less able to have met that unreasonable demand after having accorded to him the exact justice which was his due, than you are now when you have done him injustice, and thus clothed him with the sympathies of your people and of mankind ? But you aver that he spoke irreverently of your authority: he was overheard to say, in the outgushing of his gratitude to the generous people who received him on Staten Island, that the people were the sovereigns of the government of the United States, and you cannot pardon that offence. What if he did say that? Are not the people the sovereigns of the government of the United States? Which one of your senators or representatives dare deny in his place that the people are his sovereigns! But you say that you had a precedent; that you once took offence at a minister of France who assumed the same position. You refer to Genet. But there is no parallel.
Genet was a minister of a government actually hostile, almost belligerent. He was in negotiation, and his demands were denied. He took an appeal from the decision of your government to the people. But Kossuth is no minister. He is your guest. He went to you not to negotiate, or to demand a right. He went by your invitation to enjoy your hospitalities. You have decided nothing against him. He has submitted no appeal. I do not say that you ought to have granted intervention had it been demanded. But I do say this, that the Hungarian would have demanded no more of you than, in a strait less severe than his, I solicited . and obtained for the United States of America from the Bourbon of France. Could you not have pardoned him for asking what you had once asked and obtained for yourselves! Was it so great a fault in him to suppose that now, in the day of your greatness, prosperity, and power, you might not be unwilling to do for Hungary what, in the day of your infancy, poverty, and weakness, France had done for yourselves? You say you stand upon precedent. Precedent? By whom established! By yourselves. Was Hungary concluded by such a precedent ? And what precedent? The precedent of the reception given to Lafayette ? Was not even that reception grudgingly given by the Congress of the United States? If the ashes of Lafayette could be reanimated, and he could present himself again upon your shores, would you not now willingly accord him a greater than the welcome he before received at your hands—a welcome, such as it was proposed to give to Kossuth? Wherein does the parallel between Kossuth and Lafayette fail? Lafayette began his career as a soldier of liberty in the cause of your country; but he pursued it through life in an effort to establish a republic in his own beloved land. Kossuth found the duty which first devolved upon him was to wage a struggle for freedom in his own country. When overborne there, he became, like Lafayette, a champion of liberty throughout the world. You say that the Russian might have taken offence. Is America, then, brought so low that she fears to give offence when commanded by the laws of nature and of nationsWhat right had Russia to prescribe whom you should receive and whom reject from your hospitalities? Let no such humiliation be confessed."
Thus in the tribunal of the public opinion of mankind, all our