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the Representative should, in all cases, exercise a sound and honest judgment, acknowledging only his ulterior responsibility. This is denied by the gentleman from South Carolina, who asserts the right of instruction, in this instance, to the fullest extent. To these points Mr. M‘l. said he should confine his argument, leaving the mass of the gentleman's remarks to produce an effect wheresoever they might. I distinguish our duty, said Mr. M'LANE, in the elec. tion of a President from that in cases of ordinary legislation, though not admitting the right of instruction in either, because, in the former, our duties are not legislative but rather judicial, or a part of the electoral franchise, which, in its very character, implies freedom of thought and action. The gentleman also distinguishes these duties, but reaches the opposite conclusion. He denies the right of instruction in matters of ordinary legislation, yet contends for it in our electoral duties! His theory is, to my mind, fallacious and unsatisfactory. He says the eople have no right to make, are incapable of making aws, and therefore delegate that power to us, and can. not control us ; but the people have a right to elect a President, and therefore can instruct us in our choice! If the premises were sound, a precisely opposite conclusion would clearly follow ; for, in the first instance, not being able to make laws, the people might well be supposed to constitute us their agents to act for them, and therefore, to a certain extent, retaining the right to cxercise a reasonable influence over our conduct; but, in the other case, having the right to make a President for themselves, and failing to do so, they could not claim to direct us, who are not acting for them, but for ourselves and the nation at large. The argument, however, is not well founded. The theory of our Government, it is true, is, that all power is in the people, and derived from the people— but they never act themselves, excepting in their electoral franchise. They act through the different organs and functionaries of the Government, appointed by the constitution and the laws, and they have no proper right to act in any other way. These functionaries are always responsible for a wise and faithful discharge of their various duties, but cannot be instructed in their exercise. The Congress are authorized to pass laws; and the judi. cial power to execute them—the people give the power to both, but they cannot properly instruct either. The gentleman is in error in denying to the people the right of making laws. . They have precisely the same right, in this respect, that they have to electa President. If they had not, how do we get such right, deriving, as we do, all our powers from them? It is, after all, a mere matter of convenience. The people have the right to make laws, but finding it inconvenient, or impracticable to exercise it, delegate the trust to both Houses of Congress. They have the same right, and no more, to elect a President; being more practical in its sixercise, they retain it in the first instance, but, foreseeing that this also might prove inconvenient or impracticable, they have delegated that power, in a certain extent, to the House of Representatives. In both instances the power is parted with for similar reasons, and therefore, so far as the original capability of the people is concerned, there is no ground of distinction. The choice of a President is both a power and a duty devolved upon the House of Representatives. It is devolved here, to be sure, by the people, under the provisions of the constitution, but differing, therefore, from any other delegated authority, only that, being an electoral, and not a legislative franchise, it is not liable to be controlled, at least by a power less than that conferring it. But, said Mr. M'L. let us apply the gentleman's own distinction to the case before us. He says the people have no right to instruct their representatives in a case of ordinary legislation, because they are incapable o

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of passing laws. Well, sir, in the case before us they have proved to be incapable of electing a President; not in theory, but in fact; they have made the attempt, and failed; and for that reason, the duty falls upon us; how, then, upon the gentleman's principles, can the right of instruction be claimed? But, said Mr. M'L. the gentleman from South Carolina further argued, that the will of the people is the paramount law, according to what he was pleased to term the philosophy of the constitution—to this the representative is bound to yield his judgment and conscience; and shame, and disgrace, and infamy, are denounced as the portion of him who shall venture to obey his own sense of right in opposition to this will! Before he could recognise a power so absolute, Mr. M'L. said, he was disposed to examine its source and character. He would make no lofty professions of regard for the will of the people, according to the phrase of the day. Nothing was more easy, however-nothing more common—it was the ordinary theme of all political declamation. It is the common price of power, and paid most liberally by those who most covet it. We scarcely read of a tyrant, the first page in whose history is not filled with hallelujahs to the people's will. Sir, said he, ambition seeks not to be governed, but to govern; to govern the people; and it flatters the people to put more power over them. But, it is the wild tumultuous will that is thus courted; that which springs from sudden excitements, irregular ebullitions, stirred up by practical causes, and confined to particular districts. Of this false image of the people’s will he was no worshipper: while, for the real will of the people, he sincerely felt a profound reverence. I mean, said he, the will of a majority of the people, constitutionally expressed, in the mode prescribed by the laws. It is this will which is the great moral and political power on which the Government reposes. It is this will which comes in the panoply of the constitution, and should be a law to all. He would recognize no other will of the people, than that so made manifest; every thing else was but its counterfeit. For this constitutional will, we manifest our respect, by cherishing and sustaining the institutions of its creation. And of his respect, he said, he would give a practical proof, by yielding a generous support to the man on whom the constitutional manifestation of this will should rest, supporting him when right, and opposing him when wrong. Now, sir, said Mr. M'LANE, the rights, and duties we are so soon to exercise, never can devolve upon us, if this will be so expressed; and we are obliged to act because it was impossible it could be. No one of the three candidates before the House of Representatives has obtained this constitutional majority, and it is impossible for any of us to say, which of them, or whether either could do so, if the matter were again referred to the people. We should involve ourselves in infinite confusion and embarrassment, to embark on such a sea of speculation. The people have no right to expect us to do so. We have rights as well as they, and both are equally bound by the forms of the constitution. We cannot be ignorant of the speculations which are pouring in upon us from all quarters, and the zeal with which each class of politicians builds up plausible arguments to prove that its own favorite candidate has either obtain. ed, or would obtain, a majority of the people in his favor. In the midst of all these conjectures, however, it is certain that neither has, constitutionally, the majoritv. In this state of things, it is the right and duty of the House of Representatives to choose one of the three to be President, and the question is, Whether less than a majority of the people have the right, in a loose, unconstitutional manner, to control that choice If the constitution requires a majority, it would be unwise in us to be swayed by less, and it would be usurpation in others to attempt it. I am bound to presume that the distribu

tion of powers, under this Government, was for wise

Feb. 7, 1825.]

purposes. I will neither encroach upon the rights of others, nor surrender my own. The moment different functionaries, under this Government, conflict with each other, the powers of each will be in jeopardy. The people are empowered, in the first instance, to elect a President in their own way, if they can. With their franchise, in this respect, we have no business to interf re. But, if they fail, the same constitution has created a new electoral power, over whose independent deliberations they have as little control. The opposite doctrine would array the people against their own institutions, and involve both in a common ruin. Our duty is not less important—not less responsible than that which the people have vainly attempted to discharge; and to suppose ourselves less independent than they, would be to impeach the wisdom of the constitution. The gentleman from South Carolina savs, the election of the President, by the people, is the best mode which human wisdom can devise. I may admit the position, but what follows? The constitution supposes it the best, and, therefore, resorts to it in the first instance; but it also supposes it may failin its object. It requires a majority of the people in favor of some one candidate, to make an election; its supposes this majority unattainable, and, in such an event, which has now happened, directs a new mode of election, and by a different power. I ask gentlemen to look into the constitution, and see what restrictions are imposed upon the exercise of this power. There is none but the number to which the choice is limited. Within this number it is in vain to shackle our discretion. The constitution meant, and for wise purposes, that the direct agency of the people, in this election, should cease after the result of the electoral votes, and that, in the new and further election, the federative principle of the Government shou'd operate—rejecting all influence from numbers and the weight of population. It became absolutely necessary to resort to such principle, to promote and ensure an election, by disregarding the causes which had prevented it in the electoral colleges. It designed to remove us from that very influence which had defeated the will of the majority. By giving each state a vote, without regard to its population, the electoral combinations or disagreements are broken up, and a new principle established. But the doctrine contended for, by the gentleman from South Carolina, brings the force of the population, in the worst and most irregular form, to operate on the election here, and disappoint the great object of the change. Sir, said Mr. M“LANE, it is plain, that, if the constitution had deemed the further agency of the people essential, or even proper, it would not have devolved the election upon us, where the largest and smallest state is upon an equality, but would have sent it back to the people for a new effort. It would have remitted the choice to them with the same restriction as to the number of candidates, or it would have sent the election to us, to be made in proportion to the numbers of each state on this floor. If it were deemed inexpedient to send the choice back to the people, for a constitutional expression of their preference, it cannot be wise to control it here by a loose manifestation, or by vague and speculative conjectures. The gentleman from South Carolina, said Mr. McL. has spoken of an “inchoate election.” He says the people have commenced the choice, and that we are only to complete what they have begun. He did not, he said, entirely comprehend the force of these remarks. If they were designed to argue that we should begin where the people had left off, pushing the highest by preference to the others, he could not assent to the proposition. Such an idea was as impracticable as it would be to add states to individual votes. But the act of the people, he contended, was complete, and their

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power at an end. Their act was to ballot for a choice— if any one received a majority, the election was complete. If such a majority did not appear, the failure was as complete. He contended that the people were done with the matter; it was no longer in their hands; it had passed into ours, accompanied with a deep responsibility, which we could not otherwise discharge than by an honest, conscientious performance of our duty, according to our own honest Judgment. What then, said Mr. McLANE, are our rights and duties in this matter f . The constitution, by which they are prescribed, provides, that, if no person shall have a majority, then, from the persons having the highest numbers, not exceeding three, the House of Representatives shall choose, immediately, by ballot, the President. The time of making this choice, does, of itself, exclude the idea of any interference of the people by instructions. The House are to proceed immediately to the performance of their duty, making it impossible to procure any concerted or regular movement by the people to express their wish. Any other than such, would be worse than folly—it would be delusive and dangerous. But the House of Representatives are to choose a President. This is both a right and a duty. The right of choosing, implies the right of selection—it implies, also, discretion; the exercise of an unbiassed judgment, the duty of considering the fitness and qualifications of the respective candidates, their comparative merits, their capacity to sustain the institutions of the country, to promote the safety and happiness of the people at home, and the honor and glory of the nation abroad; in short, sir, it necessarily implies the right of considering every thing which fairly appertains to the perference to be ultimately declared. It is our duty to examine and deliberate upon everything connected with the subject, in reference to the object to be attained. Are gentlemen willing to have this great duty resolved into a simple inquiry into personal popularity ? of which of the three our particular constituents night prefer 2 or which would be most popular in a given district or state Such an inquiry would divert us entirely from the merits of the candidates, and lead us into a field where every thing is doubt and conjecture. What, said he, are the powers of the people, when they are making the election, and by what motives are they to be supposed to be influenced in their choice . There are no limits to their power; they may even indulge in whim and caprice; but a wise, and virtuous, and intelligent, and patriotic people, must be presumed to be guided in their choice by the character and fitness of the candidate. They look for a Chief Magistrate capable of presiding with safety and honor over the destinies of the country, and less power than they possess over the subject, would be inadequate to the object—would impair their elective franchise? Have we not the same duties to perform, the same objects to attain, and are we clothed with less power and fewer means for their attainment? Could it have been the design of this Constitution to commit this high trust to our hands, and leave us dependent upon the will or caprice of others for its execution ? It is our duty and our right to “choose,” but, if we are liable to be instructed, nay, commanded in our choice, the choice is not ours, but theirs who instruct us; it is not a free and independent selection, but obedience to the commands of a superior. I admit, said Mr. McLANE, that the preference of the people is worthy of consideration, accompanied by an inquiry into the grounds and motives of the preference, and we should fairly endeavor to elect the man who would, or ought to be, acceptable to the people; but, in determining this, we should rather consider the fitness of the man, and the character of the people, than any wild or irregular ebullitions of the popular will. The gentleman from South Carolina has argued, that a great man, of

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distinguished virtues, will always command the approbation of the people. In the progress of things, there is much truth in the observation; and, if we take care to select a man of real merit, who is, in all respects, fitted to promote the great objects of good government, we may confidently expect such a selection to be ultimately acceptable to the people. It is made our duty to select from three candidates; and I contend (said he,) that, as it respects the state of their vote out of this House, they are upon an equal footing—they are all equally nominated for our support, each resting his claims upon his own individual qualifi. cations. Why was this scope given to our selection, if their relative strength be obligatory upon our judgment? Neither the Constitution, or the principles of our Government, pay respect to less than a majority; and, as neither candidate before us possesses this advantage, what other guide have we ? The gentleman has argued with great confidence, as if the plurality in vote, were to control our choice. If this were so, the discretion secured by the Constitution would be mere mockery; it must be supposed to authorize us to choose from three, and yet to confine us to one; our duty would be simply to elect the man highest in vote, without regard to fit. ness. But, sir, said Mr. McLANE, this is not the principle of our Government. In the primary election, a majority of the people is to govern; here, a majority of the states. The plurality principle is in opposition to both. The majority of the people are certainly opposed to such a candidate—a majority of the states may be. The state of the vote in the colleges is the resul' of a state of things which no longer exists. It may have been produced by the number of candidates, and without reference to a preference between the three ersons from whom a choice is here to be made. It is our high privilege to weigh and consider all these things; to deliberate upon the qualification of the candidates, and to consider who would best serve the people, and whom they ought to, not less than whom they do, prefer. The gentleman from S. C. has emphatically desired me to suppose that one man should receive 130 electoral votes, and asks if I should dare put by his claims. Sir, the case is by no means puzzling. I should dare to do so, if in my conscience I believed such a candidate unfit to be the ruler of this nation. I should consider the case as still one of expediency. I admit that so strong a vote ought to have, and could not fail to have, great weight; but still there would be 131 electoral votes opposed to him, being a majority of the people; and there would be quite as much propriety in supposing that that majority would prefer another, more especially, if, in reality, he should be better qualified for the station. This doctrine of the plurality preference and of instruction, would naturally lead to the most dangerous consequences, and defeat one great object of confiding the choice to us. It holds all our information and experience for naught, and deprives the people of all advantage from the very qualities for which they have selected us for this duty. It can rarely happen that the people of these states can have a full knowledge of the character and principles of men who may be presented for their suffrages. They judge from the representations of others, or from some single glaring or striking act. The preference is no doubt founded upon his supposed fitness and capacity. They believe him to be a wise, enlightened, and virtuous Statesman, sound and practical in his views, and deserving their confidence. But, is it not possible for all these calculations to prove unfounded ? Let me suppose, sir, said he, that we, who may be better acquainted with the individual, when we came to inspect his character and test his fitness, find that he is in reality distinguished for no one virtue, for which the people preferred him; that, in our conscien

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ces, we should be persuaded he was wholly incapable of administering the Government—what would the gentleman from S.C. do in such case? Would he surrender his judgment and conscience to the mistaken preference of his constituents, or fearlessly consult his higher duty to his country? It was nostretch of the imagination, said Mr. McLANF, for him to suppose further, that some one candidate, returned to the House of Representatives, should be discovered in the use of improper means to promote his elevation: the patronage of his office may have been held out in anticipation, and indications of a policy and administration injurious to the great interests of the nation. In such a case, who could hesitate between the mandate of his instruction, and his duty to the nation? Sir, said Mr. McLANE, the only true and safe course, is to treat this body as an independent tribunal, bound to elect the man best qualified, in their judgment, to administer the affairs of the nation. If we are bound by instructions, who have the right

* to instruct us? It has been already shown, that the elec

tion here is federative, and not by numbers; the votes are by States and not by the People. We are called to perform this duty for the whole nation, not for any part of it; for all the states, and not for any one in particular. When we enter upon this duty, we lose our relation to our immediate constituents, and are charged with a duty for the whole Union. We become the judges and umpires of the whole; we are to act for the interests of the whole. It is in this way only, that the equality of the votes of states here, can be reconciled with the general theory of the Government. If I act here under the instruction and dominion of Delaware, the population of that state controls tenfold its numbers elsewhere. But, if I act here, under no more particular responsibility to my im: mediate constituents in Delaware, than to the rest of the Union, and consulting the interests of the whole, this disparity, which has been so much complained of, disappears. If in this election I preserve my ordinary relation to the people of Delaware, then to them only am I responsible, and upon me their instructions only, are obligatory. What then becomes of the plurality vote, o, instructions command me to disregard and disoey it I ask again, said Mr. McLANs, Where is the power from whence these instructions can constitutionally emanate From the people they cannot, for there is no mode by which their will can be ascertained. For I desire to protest against all partial or local assemblages as indicating the will of the majority. From the Legislatures they cannot, for these bodies are charged with no such duties, and can have no better means of ascertaining the public will than we, who spring from the same source. Sir, said Mr. McI.ANE, if we are called, in the discharge of this duty, to act for the whole people of this Union, and are bound to consult the interests of the whole; and if, in the performance of our duty, the plurality of the votes of the whole people, expressed in their elections, can have no obligatory torce with us, how can it be said, that the opinions or instructions of our particular county or district, or even a state, can be more imperative * Mr. McLANx said, when he was up a few days ago, he had ventured to argue, that if we were bound to regard the will or instruction of our particular districts, we should be constantly in danger of making no election at all. If each state have the right to instruct its Representatives, there can be no change until the one or other give way. The gentleman from South Carolina has taken occasion to express the utmost apprehension of the consequences of no election, and would conceive himself an object of just reprobation if he could be instrumental in producing such an alternative. But if he

Feb. 7, 1825.]

be bound by the instructions of his constituents, and they direct him not to give way, he is no longer responsible; he yields to the power of others, and takes no blame to himself. Is there no danger to be apprehended from this quarter Does excitement prevail no where but in this Hall? Are there no sectional Jeahousies, and local prejudices to be stirred up in such a contest ? Does not every one know the height to which the public excitement may be carried by political contests, and the zeal and obstinacy with which angry partizans maintain their point * Suppose, under such a state of excitement, that three candidates come to this House, with the states equally divided; how could we hope to make an election? Each state instructs its Representation to hold out, to nail their flag to the mast, and go down with their ship; and all the evils of contending passions and jealousies immediately ensue. My word for it, said Mr. M'LANE, let the popular servor be once fully roused, and the tumults will rage as wildly without as within these walls. We cannot avoid these difficulties, until we learn to value our own freedom and independence; to be responsible only, in the discharge of our duty, to our own consciences, to the interests of a common country, and our ultimate dependence upon the will of a constitutional majority. No responsibility could be weightier, and the doctrine of instruction and obedience,this counterfeit image of the people's will, could not fail to weaken it. It would do more—it would subvert the independence of the Representative, and seriously disturb the public tranquillity. As long as we are held to an honest, conscientious discharge of our duties here, we shall act with greater judgment and circumspection—we shall measure our obligations by the scale of the Union, and act under views worthy of so high a trust. But we should no sooner cast off this independence, and yield our judgments and consciences to the dictates of any authority whatsoever, than we should cease to exert our own faculties, and be driven about, the sport of every popular breeze. We should escape from our duty to the whole, and seek refuge under the local or narrow and capricious views of a particular part. A high national responsibility, involving lof. tiness of character and virtuous fame, would give way to considerations of place and power; we should soon learn to value a seat on this floor more than the higher concerns of a great nation; and, instead of consulting the interests of the American people, we should obey only the commands of a single Congressional district. According to the theory for which he contended, said Mr. M'LANE, the duty of a member of this House is that of a great moral agent, looking, with a single eye, to the welfare of a common country, and guided by considerations of a similar kind. He acts fearlessly and independently to the attainment of that end : if he fail, from weakness of character, or through corrupt means, and give just offence, or produce injury to the people, the remedy is found in the elective power of the people. It is the ultimate remedy for all evils and abuses in the Government, and will never prove inefficacious as long as each public functionary shall be kept within its appropriate sphere. There is force enough in it to secure an honest discharge of our duty—it is terrible only to evildoers. If it be rashly or vindictively applied, it deprives us of the honor of a seat here; but it leaves us in possession of that which is of far more value, and well calculated to alleviate the loss of place. I do not say that the honor of a seat in this House is to be lightly esteemed, or that he who could not surrender it without regret, would be unworthy of its occupation; but I will say, that it is not likely to be honored by him who would be incapable of performing its duties with an honest independence. Mr. M'LANE said he was not ambitious of figuring in an opposition to the popular clamor, nor was he at all disposed to court responsibility ; but he would not shrink from it, when it came upon him, and he could

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imagine it to be sometimes a virtue to oppose even the wildest tumult. It behoved every man placed in such a station to meet the crisis with calmness and fortitude : to throw his eyes abroad over the whole scene, and do the best for the safety and happiness of the whole. It would ill become us, he said, in such a crisis, to be found timid and wavering, infirm of purpose, bending to the storm, or yielding our judgments to the commands of others. Our great duty, upon such an occasion as the present, was to compose difficulties, not to heighten them with others, or to be agitated by them ourselves. The supposition is, when the election of a President devolves upon this House, that the public voice has been distrusted and distracted by serious and unavoidable difficulties: by the number of candidates, personal predilections, and hostility: local views and sectional jealousy; party feelings and factious excitement. By these and other causes, the public mind may have been thrown into the most bitter and violent commotion, alarming to both social and public tranquillity. The Constitution erects this House into a high and sacred tribunal, to compose and quiet these angry elements—to allow time for their fury to subside—to bring order out of confusion. We should be false to ourselves and to the country, if, instead of doing so, we should launch forth upon this wild ocean, and fret and vex it afresh. It is not for me to say how surely this would be done by bringing public excitement to operate upon our deliberations in such an election. Then, sir, said Mr. M'LANE, if I be correct in the views I have taken of the rights and duties of the House of Representatives in this election, does it not follow, that all attempts to control, or sway, or intimidate the free exercise of our sober, independent judgment, are iedecorous and improper? He would not now detain the House, after the time he had already consumed, in detailing the various means which might be employed, and the different kinds of influence which might be brought to control the independence of members. It was unnecessary for him, he said, to describe the ef. fects of all those popular engines which a state of high public excitement always puts in motion, and which, from the seeds sown in county meetings, to the fruits appearing in the persons of self-constituted committees, which may daily surround this Hall, were constantly operating. We guard the election by the people, said he, from all tumult and disorder, and carefully banish all illegitimate influence at a distance. Why are we fearful of surrounding our own liberties with equal security The character of all these influences is progressive; and the most fearful apprehensions entertained, by able commentators upon our constitution, of an election by the House of Representatives, have been from the effect of these extraneous influences, both civil and military, which may easily be put in motion. Mr. M’L. said he had no apprehension of such evils at the present day; but he repeated, that now, when every thing was comparatively tranquil and secure, was the most suitable time to make provision for the day, when the tempers of gentlemen would be less calculated for cool deliberation. If the people had no power to interfere with our conduct, they could claim no right to superintend our deliberations. He had as little at stake as others, however, and should submit, with as good a grace, to the decision of the House. Mr. M'LANE said he could not conclude his remarks whhout some notice of another topic of the gentleman of South Carolina, (Mr. M'DUFFIE,) to which he wished he could have been spared the duty of adverting. It was the reply which that gentleman had given to the precedent of 1801, which he Mr. M'L. had, on a former occasion, called to the attention of the House. It had been summarily and violently denounced, because it had emanated from the old federal party. Mr. M'LANE

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remarked, that what he said on a former occasion on this subject, would make it unnecessary for him to say much more now. He was not so weak as to enter, at this time of day, upon a grave and argumentative defence of the federal party. He well knew it was not to be defended by speeches in or out of this House. It would have to rely for its defence upon the wisdom and propriety of its works, to which the general state of our national happiness and the cool judgment of posterity were fast affixing their seal. To the survivors of that party, it must be a source of proud satisfaction to witness the wisdom of its policy daily triumphing over the bitterest prejudices, while those who had disappeared from the stage, had passed to a higher reward. He could but lament, however, the disposition occasionally manifested to keep alive those old animosities. It was sufficient to satisfy him that the Monster Party was not dead, but sleeping, and not so sound but that now and then it would rouse up and shake his grisly mane. He had not altogether distrusted the promise, that, in the present day, some Hercules would appear to rid us of this Monstor with more heads than the Lernaean of old, and he sincerely hoped, that, after this labor should be achieved, he should not continue to be wounded by the arrows of the conquerer, more fatal than even those dipped in the gall of the ancient Hydra. The honorable gentleman from South Carolina, (Mr. M’Duffie,) however, had declined considering this as a precedent of the federal party; but had pronounced it the act of a party who had deliberately determined to violate the Constitution of their country; and the gentleman had further said, their reward had been political infamy Sir, said Mr. M'LANE, I hope this was rather spoken in the heat of debate, than with a dispassionate foresight of the extent of such a denunciation. He knew the gentleman was too chivalrous to carry it out seriously to its consequences, and yet his remarks were liable to such an interpretation. However this may be, said Mr. M'L. it is but declamation; nothing was attempted upon that occasion that the Constitution at least did not warrant, and men as pure as any this nation has produced, embarked in the enterprize. Sir, the political infamy, of which the gentleman has spoken, exists only in his own imagination. It has not tainted the life of scarcely an individual who was concerned in that famous election. If the gentleman will cast his eye over the Journal of that period, he will see the names of many whose fame and virtues are much more to be envied than shunned. One, and by no means the least eminent, was then an able Representative of the same State which the gentleman now represents upon this floor. From that period his life was marked by the exhibition of great probity and talents, commanding public and private admiration; sharing, in his life, the confidence of his fellow-citizens, and, in his death, but the other day, wrapping a neighboring city into mourning. Sir, said Mr. M'LANE, my own state had the honor to claim as her Representative an able and conspicuous statesman of that Congress. Deservedly distinguished as he was for the noblest private and public virtues, the lustre of an illustrious life shone with new light upon the public eye after the scenes of that day. He lived only to give strongerproofs of his patriotism, and to fasten ilis hold upon public confidence and admiration. He was even selected, at a most critical period of public af. fairs, by a Republican administration, for a highly important trust, and bore a conspicuous share in that mem. orable negotiation which restored peace to a bleeding country. sir, I have a high respect for the gentleman from South Carolina, and would rather smooth than obstruct the path of his fame; but, were my feelings for him much warmer than they are, I could not wish him a more enviable lot than the same portion of private and political character, which rewarded the virtues of the 3istinguished individual to whom I have alluded, who

was the pride of his state and the ornament of his country. Mr. WEBSTER then rose, and said, that the precise question betore the committee, as he understood it, was on expunging that part of the third rule to be observed in conducting the approaching election, which prescribes that the galleries of this House, which at first are to be open to the public, may be cleared at any time pending the election, at the request of the delegation of any one state. If the motion obtains, the standing rule of the House on this subject will then be in order, which is, that the Speaker, as a matter of duty, and a matter of course, may cause the galleries to be cleared whenever any disorder, on the part of those who attend there, shall, in his opinion, render it expedient and proper. So that, in fact, the question before the committee, which has been, he would not say, the subject, but which has been the occasion of such an extended discussion, is simply this, whether the power of clearing the galleries, in case of disorder, shall rest with the Speaker of the House, or with the delegation from a state. This is the precise question, which the committee have to decide. A very broad discussion had been gone into, as to the effect of those various considerations which ought to influence a member of this House in giving his vote. As constituting, either in whole or in part, the delegation of a state, he would not say that the arguments which had been brought forward had not any relation to each other. But he must say, that their relation to the question before the committee, was but slight. The question had been treated with a view to national considerations, but it must be extremely evident, that the House could not prescribe how much relative consideration ought to be given to one, and how much to another of these considerations. And in such a case each member must judge for himself, what degree of respect is due to this or that mode of expressing public opinion. Whether he shall have regard to public opinion as it now is, or as it will soon be ; on every question of this kind, each man must decide for himself. A course of remark has been gone into, historical allusions had been made, and not very slight denunciations had been uttered, in relation to a former precedent, to all which it might be expected that he should make some reply; and he certainly felt, as was natural in his circumstances, a strong desire to do so; but he was restrained from indulging this desire, by what he considered to be his duty to the House. It must be, by this time, perfectly evident, that no valuable result could be obtained by the most protracted discussion; and he would submit to the candor of gentlemen the propriety of making some disposition of the subject before them, without further delay. He hoped that the motion he was about to make, would be received in the spirit in which it was made. The House was on the eve of a great and interesting duty. It was indispensable that some rules of proceeding should previously be adopted. With respect to the particular rule now in discus. sion, he considered it as very unimportant in itself. If important at all, it had only been made so by the discussion of which it had been made the subject. Rather than spend ten minutes more of the time of the House, he would, for himself, willingly consent, that the power in question should remain with the Speaker, or should be given to the delegation of a state. He, therefore, moved that the committee do now rise, and that the residue of the rules should be determined on in the House. The motion was agreed to, and the committee then rose, reported progress, and were refused leave to sit again: and the committee was discharged from the further consideration of the subject. On motion of Mr. COUKE, the Committee of the whole on the State of the Union were discharged from the further consideration of the rules referred to it; and they were laid on the table. They were then taken up and read in order. The first rule is in the following words:

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