Wlliam Gilmore Simms
Selections from the Letters and Speeches of the Hon. James H. Hammond, of South Carolina >> An Oration on the Life, Character, and Services of John Caldwell Calhoun, Delivered on the 21st November 1850, in Charleston, S.C., at the Request of the City Council >> Page 272

image of pageExplore Inside

Page 272

Speech | The Reprint Company; John F. Trow & Co. | 1866, 1978
Transcription 272
gon, without necessity, under doubtful title, and at
imminent hazard of a war with England. At the close
of that Session he resigned his seat in the Senate, and
retired from public life.
His health, which, although his constitution had
been considered diseased and ultimately proved to be
so, had been almost perfect throughout his long ser-
vice, began now to exhibit some symptoms of decay.
And well it might and well might he be wearied out.
For ten in fact for fourteen successive years, he had
been engaged in a contest that taxed to their uttermost
all his physical and mental powers. Body and spirit,
he had devoted himself without a moment's respite to
the arduous and perilous task of restoring a violated
Constitution and a corrupted Government. It had
been one long, raging storm, with scarce a single inter-
mission. A storm such as none but the most ,hopeful
and the bravest would have dared to defy, and in which
none but the most prudent, the most hardy, the most
skilful endowed with the rarest intellect, strengthened
by every resource upon which genius can make a re-
quisition, and held to the encounter by an unconquer-
able will could have outrode a second blast. But he
stood in the centre of the vortex, unblenched, im-
" As a tower, that firmly set,
Shakes not its top for any wind that blows."
For the first time a clear expanse was now visible
above the political horizon. The Federalists, tracked
through all their disguises, were again beaten to the
ground. They lay prostrate, and the Republicans,
after the salutary experience of a great reverse and
many years of desperate warfare, all brought on by