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 299

image of pageExplore Inside

Page 299

Speech | The Reprint Company; John F. Trow & Co. | 1866, 1978
Transcription 299
science of politics ; he analysed the Constitution word
by word its letter and its spirit ; and he studied
thoroughly the workings of our Government. The
result was that he lifted himself above all parties, and
became a Philosophical Statesman the only true and
real Statesman. And it was in the wide and exhaust-
less field now opened to him, that he gathered those
immortal laurels, whose verdure shall delight, whose
blossoms shall refresh, whose fruit shall be the food of
the latest posterity.
The example of his noble efforts to reform the
Government and to restore the Constitution of his
country, distinguished by the display of the vastest
resources and the most masterly powers of intellect
though like Agis, and Conon and the younger Brutus,
he failed in his glorious designs—will live forever.
But his speeches and writings will constitute a new
epoch in the science of Politics. Our Federal Con-
stitution, he often said, was in advance of the wisdom
of those who framed it ; and he it was who first thor-
oughly explored, comprehended, and expounded it.
He found in it nearly all that was requisite to estab-
lish, on the firmest foundations, a free and popular
Government, which was his beau ideal of Govern-
ment ; and which, though it has had many friends and
many martyrs, and has been illustrated by patriots and
heroes, has scarcely before had a genuine Apostle.
He laid down, for the first time, its true principles and
marked out its true limits ; and has shown how it
might, and unless vigilantly watched, eventually would
depart from those principles and limits, and produce
all those evils which have so long made it odious to the
best and wisest men. He has shown on the other