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the Presidential office, a personal perquisite. If his partisans are exacting, vindictive, and unjust, they act only in harmony with his nature, too truly represented in them. There is not a ring, whether military or senatorial, that does not derive its distinctive character from himself. Therefore, what they do and what they say must be considered as done and said by the chieftain they serve. And here is a new manifestation of that sovereign egotism which no taciturnity can cover up, and a new motive for inquiry into its pernicious influence.
THE GREAT PRESIDENTIAL QUARRELLER.
ANY presentment of the President would be imperfect which did not show how this ungovernable personality breaks forth in quarrel, making him the great Presidential quarreller of our history. As in nepotism, gift-taking with repayment by office, and Presidential pretensions generally, here again he is foremost, having quarrelled not only more than any other President, but more than all others together, from George Washington to himself. His own Cabinet, the Senate, the House of Representatives, the diplomatic service, and the civil service generally, all have their victims, nearly every one of whom, besides serving the Republican Party, had helped to make him President. Nor have Army officers, his companions in the field, or even his generous patrons, been exempt. To him a quarrel is not only a constant necessity, but a perquisite of office. To nurse a quarrel, like tending a horse, is in his list of Presidential duties. How idle must he be, should the words of Shakespeare be fulfilled, "This day all quarrels die"!1
1 Titus Andronicus, Act I. Sc. 2.
To him may be applied those other words of Shakespeare, "As quarrellous as the weasel."1
Evidently our President has never read the Eleventh Commandment: "A President of the United States shall never quarrel." At least he lives in perpetual violation of it, listening to stories from horse-cars, gobbling the gossip of his military ring, discoursing on imaginary griefs, and nursing an unjust anger. The elect of forty millions of people has no right to quarrel with anybody. His position is too exalted. He cannot do it without offence to the requirements of patriotism, without a shock to the decencies of life, without a jar to the harmony of the universe. If lesson were needed for his conduct, he might find it in that king of France who on ascending the throne made haste to declare that he did not remember injuries received as Dauphin.2 Perhaps a better model still would be Tancred, the acknowledged type of the perfect Christian knight, who "disdained to speak ill of whoever it might be, even when ill had been spoken of himself."3 Our soldier President could not err in following this knightly example. If this were too much, then at least might we hope that he would consent to limit the sphere of his quarrelsome operations so that the public service might not be disturbed. Of this be assured,—in every quarrel he is the offender, according to the fact, as according to every reasonable presumption; especially is he responsible for its continuance. The President can always choose his relations with any citizen. But he chooses discord. With the arrogance
1 Cymbeline, Act III. Sc. 4.
2 "Le roi de France ne venge pas les injures du duc d'Orléans." LOUIS Fournier, L'Esprit dans l'Histoire, (Paris, 1860,) p. 121.
3 Raoul de Caën, Faits et Gestes du Prince Tancrède: Guizot, Mémoires relatifs à l'Histoire de France, Tom. XXIII. p. 6.
of arms he resents any impediment in his path, when, in the spring of 1870, without allusion to himself, I felt it my duty to oppose his San Domingo contrivance. The verse of Juvenal, as translated by Dryden, describes his conduct:
Answer or answer not, 't is all the same,
He lays me on and makes me bear the blame." 1
Another scholarly translator gives to this description of the Presidential quarrel another form, which is also applicable :
"If that be deemed a quarrel, where, Heaven knows,
He only gives and I receive the blows;
Across my path he strides and bids me Stand! -
If the latter verse is not entirely true in my case, something must be pardoned to that Liberty in which I was born.
Men take their places in history according to their deeds. The flattery of life is then superseded by the truthful record, and rulers do not escape judgment. Louis the Tenth of France has the designation of Le Hutin, or "The Quarreller," by which he is known in the long line of French kings. And so in the long line of American Chief-Magistrates has our President vindicated for himself the same title. He must wear it. The French monarch was younger than our President; but there are other points in his life which are not without parallel. According to a contemporary chronicle, he
1 Third Satire of Juvenal, 454-55, 468-69: Dryden's Works, ed. Scott, Vol. XIII. p. 146.
2 Gifford, (2d edit., London, 1806,) 407-10.
was "well disposed, but not very attentive to the needs of the kingdom"; and then again it was his rare fortune to sign one of the greatest ordinances of French history, declaring that "according to the Law of Nature every one must be born free";2 but the Quarreller was in no respect author of this illustrious act, and was moved to its adoption by considerations of personal advantage. It will be for impartial History to determine if our Quarreller, who treated his great office as a personal perquisite, and all his life long was against that Enfranchisement to which he put his name, does not fall into the same category.
DUTY OF THE REPUBLICAN PARTY.
AND now the question of Duty is distinctly presented to the Republican Party. I like that word. It is at the mandate of Duty that we must act. Do the Presidential pretensions merit the sanction of the party? Can Republicans, without departing from all obligations, whether of party or patriotism, recognize our ambitious Cæsar as a proper representative? Can we take the fearful responsibility of his prolonged empire? I put these questions solemnly, as a member of the Republican Party, with all the earnestness of a life devoted to the triumph of this party, but which I served always with the conviction that I gave up nothing that was
1 "Larges estoit et volentis,
Mès n'estoit pas bien ententis,
Si comme reson li bailloit."
GODEFROY DE PARIS, Chronique Métrique, 8047-50.
2 "Selon le droit de nature chacun doit naître franc." - Ord. 3 Juillet, 1315: Ordonances des Roys de France de la troisième Race, Tom. I. p. 583. Sismondi, Histoire des Français, Tom. IX. pp. 321-22.
meant for country or mankind. With me, the party was country and mankind; but with the adoption of all these Presidential pretensions the party loses its distinctive character and drops from its sphere. Its creed ceases to be Republicanism and becomes Grantism; its members cease to be Republicans and become Grantmen. It is no longer a political party, but a personal party. For myself, I say openly, I am no man's man, nor do I belong to any personal party.
ONE TERM FOR PRESIDENT.
THE attempt to change the character of the Republican Party begins by assault on the principle of One Term for President. Therefore must our support of this requirement be made manifest; and here we have the testimony of our President, and what is stronger, his example, showing the necessity of such limitation. Authentic report attests that before his nomination he declared that "the liberties of the country cannot be maintained without a One-Term Amendment of the Constitution." At this time Mr. Wade was pressing this very Amendment. Then after his nomination, and while his election was pending, the organ of the Republican Party at Washington, where he resided, commended him constantly as faithful to the principle. The "Morning Chronicle" of June 3, 1868, after the canvass had commenced, proclaimed of the candidate,
"He is, moreover, an advocate of the One-Term principle, as conducing toward the proper administration of the law, a principle with which so many prominent Republicans have identified themselves that it may be accepted as an article of party faith."