It professed to ignore the question of slavery, and declared that it would recognize no political principle other than "the Constitution of the Country, the Union of the States, and the enforcement of the Laws." II., p. 294. The first, most striking feature of the four-sided Presidential canvass which now began, was the personal pledge by every one of the candidates of devotion to the Union.
Among the luxuries which our Christmas dinner afforded was that of a joint of English roast beef, of which a few quarters had been preserved for such occasions by rubbing the outside with salt, and hanging it on deck covered with canvass. The low latitude in which our last summer's navigation was performed would have rendered its preservation doubtful without the salt.
As neither party seemed disposed to take any notice of us, we filled our top-sail, and stood out of the circle, under easy canvass, believing it bad policy to have an appearance of haste. Haste, however, was a thing out of our power, it requiring time for four men to make sail.
He had been forced to enter that house, formally, a day or two before, in the course of his canvass; and his worldly pride had received a shock when the home, the birth, and the manners of his bride's parents had been brought before him. He had even said to himself, "And is it the child of these persons that I, Audley Egerton, must announce to the world as wife?"
This influential and unyielding opposition was fatal to the Illinois candidate. As the Davis canvass declined the Greeley sentiment increased, and it soon became evident that the contest would lie between Adams and Greeley.
"Well, Tom, since you are no longer dazzled, and see us all now, you had better get up, hadn't you you see mamma is waiting there to embrace you?" "Why, I think myself I had better; but when I broached to so suddenly, I split my lower canvass, Mary, and I cannot budge until your mother lends me a petticoat." "A what? you are crazy, Tom" "Not a whit, not a whit, why I have split my ahem.
The fore-sail and fore and mizzen stay-sails were on the ship, and the main-sail, close-reefed also, was about to be set, to drag her-from the mêlée of her foes, when her ensign came down. By getting the tack of the latter aboard, and the sheet aft, he would have all the canvass set the gale would allow, and to this all-essential point he directed his wits.
A son of a former Prime Minister who had already taken so strong a part in politics as to have severed himself from his father, not prepared to address the voters of a borough whom he had come to canvass! The plea was so absurd, that he was thrust on to his feet before he knew what he was about. It was in truth his first public speech.
On it being resolved to reappoint the decemvirate, all the nobles set to canvass for the office, Appius among the foremost; and such cordiality did he display towards the commons while seeking their votes, that the other candidates, "unable to persuade themselves that so much affability on the part of so proud a man was wholly disinterested," began to suspect him; but fearing to oppose him openly, sought to circumvent him, by putting him forward, though the youngest of them all, to declare to the people the names of the proposed decemvirs; thinking that he would not venture to name himself, that being an unusual course in Rome, and held discreditable.
Unless he could save his own State his chance for President was gone. So he went into this memorable canvass with his own party divided and a determined opponent in the person of Abraham Lincoln. The young Republican party in Illinois had been gathering strength with each new phase of the slavery question. The joint debate between Douglas and Lincoln was memorable.