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"Be that word our sign of parting, bird or fiend!" I shrieked, upstarting
"Get the back into the tempest and the Night's Plutonian shore! Leave no black plume as a token of that lie thy soul hath spoken! Leave my loneliness unbroken!—quit the bust above my door! Take thy beak from out my heart, and take thy form from off my door!"
Quoth the raven,
And the raven, never flitting, still is sitting, still is sitting
And my soul from out that shadow that lies floating on the floor
ROBERT TOOMBS was born at Washington, Georgia, and studied at the University of Georgia, then under the presidency of the famous Dr. Moses Waddell; he afterwards attended Union College, Schenectady, N. Y., and studied law at the University of Virginia. He settled in his native town for legal practice and was so successful as to amass a fortune within a few years. He served in the State Legislature and in 1845 was elected to Congress. In 1861, being a member of the United States Senate, he took leave of it in order to join his State in secession. He was appointed to the Confederate Cabinet, but soon resigned and became a general in the field. After the war he was ordered to be captured and held for trial as a traitor with Jefferson Davis and Alexander H. Stephens; but he was never taken. He escaped, after much difficulty and many adventures, and went to Cuba and to
France but he returned in 1867 to Georgia and resumed the practice of law.
He was notoriously the Big Rebel, even after the war, and refused to take the oath of allegiance: when asked by a Northern friend why he had never sued for pardon, he said, "Pardon for what? I have not pardoned you all yet." Later in life he said that he regretted not having re-instated himself in citizenship and taken part in public affairs. See his Life, by P. A. Stovall, and by C. C. Jones, Jr.
Mr. Toombs' speeches in Congress are said to have been fiery, powerful, and dogmatic. As a lawyer, Chief-Justice Jackson thus characterizes his style: "Concentrated fire was always his policy. A single sentence would win his case. A big thought, compressed into small compass, was fatal to his foe. It is the clear insight of a great mind only that shapes out truth in words few and simple. Brevity is power, wherever thought is strong."
"There is a regular mythology about Toombs at his State University. The things he said would fill a volume of Sydney Smith, while the pranks he played would rival the record of Robin Hood."-Stovall's Life of Toombs.
FAREWELL TO THE SENATE, 1861.
(From Stoval's Life of Toombs.*)
Senators, my countrymen have demanded no new government. They have demanded no new constitution. The discontented States have demanded nothing but clear, distinct, constitutional rights, rights older than the Constitution. What do these rebels demand? First, that the
* By permission of the Cassell Publishing Company, N. Y.
people of the United States shall have an equal right to emigrate and settle in the Territories with whatever property (including slaves) they possess. Second, that property in slaves shall be entitled to the same protection from the government as any other property (leaving the State the right to prohibit, protect, or abolish slavery within its limits). Third, that persons committing crimes against slave property in one State and flying to another shall be given up. Fourth, that fugitive slaves shall be surrendered. Fifth, that Congress shall pass laws for the punishment of all persons who shall aid and abet invasion and insurrection in any other State.
You will not regard confederate obligations; you will not regard constitutional obligations; you will not regard your oaths. What, then, am I to do? Am I a freeman? Is my State a free State? We are freemen; we have rights; I have stated them. We have wrongs; I have recounted them. I have demonstrated that the party now coming into power has declared us outlaws, and is determined to exclude thousands of millions of our property from the common territory; that it has declared us under the ban of the Union, and out of the protection of the laws of the United States everywhere. They have refused to protect us from invasion and insurrection by the Federal power, and the Constitution denies to us, in the Union, the right to raise fleets and armies for our own defence. All these charges I have proven by the record; and I put them before the civilized world and demand the judgment of to-day, of to-morrow, of distant ages, and of Heaven itself, upon the justice of these causes. I am content, whatever it be, to peril all in so holy a cause. We have appealed, time and again, for these constitutional rights. You have refused them. We appeal again. Restore us those rights as we had them; as your Court ad
judges them to be; just as our people have said they are. Redress these flagrant wrongs-seen of all men-and it will restore fraternity, and unity, and peace to us all. Refuse them, and what then? We shall then ask you, "Let us depart in peace."* Refuse that, and you present us war. We accept it, and, inscribing upon our banners the glorious words, "Liberty and Equality," we will trust to the blood of the brave and the God of battles for security and tranquility.
OCTAVIA WALTON LE VERT.
MADAME LE VERT, as she is usually styled, was born at Bellevue near Augusta, Georgia, and was reared in Pensacola, Florida. She was a granddaughter of George Walton, signer of the Declaration of Independence, and daughter of George Walton, governor of Florida. She learned languages easily and conversed well in French, Spanish, and Italian. LaFayette said of her: "A truly wonderful child! She has been conversing with intelligence and tact in the purest French. I predict for her a brilliant career." She gave the name to the capital of Florida, Tallahassee, a Seminole word meaning "beautiful land." She spent several seasons in Washington; and she wrote such excellent accounts of the speeches in Congress, that Calhoun, Webster, and Clay frequently asked her to read to them their own speeches from her portfolio.
In 1836 she was married to Dr. Henry S. Le Vert of Mobile and removed to that city. She travelled in Europe in 1853 and 1855, and her delightful journal and letters home were afterwards arranged and published as Souvenirs of
All we ask is to be let alone.-Jefferson Davis,