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as something peculiarly sacred, and received an unquestioned homage for reasons quite apart from any virtues of its own. The Constitution was to us, indeed, what a king has often been to other nations, — it was the symbol and pledge of our national existence, and the only object on which the people could expend their new-born loyalty. Let us hope that such a feeling will never die out, for it is a purifying and ennobling one; but to-day our national union is entirely accomplished, and we need no symbol or pledge to assure us of the fact. We can no longer expect, therefore, the blind veneration for our Constitution which prevailed in the first decades of the century. This is a time when all forms of government are being put to the test, and our own must approve itself by the excellence of the principles upon which it is built. At the present moment the power lodged with the courts appears, it is true, to be the most stable feature of our government; and, in fact, we are so accustomed to see judicial decisions readily accepted and implicitly obeyed, that we cannot help attributing to them a mysterious intrinsic force. We are naturally in the habit of ascribing to the courts a sort of supernatural power to regulate the affairs of men, and to restrain the excesses and curb the passions of the people. We forget that no such power can in reality exist, and that no court can hinder a people that is determined to have its way. In short, that nothing can control the popular will except the sober good sense of the people themselves. One has only to turn his eyes to France to see the truth of this statement. That country has had a dozen constitutions, each as sacred as such an instrument can be, but they have all been short-lived, and no one supposes that their frail existence could have been preserved by granting to the French courts the powers possessed by our own. The cause of such a state of things is obvious. The French constitutions are the work of a party, and the people at large are more anxious to accomplish their immediate aims than to maintain the theoretical doctrines embodied in these instruments. The reverse of this is true here, and it is because our people care more for their Constitution than for any single law enacted by the legislature that constitutional government is possible among us. So long as such a feeling continues, our Constitution and the power of our courts will remain unimpaired; but if at any time the people conclude that constitutional law, as interpreted by lawyers, is absurd or irrational, the