Mr. Chief Justice and Senators:-I have been engaged in the practice of my profession as a lawyer for the last twenty years, and I have, in the course of my somewhat diversified professional life, argued cases involving life, liberty, property, and character. I have prosecuted and defended every species of crime known to law, from murder in the first degree down to simple assault; but in rising to address you to-day I feel that all the cases in which I was ever concerned sink into comparative insignificance when compared to this one; and a painful sense of the magnitude of the case in which I am now engaged, and of my inability to meet and to defend it as it should be defended, oppresses me as I rise to address you. But I would humbly invoke the Great Disposer of events to give me a mind to conceive, a heart to feel, and a tongue to express those words which should be proper and fitting on this great occasion.
If it is true, as is alleged, that the President is guilty of all these things,-if he be guilty of one tithe of the offences which have been imputed to him in the opening argument, and which have been iterated and reiterated in the argument of yesterday and to-day,-then I am willing to confess that he is " A monster of such frightful mien, That to be hated needs but to be seen".
I am willing to admit that if he was guilty of any of the charges which have been made against him, he is not only worthy the censure of this Senate, but you should place " A whip in every honest hand To lash him naked through the land".
He should be pointed at everywhere as a monster to be banished from society, and his name should become a word to frighten children with throughout the land from one end to the other, and when any one should meet him or see him,
" Each particular hair to stand on end, Like quills upon a fretful porcupine".
If he was there, I agree that neither I nor those associated with me can defend him. But who is Andrew Johnson? Who is this man that you have on trial now, and in regard to whom the gaze, not only of "little Delaware," but of the whole Union, and of the civilized world, is directed at the present moment? Who is Andrew Johnson? That is a question which but a few short years ago many of those I now address could have answered with pleasure. Who is Andrew Johnson? Go to the town of Greenville, but a few short years ago a little village in the mountains of East Tennessee, and you will see a poor boy entering that village a stranger, without acquaintance or friends, following an humble mechanical pursuit, scarcely able to read, unable to write, but yet industrious in his profession, honest and faithful in his dealings and having a mind such as the God in heaven implanted in him, and which was designed to be called into exercise and play before the American people.
It is true that clouds and darkness gathered around him for the moment, but they soon passed away and were forgotten, " Like some tall cliff that lifts its awful form. Swells to the vale, and midway meets the storm, Though round its breast the rolling clouds are spread, Eternal sunshine settles on its head".
Etc., etc., etc.