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worked on materials too hard to yield easily to conventional molds.
4. The impression of power we obtain from Webster's productions,-a power not merely of the brain, but of the heart and physical temperament, a power resulting from the mental and bodily constitution of the whole man,-is the source of his hold upon our respect and admiration. We feel that, under any circumstan jes, in any condition of social life, and, at almost any period of time, his great capacity would have been felt and acknowledged.
5. A large majority of those who are called educated men have been surrounded by all the implements and processes of instruction; but Webster won his education by battling against difficulties. “A dwarf behind a steam-engine can remove mountains; but no dwarf can hew them down with a pick-ax, and he must be a Titan that hurls them abroad with his arms." Every step in that long journey, by which the son of the New Hampshire farmer has obtained the highest rank in social and political life, has been one of strenuous effort. The space is crowded with incidents, and tells of obstacles sturdily met and fairly overthrown. His life and his writings seem to bear testi. mony, that he can perform whatever he strenuously attempts.
6. His words never seem disproportioned to his strength. Indeed, he rather gives the impression that he has powers and impulses in reserve, to be employed when the occasion for their exercise may arise. In many of his speeches, not especially pervaded by passion, we perceive strength, indeed, but strength : half-leaning on his own right arm.” He has never yet been placed in circumstances where the full might of his nature, in all its depth of understanding, fiery vehemence of sensibility, and adamantine strength of will, have been brought to bear on any one object, and strained to their utmost.
7. We have referred to Webster's productions as being eminently national. Every one familiar with them will bear out the statement. In fact, the most hurried glance at his life would prove, that, surrounded as he has been from his youth by American influences, it could hardly be otherwise. His
earliest recollections must extend nearly to the feelings and in. cidents of the Revolution. His whole life, since that period, has been passed in the country of his birth, and his fame and honors are all closely connected with American feelings and institutions.
8. His works all refer to the history, the policy, the laws, the government; the social life, and the destiny, of his own land. They bear little resemblance, in their tone and spirit, to productions of the same class on the other side of the Atlantic. They have come from the heart and understanding of one into whose very nature the life of his country has passed. Without taking into view the influences to which his youth and early manhood were subjected, so well calculated to inspire a love for the very soil of his nativity, and to mold his mind into accordance with what is best and noblest in the spirit of our institutions, his position has been such as to lead him to survey objects from an American point of view.
9. His patriotism has become part of his being. Deny him that, and you deny the authorship of his works. It has prompted the most majestic flights of his eloquence. It has given intensity to his purposes, and lent the richest glow to his genius. It has made his eloquence a language of the heart, felt and understood over every portion of the land it consecrates. OK Plymouth Rock, on Bunker's Hill, at Mount Vernon, by the tombs of Hamilton, and Adams, and Jefferson, and Jay, we are reminded of Daniel Webster
10. He has done what no national poet has yet succeeded in doing,-associated his own great genius with all in our country's history and scenery which makes us rejoice that we are Americans. Over all those events in our history which are heroical, he has cast the hues of strong feeling and vivid imagination. He can not stand on one spot of ground, hallowed by liberty or religion, without being kindled by the genius of the place; he can not mention a name, consecrated by selfdevotion and patriotism, without doing it eloquent homage. Seeing clearly, and feeling deeply, he makes us see and feel with him.
without one sporteling en
11. That scene of the landing of the Pilgrims, in which his imagination conjures up the forms and emotions of our New England ancestry, will ever live in the national memory. We see, with him, the "little bark, with the interesting group on its deck, make its slow progress to the shore." We feel, with him, “ the cold which benumbed,” and listen, with him, “to the winds which pierced them.” Carver, and Bradford, and Standish, and Brewster, and Allerton, look out upon us from the pictured page, in all the dignity with which virtue and freedom invest their martyrs; and we see, too, "chilled and shivering childhood, houseless but for a mother's arms, couchless but for a mother's breast," till our own blood almost freezes.
12. The readiness with which the orator compels our sympa. thies to follow his own, is again illustrated in the orations at Bunker Hill, and in the discourse in honor of Adams and Jefferson. In reading them, we feel a new pride in our country, and in the great men and great principles it has cherished. The mind feels an unwonted elevation, and the heart is stirred with emotions of more than common depth, by their majesty and power.
13. Some passages are so graphic and true that they seem gifted with a voice, and to speak to us from the page they illumine. The intensity of feeling with which they are pervaded, rises, at times, from confident hope to prophecy, and lifts the soul as with wings. In that splendid close to a remarkable passage in the oration on Adams and Jefferson, what American does not feel assured, with the orator, that their fame will be immortal?
14. “Although no sculptured marble should rise to their memory, nor engraved stont bear record to their deeds, yet will their remembrance be as lasting as the land they honored. Marble columns may, indeed, molder into dust, time may erase all impress from the crumbling stone, but their fame remains ; for with AMERICAN LIBERTY it rose, and with AMERICAN LIBERTY ONLY can it perish. It was the last swelling peal of yonder choir, "THEIR BODIES ARE BURIED IN PEACE, BUT THEIR NAME LIVETH EVERMORE.' I catch the solemn song, I echo that lofty strain of funeral triumph, "THEIR NAME LIVETH EVERMORE.'"
15. Throughout the speeches of Mr. Webster we perceive this national spirit. He has meditated so deeply on the history, the formation, and the tendencies of our institutions; he is so well acquainted with the conduct and opinions of every statesman who has affected the policy of the government; and has become so thoroughly imbued with the national character, that his sympathies naturally flow in national channels, and have their end and object in the land of his birth and culture. His motto is,—“Our country, our whole country, and nothing but our country.” It is the alpha and omega of his political alphabet. It is felt in his blood, and “ felt along his heart.” It is twined with all his early recollections, with the acts of his life, with his hopes, his ambition, and his fame.
IMPORTANCE OF THE UNION.
WEBSTER. 1. I profess, sir, in my career hitherto to have kept steadily in view the prosperity and honor of the whole country, and the preservation of our federal union. It is to that union we owe our safety at home, and our consideration and dignity abroad. It is to that union that we are chiefly indebted for whatever makes us most proud of our country. That union we reached only by the discipline of our virtues, in the severe school of adversity. It had its origin in the necessities of disordered finance, prostrate commerce, and ruined credit.
2. Under its benign influences, these great interests immediately awoke, as from the dead, and sprang forth with newness of life. Every year of its duration has teemed with fresh proofs of its utility and its blessings ; and, although our territory has stretched out wider and wider, and our population spread farther and farther, they have not outrun its protection or its benefits. It has been to us all a copious fountain of national, social, and personal happiness.
3. I have not allowed myself, sir, to look beyond the anion, to see what might lie hidden in the dark recess behind. I have not coolly weighed the chances of preserving liberty, when the bonds that unite us together shall be broken asunder. I have not accustomed myself to hang over the precipice of disunion to see whether, with my short sight, I can fathom the depth of the abyss below; nor could I regard him as a safe counselor in the affairs of this government, whose thoughts should be mainly bent on considering, not how the union should be best preserved, but how tolerable might be the condition of the people, when it shall be broken up and destroyed.
4. While the union lasts, we have high, exciting, gratifying prospects spread out before us, for us and our children. Beyond that.I seek not to penetrate the vail. God grant that, in my day, at least, that curtain may not rise. God grant that on my vision never may be opened what lies behind. When my eyes shall be turned to behold, for the last time, the sun in heaven, may I not see him shining on the broken and dishonored fragments of a once glorious union; on states dissevered, discordant, belligerent; on a land rent with civil feuds, or drenched, it may be, in fraternal blood !
5. Let their last feeble and lingering glance rather behold the gorgeous ensign of the republic, now known and honored throughout the earth, still full high advanced, its arms and trophies streaming in their original luster, not a stripe erased or polluted, nor a single star obscured — bearing for its motto no such miserable interrogatory as—What is all this worth? Nor those other words of delusion and folly-liberty first, and union afterward — but everywhere, spread all over in characters of living light, blazing on all its ample folds as they float over the sea and over the land, and in every wind under the whole heavens, that other sentiment dear to every true American heart—liberty and union, NOW AND FOREVER, ONE AND INSEPARABLE !