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Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year one thousand eight hundred and fifty-four,
BY MILLER, ORTON & MULLIGAN. In the Clerk's Office of the District Court of the Northern District of New York.
Copy-right on this volume is claimed only on the Title, Preface, and Prefatory Matter to each Division.
It has been my intention in this volume to give, not only Mr. Webster's acknowledged master-pieces, but his master-piece in each department of the great field of intellectual action which he occupied in life; and, though there are other speeches, which would compare favorably with some that have found a place here, there is none, it is believed, which could be regarded as superior, in any of the divisions, to the one selected.
In several of the great speeches not included in this collection, there are single passages, which, perhaps, could scarcely be surpassed, if some of them could be equaled, by any passages found in the speeches included in this volume; but, in making a collection of his master-pieces, the object of search is not single passages, but entire performances; and, taking this as the standard, there is no room for doubt that the volume here presented to the reader contains the ablest and most eloquent productions bequeathed to the world by the genius of Daniel Webster. They are the productions, which, it is presumed, every gentleman will feel it necessary to have about him; and it is equally presumable that no enlightened parent, no true-hearted American citizen, will wish to have his sons and daughters grow up without becoming more or less familiar with those master efforts of the greatest man, intellectually, which our common country has yet given us.
We have heard much in days passed, and may hear more in days to come, of a dissolution of our national confederacy. Rank doctrines are no doubt at work in different sections of the Union, and in the several strata of society. While Mr. Webster lived, he was acknowledged as the ablest supporter and defender of the constitution as it is, and of the country as it is. From one end of the country to the other, from the rocky shores of the Atlantic to the peace