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the contemporaneous newspaper report, without the advantage of the slightest revision. There is, however, one feature, not so much of style as of manner, to which the publishers feel warranted in adverting; it is the dignified absence of personality in the speeches of Mr. Webster. His career has fallen on times of warm party collision; he has himself shared the inevitable fate of eminent talent, in being the object of hostility and attack. When called upon, in self-defence, to wield the weapons of sarcasm, he has shown that he can do it with terrific effect; but the entire series of his speeches does not present an instance of a voluntary personality. We do not commend this, however, as a great merit on the part of Mr. Webster, so much as we would notice the bad taste and the mistaken policy of the opposite course. It requires power to bend the bow, and skill to point the shaft, but the meanest malice can dip it in poison. And, when the passions of the day are passed, personal abuse is forgotten, or remembered only to the discredit of those who deal in it; but argument never loses its force; eloquence never ceases to charm; and truth is eternal.
We close these introductory remarks, by commending the volumes of the Speeches of Mr. Webster to the affections of the American people, and particularly of the Young Men of the country, for their strong practical and patriotic tendency. They deal not in metaphysical abstractions, nor in popular generalities; they speak to the common sense, to the sound judgment, the patriotic feeling, of all good citizens. The future incidents of his public course are in the disposal of Providence, to be decided by second causes, which no one can foresee. But of his station before the American people; of the relation in which he has placed himself to the Constitution; of his connection with the truths and the principles on which the Union rests,—there is no question; and over these, time, and events, and men, have no control. It may please the people to honor talents such as Heaven has intrusted to his stewardship, to reward services such as he has performed,—as the people only can honor and reward them; or others may attain the high honors of that Constitution which he has so nobly vindicated, and done so much to uphold. The alternative is certainly no mean one, in the common estimation formed of human things; but to no man in the United States can it be personally so indiffer
VOl. II. c
ent as to a man like Mr. Webster. The service has been rendered; the good has been performed; the tribute of gratitude has flowed from millions of patriotic hearts; and the time will never come when it will be forgotten, either in the United States, or wheresoever, in the whole world and in all time, the English language shall be understood, and the history of this generation shall be read. The party triumphs of the day may be, and sometimes are, decided by influences with which worth and merit are of little account; but thanks to the press, the great suffrage of an approving age cannot be diverted from its rightful object.
Let it not be thought, however, by this reflection, that we are unobservant spectators of the signs of the times. We rejoice in the strong and encouraging indications, that the contemporaries of Mr. Webster are gratefully sensible of his merits, and in the earnest and extensive conviction, which is daily manifesting itself, of the expediency of calling his great powers of usefulness into their appropriate sphere of activity. Proofs are rapidly multiplying, that the people are disposed to do their duty to themselves and the great interests of the country; that they are inclined to take away from mere politicians the decision of the question,—To whom shall the momentous trust of the chief administration of the Government be confided? Let this become the general feeling of the country, and we regard it as the inevitable result, that "the Highest Honors Of The Constitution Will Be Bestowed On Its Ablest Defender."
Remarks, on different Occasions, on the Removal of the Deposits, and on the Subject of a National Bank, delivered in the Senate of the United States, January and February, 1834 286
Report on the Removal of the Deposits, made by Mr. Webster, from the Committee on Finance of the Senate of the United States, on the Fifth of February, 1834 366
Remarks in the Senate of the United States, on the Affairs of the General Post-Office, June 27,1834 393
Remakes in the Senate of the United States, in Relation to Steam-Boats, December 19,1833 397
Speech delivered at a Public Dinner in Salem, Mass., August 7,1834.... 401
Speech at Concord, New Hampshire, September 30,1834 413
Arqumzbt in the Goodridge Case 423
Speech in the Senate of the United States, January 12,1835, on the Bill granting Indemnity to Citizens of the United States for French Spoliations on American Commerce prior to 1800 498
Speech on the Appointing and Removing Power, delivered in the Senate
Remarks in the Senate of the United States, February 26,1835, on the
DELIVERED IN THE CITY OF NEW YORK, MARCH 10, 1831.
In February, 1831, several distinguished gentlemen of the City of New York, in behalf of themselves, and a large number of other citizens, invited Mr. Webster to a public dinner, as a mark of their respect for the value and success of his efforts, in the preceding session of Congress, in defence of the Constitution of the United States. His speech in reply to Mr. Hayne (published in the former volume), which, by that time, had been circulated and read through the country to a greater extent than any speech ever before delivered in Congress, was the particular effort, doubtless, which procured the honor of this invitation.
The dinner took place, at the City Hotel, on the 10th of March, and was attended by a very large assembly.
Chancellor Kent presided, and, in proposing to the gentlemen the health of their guest, made the following remarks:—
New England had been long fruitful in great men, the necessary consequence of the admirable discipline of her institutions; and we were this day honored with the presence of one of those cherished objects of her attachment and pride, who has an undoubted and peculiar title to our regard. It is a plain truth that he who defends the Constitution of his country by his wisdom in council, is entitled to share her gratitude with those who protect it by valor in the field. Peace has its victories as well as war. We all recollect a late memorable occasion, when the exalted talents and enlightened patriotism of the gentleman to whom he had al luded, were exerted in the support of our national Union, and the sound in terpretation of its Charter. If there be any one political precept, preeminent above all others, and acknowledged by all, it is that which dictates the absolute necessity of a union of the States under one government, and that government clothed with those attributes and powers with which the existing Constitution has invested it. We were indebted, under Providence, to the operation and influence of the powers of that Constitution, for our national honor abroad, and for unexampled prosperity at home. Its future stability depended upon the firm support and due exercise of its legitimate powers in all their branches. A tendency to disunion—to anarchy among the members rather than to tyranny in the head —had been heretofore the melancholy fate of all the federal governments of ancient and modern Europe. Our Union and National Constitution were formed, as we have hitherto been led to believe, under better auspices and with improved wisdom. But there was a deadly principle of disease inherent in the system. The assumption by any member of the vol. ii. 3