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"you may be enabled to redress injuries in of Representatives, but before the new Conthe places where they are offered, and, if need gress assembled a vacancy occurred in the be to accompany your own flag throughout Senate, and the Legislature chose him by acthe world with the protection of your own clamation to fill it. He was regularly returned cannon.” But his most important services to this body until he resigned the senatorial in this period were rendered to the finances. dignity to become Secretary of State, in 1810. In 1815 a bill had passed the Senate and was Near the close of December, 1829, Mr. expected to pass the House, for the establish- Foot introduced his celebrated resolutions on ment of a bank, with a capital of fifty millions, the Public Lands. They were the subject of nine tenths of which were to consist of depre- occasional and desultory debate until the nineciated government securities, and it was owing teenth of January, when General Hayne, of principally to his efforts that it was defeated. South Carolina, in a vehement speech accused In the following year he introduced and se- New England of a selfish opposition to the incured the adoption of a resolution requiring the terests of the western states. While he was payment of revenue in specie or convertible pa- speaking Mr. Webster entered the Senate, from per. When he retired from Congress, in 1817, the Supreme Court, where he had been enhis course on these questions had secured to him gaged in an important case, and he would the reputation of being one of the most practi- have replied as soon as General Hayne sat cal and sagacious statesmen of the country.
down, but that the Senate then adjourned. He now removed to Boston, and for five The next day he delivered one of the most years, except during the period in which he powerful and brilliant speeches that have been held a seat in the convention for revising the heard in modern times. The debate was conConstitution of Massachusetts, devoted him- tinued until the twenty-third of January, on self exclusively and assiduously to his pro- both sides with extraordinary ability, but on fession. A few masterly
rguments in the
that of Mr. Webster with a force of logic and Supreme Court confirmed in the general judg- splendour of eloquence that had never been ment the opinion of his friends, that as a law equalled in the Senate, that have rarely been yer he had no superior in the United States. equalled in the world. In this famous con
In this time Mr. Webster wrote several ar- troversy the doctrine of nullification was first ticles for the North American Review.* And avowed in the Congress, and its triumplant on the twenty-second of December, 1820, the overthrow by Mr. Webster won for him more second centennial anniversary of the landing honourable triumphs than ever rewarded the of the Pilgrims, he delivered at Plymouth his
victories of the field. With its praise the nasplendid oration on the first settlement of tion“ rung from side to side.” At the banquet New England; on the seventeenth of June, given to him soon after in New York, the great 1825, fifty years after the battle, his address at Chancellor of that state said that the discusthe laying of the corner-stone of the Bunker sion had rescued constitutional law from arHill Monument; and on the second of August, chives and libraries, and placed it “under the 1826, in Faneuil Hall, his Discourse in com- eye, and submitted it to the judgment of the memoration of the Lives and Services of Ad- American people.” In 1838 another attempt ams and Jefferson.
was made by an abler champion to enforce the In December, 1823, Mr. Webster again took same doctrines in the Senate, but Mr. Webhis seat in the House of Representatives, and ster's victory over Mr. Calhoun was not less in the following month delivered his celebrated decisive than that he had achieved over Genespeech in behalf of the Greeks. He remained ral Hayne. in the House until 1827, distinguishing him
In 1839 Mr. Webster visited England, self by his speeches on the Panama mission, where he was received with the honours due the tariff, and internal improvements, and by to his genius, acquirements, and illustrious preparing and securing the passage of the
character. When the whig party came into Crimes Act, of 1825.
power, in 1841, he was made Secretary of In 1826 he was elected almost unanimously State, and the extraordinary ability which he to represent the city of Boston in the House displayed in negotiating the Treaty of Wash
ington, and in other cases, crowned his name • With others, that on the Battle of Bunker Hill, in 1818,
with a new glory. He returned to the Senate
and that on the Laws of Debtor and Creditor in 1821.
in 1845, and is now a member of that body. | bear the deeply impressed stamp of nationality: At a magnificent banquet, attended by five But in his luminous expositions of constituhundred gentlemen, which was given to him tional law, his discerning examinations of the in Philadelphia on the second of December, origin, nature, and influences of our liberty and 1846, he delivered a speech of nearly four institutions, his powerful discussions of our hours, which showed that at sixty-five he re- policy, and his masterly portraitures of those tains in perfection his remarkable powers. great men whose fame is one of the choicest This is not a place in which it is proper to inheritances of the nation, are shown most speak at length of his course in regard to pub- clearly his love of country and the joint action lic affairs; but“ peace has its victories as well and fusion of his own with the national mind. as war," and he is not moved by the spirit of He speaks always with a manifest sincerity, this age or of this nation, who does not look and a consciousness of strength. His object upon a statesman who prevents an appeal to is the conviction of the understanding, and he arms as more deserving of applause than a proceeds in effecting it with a simplicity and soldier who wins a hundred battles.
directness, and a skill in analysis and generaliOf Daniel Webster as an author, we may zation, which make his advance like that of the speak in every presence with unhesitating free- sunlight in the track of night. At times the dom. By whatever circumstances educed, his action of the Reason is so intense as to warm works are “vital in every part." His mind into life the Imagination, which follows, with is of the foremost rank, and in that rank will bright-eyed Patriotism, its impetuous and reunquestionably always hold a distinguished sistless march, to grace and crown its triumph. place. It cannot be doubted that he will be Mr. Webster's style is generally plain, senremembered with Franklin, Hamilton, and tentious, and earnest,—sometimes solemn and Marshall, those illustrious countrymen of ours, imposing,—and at rare intervals brilliant with upon whose intellectual calibre the world has the play of wit, and keen with sarcasma and set the seal of its high and final judgment. invective. The greatest variety to be found
Of Mr. Webster's State Papers no collec- in any one of his speeches is in the reply to tions have been published. For wise appre- Hayne, and the most withering resentment hension and dialectic skill they are among the and scorn in his merciless arraignment and finest monuments of his genius. Of his foren- exposure of Ingersoll and others who assailed sic arguments we have but a few meagre out- the Washington Treaty, and went out of their lines, sufficient to justify the measure of his logi- way to attack its author. He is thoroughly furcal endowments which they occasioned, but not nished with all solid learning that can be turned sufficient to account for the extraordinary effects to account in the service of the state. He is a which they produced upon the mixed multitude classical scholar of the first order, as familiar who heard them. A few of his historical ad- with the poets as with the historians and pubdresses and congressional speeches we possess licists, and has a perfect mastery of his native as they came from his hand, with the antique tongue, which has been acquired by a careful simplicity and strength which are character study of the Saxon, and the best English literaistics of the highest order of such productions. ture, particularly the common version of the
The first volume of his Speeches and Foren- Bible, and Bacon, Shakspeare, and Milton. sic Arguments was published in Boston in -Since these pages were written, Mr. Web1830, the second in 1838, and a third in 1843 : ster has been called again, by President Fillthe last ending with his Remarks in the Senate more, to the Department of State ; and in a few days before he resigned his seat to enter several diplomatic papers, and in occasional the cabinet. Since he went back to the Senate, speeches, has won anew the fame of being the most important of his speeches that have “the foremost man of all the world.” At been published are one on the Treaty of Wash- | nearly seventy years of age, his extraordinary ington, and the one delivered in Philadelphia. faculties, instead of decaying, seem still un
His attention has generally been directed to folding and expanding, with youthful freshhome subjects. He is in every sense American. ness and vigour; and he remains, while his But in a few of his speeches he has shown a earlier associates are dead or in oblivion, the comprehensive and particular familiarity with leader of the nation in intelligence and in European history and politics. All his works affairs.
FROM A DISCOURSE IN COMMEMORATION OF THE FIRST
SETTLEMENT OF NEW ENGLAND.
FROM THE SAME.
PRIDE OF ANCESTRY.
bear with stronger obligation on a liberal and enlightened mind, than a consciousness of alliance with excellence which is departed; and a con
sciousness, too, that in its acts and conduct, and It is a noble faculty of our nature which enables even in its sentiments, it may be actively operatus to connect our thoughts, our sympathies, and ing on the happiness of those who come after our happiness with what is distant place or it. Poetry is found to have few stronger conceptime; and, looking before and after, to hold com- tions, by which it would affect or overwhelm the munion at once with our ancestors and our pos- mind, than those in which it presents the moving terity. Human and mortal although we are, we and speaking image of the departed dead to the are nevertheless not mere insulated beings, with- senses of the living. This belongs to poetry only out relation to the past or the future. Neither because it is congenial to our nature. Poetry is, the point of time nor the spot of earth in which in this respect, but the handmaid of true philosowe physically live, bounds our rational and intel. phy and morality. It deals with us as human lectual enjoyments.
We live in the past by a beings, naturally reverencing those whose visible knowledge of its history, and in the future by hope connection with this state of being is severed, and and anticipation. By ascending to an association who may yet exercise we know not what sympawith our ancestors; by contemplating their ex- thy with ourselves ;-and when it carries us for ainple and studying their character; by partaking ward, also, and shows us the long-continued result their sentiments, and imbibing their spirit; by ac- of all the good we do in the prosperity of those companying them in their toils; by sympathizing who follow us, till it bears us froin ourselves, and in their sufferings, and rejoicing in their successes absorbs us in an intense interest for what shall and their triumphs,—we mingle our own existence happen to the generations after us, it speaks only with theirs, and seem to belong to their age. We in the language of our nature, and affects us with become their contemporaries, live the lives which sentiments which belong to us as human beings. they lived, endure what they endured, and partake in the rewards which they enjoyed. And in like manner, by running along the line of future time; by contemplating the probable fortunes of those INFLUENCE OF GREAT ACTIONS. who are coming after us; by attempting something which may promote their happiness, and leave some not dishonourable memorial of ourselves for Great actions and striking occurrences, having their regard when we shall sleep with the fathers, excited a temporary admiration, often pass away -we protract our own earthly being, and seem and are forgotten, because they leave no lasting to crowd whatever is future, as well as all that is results, affecting the prosperity of communities. past, into the narrow compass of our earthly exist- Such is frequently the fortune of the most brilliant
As it is not a vain and false, but an exalted military achievements. Of the ten thousand batand religious imagination which leads us to raise tles which have been fought; of all the fields ferour thoughts from the orb which, amidst this uni. tilized with carnage; of the banners which have verse of worlds, the Creator has given us to inha- been bathed in blood; of the warriors who have bit, and to send them with something of the feel. hoped that they had risen from the field of coning which nature prompts, and teaches to be proper quest to a glory as bright and as durable as the among children of the same Eternal Parent, to the stars, how few that continue long to interest mancontemplation of the myriads of fellow-beings with kind! The victory of yesterday is reversed by which his goodness has peopled the infinite of the defeat of to-day; the star of military glory, space; so neither is it false or vain to consider rising like a meteor, like a meteor has fallen; disourselves as interested or connected with our grace and disaster hang on the heels of conquest whole race through all time; allied to our ances- and renown; victor and vanquished presently pass tors; allied to our posterity; closely compacted on away to oblivion, and the world holds on its all sides with others; ourselves being but links in course, with the loss only of so many lives and so the great chain of being, which begins with the much treasure. origin of our race, runs onward through its suc- But if this is frequently, or generally, the forcessive generations, binding together the past, the tune of military achievements, it is not always so. present, and the future, and terminating at last There are enterprises, military as well as civil, with the consummation of all things earthly at that sometimes check the current of events, give a the throne of God.
new turn to human affairs, and transmit their conThere may be, and there often is, indeed, a re- sequences through ages. We see their importgard for ancestry, which nourishes only a weak ance in their results and call them great, because pride; as there is also a care for posterity, which great things follow. There have been battles only disguises an habitual avarice, or hides the which have fixed the fate of nations. These come workings of a low and grovelling vanity. But down to us in history with a solid and permathere is also a moral and philosophical respect for nent influence, not created by a display of glitterour ancestors, which elevates the character and ing armour, the rush of adverse battalions, the improves the heart. Next to the sense of religious sinking and rising of pennons, the flight, the purduty and moral feeling, I hardly know what should suit, and the victory; but by their effect in ad
Fancing or retarding human knowledge, in over- settled their forms of religious worship. At the throwing or establishing despotism, in extending moment of their landing, therefore, they possessed or destroying human happiness. When the tra- institutions of government, and institutions of reveller pauses on the plains of Marathon, what are ligion: and friends and families, and social and the emotions which strongly agitate his breast; religious institutions, established by consent, foundwhat is that glorious recollection that thrills through ed on choice and preference, how nearly do these his frame, and suffuses his eyes? Not, I imagine, fill up our whole idea of country :—The morning that Grecian skill and Grecian valour were here that beained on the first night of their repose saw most signally displayed; but that Greece herself the Pilgrims already established in their country. was saved. It is because to this spot, and to the There were political institutions, and civil liberty, event which has rendered it immortal, he refers all and religious worship. Poetry has fancied nothing the succeeding glories of the republic. It is be- in the wanderings of heroes so distinct and characcause, if that day had gone otherwise, Greece had teristic. Here was man indeed unprotected, and perished. It is because he perceives that her phi- unprovided for, on the shore of a rude and fearful losophers and orators, her poets and painters, her wilderness; but it was politic, intelligent, and edusculptors and architects, her government and free cated man. Every thing was civilized but the institutions point backward to Marathon, and that physical world. Institutions containing in subtheir future existence seems to have been sus- stance all that ages had done for human governpended on the contingency, whether the Persian ment were established in a forest. Cultivated or Grecian banner should wave victorious in the mind was to act on uncultivated nature; and, beams of that day's setting sun. And as his ima- more than all, a government and a country were gination kindles at the retrospect, he is transported to commence with the very first foundations laid back to the interesting moment: he counts the under the divine light of the Christian religion. fearful odds of the contending hosts; his interest | Happy auspices of a happy futurity! Who would for the result overwhelms him; he trembles as if wish that his country's existence had otherwise it was still uncertain, and seems to doubt whether begun ?-Who would desire the power of going he may consider Socrates and Plato, Demosthenes, back to the ages of fable? Who would wish for Sophocles, and Phidias, as secure, yet, to himself an origin obscured in the darkness of antiquity ?and to the world.
Who would wish for other emblazoning of his country's heraldry, or other ornaments of her ge
nealogy, than to be able to say that her first existTHE SETTLEMENT OF PLYMOUTH. ence was with intelligence; her first breath the
inspirations of liberty; her first principle the truth
of divine religion ? Our fathers came hither to a land from which they were never to return. Hither they had brought, and here they were to fix their hopes, BUNKER HILL MONUMENT. their attachments, and their objects. Some natural tears they shed as they left the pleasant abodes of their fathers, and some emotions they suppressed We know that the record of illustrious actions when the white cliffs of their native country, now is most safely deposited in the universal rememscen for the last time, grew dim to their brance of mankind. We know that if we could They were acting however upon a resolution not cause this structure to ascend, not only till it to be changed. With whatever stifled regrets, reached the skies, but till it pierced them, its broad with whatever occasional hesitation, with whatever surface could still contain but part of that, which, appalling apprehensions, which must sometimes in an age of knowledge, hath already been spread arise with force to shake the firmest purpose, they over the earth, and which history charges herself had yet committed themselves to heaven and the with making known to all future times. We elements; and a thousand leagues of water soon know that no inscription on entablatures less broad interposed to separate them for ever from the re- than the earth itself, can carry information of the gion which gave them birth. A new existence events we commemorate where it has not already awaited them here; and when they saw these gone; and that no structure which shall not outshores, rough, cold, barbarous, and barren as then live the duration of letters and knowledge among they were, they beheld their country. That mixed men, can prolong the memorial. But our object and strong feeling, which we call love of country, is, by this edifice, to show our deep sense of the and which is in general never extinguished in the value and importance of the achievements of our heart of man, grasped and embraced its proper ancestors; and by presenting this work of gratiobject here. Whatever constitutes country, except tude to the eye, to keep alive similar sentiments, the earth and the sun, all the moral causes of affec- and to foster a similar regard to the principles of tion and attachment which operate upon the heart, the Revolution. Human beings are composed not they had brought with them to their new abode. of reason only, but of imagination also, and sentiHere were now their families and friends, their ment; and that is neither wasted nor misapplied homes, and their property. Before they reached which is appropriated to the purpose of giving the shore, they had established the elements of a right direction to sentiments, and opening proper social system, and at a much earlier period had | springs of feeling in the heart.
FROM THE SAME.
FROM AN ADDRESS ON LAYING ITS CORNER-STONE.
All is peace.
Let it not be supposed that our object is to per- but you witness them no more. petuate national hostility, or even to cherish a The heights of yonder metropolis, its towers and mere military spirit. It is higher, purer, nobler.roofs, which you then saw filled with wives and We consecrate our work to the spirit of national children and countrymen in distress and terror, independence, and we wish that the light of peace and looking with unutterable emotions for the issue may rest upon it for eve We rear a memorial of the combat, have presented you to-day with the of our conviction of the anmeasured benefit which sight of its whole happy population, come out to has been conferred on our land, and of the happy welcome and greet you with a universal jubilee. influences which have been produced, by the same Yonder proud ships, by a felicity of position apevents, on the general interests of mankind. We propriately lying at the foot of this mount, and come as Americans to mark a spot which must be seeming fondly to cling around it, are not means of for ever dear to us and our posterity. We wish annoyance to you, but your country's own means that whosoever, in all coming time, shall turn his of distinction and defence. All is peace; and eyes hither, may behold that the place is not un- God has granted you this sight of your country's distinguished where the first great battle of the happiness, ere you slumber in the grave for ever. Revolution was fought. We wish that this struc- He has allowed you to behold and to partake the ture may proclaim the magnitude and importance reward of your patriotic toils; and he has allowed of that event to every class and every age. We us, your sons and countrymen, to meet you here, wish that infancy may learn the purpose of its and in the name of the present generation, in the erection from maternal lips, and that weary and name of your country, in the name of liberty, to withered age may behold it, and be solaced by the thank you! recollections which it suggests. We wish that But, alas! you are not all here! Time and labour may look up here, and be proud in the the sword have thinned your ranks. Prescott, midst of its toil. We wish that, in those days of Putnam, Stark, Brooks, Read, Pomeroy, Bridge ! disaster which, as they come upon all nations, must our eyes seek for you in vain amidst this broken be expected to come on us also, desponding patriot- band. You are gathered to your fathers, and live isin may turn its eyes hither, and be assured that only to your country in her grateful remembrance the foundations of our national power still stand and your own bright example. But let us not strong. We wish that this column, rising toward too much grieve that you have met the common heaven among the pointed spires of so many tem- fate of men. You lived at least long enough to ples dedicated to God, may contribute also to pro- know that your work had been nobly and successduce, in all minds, a pious feeling of dependence fully accomplished. You lived to see your counand gratitude. We wish, finally that the last ob- try's independence established, and to sheathe ject on the sight of him who leaves his native your swords from war. On the light of liberty shore, and the first to gladden him who revisits it, you saw arise the light of Peace, like may be something which shall remind him of the
"another morn, liberty and glory of his country. Let it rise till it
Risen on mid-noon;" — meet the sun in his coming; let the earliest light and the sky on which you closed your eyes w of morning gild it, and parting day linger and cloudless. play upon its summit.
But-ah !-Him! the first great martyr in this great cause !
Him! the premature victim of
his own self-devoting heart! Him! the head of TO THE SURVIVORS OF THE BATTLE our civil councils, and the destined leader of our OF BUNKER HILL.
military bands; whom nothing brought hither but the unquenchable fire of his own spirit; him! cut
off by Providence in the hour of overwhelming VENERABLE men ! you have come down to us anxiety and thick gloom; falling ere he saw the from a former generation. Heaven has bounte- star of his country rise ; pouring out his generous ously lengthened out your lives that you might blood like water before he knew whether it would behold this joyous day. You are now where you fertilize a land of freedom or of bondage! how stood fifty years ago, this very hour, with your shall I struggle with the emotions that stifle the brothers and your neighbours, shoulder to shoulder, utterance of thy name !-Our poor work may pein the strife of your country. Behold how altered ! rish; but thine shall endure! This monument The same heavens are indeed over your heads; may moulder away; the solid ground it rests upon the same ocean rolls at your feet; but all else, may sink down to a level with the sea; but thy how changed! You hear now no roar of hostile memory shall not fail! Wheresoever among men cannon, you see no mixed volumes of smoke and a heart shall be found that beats to the transports flame rising from burning Charlestown. The of patriotism and liberty, its aspirations shall be to ground strewed with the dead and the dying; the claim kindred with thy spirit!... impetuous charge; the steady and successful re- Veterans! you are the remnant of many a wellpulse; the loud call to repeated assault; the sum- fought field. You bring with you marks of honour moning of all that is manly to repeated resistance; from Trenton and Monmouth, from Yorktown, a tisousand bosoms freely and fearlessly bared in amden, Bennington, and Saratoga. Veterans of an instant to whatever of terror there may be in half a century! when in your youthful days you war and death ;—all these you have witnessed, put every thing at hazard in your country's cause,
FROM THE SAME.