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[Eulogy on Daniel Webster. Pronounced at Dartmouth College, 1853.–From the Same.]



T was while Mr. Webster was ascending through the long gradations

of the legal profession to its highest rank, that by a parallel series of display on a stage, and in parts totally distinct, by other studies, thoughts, and actions, he rose also to be at his death the first of American states

The last of the mighty rivals was dead before, and he stood alone. Give this aspect also of his greatness a passing glance. His public life began in May, 1813, in the House of Representatives in Congress, to which this State had elected him. It ended when he died.

It ended when he died. If you except the interval between his removal from New Hampshire and his election in Massachusetts, it was a public life of forty years. By what political morality, and by what enlarged patriotism, embracing the whole country, that life was guided, I shall consider hereafter. Let me now fix your attention rather on the magnitude and variety and actual value of the service. Consider that from the day he went upon the Committee of Foreign Relations, in 1813, in time of war, and more and more, the longer he lived and the higher he rose, he was a man whose great talents and devotion to public duty placed and kept him in a position of associated or sole command; command in the political connection to which he belonged, command in opposition, command in power;

and appreciate the responsibilities which that implies, what care, what prudence, what mastery of the whole ground,—exacting for the conduct of a party, as Gibbon says of Fox, abilities and civil discretion equal to the conduct of an empire. Consider the work he did in that life of forty years—the range of subjects investigated and discussed; composing the whole theory and practice of our organic and administrative politics, foreign and domestic: the vast body of instructive thought he produced and put in possession of the country; how much he achieved in Congress as well as at the bar, to fix the true interpretation, as well as to impress the transcendent value of the Constitution itself, as much altogether as any jurist or statesman since its adoption; how much to establish in the general mind the great doctrine that the government of the United States is a government proper, established by the people of the States, not a compact between sovereign communities,—that within its limits it is supreme, and that whether it is within its limits or not, in any given exertion of itself, is to be determined by the Supreme Court of the United States—the ultimate arbiter in the last resort—from which there is no appeal but to revolution; how much he did in the course of the discussions which grew out of the proposed mission to Panama, and, at a later day, out of the removal of the deposits, to place the executive department of the government on its true basis, and under its true limitations; to secure to that department all its just powers on the one hand, and on the other hand to vindicate to the legislative department, and especially to the Senate, all that belong to them; to arrest the tendencies which he thought at one time threatened to substitute the government of a single will, of a single person of great force of character and boundless popularity, and of a numerical majority of the people, told by the head, without intermediate institutions of any kind, judicial or senatorial, in place of the elaborate system of checks and balances, by which the Constitution aimed at a government of laws, and not of men; how much, attracting less popular attention, but scarcely less important, to complete the great work which experience had shown to be left unfinished by the judiciary act of 1789, by providing for the punishment of all crimes against the United States; how much for securing a safe currency and a true financial system, not only by the promulgation of sound opinions, but by good specific measures adopted, or bad ones defeated; how much to develop the vast material resources of the country, and to push forward the planting of the West—not troubled by any fear of exhausting old States—by a liberal policy of public lands, by vindicating the constitutional power of Congress to make or aid in making large classes of internal improvements, and by acting on that doctrine uniformly from 1813, whenever a road was to be built, or a rapid suppressed, or a canal to be opened, or a breakwater or a light-house set up above or below the flow of the tide, if so far beyond the ability of a single State, or of so wide utility to commerce and labor as to rise to the rank of a work general in its influences—another tie of union because another proof of the beneficence of union; how much to protect the vast mechanical and manufacturing interests of the country, a value of many hundreds of millions—after having been lured into existence against his counsels, against his science of political economy, by a policy of artificial encouragement-from being sacrificed, and the pursuits and plans of large regions and communities broken up, and the acquired skill of the country squandered by a sudden and capricious withdrawal of the promise of the government; how much for the right performance of the most delicate and difficult of all tasks, the ordering of the foreign affairs of a nation, free, sensitive, self-conscious, recognizing, it is true, public law and a morality of the State, binding on the conscience of the State, yet aspiring to power, eminence, and command, its whole frame filled full and all on fire with American feeling, sympathetic with liberty everywhere-how much for the right ordering of the foreign affairs of such a State—aiming in all his policy, from his speech on the Greek question in 1823, to his letters to M. Hulsemann in 1850, to occupy the high, plain, yet dizzy ground which separates influence from intervention, to avow and promulgate warm good-will to humanity, wherever striving to be free, to inquire authentically into the history of its struggles, to take official and avowed pains to ascertain the moment when its success may be recognized, consistently, ever, with the great code that keeps the peace of the world, abstaining from everything that shall give any nation a right under the law of nations to utter one word of complaint, still less to retaliate by war—the sympathy, but also the neutrality, of Washington-how much to compose with honor a concurrence of difficulties with the first power in the world, which anything less than the highest degree of discretion, firmness, ability, and means of commanding respect and confidence at home and abroad would inevitably have conducted to the last calamity—a disputed boundary line of many hundred miles, from the St. Croix to the Rocky Mountains, which divided an exasperated and impracticable border population, enlisted the pride and affected the interests and controlled the politics of particular States, as well as pressed on the peace and honor of the nation, which the most popular administrations of the era of the quietest and best public feelings, the times of Monroe and of Jackson, could not adjust; which had grown so complicated with other topics of excitement that one false step, right or left, would have been a step down a precipice—this line settled forever—the claim of England to search our ships for the suppression of the slave-trade silenced forever, and a new engagement entered into by treaty, binding the national faith to contribute a specific naval force for putting an end to the great crime of man—the long practice of England to enter an American ship and impress from its crew, terminated forever; the deck henceforth guarded sacredly and completely by the flag—how much by profound discernment, by eloquent speech, by devoted life to strengthen the ties of Union, and breathe the fine and strong spirit of nationality through all our numbers—how much, most of all, last of all, after the war with Mexico, needless if his counsels had governed, had ended in so vast an acquisition of territory, in presenting to the two great antagonistic sections of our country so vast an area to enter on, so imperial a prize to contend for, and the accursed fraternal strife had begun-how much then, when rising to the measure of a true and difficult and rare greatness, remembering that he had a country to save as well as a local constituency to gratify, laying all the wealth, all the hopes, of an illustrious life on the altar of a hazardous patriotism, he sought and won the more exceeding glory which now attends—which in the next age shall more conspicuously attend—his name who composes an agitated and saves a sinking landrecall this series of conduct and influences, study them carefully in their facts and results--the reading of years—and you attain to a true appreciation of this aspect of his greatness—his public character and life.


[From the Same Eulogy.]

ET the downward age of America find its orators and poets and

artists to erect its spirit, or grace and soothe its dying; be it ours to go up with Webster to the rock, the monument, the capitol, and bid " the distant generations hail ! ”

In this connection remark, somewhat more generally, to how extraordinary an extent he had by his acts, words, thoughts, or the events of his life, associated himself forever in the memory of all of us, with every historical incident, or at least with every historical epoch; with every policy; with every glory ; with every great name and fundamental institution, and grand or beautiful image, which are peculiarly and properly American. Look backwards to the planting of Plymouth and Jamestown; to the various scenes of colonial life in peace and war; to the opening and march and close of the revolutionary drama,—to the age

of the Constitution ; to Washington and Franklin and Adams and Jefferson; to the whole train of causes from the Reformation downwards, which prepared us to be Republicans; to that other train of causes which led us to be Unionists,-look round on field, workshop, and deck, and hear the music of labor rewarded, fed, and protected,- look on the bright sisterhood of the States, each singing as a seraph in her motion, yet blending in a common beam and swelling a common harmony, -and there is nothing which does not bring him by some tie to the memory of America.

We seem to see his form and hear his deep grave speech everywhere. By some felicity of his personal life; by some wise, deep, or beautiful word spoken or written; by some service of his own, or some commemoration of the services of others, it has come to pass that "our granite hills, our inland seas and prairies, and fresh, unbounded, magnificent wilderness;" our encircling ocean; the resting place of the Pilgrims; our new-born sister of the Pacific; our popular assemblies; our free schools; all our cherished doctrines of education, and of the influence of religion, and material policy and law, and the Constitution, give us back his

What American landscape will you look on; what subject of American interest will you study; what source of hope or of anxiety, as an American, will you acknowledge that it does not recall him?


Amasa Walker.

Born in Woodstock, Conn., 1799. DIED at North Brookfield, Mass., 1875.


[The Science of Wealth. Third Edition. 1867.] THAT great caution and forbearance are necessary, in removing even

a false institution, is not a maxim which economy has to teach politics.

And here we come face to face with the great practical difficulty of protection in our country; that which, if all its principles were triumphantly proved in general reasoning, should still throw it out of our legislation. If it were proved harmless, if it were proved beneficial, there is a strong reason against ever attempting to realize it here. That difficulty resides in the varying politics of our country. Injurious as protection is to the best interests of the country, any system of it, however severe, would be preferable to the “open-and-shut” policy, absolutely unavoidable in a government like ours. It is not within the bounds of reason to suppose that the alternate successes of parties will not continue to convulse our national legislation; and therefore it is with emphasis true, that a consistent system of protection is only possible in a government with great conservative force and great central powers. A representative body, embracing the most opposite interests, swayed by such influences and intrigues as notoriously possess such an organization, and changed in all its parts every few years, is not the place in which to adjust accurately and dispassionately the economical parts of a nation, and distribute the agencies of production.

It is our felicity, that our well-being does not depend on such counsels, but that great Nature has fixed the forces of industry in perfect harmony, and to the most beneficent ends.

We see that the important fact of our condition is unequalled agricultural power. Possessing such an advantage, with an active, enlightened, and enterprising population, and an industry perfectly untrammelled, we should naturally become the granary of the world, and create, as a certain consequence, the most extensive and powerful commercial and naval marine on the globe. We should secure, by sea and land, a greater power to give help to friends, or hurt to foes, than any other people, and should rapidly attain our best national condition.

We should have, not only the most profitable, but the most salutary industry, as favorable to the acquisition of unlimited wealth as to a sound physical development and high moral culture. We should have

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