Графични страници
PDF файл

known his manner of life, from his youth up. We can bear witness to the strict uprightness and purity of his character, his simplicity and unostentatious habits, the ease and affability of his intercourse, his remarkable vivacity amidst severe labors, the cheerful and animating tones of his conversation, and his fast fidelity to friends. Some of us, also, can testify to his large and liberal charities, not ostentatious or casual, but systematic and silent, — dispensed almost without showing the hand, and falling and distilling comfort and happiness, like the dews of heaven. But we can testify, also, that in all his pursuits and employments, in all his recreations, in all his commerce with the world, and in his intercourse with the circle of his friends, the predominance of his judicial character was manifest . He never forgot the ermine which he wore. The judge, the judge, the useful and distinguished judge, was the great picture which he kept constantly before his eyes, and to a resemblance of which all his efforts, all his thoughts, all his life, were devoted. We may go the world over, without finding a man who shall present a more striking realization of the beautiful conception of D'Aguesseau: "C'est en vain que 1'on cherche a distinguer en lui la personne privde et la personne publique; un meme esprit les anime, un meme objet les reunit; 1'homme, le pere de famille, le citoyen, tout est en lui consacre & la gloire du magistral"

Mr. Chief Justice, one may live as a conqueror, a king, or a magistrate; but he must die as a man. The bed of death brings every human being to his pure individuality; to the intense contemplation of that deepest and most solemn of all relations, the relation between the creature and his Creator. Here it is that fame and renown cannot assist us; that all external things must fail to aid us; that even friends, affection, and human love and devotedness, cannot succor us. This relation, the true foundation of all duty, a relation perceived and felt by conscience and confirmed by revelation, our illustrious friend, now deceased, always acknowledged. He reverenced the Scriptures of truth, honored the pure morality which they teach, and clung to the hopes of future life which they impart. He beheld enough in nature, in himself, and in all that can be known of things seen, to feel assured that there is a Supreme

Vol. n. 26

Power, without whose providence not a sparrow falleth to the ground. To this gracious being he trusted himself for time and or eternity; and the last words of his lips ever heard by mortal ears were a fervent supplication to his Maker to take him to himself.



In the spring of 1846, a large number of the merchants and other citizens of Philadelphia proposed to offer to Mr. Webster a distinguished mark of their approbation of his political course. For this purpose it was determined to invite him to a public dinner, and the proposal was eagerly embraced by the most respectable members of the community, of all parties, professions, and pursuits in life. On the 25th of April a meeting of the subscribers was called to make the preliminary arrangements for the dinner, and a large committee was appointed for that purpose.

In the performance of their duty the following letter was addressed by the committee to Mr. Webster: —

"Philadelphia, April 27, 1846.

"Dear Sir, — Your fellow-citizens of this city, desirous of expressing their friendly regard and admiration of your services to your country, tender to you a public dinner, to be given at a time the most convenient to yourself.

"Nearly all who offer this mark of esteem are men of business, removed from the party strifes of the country, though deeply interested and affected in all their relations by the action and agitation of party. With these your name has long been associated as one of those whose advice, whether heeded or not, whose abilities, whether successfully exerted or not, were always directed towards the advancement of their interests, and the promotion of their prosperity. They offer to you this token of respect, not only as an evidence of personal esteem, but as a mark of sincere and grateful feeling.

"But, in this expression of regard, they will not limit themselves to what may be considered as more peculiarly their own interests. As members of this great republic, they desire in this way to express their approbation and pride in those efforts that have multiplied and strengthened our ties with the family of nations; that have increased and made more stable, as well as intimate, our own national sympathies , and

* Abridged from the account contained in the Introduction to the original pamphlet edition of the following speech.


« ПредишнаНапред »