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most safely deposited in the universal remembrance of mankind. We know that, if we could cause this structure to ascend, not only till it reached the skies, but till it pierced them, its broad surfaces could still contain but part of that which, in an age of knowledge, hath already been spread over the Earth, and which history charges itself with making known to all future times. We know that no inscription on entablatures less broad than the Earth itself can carry information of the events we commemorate where it has not already gone ; and that no structure, which shall not outlive the duration of letters and knowledge among men, can prolong the memorial. But our object is, by this edifice, to show our own deep sense of the value and importance of the achievements of our ancestors; and, by presenting this work of gratitude to the eye, to keep alive similar sentiments, and to foster a constant regard for the principles of the Revolution. Human beings are composed, not of reason only, but of imagination also, and sentiment; and that is neither wasted nor misapplied which is appropriated to the purpose of giving right direction to sentiments, and opening proper springs of feeling in the heart. Let it not be supposed that our object is to perpetuate national hostility, or even to cherish a mere military spirit. It is higher, purer, nobler. We consecrate our work to the spirit of national independence, and we wish that the light of peace may rest upon it for ever. We rear a memorial of our conviction of that unmeasured benefit which has been conferred on our own land, and of the happy influences which have been produced, by the same events, on the general interests of mankind. We come, as Americans, to mark a spot which must for ever be dear to us and our posterity. We wish that whosoever, in all coming time, shall turn his eye hither, may behold that the place is not undistinguished where the first great battle of the Revolution was fought. We wish that this structure may proclaim the magnitude and importance of that event to every class and every age. We wish that infancy may learn the purpose of its erection from maternal lips, and that weary and withered age may behold it, and be solaced by the recollections which it suggests. We wish that labour may look up here, and be proud, in the midst of its toil. We wish that, in those days of disaster which, as they come on all nations, must be expected to come on us also, desponding patriotism may turn its eyes hitherward, and be assured that the foundations of our national power still stand strong. We wish that this column, rising towards heaven among the pointed spires of so many temples dedicated to God, may contribute also to produce, in all minds, a pious feeling of dependence and gratitude. We wish, finally, that the last object to the sight of him who leaves his native shore, and the first to gladden his who revisits it, may be something which shall remind him of the liberty and the glory of his country. Let it rise l let it rise, till it meet the Sun in his coming; let the earliest light of the morning gild it, and parting day linger and play on its summit !
BUNKER–HILL MONUMENT FINISHED.2
THE Bunker-Hill Monument is finished. Here it stands. Fortunate in the high natural eminence on which it is placed, higher, infinitely higher in its objects and purpose, it rises over the land and over the sea; and, visible, at their homes, to three hundred thousand of the people of Massachusetts, it stands a memorial of the last, and a monitor to the present and to all succeeding generations. I have spoken of the loftiness of its purpose. If it had been without any other design than the creation of a work of art, the granite of which it is composed would have slept in its native bed. It has a purpose, and that purpose gives it its character. That purpose enrobes it with dignity and moral grandeur. That well-known purpose it is which causes us to look up to it with a feeling of awe. It is itself the orator of this occasion. It is not from my lips, it could not be from any human lips, that that strain of eloquence is this day to flow most competent to move and excite the vast multitudes around me. The powerful speaker stands motionless before us. It is a plain shaft. It bears no inscriptions, fronting to the rising Sun, from which the future antiquary shall wipe the dust. Nor does the rising Sun cause tones of music to issue from its summit. But at the rising of the Sun, and at the setting of the Sun; in the blaze of noonday, and beneath the milder effluence of lunar light, —it looks, it speaks, it acts, to the full comprehension of every American mind, and the awakening of glowing enthusiasm in every American heart. Its silent, but awful utterance; its deep pathos, as it brings to our contemplation the 17th of June, 1775, and the consequences
2 The address from which this is taken was delivered on the 17th of June, 1843, just eighteen years after the laying of the corner-stone. The monument was completed in July, 1842, but the celebration of that event was justly put off till the next anniversary of the battle, Webster was Secretary of State at the time, and President Tyler and the other members of the Cabinet graced the occasion with their presence. The throng of people was even greater than in 1825, not less than a hundred thousand being assembled, and among them delegations of the descendants of New England from the remotest parts of the country.
which have resulted to us, to our country, and to the world, from the events of that day, and which we know must continue to rain influence on the destinies of mankind to the end of time; the elevation with which it raises us high above the ordinary feelings of life, surpass all that the study of the closet, or even the inspiration of genius, can produce. To-day it speaks to us. Its future auditories will be the successive generations of men, as they rise up before it and gather around it. Its speech will be of patriotism and courage; of civil and religious liberty; of free government; of the moral improvement and elevation of mankind; and of the immortal memory of those who, with heroic devotion, have sacrificed their lives for their country. Banners and badges, processions and flags, announce to us, that amidst this uncounted throng are thousands of natives of New England now residents in other States. Welcome, ye kindred names, with kindred blood | From the broad savannas of the South, from the newer regions of the West, from amidst the hundreds of thousands of men of Eastern origin who cultivate the rich valley of the Genesee, or live along the chain of the Lakes, from the mountains of Pennsylvania, and from the thronged cities of the coast, welcome, welcome ! Wherever else you may be strangers, here you are all at home. You assemble at this shrine of liberty, near the family altars at which your earliest devotions were paid to Heaven; near to the temples of worship first entered by you, and near to the schools and colleges in which your education was received. You bring names which are on the rolls of Lexington, Concord, and Bunker Hill. You come, some of you, once more to be embraced by an aged Revolutionary father, or to receive another, perhaps a last, blessing, bestowed in love and tears by a mother, yet surviving to witness and to enjoy your prosperity and happiness. But if family associations and the recollections of the past bring you hither with greater alacrity, and mingle with your greeting much of local attachment and private affection, greeting also be given, free and hearty greeting, to every Annerican citizen who treads this sacred soil with patriotic feeling, and respires with pleasure in an atmosphere perfumed with the recollections of 1775 ! This occasion is respectable, nay, it is sublime, by the nationality of its sentiment. Among the seventeen millions of happy people who form the American community, there is not one who has not an interest in this monument, as there is not one that has not a deep and abiding interest in that which it commemorates. Woe betide the man who brings to this day's worship feeling less than wholly American l Woe betide the man who can
stand here with the fires of local resentments burning, or the purpose of fomenting local jealousies and the stripes of local interests festering and rankling in his heart. Union, established in justice, in patriotism, and the most plain and obvious common interest,-union, founded on the same love of liberty, cemented by blood shed in the same common cause,_ union has been the source of all our glory and greatness thus far, and is the ground of all our highest hopes. This column stands on union. I know not that it might not keep its position, if the American Union, in the mad conflict of human passions, and in the strife of parties and factions, should be broken up and destroyed. I know not that it would totter and fall to the earth, and mingle its fragments with the fragments of Liberty and the Constitution, when State shall be separated from State, and faction and dismemberment obliterate forever all the hopes of the founders of our republic, and the great inheritance of their children. It might stand. But who, from beneath the weight of mortification and shame that would oppress him, could look up to behold it? Whose eyeballs would not be seared by such a spectacle? For my part, should I live to such a time, I shall avert my eyes from it for ever.
ADAMS IN THE CONGRESS OF 1776.8
THE eloquence of Mr. Adams resembled his general character, and formed indeed a part of it. It was bold, manly, and energetic; and such the crisis required. —When public bodies are to be addressed on momentous occasions, when great interests are at stake, and strong passions excited, nothing is valuable in speech, further than as it is connected with high intellecual and moral endowments. Clearness, force, and earnestness are the qualities which produce conviction. True eloquence, indeed, does not consist in speech. It cannot be brought from far. Labour and learning may toil for it, but they will toil in vain. Words and phrases may be marshalled in every way, but
3 John Adams and Thomas Jefferson, the second and third Presidents of the United States, both died within a few hours of each other, on the 4th of July, 1826. This coincidence was so remarkable as to excite universal interest, and is said to have affected the public mind more deeply than any event since the death of Washington, which occurred on the 14th of December, 1799. The city authorities of Boston took measures for having the event commemorated in a suitable manner; and on the 2d of August following, Webster delivered his celebrated Discourse on Adams and Jefferson in Faneuil Hall. I here give that portion of the Discourse which is generally considered the best.
they cannot compass it. It must exist in the man, in the subject, and in the occasion. Affected passion, intense expression, the pomp of declamation, all may aspire after it; they cannot reach it. It comes, if it come at all, like the outbreaking of a fountain from the earth, or the bursting forth of volcanic fires, with spontaneous, original, native force. The graces taught in the schools, the costly ornaments and studied contrivances of speech shock and disgust men, when their own lives, and the fate of their wives, their children, and their country, hang on the decision of the hour. Then words have lost their power, rhetoric is vain, and all elaborate oratory contemptible. Even genius itself then feels rebuked and subdued, as in the presence of higher qualities. Then patriotism is eloquent; then self-devotion is eloquent. The clear conception, outrunning the deductions of logic, the high purpose, the firm resolve, the dauntless spirit, speaking on the tongue, beaming from the eye, informing every feature, and urging the whole man onward, right onward to his object, this, this is eloquence; or rather it is something greater and higher than all eloquence; it is action, noble, sublime, godlike action. In July, 1776, the controversy had passed the stage of argument. An appeal had been made to force, and opposing armies were in the field. Congress, then, was to decide whether the tie which had so long bound-us to the parent State was to be severed at once, and severed for ever. All the Colonies had signified their resolution to abide by this decision, and the people looked for it with the most intense anxiety. And surely fellow-citizens, never, never were men called to a more important political deliberation. If we contemplate it from the point where they then stood, no question could be more full of interest: if we look at it now, and judge of its importance by its effects, it appears in still greater magnitude. Let us, then, bring before us the assembly which was about to decide a question thus big with the fate of empire. Let us open their doors, and look in upon their deliberations. Let us survey the anxious and care-worn countenances, let us hear the firm-toned voices, of this band of patriots. HANCOCK presides over the solemn sitting; and one of those not yet prepared to pronounce for absolute independence is on the floor, and is urging his reasons for dissenting from the declaration. “Let us pause! This step, once taken, cannot be retraced. This resolution, once passed, will cut off all hope of reconciliation. If success attend the arms of England, we shall then be no longer Colonies, with charters and with privileges: these will all be forfeited by this act; and we shall be in the condi