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“ Her path, where'er the goddess roves,

Glory pursues, and generous shame,

The unconquerable mind, and Freedom's holy flame.” There is one other point of view, Sir, in regard to which I will say a few words, though perhaps at some hazard of misinterpretation

In the wonderful spirit of improvement and enterprise which animates the country, we may be assured that each quarter will naturally exert its power in favor of objects in which it is interested. This is natural and unavoidable. Each portion, there. fore, will use its best means. If the West feels a strong interest in clearing the navigation of its mighty streams, and opening roads through its vast forests, if the South is equally zealous to push the production and augment the prices of its great staples, it is reasonable to expect that these objects will be pursued by the best means which offer themselves. And it may therefore well deserve consideration, whether the commercial and navigating and manufacturing interests of the North do not call on us to aid and support them, by united counsels and united efforts. But I abstain from cnlarging on this topic. Let me rather say, that in regard to the whole country a new era has arisen. In a time of peace, the proper pursuits of peace engage society

a with a degree of enterprise and an intenseness of application heretofore unknown. New objects are opening, and new resources developed, on every side. We tread on

a broader theatre; and if, instead of acting our parts according to the novelty and importance of the scene, we waste our strength in mutual crimination and recrimination concerning the past, we shall resemble those navigators, who, having escaped from some crooked and narrow river to the sea, now that the whole ocean is before them, should, nevertheless, occupy themselves with the differences which happened as they passed along among the rocks and the shallows, instead of opening their eyes to the wide horizon around them, spreading their sail to the propitious gale that woos it, raising their quadrant to the sun, and grasping the helm with the conscious hand of a master.



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At a public dinner given him on the 5th of June, 1828, by the citizens of Boston (Hon. T. H. Perkins in the chair), as a mark of respect for his services as Senator of the United States, and late their Representative in Congress, after the annunciation of the following toast, “Our distinguished guest, worthy the noblest homage which freemen can give or a freeman receive, the homage of their hearts," Mr. Webster rose and spoke as follows:

MR. CHAIRMAN,- The honor conferred by this occasion, as well as the manner in which the meeting has been pleased to receive the toast which has now been proposed to them from the chair, requires from me a most respectful acknowledgment and a few words of honest and sincere thanks. I should, indeed, be lost to all just feeling, or guilty of a weak and puerile affecta. tion, if I should fail to manifest the emotions which are excited by these testimonials of regard, from those among whom I live, who see me oftenest, and know me best. If the approbation of good men be an object fit to be pursued, it is fit to be enjoyed; if it be, as it doubtless is, one of the most stirring and invigorating motives which operate upon the mind, it is also among the richest rewards which console and gratify the heart.

I confess myself particularly touched and affected, Mr. President and Gentlemen, by the kind feeling which you manifest towards me as your fellow-citizen, your neighbor, and your friend. Respect and confidence, in these relations of life, lie at the foundation of all valuable character; they are as essential to solid and permanent reputation as to durable and social happiness. I assure you, Sir, with the utmost sincerity, that there is nothing which could flow from human approbation and applause, no distinction, however high or alluring, no object of

ambition, which could possibly be brought within the horizon of my view, that would tempt me, in any degree, justly to forfeit the attachment of my private friends, or surrender my hold, as a citizen and a neighbor, on the confidence of the community in which I live; a community to which I owe so much, in the bosom of which I have enjoyed so much, and where I still hope to remain, in the interchange of mutual good wishes and the exercise of mutual good offices, for the residue of life.

The commendation bestowed by the meeting upon my attempts at public service, I am conscious, is measured rather by their own kindness, than by any other standard. Of those attempts, no one can think more humbly than I do. The affairs of the general government, foreign and domestic, are vast and various and complicated. They require from those who would aspire to take a leading part in them an amount, a variety, and an accuracy of information, which, even if the adequate capacity were not wanting, are not easily attained by one whose attention is of necessity mainly devoted to the duties of an active and laborious profession. For this as well as many other reasons, I am conscious of having discharged my public duties in a manner no way entitling them to the degree of favor which has now been manifested.

And this manifestation of favor and regard is the more especially to be referred to the candor and kindness of the meeting, on this occasion, since it is well known, that in a recent instance, and in regard to an important measure, I have felt it my duty to give a vote, in respect to the expediency and propriety of which considerable difference of opinion exists between persons equally entitled to my regard and confidence.* The candid interpretation which has been given to that vote by those who disapproved it, and the assembling together here, for the purposes of this occasion, of those who felt pain, as well as those who felt pleasure, at the success of the measure for which the vote was given, afford ample proof, how far unsuspected uprightness of intention and the exercise of an independent judgment may be

The subject referred to is the tariff law of 1828. For a fuller statement of the considerations which influenced the vote of Mr. Webster on that subject, see his speech, in a subsequent volume of this collection, delivered in the Senate of the United States on the 9th of May, 1828.

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