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ited circle, I have passed days and nights, not of tedious, but of happy and gratified labor, in the study of the judicature of the State of New York. I am most happy to have this public opportunity of acknowledging the obligation, and of repaying it as far as it can be repaid, by the poor tribute of my profound regard, and the earnest expression of my

sincere respect. Gentlemen, I will no longer detain you than to propose a toast:

The City of New York; herself the noblest eulogy on the Union of the States.

THE CHARACTER OF WASHINGTON.

VOL. 1.

19

THE CHARACTER OF WASHINGTON.*

On the 22d of February, 1832, being the centennial birthday of GEORGE WASHINGTON, a number of gentlemen, members of Congress . and others, from different parts of the Union, united in commemorating the occasion by a public dinner in the city of Washington.

At the request of the Committee of Arrangements, Mr. Webster, then a Senator from Massachusetts, occupied the chair. After the cloth was removed, he addressed the company in the following manner:

I RISE, Gentlemen, to propose to you the name of that great man, in commemoration of whose birth, and in honor of whose character and services, we are here assembled.

I am sure that I express a sentiment common to every one present, when I say that there is something more than ordinarily solemn and affecting in this occasion.

We are met to testify our regard for him whose name is intimately blended with whatever belongs most essentially to the prosperity, the liberty, the free institutions, and the renown of our country. That name was of power to rally a nation, in the hour of thick-thronging public disasters and calamities; that name shone, amid the storm of war, a beacon light, to cheer and guide the country's friends; it flamed, too, like a meteor, to repel her foes. That name, in the days of peace, was a loadstone, attracting to itself a whole people's confidence, a whole people's love, and the whole world's respect. That name, descending with all time, spreading over the whole earth, and uttered in all the languages belonging to the tribes and races of men, will for ever be pronounced with affectionate gratitude by

• A Speech delivered at a Public Dinner in Honor of the Centennial Birthday of Washington, on the 22d of February, 1832.

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