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triotism is governed by the cardinal points; who is for or against a proposed measure, according to its indication by compass, or as it may happen to tend farther from, or come nearer to, his own immediate connections. And look at the West; look at these rivers; look at the Lakes; look especially at Lake Erie, and see what a moderate expenditure has done for the safety of human life, and the preservation of property, in the navigation of that lake; and done, let me add, in the face of a fixed and ardent opposition.
I rejoice, sincerely, Gentlemen, in the general progress of internal improvement, and in the completion of so many objects near you, and connected with your prosperity. Your own canal and railroad unite you with the Atlantic. Near you is the Ohio Canal, which does so much credit to a younger State, and with which your city will doubtless one day have a direct connection. On the south and east approaches the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad, a great and spirited enterprise, which I always thought entitled to the aid of government, and a branch of which, it may be hoped, will yet reach the head of the Ohio.
I will only add, Gentlemen, that for what I have done in the cause of internal improvement I claim no particular merit, hav. ing only acted with others, and discharged, conscientiously and fairly, what I regarded as my duty to the whole country.
Gentlemen, the Mayor has spoken of the importance and necessity of education. And can any one doubt, that to man, as a social and an immortal being, as interested in the world that is, and infinitely more concerned for that which is to be, education, that is to say, the culture of the mind and the heart, is an object of infinite importance? So far as we can trace the designs of Providence, the formation of the mind and character, by instruction in knowledge, and instruction in righteous. ness, is a main end of human being. Among the new impulses which society has received, none is more gratifying than the awakened attention to public education. That object begins to exhibit itself to the minds of men in its just magnitude, and to possess its due share of regard. It is but in a limited degree, and indirectly only, that the powers of the general government have been exercised in the promotion of this object. So far as these powers extend, I have concurred in their exercise with great pleasure. The Western States, from the recency of their
settlement, from the great proportion of their population which are children, and from other circumstances which must, in all new countries, more or less curtail individual means, have apo peared to me to have peculiar claims to regard; and in all cases where I have thought the power clear, I have most heartily concurred in measures designed for their benefit, in this respect. And amidst all our efforts for education, literary, moral, or relig. ious, be it always remembered that we leave opinion and conscience free. Heaven grant that it may be the glory of the United States to have established two great truths, of the highest importance to the whole human race; first, that an enlightened community is capable of self-government; and, second, that the toleration of all sects does not necessarily produce indifference to religion.
But I have already detained you too long. My friends, fellow. citizens, and countrymen, I take a respectful leave of you. The time I have passed on this side the Alleghanies has been a succession of happy days. I have seen much to instruct and much to delight me. I return you, again and again, my unfeigned thanks for the frankness and hospitality with which you have made me welcome; and wherever I may go, or wherever I may be, I pray you to believe I shall not lose the recollection of your kindness.
RECEPTION AT BANGOR. *
DURING a visit to Maine, in the summer of 1835, on business connected with his profession, Mr. Webster was at Bangor, where he partook of a collation with many of the citizens of that place. There were so many more people, however, desirous to see and hear him than could be accommodated in the hall of the hotel, that, after the cloth was removed, he was compelled to proceed to the balcony, where, after thanking the company for their hospitality, and their manifestation of regard, he addressed the assembly as follows:
Having occasion to come into the State on professional business, I have gladly availed myself of the opportunity to visit this
, city, the growing magnitude and importance of which have recently attracted such general notice. I am happy to say, that I see around me ample proofs of the correctness of the favorable representations which have gone abroad. Your city, Gentlemen, has certainly experienced an extraordinary growth; and it is a growth, I think, which there is reason to hope is not unnatural, or greatly disproportionate to the eminent advantages of the place. It so happened, that, at an early period of my life, I came to this spot, attracted by that favorable position, which the slightest glance on the map must satisfy every one that it occupies. It is near the head of tide-water, on a river which brings to it from the sea a volume of water equal to the demands of the largest vessels of war, and whose branches, uniting here, from great distances above, traverse in their course extensive tracts now covered with valuable productions of the forest, and capable, most of them, of profitable agricultural cultivation. But at the period I speak of, the time had not come
* Remarks made to the Citizens of Bangor, Maine, on the 25th of August, 1835.