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tected and repressed, then the republic is already in the downward path of those which have gone before it.
I hold, therefore, Gentlemen, that a strict submission, by every branch of the government, to the limitations and restraints of the Constitution, is of the very essence of all security for the preservation of liberty; and that no one can be a true and intelligent friend of that liberty, who will consent that any man in public station, whatever he may think of the honesty of his motives, shall assume to exercise an authority above the Constitution and the laws. Whatever government is not a government of laws, is a despotism, let it be called what it may. .
Gentlemen, on an occasion like this, I ought not to detain you longer. Let us hope for the best, in behalf of this great and happy country, and of our glorious Constitution. Indeed, Gentlemen, we may well congratulate ourselves that the country is so young, so fresh, and so vigorous, that it can bear a great deal of bad government. It can take an enormous load of official mismanagement on its shoulders, and yet go ahead. Like the vessel impelled by steam, it can move forward, not only without other than the ordinary means, but even when those means oppose it; it can make its way in defiance of the elements, and
Against the wind, against the tide,
There are some things, however, which the country cannot stand. It cannot stand any shock of civil liberty, or any disruption of the Union. Should either of these happen, the vessel of the state will have no longer either steerage or motion. She will lie on the billows helpless and hopeless, the scorn and contempt of all the enemies of free institutions, and an object of indescribable grief to all their friends.
INTRODUCTORY NOTE. .
A LARGE number of the citizens of Boston being desirous to offer to Mr. Webster some enduring testimony of their gratitude for his services in Congress, and more especially for his defence of the Constitution during the crisis of Nullification, a committee was raised, in the spring of 1835, to procure a piece of plate which should be worthy of such an object. By their direction, and more particularly under the superintendence of one of their number, the late Mr. George W. Brimmer, to whose taste and skill the committee were deeply indebted for the selection of the model and the arrangement of the devices, the beautiful vase, now well known throughout the country as the WEBSTER Vase, was prepared at the manufactory of Messrs. Jones, Lows, & Ball, in Boston. After it was finished, the committee found it impossible to withstand the wish, both of the numerous subscribers and of the public generally, to witness the ceremonies and hear the remarks by which its presentation might be accompanied. It was accordingly presented to Mr. Webster in the presence of three or four thousand spectators, assembled at the Odeon, on the evening of the 12th of October. The Vase was placed on a pedestal covered with the American flag, and contained on its front the following inscription :
Oct. 12, 1835.
The chairman of the committee (Mr. Z. Jellison) opened the meeting with the following remarks :
“ Fellow-CitizENS: - The friends of the Hon. Daniel Webster in this city, conceiving the propriety of giving that gentleman an expression of the high estimation in which they hold his public services, and wishing