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telligent, wise, and patriotic. They saw, as quick and as fully as any men in the country, the infirmities of the old Confederation, and discerned the means by which they might be remedied. From the first, they were ardent and zealous friends of the pres. ent Constitution. They saw the necessity of united councils, and common regulations, for all the States, in matters of trade and commerce. They saw, what indeed is obvious enough, that their interest was completely involved with that of the mercantile class, and other classes; and that nothing but one general, uniform system of commerce, trade, and imports could possibly give to the business and industry of the country vigor and prosperity. When the convention for acting on the Constitution sat in this city, and the result of its deliberations was doubtsul, the mechanics assembled at the Green Dragon tavern, and passed the most firm and spirited resolutions in favor of the Constitution; and when these resolutions were presented to the Boston delegation, by a committee of which Colonel Revere was chairman, they were asked by one of the members, how many mechanics were at the meeting; to which Colonel Revere answered, “ More than there are stars in heaven.” With states. manlike sagacity, they foresaw the advantages of a united gov. ernment. They celebrated, therefore, the adoption of the Constitution by rejoicings and festivals, such, perhaps, as have not since been witnessed. Emblematic representations, long processions of all the trades, and whatever else might contribute to the joyous demonstration of gratified patriotism, distinguished the occasion. Gentlemen, I can say with great truth, that an occasion intended to manifest respect to me could have originated nowhere with more satisfaction to myself than with the mechanics of Boston.

I am bound to make my acknowledgments to other classes of citizens who assemble here to join with the mechanics in the purpose of this meeting. I see with pleasure the successors and followers of the Mathers, of Clarke, and of Cooper; and I am gratified, also, by the presence of those of my own profession, in whose immediate presence and society so great a portion of my life has been passed. It is natural that I should value

I highly this proof of their regard. We have walked the same paths, we have listened to the same oracles, we have been guided together by the lights of Dana, and Parsons, and Sewall, and Parker, not to mention living names, not unknown or unhonored either at home or abroad. As I honor the profession, so I honor and respect its worthy members, as defenders of truth, as supporters of law and liberty, as men who ever act on steady principles of honor and justice, and from whom no one, with a right cause, is turned away, though he may come clothed

in rags.

Mingling in this vast assembly, I perceive, Gentlemen, many citizens who bear an appellation which is honored, and which deserves to be honored, wherever a spirit of enlightened liberality, humanity, and charity finds regard and approbation among men, I mean the appellation of Boston merchants. In a succession of generations, they have contributed uniformly to great objects of public interest and advantage. They have founded institutions of learning, of piety, and of charity. They have explored the field of human misfortune and calamity; they have sought out the causes of vice, and want, and ignorance, and have sought them only that they might be removed and extirpated. They have poured out like water the wealth acquired by their industry and honorable enterprise, to relieve the necessities of poverty, administer comfort to the wretched, soothe the ravings of distressed insanity, open the eyes of the blind, unstop the ears of the deaf, and shed the light of knowledge, and the reforming influences of religion where ignorance and crime have abounded. How am I to commend, not only single acts of benevolence, but whole lives of benevolence, such as this? May He reward them, - may that Almighty Being reward them, in whose irreversible judgment, in that day which is to come, the merit even of the widow's mite shall outweigh the advantages of all the pomp and grandeur of the world!

Gentlemen, citizens of Boston, I have been in the midst of you for twenty years. It is nearly sixteen years since, quite unexpectedly to myself, you saw fit to require public service at my hands and to place me in the national legislature. If, in that long period, you have found in my public conduct something to be approved, and more to be forgiven than to be reprehended, and if we meet here to-day better friends for so many years

of acquaintance and mutual confidence, I may well esteem myself happy in the enjoyment of a high reward.

I offer you again, fellow-citizens, my grateful acknowledgments, and all my sincere and cordial good wishes; and I propose to you as a toast :

“ The City of Boston: May it continue to be the head-quarters of good principles, till the blood of the Revolutionary patriots shall have run through a thousand generations !"

ROYAL AGRICULTURAL SOCIETY.

VOL. I.

37

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