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constantly maintained the principle, that it is the undoubted right and the bounden duty of government, to provide for the instruction of all youth. That, which is elsewhere left to chance, or to charity, we secure by law. For the purpose of public instruction, we hold every man subject to taxation in proportion to his property, and we look not to the question whether he himself have or have not children to be benefitted by the education, for which he pays.
We regard it as a wise and liberal system of police, by which property and life and the peace of society are secured. We seek to prevent, in some measure, the extension of the penal code, by inspiring a salutary and conservative principle of
tue and of knowledge in an early age. We hope to excite a feeling of respectability, and a sense of character, by enlarging the capacity, and increasing the sphere of intellectual enjoyment. By general instruction, we seek, as far as possible, to purify the whole moral atmosphere, to keep good sentiments uppermost, and to turn the strong current of feeling and opinion, as well as the censures of the law, and the denunciations of religion, against immorality and crime. We hope for a security beyond the law, and above the law, in the prevalence of enlightened and well principled moral sentiment. We hope to continue and prolong the time, when, in the villages and farm houses of New England, there may be undisturbed sleep within unbarred doors. And knowing that our government rests directly on the public will, that we may preserve it, we endeavour to give a safe and proper direction to that public will. We do not, indeed, expect all men to be philosophers or statesmen; but we confidently trust, and our expectation of the duration of our system of government rests on that trust, that by the diffusion of general knowledge, and good and virtuous sentiments, the political fabric may be secure, as well
against open violence and overthrow, as against the slow but sure undermining of licentiousness.
The hours of this day are rapidly flying, and the occasion will soon be passed. Neither we nor our children can expect to behold its return. They are in the distant regions of futurity, they exist only in the all-creating power of God, who shall stand here, a hundred years hence, to trace, through us, their descent from the Pilgrims, and to survey, as we have now surveyed, the progress of their country during the lapse of a century. We would anticipate their concurrence with us in our sentiments of deep regard for our common ancestors. We would anticipate and partake the pleasure with which they will then recount the steps of New-England's advancement. On the morning of that day, although it will not disturb us in our repose, the voice of acclamation and gratitude, commencing on the Rock of Plymouth, shall be transmitted through millions of the sons of the Pilgrims, till it lose itself in the mur-. murs of the Pacific seas.
Advance, then, ye future generations! We would hail you, as you rise in your long succession to fill the places which we now fill, and to taste the blessings of existence, where we are passing, and soon shall have passed, our own human duration. We bid you welcome to this pleasant land of the Fathers. We bid you welcome to the healthful skies and verdant fields of New England. We greet your accession to the great inheritance which we have enjoyed. We welcome you to the blessings of good government, and religious liberty. We wel
come you to the treasures of science and the delights of learning. We welcome you to the transcendant sweets of domestic life, to the happiness of kindred and parents and children. We welcome you to the immeasurable blessings of rational existence, the immortal hope of Christianity, and the light of everlasting truth!
MR. WEBSTER'S SPEECH ON THE GREEK
On the 8th of December, 1823, Mr. Webster presented, in the House of Representatives, the following resolution:
“ Resolved, That provision ought to be made, by law, for defraying the expense incident to the
appointment of an Agent or Commissioner to Greece, whenever the President shall deem it expedient to make such appointment."
The house having, on the 19th of January, resolved itself into Committee of the Whole, and this resolution being taken into consideration, Mr. Webster spoke to the following effect :
I am afraid, Mr. Chairman, that, so far as my part in this discussion is concerned, those expectations which the public excitement, existing on the subject, and certain associations, easily connected with it, have conspired to raise, may be disappointed. An occasion which calls the attention to a spot, so distinguished, so connected with interesting recollections, as Greece, may naturally excite something of warmth and enthusiasm. In a grave, politicah discussion, however, it is necessary that that feeling should be chastised. I shall endeavonr properly to repress it, although it is impossible that it should be altogether extinguished. We must, indeed, fly beyond the civilized world, we must pass the dominion of law, and the boundaries of knowledge; wa
must, more especially, withdraw ourselves from this place, and the scenes which here surround us, if we would separate ourselves, altogether, from the influence of those memorials of herself which ancient Greece has transmitted for the admiration, and the benefit, of mankind. This free form of government, this popular assembly, the common council, held for the common good, where have we contemplated its earliest models? This practice of free debate, and public discussion, the contest of mind with mind, and that popular eloquence, which, if it were now here, on a subject like this, would move the stones of the Capitol, whose was the language in which all these were first exhibited ? Even the Edifice in which we assemble, these proportioned columns, this ornamented architecture, all remind us that Greece has existed, and that we, like the rest of mankind, are greatly her debtors. But I have not introduced this motion in the vain hope of discharging any thing of this accumulated debt of centuries. I have not acted upon the expectation, that we, who have inherited this obligation from our ancestors, should now attempt to pay it, to those who may to have inherited, from their ancestors, a right to receive payment. My object is nearer and more immediate. I wish to take occasion of the struggle of an interesting and gallant people, in the cause of liberty and Christianity, to draw the attention of the House to the circumstances which have accompanied that struggle, and to the principles which appear to have governed the conduct of the great States of Europe, in regard to it; and to the effects and consequences of these principles, upon the independence of nations, and especially upon the institutions of free governments. What I have to say of Greece, therefore, concerns the modern, not the ancient; the living and not the dead. It regards her, not as she exists in history, triumphant over time, and tyranny,
and ignorance; but as she now is, contending
against fearful odds, for being, and for the common privilege of human nature.
As it is never difficult to recite common-place remarks, and trite aphorisms; so it may be easy, I am aware, on this occasion, to remind me of the wisdom which dictates to men a care of their own affairs, and admonishes them, instead of searching for adventures abroad, to leave other men's concerns in their own hands. It may be easy to call this resolution Quixotic, the emanation of a crusading or propagandist spirit. All this and more may be readily said; but all this, and more, will not be allowed to fix a character upon this proceeding, until that is proved, which it takes for granted. Let it first be shown, that, in this question, there is nothing which can affect the interest, the character, or the duty of this country. Let it be proved, that we are not called upon, by either of these considerations, to express an opinion on the subject to which the resolution relates.-Let this be proved, and then it will, indeed, be made out, that neither ought this resolution to pass, nor ought the subject of it to have been mentioned in the communication of the President to us. But, in my opinion, this cannot be shown. In my judgment, the subject is interesting to the people and the government of this country, and we are called upon, by considerations of great weight and moment, to express our opinions upon it. These considerations, I think, spring from a sense of our own duty, our character, and our own interest. I wish to treat the subject on such grounds, exclusively, as are truly American ; but then, in considering it as an American question, I cannot forget the age in which we live, the prevailing spirit of the age, the interesting questions which agitate it, and our own peculiar relation, in regard to these interesting questions. Let this be, then, and as far as I am concerned I hope it will be, purely an