ceeded, some of whom were the most execrable monsters that ever 40 existed in human form.

And Napoleon, that most extraordinary man, perhaps, in all history, after subjugating all continental Europe, occupying almost all its capitals,—seriously threatening proud Albion itself,—and

decking the brows of various members of his family with crowns 45 torn from the heads of other monarchs, lived to behold his own

dear France itself in possession of his enemies, was made himself a wretched captive, and far removed from country, family, and friends, breathed his last on the distant and inhospitable rock of

St. Helena. 50 The Alps and the Rhine had been claimed, as the natural

boundaries of France, but even these could not be secured in the treaties, to which she was reduced to submit. Do you believe that the people of Macedon or Greece, of Rome, or of France, were

benefited, individually or collectively, by the triumphs of their 55 captains? Their sad lot was immense sacrifice of life, heavy and intolerable burdens, and the ultimate loss of liberty itself.

Biographical: Henry Clay was one of the most prominent statesmen of his time, serving as speaker of the House for ten years, as secretary of state for four years, and as senator from Kentucky for twenty years. He was the author of the compromise measures in 1850, and was known as the “Great Pacificator," and the “Great Compromiser."



I AM opposed to war, as a friend to human improvement, to human civilization, to human progress and advancement. Never, in the history of the world, has there occurred a period so remarkable. The chemical and mechanical powers have been investigated 5 and applied to advance the comforts of human life, in a degree far

beyond all that was ever known before. Civilization has been spreading its influence far and wide, and the general progress of human society has outstripped all that had been previously

witnessed. 10 The invention of man has seized upon, and subjugated two

great agencies of the natural world, which never before were made the servants of man. I refer to steam and to electricity, under which I include magnetism in all its phenomena. We have been

distinguished by Providence for a great and noble purpose, and 15 I trust we shall fulfill our high destiny.

Again, I am opposed to war, because I hold that it is now to be determined whether two such nations as these shall exist for the future, as friends or enemies. A declaration of war by one of

them against the other, must be pregnant with miseries, not only 20 to themselves, but to the world.

Another reason is, that mighty means are now put into the hands of both, to cement and secure a perpetual peace, by breaking down the barriers, of commerce, and uniting them more closely in

an intercourse mutually beneficial. If this shall be accomplished, 25 other nations will, one after another, follow the fair example, and

a state of general prosperity, heretofore unknown, will gradually unite and bless the nations of the world.

And far more than all. An intercourse like this points to that inspiring day which philosophers have hoped for, which poets have 30 seen in their bright dreams of fancy, and which prophecy has seen

in holy vision,—when men shall learn war no more. Who can contemplate a state of the world like this, and not feel his heart exult at the prospect? And who can doubt that, in the hand of

an Omnipotent Providence, a free and unrestricted commerce shall 35 prove one of the greatest agents in bringing it about?

Finally, I am against war, because peace—peace is preëminently our policy. Our great mission, as a people, is to occupy this vast domain,—there to level forests, and let in upon their solitude the

light of day; to clear the swamps and morasses, and redeem them 40 to the plow and the sickle; to spread over hill and dale the echoes

of human labor, and human happiness, and contentment; to fill the land with cities and towns; to unite its opposite extremities by turnpikes and railroads; to scoop out canals for the transmission of

its products, and open rivers for its internal trade. 45 War can only impede the fulfillment of this high mission of

Heaven; it absorbs the wealth and diverts the energy which might be so much better devoted to the improvemeut of our country. All we want is peace,-established peace; and then time, under the

guidance of a wise and cautious policy, will soon effect for us all 50 the rest. Where we find that natural causes will of themselves

work out good, our wisdom is to let them work; and all our task is to remove impediments. In the present case, one of the greatest of these impediments is found in our impatience.

Yes; time-ever-laboring time—will effect everything for us. 55 Our population is now increasing at the annual average of six

hundred thousand. . Let the next twenty-five years elapse, and our increase will have reached a million a year, and, at the end of that period, we shall count a population of forty-five millions.

Before that day it will have spread from ocean to ocean. The 60 coast of the Pacific will then be as densely populated and as thickly settled with villages and towns as is now the coast of the Atlantic.

If we can preserve peace, who shall set bounds to our prosperity, or to our success? With one foot planted on the Atlantic and the

other on the Pacific, we shall occupy a position between the two 65 old continents of the world,-a position eminently calculated to

secure to us the commerce and the influence of both. If we abide by the counsels of common sense,-if we succeed in preserving our constitutional liberty, we shall then exhibit a spectacle such as the

world never saw. 70 I know that this one great mission is encompassed with diffi

culties; but such is the inherent energy of our political system, and such its expansive capability, that it may be made to govern the widest space. If by war we become great, we can not be free; if we will be both great and free, our policy is peace.

Biographical: John C. Calhoun was a distinguished American statesman. He is noted for his advocacy of the annexation of Texas and his

maintenance of the cause of peace, when war with Great Britain was threatened by the claims of the United States to Oregon. This selection is from one of his speeches in the Senate on that subject.



The hours of this day are rapidly flying, and this 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 hun5. dred years hence, to trace, through us, their descent from the Pil

grims, 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 of the 10 pleasure with which they will then recount the steps of New Eng

land's advancement. On the morning of that day, although it will not disturb us in our repose, the voice of acclamation and gratis tude, commencing on the rock of Plymouth, shall be transmitted

through millions of the sons of the Pilgrims, till it lose itself in 15 the murmurs of the Pacific seas.

We would leave for the consideration of those who shall occupy our places, some proof that we hold the blessings transmitted from our fathers in just estimation; some proof of our attachment to

the cause of good government, and ardent desire to promote every20 thing which may enlarge the understandings and improve the

hearts of men. And when, from the long distance of a hundred years, they shall look back upon us, they shall know, at least, that we possessed affections which, running backward and warming with

gratitude for what our ancestors have done for our happiness, run 25 forward also to our posterity, and meet them with cordial saluta

tion, ere yet they have arrived on the shore of being.

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, 30 and soon shall have passed, our human duration. We bid you

welcome to the healthful skies and the 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 govern

ment and religious liberty. We welcome you to the treasures of 35 science and the delights of learning. We welcome you to the

transcendent 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!

Biographical and Historical: Daniel Webster stands out as America's foremost orator. His eloquence, enhanced by the force of his personality, was equally great whether answering an opponent in the Senate, pleading a case as a lawyer, or in the more dispassionate orations of anniversary occasions. He was the champion of the national idea and of complete union, and therefore bitterly opposed Hayne and Calhoun. He supported Clay in the compromise measures of 1850. His supremacy in American statesmanship, as senator, and as secretary of state, makes him “the notablest of our notabilities." These are the closing paragraphs from his oration delivered at Plymouth, December 22, 1820, on the two hundredth anniversary of the landing of the Pilgrims.



SINK or swim, live or die, survive or perish, I give my hand and my heart to this vote. It is true, indeed, that in the beginning we aimed not at independence. But there is a divinity which

shapes our ends. The injustice of England has driven us to arms; 5 and, blinded to her own interest, she has obstinately persisted, till

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