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BY DANIEL WEBSTER.
PERKINS & MARVIN, AND GRAY & BOWEN.,
NEW YORK: JONATHAN LEAVITT.
DISTRICT OF MASSACHUSETTS, to wit:
District Clerk's Office. BE it remembered, that on the twenty-ninth day of November, A. D. 1830, in the fifty-fifth year of the Independence of the UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Perkins and Marvin of the said district, have deposited in this office the title of a book, the right whereof they claim as Proprietors, in the words following, to wit:
“Speeches and Forensic Arguments. By DANIEL WEESTER.” In conformity to the Act of the Congress of the United States, entitled “ An Act for the encouragement of learning, by securing the copies of Maps, Charts and Books, to the Authors and Proprietors of such copies, during the times therein mentioned :"and also to an Act entitled “ An Act supplementary to an Act, entitled, an Act for the encouragement of learning, by securing the copies of Maps, Charts, and Books to the Authors and Proprietors of such copies during the times therein mentioned; and extending the benefits thereof to the arts of designing, engraving and etching historical and other prints "
JNO. W. DAVIS, S Clerk of the District
? of Massachusetts.
The present generation of American citizens seems to have a part to act scarcely less remarkable than the preceding. Our immediate ancestors are, indeed, singularly distinguished as the founders of our Free Institutions; but we are ourselves almost as critically, and, for usefulness at least, as fortunately situated. In the view of the sagacious observer, we are objects of as profound and fearful interest as were our Fathers. The ultimate success of our political system depends, perhaps, nearly as much on the first generation that grows up under them, as on that by which they were framed and organized.
It is our part not only to exhibit to the world a practical illustration of the influence of the Federal Constitution, but to define and determine its construction; to apply its provisions to unforeseen exigences, and to cases contemplated by its framers, as they may arise under unexpected circumstances and new modifications; to give, in short, its influence to the public sentiment, on questions of deep and permanent interest; and thus, in all probability, to establish in the community, habits of thinking and of action, which will affect the public concerns as long as the Union shall exist. It is not altogether in paper constitutions, however skilfully devised or precisely expressed, to control the administration; the habits of the national mind, the course of legislative policy and judicial decision, the customs of the government, will in practice more or less affect the received meaning of the Constitution, and so become a part of the public law.
On the public men of this age, therefore, rests a responsibility of no ordinary kind. To the friends of rational liberty and popular happiness they cannot be regarded but as objects of deep and singular interest. Their course is all important to the State. The productions of such of them as incorporate their opinions and spirit, with the national literature and national politics, may be among the richest and best gifts of Providence to the land. The results of great powers and large experience in public affairs, committed to writing in any country and any age, can never be disregarded or neglected; but the lessons of civil and political wisdom, and the tone of social and patriotic feeling, expressed in the works of our own distinguished Statesmen of the present generation, are more emphatically important. They may be regarded strictly " above all price,” the most precious and most sacred of the national treasures; as they will probably constitute the nearest approximation to a conservative principle in our political institutions, which our state of society admits.
Of this character, in an eminent degree, the publishers of this volume look upon the works of Mr. WEBSTER; and having obtained his consent to their undertaking, they now present it to the community, in strong confidence that they are doing important service to the country.
Among individuals who have grown into distinction altogether under the existing Federal Government, it is not invidious to say, that few or none are more conspicuous. Endowed by nature with extraordinary powers, he has cultivated them in a