The Great Speeches and Orations of Daniel Webster

The Great Speeches and Orations of Daniel Webster

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The Great Speeches and Orations of Daniel Webster by Edwin Percy Whipple, Daniel Webster

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9

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873

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The Great Speeches and Orations of Daniel Webster

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is stirred by some grand sentiment of freedom, patriotism, justice, humanity, or religion, which absolutely lifts him, by its own inherent force and inspiration, to a region above that in which his mind habitually lives and moves. At the same time it will be observed that these thrilling passages, which the boys of two generations have ever been delighted to declaim in their shrillest tones, are strictly illustrative of the main purpose of the speech in which they appear. They are not mere purple patches of rhetoric, loosely stitched on the homespun gray of the reasoning, but they seem to be inwoven with it and to be a vital part of it. Indeed we can hardly decide, in reading these magnificent bursts of eloquence in connection with what precedes and follows them, whether the effect is due to the logic of the orator becoming suddenly morally impassioned, or to his moral passion becoming suddenly logical. What gave Webster his immense influence over the opinions of the people of New England was, first, his powe
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