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FOURTH OF JULY, 1851-DANIEL WEBSTER.
On the Fourth of July, 1776, the representatives of the United States of America, in Congress assembled, declared that these United Colonies are, and right ought to be, free and independent States. This declaration, made by most patriotic and resolute men, trusting in the justice of their cause, and the protection of Providence—and yet not without deep solicitude and anxietyhas stood for seventy-five years, and still stands. It was sealed in blood. It has met dangers and overcome them; it has had enemies, and it has conquered them; it has had detractors, and it has abashed them all; it has had donbting friends, but it has cleared all doubts away; and now, to-day, raising its august form higher than the clouds, twenty millions of people contemplate it with hallowed love, and the world beholds it, and the consequences which have followed, with profound admiration. This anniversary animates, and gladdens, and unites all American hearts. On other days of the year we may be party men, indulging in controversies more or less important to the public good; we may have likes and dislikes, and we may maintain our political differences often with warm, and sometimes with angry feelings. But to-day we are Americans all in all, nothing but Americans. As the great luminary over our heads, dissipating mists and fogs, cheers the whole hemisphere, so do the associations connected with this day disperse all cloudy and sullen weather, and all noxious exhalations in the minds and feelings of true Americans. Every man's heart swells within him-every man's port and bearing become somewhat more proud and lofty, as he remembers that seventy-five years have rolled away, and that the great inheritance of liberty is still his; his, undiminished and unimpaired; his, in all its original glory; his to enjoy, his to protect, and his to transmit to future generations. If Washington were now amongst us—and if he could draw around him the shades of the great public men of his own days—patriots and warriors, orators and statesmen—and were to address us in their presence, would he not say to us—
_“Ye men of this generation, I rejoice and thank God for being able to see that our labors, and toils, and sacrifices, were not in vain. You are prosperous—you are happy-you are grateful. The fire of liberty burns brightly
LIBERTY AND SLAVERY.
and steadily in your hearts, while duty and the law restrain it from bursting forth in wild and destructive conflagration. Cherish liberty as you love it-cherish its securities as you wish to preserve it. Maintain the constitution which we labored so painfully to establish, and which has been to you such a source of inestimable blessings. Preserve the union of the States, cemented as it was by our prayers, our tears, and our blood. Be true to God, your country, and your duty. So shall the whole eastern world follow the morning sun, to contemplate you as a nation; so shall all succeeding generations honor you as they honor us; and so shall that Almighty Power which so graciously protected us, and which now protects you, shower its everlasting blessings upon you and your posterity.”
LIBERTY AND SLAVERY.-E. D. BAKER.
In the whole world abroad, even where there is the lowest political degradation, ideas of personal liberty, at the present time grow apace. Beneath the shadow of the throne of Russia; above the ruins of the Inquisition; on the banks of the Seine; around the ashes of Napoleon, and where a British queen presides in all her matronly dignity over a free people; everywhere, ideas of personal liberty fructify and grow. It was the boast of a great Irish orator, long, long ago, that when a slave toached the sacred soil of Britain, the fetters fell from his limbs, and he rose disenthralled before the genius of universal emancipation. Everywhere the great idea of personal liberty develops, increases, and fructifies. Here is the exception. Here, under the American Government, in the land of liberty, the chosen of all freemen, the home of the exile, such is not the case. Here in a land of written constitutional liberty, it is reserved for as to teach the world that under the American Stars and Stripes, slavery marches in solemn procession; that under the American flag, slavery is protected to the utmost verge of acquired property; that under the American banner, the name of freedom is to be faintly heard ; the songs of freedom faintly sung; that while
Garibaldi, Victor Emanuel, every great and good man in the world strives, struggles, fights; prays, suffers, and dies, sometimes on the scaffold, sometimes in the dungeon, often on the field of battle, rendered immortal by his blood and his valor; that while this triumphal procession marches on through the arches of freedom-we, in this land of all the world—shrink back trembling when freedom is but mentioned.
BUNKER-HILL MONUMENT.-DANIEL WEBSTER.
THE Bunker-Hill morument is finished. Here it stands. For. tunate in the natural eminence on which it is placed,-higher, infinitely higher, in its objects and purpose, it rises over the land, and over the sea; and visible, at their homes, to three hundred thousand citizens of Massachusetts,-it stands, a memorial of the last, and a monitor to the present, and all succeeding generations. I have spoken of the loftiness of its purpose. If it had been without any other design than the creation of a work of art, the granite, of which it is composed, would have slept in its native bed. It has a purpose; and that purpose gives it character. That purpose enrobes it with dignity and moral grandeur. That well-known purpose it is, which causes us to look up to it with a feeling of awe. It is itself the orator of this occasion. It is not from my lips, it is not from any human lips, that that strain of eloquence is this day to flow, most competent to move and excite the vast multitudes around. The potent speaker stands motionless before them. It is a plain shaft. It bears no inscriptions, fronting to the rising sun, from which the future antiquarian shall wipe the dust. Nor does the rising sun cause tones of music to issue from its summit. But at the rising of the sun, and at the setting the sun, in the blaze of noon-day, and beneath the milder effulgence of lunar light, it looks, it speaks, it acts, to the full comprehension of every American mind, and the awakening of glowing enthusiasm in every American heart. Its silent, but awful utterance; its deep pathos, as it brings to our contemplation the 17th of June, 1775, and the consequences which bave resulted to us, to our country, and to the world, from
THE AMERICAN FLAG,
the events of that day, and which we know must continue to rain influence on the destinies of mankind, to the end of time; the elevation with which it raises us high above the ordinary feelings of life; surpass all that the study of the closet, or even the inspiration of genius can produce. To-day, it speaks to us. Its future auditories will be through successive generations of men, as they rise up before it, and gather round it. Its speech will be of patriotism and courage; of civil and religious liberty; of free government; of the moral improvement and elevation of mankind; and of the immortal memory of those who, with heroic devotion, have sacrificed their lives for their country.
THE AMERICAN FLAG.-J. RODMAN DRAKE.
WHEN freedom from her mountain height
Unfurled her standard to the air,
And set the stars of glory there!
Majestic monarch of the cloud,
Who rear'st aloft thy regal form,
And see the lightning lances driven,
And rolls the thunder-drum of heaven;
To guard the banner of the free,
To ward away the battle stroke,
The harbingers of victory!
Flag of the brave ! thy folds shall fly,
And cowering foes shall sink beneath
That lovely messenger of death.
Flag of the seas! on ocean wave
Flag of the free heart's hope and home!
By angel hands to valor given; Thy stars have lit the welkin dome,
And all thy hues were born in heaven. Forever float that standard sheet!
Where breathes the foe but falls before us, With Freedom's soil beneath our feet,
And Freedom's banner streaming o'er us ?