The Lives of James Madison and James Monroe: Fourth and Fifth Presidents of the United States

By John Quincy Adams | Go to book overview
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PREFACE.

Now that John Quincy Adams--the sage, the philosopher, and the. statesman--has been gathered to his fathers, an air of sanctity, never witnessed while he was in life, surronnds everything he wrote or uttered; and the odor of nationality "rises gratefully, from the emanations of his brilliant genius, and the productions of his superior intellect."

He, indeed, touched nothing that he did not adorn with the rich charms of the language he moulded at his will, or the mental treasures of his inexhaustible store. And no one, perhaps, among American statesmen or men of letters, was better able than he to pronounce the eulogies of Madison and Monroe.

In presenting to the public, these chef-d'æuvres of a master hand, in a permanent form, the editor has not the vanity to suppose he can add a single additional charm. And yet, to the lover of history, and to the politician, the notices of the administrations of those two most eminent disciples of Thomas Jefferson, which accompany them, may not be without interest.

-vii-

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