The Great Speeches and Orations of Daniel Webster: With An Essay on Daniel Webster as a Master of English Style

By Edwin P. Whipple; Daniel Webster | Go to book overview

PREFACE.

THE object of the present volume is not to supersede the standard edition of Daniel Webster's Works, in six octavo volumes, edited by Edward Everett, and originally issued in the year 1851, by the publishers of this volume of Selections. It is rather the purpose of the present publication to call attention anew to the genius and character of Daniel Webster, as a lawyer, statesman, diplomatist, patriot, and citizen, and, by republishing some of his prominent orations and speeches of universally: acknowledged excellence, to revive public interest in the great body of his works. In the task of selection, it has been impossible to do full justice to his powers; for among the speeches omitted in this collection are to be found passages of superlative eloquence, maxims of political. and moral wisdom which might be taken as mottoes for elaborate treatises on the philosophy of law and legislation, and important facts and principles which no student of history of the United States can overlook without betraying an ignorance of the great forces which influenced the legislation of the two Houses of Congress, from the time Mr. Webster first entered public life to the day of his death.

It is to be supposed that, when Mr. Everett consented to edit the six volumes of his works, Mr. Webster indicated to him the orations, speeches, and diplomatic despatches which he really thought might be of service to the public, and that

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