Edward Everett, Orator and Statesman

By Paul Revere Frothingham | Go to book overview

XIII
THE ORATOR

WHEN Mr. Everett resigned his seat in the Senate and beat a full retreat from Washington in 1854, he was, as we have seen, broken in spirits and in health -- a disappointed and defeated man! His resignation was an evidence of failure, and he seemed to make public confession of his inability to cope any longer with the storm that was sweeping the country into civil war. He was mournfully convinced that his work was done, that his public career had come to an end, and that except for such limited activities as were possible for a semi-invalid he would have to live henceforth in scholarly seclusion. But never was an expectation so completely nullified nor fears so entirely proved baseless. A sphere of usefulness was to open out before him which was most congenial in its nature. He was to come at last to the work for which natural endowment, temperament, and talents fitted him, and where exertion was to prove a tonic and activity a healthy stimulant. This man was preeminently an orator, and now at last he was to exercise his gift of speech in a sphere above the discordant and disturbing notes of party passion and sectional dispute. It happened this way.

Soon after settling down in his comfortable home on Summer Street, with his books around him, making his spacious library a temple of peace, he prepared a lecture or oration on the character of Washington. He had been asked by the Mercantile Library Association of Boston to give the introductory lecture in their course for the season of 1855-56. He had declined, as he was now in the habit of declining nearly all invitations of the kind. Some weeks after doing so, however, it occurred to him that the year 1856 would mark the hundredth anniversary of Washington's first visit

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Edward Everett, Orator and Statesman
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Preface ix
  • Contents xi
  • Illustrations xiii
  • I - Background and Beginning 1
  • II - Pegasus in the Pulpit 19
  • III - Wander Years 36
  • IV - The Greek Professor 61
  • V - Apollo in Politics 93
  • VI - Governor of Massachusetts 127
  • VII - Port After Stormy Seas 157
  • VIII- At the Court of Saint James' 188
  • IX - A Diplomat in London 220
  • X - President of Harvard 265
  • XI - An Interlude 302
  • XII - Secretary of State and Senator 329
  • XIII - The Orator 373
  • XIV - With the God of Battles 414
  • Index 473
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