Page images
[ocr errors][merged small]










Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1836, by

E. HUNT & CO. In the Clerk's Office of the District Court of Connecticut.

WILLIAM D. STARR, Print....Middletown.

[merged small][ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][merged small]

It is a remark of Cicero, which has been often quoted, that “ Eloquence is the tender offspring of a free Constitution.” In proof of its justness, our own country may well be cited as an example ; for from the first day that the separate independence of the American Colonies was agitated in debate, the annals of our literature have been rich in the choicest specimens of soul-stirring Eloquence. American Eloquence set in motion and urged on the Revolution ;-it sustained our invaluable Constitution against the overthrow with which it was threatened from indifference and dissenting timidity ;--and it is believed that no country could ever boast a more brilliant list of eloquent cotemporary names than now adorn the pulpit, the bar, and the legislative halls of the United States.

In the difficult task of making selections from the multi farious materials which presented themselves to the editor his choice has been decided by the dignity and importance of the subjects discussed, the justness of the views advanced, and the literary merit of the productions,

It is the belief of the publishers that in the following pages, they present to the public a volume most highly creditable to the intellect of our country. The reason of this excellence is obvious. The institutions and condition of our country are such as especially to call forth and pro. mote talents for public speaking. Every question of grave import, or doubtful tendency, is carried, not at the bayonet's point, or by royal edict, but by the popular voice, after the sharp conflict of mind with mind. On this account too, a volume of judicious selections from American Eloquence, becomes a commentary upon our laws, religion, and politics, which should be in the hands of every freeman who would honorably discharge the duties of a citizen and a patriot. It need scarcely be remarked that such a work is eminently suited to be placed in the hands of the young, not only for the manly views and the pure morality whịch its pages con. tain, but as affording some of the brightest models for their study and imitation. Even the student of eloquence whose mind has been enriched by the stores of antiquity, may dwell with daily and nightly devotion upon a work embra. cing within its varied pages, specimens of the transparent musical flow of Everett and Story--the impetuous torrent of Beecher---the scathing coruscations of Burges—and the thunder of Webster, He may advantageously lay aside his rules and treatises, to sit often and long at the feet of these masters of the part of persuasion,” that by an habitual contemplation of their excellence he may be transformed into the same imąge. Let him learn too from their example not to be soon weary of his exertions, or faint in his labors, what, ever they may be. Nor will he, if he duly estimates the

« PreviousContinue »