25. a mighty revolution. The French Revolution really be-
gan in 1789, when the king, under compulsion, summoned the
States-General, the old French legislative body that had not
been summoned since 1614. The States-General consisted of
three branches — clergy, nobility, and third estate. The last
named, representing at least ninety-six per cent of the nation,
took matters in its own hands, called itself a " National As-
sembly," and demanded a constitution. A ** Declaration of
the Rights of Man " was issued, similar to our Declaration of
Independence; a constitution was drawn up, making plans for
a Legislative Assembly, to which the king was forced to submit.
Austria and Prussia espoused the cause of the nobles and clergy
who had been driven out of France, and the new government
declared war on these two powers. The refusal of the king to
ratify measures of the Assembly led to a crisis. A constitu-
tional convention was convened, and its first act was to depose
the king and proclaim a republic. The king was tried for trea-
son and executed. The next act was to declare war on Eng-
land. (See note, Farewell Address, 19, 57.)
At first many honest patriots were active among the Revolu-
tionists, Lafayette being one of the most prominent. These
sought for a constitutional monarchy; but the extreme element
got control, and swept the new republic along a course of cruelty
and blood, until the movement culminated in the Reign of
Terror (1793-4). The Directory followed. Then Napoleon
appeared on the scene, and by a series of steps, first as Consul,
then as Consul for life, overthrew the republic, and made him-
self Emperor (1804). As Emperor, he *' shook to the centre
the political fabric of Europe," overthrowing or subjecting the
thrones of Prussia, Austria, Naples, Spain, Holland, and other
less important states.
Napoleon conquered Spain in 1810. The Spanish colonies
in America took advantage of the opportunity to assert their
independence. Between the years 181 1 and 1825 every one of
the South and Central American colonies won its independence,
except the three Guianas, British, Dutch, and French. In view
of what Webster says (page 33) about the brevity of the Ameri-
can Revolution, it is interesting to note that it took Ecuador
thirteen years, and Bolivia sixteen, to gain freedom.
34, 4. from beyond the track of the sun; i.e., the Tropic
5. the dominion of European power, in this continent. Upon
the downfall of Napoleon at Waterloo, in 181 5, the states sub-
jugated by him were restored, with some changes in the direc-
tion of constitutional limitation (page 51). Spain was too weak
to reconquer South America, and some of the members of the
alliance that had opposed republican and imperial France,
showed signs of offering assistance. This called forth the well-
known Monroe Doctrine (1823), in which President Monroe
asserted that the United States would consider any attempt
on the part of the European allies of Spain to extend their
system to any part of this hemisphere as dangerous to the peace
and safety of the United States and as an unfriendly act. With
this principle England was in hearty agreement. Ever since,
the Monroe Doctrine has been a basis of American policies.
(Compare Farewell Address, 31, 18.)
14. It is interesting to note the skilful manner in which Web-
ster combines the conclusion of this paragraph with his greeting
to the Bunker Hill veterans.
35, 22. Yonder proud ships. The Charlestown Navy Yard
was within sight of Bunker Hill.
36, 7. Prescott . . . Bridge, officers of the American forces
at Bunker Hill. Putnam and Stark, in particular, won fame in
later battles. General Brooks was first president of the Monu-
20. another mom. . . . From Milton's Paradise Lost.
24. the first great Martyr, Dr. Joseph Warren of Boston,
chairman of the Committee of Safety, president of the Provin-
cial Congress of Massachusetts, and major-general of the Massa-
chusetts troops. In the battle he served as a volunteer under
Colonel Prescott, and fell as the Americans withdrew from the
37, 23. Trenton . . . Saratoga, memorable battles of the
38, 20. what a name you have contributed to give to your
country. An undoubted reference to the well-known line in
The Star-Spangled Banner.
39, 5. The Regulation Act of 1774 revoked the charter of
Massachusetts, and transferred the seat of government to Salem.
The Boston Port Bill closed the port of Boston to commerce.
40, 18. Virginia . . . own. The various colonial assemblies
passed resolutions of sympathy with Massachusetts and Boston.
The Virginia burgesses voted that " an attack upon one colony
was an attack upon all British America."
41, 9. Lexington and Concord. April 19, 1775.
14. "An all-pervading soul inspires the mass, and mingles
with the mighty bulk." — George W. Anderson, Pauiing School.
27. Quincy. Josiah Quincy, a distinguished member of a
family prominent among Massachusetts patriots. He had the
moral courage to act as counsel for the British soldiers who were
brought to trial for the Boston massacre.
42, 5. the four New England colonies. New Hampshire,
Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Connecticut. Maine was a
part of Massachusetts; Vermont was called The New Hamp-
13. a state of open . . . war. The legal status of bellig-
21. The previous proceedings of the colonies. Among the
most important Revolutionary state documents are the Declara-
tion of Rights, the Petition to the King, and An Address to the
People of Great Britain. The Declaration of Independence was
issued a year after the battle.
43, 13. more of their enemies dead. . . . According to the
British reports of the battle, their casualties were considerably
more than fifty per cent.
43, 16-45, 15. The skill with which this delicate compliment
to Lafayette is introduced into the oration without disturbing the
unity is well worth particular study. The third paragraph in
particular is a model.
In 1776, the Marquis de Lafayette was nineteen years old and
a captain of dragoons in the French army. " At the first news
of this quarrel," he afterwards wrote in his memoirs, " my heart
was enrolled in it." Through Silas Deane, American agent in
Paris, he made arrangements by which he was to enter the Ameri-
can service. He fitted out a ship at his own expense, and came
to America with eleven chosen companions. He served with-
out pay, and became a lifelong friend of Washington. Though
his military services were not particularly brilliant, he was a
strong moral ally, who by his exalted rank in his own land did
much for the American cause at a time when French aid was of
the utmost importance.
Lafayette was one of the early leaders of the French Revolu-
tion, and was prominent in the early stages of the movement,
when honest efforts were being made to establish a constitutional
government. He had, however, no sympathy with the extreme
measures that led to the execution of the king and the Reign
of Terror; on the contrary, his attitude was such that the As-
sembly declared him a traitor in 1792, and forced him to flee
from France. He returned in 1799, and lived in retirement
during the empire. When the monarchy was restored, with
constitutional limitations, he was chosen deputy, and served as
such the rest of his life. j
Lafayette visited America (July, 1824-September, 1825), and
made a tour of the country, receiving everywhere popular ap-
plause. Congress voted him the sum of $200,000, and a town-
ship of land. His tour was so planned as to bring him to Boston
in time to be present at the laying of the corner stone of the
Monument, and he took part in the dedicatory exercises.
45, 12. Serus in coelum redeas. From an ode of Horace.
Lytton renders it : " Stay thy return to heaven."
46, 12. The whole world ... a common field. ... Al-
ready two lines of sailing packets had been established between
the United States and Europe.
21. marts and exchanges. Among the societies for the pro-
motion of the arts and sciences referred to here were the French
Institute, reorganized by Napoleon in 1803, and including the
great French Academy (1816) ; the American Academy of Arts
and Sciences (Boston, 1780); and the American Philosophical
Society (reorganized in Philadelphia, 1769). Of course the
Royal Society of England was older.
47, 16. And while the . . . use of machinery would seem
to supply the place of labor. In England there had been a wide-
spread prejudice against the recently invented machinery on
the part of the laboring classes, who claimed that machinery
supplied the place of labor, and thus threw workmen out of em-
ployment. Rioting spread to such an extent that legislative
action was necessary. It was some time before the British work-
men learned that machinery was of benefit to them.
22. It might seem that Webster was getting away from his
subject and branching out too broadly. Note how skilfully
he brings his oration back to the subject of political liberty as
an outcome of the Revolution.
48, 7. From the closet and the public halls the debate has
been transferred to the field. Political liberty had been written
about, discussed, and fought over.
9. wars of . . . magnitude. A reference to the European
wars that began with the declaration of war against Austria and
Prussia (see note on 33,25), and continued throughout the
time of Napoleon, up to the battle of Waterloo in 1815.
11. A day of peace. The Congress of Vienna (1814-5) at-
tempted to restore Europe to the general political situation that
had existed before the war. The advance in political knowl-
edge, however, to which Webster alludes in the following para-
graphs, made necessary considerable recognition of constitu-
tional right. Among the states that had more or less of con-
stitutional liberty were France, Holland, Spain, Sweden, Nor-
way, Naples, Hungary, Bavaria, and Hesse.
29. it took fire. ... An allusion to the Reign of Terror.
Under the Convention (see note on 33, 25) the Committee of
Public Safety held the reins of power. Its policy was to stifle
all opposition by terror. Whoever was suspected of being hos-
tile to the established tyranny was thrown into prison. Sum-
mary trials were followed by swift executions. The scaffold to
the guillotine was crowded. Thousands of the nobility and
clergy and their supporters perished in this wholesale slaughter,
which spread from Paris to every part of France.
49, 13. They were accustomed to representative bodies and
the forms of free government. Burke, in his Speech on Con-
ciliation with America, in speaking of the American Colonies,
says, " Each of said Colonies hath within itself a body, chosen
in part or in the whole by the freemen, free holders, or other free
inhabitants thereof, commonly called the General Assembly,
or General Court ; with powers legally to raise, levy, and as-
sess . . . duties and taxes towards defraying all sorts of public
20. no domestic throne to overturn. An allusion to the de-
posing of the French king.
21. no privileged orders ... no violent changes of prop-
erty. . . . Under the French Republic all titles of nobility
were abolished, and most of the property of the nobles was con-
fiscated. The terrible revenge taken by the lower classes for
ages of oppression at the hands of the nobility is clearly set forth
in Dickens' Tale of Two Cities.
29. tendency adverse to the Christian religion. The French
revolt against religion was as decided as that against the nobility.
Christianity was denounced as a base superstition. The Com-
mune of Paris instituted an atheistic festival in the cathedral
of Notre Dame, and there enthroned a woman as the " Goddess
50, 12. highly improved condition. See note 48, 11, for a
list of constitutional monarchies in 1825.
15. kingdoms . . . may be wrested. . . . The history of
Alsace-Lorraine is a familiar example of this principle. Taken
from France by Germany at the end of the Franco-Prussian War
in 1871, it was taken from Germany at the end of the World War,
and restored to France. The history of Poland offers another
51,4. A call for the Representative system. Such a call was
then being made in Prussia.
10. Louis XIV (1643-1715), the Grand Monarch, has come
down in history as the perfect type of the unconstitutional mon-
arch. The expression quoted, though modern historians would
place it beside Wellington's " Up, guards, and at them," exactly
expresses his principle of government.
25. the Grecian combatant, Ajax. The lines are from Pope's
translation of the Iliad, book xvii.
53, 12. the interest of the world is peace. This sentiment
appeals with particular force to the supporters of the League of
Nations, and to many who, while not in favor of that instru-
ment, are desirous of some workable international organization.
21. the interesting struggle of the Greeks. Inspired by
the example of France, the Greeks revolted in 1821 against the
rule of Turkey. For eight years a bloody contest was kept up.
Public sentiment all over western Europe was in favor of the
Greeks, and many volunteers, of whom Lord Byron was the
most conspicuous, lent their services to the struggling patriots.
European politics, as then played, required the maintenance of
the so-called balance of power among the European states. Still,
statesmen who might for political reasons have desired to have
Turkey retain her full territorial strength did not dare, in face
of public sympathy, actually to help Turkey to subdue the rebels.
When British politics seemed to call for the institution of the
new state, however. Great Britain acknowledged the belligerency
of the Greeks, and later actually intervened in their favor. In
1829, Turkey was forced by the combination of Great Britain,
France, and Russia to grant Greece her liberty. Webster was
interested from the first in the cause of Greece. Not long after
Great Britain recognized the Greeks as belligerents, he delivered
a forceful speech in Congress, in support of his motion to send a
commissioner to Greece.
53, 9. we look for instruction ... to a country. . . .
Greece, of course, is meant ; but here Webster is slightly at fault.
The Bunker Hill Monument is an exact reproduction, not of a
Grecian column, but of an Egyptian obelisk. The orator's
sympathy for the Greek cause led him into this mistake.
54, 11. To call the South American republics " settled and
established states " is really straining a point for rhetorical effect.
For many years after 1825, the South American states were
anything but settled.
29. Borne down by colonial subjugation. Spanish colonial
administration was notoriously oppressive. It will be recalled
that this sort of action brought about the intervention of the
United States in Cuba, and started the Spanish-American War,
which, in turn, stripped Spain of most of her remaining col-
55, 3. a new creation. " And God said. Let the waters ... be
gathered together into one place, and let the dry land appear."
Genesis, I, 9. Note how Webster repeats in this paragraph in
highly figurative language what he had said in more literal terms
in the preceding paragraph.
10. The concluding paragraphs gave Webster's audience, and
give the student, something to cherish, something to make them
better American citizens. Compare the last sentence with the
paragraph beginning near the bottom of page 33, 27.
23. other systems. Constitutional monarchies, such as those
of England and France. Experience has proved that such forms
of government are compatible with real self-government.
57, 3. Solon, one of " the seven wise men of Greece," as Archon,
in 594 B.C. gave Athens her first constitution.
Alfred (871-901), the only one of the long line of English kings
to be honored with the title of " the Great," established a stable
government in England.
25. Our country. Union and the Constitution had been at
least the underlying themes in almost every one of Webster's
public addresses. The division into " free states " and " slave
states " was already well under way, and it is characteristic of
Webster that his last word here should be an appeal for Union.
LINCOLN'S GETTYSBURG ADDRESS
Introduction, — On the 19th of November, 1863, a portion
of the battlefield of Gettysburg was dedicated as a soldiers'
cemetery. Edward Everett of Massachusetts, then considered
the most accomplished public speaker of the day, was the orator
of the occasion, but it was thought only proper that the Presi-
dent, who attended in his ofi&cial capacity, should make some
remarks. Everett's oration was scholarly and polished, and
was reported in full in the newspapers of the next day. Lin-
coln's speech was, to use his own words, " blocked out " in Wash-
ington (tradition says on the back of an envelope) and corrected
after his arrival at Gettysburg. It may, then, be considered as
a spontaneous outpouring of the speaker's mind.
The newspapers that printed Everett's oration generally added
that the President of the United States made a few brief remarks.
Other than this, no immediate public notice was taken of it.
Everett himself, however, was not slow to recognize the merit
of the President's speech, and the very next day wrote to him as
follows : " Permit me also to express my great admiration of the
thoughts expressed by you with such eloquent simplicity and
appropriateness at the consecration of the cemetery. I should
be glad if I could flatter myself that I came as near the central
idea of the occasion in two hours as you did in two minutes."
J. G. Holland, then an editor of the Springfield Republican,
also recognized the merit of the speech at the time, and praised
it highly in his paper. Other literary critics followed with the
highest praise, but the general public took some time to recog-
nize that the world's greatest short speech was before them.
Lincoln had established high reputation for clear, simple,
forceful, and logical speaking in his debates with Douglas, and
his public utterances during his presidential campaign and after
his election had but served to confirm earlier judgment. The
Civil War was the crisis of our national history; the battle of
Gettysburg was the crisis of the War. It was natural, then,
that this occasion should call forth the best efforts of the won-
derful mind that had been first to seize upon the vital point of
the whole dispute and put it into words so simple that anyone
could understand it and so forceful that no one could forget it.
The simplicity of this speech is remarkable. The occasion
was the dedication of the National Cemetery. Note how skil-
fully Lincoln handles the word " dedicate," and how he passes
from " to dedicate " to " to be dedicated, " — the lesson he would
impress upon his hearers and his countrymen. The student of
concise English would do well to count the number of state-
ments in these thirty lines, and then consider the amount of
material for thought that they provide.
Lincoln begins with the same idea that Washington began
with — " conceived in liberty " (5, 9) — and concludes with the
same idea that Webster voiced in his closing paragraph (57,5).
So through these three selections runs an echo of the spirit that
binds them in unity.
The text of this edition is from a fac-simile of the draft made
by Mr. Lincoln himself for publication.
IMPORTANT EVENTS IN THE LIFE OF LINCOLN
1809. Born in Hardin County, Kentucky, February 12.
1816. Moved to Indiana.
1818. His mother died.
1828. Trip to New Orleans on a flatboat.
1829. Moved to Illinois.
1831. Clerk in a country store, New Salem, Illinois.
1832. Captain of volunteers in Black Hawk War.
1832. Whig candidate for Legislature; defeated.
1833. Storekeeper and postmaster ; studied law.
1834-42. Served in state legislature.
1837. Began practice of law in Springfield, Illinois.
1846. Elected to Congress.
1849. Resumed the practice of law.
1854. First public debate with Douglas.
1856. One of the founders of the Republican party.
1858. Nominated for United States Senate. Public debates
i860. Speech in Cooper Union.
1861-5. President of the United States.
1865. April 14. Assassinated.
The Address. — The unity of this composition is remarkable.
There are really but three points : the occasion, a transitional
idea, and the deeper significance of the occasion. The appro-
priateness of the memorial, the tribute to those who had given
their lives for the nation, and the duty of the living — are most
skilfully combined in these ten sentences.
The diction is also remarkable. Critics said of Johnson's
best papers that the author himself could not change a single
word for the better. This remark applies with even greater
force to this speech. In addition, the prevalence of short, plain
words, with delicate repetition of words and phrases, adds to the
simplicity that characterizes this masterpiece.
Page 59, Line 1. Fourscore and seven years ago. How much
better for an open-air audience than " eighty-seven years
ago," or " in the year 1776."
2. conceived in liberty. Compare Farewell Address, 5, 9.
4. all men are created equal. Compare the opening sentence
of the second paragraph of the Declaration of Independence.
8. A great battle-field. Gettysburg is considered the de-
cisive battle of the Civil War. In fact, the story of that battle
has been made an appendix to Creasy's memorable Fifteen De-
cisive Battles of the World.
11. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.
If this sentence were omitted, it might seem that Lincoln were
belittling the action of the day in the light of the greater duty
of the survivors. It gives the reader an instance of the consider-
ation Lincoln had for the opinions of others.
14. The brave men . . . who struggled here. Governor
Mann of Virginia, in an address to the veterans of the Northern
and Southern armies at Gettysburg, July 4, 1913, called atten-
tion to the fact that Lincoln did not say " brave Northern men,"
and claimed that the wording showed that Lincoln " was big
enough and broad enough to comprehend both South and
60. 7. that government of the people, by the people, for the
people, shall not perish from the earth. Compare the idea in
Webster's last paragraph, " great duty of defense and preser-
Unity of government ... is a main pillar in the edifice of . . .
real independence . . . the palladium of your political safety
Citizens by birth or choice of a common country, that country
has a right to concentrate your affections.
The basis of our political systems is the right of the people
to make and to alter their constitutions of government.
The very idea of the power and the right of the people to es-
tablish government presupposes the duty of every individual
to obey the established government.
In all the changes to which you may be invited, remember
that time and habit are at least as necessary to fix the true char-
acter of governments as of other human institutions.
Party spirit serves always to distract the public councils and
enfeeble the public administration.
Let us with caution indulge the supposition that morality
can be maintained without religion.
Towards the payment of debts there must be revenue ; to have
revenue there must be taxes; no taxes can be devised which
are not more or less inconvenient and unpleasant.
It will be worthy of a free, enlightened, and great nation to
give to mankind the magnanimous and too novel example of a
people always guided by an exalted justice and benevolence.
The nation which indulges towards another an habitual hatred
or an habitual fondness is in some degree a slave. It is a slave
to its animosity or to its affection, either of which is sufficient to
lead it astray from its duty and its interest.
The great rule of conduct for us, in regard to foreign nations,
is, in extending our commercial relations, to have with them as
little political connection as possible.
Europe has a set of primary interests which to us have none,
or a very remote relation. Hence she must be engaged in fre-
quent controversies, the causes of which are essentially foreign
to our concerns. Hence, therefore, it must be unwise in us to