The occasion will always be memorable, for on that day it was revealed to the world that America possessed an orator fit to be ranked with the greatest orators of ancient or modern times. A year afterwards John Adams, in a letter to Mr. Webster, said of it: It is the effort of a great mind, richly stored with every species of information. If there be an American who can read it without tears I am not that American. It enters more perfectly into the genuine spirit of New England than any production I ever read. The observations on the Greeks and Romans seo service provider; on colonization in general; on the West India Islands; on the past, present and future of America, and on the slave trade are sagacious, profound and affecting in a high degree. Mr. Burke is no longer entitled to the praise, the most consummate orator of modern times. This oration will be read five hundred years hence with as much rapture as it was heard. It ought to be read at the end of every century, and indeed at the end of every year, forever and ever.”

This testimony is the more interesting because the writer less then five years later was himself, with his great contemporary, Mr. Jefferson, to be the subject of an address which will always be reckoned as one of Webster’s masterpieces.

And now, since many of my young readers will never read the Plymouth oration, I surrender the rest of this chapter to two extracts which may give them an idea of its high merits.

There are enterprises, military as well as civil, which sometimes check the current of events, give a new turn to human affairs, and transmit their consequences through ages. We see their importance in their results, and call them great because great things follow. There have been battles which have fixed the fate of nations. These come down to us in history with a solid and permanent interest, not created by a display of glittering armor, the rush of adverse battalions, the sinking and rising of pennons, the flight, the pursuit and the victory; but by their effect in advancing or retarding human knowledge, in overthrowing or establishing despotism, in extending or destroying human happiness.

When the traveler pauses on the plain of Marathon, what are the emotions which most strongly agitate his breast? What is that glorious recollection which thrills through his frame and suffuses his eyes? Not, I imagine, that Grecian skill and Grecian valor were here most signally displayed, but that Greece herself was here displayed. It is because to this spot, and to the event which has rendered it immortal, he refers all the succeeding glories of the republic. It is because dermes vs medilase, if that day had gone otherwise, Greece had perished. It is because he perceives that her philosophers and orators, her poets and painters, her sculptors and architects, her government and free institutions, point backward to Marathon, and that their future existence seems to have been suspended on the contingency whether the Persian or the Grecian banner should wave victorious in the beams of that day’s setting sun. And, as his imagination kindles at the retrospect, he is transported back to the interesting moment, he counts the fearful odds of the contending hosts, his interest for the result overwhelms him, he trembles as if it were still uncertain, and grows to doubt whether he may consider Socrates and Plato, Demosthenes, Sophocles and Phidias, as secure yet to himself and the world.

‘If God prosper us,’ might have been the appropriate language of our fathers when they landed upon this Rock. If God prosper us, we shall begin a work which shall last for ages; we shall plant here a new society in the principles of the fullest liberty and the purest religion; we shall fill this region of the great continent, which stretches almost from pole to pole, with civilization and Christianity; the temples of the true God shall rise, where now ascends the smoke of idolatrous sacrifice; fields and gardens, the flowers of summer and the waving and golden harvest of autumn shall extend over a thousand hills and stretch along a thousand valleys never yet, since the creation, reclaimed to the use of civilized man dermes vs medilase .

We shall whiten this coast with the canvas of a prosperous commerce; we shall stud the long and winding shore with a hundred cities. That which we sow in weakness shall be raised in strength. From our sincere but houseless worship there shall spring splendid temples to record God’s goodness, and from the simplicity of our social unions there shall arise wise and politic constitutions of government, full of the liberty which we ourselves bring and breathe; from our zeal for learning institutions shall spring which shall scatter the light of knowledge throughout the land, and, in time, paying back where they have borrowed, shall contribute their part to the great aggregate of human knowledge; and our descendants through all generations shall look back to this spot, and to this hour, with unabated affection and regard.”