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On laying the Corner Stone of the Bunker Hill Monument, 17th June, 1825. DANIEL WEBSTER.
THE Society, whose organ I am, was formed for the purpose of rearing some honorable and durable monument to the memory of the early friends of American independence. They have thought, that for this object no time could be more propitious than the present prosperous and peaceful period; that no place could claim preference over this mernorable spot; and that no day could be more auspicious to the undertaking, than the anniversary of the battle which was here fought. The foundation of that monument we have now laid. With solemnities suited to the occasion, with prayers to Almighty God for his blessing, and in the midst of this cloud of witnesses, we have begun the work. We trust it will be prosecuted; and that, springing from a broad foundation, rising high in massive solidity and unadorned grandeur, it may remain, as long as Heaven permits the works of man to last, a fit emblem, both of the events in memory of which it is raised, and of the gratitude of those I who have reared it.
We know, indeed, that the record of illustrious actions is most safely deposited in the universal remembrance of mankind. We know, that if we could cause this structure to ascend, not only till it reached the skies, but till it pierced them, its broad surfaces could still contain but part of that which, in an age of knowledge, hath already been spread over the earth, and which history charges itself with making known to all future times. We know that no inscription, on entablatures less broad than the earth itself, can carry information of the events we commemorate where it has not already gone; and that no structure, which shall not outlive the duration of letters and knowledgé among men, can pro
long the memorial. But our object is, by this edifice, to show our own deep sense of the value and importance of the achievements of our ancestors; and, by presenting this work of gratitude to the eye, to keep alive similar sentiments, and to foster a constant regard for the principles of the revolution. Human beings are composed not of reason only, but of imagination also, and sentiment; and that is neither wasted nor misapplied which is appropriated to the purpose of giving right direction to sentiments, and opening proper springs of feeling in the heart.
Let it not be supposed that our object is to perpetuate national hostility, or even to cherish a mere military spirit. It is higher, purer, nobler. We consecrate our work to the spirit of national independence, and we wish that the light of peace may rest upon it forever. We rear a memorial of our conviction of that unmeasured benefit, which has been conferred on our own land, and of the happy influences which have been produced, by the same events, on the general interests of mankind. We come, as Americans, to mark a spot which must forever be dear to us and our posterity. We wish that whosoever, in all coming time, shall turn his eye hither, may behold that the place is not undistinguished where the first great battle of the revolution was fought. We wish that this structure may proclaim the magnitude and importance of that event to every class and every age. We wish that infancy may learn the purpose of its erection from maternal lips, and that weary and withered age may behold it, and be solaced by the recollections which it suggests. We wish that labor may look up here, and be proud, in the midst of its toil. We wish that, in those days of disaster, which, as they come on all nations, must be expected to come on us also, desponding patriotism may turn its eyes hitherward, and be assured that the foundations of our national power still stand strong. We wish that this column, rising towards heaven among the pointed spires of so many temples dedicated to God, may contribute also to
produce, in all minds, a pious feeling of dependence and gratitude. We wish, finally, that the last object on the sight of him who leaves his native shore, and the first to gladden his who revisits it, may be something which shall remind him of the liberty and the glory of his country. Let it rise, till it meet the sun in his coming; let the earliest light of the morning gild it, and parting day linger and play on its summit.
On the Completion of Bunker Hill Monument, 17th June, 1843. DANIEL WEBSTER.
A DUTY has been performed. A work of gratitude and patriotism is completed. This structure, having its foundations in soil which drank deep of early revolutionary blood, has at length reached its destined height, and now lifts its summit to the skies.
The Bunker Hill Monument is finished. Here it stands. Fortunate in the natural eminence on which it is placed, higher, infinitely higher, in its objects and purpose, -- it rises over the land and over the sea; and visible, at their homes, to three hundred thousand of the people of Massachusetts, it stands, a memorial of the last, and a monitor to the present and all succeeding generations. I have spoken of the loftiness of its purpose. If it had been without any other design than the creation of a work of art, the granite, of which it is composed, would have slept in its native bed. It has a purpose; and that purpose gives it its character. That purpose enrobes it with dignity and moral grandeur. That wellknown purpose it is, which causes us to look up to it with a feeling of awe. It is itself the orator of this occasion. It is not from my lips, it could not be from any human lips, that that strain of eloquence is this day to flow, most competent to
move and excite the vast multitudes around. The powerful speaker stands motionless before us. It is a plain shaft. It bears no inscriptions, fronting to the rising sun, from which the future antiquarian shall wipe the dust. Nor does the rising sun cause tones of music to issue from its summit. But at the rising of the sun, and at the setting of the sun, in the blaze of noonday, and beneath the milder effulgenc lunar light, it looks, it speaks, it acts, to the full com hension of every American mind, and the awakening of g ing enthusiasm in every American heart. Its silent, awful utterance; its deep pathos, as it brings to our conte plation the 17th of June, 1775, and the consequences wh have resulted to us, to our country, and to the world, fr the events of that day, and which we know must contin to rain influence on the destinies of mankind to the end time; the elevation with which it raises us high above 1 ordinary feelings of life; surpass all that the study of 1 closet, or even the inspiration of genius, can produce. 1 day it speaks to us. Its future auditories will be the s cessive generations of men, as they rise up before it, gather around it. Its speech will be of patriotism and cc age; of civil and religious liberty; of free government; the moral improvement and elevation of mankind; and the immortal memory of those who, with heroic devoti have sacrificed their lives for their country.
In the older world, numerous fabrics still exist, reared human hands, but whose object has been lost in the darkne of ages. They are now monuments of nothing but t labor and skill which constructed them.
The mighty pyramid itself, half buried in the sands Africa, has nothing to bring down and report to us but t power of kings and the servitude of the people. If it h any purpose beyond that of a mausoleum, such purpose has perished from history and from tradition. If asked for its moral object, its admonition, its sentiment, its instruction to mankind, or any high end in its erection, it is silent- - silent
as the millions which lie in the dust at its base, and in the catacombs which surround it. Without a just moral object, therefore, made known to man, though raised against the skies, it excites only conviction of power, mixed with strange wonder. But if the civilization of the present race of men, founded as it is in solid science, the true knowledge of na
and vast discoveries in art, and which is stimulated and ied by moral sentiment and by the truths of Christianity, ɔt destined to destruction before the final termination man existence on earth, the object and purpose of this e will be known till that hour shall come. And even ilization should be subverted, and the truths of the tian religion obscured by a new deluge of barbarism, emory of Bunker Hill and the American revolution still be elements and parts of the knowledge which be possessed by the last man to whom the light of civiln and Christianity shall be extended.
astation of the Carnatic by Hyder Ali. BURKE. MONG the victims to this magnificent plan of universal ler, pursued by the Company in India, so worthy of the ic avarice of the projectors, you have all heard (and he nade himself to be well remembered) of an Indian chief d Hyder Ali Khan. This man possessed the western, e Company, under the nabob of Arcot, does the eastern sion of the Carnatic. It was among the leading meas
in the design of this cabal, (according to their own emphatic language,) to extirpate this Hyder Ali. They declared the nabob of Arcot to be his sovereign, and himself to be a rebel, and publicly invested their instrument with the sovereignty of the kingdom of Mysore. But their