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Wendell Phillips, Theodore C. Pease, Speeches, Lectures and Letters of Wendell Phillips: Volume 2, Daniel O'Connell (1875.) (search)
I will vouch John Randolph of Roanoke, the Virginia slave-holder, who hated an Irishman almost as much as he hated a Yankee, himself an orator of no mean level. Hearing O'Connell, he exclaimed, This is the man, these are the lips, the most eloquent that speak English in my day. I think he was right. I remember the solemnity of Webster, the grace of Everett, the rhetoric of Choate; I know the eloquence that lay hid in the iron logic of Calhoun; I have melted beneath the magnetism of Sergeant S. Prentiss, of Mississippi, who wielded a power few men ever had. It has been my fortune to sit at the feet of the great speakers of the English tongue on the other side of the ocean. But I think all of them together never surpassed, and no one of them ever equalled, O'Connell. Nature intended him for our Demosthenes. Never since the great Greek, has she sent forth any one so lavishly gifted for his word as a tribune of the people. In the first place, he had a magnificent presence, impressi