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[102] earth with one continuous and unbroken strain of the martial airs of England.

The sentence has followed the drumbeat round the world and has been repeated in England and in the antipodes by men who never heard of Webster and probably did not know that this splendid description of the British Empire was due to an American. It is not the thought which has carried these words so far through time and space. It is the beauty of the imagery and the magic of the style. Let me take one more very simple example of the quality which distinguishes Webster's speeches above those of others, which makes his words and serious thoughts live on when others, equally weighty and serious, perhaps, sleep or die. In his first Bunker Hill oration he apostrophized the monument, just as anyone else might have tried to do, and this is what he said:
Let it rise, let it rise till it meet the sun in his coming; let the earliest light of morning gild it, and parting day linger and play on its summit.

Here the thought is nothing, the style everything. No one can repeat those words and be deaf to their music or insensible to the rhythm and beauty of the prose with the Saxon words relieved just sufficiently by the Latin derivatives. The ease with which it is done may be due to training, but the ability to do it comes from natural gifts which, as Goethe says, ‘we value more as we get older because they can not be stuck on.’ Possibly to some people it may seem very simple to utter such a sentence. One can only repeat what Scott says somewhere about Swift's style, perhaps the purest and strongest we have in the language. ‘Swift's style,’ said Scott, ‘seems so simple that one would think any child might write as he does, and yet if we try we find to our despair that it is impossible.’

It is not easy to say how much Webster's literary art was due to intentional cultivation and how far it was purely instinctive. Undoubtedly he had a natural gift as certainly as he had an ear for the arrangement and cadence of words; but we know that he cared for style and had strong preferences in the choice of the words he used to express his thought. We have the right to infer, therefore, that he was quite aware of

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