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“ [211] he has been too fond of company, not enough alone; and has had few resources within himself.” Were the limitations of a typical oratorical temperament ever touched more unerringly than in these words?

When Webster himself thundered, at the close of his reply to Hayne in 1830, “Union and Liberty, now and forever, one and inseparable,” the words sank deeper into the consciousness of the American people than any similar sentiment uttered by Henry Clay. For Webster's was the richer, fuller nature, nurtured by “the great books of the past,” brooding, as Lincoln was to brood later, over the seemingly insoluble problem of preserving a union of States half slave, half free. On the fateful seventh of March, 1850, Webster, like Clay, cast the immense weight of his personality and prestige upon the side of compromise. It was the ruin of his political fortune, for the mood of the North was changing, and the South preferred other candidates for the Presidency. Yet the worst that can fairly be said against that speech today is that it lacked moral imagination to visualize, as Mrs. Stowe was soon to visualize, the human results of slavery. As a plea for the transcendent necessity of maintaining the old Union it was consistent

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