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[330] and I warn you beforehand that I have not the least confidence in my own opinion. His manner carried me away completely; not, I think, that I could have been so carried away if it had been a poor oration, for of that I apprehend there can be no fear. It must have been a great, a very great performance, but whether it was so absolutely unrivalled as I imagined when I was under the immediate influence of his presence, of his tones, of his looks, I cannot be sure till I have read it, for it seems to me incredible.

It was on the point of time where we now stand, both in relation to our ancestors and to posterity; and he discussed it, first, as to the Pilgrims who came here, what they suffered at home and on their arrival, and how different were the principles of colonization from those in Greece, Rome, and the East and West Indies; secondly, as to the progress of the country, and its situation an hundred years ago, compared with what it is now, in which he drew a fine character of President Adams; thirdly, as to the principles of our governments, as free governments,—where he had a tremendous passage about slavery,—as governments that encourage education,—where there was a delightful compliment to President Kirkland,—and as governments founded on property; . . . . and finally, in the fourth place, as a great people welcoming its posterity to the enjoyment of blessings which all the rest of the world cannot offer, with which he ended in a magnificent flood of eloquence.

I was never so excited by public speaking before in my life. Three or four times I thought my temples would burst with the gush of blood; for, after all, you must know that I am aware it is no connected and compacted whole, but a collection of wonderful fragments of burning eloquence, to which his manner gave tenfold force. When I came out I was almost afraid to come near to him. It seemed to me as if he was like the mount that might not be touched, and that burned with fire. I was beside myself, and am so still.

We went this morning to the Registry Office, where are records of some sort or other, from as early as 1623, and where we saw the handwriting of the venerable Elder Brewster, and all the documents that give us, as it were, a more distinct ancestry than any other people on the globe. Then we went to the burying-ground, where rest the bones of one of the Pilgrims of 1620; the only one who lived so far into settled times that it was safe to bury him with a gravestone. After that to the oration, from which we went with all our recollections, all our burning feelings, to the Rock, and stood there, just two centuries from the moment when the first Pilgrims landed.

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