previous next
[393] our frontiers, he can be shown as one who, from the whole course of his life, is continually connected with the mass of the people, their character, their condition and hopes, and on whom they may safely rely. He is, in short, among them and of them; his whole life has thriven with their progress and success; his whole fortunes can be advanced only by the essential advancement and progress and reputation of the country.

Second, taking Mr. Webster's public life as a politician and his professional life as a lawyer, it can be shown that he belongs to no party; but that he has uniformly contended for the great and essential principles of our government on all occasions.

I do not propose to lay down these two propositions and prove them, but to keep them constantly in mind, and let them be the inevitable, but not the formal result of the article.

In the summer of 1832 he delivered a lecture, before the American Institute, on the best methods of teaching the living languages, in which he advocated, for children and young people, the methods which are now, forty years later, growing more and more into favor. In conclusion, he maintains that the direction to be given to all studies in a living language is towards speaking it, and if one answers, ‘We only wish to learn to read it, that we may have free access to its written treasures, and especially its classic authors,’ he argues ‘that such authors cannot be understood without some knowledge of the popular feeling and colloquial idiom with which their minds have been nourished, and of which their works are full’; adding illustrations, and concluding, ‘We know that we can none of us read the great masters in any foreign literature, or enjoy them like natives, because we cannot speak their language like natives; for the characteristic peculiarities and essential beauty and power of their gifted minds are concealed in those idiomatic phrases, those unobtrusive particles, those racy combinations, which, as they were first produced by the prompt eloquence and passions of immediate intercourse, can be comprehended and felt only by those who seek them in the sources from which they flow: so that, other things being equal, he will always be found best able to read and enjoy the great writers in a foreign language, who, in studying it,—whether his progress have been ’

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide Places (automatically extracted)

View a map of the most frequently mentioned places in this document.

Visualize the most frequently mentioned Pleiades ancient places in this text.

Download Pleiades ancient places geospacial dataset for this text.

hide People (automatically extracted)
Sort people alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a person to search for him/her in this document.
Daniel Webster (1)
hide Dates (automatically extracted)
Sort dates alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a date to search for it in this document.
1832 AD (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: