Friday, September 22, 2017

The Twenty-Second of February by Webster

       Gentlemen, a most auspicious omen salutes and cheers us, this day. This day is the anniversary of the birth of Washington. Washington's birthday is celebrated from one end of the land to the other. The whole atmosphere of the country is the day redolent of his principles, - the hills, the rocks, the groves, the vales, and the rivers, shout their praises, and resound with his fame. All the good whether learned or unlearned, high or low, rich or poor, feel this day that is one treasure common to them all; and that is the fame of Washington. They all recount his deeds, ponder over his principles and teaching, and resolve to be more and more guided by them in the future.
       To the old and young, to all born in this land, and to all whose preferences have led them to make it the home of their adoption, Washington is an exhilarating theme. Americans are proud of his character; all exiles from foreign shores are eager to participate in admiration of him; and it is true that he is, this day, here, everywhere, all over the world, more an object of regard than on any former day since his birth.
       Gentlemen, by his example, and under the guidance of his precepts, will we and our children uphold the Constitution. Under his military leadership, our fathers conquered their ancient enemies; and, under the out-spread banner of his political and constitutional principles, will we conquer now. To that standard we shall adhere, and uphold it, through evil report and good report. We will sustain it, and meet death itself; if it comes, we will ever encounter and defeat error, by day and by night, in light or in darkness - thick darkness if it come, till:

"Danger's troubled night is o'er,
And the star of peace return."

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