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The moderns have seen nothing like it till the present generation. Shakspeare's fairy said he would
“Put a girdle round about the earth In forty minutes.
Professor Morse has done more than that; his girdle requires far less time for its traverse. In fact, if one were to send a despatch from Boston by the telegraph at twelve o'clock, it would reach St. Louis at a quarter before twelve. This is what may be called doing a thing in less than no time. We see the ocean navigated and the solid land traversed by steam power, and intelligence communicated by electricity. Truly this is almost a miraculous era. What is before us no one can say, what is upon us no one can hardly realize. The progress of the age has almost outstripped human belief; the future is known only to Omniscience.
In conclusion, permit me to say that all these benefits and advantages conferred upon us by Providence should only strengthen our resolves to turn them to the best account, not merely in material progress, but in the moral improvement of our minds and hearts. Whatsoever else we may see of the wonders of science and art, our eyes should not be closed to that great truth, that, after all, “the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.”
The following correspondence explains the occasion of the meeting at Marshfield, at which the following speech was delivered.
Marshfield, Mass., Aug. 2, 1818. " Hon. DANIEL WEBSTER:
“Dear Sir, - The undersigned, Whigs and fellow-citizens of yours, are desirous of seeing and conferring with you on the subject of our national policy, and of hearing your opinions freely expressed thereon. We look anxiously on the present aspect of public affairs, and on the position in which the Whig party, and especially Northern Whigs, are now placed. We should be grieved indeed to see General Cass decided an opponent of all those measures which we think essential to the honor and interests of the country and the prosperity of all classes elected to the chief magistracy. On the other hand, it is not to be concealed, that there is much discontent with the nomination made by the late Philadelphia Convention, of a Southern man, a military man, fresh from bloody fields, and known only by his sword, as a Whig candidate for the Presidency.
“So far as is in our humble ability, we desire to preserve the Union and the Whig party, and to perpetuate Whig principles; but we wish to see also that these principles may be preserved, and this Union perpetuated, in a manner consistent with the rights of the Free States, and the prevention of the farther extension of the slave power; and we dread the effects of the precedent, which we think eminently dangerous, and as not exhibiting us in a favorable light to the nations of the earth, of elevating a mere military man to the Presidency.
“We think a crisis is upon us; and we would gladly know how we may best discharge our duties as true Americans, honest men, and good Whigs. To you, who have been so long in public life, and are able from your great experience and unrivalled ability to give us information and advice, and upon whom, as neighbors and friends, we think we have some claims, we naturally look, and we should be exceedingly gratified if, in any way, public or private, you would express your opinion upon interesting public questions now pending, with that boldness and distinctness with which you are accustomed to declare your sentiments. If you can concur with our wishes, please signify to us in what