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On his journey from Buffalo to New York, Mr. Webster received, before reaching Albany, the following letter of invitation :
“Sir,- The subscribers, having learned that you will probably pass through our city early in the ensuing week, respectfully request an opportunity for our citizens generally, irrespective of party, and especially the young men of Albany, to testify their admiration of your character and talents as an American statesman, and their high appreciation of your public services in the councils of the nation.
They therefore respectfully invite you to partake with them of a chinner at Congress Hall, on the day of your arrival, or such other day as may suit your convenience.
“ They beg leave to add, that, if your health will permit you to address our citizens at the Capitol, it would afford them great gratification to hear your views upon public affairs and the general condition of the country.
Albany, May 24, 1851."
This letter was signed by a large number of the most respectable citizens of Albany, without distinction of party.
The invitation having been accepted by Mr. Webster, arrangements were made for a public reception on the day of his arrival. A platform was erected near the Capitol, to which, at two o'clock, P. M., on the 28th of May, he was conducted by Messrs. Price and Porter, of the committee of the young men of Albany. Mr. Webster was introduced to the immense assembly by Hon. John C. Spencer, and, after the acclamation with which he was received had subsided, delivered the following speech.
The revised edition of the speech, in a pamphlet form, was intro. duced by the following
THE YOUNG MEN OF ALBANY,
DELIVERED AT THEIR REQUEST,
IS MOST RESPECTFULLY DEDICATED.
" COGITETIS OMNEM DIGNITATEM VESTRAM CUM REPUBLICA CONJUNCTAM ESSE DEBERE. UNA NATIS
EST JAM BONORUM OMNIUM; QUAM QUIDEM NOS DAMUS OPERAM, UT RECTAM TENE AMUS. UTINAM PROSPERO CURSU. SED QUICUNQUE VENTI ERUNT ARS NOSTRA CERTE NON ABERIT."
SPEECH TO THE YOUNG MEN OF ALBANY."
Fellow-CITIZENS, - I owe the honor of this occasion, and I esteem it an uncommon and extraordinary honor, to the young men of this city of Albany, and it is my first duty to express to these young men my grateful thanks for the respect they have manifested towards me. Nevertheless, young men of Albany, I do not mistake you, or your object, or your purpose. I am proud to take to myself whatever may properly belong to me, as a token of personal and political regard on your part. But I know, young men of Albany, it is not I, but the cause; it is not I, but your own generous attachments to your country; it is not I, but the Constitution of the Union, which has bound together your ancestors and mine, and all of us, for more than half a century, - it is this that has brought you here to-day, to testify your regard toward one who, to the best of his humble ability, has sustained that cause before the country. Go on, young men of Albany! Go on, young men of the United States! Early manhood is the chief prop and support, the great reliance and hope, for the preservation of public liberty and the institutions of the land. Early manhood is ingenuous, generous, just. It looks forward to a long life of honor or dishonor, and it means that it shall, by the blessing of God, be a life of honor, of usefulness, and success, in all the professions and pursuits of life, and that it shall close, when close it must, with some claim to the gratitude of the country. Go on, then; uphold the institutions under which you were born. You are manly and bold. You fear nothing but to do wrong; dread nothing but to be found recreant to your country.
* Delivered on the 28th of May, 1851, at the Invitation of the Young Men of Albany, in the Public Square of the Capitol in that City.