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COLLECTION OF PAPERS
BY NOAH WEBSTER, LL. D.
Boston-TAPPAN & DENNETT.
Entered, according to Act of Congress, in the year 1843,
by Noah WEBSTER, LL.D.,
The observations on the Revolution in France, in this collection, were written and published in the year 1794, during the heat of the revolution, when I was frequently receiving fresh accounts of the ferocities of the violent reformers, exhibiting the appalling effects of popular factions.
The Essay on the Rights of Neutral Nations, owes its origin to the enormous outrages on the commerce of the United States, committed by the belligerent powers, during the French Revolution. It was published in New York in the year 1802. The principal points in it have a bearing on the Right of Search; a subject now agitated in this country, as it is in Great Britain and in France. An eminent jurist in Phil. adelphia, considers this essay as one of the best, if not the best work that has appeared on this subject. He mentions particularly the ground on which I have placed the jurisdiction of nations on the ocean. In the papers signed Curtius, the treaty of 1795 is vindicated on the principles of the law of nations, so called. In the essay on neutral rights, I give my own opinions.
A particular motive I have in this publication, is to record my testimony against the audacious practice of publishing misrepresentations, falsehood, and calumny, for party purposes. By this practice, the most virtuous, meritorious, and patriotic statesmen are vilified, and their influence impaired or destroyed; the harmony of our public councils is disturbed ; and the co-operation of our citizens, in measures indispensable to our national prosperity, is prevented. In short, this practice frustrates the great object of a republican government, by subjecting our citizens to the sway of some petty oligarchy, changeable every fourth year. I have been a witness to the evil effects of this licentious. ness, from the formation of the government, and I question whether any other age or nation has furnished an example of public calumnies of equal extent, and attended with equal injury to the morals and interests of the community.
BRITISH NOTICES OF WEBSTER'S DICTIONARY. A new edition of Webster's American Dictionary is now published by the author, in two volumes, large octavo, with many improvements on the former editions, and containing eighty-eight thousand words, being from twenty-five to forty thousand more than the English dictionaries now used in the United States. Students who have long wished for an edition of the work at a less price than the quarto, may now be supplied.
EXTRACTS FROM BRITISH NOTICES OF THE QUARTO. In the Liverpool Mercury of May last, the Rev. James Martineau writes that " by far the best English Dictionary, indeed the only one to which appeal can now be made as an authority, is Webster's, an American publication.”
The British Journal says: “ This dictionary is decidedly one of the most valuable and important works at present in the course of publication. No library can be considered complete without it.”
The Aberdeen Journal says: “ This is the most copious, accurate, and scientific dictionary of our language which has hitherto been completed."
The Aberdeen Observer remarks," that this publication will go far to remove the unjust prejudices which prevail in this country against the literature of the Americans."
Professor Jameson, of Edinburgh, has remarked, that " the American Dictionary of Dr. Webster is as great an improvement on Johnson's Dictionary as the latter was on those of his predecessors."
The Cambridge Press affirms, that “this work, when as well known in Britain as in America, will supersede every other book in the same department of letters."
A writer in the Mechanics' Magazine observes that, “ In this unrival. ed work, all technical terms are explained in so satisfactory and complete a manner, as to constitute an Encyclopedia in miniature. The author has wisely rejected that prodigality of quotation which increases the price and cumbrousness of Todd's Johnson, without a proportionate increase of the utility of the work."
The Aberdeen Chronicle declares this dictionary to be the nearest approximation to a perfect dictionary of the language which we have ever seen."
The American commendations of this dictionary, and of Dr. Webster's other school-books, are too numerous to be here inserted.
A large portion of the members of Congress, in 1831, recommended this dictionary to be used as a standard work, in connection with the author's elementary books.
The instructors in colleges, and other eminent scholars, have commended these works, alledging it to be desirable that children in this country should be instructed in one form of orthography and pronun. ciation. They say that “ Dr. Webster's Dictionaries and Spelling Book