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their charters. It will be a dangerous, a most dangerous experiment, to hold these institutions subject to the rise and fall of popular parties, and the fluctuations of political opinions. If the franchise may be at any time taken away, or impaired, the property, also, may be taken away, or its use perverted. Benefactors will have no certainty of effecting the object of their bounty; and learned men will be deterred from devoting themselves to the service of such institutions, from the precarious title of their offices. Colleges and halls will be deserted by all better spirits, and become a theater for the contentions of politics. Party and faction will be cherished in the places consecrated to piety and learning. These consequences are neither remote nor possible only. They are certain and immediate.

When the court in North Carolina declared the law of the state, which repealed a grant to its university, unconstitutional and void, the legislature had the candor and the wisdom to repeal the law. This example, so honorable to the state which exhibited it, is most fit to be followed on this occasion. And there is good reason to hope that a state which has hitherto been so much distinguished for temperate counsels, cautious legislation, and regard to law, will not fail to adopt a course which will accord with her highest and best interests, and in no small degree elevate her reputation.

It was, for many and obvious reasons, most anxiously desired that the question of the power of the legislature over this charter, should have been finally decided in the state court. An earnest hope was entertained that the judges of that court might have viewed the case in a light favorable to the rights of the trustees. That hope has failed. It is here that those rights are now to be maintained, or they are prostrated forever. Omnia alia perfugia bonorum, subsidia, consilia, auxilia, jura ceciderunt. Quem enim alium appellem? quem obtester ? quem implorem ? Nisi hoc loco, nisi apud vos, nisi per vos, judices, salutem nostram, quæ spe exigua extremaque pendet, tenuerimus ; nihil est præterea quo confugere possimus.

WEBSTER'S MASTER-PIECE.

AS

AN ANNIVERSARY ORATOR.

FIRST SETTLEMENT OF NEW ENGLAND.

INTRODUCTORY NOTE.

The master-piece next in the order of time is the following, wbich was pronounced on the 22d of December, 1820, at the first anniversary celebration of the Landing of the Pilgrims at Plymouth Rock, two hundred years from the date of that event. At the time of its delivery, it was universally regarded as the most eloquent address over uttered on this continent; and certainly nothing equal to it has since appeared, excepting what Mr. Webster has produced. On the day it was delivered the orator was nearly thirty-eight years of age.

PLYMOUTH ORATION.

DISCOURSE IN COMMEMORATION OF THE FIRST SETTLEMENT OF NEW ENGLAND,

DELIVERED AT PLYMOUTH, ON THE 22D DAY OF DECEMBER, 1820.

Let us rejoice that we behold this day. Let us be thankful that we have lived to see the bright and happy breaking of the auspicious morn, which commences the third century of the history of New England. Auspicious, indeed-bringing a happiness beyond the common allotment of Providence to menfull of present joy, and gilding with bright beams the prospect of futurity, is the dawn that awakens us to the commemoration of the landing of the Pilgrims.

Living at an epoch which naturally marks the progress of the history of our native land, we have come hither to celebrate the great event with which that history commenced. Forever honored be this, the place of our fathers' refuge! Forever remembered the day which saw them, weary and distressed, broken in everything but spirit, poor in all but faith and courage, at last secure from the dangers of wintry seas, and impressing this shore with the first footsteps of civilized man !

It is a noble faculty of our nature which enables us to connect our thoughts, our sympathies, and our happiness with what is distant in place or time; and, looking before and after, to hold communion at once with our ancestors and our posterity. Human and mortal although we are, we are nevertheless not mere insulated beings, without relation to the past or the future. Neither the point of time, nor the spot of earth, in which we physically live, bounds our rational and intellectual enjoyments. We live in the past by a knowledge of its history; and in the future by hope and anticipation. By ascending to an associa

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