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Daniel Webster Quotes

A United States Senator and Secretary of State.
(1782 - 1852)

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A conscience void of offence, before God and man, is an inheritance for eternity.

A country cannot subsist well without liberty, nor liberty without virtue.

A disordered currency is one of the greatest political evils.

A solemn and religious regard to spiritual and eternal things is an indispensable element of all true greatness.

A strong conviction that something must be done is the parent of many bad measures.

Accuracy and diligence are much more necessary to a lawyer than great comprehension of mind, or brilliancy of talent. - His business is to refine, define, split hairs, look into authorities, and compare cases. - A man can never gallop over the fields of law on Pegasus, nor fly across them on the wing of oratory. - If he would stand on terra firma, he must descend. - If he would be a great lawyer, he must first consent to become a great drudge.

All that is best in the civilization of today, is the fruit of Christ's appearance among men.

America has furnished to the world the character of Washington. And if our American institutions had done nothing else, that alone would have entitled them to the respect of mankind.
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America has proved that it is practicable to elevate the mass of mankind - the laboring or lower class - to raise them to self-respect, to make them competent to act a part in the great right and the great duty of self-government; and she has proved that this may be done by education and the diffusion of knowledge. She holds out an example a thousand times more encouraging than ever was presented before to those nine-tenths of the human race who are born without hereditary fortune or hereditary rank.

An unlimited power to tax involves, necessarily, the power to destroy.

Employment gives health, sobriety, and morals. - Constant employment and well-paid labor produce, in a country like ours, general prosperity, content, and cheerfulness.

Every unpunished murder takes away something from the security of every man's life.

Failure is more frequently from want of energy than want of capital.

Falsehoods not only disagree with truths, but usually quarrel among themselves.

For my part, though I like the investigation of particular questions, I give up what is called "the science of political economy." - There is no such science. - There are no rules on these subjects, so fixed and invariable, that their aggregate constitutes a science. - I have recently run over twenty volumes, from Adam Smith to Professor Dew, and from the whole if I were to pick out with one hand all the mere truisms, and with the other all the doubtful propositions, little would be left.

From my earliest youth I have regarded slavery as a great moral and political evil. - I think it unjust, repugnant to the natural, equality of mankind, founded only in superior power; a standing and permanent conquest by the stronger over the weaker. - All pretence of defending it on the ground of different races, I have ever condemned, and have even said that if the black race is weaker, that is a reason against and not for its subjection and oppression. - In a religious point of view, I have ever regarded and spoken of it, not as subject to any express denunciation, either in the Old Testament or the New, but as opposed to the whole spirit of the gospel, and to the teachings of Jesus Christ. - The religion of Christ is a religion of kindness, justice, and brotherly love: - but slavery is not kindly affectionate; it does not seek another's and not its own; it does not let the oppressed go free; it is but a continual act of oppression.

God grants liberty only to those who love it, and are always ready to guard and defend it.
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He that has "a spirit of detail" will do better in life than many who figured beyond him in the university. - Such an one is minute and particular. - He adjusts trifles; and these trifles compose most of the business and happiness of life. - Great events happen seldom, and affect few; trifles happen every moment to everybody; and though one occurrence of them adds little to the happiness or misery of life, yet the sum total of their continual repetition is of the highest consequence.

He who tampers with the currency robs labor of its bread.

How little do they see what really is, who frame their hasty judgment upon that which seems.

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