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On last September was published the “ORATORS OF THE AMERICAN Revolution." Very kindly has that book been received in this country and in England. In accordance with the intimation given in the preface to that work, the present publication is made to the world with the hope that, like its predecessor, it may be deemed not altogether unworthy of discriminating scrutiny and generous regard.
Of the former volume, some have said that it would be improved if more copious extracts from the respective orators accompanied the author's analytical remarks. At the same time these critics have signified their doubts as to the possibility of procuring many authentic and characteristic specimens from some of the earliest and most efficient patriots of our land. Those doubts would deepen into despair, should the enthusiastic gentlemen referred to attempt to find what all would indeed be glad
to read. But, unfortunately, we have only here and there a torso to remind us of the consummate excellence long since mutilated by revolutions and wasted by time.
In the present instance, however, there is no such lack of well-authenticated materials. The chief difficulty lies in making a judicious selection therefrom, samples the most characteristic of each master, and calculated to exemplify in the most striking manner the peculiar qualities of each one's eloquence. The author may have failed in this respect, as in other important particulars; but, as he wished to succeed by doing justice to the subject every way, he has spared no pains.
The reader will understand that the production before him is not designed to be a book of examples merely, or of precepts alone, but rather of both combined. Taken with the volume referred to above, it is believed that we have arranged a complete circle of oratorical models, each one in his own individuality standing for a class, nearly approximating perfection of its kind, and in the aggregate presenting an array of exalted worthies whom the best talents would do well to emulate, and whom the loftiest genius can only by the most strenuous efforts hope to excel.
It is perhaps unnecessary to add that it has been the purpose of the author to maintain the strictest impar