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Daniel Webster

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The law: It has honored us; may we honor it.
--
Speech at the Charleston Bar Dinner (May 10, 1847); reported in Edward Everett, ed., The Works of Daniel Webster (1851), volume ii, page 394.

 
Daniel Webster

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How can he [today’s writer] be honored, when he does not honor himself; when he loses himself in the crowd; when he is no longer the lawgiver, but the sycophant, ducking to the giddy opinion of a reckless public.

 
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So now, for mercy and honor shown to my people, my lord is barbarous; a tyrant, because he punished his would-be murderers, the right of their meanest citizen; a mere vaunting soldier, though wherever he went he brought Greece with him, the Greece he honored, of which these liars are the unworthy heirs.

 
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Alas, the debt someone incurs at the gambling table, by throwing dice, in a game of cards, is called a debt of honor; I suppose that because it is meaningless in itself we have to give it an impressive name and then hurry to be rid of it. The debt to God is not a debt of honor like that, but it is, nevertheless, an honor to be in debt to God. It is an honor not to owe fortune anything, but to owe God everything; not to owe fate anything, but to owe providence everything; not to owe caprice anything, but to owe a fatherliness everything.-In this way, he who prays aright struggles in prayer and is victorious in that God is victorious.

 
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