Other misfortunes may be borne, or their effects overcome. If disastrous war should sweep our commerce from the ocean, another generation may renew it; if it exhaust our treasury, future industry may replenish it; It were but a trifle even if the walls of yonder Capitol were to crumble, if its lofty pillars should fall, and its gorgeous decorations be all covered by the dust of the valley. All these might be rebuilt. But who shall reconstruct the fabric of demolished government? Who shall rear again the well-proportioned columns of constitutional liberty? No, if these columns fall, they will be raised not again. they will be the remnants of a more glorious edifice than Greece or Rome ever saw, the edifice of constitutional American liberty.
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Source Notes: Source: Senator DANIEL WEBSTER, The Character of Washington, speech delivered in Washington, D.C., at a public dinner in honor of the centennial birthday of George Washington, February 22, 1832.The Works of Daniel Webster, 10th ed., vol. 1, p. 231 .
Daniel Webster (January 18, 1782 October 24, 1852) was a United States Senator and Secretary of State. Famed for his ability as an orator, Webster was one of the most important figures in the Second Party System from the 1820s to the 1850s. Like Henry Clay, he had a predisposition to finding compromises marked by a passionate patriotic devotion to the Union.