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PREFACE.

But the events and the training by which they are to be raised to the height of matured intellect and power to which these had attained in the acknowledged estimate of their contemporaries, lie in that undiscovered future, into which we strain our thoughts vainly to penetrate. We have seen them in the fullness of their development, and we mourn them, not as men with whom greatness and virtue and eloquence have perished from the land, but because we know what they were, and what they have done, and were capable of doing: and we do not know who is to be the CALHOUN, the CLAY, or the WEBSTER of the time that we feel to be coming, when we know that we shall need them. There is no want of faith in Providence or trust in bumanity, in the mingling of these doubts for the future with the grateful memories of the past, and the reverent homage we pay to the great endowments and great virtues with which the subjects of these funeral tributes have elevated and adorned the American name.

Among the superstitions of the heathens prevalent in all times, but most known to us in the literature of the classics, is that which supposes the spirits of the dead to be pleased and composed by the honors paid to their mortal remains. Hence the ancients instituted expensive games and sacrifices for the dead. Among barbarous nations the sentiment runs into cruel excesses, corresponding with the character of the race, in offering that which was most exciting to the pride and passions of the living, as a tribute after death. The Iliad closes with a gorgeous account of the pomp with which Troy exhibited her acute grief for the death of her great champion.

"Such honors Ilion to her hero paid,
And peaceful slept the mighty Hector's shade."

A purer code has reformed the philosophy of this belief and changed the manner of its manifestations, but the sentiment which gave rise to it is eternal and universal. The great pass away, and

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