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C.D. Warner, et al., comp.  The Library of the World’s Best Literature.
An Anthology in Thirty Volumes.  1917.
 
Public Spirit in Politics
By Henry Clay (1777–1852)
 
From a Speech at Buffalo, July 17th, 1839

ARE we not then called upon by the highest duties to our country, to its free institutions, to posterity, and to the world, to rise above all local prejudices and personal partialities, to discard all collateral questions, to disregard every subordinate point, and in a genuine spirit of compromise and concession, uniting heart and hand to preserve for ourselves the blessings of a free government, wisely, honestly, and faithfully administered, and as we received them from our fathers, to transmit them to our children? Should we not justly subject ourselves to eternal reproach, if we permitted our differences about mere men to bring defeat and disaster upon our cause? Our principles are imperishable, but men have but a fleeting existence, and are themselves liable to change and corruption during its brief continuance.  1
 
 
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