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American speeches have always been studied enthusiastically by Americans; not primarily because of their literary value, but because of their satisfying statement of American ideals. The words of Washington, Webster, and Lincoln express the national aspiration in ways that are forever memorable. Their phrases have passed into maxims and into the daily speech of their countrymen. The appeal they make is to the historical imagination. Consequently they can be appreciated best by those who bring to the reading the fullest knowledge of the historical events and governmental principles to which they refer. For this reason the notes explain, or put the student in the way of explaining for himself, the leading historical ideas with which Washington, Webster, and Lincoln deal in their addresses. But while the interest in these addresses is primarily historical, the editor has not neglected the literary and rhetorical phase of the study. To this phase are devoted a part of the introduction and a considerable body of the notes.
Macaulay's speech on copyright is printed in the appendix as affording excellent material for brief. making. For this purpose the brief of Lincoln's address at Cooper Institute (p. 195) may be used as a model.
COLUMBUS, OHIO, January, 1910.
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