The Columbian Orator
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The Columbian Orator, a collection of political essays, poems, and dialogues first published in 1797, was widely used in American schoolrooms in the first quarter of the 19th century to teach reading and speaking.
- To scatter the clouds of ignorance and error from the atmosphere of reason; to remove the film of prejudice from the mental eye; and thus to irradiate the benighted mind with the cheering beams of truth, is at once the business and the glory of eloquence.
- "Extract from an Oration on Eloquence, Pronounced at Harvard University on Commencement Day, 1794", p. 30
- Slave: What have you done, what can you do for me, that will compensate for the liberty which you have taken away?
- Master: I did not take it away. You were a slave when I fairly purchased you.
- Slave: Did I give my consent to the purchase?
- Master: You had no consent to give. You had already lost the right of disposing of yourself.
- Slave: I had lost the power, but how the right?
- "Dialogue Between a Master and a Slave", p. 240
- Master: It is in the order of Providence that one man should become subservient to another. It ever has been so, and ever will be. I found the custom, and did not make it.
- Slave: You cannot but be sensible, that the robber who puts a pistol to your breast may make just the same plea. Providence gives him a power over your life and property; it gave my enemies a power over my liberty. But it has also given me legs to escape with; and what should prevent me from using them?
- "Dialogue Between a Master and a Slave", p. 241