Page:Henry Adams' History of the United States Vol. 3.djvu/33

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1805.
21
INTERNAL IMPROVEMENT.

of his services, for in all modesty he might reasonably ask what name recorded in history would stand higher than his own for qualities of the noblest order in statesmanship. Had he not been first to conceive and to put in practice the theories of future democracy? Had he not succeeded in the experiment? Had he not doubled the national domain? Was not his government a model of republican virtues? With what offence against the highest canons of personal merit could he be charged? What ruler of ancient or modern times, what Trajan or Antonine, what Edward or Louis, was more unselfish or was truer to the interests intrusted to his care? Who had proposed to himself a loftier ideal? Among all the kings and statesmen who swayed the power of empire, where could one be found who had looked so far into the future, and had so boldly grappled with its hopes?