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light of which it is capable; but it has been all in vain. Shall we resort to entreaty and humble supplication ? What terms shall we find, which have not been already existed ?
7.“ Let us not, I beseech you, sir, deceive outsclves longer. We have done every thing that could be done, to avert the storm which is now coming on. We have petitioned; we have remonstrated ;a we have supplicated ;b we have prostrated ourselves before the throne, and have implored its interposition, to arrest the tyrannical hands of the ministry and parliament. Our petitions have been slighted; our remonstrances have produced additional violence and insult; our supplications have been disregarded ; and we have been spurned, with contempt, from the foot of the throne.
8. "In vain, after these things, may we indulge the fond hope of peace and reconciliation. There is no longer any room for hope. If we wish to be free,-if we mean to preserve inviolate those inestimable privileges for which we have been so long contending,-if we mean not basely to abandon the noble struggle in which we have been so long engaged, and which we have pledged ourselves never to abandon, untill the glorious object of our contest shall be obtained, ---we must fight! I repeat it, sir, we must fight!! An appeal to armis, and to the God of Hosts, is all that is left us !
9. "They tell us, sir, that we are weak-unable to cope withi $formidable an adversary. But when shall we be stronger ? Will it be next week, or the next year? Will it be when we are totally disarmed, and when a British guard shall be stationed in every house? Shall we gather strength by irresolution and inaction? Shall we acquire the means of effectual resistance by lying supinely on our backs, and hugging the delusive phantom of hope until our enemies shall have bound us, hand and foot? Sir, we are not weak, if we make a proper use of those means which the God of nature has placed in our power. Three millions of people, armed in the holy cause of liberty, and in sueh a country as that which we posgess, are invincible by any force which our enemy can send against us.
10. “Besides, sir, we shall not fight our battles alone. There is a just God, who presides over the destinies of nations, and who will raise up friends to fight our battles for us. The battle, sir, is not to the strong alone; it is to the vigilant, the acfive, the brave. Besides, sir, we have no election. If we were base enough to desire it, it is now too late to retire from the contest. There is no retreat, but in submission and slavery!
& Re-mon-stra-ted, urged reasons c In-vin'-ci-ble, cannot be conquered. against
d E-lection, choice, preference 10 Supplica-ted, entreated, beseechod
Our chains are forged. Their clanking may be heard on the plains of Boston! The war is inevitable--and let it come!' I repeat it, sir, let it come!!!
11.“ It is in vain, sir, to extenuate the matter. Gentlemen may cry peace,-peace,--but there is no peace. The war is actaally begun! The next gale that sweeps from the north, will bring to our ears the clash of resounding arms! Our brethren are already in the field! Why stand wc here idle ?? What is it that gentlemen wish? What would they have? Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God !--I know not what course others may take; but as for me," cried he, *with both his arms extended aloft, his brows knit, every fea"ture marked with the resolute purpose of his soul, and his voice swelled to its loudest note of exclamation -"give me liberty, or give me death !"
12. He took his seat. No murmur of applause was heard. The effect was too deep. After the trance of a moment, several members started from their seats. The cry, “to arms,” seemed to quiver on every lip, and gleam from every eye! Richard H. Lee arose and supported Mr. Henry, with his usual spirit and elegance. But his melody was lost amidst the agitation of that ocean, which the master spirit of the storm had lifted up on high. That supernatural voice still sounded in their ears, and shivered along their arteries. They heard, in every pause, the cry of liberty or death. They became impatient of speech-their souls were on fire for action.- Wiri.
Extract from a Discourse in Commemoratione of the Lives
and Services of John Adams and Thomas Jefferson, delidered in Boston, 3d August, 1826.
1. In July, 1776, our controversyd with Great Britain had passed the stage of argument. An appeal had been made to force, and opposing armies were in the field. Congress then was to decide, whether the tie, which had so long bound us to the parent state, was to be severed at once, and severed forever. All the colonies had signified their resolution to abide by this decision, and the people looked for it with the most intense anxiety. And surely, fellow-citizens, never, never were men called to a more important political delibe. ration. If we contemplate it from the point where they then
m-uv-l-ta-ble, that cannot be avoided. Ex.com'-w-ate, to lessep, palliate
c Com-mem-o-ra'-tlon, public celebration & Contro-ver-sy, dispute, contenso
stood, no question could be more full of interest; if we look at it now, and judge of its importance by its effects, it apo pears in still greater magnitude.
2. Let us, then, bring before us the assembly, which was about to decide a question thus big with the fate of empire. Let us open their doors, and look in upon their deliberations. Let us survey the anxious and care-worn countenances, les us hear the firm-toned voice of this band of patriots. HANCOCK presides over the soleinn sitting ; and one of those not yet prepared to pronounce for absolute independence, is on the floor, and is urging his reasons for dissenting from the declaration.
3. “Let us pause! This step, once taken, cannot be retracted. This resolution, once passed, will cut off all hope of reconciliation. If success attend the arms of England, we shall then be no longer colonies, with charters, and with privileges; these will all be forfeited by this act; and we shall be in the condition of other conquered people at the mercy of the conquerors.
4. For ourselves, we may be ready to run the hazard ; but are we ready to carry the country to that length ? Is success so probable as to justify it? Where is the military, where the naval power, by which we are to resist the whole strength of the arm of England ?--for she will exert that strength to the utmost. Can we rely on the constancyd and perseverance of the people? or will they not act, as the people of other countries have acted, and, wearied with a long war, submit, in the end, to a worse oppression ?
5. “While we stand on our old ground, and insist on redress of grievances, we know we are right, and are not answerable for consequences. Nothing, then, can be imputable to us. But, if we now change our object, carry our pretensions farther, and set up for absolute independence, we shall lose the sympathy of mankind. We shall no longer be defending what we possess, but struggling for something which we never did possess, and which we have solemnly and uni. formly disclaimedî all intention of pursuing, from the very outset of the troubles. Abandoning thus our old ground, of resistance only to arbitrary acts of oppression, the nations will believe the whole to have been mere pretense, and they will look on us, not as injured, but as ambitious subjects.
6. “I shudder before this responsibility. It will be on us, is, relinquishing the ground we have stood on so long, and
stood on so safely, we now proclaim independence, and carry on the war for that object, while these cities burn, these pleasant fields whiten and bleach with the bones of their ow12ers, and these streams run blood. It will be upon us, it will be upon us, if, failing to maintain this unsaasonable and illjudged declaration, a sterner despotisni, maintained by military power, shall be established over our posterity, when we ourselves, given up by an exhausted, a harrassed, a misled people, shall have expiatedo our rashikss, and atoned for our presumption on the scaffold."
7. It was for Mr. Adains to reply to arguments like these. ** It is true, indeed, that in the beginning we aimed not at independence. But there's a Divinity which shapes our ends. The injustice of England has driven us to arms; and, blinded to her interest, for our good she has obstinately persisted, till independence is now within our grasp. We have but to reach forth to it, and it is ours. Why, then, should we defer the declaration ? Is any man so weak as now to hope for a reconciliation with England, which shall leave either safety to the country and its liberties, or safety to his own life, and his own honor ?
8. “Are not you, sir, who sit in that chair; is not he, our vendable colleague near you; are you not both already the proscribed and predestined objects of punishment and of vengeance? Cut off from all hope of royal clemency,d what are you, what can you be, while the power of England reinains, but outlaws? If we postpone independence, do we mean to carry on, or to give up the war? Do we mean to submit to the measures of parliament, Boston port-bill and all? Do we mean to submit, and consent that we ourselves shall be ground to powder, and our country and its rights trodden down in the dust?
9. “I know we do not mean to submit. We never shall submit. Do we intend to violate that most solemn obligation ever entered into by men, that plighting, before God, of our macred honor to Washington, when, putting him forth to incur the dangers of war, as well as the political hazards of the times, we promised to adhere to him, in every extremity. with our fortunes, and our lives?
10. “I know there is not a man here, who would not ra ther see a general conflagratfone sweep over the land, or an earthquake sink it, than one jot or tittle of that plighted faith fall to the ground. For myself, having twelve months ago, in this place, moved you, that George Washington be appointa Ex'-pi-a ted, atoned for.
d Clem'-en-ry, mildness of temper,
& Con-fla-gration, a great fire. « Pre-des-ti-red, predetermined.
Proscribed, doomed to destruction.
ed commander of the forces, raised, or to be raised, for defense of American liberty, may my right hand forget her cunning, and my tongue cleave to the roof of my mouth, if I hesitate or waver in the support I give him.
11. “ The war, then, must go on. We must fight it through. And, if the war must go on, why put off longer the declaration of independence? That measure will strengthen us. It will give us character abroad. The nations will then treat with us, which they never can do while we acknowledge ourselves subjects, in arms against our sovereign. Nay, I maintain that England herself will sooner treat for peace with us on the footing of independence, than consent, by repealing her acts, to acknowledge that her whole conduct toward us has been a course of injustice and oppression.
12. “Her pride will be less wounded by submitting to that course of things which now predestinates our independence, than by yielding the points in controversy to her rebellious subjects. The former she would regard as the result of fortune; the latter she would feel as her own deep disgrace.Why then, sir, do we not, as soon as possible, change this from a civil to a national war ? And, since we must fight it through, why not put ourselves in a state to enjoy all the benefits of victory, if we gain the victory?
13. “If we fail, it can be no worse for us.—But we shall not fail. The cause will raise up armies; the cause will create navies. The people, if we are true to them, will carry us, and will carry themselves, gloriously through this struggle. I care not how fickle other people have been found. I know the people of these colonies ; and I know that resistance to British aggressiona is deep and settled in their hearts, and cannot be eradicated. Every colony, indeed, has expressed its willingness to follow if we but take the lead.
14. “Sir, the declaration will inspire the pec ple with increased courage. Instead of a long and bloody war for restoration of privileges, for redress of grievances, for chartered immunities held under a British king, set before them the glorious object of entire independence, and it will breathe into them anew the breath of life. Read this declaration at the head of the army; every sword will be drawn from its scabbard, and the solein vow uttered, to maintain it or to perish on the bed of honor.
15. “Publish it from the pulpit; religion will approve it, and the love of religious liberty will cling around it, resolved to stand with it, or fall with it. Send it to the public halls; proclaim it there ; let them hear it, who heard the first roar A Ag-gres'-sion, act of hostility.
b E-rad"--ca-ted, proted out