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But, alas! you are not all here! Time and the sword 255 have thinned your ranks. Prescott, Putnam, Stark, Brooks, Read, Pomeroy, Bridge ! our eyes seek for you in vain amid this broken band. You are gathered to your fathers, and live only to your country in her grateful remembrance and your own bright example. 260 But let us not too much grieve that you have met the common fate of men. You lived at least long enough to know that your work had been nobly and successfully accomplished. You lived to see your country's independence established, and to sheathe your swords 265 from war.
On the light of Liberty you saw arise the light of Peace, like
" another morn
Risen on mid-noon,” and the sky on which you closed your eyes was cloud-270 less.
But, ah ! Him ! the first great martyr in this great cause! Him ! the premature victim of his own selfdevoting heart! Him ! the head of our civil councils, and the destined leader of our military bands, whom 275 nothing brought hither but the unquenchable fire of his own spirit! Him ! cut off by Providence in the hour of overwhelming anxiety and thick gloom; falling ere he saw the star of his country rise ; pouring out his generous blood like water, before he knew whether it 280 would fertilize a land of freedom or of bondage! — how shall I struggle with the emotions that stifle the utterance of thy name! Our poor work may perish; but thine shall endure! This monument may molder away; the solid ground it rests upon may sink down 285 to a level with the sea; but thy memory shall not fail ! Wheresoever among men a heart shall be found that
beats to the transports of patriotism and liberty, its aspirations shall be to claim kindred with thy spirit.
But the scene amidst which we stand does not per- 290 mit us to confine our thoughts or our sympathies to those fearless spirits who hazarded or lost their lives on this consecrated spot. We have the happiness to rejoice here in the presence of a most worthy representation of the survivors of the whole Revolutionary army. 295
VETERANS ! you are the remnant of many a wellfought field. You bring with you marks of honor from Trenton and Monmouth, from Yorktown, Camden, Bennington, and Saratoga. VETERANS OF HALF A CENTURY ! when in your youthful days you put every-300 thing at hazard in your country's cause, good as that cause was, and sanguine as youth is, still your fondest hopes did not stretch onward to an hour like this ! At a period to which you could not reasonably have expected to arrive, at a moment of national prosperity 305 such as you could never have foreseen, you are now met here to enjoy the fellowship of old soldiers, and to receive the overflowings of a universal gratitude.
But your agitated countenances and your heaving breasts inform me that even this is not an unmixed 310 joy. I perceive that a tumult of contending feelings rushes upon you. The images of the dead, as well as the persons of the living, present themselves before you. The scene overwhelms you, and I turn from it. May the Father of all mercies smile upon your declin- 315 ing years, and bless them ! And when you shall here have exchanged your embraces, when you shall once more have pressed the hands which have been so often extended to give succor to adversity, or grasped in the exultation of victory, then look abroad upon this 320 lovely land which your young valor defended, and mark the happiness with which it is filled ; yea, look abroad upon the whole earth, and see what a name you have contributed to give to your country, and what a praise you have added to freedom, and then rejoice 325 in the sympathy and gratitude which beam upon your last days from the improved condition of mankind !
The occasion does not require of me any particular account of the battle of 17th of June, 1775, nor any detailed narrative of the events which immediately preceded it. 330 These are familiarly known to all. In the
In the progress of the great and interesting controversy, Massachusetts and the town of Boston had become early and marked objects of the displeasure of the British Parliament. This had been manifested in the act for altering the 335 government of the province, and in that for shutting up the port of Boston. Nothing sheds more honor on our early history, and nothing better shows how little the feelings and sentiments of the colonies were known or regarded in England, than the impression which 340 these measures everywhere produced in America. It had been anticipated, that while the colonies in general would be terrified by the severity of the punishment inflicted on Massachusetts, the other seaports would be governed by a mere spirit of gain ; and that, 345 as Boston was now cut off from all commerce, the unexpected advantage which this blow on her wiis calculated to confer on other towns would be greedily enjoyed. How miserably such reasoners deceived themselves ! How little they knew of the depth, and the 350 strength, and the intenseness of that feeling of resistance to illegal acts of power, which possessed the whole American people! Everywhere, the unworthy boon was re
jected with scorn. The fortunate occasion was seized, everywhere, to show the whole world that the colonies 355 were swayed by no local interest, no partial interest, no selfish interest. The temptation to profit by the punishment of Boston was strongest to our neighbors of Salem. Yet Salem was precisely the place where this miserable proffer was spurned in a tone of the most 360 lofty self-respect and the most indignant patriotism. “We are deeply affected,” said its inhabitants, “ with the sense of our public calamities; but the miseries that are now rápidily hastening on our brethren in the capital of the province greatly excite our commisera- 365 tion. By shutting up the port of Boston some imagine that the course of trade might be turned hither and to our benefit; but we must be dead to every idea of justice, lost to all feelings of humanity, could we indulge a thought to seize on wealth and raise our fortunes on 370 the ruin of our suffering neighbors.” These noble sentiments were not confined to our immediate vicinity. In that day of general affection and brotherhood, the blow given to Boston smote on every patriotic heart from one end of the country to the other. Virginia 375 and the Carolinas, as well as Connecticut and New Hampshire, felt and proclaimed the cause to be their
The Continental Congress, then holding its first session in Philadelphia, expressed its sympathy for the suffering inhabitants of Boston, and addresses 380 were received from all quarters, assuring them that the cause was a common one, and should be met by common efforts and common sacrifices. The Congress of Massachusetts responded to these assurances ; and in an address to the Congress at Philadelphia, 385 bearing the official signature, perhaps among the last,
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