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But is there no ray of hope? Is not Great Britain inhabited by the children of those renowned barons, who waded throughgeas of crimson gore to establish their liberty? and will they not allow us, their fellow men, to enjoy that freedom which we claim from nature, which is confirmed by our constitution, and which they pretend so highly to value? Were a tyrant to conquer us, the chains of slavery, when opposition should become useless, might be supportable; but to be shackled by Englishmen,—by our equals,—is not to be borne. By the sweat of our brow we earn the little we possess; from nature we derive the common rights of man; and by charter we claim the liberties of Britons. Shall we, dare we, pusillanimously surrender our birthright? Is the obligation to our fathers discharged? Is the debt we owe posterity paid? Ans'wer me, thou coward, who hidest thyself in the hour of trial! If there is no reward in this life, no prize of glory in the next, capable of ani— mating thy dastard soul, think and tremble, thou miscreant! at the whips and stripes thy master shall lash_ thee with on earth,-—and the flames and scorpions thy
' second master shall torment thee with hereafter!
Oh, my countrymen! what will our children say,' when they read the history of these times, should they find that we tamely gave away, without one noble strug
le, the most invaluable of earthly blessings! As they drag the galling chain, will they not execrate us.> If we have any respect for things sacred, any regard to the dearest treasure on earth; if we have one tender sentiment for posterity; if we would not be despised by the whole world;—let us, in the most open, solemn manner, and with determined fortitude, swear—We will die, if we cannot live frecmen. ' ‘
While we have equity, justice, and God on our side, tyranny, spiritual or temporal, shall never ride triumphant in a landvinhabited by Englishmen.
I appeal to History! Tell me, thou reverend chronicler of the grave, can all the illusions of ambition real— ized, can all the wealth of a universal commerce, can all
the achievements of successful heroism, or all the estab5 lishments of this world’s wisdom, secure to empire the permanency of its possessions? Alas! Troy thought so once; yet the land of Priam lives only in song! Thebes thought so once; yet her hundred gates have crumbled, and her very tombs are but as the dust they 10 were vainly intended to commemorate! So thought Palmyra—where is she? So thought the countries of Demosthenes and the Spartan; yet Leonidas is trampled by the timid slave, and Athens insulted by the servile, mindless, and enervate Ottoman! In his hurried l5 march, Time has but looked at their imagined immortality; and all its vanities, from the palace t0 the tomb, have, with their ruins, erased the very impression of his footsteps! The days of their glory are as if they had never been; and the island, that was then a speck, rude 20 and neglected in the barren ocean, now rivals the ubiquity of their commerce, the glory of their arms, the fame of their philosophy, the eloquence of their senate, and the inspiration of their bards! Who shall say, then, contemplating the past, that England, proud and potent 925 as she appears, may not, one day, be what Athens is, and the young America yet soar to be what Athens was! Who shall say, that, when the European column shall have mouldered, and the night of barbarism obscured its very ruins, that mighty continent may not 80 emerge from the horizon, to rule, for its time, sovereign of the ascendant! * * 'l" *
Sir, it matters very little what immediate spot may have been the birthplace of such a man as WASHINGTON. N 0 people can claim, no country can appropriate
35 him. The boon of Providence to the human race, his fame is eternity, and hislresidence creation. Though it was the defeat of our arms, and the disgrace of our policy, I almost bless the convulsion in which he had his origin. If the heavens thundered, and the earth
4O rocked, yet, when the storm had passed, how pure was the climate that it cleared! how bright, in the brow of the firmament, was the lanet which it revealed to us! In the production of ashington, it does really appear as if Nature was endeavouring to improve upon herself,
45 and that all the virtues of the ancient world were but so many studies preparatory to the patriot of the new. In
dividual instances, no doubt, there were, splendid exemplifications, of some singular qualification: Caesar was merciful, Scipio was continent, Hannibal was patient; but it was reserved for Washington to blend them all in one, and, like the lovely masterpiece of the Grecian artist, to exhibit, in one glow of associated beauty, the pride of every model, and the perfection of every master. As a general, be marshalled the peasant into a veteran, and supplied by discipline the absence of experience; as a statesman be enlarged the policy of the cabinet into the most comprehensive system of general advantage; and such was the wisdom of his views, and the philosophy of his counsels, that, to the soldier and the statesman, he almost added the character of the sage! A conqueror, he was untainted With the crime of blood; a revolutionist, he was free from any stain of treason; for aggression commenced the contest, and bis'country called him to the command. Liberty unsheatbed his sword, necessity stained, victory returned it. If he had paused here, history might have doubted what station to assign him; whether at the head of her citizens, or her soldiers, her heroes, or her patriots. But the last glorious act crowns his career, and banishes all hesitation. Who, like Washington, after having emancipated a hemisphere, resigned its crown, and preferred the retirement of domestic life to the adoration of a land he might be almost said to have created!
Happy, proud America! The lightnings of heaven yielded to your philosophy! The temptations of earth could not seduce your patriotism!
Mr, Henry rose with a majesty unusual to him in an exordium, and with all that self-possession by which he was so invariably distinguished. “No man,” he said, “thought more highly than he did of the patriotism, as well as abilities, of the ver worthy gentlemen who had just addressed the house. £ut different men often saw the same subject in different lights; and, therefore, he hoped it would not be thought disrespectful to those gen
tlemen, if, entertaining as he did, opinions of a character very opposite to theirs, he should speak forth his sentiments freely, and without reserve. This was no time for ceremony. The question before the house was one of awful moment to this country.” He proceeded thus:
“MR. PRESIDENT—Ii is natural for man to indulge in the illusions of hope. We are apt to shut our eyes against a painful truth; and listen to the song of that syren till she transforms us into beasts. Is this the part of wise men, engaged in a great and arduous struggle for liberty? Are we disposed to be of the number of those, who, having eyes, see not, and having ears, hear not, the things which so nearly concern their temporal salvation? For my part, whatever anguish of spirit it may cost, I am willing to know the whole truth; to know the worst, and to provide for it.
I have but one lamp, by which my feet are guided; and that is the lamp of experience. I know of no way ofjudgin of the Future but by the past. And, judging by the past,% wish to know what there has been in the conduct of the British ministry, for the la‘st ten years, to justify those hopes with which gentlemen have been pleased to solace themselves and the house? Is it that insidious smile, with which our petition has been lately
received? Trust it nbt, sir; it will prove a snare to your feet. Sufl'er not yourselves to be betrayed with a kiss. Ask yourselves how this gracious reception of our
petition comports with those warlike preparations, which cover our waters and darken our land. Are fléets and
' armies necessary to a work of lore and reconciliation?
Have we shown ourselves so unwilling to be reconciled, that force must be called in to win'back our love? Let'us not deceive ourselves, sir. These are the implements
of war and sub' gation—the last arguments to which
kings resort. ask gentlemen, sir, what means this martial array, if its purpose be not to force us to submission? Can gentlemen assign any other possible motive for it? Has Great Britain any énemy, in this quarter of the world, to call for all this accumulation of navies and armies? No, sir, she has none. They are meant for us: they can be meant for no other. They are sent over to bind and rivet upon us those chains, which the British ministry have been so long forging.
95 which our enemy can send against us.
And what have we to oppose to them? Shall we try argument? Sir, we have been trying that for the last ten years. Have we anything néw to offer upon the subject? Nothing. We have held the subject up in every light of which it is capable; but it has been all in
vain. Shall we resort to entréaty and humble supplication? What terms shall we find, which have not been
already exhausted? Let us not, I beseech you, sir, deceive ourselves longer. Sir, we have done every thing that could be done, to avert the storm which is now coming on. We have petitioned; we have reménstrated; we have supplicated; 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; (o) and we have been spurned, with contempt, from the foot of the throne. In vain, alter these things, may we indulge the fond hope of peace and reconciliation. There is no longer any mom for hope. If we wish to be frée; if we mean to preserve inviolate those inestimable privileges, for which we have been so long conténding; 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, until the glorious object of our contest shall be obtained—(o) we must fight! I repeat it!—Sir, we must fight! An appeal to arms and to the God of hosts, is all that is lefl~ us. They tell us, sir, that we are weak—unable to cope with so formidable an adversary. But when shall we be stronger? WVill it be the 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 efl'eetual resistance by lying supiner 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 these means which the God of nature hath placed in our power. Three millions of people, armed in the holy cause of liberty, and in such a coun— try as that which we possess, are invincible by any force Besides, sir, we