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IN THE HALL
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES,
AT THE CAPITOL, WASHINGTON,
JULY 4, 1812.
BY RICHARD RUSH, ESQ
RE-PRINTED, CONCORD, N. II.
BY ISAAC AND WALTER R. HILL
ENSIBLY as I feel, fellow citizens, the honor of having been
selected to address you on such an occasion as this, I am not less sensible of the difficulties of the task. Not that there is any thing intrinsically arduous in a celebration, in this form, of the most brilliant political anniversary of the world; but as the subject has been repeatedly exhibited, under so many points of view, I am apprehensive of tiring, without being able to requite, the attention with which you may be good cnough to honor my endeavors. The fruitful subject must still sustain me, and I proceed, with unfeigned diffidence, and the most profound respect for this distinguished and enlightened assembly, to perform the office assigned me.*
During each return of this day for nearly thirty successive years, our country rested in all the security and all the blessings of peace. But the scene and the aspect are changed. The menacing front of Waris before us to awaken our solicitudes, to demand at the hands of each citizen of the republic the most active energies of duty; to ask, if need be, the largest sacrifices of advantage and of ease. The tranquillity, the repose, the enjoyments, the schemes, the hopes of peace, are, for a while, no more. These, with their endearing concomitants, are to give place to the stronger and more agitating passions, to the buey engagements, to the solemn and anxious thoughts, to the trials, to the sufferings, that follow in the train of war.
Man, in his individual nature, becomes virtuous by constant struggles against his own imperfections. His intellectual cminence, which puts him at the head of created beings, is attained also by long toil, and painful self denials, bringing with them, but too often, despondence to his mind, and hazards to his frame. It would seem to be a law of his existence, that great enjoyment is only to be obtained as the reward of great exertion. " She shall go to a wealthy place," but her way shall be “ through fire and through water.” It seems the irreversible lot of nations, that their permanent well being is to be achieved also through severe probations. Their origin is often in agony and blood, and their safety to be maintained only by constant vigilance, by arduous efforts, by a willingness to encounter" danger and by actually and frequently braving it. Their prosperity, their rights, their liberties,
The President of the United States, Heads of Department, members of Con gress, &c. as well as citizens and strangers, were present at the delivery of this discourse.