Abbildungen der Seite


ther make the laws nor choose those who legislate, the more ignorance the more peace.,

2. But in a government where the people fill all the branches of the sovereigniy, intelligence is the life of liberty. An American would resent his being denied the use of his musket; he would deprive himself of a stronger safeguard, if he should want that learning which is necessary to a knowledge of his constitution.

3. It is easy to see that our agrarian law and the law of education were calculated to make republicans--to make men. Servitude could never long consist with the habits of such citizens. Enlightened minds and virtuous manners lead to the gates of glory. The sentiments of independence must have been connatural in the bosoms of Americans; and

or later must have blazed out into public action.

4. Independence fits the soul of her residence for every noble enterprise of humanity and greatness. Her radient smile lights up celestial aidor in poets and orators, who sound her praises through all ages; in legislators and philosophers who fabricate wise and happy governments as dedications to her fume ; in patriots and heroes, who shed their lives in sacrifice to her divinity.

5. At this idea do not our minds swell with the memory of those whose godlike virtues have founded her most mag. nificent temple in America ? It is easy for us to maintain her doctrines, at this late day, when there is but one party on the subject, an immense people. But what tribute shall we bestow, what sacred pean shall we raise over the tombs of those who dared, in the face of unrivalled power, and within the reach of majesty, to blow the blast of freedom through, out a subject continent ?

6. Nor did those brave countrymen of ours only express the emotions of glory, the nature of their principles inspired them with the power of practice ; and they offered their bosoms to the shafts of battle. Bunker's awful mount is the capricious urn of their ashes, but the flaming bounds of the universe could not limit the flight of their minds.

7. They fled to the union of kindred souls ; and those who fell at the straits of Thermopyle, and those who bled on the heights of Charleston, now reap congenial joys in the helds of the blessed.

ELOCUTION. Extract from an Oration delivered at Boston, Murch 5, 1772,


HEN we turn over the listoric page, and trace the revolutions which have so often varied the face of the world, strike our minds with solemn surprise, and we are naturally led to search the cause of such astonishing changes.

2. That man is formed for social life, is an observation which, upon our first enquiry presents itself to our view. Government has its origin in the weakness of individuals, and hath for its end the strength and security of all; and so long as the means of effacing this important end are thoroughly known, and religiously attended to, government is one of the richest blessings to mankind, and ought to be held in the highest veneration.

3. In young and new formed communities, the grand design of this institution, is most generally understood, and most strictly regarded ; the motives which 'urged to the 10cial compact cannot be at once forgotten, and that equality which is remembered to have subsisted so lately among them, prevents those who are clothed with authority from attempting to invade the freedom of their brethren, or, if such an atiempt is made, it prevents the community from suffering the offender to go unpunished.

4. Every member feels it to be lis interest, and knows it to be lis ciuiy, to preserve in violate the constitution on which thc public safety depends, and is equally ready to assist the magistrate in the execution of the laws, and the subject in the defence of his right. So long as the noble attachment to a constitution, founded on free and benevolent principles, exists in full vigor, in any state, that state must be flourisha ing and happy.

6. It was this noble attachment to a free constitution which raised ancient Rome from the smallest beginnings, to that bright summit of happiness and glory to which she arrived ; and it was the loss of this which plunged her from that summit, into the black guph of infamy and slavery.

6. It was this attachment which inspired her senators with wisdom ; it was this which glowed in the breasts of hier heroes ; it was this which guarded her liberties, and extended her dominions, gavo peace at home, and connu mapded respect abroad; and when this decayed, her magistratęs lost their reverence for justice and laws, and degenerated into tyrants and oppressors her senators, forseulul of their dignity, and seduced by base corruption, betrayed their country.--her soldiers, redardless of their relation to the community, and urged only by the hopes of plunder and rapide, unfeelingly committed the most flagrant chormities; and hired to the trade of death, with relentless fary they perpetrated the most cruel murders; by which the streets of imperial Rome were drenched with her noblest blood.

7. Thus this empress of the world lost her dominions abroad, and her inhabitants, desolute in their maters, at length became contented slaves ; and she stinds to this day, the scorn and derision of nations, and a monument of this eternal trutlı, that fiublic happiness depends on a virtuous and unstuktn attachment to a free constitution.

8. It was this attachment to a constitution founded on free and benevolent principles, which inspired the first settiers of this country; they saw with grief the dering outrages commilted on the free constitution of their native land; they knew that nothing but a civil war could at that time restore its pristine purity.

9. So hard was it to resolve to einbrue their hands in the blood of their brethren, that they chose rather to quit their fair possessions, and seek another habitation in a distant clime. When they cane to this new world, which they fairly purchased of the Indian natives, the only rightful proprietors, they cultivated the then barren soit, by their incessant labor, and defended their dear bought possessions with the fortitude of the Christian, and the bravery of the Ilero.

Estract from an Oration, delivered at the North Church in Hariford, at the meeting of the Connecticut Society of the

Cincinnati, July 4ih, 1787, in commemoration of the Inde-
pendence of the United States. By JOEL E ARLON, ESQ.
Published by desire.of said Society.

N tie anniversary of so great an event as the

of the Empire in which we live, none will question the propriety of passing a few monents in contem

[ocr errors]

plating the various objects suggested to the mind by the important occasion.

2. But at the present period, while the blessing claimed by the sword of victory, and promised in the voice of peace, remain to be confirined by our future exertions; while the nourishment, the growth, and even the existence of our empire, depend upon the united efforts of an extensive and divided people; the duties of this day ascend from amusement and congratulation, to a serious patriotic employment.

3. We are assembled, my friends, not to boast, but to realize ; not to inflate our national vanily by a pompous relation of past atchievments in the councii or in the field, but from a modest retrospect of the truly diguified part already acted by our countrymen, from an accurate view of our present situation, and from in anticipation of the scenes That remain to be unfolded ; to discern and familiarize the duties that stiil await us as citizens, as soldiers, and

as men.

4. Revolutions in other countries have been effected by accident. The faculties of human reason, and the rights of human nature, have been the sport of chance and the prey of ambition. And when indignation has burst the bands of slavery, to the destruction of one tyrant, it was only to imposc thc manacles of another.

5. This arose from the imperfection of that early stage of society, which necessarily occasionce the foundation of empires, on the eastern continent, to be laid in ignorance, and which induced a total inability of foreseeig the improvements of civilization, or of adapting the government to a state of social refinement.

6. I shall but repeat' a common observation, when I remark, that on the western coutinent the scene was entirely different, and a new task, torally unknown to the legislators of other natigus, was imposed upon the fathers of the American empire

7. Here was a people thinly scattered over an extensive territory, lords of the soil on which they trod, commanding a prodigious length of coast, and an equal breadth of frontier ; a people habituated to liberty, professing a mild and benevolent religion, and highly advanced in science and civilization. To conduct such a people in a revolution the address must be made to reason as well as to the pas sions. And to reason, to the clear understanding of these veriously affected colonies, the solemn address was made..

8. A people thus enlightened and capable of discerning the connexion of causes with their remotest effects, waited not the experience of oppression in their own persons ; which they well knew would render them less able to conduet a regular opposition.

9. But in the monient of their greatest prosperity, when every heart expanded with the increasing opulence of the British American dominions, and every tongue united in the praises of the parent state and her patriot king, when many cireumstances concurred which would have rendered an ignorant people secure and inattentive to their future interest; at this moment the eyes of the American argus were opened to the first and most plausible invasion of the colonial rights. ---0. In what other age or nation, has a laborious and agricultural people, at ease, upon their own farms, secure and distant from the approach of fleets and armies, tide waiters and stamp masters, reasoned before they had felt, and from the dictates of duty and conscience, encountered dangers, distress and poverty, for the sake of securing to posterity a government of independence and peace ?

11. The toils of ages, and the fate of millions, were to be sustained by a few hands. The voice of, unborn nation's called upon them for safety ; but it was a still small voice, the voice of rational reflection. Here was no Cromwell to inflame the people with, bigotry and zcal, no Cæsar to reward his followers with the spoils of vanquished foes, and no territory to be acquired by, conquest, * 12. Ambition, superstition and avarice, these universal torches of war, never illuinined an American field of battle. But the permanent principles of sober policy spread through the colonies, roused the people to assert their rights, and conduct the revolution,

Extract from Mr. Ames's Speech in Congress, on the sub-
ject of executing the Treaty between the United States and
Great Britain,
M'HE consequences of refusing to make provision for

the treaty, are not all to be foreseen. By rejectingy, vast interests are committed winds. Chance, becomes the arbiter » the sport of the

of eventsand it is



« ZurückWeiter »