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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.
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 wish 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, until the glorious object of our contest shall be obtained—we must fight !--I repeat it, sir, we must fight!! An appeal to arms and to the God of Hosts, is all that is left us.
THE INSTABILITY OF HUMAN GOVERNMENTS.—Rutledge.
Sir,—The gentleman from Virginia has repeated the observation of his colleague, that the people are capable of taking care of their own rights, and do not want a corps of judges to protect them. Sir, human nature is the same every where ; and man is precisely the same sort of being in the new world that he is in the old. The citizens of other republics were as wise and valiant, and far more powerful than we are. The gentleman knows full well, that wherever the Roman standard was unfurled, its motto, " Senatus Populusque Romani," proclaimed to a conquered world, that they were governed by the senate and the people of Rome. But now, sir, the Roman lazaroni, who, crouching at the gate of his prince's palace, begs the offals of his kitchen, would never know that his ancestors had been free,-nor that the people had counted for any thing in Rome, or that Rome ever had her senate, did he not read of them on the broken friezes and broken columns of the ruined temples, whose fragments now lie scattered over the Roman forum. Sir, the mournful histories of the republics of Rome and Greece, are not the only beacons which warn us of the dangers of irstability and innovation. All Europe was once free. But where now is the diet of Sweden ? Where are the states of Holland and Portugal, and the republics of Switzerland and Italy? The people of those countries were once free and happy, but their governments, for the want of some protecting check, some inherent principle to defend themselves, have all been subverted; they have all traveled the same road; it is as plain as a turn
pike: it is pointed out by the ruins of other republics. Every where the same causes have produced the same effects. The honorable gentleman says, he does not want to seek examples across the Atlantic. Sir, is this wiseare we to shut our eyes to the light of history, and turn away from the voice of experience? Sir, the untutored Indian marks on his tomahawk great events as they pass, and augurs what will happen from knowing what has happened; and shall we travel on without noticing the finger-boards erected by historians for our security ? The gentleman censures our having noticed France, and read a passage from a speech of the illustrious Washington, where he called the French a great and wise people. What has been the fate of this gallant people? Where is their constitution? We have seen La Fayette in the Champ de Mars, at the head of fifty thousand warriors, who, with one hand grasping their swords, and the other laid on the altar, swore, in the presence of Almighty God, they never would desert their constitution. Through all the departments of France, similar pledges were given. Frenchmen received their constitution as the followers of Mahomet did the alcoran, and thought it came to them from heaven. They swore on their standards and their sabres, never to abandon it. But, sir, this constitution has vanished; their swords, which were to have formed a rampart around it, are now worn by the consular janizaries, and the republican standards are among the trophies which decorate the vaulted roof of the consul's palace.
EXTENT OF COUNTRY NOT DANGEROUS TO
I submit to you, my fellow-citizens, these considerations, in full confidence that the good sense which has so often marked your decisions, will allow them their due weight and effect; and that
you will never suffer difficulties, however formidable in appearance, or however fashionable the error on which they may be founded, to drive you into the gloomy and perilous scenes into which the advocates for disunion would conduct you. Hearken not to the unnatural voice which tells you that the people of America, knit together as they are by so many cords of affection, can no longer live together as members of the same family; can no longer continue the mutual guardians of their mutual happiness; can no longer be fellow-citizens of one great, respectable, and flourishing empire. Hearken not
to the voice, which petulantly tells you, that the form of government recommended for your adoption, is a novelty in the political world ; that it never yet has had a place in the theories of the wildest projectors; that it rashly attempts what it is impossible to accomplish. No, my countrymen ; shut your ears against this unhallowed language. Shut your hearts against the poison which it conveys: the kindred blood which flows in the veins of American citizens, the mingled blood which they have shed in defense of their sacred rights, consecrate their union, and excite horror at the idea of their becoming aliens, rivals, enemies. And if novelties are to be shunned, believe me, the most alarming of all novelties, the most wild of all projects, the most rash of all attempts, is that of rending us in pieces, in order to preserve our liberties and promote our hap-, piness. But why is the experiment of an extended republic to be rejected, merely because it may comprise what is new? Is it not the glory of the people of America, that whilst they have paid a decent regard to the opinions of former times and other nations, they have not suffered a blind veneration for antiquity, for custom, or for names, to overrule the suggestions of their own good sense, the knowledge of their own situation, and the lesson of their own experience? To this manly spirit, posterity will be indebted for the possession, and the world for the example, of the numerous innovations displayed on the American theatre, in favor of private rights and public happiness. Had no important step been taken by the leaders of the revolution, for which a precedent could not be discovered, no government established, of which an exact model did not present itself, the people of the United States might, at this moment, have been numbered among the melancholy victims of misguided councils ; must, at best, have been laboring under the weight of some of those forms which have crushed the liberties of the rest of mankind. Happily for America, happily we trust for the whole human race, they pursued a new and more noble
They accomplished a revolution which has no parallel in the annals of human society. They reared the fabric of governments which have no model on the face of the globe. They formed the design of a great confederacy, which it is incumbent on their successors to improve and perpetuate. If their works betray imperfections, we wonder at the fewness of them. If they erred most in the structure of the union, this was the most difficult to be executed; this is the work which has been new-modeled by the act of your convention, and it is that act on which you are now to deliberate and to decide.
PURPOSE OF THE MONUMENT ON BUNKER'S HILL.
We know that the record of illustrious actions is most safely deposited in the universal remembrance of mankind. We know, that if we could cause this structure to ascend, not only till it reached the skies, but till it pierced them, its broad surface could still contain but part of that, which, in an age of knowledge, hath already been spread over the earth, and which history charges herself with making known to all future times. We know that no inscription, on intablatures less broad than the earth itself, can carry information of the events we commemorate where it has not already gone; and that no structure which shall not outlive the duration of letters and knowledge among men, can prolong the memorial. But our object is, by this edifice, to show our deep sense of the value and importance of the achievements of our ancestors; and by presenting this work of gratitude to the eye, to keep alive similar sentiments, and to foster a similar regard, to the principles of the revolution. Human beings are composed not of reason only, but of imagination also, and sentiment; and that is neither wasted nor misapplied, which is appropriated to the purpose of giving right direction to sentiments, and opening proper springs of feeling in the heart.
Let it not be supposed that our object is to perpetuate na. tional hostility, or even to cherish a mere military spirit
. It is higher, purer, nobler. We consecrate our work to the spirit of national independence, and we wish that the light of peace may
it for ever. We rear a memorial of our conviction of the unmeasured benefit which has been conferred on our land, and of the happy influences, which have been produced, by the same events, on the general interests of mankind. We come, as Americans, to mark a spot, which must be for ever dear to us, and our posterity. We wish that whosoever, in all coming time, shall turn his eyes hither, may behold that the place is not undistinguished where the first great battle of the revolution was fought. We wish, that this structure may proclaim the magnitude and importance of that event to every class and every age. We wish, that infancy may learn the purpose of its erection from maternal lips, and that weary and withered age may behold it, and be solaced by the recollections which it suggests. We wish, that labor may look up here, and be proud, in the midst of its toil. We wish, that, in those days of disaster; which, as they come upon all nations, must be expected to
come on us also, desponding patriotism may turn its eyes hither, and be assured that the foundations of our national power still stand strong. We wish, that this column, rising towards heaven among the pointed spires of so many temples dedicated to God, may contribute also to produce, in all minds, a pious feeling of dependence and gratitude. We wish, finally, that the last object on the sight of him who leaves his native shore, and the first to gladden him who revisits it, may be something which shall remind him of the liberty and glory of his country. Let it rise, till it meet the sun in his coming; let the earliest light of morning gild it, and parting day linger and play upon its summit.
41. ILLUSTRIOUS MODEL FOR THE FORMATION OF CHARACTER.
ambition, gentlemen, be to enroll your names among those over whose histories our hearts swell, and our eyes overflow with admiration, delight and sympathy, from infancy to old age; and the story of whose virtues, exploits, and sufferings, will continue to produce the same effect, throughout the world, at whatever distance of time they may be read. It is needless, and it were endless to name them. On the darker firmament of history, ancient and modern, they form a galaxy resplendent with their lustre. To go no farther back, look for your model to the signers of our declaration of independence. You see revived in those men, the spirit of ancient Rome in Rome's best day; for they were willing, with Curtius, to leap into the flaming gulf, which the oracle of their own wisdom had assured them could be closed in no other
There was one, however, whose name is not among those signers, but who must not, nay, cannot be forgotten; for, when a great and decided patriot is the theme, his name is not far off. Gentlemen, you need not go to past ages, nor to distant countries. You need not turn your eyes to ancient Greece, or Rome, or to modern Europe. You have in your own Washington, a recent model, whom you have only to imitate to become immortal. Nor
, must you suppose that he owed his greatness to the peculiar crisis which called out his virtues ; and despair of such another crisis for the display of your own.
His more than Roman virtues, his consummate prudence, his powerful intellect, and his dauntless decision and dignity of character, would have made him illustrious in any age. The crisis would have done nothing for him, had not his character stood ready to