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Him, whó “bringeth low and lifteth up,' who puts down the mighty from their seats, and exalts them of low degree;' he only can look with awe and high conception at the great spectacle of migrating nations, smoking cities, falling thrones, contending armies, and ruined empires.
Solemn, indeed, and more than solemn,-dreadful and terrific is the Lord, passing in judgment through the world; who destroys kingdoms that have become great, only by conquest and plunder; delivers up enervated and effeminate nations to the disgrace of slavery; sends discord, tumult and rebellion into countries, that turn from him and mock at his holy laws; who punishes the injustice of kings by the rage of their revolted people, and the degeneracy of the people by the scourge of tyrants; and holy awe fills our souls, when we view in the flames consuming Jerusalem, in Rome's falling ruins, and in the horrible discords of France, the avenging arm of the Judge.
ROLLA TO THE PERUVIANS.-Sheridan.
My brave associates-partners of my toil, my feelings, and my fame!—can Rolla's words add vigour to the virtuous energies which inspire your hearts?-No!-You have judged as I have, the foulness of the crafty plea, by which these bold invaders would delude you.—Your generous spirit has compared, as mine has, the motives which, in a war like this, can animate their minds and ours.
They, by a strange frenzy driven, fight for power, for plunder, and extended rule;—we, for our country, our altars, and our homes. They follow an adventurer whom they fear, and obey a power which they hate:-we serve a monarch whom we love—a God whom we adore. Where'er they move in anger, desolation tracks their progress! Where'er they pause in amity, affliction mourns their friendship.
They boast they come but to improve our state, enlarge our thoughts, and free us from the yoke of error-yes:they will give enlightened freedom to our minds, who are themselves the slaves of passion, avarice, and pride. They offer us their protection—Yes, such protection as vultures give to lambs-covering and devouring them! They call
on us to barter all the good we have inherited and proved, for the desperate chance of something better, which they promise. Be our plain answer this:—The throne we honour is the people's choice—the laws we reverence are our brave fathers' legacy—the faith we follow teaches us to live in bonds of charity with all mankind, and die with hope of bliss beyond the grave. Tell your invaders this, and tell them, too, we seek no change; and, least of all, such change as they would bring us.
EXTRACT FROM A SPEECH OF G. MORRIS, IN CONGRESS, ON THE
NAVIGATION OF THE MISSISSIPPI.
MR. PRESIDENT,--My object is peace. I could assign many reasons to show, that this declaration is sincere. But can it be necessary to give this senate any other assurance than my word? Notwithstanding the acerbity of temper which results from party strife, gentlemen will believe me on my word. I will not pretend, like my honourable colleague, to describe to you the waste, the ravages,
and the horrors of war. I have not the same harmonious periods, nor the same musical tones; neither shall I boast of christian charity, nor attempt to display that ingenuous glow of benevolence, so decorous to the cheek of youth, which gave a vivid tint to every sentence he uttered; and was, if possible, as impressive even as his eloquence. But, though we possess not the same pomp of words, our hearts are not insensible to the woes of humanity. We can feel for the misery of plundered towns, the conflagration of defenceless villages, and the devastation of cultured fields.
Turning from these features of general distress, we can enter the abodes of private affliction, and behold the widow weeping, as she traces, in the pledges of connubial affection, the resemblance of him whom she has lost forever. We see the aged matron bending over the ashes of her son. He was her darling; for he was generous and brave; and therefore his spirit led him to the field in defence of his country. We can observe another oppressed with unutterable anguish; condemned to conceal her affection; forced to hide that passion, which is at once the torment and delight
of life: she learns, that those eyes, which beamed with sentiment, are closed in death; and his lip, the ruby harbinger of joy, lies pale and cold, the miserable appendage of a mangled cerse. Hard, hard indeed, must be that heart, which can be insensible to scenes like these; and bold the man, who dares present to the Almighty Father a conscience crimsoned with the blood of his children!
SECOND EXTRACT FROM THE SAME.
SIR, I wish for peace; I wish the negotiation may succeed, and therefore I strongly urge you to adopt these resolutions. But though you should adopt them, they alone will not insure success. I have no hesitation in saying, that you ought to have taken possession of New Orleans and the Floridas, the instant your treaty was violated. You ought to do it now. Your rights are invaded, confidence in negotiation is vain: there is, therefore, no alternative but force. You are exposed to imminent present danger: you have the prospect of great future advantage: you are justified by the clearest principles of right: you are urged by the strongest motives of policy: you are commanded by every sentiment of national dignity.
Look at the conduct of America in her infant years, When there was no actual invasion of right, but only a claim to invade, she resisted the claim; she spurned the insult. Did we then hesitate? Did we then wait for foreign alliance? No—animated with the spirit, warmed with the soul of freedom, we threw our oaths of allegiance in the face of our sovereign, and committed our fortunes and our fate to the God of battles. We then were subjects. We had not then attained to the dignity of an independent republic. We then had no rank among the nations of the earth. But we had the spirit which deserved that elevated station. And now that we have gained it, shall we fall from our honour?
Sir, I repeat to you that I wish for peace: real, lasting, honourable peace. To obtain and secure this blessing, let us, by a bold and decisive conduct, convince the powers of Europe that we are determined to defend our rights;
that we will not submit to insult; that we will not bear degradation. This is the conduct which becomes a generous people. This conduct will command the respect of the world. Nay, Sir, it may rouse all Europe to a proper sense of their situation. They see, that the balance of power, on which their liberties depend, is, if not destroyed, in extreme danger. They know that the dominion of France has been extended by the sword over millions who groan in the servitude of their new masters. These unwilling subjects are ripe for revolt.
The empire of the Gauls is not, like that of Rome, secured by political institutions. It may yet be broken. But whatever may be the conduct of others, let us act as becomes ourselves. I cannot believe, with my honourable colleague, that three-fourths of America are opposed to vigorous measures. I cannot believe, that they will meanly refuse to pay the sums needful to vindicate their honour, and support their independence.
Sir, this is a libel on the people of America. They will disdain submission to the proudest sovereign on earth. They have not lost the spirit of "76. But, Sir, if they are so base as to barter their rights for gold, if they are so vile that they will not defend their honour, they are unworthy of the rank they enjoy, and it is no matter how soon they are parcelled out among better masters.
My honourable friend from Pennsylvania, in opening this debate, pledged himself and his friends to support the executive government, if they would adopt a manly conduct. I have no hesitation to renew that pledge. Act as becomes America, and all America will be united in your support.
What is our conduct? Do we endeavour to fetter and trammel the executive authority? Do we oppose
obstacles? Do we raise difficulties? No. We are willing to commit into the hands of the chief magistrate the treasure, the power, and the energies of the country.
We ask for ourselves nothing. We expect nothing. All we ask is for our country. And although we do not believe in the success of treaty, yet the resolutions we move, and the language we hold, are calculated to promote it.
EXTRACT FROM MR. JEFFREY'S SPEECH AT A PUBLIC DINNER IN
How absurd are the sophisms and predictions, by which the advocates of existing abuses have at all times endeavoured to create a jealousy and apprehension of reform? You cannot touch the most corrupt and imbecile government, without unsettling the principles and unhinging the frame of society-you cannot give the people political rights, without encouraging them to be disobedient to lawful authority, and sowing the seeds of continual rebellion and perpetual discontent; nor recognize popular pretensions in any shape, without coming ultimately to the abolition of all distinctions, and the division and destruction of all property —without involving society, in short, in disorders at once frightful and contemptible, and reducing all things to the level of an insecure, and ignoble, and bloody equality.
Such are the reasonings by which we are now to be persuaded, that liberty is incompatible with private happiness or national prosperity, and that the despotic governments of the world ought to be maintained, if it were only to protect the people from the consequences, of allowing them any control over the conduct of their rulers! To these we need not now answer in words, or by reference to past and questionable examples, but we put them down at once, and trample them contemptuously to the earth, by a short appeal to the existence and condition of America !
What is the country of the universe, I would now ask, in which property is most sacred, or industry most sure of its reward? Where is the authority of law most omnipotent? Where is intelligence and wealth most widely diffused, and most rapidly progressive? Where is society, in its general description, most peaceable, and orderly, and moral, and contented? Where are popular tumults least known, and the spirit and existence, and almost the name of a mob, least heard of? Where, in short, is political animosity least prevalent, faction subdued, and, at this moment, even party nearly extinguished, in a prevailing feeling of national pride and satisfaction? Where, but in America?
America, that laid the foundation of her republican constitution in a violent, radical, sanguinary revolution,America, with her fundamental democracy, made more un