« PreviousContinue »
whom I leave behind in a very tender age. I lament too my father and my mother, whom I have long maintained by hunting. Them, however, I recommend to the French, since, on their account, I now fall a sacrifice.”
7. Scarcely had he finished this short and pathetic halangue, when the old father, struck with the filial affection of his son, arose, and thus addressed himself to his audience.
8. "My son is doomed to death: but he is young and vigorous, and more capable than I, to support his mother, his wife and four infant children. It is necessary, then that he remain upon the earth to protect and provide for them. As for me who draw towards the end of my career, I have lived long enough. May my son attain to my age, that he may bring up my tender infants. I am no longer good for any thing; a few years more or less are to me of small importance. I have lived as a man. I will die as a man. therefore take the place of my son."
9. At these words, which expressed his parental love and greatness of soul in the most touching manner, his wife, his son, his daughter in-law, and the little infants, melted into tears, around this brave, this generous old man. He embraced them for the last time, exhorted them to be ever faithful to the French, and to die rather than betray them by any mean treachery unworthy of his blood." My death," concluded he, "I consider necessary for the safety of the nation, and I glory in the sacrifice."
10. Having thus delivered himself, he presented his head to the kinsmen of the deceased Chactaw; and they accepted it. He then extended himself over the trunk of a tree, when with a hatchet, they severed his head from his body.
EXTRACT FROM THE SPEECH OF THE IRISH ORATOR PHILLIPS,
THE mention of America has never failed to fill me with the most lively emotions. In my earliest infancy,
that tender season, when impressions, at once the most permanent, and the most powerful are likely to be excited, the story of her then recent struggle raised a throb in every heart that loved liberty, and wrung a reluctant tribute even from discomfitted oppressio...
2. I saw her spurning the luxuries that would enervate, and the legions that would intimidate; dashing from her lips the poisoned cup of European servitude, and through all the vicissitudes of her protracted conflict, displaying a magnanimity that defied misfortune, and a moderation that gave new grace to victory. It was the first vision of my child hood, it will descend with me to the grave.
3. But if as a man, I venerate the mention of America, what must be my feelings towards her as an Irishman? Never, while memory remains, can Ireland forget the home of her emigrant, and the asylum of her exile. No matter whether their sorrows were real or imaginary, that must be reserved for the scrutiny of those whom the lapse of time shall acquit of partiality.
4. It is for the men of other ages to investigate and record it; but surely it is for the men of every age to hail the hospitality that received the shelterless, and love the feeling that befriended the unfortunate. Search creation round, where can you find a country that presents so sublime a view, so interesting an anticipation?
5. The oppressed of all countries, the martyrs of every creed, the innocent victim of despotic arrogance or superstitious frenzy may there find refuge; his industry encouraged, his piety respected, his ambition animated; with no restraint but those laws which are the same to all, and no distinction, but that which his merit may originate.
6. Who can deny that the existence of such a country presents a subject for human congratulation! who can deny that its gigantic advancement offers a field for the most rational conjecture! Who shall say that when, in its follies or its crimes, the old world may have interred all the pride of its power, and all the pomp of its civilization, human nature may not find its destined renovation in the new!
7. For myself, I have no doubt of it, I have not the least doubt that when our temples and our trophies shall have mouldered into dust! when the glories of our name shall be G g
but the legend of tradition, philosophy will rise again in the sky of her Franklin, and glory rekindle at the urn of her WASHINGTON.
8. Is this the vision of a romantic fancy? Is it even improbable? Is it half so improbable as the events which for the last twenty years have rolled like succesive tides over the surface of the European world, each erasing the impression that preceded it.
9. Thousands upon thousands, sir, I know there are, who will consider this supposition as wild and whimsical; but they have dwelt with little reflection upon the records of the past. They have but ill observed the never ceasing progress of national rise, and national ruin.
10. They form their judgment on the deceitful stability of the present hour, never considering the innumerable monarchies and republics in former days, apparently as permanent, whose very existence is now become a subject of speculation, I had almost said of scepticism.
11. I appeal to history. Tell me, thou reverend chronicler of the grave, can ambition, wealth, commerce, or heroism, 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 monuments are as the dust they were vainly intended to commemorate!
12. So thought Palmyra; but where is she? So thought the countries of Demosthenes and Leonidas, yet Sparta is trampled by the timid slave, and Athens insulted by the servile Ottoman. The days of their glory are as if they had never been; and the island which was then a speck, rude and neglected in the barren ocean, now rivals the ubiquity of their commerce, the glory of their arms, the force of their philosophy, the eloquence of their senate, and the inspiration of their bards!
13. Who shall say then, contemplating the past, that England, proud and powerful 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 emerge from the horizon to rule for its time sovereign of the ascendant!
CONCLUSION OF THE FOREGOING SPEECH.
SUCH, Sir, is the natural progress of human operations, and such the unsubstantial mockery of human pride. But I should, perhaps, apologise for this digression. The tombs are at best a sad, although an instructive subject. At all events, they are ill suited to such an hour as this, I shall endeavour to atone for it, by turning to a theme which tombs cannot inurn, or revolution alter.
2. It is the custom of your board, and a noble one it is, to deck the cup of the gay with the garland of the great. Allow me to add one flower to the chaplet, which though it sprang in America, is no exotic; virtue planted it, and it is naturalized every where.
3. I see you concur with me, that it matters very little what immediate spot may be the birth place of such a man as WASHINGTON. No people can claim, no country can appropriate him. The boon of Providence to the human race, his fame is eternity, and his residence creation.
4. 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. In the production of WASHINGTON, it does really appear as if nature was endeavouring to improve upun herself, and that all the virtues of the ancient world were but so many studies preparatory to the patriot of the new.
5. Individual instances no doubt there were; splendid examples of some single qualification. Cæsar was merciful, Scipio was continent, Hannibal was patient; but it was reserved for WASHINGTON to blend them all in one, and like the lovely master-piece of the Grecian artist, to exhibit in one glow of associated beauty, the pride of every model, and the perfection of every master.
6. As a general, he marshalled the peasant into a veteran, and supplied by discipline the absence of experience. As a statesman, he 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.
7. 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 his country called him to the command. Liberty unsheathed his sword, necessity stained, victory returned it.
8. If he had paused here, history might have doubted what station to assign him, whether at the head of her citizens or soldiers, her heroes or her patriots. But the last glorious act crowns his career, and banishes all hesitation. Who, like WASHINGTON, after having emancipated an hemisphere, resigned its crown, and preferred the retirement of domestic life to the adoration of a land he mighs be almost said to have created!
9. How shall we rank thee upon glory's page,
Thou more than soldier, and just less than sage,?
10. Such, Sir, is the testimony of one not to be accused of his partiality in his estimate of America. Happy, proud America! The lightnings of heaven yielded to your philoso-, phy! The temptations of earth could not seduce your patriotism. I have the honor, Sir, of proposing to you as a toast, the immortal memory of GEORGE WASHINGTÓN.
EXAMPLE OF JUSTICE AND MAGNANIMITY.
AMONG the several virtues of Aristides, that for which he was most renowned was justice; because this virtue is of most general use, its benefits extending to a great number of persons, as it is the foundation, and in a manner the soul of every public office and employment.
2. Themistocles, having conceived the design of supplanting the Lacedemonians, and of taking the government of Greece out of their hands, in order to put it into those of the Athenians, kept his eye and his thought continually fixed upon that great project; and as he was not very nice or scrupulous in the choice of his measures, whatever tended towards accomplishing the end he had in view, he look ed upon as just and lawful.