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ser-rr= - -What but the want of patriotism, that hath buried in ruins the mighly empires of Greece and Rome, that standing armies, the scourge of the innocent, prevail throughout all Europe, that the pages of history present to our view so melancholy a picture of the human species, and that America and Britain are not at this day running the road to greatness and glory in concert; and what is it but the want of patriotism that could induce that haughty nation, divested of every public virtue, of every bosom feeling, of every pretension to humanity, without apology or pretext, to ushera standing army, composed of vagrants, criminals, and mercenaries, into our peaceful country.
o my countrymen, it is the want of patriotism that we are at this time called to weep over the wanton massacre of innocent men; that this is not the only house of mourning; that the fields of Ame. rica have become devoted to war, and scenes of slaughter familiar to her sons; that our oppressors yet persist in their destructive system of tyranny, and if their power was equal to their thirst of blood, with the spirit of ambition by which they are now directed, would lead them to destroy and extirpate the whole human race. But thanks be to heaven, that by the force of those virtues which they have discarded, we have nobly resisted the attempts of these cruel men, and the miseries they have so profusely dealt out to us, are returning, with additional vengeance, upon their own heads. The danger of the issue is now past, and if we but retain the same patriotic ardor, with which we first defended our rights from the grasp of our enemies, they are every day in our power. We have every thing to hope; they on the other hand have every thing to fear. Youth, vigor, and the invincible arm of justice, are on our side:—The genius of li berty also is our advocate, who, though persecuted, bath never been conquered.
In our day we are called to see a happy country laid waste at the shrine of ambition; to experience those scenes of distress which history is filled with: but experience rivets its lessons upon the mind, and if we resolve with deliberation, and execute with vigor, we may yet be a free and flourishing people. Itepine not too much at the ravages of war, nor murmur at the dispensations of Providence. We oftentimes rate our blessings in proportion to the difficulty of attaining them, and if, without a struggle, we had secured our liberties, perhaps we should have been less sensible of their value. Chastisements in youth are not without their advantages; blessings most commonly spring from
them in old age. They lead us to reflect seriously in the hour of retirement, and to cherish those qualifications which are frequently lost in the glare of prosperity.
The important prophecy is nearly accomplished. The rising glory of this western hemisphere is already announced, and she is summoned to her seat among the nations. We have publicly declared ourselves convinced of the destructive tendency of sta'iding armies: we have acknowledged the necessity of public spirit and the love ef virtue to. the happiness of any people, and we profess to be sensible of the great blessings that flow from them. Let us not then act unworthy of the reputable character we now sustain: like the nation we have abandoned, be content with freedom in form and tyranny in substance, profess virtue and practice vice, and convince an attentive world that in this glorious struggle for our lives and properties, the only men capable of prizing such exalted privileges, were an illustrious set of heroes, who have sealed their principles with their blood. Dwell, my fellow-citizens, upon the present situation of your country. Remember that though our enemies have dispensed with the hopes of conquering, our land is not entirely freed of them, and should our resistance prove unsuccessful by our own inattention and inactivity, death will be far preferable to the yoke of bondage.
have been denied to any who have gone before us. Let us then, my fellow-citizens, learn to value the blessing. Let integrity of heart, the spirit of freedom and rigid virtue be seen to actuate every member of the commonwealth. Let not party rage, private animosities, or self interested motives, succeed that religious attachment to the public weal which has brought us successfully thus far; for vain are all the boasted charms of liberty if her greatest votaries are guided by such base passions. The trial of our patriotism is yet be£ore us, and we have reason to thank heaven that its principles are so well known and diffused. Exercise towards each other the benevolent feelings of friendship, and let that unity of sentiment, which has shone in the field, be equally animating in our councils.
Remember that prosperity is dangerous: that though successful, we are not infallible; that like the rest of mankind we are capable of erring. The line of our happiness may be traced with exactness, and still there may be a difficulty in pursuing it. Let us not forget that our enemies have other arts in store for our destruction; that they are tempting us into those snares which, after successful strug. gles, proved the ruin of the empires of the east; and let this sacred maxim receive the deepest impression upon our minds, that if avarice, if extortion, if luxury and political corruption, are suffered to become popular among us, civil discord and the ruin of our country will be the speedy consequence of such fatal vices; but while patriotism is tue leading principle, and our laws are contrived with wisdom, and executed with vigor, while industry, frugality and temperance, are held in estimation, and we depend upon public spirit and the love of virtue for our social happiness, peace and affluence will throw their smiles upon the brow of the individual, our commonwealth will flourish, our land become the land of liberty, and Artemica an asylum for the oppressed.
enariox peliven in At Boston, MAach 5, 1781,
Fathers, friends and citizens-Avoiding apology, even at a time when uncommon propriety might justify it, and trusting rather to a continuance of the same liberality which has ever noted my countrymen, 1 attempt the duties of this solemn anniver sary.
And it is conceived that we shall, in some mea. sure, perform those duties, if we sketch out some general traits of liberty, and mark the lines of her
==. progress in particular nations, if we paint the wounds she has suffered from corruption and
despotic force, and from the whole deduce such sentiments as become a brave and free, though injured people.
Numerous as the descriptions are of primeval man, the reflective eye is not yet weary. we still feel an interest in that Arcadian state which so well imitated the world we are looking for. And we shall continue to feel it so long as nature is
pleasing and the heart retains a feature of inno. cence. Like the gods,” our first fathers had but few desires, and those to be satisfied by the works of virtue. Their passions were as the gales of their
own Eden—enough to give a spring to good actions —to keep the waters of life in motion without inducing storm and whirl-windf Conversing with divinities, liberty, sent from above, was their peculiar inmate; that liberty, whose spirit, mingling with the nature of man at his formation, taught
him, unlike the other animals, to look upward and hope for a throne above the stars:# that liberty who taught him to pluck, with confidence, the fruits
of nature; to pursue the direction of reason upon
his heart, and, under that direction, to acquire,
secure, and enjoy all possible happiness, pot in
peding, but assisting others in the same privilege.9
When families, and consequently human wants were afterward multiplied, it was this same liberty who, joined with justice, led the patriarchs to
some aged oak. There, in the copious shade, misunderstandings were explained, and charity and
peace embraced each other.—Such was the morn-
"It was represented of Marcus Aurelius, that in imitating the gods, his study was to have as few wants as possible. Wid. Spectator JYo. 634.
iThe passions of every kind, under proper restraints, are the gentle breezes which keep life from stagnation; but, let loose, they are the storms and whirlwinds which tear up all before them. JMrs. Brooke. #Pronan'ie cum spectent animalia cattera terram Os homini subliume dedit, columque tueri Jussit. Ovid. JM, t. $No man's social liberty is lessened by another's enjoying the same, Bollan.
up and down the world forlorn, forsaken, majesty, in rags. Nor will she, perhaps, until the millenium comes, if America does not now retain her, ever command that complete and permanent homage which is suitable to her nature. The old republics may have been the most perfect seats of her residence while they lasted, and are often mustered up from the tomb of empire to witness the adoration which they paid her. But even there she received so frequent violence that the continuance of her reign was for the most part precarious; and when even at the summit of her glory, she was only elevated that her fall might be more astonishing. Having passed all the degrees of fortune, thank God she has found her way to these remote shores: and, if from effects we may judge, she is well pleased with her new abode. O cherish the divine inhabitant! O let her not return to the courts above with a story that shall fire the heavens against us—that she had blessings for us, but that we were not prepared to receive them—that she could find among us no lasting habitation; but that, like the dove after the deluge, she was scarce favored with the top of some friendly mountain for a melancholy moment.
Liberty, my friends, is a palladium to the place of her dwelling, a rock and a sure defence. Wherever she is, every man has something to protect. He knows what are his riches, and that while he liveth himself shall gather them. He views, with conscious joy, his circumstances. His social affec tions shoot out and flourish. Even his prejudices are a source of satisfaction, and among them local attachment, a fault which leads to the side of patriotism.
supported by, and tenacious of these fruits of liberty, some little free states, which the geogra. pher in his map had otherways never noticed, have long stood uninjured by change, and some of them inaccessible by the greatest efforts of power.— There is now, in a distant quarter of the globe, a living illustration of this remark. Situate upon a venerable pile of rocks, in Italy, stands the commonwealth of St. Marino. It was founded by a holy man whose name it bears, and who fled to this romantic fairy-land to enjoy religion and free air, unpursued by power and the restless spirit of the world. His example was followed by the pious, the humane, and the lovers of freedom. And these, a favourite few, who were before scattered up and down through other parts of Italy; who had lived all their days under arbitrary
ther was somewhere a happier institution for man —these hurried away to the snowy top of St. Marino; and having there first tasted those rights which come down from Gon, made it their life's labor to support and hand them down in purity. There every man finds his prosperity in submitting to those laws which diffuse equality. There every man feels himself happily liable to be called to the senate or the field: every man divides his day between alternate labor and the use of arms—on tip-toe, ready to start for the prize, the mark of universal emulation—the commonweal; officious to promote that interest which is at once the public's and his own. So stands a constitution informed with the very essence of liberty. It has so stood, while other neighboring states have been blackened and defaced with frequent revolution. And we prophesy that’till the approach of some unforeseen vice-till some degeneracy unknown to the sires creep upon the sons, St. Marino must stand admired: as, in its present circumstance, no prince or potentate, after sitting down and counting the cost, will ever attempt the impenetrable union of so much prudence and virtue."
The name of Venice now occurs to memory as another modern example of genuine greatness. The ascendency gained by that single city over the whole Ottoman power—the universal panic that struck and pervaded all orders of the Turks when routed at Dardanelles, and the reasonable fear of approaching dissolution that reached even to the throne and blasted the heart and withered the nerves of a despot: these, amazing at first, nevertheless appear, when their springs are laid open, the natural issues of a contest between free agents and slaves.f
A more ancient and perhaps still more brilliant proof of the proportionate powers of different degrees of liberty, may be gathered from the annals of the city of Tyre. The Lybian madman; who thought he had conquered all and wept that he had no more to conquers—the invincible son of Jove, before whom principalities and powers had bowed down their heads as a bulrush—behold him, with his phalanx, puzzled and confounded at the
*Many of the facts here mentioned of St. Marino onay be seen in Addison's more complete accounts of that republic.
fThis alludes only to a particular'era in the Venetian history. #And the horned head belied the Lybian god.
- Pope. § Alexander, after all his conquests, complained
rule, and whom nature bad secretly taught that
that he had no more worlds to subdue. Seneca on a happy life.
"alls of Tyre. To over-run Asia cost him less labor, enterprize and valor, than the reduction of this one favorite haunt of liberty." And perhaps he had never reduced her but for her own falling off from her pristine wisdom. Her liberty was not in first full vigor, but had received a shock from corruption introduced with riches. Bribery, pride, and oppression followed close behind. She was then cast out as prophane from the mountain of Gon f Tyre is become like the top of a rock —a place to spread nets upon.
Let us consider the story of Tyre as a monument which upon one side shews the force of excellence, and upon the other the baneful influence of vice. a memento that every state below the sun has, like Achilles of old, some vulnerable part. As not a nation is exempted; and lest, in a fond prejudice, we might exclude our own America, and so induce a fatal security, even America has received a caveat from heaven, and in her youthful purity has been tempted by her enemies. With whatsort of success tempted we need but remember the machinations and flight of the most infamous Arnold, and the affecting, though just separation of the unfortunate Andre.
Happy the nation that, apprised of the whole truth, impartially weighs its own alloy, and bars, with tenfold adamant, its gate of danger.—But to return,
I had cherished some aversion to names grown trite by repetition, and had, on that account, evaded the ancient republics. But I find the observation just, that “half our learning is their epitaph.” I conceive that the “moss-grown” columns and broken arches of those once-renowned empires are full with instruction as were the groves of Lycèum or the school of Plato. Let Greece then be the subject of a moment's reflection. When liberty fled from the gloom of Egypt, she sought out and settled at infant Greece—there disseminated the seeds of greatness—there laid the ground-work of republican glory. Simplicity of manners, piety to the gods, generosity and courage were her earliest character. “Human nature shot wild and free”; Penetrated with a spirit of industry, her sons scarcely knew of relaxation: even their sports were heroic. Hense that elevated, independent soul, that contempt of danger, that laudable bias to
•For an illustration of this see ancient universal history, vol. ii. page 75 and on; also-that part of Newton on the prophecies which relates to Tyre, vol. i.
#F.2ekiel, xxxiii. 16
their country and its manners. Upon the banks of Eurota flourished her principal state. Frugality of living and an avarice of time were of the riches of Lacedaemon. Her maxims were drawn from nature, and one was “that nothing which bore the name of Greek was born for slavery " From this idea flowed an assistance to her sister states. From a like idea in her sister states that friendship was returned in grateful measure. This, had it continued, would have formed the link of empire, the charm that would have united and made Greece invulnerable. While it lasted, the joint efforts of her states rendered her a name and a praise through the whole earth. And here, was it not for the sake of a lesson to my country, I would not only drop my eulogium of Greece, but draw an impervious veil over her remaining history. Her tenfold lustre might at this day have blazed to heaven, had the union" of her states been held more sacred. But that union of her states, that cement of her existence once impared hear the consequence! the fury of civil-war blows her accursed clarion. The banners late of conquering freedom now adorn the triumphs of oppression. Those states which lately stood in mighty concert, invincible, now breathe mutual jealousy and fall piece meal a prey to the common enemy. Attic wisdom, Theban hardihood, Spartan valor, would not combine to save her. That very army, which Greece had bred and nourished to reduce the oriental pride, is turned vulture upon her own vitals—a damnable particide, the faction of a tyrant. Behold the great and Gon. like Greece, with all her battlements and towers about her, borne head long from her giddy height —the shame, the pitv of the world.
"Accuracy has been offended that this example is employed for the American states—which resemble each other in constitution and are united in their last resort; whereas the Grecian were unlike among themselves and professedly separate. But attention to the history of Greece will discover in the causes of her fall a lesson sufficiently opposite to our purpose. The anonymous translator of Tourreil writes as follows: “when Persia, so often vanquished by the Grecians, despaired of subduing them, her last shift was to divide them; to which their prosperity opened her a means. Spirits na. turally quick and too licentious, blown up with their frequent victories, could not contain them. selves or govern their good fortune; they abandoned themselves to jealousies and anbition.—These divisions ended, at last, in a general slavery.”— Thomson most beautifully speaks the truth up. on the same occasionWhen Greece with Greeee,
Embroil'd with foul contention, fought no more
For common glory and for commer, weal:
But, false to freedom, wought to quell the free;
Broke the firm, band of peace, and sacred love
#From Dr. Blair's dissertation upon the works of Ossian.
And as around the partial trophy blush'd,
Prepared the way six total overthrow,
Having attempted some general sketches of li. berty, from the dawn of social life to the fall of na. tional glory, I would be somewhat more particular upon those qualities to which her triumphs are chiefly indebted.
In the vile economy of depraved man, there appears an inclination to bestow upon one part powei and affluence, and to impose upon the other debility and woe. When that inclination is gratified, the majority being slaves, the remains of freedom are shared among the great; like the triumphal bridge at the Archipelago, so strangely dignified, that, by a decree of the senate, none of the vulgar were suffered to enjoy it. When that inclination is counter-balanced by the laws; when the true interests of both those parts are reconciled; when society is considered as “a public combination for
private protection.” their happiness in their submission—there is the essence of all powerful liberty. Not to wire-draw a sentiment already graven upon the hearts of this audience, it is such a liberty, as that every man who has once tasted it, becomes a temporary soldier as soon as it is invaded and resents any violence offered it, as an attack upon his lif.-hence it is that, in free states, as such, there is no such thing as a perpetual standing army. For the whole body of the people, ever ready, flock to the general standard upon emergency, and so preclude the use of that infernal engine. I say infernal engine, for the tongue “labors, and is at a loss to express,” the hideous and frightful consequences that flow where. ever the powers of hell have procured its introduc. tion. Turkey and Algiers are the delight of its vengeance. Denmark, once over-swarmed with the brave inhabitants of the north, has suffered depopulation, poverty, and the heaviest bondage from the quartering troops amongst their peasants in time of peace: if it can be called peace, when robbery, conflagration and murder are let loose upon the sons of men. Indeed, it is said that no nation ever kept up an army in time of peace that did not lose its liberties. I believe it. Athens, Corinth, Syracuse, and Greece in general were all overturned by that tremendous power; and the same power has been long operating with other causes to humble the crest of Britain. Let us hear a passage from Davenant! “If (says he, speaking of standing armies) if they who believed this eagle in the air frighted all motions towards liberty; if they who heretofore thought armies in tinue of peace, and our freedom inconsistent; if
and the governed find;
the same men should throw off a whig principle so fundamental, and thus come to clothe them. selves with the detested garments of the tories, and if all that has been here discoursed on should happen, then will the constitution of this country be utterly subverted.” It would exceed the limits of the present occasion to expatiate upon all the instances wherein the liberties of Britain have in fact suffered according to the views of Davenant, Suffice it to say that a standing army has been, long since, virtually engrafted a limb upon her constitution, has frequently over-awed her parlia. ments, sometimes her elections, f and has carried distraction and massacre; into different parts of her empire.
That standing mercenary troops must sooner or later entail servitude and misery upon their em. Ployers, is an eternal truth that appears from the nature of things. On the one hand behold an inspired yeomanry, all sinew and soul, having stepped out and defended their ancient altars, their
wives and children, returning in peace to till those fields which their own arms have rescued. such are the troops of every free people. Such were
the troops who, led on by the patriot warren, gave
the first home-blow to our oppressors. Such were the troops who, fired by Gates in the northern woods, almost decided the fate of nations. Such were the troops who, under the great and amiable Lincoln, sustained a siege in circumstances that rank him and them with the captains and soldiers of antiquity. Such, we trust, are the troops who, inferior in number, though headed indeed by the gallant and judicious Morgan, lately vanquished * chosen veteran band long dedicated to Mars and disciplined in blood. And such, we doubt not, are the troops who beat the British legions from the Jersies, and have ever since preserved their coun
*For the whole passage, which was too lengthy for our purpose, vid. the works of Dr. Davenant, corrected by Whitworth, vol. ii. p. 333.-Edition 1771. fThe election of the Scotch Peers in the year 1735, and the misconduct of Blackerby and others, at the election of the Westminster members in the year 1741, are instances well known.—Wid. Burgh’s politic disq. 2d vol. p. 444 and 473. #The affair of capt. Porteus at Edinburgh (vid. London Magazine for 1737, in a variety o pages Y and of capt. Preston, at Boston, are of themseives sufficient examples. “ŚThat the yeomanry are the bulwark of a free people”-was, if memory serves, in a celebrated extempore speech of the honorable Samuel Adams. made in the year 1773. The steadiness of that great republican to his political creed, evinces that sentiments grounded upon just data will not easily bend to a partial interest, or accommodate to the changes of popular opinion.