Зображення сторінки
PDF
ePub

'America and France, that lord Cornwallis was obliged to furrender. This glorious event, which took place on the 19th of October, 1981, decided the conteft in favor of America, and laid the foundation of a general peace.

92. A few months after the surrender of Cornwallis, the British evacuated' all their pofts in South Carolina and Georgia, and'retired to the main army in New-York.

93. The next spring (1782) fir Guy Carleton arrived in New-York, and took command of the British aruny in Ame. rica. Immediately after his arrival he acquainted general Washington and Congress that negociations for a peace had been commenced at Paris.

94. On the 30th of November 1782, the provisional ar. ticles of peace were signed at Paris, by which Great Britain acknowledged the independence and sovereignty of the United States of America. '.

95. Thus ended a long and arduous conflict, in which Great-Britain expended near a huodred millions of money, wlih an hundred thoufand lives, and won nothing. America endured every cruelty and distress from her enemies; lott many lives and much treasure-but delivered herfelf from f foreign dominion, and gained a rank among the nations. of the earth.,

LESSONS IN SPEAKING.

ORATION, delivered at Boston, March 5, 1772, by Dr. JOSEPH WARREN ; in commemoration of the evening

of the fifth of Marcb, 1770 ; when a number of citizens were killed by a party of British troops, quartered among them, in time of peale.

the rise and fall of states and empires; the mighty revolutions which have fo often varied the face of the world, strike our minds with folemn furprise, and we are naturally led to search for the causes of such afton. ilhing changes. 2. That man is formed for social life, is an obfervations which, upon our

enquiry, presents itself to our view. Goveruinent has its origin in the weakness of individuals, and hath for its end, the strength and security of all, and

firl

[graphic]

fo long as the means of effecting this important end, are thoroughly known, and religioully attended to, government is one of the richest blessings to mankind, and ought to beheld 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 facial compact cannot be at once forgotten, and that equali. ty, which is remembered to have fubfifted so lately among thein, prevents those who are clothed with authority from attemping to invade the freedom of their brethren; or, if fuch an attempt is made, it prevents the community from fuffering the offender to go unpunished,

4. Every member feels it to be his intereft, and knows it to be his duty, to preserve in violate the constitution on which the public safety depends; and is equally teady to affin 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, exifts in full vigor, in any flate, that state must be fourish ing and happy: s. It was this noble

e attachment to a free constitution which raised ancient Rome from the smallest beginnings to that bright fummit of happiness and glory to which she arrived and it was the loss of Ibis which plunged her from that fummit, into the black gulph of infamy and Slavery

6. It was this attachment which infpired her fenators with wifdom ; it was this which glowed in the breast of her heroes; it was this, which guarded her liberties, and extended her dominions, gave peace at home, and commanded respect abroad: and when this decayed, her 12gistrates loft their reverence for justice and laws, and de generated into tyrants and oppreffors--her senators, forgetful of their dignity, and feduced by bafe corruption, betrayed their country--her foilders, regardlefs of their relation to the community, and urged only by the hopes of plunder and rapine, unfeelingly committed the most Argrant enormities; and hired to the trade of death, with relentlefs fury they perpetrated the most cruel murders by which the streets of Imperial Rome was drenched with ker noblesi blood.

7. Thus tbis empress of the world loft her dominions abroad, and her inhabitants, diffolute in their manners, at tength became contented states; and the stands to this day, the scorn and derifion of riations, and a monument of this eternal truth, that public bappiness depends on a virtuous and unsbøken attachment to a free constitution.

*8. It was this attachment to a constitution founded on free and benevolent principles,

' which infpired the firft fettlers of this

country :--they saw with grief the darinig outrages committed on the free constitution of their native land they knew that tothing but a civil war could at that time Teffore its pristine parity.

6. So hard was it toʻrefolve to imbrue' their hands in the blood of their brethren, that they chofe rather to quit their fair poffeffions, and feek another 'habitation in a distant clime. When they came to this uew world, which they fairly purchased of the Iridian natives, the only right- ' ful proprietors, they cultivated the then barren soil, by their inccflant tábor, and defended their dear bought pofsessions with the fortitude of the christian, and the bravery of the hero. -:**10. After various struggles, which, during the tyrannic Teigns of the house' of STUART, were constantly maintained between right and wrong, between libérty and havery, the contiection between Great Britain and this colony, was settled in the reign of king William and queen Mary, by'a compact, the conditions of which were expreffed in a charter, by which all the liberties and immunities of Britilh subjects were fecared to this province, as fully and as -abfolutely as they poffibly could be by any huinan inftrübent which can be devised.

11. It is 'undeniably trae, that the greatest and most important right of a British fubject is, that be s ball be governed by no latus, but those 'to wbicb be, eitbér in person or by bis representative, batb given bis 'consent : and this I will venture to affert is the grand basis of Britih freedom; it is interwoven with the constitution ; and whenever this is loft, the constitution must be destroyed.

12. Let us now allow ourselves a few moinents to examine the late acts of the British parliament for taxing America. Let us with candor judge whether they are conAitutionally binding upon us : if they are, in the name of

[ocr errors]

word.

Justice, let us fubmit to them without one murmuring

13. Firit, I would ask, whether the members of the Brie till house of commons, are the democracy of this province ? If they are, they are either the people of this proviycé, or are elected by the people of this province, to represet them, and have therefore a confitutional right to originate a bill for taxing them ; it is most certain they are neither; and therefore nothing done by tbem can be faid to be done by the democratic branch of our constitution.

14. I would next afk, whether the lords who coinpose the aristocratic branch of the legislature, are peers of Ame: rica ? I never heard it was (even in these extraordinary times) so much as pretended, and if they are not, certainly no act of theirs can be faid to be the act of the ariftrocratic branch of our constitution.

15. The power of the monarchic branch we with plealure acknowledge, resides in the king, who may act either in person or by his representative ; and I freely confess that J can see no reason why a PROCLAMATION for raising money in America, iffued by the king's sole authority, would not be equally consistent with our conftitution, and therefore equally binding upon us with the late acts, it muft arise altogether from the inonarchical branch of the legitlature. And I further think, that it would be at least as equitable ; for I do not conceive it to be of the least importance to us by: wbom our property is taken away, so long as it is taken away without our confent.

16. I-am very-inuch at a loss to know by what figure of rhetorick, the inhabitants of this province can be called free subjects, when they are obliged to obey implicity such laws as are made for them by men three thousand niiles off, whom they know not, and whom they never have empowered to act for thein, or how they can be said to have property, when a body of men, over whom they have not the least control, and who are not in any „way accountable to them, shall oblige them to çeliver up any part, or the whole of their substance, without even aik ing their copfent.

17. And yet, whoe ver pretends that the late acts of the British parliament for taxing America, ought to be deemed binding upon us, must admit at oice that we are

abfolutè SLAVES and have no proporty of our own; or elfe that we may be FREEMEN, and at the fame time, under the sjeceflity of obeying the arbitrary commands of those over. whom we have no control nor influence; and that we may bave property of our own, which is entirely at tbe disposal of anotber.

18. Such grofs absurdities, I believe, will not be rel. ished in this enlightenedo age; and it can be no great matter of wonder, that the people quickly perceived, and feriously complained of the inroads which these acts must anavoidably make upon their liberly, and of the hazard to which their whole property is by them exposed ; for if they may be taxed without their consent, even in the smallest trifle, they may alfo, without their confent, be de prived of every thing they possess, altho ever fo valuable; ever so dear.

19. Certainly it never entered the heart of our ancef. tors, that after fo mapy dangers in this then defolate wilderness, their hard earned property should be at the difpolil of the British parliament. And as it was foou found that this taxation could not be supported by reafon and argument, it seemerl necefiary that one act of oppression should be enforced by another, and therefore, contrary to our just rights, as poffeffing, or at least ha. ving a just title to pofféfs all the liberties and immunities of British subjects, a standing army was established among us in time of peace, and evidently for the purpose of eflecting that, which it was one principal design of the founders of the conftitution to prevent (when they declared a standing arıny in a time of peace to be against law), namely for the enforcement of obedience to acts, which upon fair examination, appeared to be unjust and unconstitutional.

20. The ruinous consequences of standing armies to free doinmunities, may be seen in the histories of Syracuse Rume and wiany other once flourishing states, some of which have 110w scarce a name! Their baneful influence is most sud. denly felt, when they are placed in populous cities'; for, by a corruption of morals, the public happiness is inuncdi. ately affected.

21. This is one of the effects of quartering troops in a populous city, is a truth, to which many a mouri.:

P

« НазадПродовжити »