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LXXXIII.-ADDRESS TO THE SURVIVING SOLDIERS
Extract from the same Address:
VENERABLE MEN! you have come down to us, from a former generation. Heaven has bounteously lengthened out your lives, that you might behold this joyous day. You are now upon the heights of Bunker, where you stood, fifty years ago, this very hour, with your brothers, and your neighbors, shoulder to shoulder, in the strife for your country. Behold, how altered! The same heavens are indeed over your heads ! the same ocean rolls at your feet; but all else how changed ! You hear now no roar of hostile cannon ; you see no mixed volumes of smoke and flame, rising from burning Charlestown. The ground strewed with the dead and the dying; the impetu. ous charge; the steady and successful repulse ; the loud call to repeated assault; the summoning of all that is manly to re. peated resistance; a thousand bosoms freely and fearlessly bared, in an instant, to whatever of terror there may be in war and death ;-all these you have witnessed, bụt you witness them no more. All is peace. The heights of yonder me. tropolis,* its towers and roofs, which
you. then saw filled with wives, and children, and countrymen, in distress and terror, and looking, with unutterable emotions, for the issue of the com. bat, have presented you, to-day, with the sight of its whole happy population, come out to welcome and greet you with an universal jubilee. Yonder proud ships,t by a felicity of position, appropriately lying at the foot of this mount, and seeming fondly to cling around it, are not means of annoyance to you, but your country's own means of distinction and de. fence. All is peace ; and God has granted you this sight of your country's happiness, ere you slumber in the grave forever. He has allowed you to behold and partake the reward of your patriotic toils ; and he has allowed us, your sons and country. men, to meet you here, and in the name of the present gene. ration, in the name of your country, in the name of liberty, to thank you!
+ The United States Navy Yard, at Charlestown, Bunker's Hill.
within sight of
LXXXIV. --THE OBLIGATIONS OF AN AMERICAN CITIZEN.
Extract from the same Address.
Fellow-citizens,—We may, indeed, indulge an honest exultation in the conviction of the benefit which the example of our country has produced, and is likely to produce, on human freedom and human happiness. And let us endeavor to comprehend, in all its magnitude, and to feel, in all its im. portance, the part assigned to us in the great drama of human affairs. We are placed at the head of the system of repre. sentative and popular governments. Thus far our example shows that such governments are compatible, not only with respectability and power, but with repose, with peace, with security of personal rights, .with good laws, and a just administration.
And let the sacred obligations, which have devolved on this generation and on us, sink deep into our hearts. Those are daily dropping from among us who established our liberty and our government. The great trust now descends to new hands. Let us apply ourselves to that which is presented to us, as our appropriate object. We can win no laurels in a war for independence. Earlier and worthier hands have gathered them all. Nor are there places for us by the side of Solon, and Alfred, and other founders of states. Our fathers have filled them. But there remains to us a great duty of defence and preservation : and there is open to us, also, a noble pursuit, to which the spirit of the times strongly invites
Our proper business is improvement. Let our age be the
age of improvement. In a day of peace let us advance the arts of peace, and the works of peace. Let us develope the resources of our land, call forth its powers, build up its institutions, promote all its great interests, and see, whether we also, in our day and generation, may not perform some thing worthy to be remembered. Let us cultivate a true spirit of union and harmony. In pursuing the great objects which our condition points out to us, let us act under a set. tled conviction and an habitual feeling, that these twenty, four states are one country. Let our conceptions be enlarged to the circle of our duties, Let us extend our ideas gyer
the whole of the vast field in which we are called to act. Let our object be, OUR COUNTRY, OUR WHOLE COUNTRY, AND NOTHING BUT OUR COUNTRY. And, by the blessing of God, may that country itself become a vast and splendid monument, not of oppression and terror, but of wisdom, of peace, and of liberty, upon which the world may gaze with admiration for ever!
LXXXV.-KING HENRY'S SPEECH TO HIS SOLDIERS BEFORE HAR.
Extract from Shakspeare. King Henry V.-Act 3–Scene 1.
ONCE more unto the breach, dear friends, once more ; Or close the wall up with our English dead ! In peace, there's nothing so becomes a man, As modest stillness and humility : But when the blast of war blows in our ears, Then imitate the action of the tiger ; Stiffen the 'sinews, summon up the blood, Disguise fair nature with hard-favor'd rage : Then lend the eye a terrible aspéct ;* Let it pry through the portage of the head, Like the brass cannon ; let the brow o’erwhelm it, As fearfully, as doth a galled rock O’erhang and juttyş his confoundedll base, Swill'dT with the wild and wasteful ocean. Now set the teeth, and stretch the nostril wide ; Hold hard the breath, and bend up every spirit** To his full height !-On, on, you noblest English, Whose blood is fetft from fathers of war proof! * The accent of this word is on the last syllable.
+ Portage (from the Latin porta, a gate or any opening,) here means the sockets of the eyes : as if he had said — let the eyes appear through the port-holes of the head, as the “brass cannon" through the portholes of a ship, or the battlements of a fortification.
A galled rock, a rock worn away by the waves.
To jutty, to shoot out beyond his base. | His confounded base, his worn or wasted base. I Suoill'd, washed or drenched. ** Bend up every spirit, a metaphor taken from the bow. + Fet, fetched.
Fathers, that, like so many Alexanders,
LXXXVI._DEBATE ON THE BRITISH TREATY. S
Extract from Fisher Ames' Speech, on the British Treaty, delivered in
the House of Representatives of the United States, April 28, 1796.
Mr. Chairman,—The question before us seems at last to resolve itself to this—SHALL WE BREAK THE TREATY? The treaty is bad, fatally bad, is the cry. It sacrifices the interest, the honor, the independence of the United States, and the faith of our engagements to France. If we listen to the clamor of party intemperance, the evils are of a number not to be counted, and of a nature not to be borne, even in idea. The language of passion and exaggeration may silence that of sober reason, in other places, it has not done it here. The question here is, whether the treaty be really so very fatal, as to oblige the nation to break its faith.
* For lack of argument, for want of some object to oppose. + Slips, are pieces of leather, so contrived as to start two dogs at
Straining upon the start, eager to be loosed. $ The debate in the House of Representatives, upon Jay's celebrated treaty, is perhaps the most memorable that ever occurred in that body, and we may add, one of the most important. For, the great question was discussed, whether a treaty would be valid without the approbation of the House. Those who were in the affirmative of this question argued, from the constitution, that the treaty was already made, and could not be broken without breaking the faith of the nation : for the constitu. tion vests the power of making treaties in the President, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate. Those in the negative argued, that if the President and Senate could make treaties, without the as. sistance of the House, they might, absorb all legislative power. The treaty itself too was made a subject of great animadversion by one party. For a comprehensive account of the whole debate, see Pitkin's Political and Civil History of the United States, vol.2, page 442. Suf. fice it to say, that mature reflection has shown, that the treaty obtained as much for us, as, from all circumstances, we could expect; and, that the power of making treaties is wholly independent of the popular branch of the legislature.
I lay down two rules, which ought to guide us in this case. The treaty must appear to be bad, not merely in the petty de. tails, but in its character, principle and mass. And in the next place, this ought to be ascertained by the decided and general concurrence of the enlightened public. I confess, there seems to me something very like ridicule thrown over the debate, by the discussion of the articles in detail.
The undecided point is, shall we break our faith? And, while our country and enlightened Europe await the issue with more than curiosity, we are employed to gather piece-meal, and article by article, from the instrument, a justification for the deed by trivial calculations of commercial profit and loss. This is little worthy of the subject, of this body, or of the nation. If the treaty is bad, it will appear to be so in its
Evil, to a fatal extreme, if that be its tendency, re. quires no proof; it brings it. Extremes speak for themselves, and make their own law. Few men of any reputation for sense, among those who say the treaty is bad, will put that reputation so much at hazard, as to pretend that it is so extremely bad as to warrant and require a violation of the public faith.
In the next place, will the state of public opinion justify the deed? No government, not even a despotism, will break its faith, without some pretext, and it must be plausible, it must be such as will carry the public opinion along with it.Reasons of policy, if not of morality, dissuade even Turkey and Algiers from breaches of treaty in mere wantonness of perfidy, in open contempt of the reproaches of their subjects,