« PreviousContinue »
rage of p.?ssion to drive reason from her seat. If this law be indeed bad, let us join to remedy the defects. Has it been passed in a manner which wounded your pride, or roused your resentment ? Have, I conjure you, the magnanimity to pardon that offence. I entreat, I implore you, to sacrifice those angry passions to the interests of our country. Pour out this pride of opinion on the altar of patriotism. Let it be an expiatory libation for the weal of America. Do not, I beseech you, do not suffer that pride to plunge us all into the abyss of ruin. Indeed, indeed, it will be but of little, very little avail, whether one opinion or the other be right or wrong; it will heal no wounds, it will pay no debts, it will rebuild no ravaged towns. Do not rely on that popular will, which has brought us frail beings into political existence. That opinion is but a changeable thing. It will soon change. This very measure will change it. You will be deceived. Do not, I beseech you, in reliance on a foundation so frail, commit the dignity, the harmony, the existence of our na. tion, to the wild wind. Trust not your treasure to the waves. Throw not your compass and your charts into the ocean. Do not believe that its billows will waft you into port. Indeed, indeed, you will be deceived. Cast not away this only an. chor of our safety. I have seen its progress. I know the difficulties through which it was obtained : I stand in the presence of Almighty God, and of the world ; and I declare to you, that if you lose this charter, never! no, never will you get another!
e are now, perhaps, arrived at the part. ing point. Here, even here, we stand on the brink of fate. Pause-Pause-For heaven's sake, pause ! !
XXV.--SONG OF THE GREEKS, 1822.
AGAIN to the battle, Achaians !
Our hearts bid the tyrants defiance ;
For the cross* of our faith is replanted,
The pale dying crescent is daunted,
Their spirits are hovering o'er us,
Nor Christendom's chivalrous lances
For we've sworn, by our country's assaulters,
By the virgins they've dragged from our altars,
The sword that we've drawn we will sheath not ;
1 And the vengeance of ages has whetted its blade. Earth may
hide- mwaves ingulph—fire consume us,
And new triumphs on land are before us,
Or brighten your lives with its glory?
Accursed may his memory blacken,
If a coward there be that would slacken
Strike home, and the world shall revere us,
# The cross is the standard of the Greeks, as the crescent is of the Turks.
Old Greece lightens up with emotion
Her inlands, her isles of the Ocean;
Our hearths shall be kindled in gladness,
That were cold and extinguished in sadness ;
When the blood of yon Musselman cravens
XXVI.-THE CLAIMS OF GREECE UPON AMERICA.
Extract from the Address of the Boston Committee, in behalf of the
When we reflect, my friends, upon the present actual condition of the Greeks, we feel that no arguments can be wanting to enlist your sympathies, and those of this whole people, in their behalf. · We feel that we can confidently call upon the citizens throughout our country, to join the efforts already made and making in the civilized world, for the relief of an oppressed, suffering, agonizing, Christian people. We call upon our merchants, whose hearts are as noble as their fortunes, to put forth their liberality in behalf of an enterprising nation, which has not enjoyed the blessings of a government, able and willing to protect their flag on every sea; but which, nevertheless, amidst indignity, insecurity, and oppression, has acquired a high reputation for commercial skill and industry. We call upon the inhabitants in general of our favored cities, towns, and villages, while they glory in the possession of privileges which call out and strengthen the powers of man, and make him capable of all that is great and generous, to stretch forth a helping hand to a people of noble origin and aspiring feelings, subjected for centuries to the most revolting slavery. We would invite the matrons of America, wives and mothers, to contemplate, and to realize the picture of the fate of Scio, and to use their influence in exciting a general and a powerful emotion, in behalf of the sufferers, in a war like this ; and while they draw around their firesides, and miss no member from his place in the happy circle there, to think of the mothers and the daughters, bred up like them. selves in ease and competence, in the garden of the Levant, sold in the open market, driven with ropes about their necks into Turkish transports, and doomed to the indignities of a Syrian or an Algerine slavery. We call upon the friends of freedom and humanity to take an interest in the struggles of five millions of Christians, rising by the impulse of nature, and in vindication of rights long and intolerably trampled on. We invoke the ministers of religion to take up a solemn tes. timony in the cause yzo to assert the rights of fellow men, and of fellow Christians; to plead for the victims whose great crime is Christianity.' We call on the citizens of America to remember the time, and it is within the memory of thousands that now live, when our own beloved, prosperous coun. try waited at the door of the court of France and the states of Holland, pleading for a little money and a few troops ; and not to disregard the call of those who are struggling against a tyranny infinitely more galling than that which our fathers thought it beyond the power of man to support. Every other civilized nation has set us this example ; let not the freest state on earth any longer be the only one which has done no. thing to aid a gallant people struggling for freedom.
XXVII.-THE EXORDIUM OF CURRAN'S DEFENCE OF ROWAN.
Extract from the Speech of Mr. Curran, in defence of Archibald Hamil.
ton Rowan,* who was tried for the publication of a libel.
Gentlemen of the Jury-When I consider the period at which this prosecution is brought forward; when I behold the extraordinary safeguard of armed soldiers resorted to,* no doubt for the preservation of peace and order; when I catch, as I cannot but do, the throb of public anxiety which beats from one end to the other of this hall; when I reflect on what may be the fate of a man of the most beloved personal cha. racter, of one of the most respectable families of our country, himself the only individual of that family, I may almost say of that country, who can look to that possible fate with unconcern :-Feeling, as I do, all these impressions, it is in the honest simplicity of my heart I speak, when I say, that I ne. ver rose in a court of justice with so much embarrassment as upon this occasion.
* The trial of Mr. Rowan, in Ireland, in the year 1792, was one that produced general and intense excitement. He was a gentleman of a liberal education, of elegant accomplishments, of an ample fortune, and moved in the first circles of society. He was charged with having written, published, and distributed, an inflammatory address to "the Society of United Irishmen,” of which he was secretary, calling upon them to arm themselves in the cause of Catholic Emancipation.
If, gentlemen, I could entertain a hope of finding refuge for the disconcertion of my mind, in the perfect composure of yours ; if I could suppose that those awful vicissitudes of human events, which have been stated or alluded to, could leave your judgments undisturbed, and your hearts at ease, I know I should form a most erroneous opinion of you cha. racter : I entertain no such chimerical hopes ; I form no such unworthy opinions ; I expect not that your hearts can be more at ease than my own; I have no right to expect it ; but I have a right to call upon you, in the name of your country, in the name of the living God, of whose eternal jus. tice you are now administering that portion which dwells with us on this side of the grave, to discharge your breasts, as far as you are able, of every bias of prejudice or passion; that if my client be guilty of the offence charged upon him, you may give tranquillity to the public by a firm verdict of conviction ; or, if he is innocent, by as firm a verdict of ac. quittal ; and that you will do this in defiance of the paltry artifices and senseless clamors that have been resorted to, in order to bring him to his trial with anticipated conviction. And, gentlemen, I feel an additional necessity of thus conjuring you to be upon your guard, from the able and impos. ing statement which you have just heard on the part of the prosecution. I know well the virtues and talents of the ex. cellent person who conducts that prosecution ; I know how much he would disdain to impose upon you by the trappings of
* A few minutes before Mr. Curran rose to speak, a guard of soldiers was brought into the court-house by the sheriff.