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Ay, call it holy ground,
The soil where first they trod,
Freedom to worship God!
XLVII.--THE OBLIGATIONS OF AMERICA TO LAFAYETTE.
Extract from Mr. Storrs' Speech, in the House of Representatives of
the United States, upon the bill making provision for General Lafayette.
Mr. Speaker-In relation to the bill now before us, a bill for showing in a substantial manner our gratitude to the brave and generous Lafayette, let us remember that the
eyes of Europe are this moment upon us. Her monarchs, her people, are anxiously waiting to see how we shall act. The despots of the old world are anxious to know whether, after inviting Lafayette to our shores-after offering to send a na. tional ship to bring him over-after welcoming him from city to city, we are about to send him back, and subject him to the sneers of royalty, and, with him, to expose ourselves and the cause of free government to their reproaches. The question we are called to decide is, whether America, for whom he shed his blood, devoted his fortune, and dedicated his talents and his virtues, is about to send back her benefactor in the face of Europe, to be the object of their scorn, and leave the record of our proceedings, as a monument of the feelings of the American people. The question before us is, whether we will support the principles of our own government in our conduct towards one who has been considered on both continents as the great Apostle of Liberty, and justly so considered; for, next to the great Apostle of the gentiles himself, has this man served the best interests of mankind. Next in value to those which the one disseminated, are the blessings which the other has labored to spread among the nations of the world. The question is, whether his services are worth a memorial. This, it is true, is not needed for his character ; as has been well said on a public occasion, “ history has al ready taken charge of his fame,” but, as was justly observed by the presiding officer of this house, General Lafayette now
stands among posterity, and our act this day is to be the judgment of posterity on his merits and his fame. then, here to record our value for civil liberty and all the blessings it bestows; or is it that we may send one of the greatest benefactors her causé has ever known, back to his country as a witness of the ingratitude of republics ? But I said I would not speak of his services, nor will I. Whoever has read or known our history can be no stranger to what he has done for us. It is to be known to-day, what we think to be due, at least, to our character as a nation.
XLVIII.--THE EARL OF RICHMOND'S ADDRESS TO HIS TROOPS,
BEFORE THE BATTLE OF BOSWORTH.*
Extract from Shakspeare. Richard 3d.-Act 5-Scene 3.
* The battle of Bosworth, in Leicestershire, England, between King Richard 3d and Henry Earl of Richmond, took place August 22, 1485, in which King Richard was defeated and slain.
† The leisure and enforcement, that is, the want of leisure, and the pressing urgency “of the time."
# That is, all our opponents excepting Richard “had rather have us win.”
|| To“ make means" to obtaining any thing, signified to try after it by some indirect and wicked methods.
$ The meaning of this is :-as poor stones are sometimes made valuable by being “set” in gold or “foil,” so Richard has attained some con. sequence, by having sat upon the “chair," or throne of England,
One that hath even been God's enemy :
XLIX.-THE CONDITION OF IRELAND IN 1797.
Extract from Mr. Curran's Speech in defence of Peter Finerty, who
was tried for a libel in Ireland, 1797:9
Gentlemen of the Jury, -Let me here say that it is, not with respect to Mr. Orr that your verdict is now sought; you are called upon, on your oaths, to say that the government is wise and merciful, that the people are prosperous and happy,
• Your country's fat,—the richness or prosperity of your country. * “ Quit,” to requite, to repay.
The ransom of my bold attempt,-the fine paid by me in atonement for my rashness, shall be my dead corse. Johnson.
!!" St. George” was the usual cry of the English soldiers when en. tering into battle. .
The publication alleged to be libellous was a letter addressed to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, commenting with great severity upon his conduct in relation to the death of the unfortunate Orr, who was tried, donvicted, (wickedly and unjustly, as has been said,) and executed for bigh treason. Finerty was the printer of a public paper, and did nothing more than give the letter an insertion in its columns.,
that military law ought to be continued, that the British con. stitution could not with safety be restored to this country, and that the statements of a contrary import by your advocates in either country were libellous and false. I tell you these are the questions, and I ask you can you have the front to give the expected answer in the face of a community who know the country as well as you
do? Let me ask you, how could
you reconcile with such a verdict the jails, the tenders, the gibbets, the conflagrations, the murders, the proclamations, that we hear of every day in the streets, and see every day in the country! What are the processions of the learned counsel himself, circuit after circuit ? Merciful God! what is the state of Ireland, and where shall you find the wretched' inhabitant of this land! You may find him perhaps in a jail, the only place of security, I had almost said, of ordinary habitation, you may see him flying by the conflagration of his own dwelling; or you may find his bones bleaching on the green fields of his country ; or he may be found tossing upon the surface of the ocean, and mingling his groans with those tempests less savage than his persecutors, that drift bim to a returnless, distance from his family and his home. And yet, with these facts ringing in the ears, and staring in the face of the prosecutor, you are called upon to say, on your oaths, that these facts do not exist! You are called upon, in defiance of shame, of truth, of honor, to deny the sufferings under which you groan, and to flatter the persecution that tramples you under foot!
L.THE CHARACTER OF AN INFORMER UNDER
Extract from the same Speech..
Gentlemen of the Jury—THE learned Attorney-General is pleased to say, that the traverser has charged the Government with the encouragement of INFORMERS. This, gentlemen, is a small fact that you are to deny at the hazard of your souls, and upon the solemnity of your oaths. You are, upon your oathe, to say to the sister country, that the government of Ireland
uses no such abominable instruments of destruction as IN. FORMERS. Let me ask you honestly, what do you feel when, in my hearing, when in the face of this audience, you are called upon to give a verdict that every man of us, and
every man of you, know by the testimony of your own eyes to be utterly and absolutely false? I speak not now of the public proclamation of INFORMERS, with a promise of secrecy and of extravagant reward; I speak not of the fate of those horrid wretches, who have been so often transferred from the table to the dock, and from the dock to the pillory; I speak of what your own eyes have seen, day after day, during the course of this commission, from the box where you are now sitting; the number of horrid miscreants, who avowed upon their oaths, that they had come from the very seat of government-from the castle, where they had been worked upon by the fear of death and the hopes of compensation, to give evidence against their fellows, that the mild and wholesome councils of this government are holden over these catacombs of living death, where the wretch that is buried a man, lies till his heart has time to fester and dissolve, and is then dug up a witness.
Is this fancy, or is it fact? Have you not seen him after his resurrection from that tomb, after having been dug out of the region of death and corruption, make his appearance upon the table, the living image of life and of death, and the su. preme arbiter of both ?
Have you not marked when he en. tered, how the stormy wave of the multitude retired at his approach ? Have you not marked how the human heart bowed to the supremacy of his power, in the undissembled homage of deferential horror ? How his glance, like the lightning of Heaven, seemed to rive the body of the accused, and mark it for the grave, while his voice warned the devo.. ted wretch of wo and death ; a death, which no innocence can escape, no art elude, no force resist, no antidote prevent. There was an antidote- juror's oath ; but even that ada.. mantine chain, that bound the integrity of man to the throne of Eternal Justice, is solved and melted in the breath that issues from the INFORMER'S MOUTH-conscience swings from. ber mooring, and the appalled and affrighted juror consulta his own safety in the surrender of the victim..