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name by which the Romans designated that portion of Europe. “Prague” is Praga. a suburb of Warsaw, on the opposite side of the Vistula, and joined to the main city by a bridge of boats.
SACRED Truth! thy triumph ceased awhile,
And Hope, thy sister, ceased with thee to smile,
and to man!
He said, and on the rampart-heights arrayed
In vain, alas ! in vain, ye gallant few !
* “Pandoor.” One of a body of light infantry soldiers in the service of Austria; so called because originally raised from the mountainous districts, near the village of Pandur, in Lower Hungary.
Strength in her arms, nor mercy in her woe !
The sun went down, nor ceased the carnage there,
O righteous Heaven! ere Freedom found a grave,
Departed spirits of the mighty dead !
Ye fond adorers of departed fame,
Ye that, in fancied vision, can admire
Yes, in that generous cause, forever strong,
Yes, there are hearts, prophetic Hope may trust,
charm of wisdom and of worth ;
*“The Theban lyre.” The poetry of Pindar, a celebrated lyric poet, born in Thebes.
XXII. — OPPOSITION TO INDEPENDENCE.
This lesson and that which succeeds it are both taken from Mr. Webster's “Eulogy on Adams and Jefferson,” delivered in Faneuil Hall. Boston, August 2, 1826. Tho first speech presents such arguments as might have been urged against the declaration of the independence of the Colonies, by a man of timid and desponding temperament; and the views of bolder and far-seeing statesmen are uttered by the lips of Mr. Adams. Many persons have supposed that the speech put into the mouth of Mr. Adams was really delivered by him, but this is not the case. It was written by Mr. Webster.
ET us pause! This step, once taken, cannot be re
traced. This resolution, once passed, will cut off all hope of reconciliation. If success attend the arms of England, we shall then be no longer Colonies, with charters and with privileges; these will all be forfeited by this act; and we shall be in the condition of other conquered people, at the mercy of the conquerors.
For ourselves, we may be ready to run the hazard; but are we ready to carry the country to that length ? Is success so probable as to justify it? Where is the military, where the naval power, by which we are to resist the whole strength of the arm of England; for she will exert that strength to the utmost ? Can we rely on the constancy and perseverance of the people ? or will they not act as the people of other countries have acted, and, wearied with a long war, submit, in the end, to a worse oppression? While we stand on our old ground and insist on redress of grievances, we know we are right and are not answerable for consequences. Nothing, then, can be imputed to us.
But if we now change our object, carry our pretensions further, and set up for absolute independence, we shall lose the sympathy of mankind. We shall no longer be defending what we possess, but struggling for something
which we never did possess, and which we have solemnly and uniformly disclaimed all intention of pursuing, from the very outset of the troubles. Abandoning thus our old ground, of resistance only to arbitrary acts of oppression, the nations will believe the whole to have been mere pretence, and they will look on us, not as injured, but as ambitious, subjects. I shudder before this responsibility.
It will be on us, if, relinquishing the ground we have stood on so long, and stood on so safely, we now proclaim independence, and carry on the war for that object, while these cities burn, these pleasant fields whiten and bleach with the bones of their owners, and these streams run blood. It will be upon us, it will be upon us, if, failing to maintain this unseasonable and ill-judged declaration, a sterner despotism, maintained by military power, shall be established over our posterity, when we ourselves, given up by an exhausted, a harassed, a misled people, shall have expiated our rashness and atoned for our presumption on the scaffold.
XXIII. — MR. ADAMS'S REPLY.
INK or swim, live or die, survive or perish, I give my
hand and my heart to this vote. It is true, indeed, that in the beginning we aimed not at independence. But there's a divinity which shapes our ends. The injustice of England has driven us to arms; and, blinded to her own interest for our good, she has obstinately persisted, till independence is now within our grasp. We have but to reach forth to it, and it is ours. Why, then, should we defer the declaration ?