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yet joining, as it were, in one sublime chorus, to celebrate the truths of Christianity, and laying upon its holy altars the never-fading offerings of their immortal wisdom.
SPEECH OF JOHN
ADAMS, IN SUPPORT OF AMERICAN INDEPENDENCE. -Daniel Webster.
Sink 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? Is any man so weak as now to hope for a reconciliation with England? Do we mean to submit to the measures of Parliament, Boston port-bill and all? I know we do not mean to submit. We never shall submit.
The war, then, must go on. We must fight it through. And if the war must go on, why put off longer the Declaration of Independence? That measure will strengthen us. It will give us character abroad. The nations will then treat with us, which they never can do while we acknowledge ourselves subjects, in arms against our sovereign. Nay, I maintain that
England herself, will sooner treat for peace with us on the footing of Independence, than consent, by repealing her acts, to acknowledge that her whole conduct. towards us has been a course of injustice and oppression.
Sir, the Declaration will inspire the people with increased courage. Instead of a long and bloody war, for restoration of privileges, for redress of grievances, for chartered immunities held under a British king,set before them the glorious object of entire Independence, and it will breathe into them anew the breath of life. Read this Declaration at the head of the army: every sword will be drawn from its scabbard, and the solemn vow uttered to maintain it, or to perish on the bed of honor. Publish it from the pulpit; religion will approve it, and the love of religious liberty will cling round it, resolved to stand with it, or fall with it. Send it to the public halls; proclaim it there; let them hear it, who heard the first roar of the enemy's cannon: let them see it, who saw their brothers and their sons fall on the field of Bunker Hill, and in the streets of Lexington and Concord,-and the very walls will cry out in its support.
Sir, before God, I believe the hour is come. My judgment approves this measure, and my whole heart is in it. All that I have, and all that I am, and all that I hope, in this life, I am now ready here to stake upon it; and I leave off as I begun, that, live or die, survive or perish, I am for the Declaration. It is my living sentiment, and, by the blessing of God it shall be my dying sentiment ;-Independence now; and INDEPEN
EXTRACT FROM MR. WEBSTER'S SPEECH ON THE GREEK REVOLUTION.
Sir-It may, perhaps, be asked, what can we do? Are we to go to war? Are we to interfere in the Greek cause, or any other European cause? Are we to endanger our pacific relations?—No; certainly not. What, then, the question recurs, remains for us? If we will not endanger our own peace; if we will neither furnish armies, nor navies, to the cause which we think the just one, what is there within our power?
Sir, this reasoning mistakes the age, The time has been, indeed, when fleets, and armies, and subsidies, were the principal reliances, even in the best cause. But, happily for mankind, there has come a great change in this respect. Moral causes come into consideration, in proportion as the progress of knowledge is advanced; and the public opinion of the civilized world is rapidly gaining an ascendancy over mere brutal force. It is already able to oppose the most formidable obstruction to the progress of injustice and oppression; and, as it grows more intelligent and more intense, it will be more and more formidable. It may be silenced by military power, but it cannot be conquered. Is is elastic, irrepressible, and invulnerable to the weapons of ordinary warfare. It is that impassable, unextinguishable enemy of mere violence and arbitrary rule, which, like Milton's angels,
'Vital in every part,
Cannot, but by annihilating, die.'
Until this be propitiated or satisfied, it is in vain for power to talk either of triumphs, or of repose. No matter what fields are desolated, what fortresses surrendered, what armies subdued, or what provinces overrun. In the history of the year that has passed by us, and in the instance of unhappy Spain, we have seen the vanity of all triumphs, in a cause which violates the general sense of justice of the civilized world. It is nothing, that the troops of France have passed from the Pyrenees to Cadiz ; it is nothing that an unhappy and prostrate nation has fallen before them; it is nothing, that arrests, and confiscation, and execution sweep away the little remnant of national resist
There is an enemy that still exists to check the glory of these triumphs. It follows the conqueror back to the very scene of his ovations ;* it calls upon him to take notice that Europe, though silent, is yet. indignant. It shows him that the sceptre of his victory is a barren sceptre; that it shall confer neither joy nor honor, but shall moulder to dry ashes in his grasp. In the midst of his exultation, it pierces his ear with the cry of injured justice, it denounces against him the indignation of an enlightened and civilized age; it turns to bitterness the cup of his rejoicing, and wounds him with the sting which belongs to the consciousness of having outraged the opinion of mankind.
* Ovation, a lesser triumph among the Romans.
SPEECH OF MR. PLUNKET, ON THE COMPETENCY OF THE IRISH PARLIAMENT TO PASS THE MEASURE OF UNION BETWEEN IRELAND AND ENGLAND.
Sir-I, in the most express terms, deny the competency of parliament to abolish the legislature of Ireland. I warn you, do not dare to lay your hand on the constitution—I tell you, that if, circumstanced as you are, you pass an act which surrenders the government of Ireland to the English parliament, it will be a nullity, and that no man in Ireland will be bound to obey it. I make the assertion deliberately-I repeat it, and I call on any man who hears me, to take down my words ;-you have not been elected for this purpose-you are appointed to make laws, and not legislatures-you are appointed to act under the constitution, not to alter it-you are appointed to exercise the functions of legislators, and not to transfer themand if you do so, your act is a dissolution of the government-you resolve society into its original elements, and no man in the land is bound to obey you.
Sir, I state doctrines which are not merely founded in the immutable laws of justice and of truth. I state not merely the opinions of the ablest men who have written on the science of government; but I state the practice of our constitution, as settled at the era of the revolution, and I state the doctrine under which the house of Hanover derives its title to the throne. Has