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shades meet, accost, and call us to an account for such conduct? How can we answer it to posterity, who must drag out a painful life in slavery? Nay, how shall we answer it to ourselves, when the galling yoke of slavery bears heavy on our necks ?
On the other hand, view the liberty, the transporting liberty of America. View millions basking in its beams, and gratefully acknowledging their obligations to the venerable names that now stand as pillars to support our rights. View America, the largest and happiest empire on earth, the land of liberty, the seat of science, the refuge of religion. But my point is gained ; your countenances indicate the patriotic feelings of your breasts, and with one voice you declare that AMERICA SHALL BE FREE.
Liberty, Sirs, is the fair offspring of heaven, the inestimable property of man. And that inconsiderate wretch who can calmly resign it to a tvrant's lust, must be lost to the genuine feelings of humanity, and deserves to be stained with the blackest infamy. For tyranny is naturally brutal, untamed by reason, unawed by religion. It proceeds from the foul embraces of pride and cråelty, and from them received its commission to spread devastation and havoc wherever human nature can be found. I see the infernal monster skulking at a distance ; but with horror let me say it, under the specious garb of liberty, cloaking its execrable designs with the soothing epithets of good policy. For in that fatal hour when North America affects independence, she will inevitably involve herself in the worst of slavery. This is not the wild conjecture of a distempered brain, not the brat of cowardice, but the result of mature deliberation. And notwithstanding the many objections advanced by my antagonist, to my former cogent arguments, I am still convinced that good policy is consistent with itself, and loudly proclaims the absolute necessity of an indissoluble union between Great Britain and the colonies. Let us then, for a moment, suppress the premature affectation of independence, whilst we examine a little farther the chimerical basis on which it is founded.
As to our "doom being fixed,” it is impossible for the British Parliment to make us "hopeless, desperate slaves,” by imposing duties on a number of their own articles, which we are under no absulute obligation to purchase ;—for, as I before observed, we can either manufacture these restricted articles in our own country, or dispense with the use of them. This argument, however, my opponent has not attempted to answer, for it is indeed impossible. Therefore what has been observed with regard to America's doom, and the determinations of the Parliament is nothing at all to the purpose. But supposing they were determined to enslave us, shall we precipitate ourselves into certain destruction in order to avoid an imaginary inconvenience? This is madness. It is worse—it is suicide!
But we are informed by my antagonist, that he has no desire of shedding European blood, or of hazarding the shedding of ours. And truly we believe him. However, this is giving up the question to all intents and purposes. And indeed he expressly asserts that after all his noise and parade, he and I are pleading for precisely the same thing.” Now in the name of wonder, why has he rallied all his artillery to confound me, if possible, for embracing his sentiments ? I should imagine that persons "actuated by such generous, disinterested principles," as he tells us he is, would be fond of others vindicating the truth as well as themselves. But anon we hear him talking in quite a different strain, breathing the spirit of ingratitude, declaring that we have received scarce any advantage from Great Britain ; —which is egregiously repugnant to known facts, and those, too, the most incontestable.
Let us view North America from her first settlement down to the present time, and we shall find Great Britain continually affording her assistance. Permitted and encouraged by her it was planted by her own sons. Guarded by her powerful arms France has endeavored in vain to encroach upon her property and freedom. Had we been totally neglected, as this gentle
man would insinuate, by the British court, what must have been our melancholy fate, when exposed, weak and defenceless in ourselves, to the inveterate rage of our malignant foes? Is it not conspicuous to all, that the dim traces of our existence would have proclaimed our wretchedness? Besides we have not only been defended against the attempts of our enemy to deprive us of our habitation, but enabled, by the commanding awe of British protection, to maintain a valuable and extensive commerce. Ilow inconsistent, therefore, is my antagonist to assert, that our ótrade would receive no possible detriment," while he fully acknowledges that our principal trading towns would be utterly laid to the ground, at sight of a British squadron. If our seaports were wrested from us, what method could be devised for the continuation of commerce? Oh! says this patron of liberty, “the ports of Holland, France, Spain and Portugal would be open to our reception." Yes, but where shall we find harbors of egress and ingress? Why truly we must betake ourselves to aerial navigation, build ships specifically lighter than the atmosphere, and soar above the reach of British cannon. A fine conceit indeed ; for which one might rationally imagine he was indebted to the occult science of witchcraft.
-Thunder, lightning, conflagration and dire alarms” start up in view and fill my opponent with terror. I protest by those British heroes, those invincible warriors, who have so often drawn their swords in defence of justice, that he is not affrighted without a cause. After all his incentives to rebellion, he has come at length to this conclusion, that all North America must compose a standing army, men, women, and children, without exception ; and upon his own principles, cut off from commerce “we must depend entirely on the cultivation of land for subsistence,” and that too, without hands to till it.
Having therefore, my indulgent auditors, examined the principal objections exhibited against my former arguments, and found nothing in them of real weight, what remains but that I entreat you to strain every nerve to perpetuate that union, which is not only the cement of interest, and a never failing source of commerce between Great Britain and her dependencies, but the very bulwark of the protestant religion. A union on which depends the fate of millions. Of millions did I say? The fate of Europe depends upon it. I beseech you, my dear countrymen, I conjure you, as you regard your own private interest, as you value the prosperity of your country, as you esteem the happiness of posterity as you prize the blessings of liberty, as you are concerned for the cause of religion and the cause of God, banish the fatal thought of affecting to become an independent state! Adopt and prosecute such measures, and in such manner, that it will be impossible to determine whether an American's character is most distinguishable for loyalty to his sovereign, duty to his mother country, love of freedom, or affection for his native soil.