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age in which we live. Why then, why do we procrastinate, and to what purpose are these delays ? Let us finish the undertaking so well begun; and

since 'we cannot hope to secure that liberty and : peace, which are our delight, in a continuance of

the union with England, let us break the ties which bind us together, and perfect that which we enjoy already, I mean, our entire and absolute independence. Nor must I here, in the beginning of my discourse, omit to say, that if we have reached that fatal extremity, where nothing else can exist between America and England, but such war or such peace as may exist between nations foreign to each other, this can only be imputed to the insa

tiable cupidity, the tyrannical proceedings, and - reiterated outrages of the British ministry. On

our part, nothing was omitted that might preserve the ancient state of peace and harmony. Who has not heard our prayers, and who is ignorant of our supplications? England alone was deaf to our complaints, and wanted that compassion which was generously bestowed upon us by other nations. And as at first our forbearance, and then our resistance have been equally insufficient; since our prayers were unavailing, as well as the blood lately shed; we must go further, and secure our independence. Nor let any one believe that this alternative can be avoided. The time will undoubtedly come, when the fatal separation will take place, whether you will or no; for such will be the inevitable consequence of the nature of things; of our always increasing population; of the fertility of our land; of the extent of our territory; of the industry of our countrymen; of the wide intervening ocean; of the distance of the two countries. And if this be true, as it is most true, who does not see that the sooner it takes place the better; and that it would be not only imprudent, but the height of folly not to seize the present occasion, when British injustice has filled all hearts with indignation, inspired all minds with courage, produced concord, convinced the understandings, and made us fly to arms to defend our lives? And how long shall we be compelled to traverse three thousand miles of a tempestuous sea to ask of haughty and insolent men for counsel or commands respecting our domestic concerns? Does it not become a great, rich, and powerful nation, as we are, to look at home, and not abroad, for the government of our affairs? How can a ministry of strangers judge correctly of our concerns, respecting which it has no knowledge, and in which it has no interest? The past justice of the British ministers should make us beware of the future, if they should again fix their iron fangs upon us. Since it has pleased the cruelty of our enemies to place before us the alternative of slavery or independence, where is the generous minded man, and the loyer of his country, who can hesitate to choose? With these perfidious men no promise is secure, no pledges sacred. Let us suppose, which Heaven avert! that we are conquered, or are obliged to come to terms. What assurance have we of the British moderation in victory, or good faith in treaty? Is it their having enlisted, and let loose against us the ferocious Indians of the forest, and the merciless soldiers of Germany? Is it that faith, which has been so many times pledged, and so many times broken, during the present contest? Is it the British faith, which is considered more false than punic? Have we not rather reason to expect, that when we have delivered ourselves naked and unarmed into their hands, they will wreck their vengeance upon us, will bind us with heavier chains, in order to deprive us not only of the power, but even of the hope of again casting off the yoke? But let us suppose that there will happen in the present case, what has never happened in any oth

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er, that the British government will forget past
offences and comply with the conditions of peace;
can we believe that after so long a contest, after
so many wounds, so many deaths, and so much
bloodshed, our reconciliation could be durable,
and that every day in the midst of so much hatred
and rancour, would not afford some fresh subject
of animosity? The two nations are already sepa-
rated in interest and affections; the one is con-
scious of its former strength, the other has become
acquainted with its recently exerted force; the one
intends to rule in an arbitrary manner, the other
will not obey even if allowed its privileges. In
such a state of things, what peace, what harmony
can be expected? The Americans may become faith-
ful friends of the English, but subjects, never.
And let us suppose even that union could be restor-
ed without rancour, it could not without danger.
The wealth and power of Great Britain should in-
spire prudent men with fears for the future. Hav-
ing reached such a height of grandeur that she has
little or nothing to dread from foreign powers, in
the security of peace the hearts of her people will
become enervated, manners will be corrupted, her
youth will become vicious, and the nation degener-
ating in body and in mind, England will become
*the prey of foreign enemies or ambitious citizens.
Should we remain united with her, we should par-
take of her corruptions and misfortunes, so much
more to be dreaded as they would be irreparable;
separated from her, and remaining as we now are,
we should have to fear neither the security of peace
nor the dangers of war. And by a declaration of
our freedom, the perils would not be increased, but
the minds of men would be better prepared, and vic-
tory more sure. Let us then take a firm step, and
escape from this labyrinth: we have assumed the
sovereign power, and dare not own it: we disobey
a king, and acknowledge ourselves his subjects;

in to

wage war against a nation, upon whom we always profess to be willing to be dependent. In this uncertain state of things the inclinations of men are wavering; ardent resolves are impeded; new difficulties are continually arising; our generals neither respected, nor obeyed; our soldiers neither confident, nor zealous; weak at home, and despised abroad, foreign princes can neither esteem nor succour so timid and wavering a people. But independence once proclaimed, and our object avowed, inore manly and decided measures will be adopted; the greatness of the end in view will inspire the minds of the people with an energy proportionably great; the civil magistrates will be filled with ner. zeal, generals with new arı!or, the soldiers with new courage, and all our citizens with more constancy and alertness, intent on this sublime and generous undertaking. But in consequence of it, will England contend against us with more energy and rage thian she has already? Certainly not; she terms resistance to oppression, rebellion, as well as independence. And where are those formidable troops, that are to subdue the Americans? The English could not, and shall the Germans do it? Are they more brave, or better disciplined than the English? No! Besides, if the enemy's numbers have increased, ours have not diminished ; and we have acquired in the severe battles of the present year, the practice of arms, and the experience of war. Who doubts then that a declaration of independence will procure us allies? All nations are desirous of procuring, by commerce, the production of our exuberant soil; they will visit our ports hitherto closed by the monopoly of insatiable England. They are no less eager to contemplate the reduction of her hated power; they all loathe her barbarous dominion; their succours will evince to our brave countrymen the gratitude they bear them for having been the first to shake the foundation of this Colossus. Foreign princes wait only for the extinction of all bazard of reconciliation to throw off their present reserve. If this measure is useful, it is no less becoming our dignity. America has arrived at a degree of power which assigns her

a place ainong independent nations; we are not less · entitled to it than the English themselves. If they

have wcalth, so have we; if they are brave, so are we; if they are more numerous, our population, through the incredible fruitfulness of our chaste wives, will soon equal theirs; if they have men of renown as well in peace as in war, we likewise have such; political revolutions usually produce great, brave, and generous spirits. From what we have already achieved in these painful beginnings, it is easy to presume what we shall hereafter accomplish, for experience is the source of sage counsels, and liberty is the mother of great men. Have you not seen the enemy driven from Lexington, by thirty thousand citizens armed and assembled in one day? Already their most celebrated generals have yielded in Boston to the skill of ours; already their seamen, repulsed from our coasts, wander over the ocean, where they are the sport of the tempest, and the prey of famine. Let us hail the favourable omen, and fight, not for the sake of knowing on what terms we are to be the slaves of England, but to secure to ourselves a free existence, to found a just and independent government. Animated by liberty, the Greeks repulsed the innumerable army of Persians; sustained by the love of independence, the Swiss and the Dutch humbled the power of Austria by memorable defeats, and conquered a rank among nations. But the sun of America also shines upon the heads of the brave; the point of our weapons is no less formidable than theirs; here also the same union prevails. the same contempt of dangers and of death in asserting the cause of our country.

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