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ator with certain unalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. That, to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed ; that, whenever any form of government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it, and to institute a new government, laying its foundation on such principles, and organizing its powers in such form as to them shall seem most likely to effect their safety and happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shown that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same object, evinces a desire to reduce them under absolute despotism, it is their right, it is their duty to throw off such government and to provide new guards for their future security.
We, therefore, the representatives of the United States of America in General Congress assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the name and by the authority of the good people of these colonies, solemnly publish and declare that these United Colonies are, and of right ought to be, Free and Independent States ; that they are absolved from all allegiance to the British crown, and that all political connection between them
and the states of Great Britain is, and ought to be, totally dissolved, and that, as Free and Independent States, they have full power to levy war, conclude peace, contract alliances, establish commerce, and to do all other acts and things which independent States may of right do. And for the support of this declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our lives, our fortunes, and our sacred honor !
SCORN TO BE SLAVES !
THE voice of your fathers' blood cries to you from the ground, My sons, scorn to be slaves! In vain we met the frowns of tyrants — in vain we crossed the boisterous ocean, found a new world, and prepared it for the happy residence of liberty — in vain we toiled —in vain we fought — we bled in vain, if you, our offspring, want valor to repel the assaults of her invaders! Stain not the glory of your worthy ancestors, but, like them, resolve never to part with your birth-right; be wise in your deliberations, and determined in your exertions for the preservation of your liberties. Follow not the dictates of passion, but enlist yourselves under the sacred banner of reason ; use every method in your power to secure your rights; at least prevent the curses of posterity from being heaped upon your memories.
If you, with united zeal and fortitude oppose the tor
rent of oppression; if you feel the true fire of patriotism burning in your breasts; if you, from your souls, despise the most gaudy dress that slavery can wear; if you really prefer the lonely cottage, whilst blest with liberty, to gilded palaces, surrounded with the ensigns of slavery, you may have the fullest assurance that tyranny, with her whole accursed train, will hide their hideous heads in confusion, shame, and despair. If you perform your part, you must have the strongest confidence that the same Almighty Being who protected your pious and venerable forefathers, who enabled them to turn a barren wilderness into a fruitful field, who so often made bare His arm for their salvation, will still be mindful of you, their offspring.
May this Almighty Being graciously preside in all our councils. May He direct us to such measures as He Himself shall approve, and be pleased to bless. May we ever be a people favored of God. May our land be a land of liberty, the seat of virtue, the asylum of the oppressed, a name and a praise in the whole earth, until the last shock of time shall bury the empires of the world in one common undistinguished ruin !
A master, nor had virtue to be free.” I BELIEVE that no people ever yet groaned under the heavy yoke of slavery but when they deserved it. This may be called a severe censure upon by far the greatest part of the nations in the world who are involved in the miseries of servitude. But, however they may be thought by some to deserve commiseration, the censure is just. Zwinglius, one of the first reformers, in his friendly admonition to the republic of the Switzers, discourses much of his countrymen's throwing off the yoke. He says that they who lie under oppression deserve what they suffer and a great deal more, and he bids them perish with their oppressors. The truth is, all might be free, if they valued freedom and defended it as they ought. It is impossible that millions could be enslaved by a few, which is a notorious fact, if all possessed the independent spirit of Brutus, who, to his immortal honor, expelled the proud tyrant of Rome and his “ royal and rebellious race.” If, therefore, a people will not be free, if they have not virtue enough to maintain their liberty against a presumptuous invader, they deserve no pity, and are to be treated with contempt and ignominy. Had not Cæsar seen that Rome was ready to stoop, he would not have dared to make himself the master of that once brave people.
Francis M. FINCH.
To drum-beat and heart-beat
A soldier marches by ;
There is courage in his eye; Yet to drum-beat and heart-beat
In a moment he must die.
By starlight and moonlight
He seeks the Briton's camp, And he hears the rustling flag
And the armed sentry's tramp, And the starlight and moonlight
His silent wanderings lamp.
With slow tread and still tread
He scans the tented line,
By the gaunt and shadowy pine; And his slow tread and still tread
Gives no warning sign.
The dark wave, the plumed wave,
It meets his eager glance,
Like the glimmer of a lance; The dark wave, the plumed wave,
On an emerald expanse.
A sharp clang, a steel clang,
And terror in the sound, For the sentry, falcon-eyed,
In the camp a spy hath found; With a sharp clang, a steel clang,
The patriot is bound.