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XXXV.-THE OBLIGATIONS OF AMERICA TO LAFAYETTE.
Extract from Mr. Hayne's Speech in the Senate of the United States,
upon the Bill making provision for Gen. Lafayette, Dec. 1824.
I HAD hoped, Mr. President, that this bill would have met with no opposition. I had hoped that the world would see, that against a proposition for showing our gratitude, as a nation, in something more than mere words to General Lafayette, not a voice would be raised. But, sir, I am disappointed : and it is therefore the irksome task of this committee to go into detail, and to show how much we are absolutely indebted to this great man.
It appears from some documents, sir, in possession of the committee, that the General, during six years of our revolutionary war, sacrificed one hundred and forty thousand dol. lars of his private fortune, in the service of this country. And how, sir, was this sacrifice made ? Under what circumstances? Was he one of our own citizens—one of those whose lives and fortunes were necessarily exposed during the vicis. situdes of a contest for the right of self-government ? No, sir, no such thing He tore himself away from his country and his home, to fight the battles of freedom in a foreign land, and to make common cause with a people to whom he owed no duty. Nor was he satisfied with the devotion of his personal services. It is a matter of record on the pages of your history, that he armed a regiment for you ; that he sent a vessel laden with arms and munitions of war for you ; that he put shoes on the feet of your bare-foot and suffering sol. diery. For all these services he asked no-recompense--he received none. He spent his fortune for you; he shed his blood for you; and without acquiring any thing but a claim upon your gratitude, he impoverished himself.
And now, sir, what would be thought of us in Europe, if, after all that has passed, we should fail to make a generous and liberal provision for our venerable guest ? We have, under circumstances calculated to give to the event great celebrity, invited him to our shores. We have received him with the utmost enthusiasm. The people have every where greeted him in the warmest terms of gratitude and affection. Now what will be thought of us in Europe, and, what is much more important, how will we deserve to be thought of, if we send back our venerable guest without any more substantial proof of our gratitude, than vague expressions of regard ? You have made him a spectacle for the world to gaze on. He cannot go back to France, and become the private citizen he was when he left it. You have, by the universal homage of your hearts and tongues, made his house a shrine, to which every pilgrim of liberty, from every quarter of the world, will repair. At least let him not, after this, want the means of giving welcome to the Americans, who, whenever they visit the shores of France, will repair in crowds to his hospitable mansion, to testify their veneration to the illustrious compa. triot of their fathers. I regret, sir, that I have been compelled to say thus much upon the subject. But, sir, I have full con. fidence that there cannot in this house, there cannot in this nation, be but one universal feeling of gratitude and affection for Lafayette.
XXXVI.-THE OBLIGATIONS OF AMERICA TO GREECE.
Extract from Daniel Webster's Speech, delivered in the House of Re.
presentatives, on the 19th of January, 1824, upon the following Resolution :
“ Resolved, That provision ought to be made, by law, for defraying the expense incident to the appointment of an Agent or Commissioner to Greece, whenever the President shall deem it expedient to mako such appointment.”
I am afraid, Mr. Chairman, that so far as my part in this discussion is concerned, those expectations which the public excitement existing on the subject, and certain associations, easily suggested by it, have conspired to raise, may be disappointed. An occasion which calls the attention to a spot, 80 distinguished, so connected with interesting recollections, as Greece, may naturally create something of warmth and enthusiasm. In a grave political discussion, however, cessary that that feeling should be chastised. I shall endea. vour properly to repress it, although it is impossible that it should be altogether extinguished. We must, indeed, fly be.
yond the civilized world; we must pass the dominion of law, and the boundaries of knowledge ; we must, more especially, withdraw ourselves from this place, and the scenes and objects which here surround us, if we would separate ourselves, alto. gether, from the influence of all those memorials of herself which ancient Greece has transmitted for the admiration and the benefit of mankind. This free form of government, this popular assembly, the common council, held for the common good, where have we contemplated its earliest models ? This practice of free debate and public discus. sion, the contest of mind with mind, and that popular elo. quence, which, if it were now here, on a subject like this, would move the stones of the capitol, whose was the language in which all these were first exhibited ? Even the edifice in which we assemble, these proportioned columns, this orna. mented architecture, all remind us that Greece has existed, and that we, like the rest of inankind, are greatly her debtors. But I have not introduced this motion in the vain hope of dis. charging 'any thing of this accumulated debt of centuries. What I have to say of Greece, therefore, concerns the modern, not the ancient; the living, and hot the dead. It regards her, not as she exists in history, triumphent over tiine, and ty. ranny, and ignorance ; but as she now is, contending, against fearlul odds, for being, and for the common privilege of hu. man nature.
I think it right, too, sir, not to be unseasonable in the ex. pression of our regard, and, as far as that goes, in a minisiration of our consolation, to a long oppressed and now struggling people. I am not of those who would, in the hour of utmost peril, withhold such encouragement as might be properly and lawfully given, and when tlie crisis should be past, overwhelm the rescued sufferer with kindness and ca.
The Greeks address the civilized world with a pa. thos not easy to be resisted. They invoke our favor by more moving considerations than can well belong to the con. dition of any other people. They stretch out their arms to the Christian communities of the earth, beseeching them, by a generous recollection of their ancestors, by the considera. tion of their own desolated and ruined cities and villages, by their wives and children, sold into an accursed slavery, by their own blood, which they seem willing to pour out like water, by the common faith, and in the name, which unites all Christians, that they would extend to them at least some token of compassionate regard.
XXXVII.STANZAS ADDRESSED TO THE GREEK 8.
On, on, to the just and glorious strife !
your swords your freedom shielding ;
But die, at least, unyielding.
On to the strife! for 'twere far more meet
To sink with the foes who bay you,
And smile on the swords that slay you.
Shall the pagan slaves be masters, then,
fathers gave you? Shall the Infidel lord it o'er Christian men,
When your own good swords may save you ?
No! let him feel that their arms are strong,
That their courage will fail them never,-
And bury past shame for ever.
Let him know there are hearts, however bowed
By the chains which he threw around them,
"wo!” to the slaves who bound them.
Let him learn how weak is a tyrant's might
Against liberty's sword contending;
Then on! then on to the glorious strife!
With your swords your country shielding,
But die, at least, unyielding.
Strike! for the sires who left you free!
Strike! for their sakes who bore you!
And the heaven your worship o’er you !
XXXVIII. -THE PHYSICAL AND MORAL EFFECTS OF INTEMPE
Extract from a Sermon on Intemperance, by Lyman Beecher, D.D.
Or all the ways to hell, my friends, which the feet of de. luded mortals tread, that of the intemperate is the most dreary and terrific. The demand for artificial stimulus to supply the deficiencies of healthful aliment, is like the rage of thirst, and the ravenous demand of famine. It is famine : for the artificial excitement has become as essential now to strength and cheerfulness, as simple nutrition once was.
But nature, taught by habit to require what once she did not need, de. mands gratification now with a decision inexorable as death, and to most men as irresistible. The denial is a living death. The stomach, the head, the heart and arteries, and veins, and every muscle, and every nerve, feel the exhaustion, and the restless, unutterable wretchedness which puts out the light of life, and curtains the heavens, and carpets the earth with sackcloth. All these varieties of sinking nature, call upon the wretched man with trumpet tongue, to dispel this dark. ness, and raise the ebbing tide of life, by the application of the cause which produced these woes, and after a momentary alleviation will produce them again with deeper terrors, and more urgent importunity; for the repetition, at each time, renders the darkness deeper, and the torments of self-denial more irresistible and intolerable.
At length, the excitability of nature flags, and stimulants of higher power, and in greater quantities, are required to rouse the impaired energies of life, until at length the whole process of dilatory murder, and worse than purgatorial suf. fering, having been passed over, the silver cord is loosed, the golden bowl is broken, the wheel at the cistern stops, and the dust returns to the earth as it was, and the spirit to God who