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No matter what power directed the state,
He happened to enter this world the same day
Time-serving I hate, yet I see no good reason
A leaf from their book should be thought out of season.
Since no one can tell what to-morrow may bring,
To-night let's enjoy this good wine and a song,
TO HIS WIFE.
[From the Same.]
ELIEVE me, Love, this vagrant life
Or place that I can call a home,
In piercing, wet, and wintry skies,
I see, where'er I turn my eyes,
Oh, could I through the future see
And fill the rank and style of man:
But when I see a sordid shed
Of birchen bark, procured with care,
Which British mercy placed there—
Oh, how your heart would bleed to view
Condemned in such a hut to moan.
'Tis true, that in this climate rude,
Live independent and be free.
So the lone hermit yields to slow decay:
If so far humbled that no pride remains,
And hope has left you like a painted dream ;
Richard Henry Lee.
BORN in Stratford, Va., 1732. DIED at Chantilly, Va., 1794.
THE COLONIES TO THE MOTHER COUNTRY.
[From the Address adopted by Congress, July 8, 1775.]
AFTER the most valuable right of legislation was infringed; when
the powers assumed by your Parliament, in which we are not represented, and from our local and other circumstances cannot properly be represented, rendered our property precarious; after being denied that mode of trial to which we have long been indebted for the safety of our persons and the preservation of our liberties; after being in many instances divested of those laws which were transmitted to us by our common ancestors, and subjected to an arbitrary code, compiled under the auspices of Roman tyrants; after those charters, which encouraged
our predecessors to brave death and danger in every shape, on unknown seas, in deserts unexplored, amidst barbarous and inhospitable nations, were annulled; when, without the form of trial, without a public accusation, whole colonies were condemned, their trade destroyed, their inhabitants impoverished; when soldiers were encouraged to imbrue their hands in the blood of Americans, by offers of impunity; when new modes of trial were instituted for the ruin of the accused, where the charge carried with it the horrors of conviction; when a despotic government was established in a neighboring province, and its limits extended to every part of our frontiers; we little imagined that anything could be added to this black catalogue of unprovoked injuries: but we have unhappily been deceived, and the late measures of the British ministry fully convince us, that their object is the reduction of these colonies to slavery and ruin.
If still you retain those sentiments of compassion by which Britons have ever been distinguished; if the humanity which tempered the valor of our common ancestors has not degenerated into cruelty, you will lament the miseries of their descendants.
To what are we to attribute this treatment? If to any secret principle of the constitution, let it be mentioned; let us learn that the government we have long revered is not without its defects, and that while it gives freedom to a part, it necessarily enslaves the remainder of the empire. If such a principle exists, why for ages has it ceased to operate? Why at this time is it called into action? Can no reason be assigned for this conduct? or must it be resolved into the wanton exercise of arbitrary power? And shall the descendants of Britons tamely submit to this? No, sirs! We never will; while we revere the memory of our gallant and virtuous ancestors, we never can surrender those glorious privileges for which they fought, bled, and conquered. Admit that your fleets could destroy our towns, and ravage our sea-coasts; these are inconsiderable objects, things of no moment to men whose bosoms glow with the ardor of liberty. We can retire beyond the reach of your navy, and, without any sensible diminution of the necessaries of life, enjoy a luxury, which from that period you will want-the luxury of being free.
We know the force of your arms, and was it called forth in the cause of justice and your country, we might dread the exertion; but will Britons fight under the banners of tyranny? Will they counteract the labors, and disgrace the victories of their ancestors? Will they forge chains for their posterity? If they descend to this unworthy task, will their swords retain their edge, their arms their accustomed vigor? Britons can never become the instruments of oppression, till they lose the spirit of freedom, by which alone they are invincible.
Our enemies charge us with sedition. In what does it consist? In