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compelled to rank among the vile assassins, do from their inmost souls detest the barbarous action. The winged death, shot from your arms, may chance to pierce some breast that bleeds already for your injured country.
The storm subsides--a solemn pause ensues—you spare-upon condition they depart. They go—they quit your city—they no more shall give offence. Thus closes the important drama.
And could it have been conceived that we again should have seen a British army in our land, sent to enforce obedience to acts of Parliament destructive of our liberty? But the royal ear, far distant from this western world, has been assaulted by the tongue of slander; and villains, traitorous alike to king and country, have prevailed upon a gracious prince to clothe bis countenance with wrath, and to erect the hostile banner against a people ever affectionate and loyal to him and his illustrious predecessors of the House of Hanover. Our streets are again filled with armed men; our harbor is crowded with ships of war; but these cannot intimidate us; our liberty must be preserved; it is far dearer than life—we hold it even dear as our allegiance; we must defend it against the attacks of friends as well as enemies; we cannot suffer even Britons to ravish it from us.
No longer could we reflect with generous pride on the heroic actions of our American forefathers; no longer boast our origin from that farfamed island, whose warlike sons have so often drawn their well-tried swords to save her from the ravages of tyranny; could we, but for a moment, entertain the thought of giving up our liberty. The man who meanly will submit to wear a shackle, contemns the noblest gift of heaven, and impiously affronts the God that made him free.
Our country is in danger, but not to be despaired of. Our enemies are numerous and powerful; but we have many friends, determining to be free, and heaven and earth will aid the resolution. On you depend the fortunes of America. You are to decide the important question, on which rest the happiness and liberty of millions yet unborn. Act worthy of yourselves. The faltering tongue of hoary age calls on you to sup. port your country. The lisping infant raises its suppliant hands, imploring defence against the monster slavery. Your fathers look from their celestial seats with smiling approbation on their sons, who boldly stand forth in the cause of virtue; but sternly frown upon the inhuman miscreant, who, to secure the loaves and fishes to himself, would breed a serpent to destroy his children.
Born near St. Andrews, Scotland, 1742. Died at Edepton, N. C., 1798.
LOYALTY TO LAW.
(From a Speech in Vindication of the Colonies, delivered in the Convention for the
Province of Pennsylvania, January, 1775.]
A RE we deficient in loyalty to his majesty? Let our conduct convict,
for it will fully convict, the insinuation that we are, of falsehood. Our loyalty has always appeared in the true form of loyalty; in obeying our sovereign according to law: let those who would require it in any other form, know that we call the persons who execute his commands, when contrary to law, disloyal and traitors. Are we enemies to the power of the Crown? No, sir, we are its best friends: this friendship prompts us to wish that the power of the Crown may be firmly established on the most solid basis; but we know that the constitution alone will perpetuate the former, and securely uphold the latter. Are our principles irreverent to majesty? They are quite the reverse: we ascribe to it perfection almost divine. We say that the king can do no wrong: we say that to do wrong is the property, not of power, but of weakness. We feel oppression, and will oppose it; but we know, for our constitution tells us, that oppression can never spring from the throne. We must, therefore, search elsewhere for its source: our infallible guide will direct us to it. Our constitution tells us that all oppression springs from the ministers of the throne. The attributes of perfection ascribed to the king, are, neither by the constitution nor in fact, communicable to his ministers. They may do wrong; they have often done wrong; they have been often punished for doing wrong.
Here we may discern the true cause of all the impudent clamor and unsupported accusations of the ministers and of their minions, that have been raised and made against the conduct of the Americans. Those ministers and minions are sensible that the opposition is directed, not against his majesty, but against them; because they have abused his majesty's confidence, brought discredit upon his gvernment, and derogated from his justice. They see the public vengeance collected in dark clouds around them: their consciences tell them that it should be hurled, like a thunder-bolt, at their guilty heads. Appalled with guilt and fear, they skulk behind the throne. Is it disrespectful to drag them into public view, and make a distinction between them and his majesty, under whose venerable name they daringly attempt to shelter their crimes? Nothing can more effectually contribute to establish his majesty
on the throne, and to secure to him the affections of his people, than this distinction. By it we are taught to consider all the blessings of government as flowing from the throne; and to consider every instance of oppression as proceeding, which in truth is oftenest the case, from the ministers.
If, now, it is true that all force employed for the purposes so often mentioned, is force unwarranted by any act of Parliament; unsupported by any principle of the common law; unauthorized by any commission from the Crown; that, instead of being employed for the support of the constitution and his majesty's government, it must be employed for the support of oppression and ministerial tyranny; if all this is true (and I flatter myself it appears to be true), can any one hesitate to say that to resist such force is lawful; and that both the letter and the spirit of the British constitution justify such resistance?
Resistance, both by the letter and the spirit of the British constitution, may be carried further, when necessity requires it, than I have carried it. Many examples in the English history might be adduced, and many authorities of the greatest weight might be brought to show that when the king, forgetting his character and his dignity, has stepped forth and openly avowed and taken a part in such iniquitous conduct as has been described; in such cases, indeed, the distinction above mentioned, wisely made by the constitution for the security of the Crown, could not be applied; because the Crown had unconstitutionally rendered the application of it impossible. What has been the consequence? The distinction between him and his ministers has been lost; but they have not been raised to his situation; he has sunk to theirs.
William Venry Drayton.
BORN at Drayton Hall, Ashley River, S. C., 1742. Died in Philadelphia, Penn., 1779.
AN ARRAIGNMENT OF GEORGE III.
[From a Charge to the Grand Jury of Charleston, S. C., 23 April, 1776.] THE house of Brunswick was yet scarcely settled in the British throne,
to which it had been called by a free people, when, in the year 1719, our ancestors in this country, finding that the government of the lords proprietors operated to their ruin, exercised the rights transmitted to them by their forefathers of England; and, casting off the proprietary
authority, called upon the house of Brunswick to rule over them,& house elevated to royal dominion, for no other purpose than to preserve to a people their unalienable rights. The king accepted the invitation, and thereby indisputably admitted the legality of that revolution. And in so doing, by his own act, he vested in those our forefathers, and us their posterity, a clear right to effect another revolution, if ever the government of the house of Brunswick should operate to the ruin of the people. So the excellent Roman emperor, Trajan, delivered a sword to Saburanus, his captain of the Prætorian guard, with this admired sentence: "Receive this sword, and use it to defend me if I govern well, but against me, if I behave ill."
With joyful acclamations our ancestors, by act of Assembly, passed on the 18th day of August, 1721, recognized the British monarch. The virtues of the second George are still revered among us--he was the father of his people: and it was with ecstasy we saw his grandson, George the Third, mount the throne possessed of the hearts of his subjects.
But alas! almost with the commencement of his reign, his subjects felt causes to complain of government. The reign advanced—the griev. ances became more numerous and intolerable—the complaints more general and loud—the whole empire resounded with the cries of injured subjects! At length, grievances being unredressed and ever increasing; all patience being borne down; all hope destroyed; all confidence in royal government blasted !-Behold! the empire is rent from pole to polel-perhaps to continue asunder forever.
The catalogue of our oppressions, continental and local, is enormous. Of such oppressions, I will mention only some of the most weighty.
Under color of law, the king and parliament of Great Britain have made the most arbitrary attempts to enslave America :
By claiming a right to bind the colonies “in all cases whatsoever;
By rendering the American charters of no validity, having annulled the most material parts of the charter of the Massachusetts Bay;
By divesting multitudes of the colonists of their property, without legal accusation or trial;
By depriving whole colonies of the bounty of Providence on their own proper coasts, in order to coerce them by famine;
By restricting the trade and commerce of America;
By sending to, and continuing in America, in time of peace, an armed force, without and against the consent of the people;
By granting impunity to a soldiery instigated to murder the Americans;
By declaring, that the people of Massachusetts Bay are liable for offences, or pretended offences, done in that colony, to be sent to, and
tried for the same in England, or in any colony where they cannot have the benefit of a jury of the vicinage;
By establishing in Quebec the Roman Catholic religion, and an arbi. trary government, instead of the Protestant religion and a free government.
And thus America saw it demonstrated, that no faith ought to be put in a royal proclamation; for I must observe to you that, in the year 1763, by such a proclamation, people were invited to settle in Canada, and were assured of a legislative representation, the benefit of the common law of England, and a free government. It is a misfortune to the public, that this is not the only instance of the inefficacy of a royal proclamation.
BORN in South Kingston, R. I., 1741. DIED at West Fairlee, Vt., 1828.
THE AMERICAN HERO.
[A Sapphic Ode, written in the time of the American Revolution. 1776.]
HY should vain mortals tremble at the sight of
Death and destruction in the field of battle,
Sounding with death-groans?
Death will invade us by the means appointed,
What shape he comes in.
Infinite Goodness teaches us submission,
God, our Creator,
Well may we praise him: all his ways are perfect:
Struck blind by lustre.
Good is Jehovah in bestowing sunshine,