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only add my wishes for the salvation of all men who were created for that end.-(Deliv ered on the gallows at the Market Cross in Edinburgh, in June, 1685. From the speech in the "World's Best Orations" where the text is from English state trials. -Cobbett.)
Rush, Benjamin (American, 1745-1813.)
Extent of Territory - Let every man exert himself in promoting virtue and knowledge in our country, and we shall soon become good republicans. Look at the steps by which governments have been changed, or rendered stable in Europe. Read the history of Great Britain. Her boasted government has risen out of wars and rebellions that lasted above six hundred years. The United States are traveling peaceably into order and good government. They know no strife,- but what arises from the collision of opinions; and, in three years, they have advanced further in the road to stability and happiness than most of the nations in Europe have done in as many centuries.
There is but one path that can lead the United States to destruction; and that is their extent of territory. It was probably to effect this that Great Britain ceded to us so much waste land. But even this path may be avoided. -(From an address of 1787, previous to the meeting of the Constitutional Convention.)
Ruskin, John (England, 1819-1899.)
"With All Brave Men Their Work is First » - With all brave and rightly-trained men, their work is first, their fee second,―very important always, but still second. But in every nation, as I said, there is a vast class who are ill-educated, cowardly, and more or less stupid. And with these people, just as certainly the fee is first and the work second, as with brave people the work is first and the fee second. And this is no small distinction. It is the whole distinction in a man; distinction between life and death in him, between heaven and hell for him. You cannot serve two masters; you must serve one or the other. If your work is first with you, and your fee second, work is your master, and the Lord of work, who is God. But if your fee is first with you, and your work second, fee is your master, and the lord of fee, who is the devil; and not only the devil, but the lowest of devils,-the "least-erected fiend that fell." So there you have it in brief terms: Work first, you are God's servants; fee first,— you are the fiend's. And it makes a difference, now and ever, believe me, whether you serve him who has on his vesture and thigh written, "King of kings," and whose service is perfect freedom, or him on whose vesture and thigh the name is written, "Slave of slaves," and whose service is perfect slavery.
"Bag-Baron and Crag-Baron" - Has not the man who has worked for the money a right to use it as he best can? No; in this respect, money is now exactly what mountain promontories over public roads were in old times. The barons fought for them fairly:-the strongest
and cunningest got them; then fortified them, and made everyone who passed below pay toll. Well, capital now is exactly what crags were then. Men fight fairly-we will, at least, grant so much, though it is more than we ought,-for their money; but, once having got it, the fortified millionaire can make everybody who passes below pay toll to his million, and build another tower of his money castle. And I can tell you, the poor vagrants by the roadside suffer now quite as much from the bag-baron as ever they did from the crag-baron.
Rutledge, John (American, 1739-1800.)
"Truth Being Known, Will Prevail »— Truth, being known, will prevail over artifice and misrepresentation. In such case no man, who is worthy of life, liberty, or property, will, or can, refuse to join with you in defending them to the last extremity, disdaining every sordid view, and the mean paltry considerations of private interest and present emolument, when placed in competition with the liberties of millions; and seeing that there is no alternative but absolute, unconditional submission, and the most abject slavery, or a defense becoming men born to freedom, he will not hesitate about the choice. Although superior force may, by the permission of Heaven, lay waste our towns and ravage our country, it can never eradicate from the breasts of freemen those principles which are ingrafted in their very nature. Such men will do their duty, neither knowing, nor regarding consequences; but submitting them, with humble confidence, to the omniscient and omnipotent Arbiter and Director of the fate of empires, and trusting that his Almighty arm, which has been so signally stretched out for our defense, will deliver them in a righteous cause. -(1776.)
Saurin, Jacques (France, 1677-1730.)
Partiality and Prejudice as Causes of Blindness-What is hatred? It is a close attention to a man's imperfections. Is any man free? Is any man so imperfect as to have nothing good in him? Is there nothing to compensate his defects? This man is not handsome, but he is wise; his genius is not lively, but his heart is sincere; he cannot assist you with money, but he can give you much good advice, supported by an excellent example; he is not either prince, king, or emperor, but he is a man, a Christian, a believer, and in all these respects he deserves esteem. The passionate man turns away his eyes from all these advantageous sides and attends only to the rest. Is it astonishing that he hates a person in whom he sees nothing but imperfection? Thus a counselor opens and sets forth his cause with such artifice that law seems to be clearly on his side; he forgets one fact, suppresses one circumstance, omits to draw one inference, which, being brought forward to view, entirely change the nature of the subject, and his client loses his cause. In the same manner, a defender of a false religion always revolves in his mind the arguments that
seem to establish it, and never recollects those which subvert it. He will curtail a sentence, cut off what goes before, leave out what follows, and retain only such detached expressions as seem to countenance his error, but which, in connection with the rest, would strip it of all probability.
Savonarola, Girolamo (Italy, 1452-1498.)
Compassion in Heaven-God remits the sins of men, and justifies them by his mercy. There are as many compassions in heaven as there are justified men upon earth; for none are saved by their own works. No man can boast of himself; and if, in the presence of God, we could ask all these justified sinners: Have you been saved by your own strength? all would reply as with one voice, Not unto us, O Lord! not unto us; but to thy name be the glory! Therefore, O God, do I seek thy mercy, and I bring not unto thee my own righteousness; but when by thy grace thou justifiest me, then thy righteousness belongs unto me; for grace is the righteousness of God. So long, O man, so long as thou believest not, thou art, because of thy sin, destitute of grace. O God, save me by thy righteousness, that is to say, in thy Son, who alone among men was found without sin.
Schurz, Carl (German-American, 1829-.)
Sumner and the Battle Flags - At the opening of the session of Congress in 1872, Charles Sumner reintroduced two measures which, as he thought, should complete the record of his political life. One was his Civil Rights Bill, which had failed in the last Congress, and the other a resolution providing that the names of the battles won over fellow-citizens in the War of the Rebellion should be removed from the regimental colors of the army, and from the army register. It was, indeed, only a repetition of a resolution which he had introduced ten years before, in 1862, during the war, when first the names of victories were put on American battle flags. This resolution called forth a new storm against him. It was denounced as an insult to the heroic soldiers of the Union, and a degradation of their victories and well-earned laurels. It was condemned as an unpatriotic act.
Charles Sumner insult the soldiers who had spilled their blood in a war for human rights! Charles Sumner degrade victories, and depreciate laurels won for the cause of universal freedom! How strange an imputation!
Let the dead man have a hearing. This was his thought: No civilized nation, from the republics of antiquity down to our days, ever thought it wise or patriotic to preserve in conspicuous and durable form the mementoes of victories won over fellow-citizens in civil war. Why not? Because every citizen shall feel himself, with all others, as the child of a common country, and not as a defeated foe. All civilized governments of our days have instinctively followed the same dictate of wisdom and patriotism. The Irishman, when fighting for old England at Waterloo, was not to behold on the
red cross floating above him the name of the Boyne. The Scotch Highlander, when standing in the trenches of Sebastopol, was not by the colors of his regiment to be reminded of Culloden. No French soldier at Austerlitz or Solferino had to read upon the tricolor any reminiscence of the Vendée. No Hungarian at Sadowa was taunted by any Austrian banner with the surrender of Villagos. No German regiment, from Saxony or Hanover, charging under the iron hail of Gravelotte, was made to remember by words written on a Prussian standard that the Black Eagle had conquered them at Königgratz and Langensalza. Should the son of South Carolina, when at some future day defending the republic against some foreign foe, be reminded by an inscription on the colors floating over him that under this flag the gun was fired that killed his father at Gettysburg? Should this great and enlightened republic, proud of standing in the front of human progress, be less wise, less large-hearted, than the Ancients were two thousand years ago, and the kingly governments of Europe are to-day? Let the battle flags of the brave volunteers, which they brought home from the war with the glorious record of their victories, be preserved intact as a proud ornament of our statehouses and armories. But let the colors of the army under which the sons of all the States are to meet and mingle in common patriotism, speak of nothing but union,— not a union of conquerors and conquered, but a union which is the mother of all, equally tender to all, knowing of nothing but equality, peace, and love among her children. Do you want shining mementoes of your victories? They are written upon the dusky brow of every freeman who was once a slave; they are written on the gateposts of a restored Union; and the most shining of all will be written on the faces of a contented people, reunited in common national pride.
Scipio Africanus (Rome, 234-183 B. C.)
Carrying War Into Africa - In fact even though the war were not to be brought to a speedier conclusion by the method which I propose, still it would concern the dignity of the Roman people, and their reputation among foreign kings and nations, that we should appear to have spirit, not only to defend Italy, but to carry our arms into Africa; and that it should not be spread abroad, and believed, that no Roman general dared what Hannibal had dared; and that, in the former Punic War, when the contest was about Sicily, Africa had been often attacked by our fleets and armies; but that now, when the contest is about Italy, Africa should enjoy peace. Let Italy, so long harassed, enjoy at length some repose; let Africa, in its turn, feel fire and sword. Let the Roman camp press on the very gates of Carthage, rather than that we, a second time, should behold our walls the rampart of that of the enemy. Let Africa, in short, be the seat of the remainder of the war; thither be removed terror and flight, devastation of lands, revolt of allies, and all the other calami
ties with which, for fourteen years, we have been afflicted. It is sufficient that I have delivered my sentiments on those matters which affect the state, the dispute in which we are involved, and the provinces under consideration; my discourse would be tedious and unsuitable to this audience, if, as Quintus Fabius has depreciated my services in Spain, I should, on the other hand, endeavor in like manner to disparage his glory and extol my own. I shall do neither, Conscript Fathers; but young as I am, I will show that I excel that sage, if in nothing else, yet certainly in modesty and temperance of language. Such has been my life and conduct, that I can, in silence, rest perfectly satisfied with that character which your own judgments have formed of me.-(From an oration in Livy.)
Sergeant, John (American, 1779-1852.)
Militarism and Progress-I would ask: What did Cromwell, with all his military genius, do for England? He overthrew the monarchy, and he established dictatorial power in his own person. And what happened next? Another soldier overthrew the dictatorship, and restored the monarchy. The sword effected both. Cromwell made one revolution, and Monk another. And what did the people of England gain by it? Nothing. Absolutely nothing!
Seward, William H. (American, 1801-1872.)
"Consolidate Without Centralizing » --We came together to-day to celebrate the end of civil war. We will come together again under next October's sun, to rejoice in the restoration of peace, harmony, and union throughout the land. Until that time I refrain from what would be a pleasant task,- the forecasting of the material progress of the country, the normal increase of population by birth and immigration, and its diffusion over the now obliterated line of Mason and Dixon to the Gulf of Mexico, and over and across the Rocky Mountains along the border of Mexico to the Pacific Ocean. I say now only this: Go on, fellow-citizens ! increase and multiply as you have heretofore done. Extend channels of internal commerce, as the development of agricultural, forest, and mineral resources requires. Improve your harbors, consolidate the Union now while you can, without unconstitutionally centralizing the government, and henceforth you will enjoy, as a tribute of respect and confidence, that security at home and that consideration abroad which maritime powers of the world have of late, when their candor was specially needed, only reluctantly and partially conceded. May our Heavenly Father bless you and your families and friends, and have you all in his holy keeping until the rolling months shall bring around that happy meeting in 1866; and so for the present, farewell. (Auburn, New York, 1865.)
mistake the case altogether. It is an irrepressible conflict between opposing and enduring forces, and it means that the United States must and will become either entirely a slaveholding nation or entirely a free labor nation.- (Rochester, October 25th, 1858.)
Higher Law - We deem the principle of the law for the recapture of fugitive slaves unjust, unconstitutional, and immoral; and thus, while patriotism withholds its approbation, the conscience of our people condemns it. You will say that these convictions of ours are disloyal. Grant it, for the sake of argument. They are nevertheless honest; and the law is to be executed among us, not among you; not by us, but by the Federal authority. Has any government ever succeeded in changing the moral convictions of its subjects by force? But these convictions imply no disloyalty. We reverence the Constitution, although we perceive this defect, just as we acknowledge the splendor and the power of the sun, although its surface is tarnished with here and there an opaque spot. ... The Constitution regulates our stewardship; the Constitution devotes the domain to union, to justice, to defense, to welfare, and to liberty. But there is a higher law than the Constitution, which regulates our authority over the domain and devotes it to the same noble purposes. (From a speech in the U. S. Senate, March 15th, 1850.) Sheridan, Richard Brinsley (England, 17511816.)
Filial piety - Filial piety! It is the primal bond of society. It is that instinctive principle which, panting for its proper good, soothes, unbidden, each sense and sensibility of man. It now quivers on every lip. It now beams from every eye. It is that gratitude which, softening under the sense of recollected good,
is eager to own the vast, countless debt it never, alas! can pay, for so many long years of unceasing solicitudes, honorable selfdenials, life-preserving cares. It is that part of our practice where duty drops its awe, where reverence refines into love. It asks no aid of memory. It needs not the deduction of reason. Pre-existing, paramount over all, whether moral law or human rule, few arguments can increase, and none can diminish it. It is the sacrament of our nature; not only the duty but the indulgence of man. It is his first great privilege. It is among his last most endearing delights. It causes the bosom to glow with reverberated love. It requites the visitations of nature, and returns the blessings that have been received. It fires emotion into vital principle. It changes what was instinct into a master passion; sways all the sweetest energies of man; hangs over each vicissitude of all that must pass away; and aids the melancholy virtues in their last sad tasks of life to cheer the languors of decrepitude and age, and,
« Explore the thought, explain the aching eye!" -(Against Hastings. 1788.)
Sheridan, Richard Brinsley - Continued
Commercialism Militant-There was something in the frame and constitution of the Company which extended the sordid principles of their origin over all their successive operations, connecting with their civil policy, and even with their boldest achievements, the meanness of a peddler and the profligacy of pirates. Alike in the political and the military line could be observed auctioneering embassadors and trading generals; and thus we saw a revolution brought about by affidavits; an army employed in executing an arrest; a town besieged on a note of hand; a prince dethroned for the balance of an account. Thus it was that they exhibited a government which united the mock majesty of a bloody sceptre and the little traffic of a merchant's countinghouse, wielding a truncheon in one hand and picking a pocket with the other. -(On the East India Company.)
Justice-Mr. Hastings, in the magnificent paragraph which concludes this communication, says: "I hope it will not be a departure from official language to say, that the majesty of justice ought not to be approached without solicitation. She ought not to descend to inflame or provoke, but to withhold her judgment until she is called on to determine. » But, my lords, do you, the judges of this land, and the expounders of its rightful laws, do you approve of this mockery, and call it the character of justice, which takes the form of right to excite wrong? No, my lords, justice is not this halt and miserable object; it is not the ineffective bauble of an Indian pagod; it is not the portentous phantom of despair; it is not like any fabled monster, formed in the eclipse of reason, and found in some unhallowed grove of superstitious darkness and political dismay! No, my lords. In the happy reverse of all this, I turn from the disgusting caricature to the real image! Justice I have now before me, august and pure! the abstract idea of all that would be perfect in the spirits and the aspirings of men! where the mind rises, where the heart expands; where the countenance is ever placid and benign; where her favorite attitude is to stoop to the unfortunate; to hear their cry, and to help them; to rescue and relieve, to succor and save; majestic from its mercy; venerable from its utility; uplifted, without pride; firm, without obduracy; beneficent in each preference; lovely, though in her frown!
satisfy the laws and satisfy themselves, - with the most exalted bliss possible or perceivable for our nature, the self-approving consciousness of virtue, when the condemnation we look for will be one of the most ample mercies accomplished for mankind since the creation of the world! (From the oration against Hastings.)
On that justice I rely; deliberate and sure, abstracted from all party purpose and political speculation,- not on words, but on facts! You, my lords, who hear me, I conjure, by those rights it is your best privilege to preserve; by that fame it is your best pleasure to inherit; by all those feelings which refer to the first term in the series of existence, the original compact of our nature,- our controlling rank in the creation. This is the call on all, to administer to truth and equity, as they would
Sherman, John (American, 1823-1900.)
American Resources - We have resources in this country, when united and at peace, far greater than those of any nation of modern times. Our accumulated wealth is not to be compared with that of Great Britain and France, but a bountiful Providence has given us sources of wealth far greater than either of these powerful nations ever had. The cotton now coming through our lines already affects the price of exchange. Petroleum is already exported to the amount of thirty-one million gallons a year. Our mineral resources are scarcely touched. Our young sister, Nevada, is exciting our fancy with mountains of gold and silver; and dry statistics inform us of a product there of gold and silver equal to the product of the world fifty years ago. The South is to be opened to new industry, and millions of laborers from Europe and from Asia are meeting on our favored shores to help develop our resources. We have taken our place among the great nations; but as we have attained our military position only after hard, exacting toil of military discipline, after defeats and discouragements, we can maintain our financial position only by the hard processes of taxes and economy. I wish to see the evil predictions of our enemies, at home and abroad, all belied. They prophesied disunion; we will show them union. They prophesied bankruptcy; we will see them begging for our bonds, our cotton, petroleum, and gold. Then we can provide for our public debt. Then we can restore our commerce on the high seas, now driven by British pirates to take refuge under foreign flags. Then we may revive old doctrines about the American continent being no longer the home of European kings. Now our duty is dry, hard, exacting; but it will be the more cheering when in the future our self-sacrificing patriotism in this great crisis shall have enabled our country to enter upon its new career without a stain upon its financial honor.- (Congress, 1864.)
Sidney, Algernon (England, 1622-1683.)
His Prayer When Condemned as a Traitor - By these means I am brought to this place. The Lord forgive these practices, and avert the evils that threaten the nation from them. The Lord sanctify these my sufferings unto me, and though I fall as a sacrifice unto idols, suffer not idolatry to be established in the land. Bless thy people and save them. Defend thine own cause, and defend those that defend it. Stir up such as are faint, direct those that are willing, confirm those that waver, give wisdom and integrity unto all. Order all things so as may most redound unto thine own glory. Grant that I may die glorifying thee for all thy
mercies, and that at the last thou hast permitted me to be singled out as a witness of thy truth; and even by the confession of my opposers, for that old cause in which I was from my youth engaged, and for which thou hast often and wonderfully declared thyself.
Smith, Gerrit (American, 1797-1874.)
The Arrogance of Prosperity- The truth is, that our rapid progress in population, wealth, and power has made us forgetful of the equal rights of the nations of the earth. We are disposed to measure our rights by our prosperity; and to disparage the rights of others, in the degree that their prosperity falls short of our own. In our boundless self-conceit, our might, either already is, or is very soon to be, boundless. And as is to be expected in such a case, we are already acting on, if not in terms avowing, the maxim that might makes right.-(House of Representatives, 1854.)
"No Proud Nation Is for Liberty»-«The pride of thy heart," saith the prophet, "hath deceived thee, thou that dwellest in the clefts of the rock, whose habitation is high; that saith in his heart: Who shall bring me down to the ground? Though thou exalt thyself as the eagle, and though thou set thy nest among the stars, thence will I bring thee down, saith the Lord."
Never has there been so self-deceived a nation as our own. That we are a nation for liberty is among our wildest conceits. We are not a nation for liberty. I refer not now to the terrible blot of slavery upon our country. I refer to our pride. No proud man is for liberty. No proud nation is for liberty. Liberty, precious boon of heaven,-is meek and reasonable. She admits that she belongs to all,-to the high and the low; the rich and the poor; the black and the white, and that she belongs to them all equally. The liberty for which a proud man contends is a spurious liberty; and such is the liberty for which a proud nation contends. It is tyranny; for it invades and strikes down equal rights. But true liberty acknowledges and defends the equal rights of all men and all nations. (1854.)
Moral Nature and Character - That morality and man's moral nature remain the same throughout history is true; it is true, also, that morality and the moral nature remain the same throughout man's life, from his birth to his old age. But character does not remain the same; the character of a man is continually advancing through life, and, in like manner, the character of the race advances through history. The moral and spiritual experience of the man grows from age to age, as well as his knowledge, and produces a deeper and maturer character as it grows.
Smith, Sydney (England, 1771-1845.)
"The Atlantic Ocean Beat Mrs. Partington»-As for the possibility of the House of
Lords preventing ere long a reform of Parliament, I hold it to be the most absurd notion that ever entered into human imagination. I do not mean to be disrespectful, but the attempt of the lords to stop the progress of reform reminds me very forcibly of the great storm of Sidmouth, and of the conduct of the excellent Mrs. Partington on that occasion. In the winter of 1824, there set in a great flood upon that town,-the tide rose to an incredible height, the waves rushed in upon the houses, and everything was threatened with destruction. In the midst of this sublime and terrible storm, Dame Partington, who lived upon the beach, was seen at the door of her house with mop and pattens, trundling her mop, squeezing out the sea water, and vigorously pushing away the Atlantic Ocean. The Atlantic was roused. Mrs. Partington's spirit was up; but I need not tell you that the contest was unequal. The Atlantic Ocean beat Mrs. Partington. She was excellent at a slop or a puddle, but she should not have meddled with a tempest. Gentlemen, be at your ease,-be quiet and steady. You will beat Mrs. Partington. (Supporting the Reform Bill. Taunton, 1831.)
Post Quod, Propter Quod - They tell you, gentlemen, that you have grown rich and powerful with these rotten boroughs, and that it would be madness to part with them, or to alter a constitution which had produced such happy effects. There happens, gentlemen, to live near my parsonage a laboring man of very superior character and understanding to his fellow-laborers, and who has made such good use of that superiority that he has saved what is (for his station in life) a very considerable sum of money, and if his existence is extended to the common period he will die rich. It happens, however, that he is (and long has been) troubled with violent stomachic pains, for which he has hitherto obtained no relief, and which really are the bane and torment of his life. Now, if my excellent laborer were to send for a physician and to consult him respecting this malady, would it not be very singular language if our doctor were to say to him: "My good friend, you surely will not be so rash as to attempt to get rid of these pains in your stomach. Have you not grown rich with these pains in your stomach? have you not risen under them from poverty to prosperity? has not your situation since you were first attacked been improving every year? You surely will not be so foolish and so indiscreet as to part with the pains in your stomach?" Why, what would be the answer of the rustic to this nonsensical monition ? "Monster of rhubarb! [he would say] I am not rich in consequence of the pains in my stomach, but in spite of the pains in my stomach; and I should have been ten times richer, and fifty times happier, if I had never had any pains in my stomach at all." Gentlemen, these rotten boroughs are your pains in the stomach.
Taxes the Price of Glory - John Bull can inform Jonathan what are the inevitable