Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Patrick Henry – March 23, 1775

"The battle, sir, is not to the strong alone; it is to the vigilant, the active, the brave. Besides, sir, we have no election. If we were base enough to desire it, it is now too late to retire from the contest. There is no retreat but in submission and slavery! Our chains are forged! Their clanking may be heard on the plains of Boston! The war is inevitable — and let it come! I repeat it, sir, let it come!

It is in vain, sir, to extenuate the matter. Gentlemen may cry, “Peace! Peace!” — but there is no peace. The war is actually begun! The next gale that sweeps from the north will bring to our ears the clash of resounding arms! Our brethren are already in the field! Why stand we here idle? What is it that gentlemen wish? What would they have? Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty, or give me death!"

From Paul Johnson’s A History of the American People:

Then Henry got to his knees, in the posture of a manacled slave, intoning in a low but rising voice: ‘Is life so dear, our peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God!’ He then bent to the earth with his hands still crossed, for a few seconds, and suddenly sprang to his feet, shouting, ‘Give me liberty!’ and flung wide his arms, paused, lowered his arms, clenched his right hand as if holding a dagger at his breast, and said in sepulchral tones: ‘Or give me death!’ He then beat his breast, with his hand holding the imaginary dagger.
There was silence, broken by a man listening at the open window, who shouted: “Let me be buried on this spot!‘

May we find someone whom will be so impassioned as to put love of country above love of political party. The majority of the signers of the Declaration Of Independence died broke of money, but rich in accomplishment. Seems today it's love of money, not "what you can do for this country."

1 comment:

darksculptures said...

It's a shame they don't teach this part of history in our schools anymore. But that might insight freethinking. Alas, it is too late anyway, this generation has already been brainwashed into submission. To quote my 14 y/o son, "Mom, just turn off the news and ignore it. Go with the flow."