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I trust it is neither too presumptuous nor too late to ask, Can you put the dearest interests of society at risk, without guilt, and without remorse?
By rejecting the posts, we light the savage fires; we bind the victims. This day we undertake to render account to the widows and orphans whom our decision will make, to the wretches that will be roasted at the stake, to our country, and I do not deem it too serious to say, to conscience, and to God. We are answerable; and if duty be any thing more than a word of imposture; if conscience be not a bugbear, we are preparing to make ourselves as wretched as our country.
There is no mistake in this case; there can be none. Experience has already been the prophet of events, and the cries of our future victims have already reached us. The Western inhabitants are not a silent and uncomplaining sacrifice. The voice of humanity issues from the shade of the wilderness. It exclaims, that while one hand is held up to reject this treaty, the other grasps a tomahawk. It summons our imagination to the scenes that will open. It is no great effort of the imagination to conceive that events so near are already begun. I can fancy that I listen to the yells of savage vengeance and the shrieks of torture. Already they seem to sigh in the western wind; already they mingle with every echo from the mountains.
Let me cheer the mind, weary, no doubt, and ready to despond on this prospect, by presenting another, which is yet in our power to realize. Is it possible for a real American to look at the prosperity of this country without some desire for its continuance, without some respect for the measures, which, many will say, produced and all will confess, have preserved it? Will he not feel some dread that a change of system will reverse the scene? The well grounded fears of our citizens, in 1794, were removed by the treaty, but are not forgotten. Then they deemed war nearly inevitable; and would not this adjustment have been considered at that day as a happy escape from the calamity?
The great interest and the general desire of our people was to enjoy the advantages of neutrality. This instrument, however misrepresented, affords America that inestimable security. The causes of our disputes are either cut up by the roots, or referred to a new negotiation, after the end of the European war. This was gaining every thing, because it confirmed our neutrality, by which our citizens are gaining every thing. This alone would justify the engagements of the government. For, when the fiery vapors of the war lowered in the skirts of our horizon, all our wishes were concentered in this one, that we might escape the desolation of the storm. This treaty, like a rainbow on the edge of the cloud, marked to our eyes the space where it was raging, and afforded at the same time the sure prognostic of fair weather. If we reject it, the vivid colours will grow pale; it will be a baleful meteor portending tempest and war.
Let us not hesitate then to agree to the appropriation to carry it into faithful execution. Thus we shall save the faith of our nation, secure its peace, and diffuse the spirit of confidence and enterprise that will augment its prosperity. The progress of wealth and improvement is wonderful, and, some will think, too rapid. The field for exertion is fruitful and vast; and if peace and good government should be preserved, the acquisitions of our citizens are not so pleasing as the proofs of their industry, as the instruments of their future success. The rewards of exertion go to augment its power. Profit is every hour becoming capital. The vast crop of our neutrality is all seed wheat, and is sown again, to swell, almost beyond calculation, the future. harvest of prosperity. And in this progress, what seems to be fiction is found to fall short of experience.
EXTRACT FROM AN ORATION, PRONOUNCED WORCESTER, (Mass.) July 4, 1796; BY FRANCIS BLAKE, ESQ.
the causes which led to the event of this joyous anniversary; in tracing the effects which have resulted to America; in searching for the principles which impelled to the contest; in recalling the feelings which supported us in the struggle, it cannot fail to occur to us that the causes have not been con. fined to the limits of our continent; that the effects have extended far beyond the boundaries of our nation; that the glorious example with electrical rapidity, has flashed across the Atlantic; that, guided by the same principles, conducted by the same feelings, the people, who so gallantly fought and bled for the security of our lives and our liberties, are now fighting and bleeding in defence of their own.
On this day, therefore, religiously devoted to the consecration of our independence, it becomes us, as the votaries of freedom, as friends to the rights of man, and bound to support them whenever invaded, to turn our attention, with a grateful enthusiasm, to the scenes of their sufferings, their revolt, and their victories. While exulting in the full enjoyment of peace and tranquillity, shall not a tear for the unexampled distresses of this magnanimous nation, check, for a moment, the emotions of our joy?
They have sworn that they will live FREE or DIE! They have solemnly sworn, that the sword, which has been drawn in defence of their country, shall never be returned to its scabbard, till it has secured to them victory and freedom. Let us then breathe forth a fervent ejaculation to Heaven, that their vows may be remem. bered; that the cause of our former allies may not be
deserted, till they have scourged their invaders, till they have driven them back in confusion to the regions of terror, from whence they emerged.
While we remember with horror the continued effusion of blood, which darkened the morning of their revolution, let us not forget that their vengeance was roused by the champions of despotism, whose lives have since justly atoned for the crimes they committed. While we lament the sanguinary scenes, which clouded its progress, let it not be forgotten that they arose from the bloody manifesto of a band of tyrants, com bined for the hellish purpose of again riveting the chains they had broken.
The league of Pilnitz, like the league of Satan and his angels, revolting against the Majesty of heaven, was professedly fabricated, to arrest forever the progress of freedom; to usurp the dominion of France, and divide the spoil among this band of royal plunderers. Have we not heard that the noble, the generous, the grateful monarch of the forest, that fawned at the feet of Androcles, when remembering his former friendship, will ever turn with fury on his pursuers; and when robbed of his whelps, rests not till his fangs are crimsoned in the blood of the aggressor?
Shall then the fervor of our friendship be abated, by remembering the transitory frenzy of a people distracted with the enthusiasm of freedom and irritated to madness by the dreadful prospect of losing what they had enjoyed but for a moment? Let it never be said of us, as of Rome and of Athens, that ingratitude is the common vice of republics. Was it to the crowned monarch, named Louis the Sixteenth, or to the people of France, that we were indebted, for the blood and treasure that were so profusely lavished in our cause? Shall then their services be forgotten, in the remem brance of their momentary excesses? or shall we refuse our most cordial concurrence in the feelings which impel them to the present contest with the ruf. fian potentates of Europe?
Can we doubt, for a moment, which is the cause we are bound to support with our sanction, when we behold the winds and the seas, those dreadful ministers of Heaven's vengeance, commissioned to advance their progress, and deluge their enemies? When we behold Ariel, with his attendant spirits, gently hovering over their navies, and wafting them to victory on the bosom of the ocean; while Neptune and Boreas 'have combined against the league of their oppressors, to overwhelm in the deep these deluded followers of Pharaoh! Have we not seen them fed, as with manna from heaven; the waters divided, and the walls of Jericho falling before them, while the fair prospect of liberty has led them in triumph through the wilderness, as a cloud by day, and a pillar of fire by night!
AMERICANS! Let us join in a fervent supplication, that the sacred charters of humanity, which we have once sealed with our blood, may be forever preserved from the deadly grasp of tyrants.
FRENCHMEN! Be firm; be undaunted in the struggle you have thus miraculously supported. Evince to the world, now gazing with admiration at your exploits in the field of battle, that you have virtue equal to your courage; that you are friends to the friends of humanity; that your arms are nerved only against the enemies of man. Let not the sacred name of LIBERTY be polluted by the frenzy of licentious passions; but may your present glorious constitution, while it protects your freedom from the unhallowed ravages of tyranny, remain an unshaken bulwark against the destructive fury of faction.
TYRANTS! Turn from the impious work of blood in which your hands are imbrued, and tremble at the desperation of your revolting subjects! Repent in sackcloth and ashes. For behold, ye, who have been exalted up to heaven, shall, ere long, be cast down to hell! The final period of your crimes is rapidly approaching. The grand POLITICAL MILLENNIUM is at hand;