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Cora & want that halleri

- this noon IIILLARD'S SIXTH READER.

157

and consent that we ourselves shall be ground to powder, and our country and its rights trodden down in the dust ?

I know we do not mean to submit. We never shall submit. Do we intend to violate that most solemn obli. 5 gation ever entered into by men, that plighting, before

God, of our sacred honor to Washington, when, putting him forth to incur the dangers of war, as well as the political hazards of the times, we promised to adhere to

him, in every extremity, with our fortunes and our lives? 10 I know there is not a man here, who would not rather see

a general conflagration sweep over the land, or an earth. quake sink it, than one jot or tittle of that plighted faith fall to the ground. For myself, having, twelve months

ago, in this place, moved you, that George Washington be 15 appointed commander of the forces raised, or to be raised,

for defence of American liberty, may my right hand forget her cunning, and my tongue cleave to the roof of my mouth, if I hesitate or waver in the support I give him.

The war, then, must go on. We must fight it through. 20 And if the war must go on, why put off longer the decla

ration of independence ? That measure will strengthen us. It will give us character abroad. The nations will then treat with us, which they never can do while we

acknowledge ourselves subjects in arms against our sov25 ereign. Nay, I maintain that England herself will sooner

treat for peace with us on the footing of independence, than consent, by repealing her acts, to acknowledge that her whole conduct toward us has been a course of injustice

and oppression. 30 Her pride will be less wounded by submitting to that

course of things which now predestinates our independence, than by yielding the points in controversy to her rebellious subjects. The former she would regard as the

result of fortune; the latter she would feel as her own 35 deep disgrace. Why then, why then, sir, do we not as

soon as possible change this from a civil to a national war?

And since we must fight it through, why not put ourselves in a state to enjoy all the benefits of victory, if we gain the victory?

If we fail, it can be no worse for us. But we shall not 5 fail. The cause will raise up armies; the cause will create

navies. The people, the people, if we are true to them, will carry us, and will carry themselves, gloriously, through this struggle. I care not how fickle other people have

been found. I know the people of these colonies, and I lo know that resistance to British aggression is deep and set

tled in their hearts, and cannot be eradicated. Every colony, indeed, has expressed its willingness to follow, if we but take the lead.

Sir, the declaration will inspire the people with in15 creased courage. Instead of a long and bloody war for the

restoration of privileges, for redress of grievances, for chartered immunities held under a British king, set before them the glorious object of entire independence, and

it will breathe into them anew the breath of life. Read 20 this declaration at the head of the army; every sword will

be drawn from its scabbard, and the solemn vow uttered, to maintain it, or to perish on the bed of honor. Publish it from the pulpit ; religion will approve it, and the love

of religious liberty will cling round it, resolved to stand 25 with it, or fall with it. Send it to the public halls; pro

claim it there ; let them hear it who heard the first roar of the enemy's cannon ; let them see it who saw their brothers and their sons fall on the field of Bunker Hill, and in the

streets of Lexington and Concord, and the very walls will 30 cry out in its support.

Sir, I know the uncertainty of human affairs, but I see, I see clearly through this day's business. You and I, indeed, may rue it. We may not live to the time when this

declaration shall be made good. We may die; die colo35 nists; die slaves ; die, it may be, ignominiously, and on

the scaffold. Be it so. Be it so. If it be the pleasure of

Heaven that my country shall require the poor offering of my life, the victim shall be ready, at the appointed hour of sacrifice, come when that hour may. But while I do live,

let me have a country, or at least the hope of a country, 5 and that a free country.

But whatever may be our fate, be assured, be assured that this declaration will stand. It may cost treasure, and it may cost blood ; but it will stand, and it will

richly compensate for both. Through the thick gloom of 10 the present, I see the brightness of the future as the sun

in heaven. "We shall make this a glorious, an immortal day. When we are in our graves, our children will honor it. They will celebrate it with thanksgiving, with festiv

ity, with bonfires, and illuminations. On its annual re15 turn, they will shed tears, copious, gushing tears, not of

subjection and slavery, not of agony and distress, but of exultation, of gratitude, and of joy.

Sir, before God, I believe the hour is come. My judgment approves this measure, and my whole heart is in it. 20 All that I have, and all that I am, and all that I hope in

this life, I am now ready here to stake upon it; and I leave off as I begun, that, live or die, survive or perish, I am for the declaration. It is my living sentiment, and by the blessing of God it shall be my dying sentiment, independence, now, and INDEPENDENCE FOREVER !

XLIX – DEATH AND BURIAL OF LITTLE NELL

DICKENS.

(CHARLES DICKENS, the most popular living novelist, perhaps the most popular living writer of England, was born in Portsmouth, England, February 7, 1812. His first work — a series of sketches under the name of “Boz” - was published in 1836, and though it showed brilliant descriptive powers, did not attract great attention. But the “Pickwick Papers,” which appeared the next year, fairly took the world by storm, and lifted the author up to a dizzy height of popularity, equalled by nothing since Scott and Byron. Since

then he has written many novels and tales, besides sketches of travel in Italy and in America, (he was here in 1842,) in which last his genius appears to less advantage than in his works of fiction.

His most striking characteristic is a peculiar and original vein of humor, shown in sketches taken from low life, and expressing itself by the most quaint, grotesque, and unexpected combinations of ideas. His Sam Wellera character he has never surpassed - is the type of his creations of this class; and it is a truly original conception, and very well sustained.

He is hardly less successful in his pathetic passages than in his humorous delineations. He excels in scenes which paint sickness and death, especially of the lovely and the young. His pages have been blistered by many a tear. The extract in the text is alone enough to prove his great power over the sympathies of the heart.

He has also uncommon skill in the minute representation of scenes of still life, which he paints with the sharp fidelity of a Dutch artist. He depicts a bar-room, a kitchen, a court of justice, or a prison, in such a way as to be next to seeing it. He sometimes uses this gift to a greater extent than the taste of his readers approves.

The tone of Dickens's writings is sound and healthy; though he takes us a little too much into scenes of low life, and obtrudes his evil and hateful characters upon us more than we could wish. He has a poetical imagination, and a heart full of genial charities. The generous and sympathetic tone of his writings is one of their most powerful attractions. He has a hatred of op pression and injustice in all their forins, and is ever ready to take sides with the victim and the sufferer. His great literary reputation has given him much influence in England; and this has been uniformly exercised in behalf of those social reforms in which our English brethren have been of late years so much engaged, and with such honor to themselves.

The following extract is from“ Master Humphrey's Clock," a novel published originally in 1841. Little Nell is one of the sweetest and purest of all his creations; and her life and death have touched many thousands of hearts. She is represented in the novel as the constant attendant of her grandfather, an affectionate old man, but weak in moral energy. She glides like a sunbeam of grace and innocence through many a troubled scene; but the burden of life is too heavy for her delicate spirit, and she thus gently lays it down.1

By little and little, the old man had drawn back towards the inner chamber, while these words were spoken. He pointed there, as he replied, with trembling lips, —

“ You plot among you to wean my heart from her. You 5 will never do that — never while I have life. I have no rel

ative or friend but her - I never had — I never will have.

She is all in all to me. It is too late to part us now.” : Waving them off with his hand, and calling softly to her 10 as he went, he stole into the room. They who were left

behind drew close together, and after a few whispered words, — not unbroken by emotion, or easily uttered,

followed him. They moved so gently that their footsteps made no noise ; but there were sobs from among the group and sounds of grief and mouraing.

ror she was dead. There, upon her little bed, she lay 5 at rest. The solemn stillness was no marvel now.

She was dead. No sleep so beautiful and calm, so free from trace of pain, so fair to look upon. She seemed a creature fresh from the hand of God, and waiting for the

breath of life; not one who had lived and suffered death. 10 Her couch was dressed with here and there some winter

berries and green leaves, gathered in a spot she had been used to favor. “When I die, put near me something that has loved the light, and had the sky above it always."

These were her words. 15 She was dead. Dear, gentle, patient, noble Nell was

dead. Her little bird — a poor slight thing the pressure of a finger would have crushed — was stirring nimbly in its cage: and the strong heart of its child-mistress was

mute and motionless forever. 20 Where were the traces of her early cares, her suffer

ings, and fatigues? All gone. Sorrow was dead indeed in her, but peace and perfect happiness were born; imaged in her tranquil beauty and profound repose.

And still her former self lay there, unaltered in this 25 change. Yes. The old fireside had smiled on that same

sweet face; it had passed like a dream through haunts of misery and care; at the door of the poor schoolmaster on the summer evening, before the furnace fire upon the cold,

wet night, at the still bedside of the dying boy, there had 30 been the same mild, lovely look. So shall we know the angels in their majesty, after death.

The old man held one languid arm in his, and kept the small hand tight folded to his breast, for warmth. It was

the hand she had stretched out to him with her last smile 35 - the hand that had led him on through all their wander

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