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It is the classic jubilee
Their servile years have rolled away;
And glory there her pinion bends,
The Parthenon, the sacred shrine,
The stage, whereon the drama spake,
The schools, where rose in symmetry
Where marble threw its roughness by,
On these a dawn of glory springs,
Her sons in wrath their fetters break,
CLXXV. THE CLAIMS OF GREECE UPON AMERICAN SYMPATHY.
Extract from the Speech of Henry Clay, upon the Greek Revolution, delivered in the House of Representatives, January 20th, 1824.
Mr. Chairman,-THERE is reason to apprehend that a tremendous storm is ready to burst upon our happy countryone which may call into action all our vigor, courage, and resources. Is it wise or prudent, then, sir, in preparing to breast the storm, if it must come, to talk to this nation of its incompetency to repel European aggression, to lower its spirit, to weaken its moral energy, and to qualify it for easy conquest and base submission! If there be any reality in the dangers which are supposed to encompass us, should we not animate the people, and adjure them to believe, as I do, that our resources are ample; and that we can bring into the field a million of freemen ready to exhaust their last drop of blood, and to spend their last cent in the defence of the country, its liberty, and its institutions? Sir, are we,
if united, to be conquered by all Europe combined? No, sir, no united nation that resolves to be free, can be conquered. And has it come to this? Are we so humble, so low, so debased, that we dare not express our sympathy for suffering Greece; that we dare not articulate our detestation of the brutal excesses of which she has been the bleeding victim, lest we might offend one or more of their imperial and royal majesties? Are we so mean, so base, so despicable, that we may not attempt to express our horror, utter our indignation, at the most brutal and atrocious war that ever stained earth or shocked high Heaven; at the ferocious deeds of a savage and infuriated soldiery, stimulated and urged on by the clergy of a fanatical and inimical religion, and rioting in all the excesses of blood and butchery, at the mere details of which the heart sickens and recoils?
But, sir, it is not for Greece alone that I desire to see the measure adopted. It will give her but little support, and that purely of a moral kind. It is principally for America, for the credit and character of our common country, for our own unsullied name, that I hope to see it pass. What appearance, Mr. Chairman, on the page of history, would a record like this exhibit? In the month of January, in the year of our Lord and Saviour 1824, while all European Christendom beheld, with cold and unfeeling indifference, the unexampled wrongs and inexpressible misery of Christian Greece, a proposition was made in the Congress of the United States, almost the sole, the last, the greatest depository of human hope and freedom, the representatives of a gallant nation, containing a million of freemen ready to fly to arms, while the people of that nation were spontaneously expressing its deep toned feeling, and the whole continent, by one simultaneous emotion, was rising and solemnly and anxiously supplicating and invoking high Heaven to spare and succor Greece, and to invigorate her arms, in her glorious cause, while temples and senate-houses were alike resounding with one burst of generous and holy sympathy,-in the year of our Lord and Saviour, that Saviour of Greece and of us—a proposition was offered in the American Congress to send a messenger to Greece, to inquire into her state and condition, with a kind expression of our good wishes and our sympathies-and it was rejected!" Go home, if you can; go home, if you dare,
to your constituents, and tell them that you voted it down. Meet, if you can, the appalling countenances of those who sent you here, and tell them that you shrank from the declaration of your own sentiments :-that you cannot tell how, but that some unknown dread, some indescribable apprehension, some indefinable danger, drove you from your purpose: -that the spectres of scimitars, and crowns, and crescents, gleamed before you, and alarmed you :-and that you suppressed all the noble feelings prompted by religion, by liberty, by national independence, and by humanity. I cannot, sir, bring myself to believe that such will be the feelings of a majority of this committee. But, for myself, though every friend of the cause should desert it, and I be left to stand alone with the gentleman from Massachusetts, I will give to his resolution the poor sanction of my unqualified approbation.
CLXXVI.-MILITARY DESPOTISM THE DOWNFALL OF ALL RE
Extract from the Speech of Henry Clay, on the Seminole War, delivered in the House of Representatives, January, 1819.
Mr. Chairman, I TRUST that I shall be indulged with some few reflections upon the danger of permitting the conduct on which it has been my painful duty to animadvert, to pass without a solemn expression of the disapprobation of this House. Recall to your recollection, sir, the free nations which have gone before us. Where are they now?
"Gone glimmering through the dream of things that were,
And how have they lost their liberties? If we could transport ourselves back, sir, to the ages when Greece and Rome flourished in their greatest prosperity, and, mingling in the throng, should ask a Grecian if he did not fear that some daring military chieftain, covered with glory, some Philip, or Alexander, would, one day, overthrow the liberties of his country? the confident and indignant Grecian would ex
claim, No! no! we have nothing to fear from our heroes; our liberties will be eternal. If a Roman citizen had been asked, if he did not fear that the conqueror of Gaul might establish a throne upon the ruins of public liberty, he would have instantly repelled the unjust insinuation. Yet Greece has fallen; Cæsar has passed the Rubicon; and the patriotic arm even of Brutus could not preserve the liberties of his devoted country.
Sir, we are fighting a great moral battle for the benefit not only of our country, but of all mankind. The eyes of the whole world are in fixed attention upon us. One, and the largest portion of it, is gazing with jealousy and with envy ; the other portion with hope, with confidence, and with affection. Every where the black cloud of legitimacy is suspended over the world, save only one bright spot, which breaks out from the political hemisphere of the west, to enlighten, and animate, and gladden the human heart. Obscure that, by the downfall of liberty here, and all mankind are enshrouded in a pall of universal darkness. Beware, then, sir, how you give a fatal sanction, in this infant period of our republic, to military insubordination. Remember that Greece had her Alexander, Rome her Cæsar, England her Cromwell, France her Bonaparte, and, that if we would escape the rock on which they split, we must avoid their errors.
I hope, sir, that gentlemen will deliberately survey the awful isthmus on which we stand. They may bear down all opposition. They may even vote the General* the public thanks. They may carry him triumphantly through this house. But if they do, sir, in my humble judgment, it will be a triumph. of the principle of insubordination—a triumph of the military over the civil authority-a triumph over the powers of this House-a triumph over the constitution of the land.-And I pray, sir, most devoutly, that it may not prove, in its ultimate effects and consequences, a triumph over the liberties of the people.