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The Columbian Orator

The Columbian Orator

CALEB BINGHAM
edited and with an introduction by David W. Blight
Copyright Date: 1998
Published by: NYU Press
Pages: 296
https://www.jstor.org/stable/j.ctt9qgb5p
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  • Book Info
    The Columbian Orator
    Book Description:

    First published in 1797, The Columbian Orator helped shape the American mind for the next half century, going through some 23 editions and totaling 200,000 copies in sales. The book was read by virtually every American schoolboy in the first half of the 19th century. As a slave youth, Frederick Douglass owned just one book, and read it frequently, referring to it as a "gem" and his "rich treasure." The Columbian Orator presents 84 selections, most of which are notable examples of oratory on such subjects as nationalism, religious faith, individual liberty, freedom, and slavery, including pieces by Washington, Franklin, Milton, Socrates, and Cicero, as well as heroic poetry and dramatic dialogues. Augmenting these is an essay on effective public speaking which influenced Abraham Lincoln as a young politician. As America experiences a resurgence of interest in the art of debating and oratory, The Columbian Orator--whether as historical artifact or contemporary guidebook--is one of those rare books to be valued for what it meant in its own time, and for how its ideas have endured. Above all, this book is a remarkable compilation of Enlightenment era thought and language that has stood the test of time.

    eISBN: 978-0-8147-3921-1
    Subjects: History

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-x)
  3. EDITOR’S ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
    (pp. xi-xii)
    David W. Blight
  4. EDITOR’S INTRODUCTION THE PECULIAR DIALOGUE BETWEEN CALEB BINGHAM AND FREDERICK DOUGLASS
    (pp. xiii-xxx)

    On a day in 1830 in an alley near Durgin and Bailey’s shipyard, in the Fells Point district of Baltimore, a 12-year-old slave boy named Frederick Bailey listened as a group of white boys recited passages from a reader assigned to them in school. The black boy was very much part of the group; he often pulled out his lone book, Noah Webster’s speller, and looked up or asked his playmates about words they used. The young slave had brought along bread to trade for the conversation and knowledge he obtained from these encounters; poor white boys living near the...

  5. IDENTIFICATION OF AUTHORS
    (pp. xxxi-2)
  6. PREFACE
    (pp. 3-4)
  7. INTRODUCTION: General Instructions for Speaking—Extracted from Various Authors
    (pp. 5-26)

    The best judges among the ancients have represented Pronunciation, which they likewise called Action, as the principal part of an orator’s province; from whence he is chiefly to expect success in the art of persuasion. When Cicero, in the person of Crassus, has largely and elegantly discoursed upon all the other parts of oratory, coming at last to speak of this, he says: “All the former have their effect as they are pronounced. It is the action alone which governs in speaking; without which the best orator is of no value: and is often defeated by one, in other respects,...

  8. EXTRACT FROM AN ORATION ON ELOQUENCE, PRONOUNCED AT HARVARD UNIVERSITY, ON COMMENCEMENT DAY, 1794 (Perkins)
    (pp. 27-30)

    THE EXCELLENCE, UTILITY, AND IMPORTANCE OF ELOQUENCE; its origin, progress, and present state; and its superior claim to the particular attention of Columbia’s free-born sons, will exercise for a few moments the patience of this learned, polite, and respected assembly.

    Speech and reason are the characteristics, the glory, and happiness of man. These are the pillars which support the fabric of eloquence; the foundation, upon which is erected the most magnificent edifice, that genius could design, or art construct. To cultivate eloquence, then, is to improve the noblest faculties of our nature, the richest talents with which we are entrusted....

  9. EXTRACT FROM PRESIDENT WASHINGTON’S FIRST SPEECH IN CONGRESS, 1789 Washington
    (pp. 30-31)

    FELLOW-CITIZENS OF THE SENATE, AND OF THE HOUSE OF Representatives, among the vicissitudes incident to life, no event could have filled me with greater anxieties, than that of which the notification was transmitted by your order, and received on the 14th day of the present month. On the one hand, I was summoned by my country, whose voice I can never hear but with veneration and love, from a retreat which I had chosen with the fondest predilection, and, in my flattering hopes, with an immutable decision, as the asylum of my declining years. A retreat which was rendered every...

  10. SPEECH OF PAULUS EMILIUS TO THE ROMAN PEOPLE AS HE WAS TAKING THE COMMAND OF THEIR ARMY P. Emilius
    (pp. 32-33)

    YOU SEEM TO ME, ROMANS, TO HAVE EXPRESSED MORE joy when Macedonia fell to my lot, than when I was elected consul, or entered upon that office. And to me your joy seemed to be occasioned by the hopes you conceived, that I should put an end, worthy of the grandeur and reputation of the Roman people, to a war, which in your opinion, has already been of too long continuance. I have reason to believe, that the same gods who have occasioned Macedonia to fall to my lot, will also assist me with their protection in conducting and terminating...

  11. EXHORTATION ON TEMPERANCE IN PLEASURE (Blair)
    (pp. 33-35)

    LET ME PARTICULARLY EXHORT YOUTH TO TEMPERANCE in pleasure. Let me admonish them, to beware of that rock on which thousands, from race to race, continue to split. The love of pleasure, natural to man in every period of his life, glows at this age with excessive ardor. Novelty adds fresh charms, as yet, to every gratification. The world appears to spread a continual feast; and health, vigor, and high spirits, invite them to partake of it without restraint. In vain we warn them of latent dangers. Religion is accused of insufferable severity, in prohibiting enjoyment; and the old, when...

  12. JUDAH’S PLEA FOR HIS BROTHER BENJAMIN, BEFORE JOSEPH IN EGYPT (Philo)
    (pp. 35-37)

    WHEN WE APPEARED BEFORE YOU, SIR, THE FIRST TIME, we answered without reserve, and according to the strictest truth, all the questions which you were pleased to put to us concerning our family. We acquainted you, that we had a father, heavily laden with years, but still more heavily with misfortunes; a father, whose whole life had been one continued struggle with adversity. We added that we had a brother peculiarly dear to him, as the children born towards the end of their life generally are to old men, and who is the only one remaining of his mother; his...

  13. EXTRACT FROM THE PLEA OF THOMAS MUIR, ESQ. AT HIS CELEBRATED TRIAL IN SCOTLAND Muir
    (pp. 37-38)

    GENTLEMEN OF THE JURY, THIS IS NOW PERHAPS THE last time that I shall address my country. I have explored the tenor of my past life. Nothing shall tear me from the record of my departed days. The enemies of reform have scrutinized, in a manner hitherto unexampled in Scotland, every action I may have performed, every word I may have uttered. Of crimes, most foul and horrible, have I been accused: of attempting to rear the standard of civil war; to plunge this land in blood, and to cover it with desolation. At every step, as the evidence of...

  14. ON THE STARRY HEAVENS (Hervey)
    (pp. 38-39)

    TO US WHO DWELL ON ITS SURFACE, THE EARTH IS BY FAR the most extensive orb that our eyes can any where behold. It is also clothed with verdure, distinguished by trees; and adorned with a variety of beautiful decorations. Whereas, to a spectator placed on one of the planets, it wears a uniform aspect; looks all luminous, and no larger than a spot. To beings who dwell at still greater distances, it entirely disappears.

    That which we call, alternately, the morning and evening star; as in one part of her orbit, she rides foremost in the procession of night;...

  15. PAPER, A POEM (Franklin)
    (pp. 40-41)
  16. EXTRACT FROM CATO’S SPEECH BEFORE THE ROMAN SENATE, AFTER THE CONSPIRACY OF CATILINE Cato
    (pp. 41-42)

    I HAVE OFTEN SPOKEN BEFORE YOU, FATHERS, WITH some extent, to complain of luxury, and the greediness for money, the twin vices of our corrupt citizens; and have thereby drawn upon myself abundance of enemies. As I never spared any fault in myself, I was not easily inclined to favour the criminal excesses of others.

    But though you paid little regard to my remonstrances, the Commonwealth has still subsisted by its own strength; has borne itself up, notwithstanding your neglect. It is now the same. Our manners, good or bad, are not the question, nor to preserve the greatness and...

  17. DIALOGUE BETWEEN THE GHOSTS OF AN ENGLISH DUELLIST, A NORTH-AMERICAN SAVAGE, AND MERCURY (Littleton)
    (pp. 43-46)

    Duellist. MERCURY, Charon’s boat is on the other side of the water. Allow me, before it returns, to have some conversation with the North-American Savage, whom you brought hither with me. I never before saw one of that species. He looks very grim. Pray, Sir, what is your name? I understand you speak English.

    Savage. Yes, I learned it in my childhood, having been bred for some years among the English of New-York. But, before I was a man, I returned to my valiant countrymen, the Mohawks; and having been villanously cheated by one of yours in the sale of...

  18. SPEECH OF AN INDIAN CHIEF, OF THE STOCKBRIDGE TRIBE, TO THE MASSACHUSETTS CONGRESS, IN THE YEAR 1775
    (pp. 46-47)

    BROTHERS! YOU REMEMBER, WHEN YOU FIRST CAME over the great waters, I was great and you were little; very small. I then took you in for a friend, and kept you under my arms, so that no one might injure you. Since that time we have ever been true friends: there has never been any quarrel between us. But now our conditions are changed. You are become great and tall. You reach to the clouds. You are seen all round the world. I am become small; very little. I am not so high as your knee. Now you take care...

  19. ON THE CREATION OF THE WORLD (Blair)
    (pp. 47-49)

    TO THE ANCIENT PHILOSOPHERS, CREATION FROM NOTHing appeared an unintelligible idea. They maintained the eternal existence of matter, which they supposed to be modelled by the sovereign mind of the universe, into the form which the earth now exhibits. But there is nothing in this opinion which gives it any title to be opposed to the authority of revelation. The doctrine of two self existent, independent principles, God and matter, the one active, the other passive, is a hypothesis which presents difficulties to human reason, at least, as great as the creation of matter from nothing. Adhering then to the...

  20. LINES SPOKEN AT A SCHOOL-EXHIBITION, BY A LITTLE BOY SEVEN YEARS OLD (Everett)
    (pp. 49-50)
  21. EXTRACT FROM MR. PITT’S SPEECH IN THE BRITISH PARLIAMENT, IN THE YEAR 1766, ON THE SUBJECT OF THE STAMP-ACT Pitt
    (pp. 50-52)

    IT IS A LONG TIME, MR. SPEAKER, SINCE I HAVE ATTENDED in parliament. When the resolution was taken in the House to tax America, I was ill in bed. If I could have endured to have been carried in my bed, so great was the agitation of my mind for the consequences, that I would have solicited some kind hand to have laid me down on this floor, to have borne my testimony against it. It is now an act that has passed. I would speak with decency of every act of this House; but I must beg the indulgence...

  22. SCENE FROM THE FARCE OF LETHE (Garrick)
    (pp. 52-55)
  23. EXTRACT FROM THE EULOGY ON DR. FRANKLIN, PRONOUNCED BY THE ABBE FAUCHET, IN THE NAME OF THE COMMONS OF PARIS, 1790 Fauchet
    (pp. 55-58)

    A SECOND CREATION HAS TAKEN PLACE; THE ELEMENTS of society begin to combine together; the moral universe is now seen issuing from chaos; the genius of liberty is awakened, and springs up; she sheds her divine light, and creative powers upon the two hemispheres. A great nation, astonished at seeing herself free, stretches her arms from one extremity of the earth to the other, and embraces the first nation that became so: the foundations of a new city are created in the two worlds; brother nations hasten to inhabit it. It is the city of mankind!

    One of the first...

  24. EPILOGUE TO ADDISON’S CATO
    (pp. 59-60)
  25. SELF-CONCEIT AN ADDRESS, SPOKEN BY A VERY SMALL BOY
    (pp. 60-61)

    WHEN BOYS ARE EXHIBITING IN PUBLIC, THE POLITENESS or curiosity of the hearers, frequently induces them to inquire the names of the performers. To save the trouble of answers, so far as relates to myself, my name is Charles Chatterbox. I was born in this town; and have grown to my present enormous stature, without any artificial help. It is true, I eat, drink, and sleep, and take s much care of my noble self, as any young man about; but I am a monstrous great student. There is no telling the half of what I have read.

    Why, what...

  26. HOWARD AND LESTER—A DIALOGUE ON LEARNING AND USEFULNESS
    (pp. 62-63)

    Howard. LIFE is much like a fiddle: every man plays such a tune as suits him.

    Lester. The more like a fiddle, the better I like it. Any thing that makes a merry noise suits me; and the man that does not set his hours to music, has a dull time on’t.

    How. But, Lester are there no serious duties in life? Ought we not to improve our minds, and prepare for usefulness?

    Les. Why, in the present day, a man’s preparing himself for usefulness, is like carrying coals to Newcastle. Our country is full of useful men; ten, at...

  27. CHRIST’S CRUCIFIXION (Cumberland)
    (pp. 63-66)
  28. THE WONDERS OF NATURE (Hervey)
    (pp. 66-68)

    HOW MIGHTY! HOW MAJESTIC AND HOW MYSTERIOUS ARE nature’s works! When the air is calm, where sleep the stormy winds! In what chambers are they reposed, or in what dungeons confined? But when He, “who holds them in his fist,” is pleased to awaken their rage, and throw open their prison doors, then with irresistible impetuosity, they rush forth, scattering dread, and menacing destruction.

    The atmosphere is hurled into the most tumultous confusion. The aerial torrent bursts its way over mountains, seas, and continents. All things feel the dreadful shock. All things tremble before the furious blast. The forest, vexed...

  29. DIALOGUE ON PHYSIOGNOMY
    (pp. 68-70)

    Frank. IT appears strange to me that people can be so imposed upon. There is no difficulty in judging folks by their looks. I profess to know as much of a man, at the first view, as by half a dozen years’ acquaintance.

    Henry. Pray how is that done? I should wish to learn such an art.

    Fr. Did you never read Lavater on Physiognomy?

    Hen. No. What do you mean by such a hard word?

    Fr. Physiognomy means a knowledge of men’s hearts, thoughts, and characters, by their looks. For instance, if you see a man, with a forehead...

  30. ORATION DELIVERED AT PARIS, BY CITIZEN CARNOT, PRESIDENT OF THE EXECUTIVE DIRECTORY, AT THE FESTIVAL OF GRATITUDE, AND VICTORY, CELEBRATED AT THE CHAMP DE-MARS, MAY 29, 1796 Carnot
    (pp. 70-73)

    IT IS AT A MOMENT WHEN NATURE IS RENOVATED, WHEN the earth, adorned with flowers and dressed in green, promises new harvests; when all beings proclaim in their own language, the benefi-Intelligence which renovates the universe, that the French people assemble, on this great festival, to render a distinguished homage to those talents and virtues of the friends of the country, and humanity. What day can better unite all hearts! What citizen, what man, can be a stranger to the influence of gratitude! We exist only through an uninterrupted course of beneficence, and our life is but a continued exchange...

  31. ADDRESS OF MR. ADET. FRENCH AMBASSADOR, ON PRESENTING THE COLOURS OF FRANCE, TO THE UNITED STATES, 1796 Adet
    (pp. 73-74)

    MR. PRESIDENT, I COME TO ACQUIT MYSELF OF A DUTY very dear to my heart. I come to deposite in your hands and in the midst of a people justly renowned for their courage, and their love of liberty, the symbol of the triumph, and the enfranchisement of my nation.

    When she broke her chain, when she proclaimed the imprescriptible rights of man; when, in a terrible war, she sealed with her blood the covenent made with liberty, her own happiness was not alone the object of her glorious efforts; her views extended, also, to all free people; she saw...

  32. PRESIDENT WASHINGTON’S ANSWER Washington
    (pp. 74-75)

    BORN, SIR, IN A LAND OF LIBERTY; HAVING EARLY learned its value; having engaged in a perilous conflict to defend it; having, in a word, devoted the best years of my life to secure it a permanent establishment in my own country; my anxious recollections, my sympathetic feelings, and my best wishes are irresistibly excited, whensoever, in any country, I see an oppressed nation unfurl the banners of freedom. But above all, the events of the French revolution have produced the deepest solicitude, as well as the highest admiration. To call your nation brave, were to pronounce but common praise....

  33. The oppressive Landlord, a Dialogue
    (pp. 76-81)

    Don Philip. WELL, my dear, I have warned all the families out of my long range of buildings, and ordered them to pay double the rent they have done, for every day they remain. From every new tenant I am determined to have three times the sum. The present rent will never do in these times. Our children will beecome beggars at this rate; and you and I shall have to betake ourselves to hand labour, like thecommon herd,to earn our daily bread.

    Wife. But I fear that some of our tenants are too poor to endure a...

  34. LORD MANSFIELD’S SPEECH, IN SUPPORT OF A BILL FOR PREVENTING DELAYS OF JUSTICE, BY REASON OF PRIVILEGE OF PARLIAMENT, 1770 Mansfield
    (pp. 82-84)

    MY LORDS, I HAVE WAITED WITH PATIENCE TO HEAR WHAT arguments might be urged against the bill; but I have waited in vain; the truth is, there is no argument that can weigh against it The justice and expediency of the bill are such as render it self-evident. It is a proposition of that nature, that can neither be weakened by argument, nor entangled with sophistry.

    We all know that the very soul and essence of trade are regular payment; and sad experience teaches us, that there are men, who will not make their regular payments, without the compulsive power...

  35. EXTRACT FROM A SERMON ON THE DAY OF JUDGMENT (Davies)
    (pp. 84-86)

    LET US ENDEAVOUR TO REALIZE THE MAJESTY AND TERror of the universal alarm on the final Judgment Day. When the dead are sleeping in the silent grave; when the living are thoughtless and unapprehensive of the grand event, or intent on other pursuits; some of them asleep in the dead of night; some of them dissolved in sensual pleasure, eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage; some of them planning or executing schemes for riches or honours; some in the very act of sin; the generality stupid and careless about the concerns of eternity, and the dreadful day just...

  36. CHRIST TRIUMPHANT OVER THE APOSTATE ANGELS (Milton)
    (pp. 86-88)
  37. SLAVES IN BARBARY (Everett) A Drama in Two Acts
    (pp. 88-104)

    In vain the flowers spread their gaudy colours, and fill the air with fragrance. The sun has not a cheering beam for me. All nature’s smiles are frowns to him, who wears the chain of bondage. Fifteen long months have witnessed my misfortune: what luckless winds delay Francisco’s passage?

    Oran. Moping fugitive! quick to your task. [Beating him.] I have not placed you here to mutter to the herbs and flowers: they need the labour of your hands. Let them have it; or heavier blows shall punish your neglect.

    Aman. Then do your worst! I ask the fatal blow, to...

  38. CONCLUSION OF A CELEBRATED SPEECH OF MR. PITT, IN 1770, IN SUPPORT OF A MOTION IN PARLIAMENT, TO REQUEST THE KING TO LAY BEFORE THAT BODY ALL THE PAPERS RELATIVE TO CERTAIN DEPREDATIONS OF THE SPANIARDS, AND LIKEWISE, TO A TREATY WHICH HE WAS THEN NEGOCIATING WITH SPAIN Pitt
    (pp. 104-107)

    MY LORDS, I HAVE TAKEN A WIDE CIRCUIT, AND TRESpassed, I fear, too long upon your patience. Yet I cannot conclude without endeavouring to bring home your thoughts to an object more immediately interesting to us, than any I have yet considered: I mean the internal condition of this country. We may look abroad for wealth, or triumphs, or luxury; but England, my lords, is the main stay, the last resort of the whole empire. To this point, every scheme of policy, whether foreign or domestic, should ultimately refer.

    Have any measures been taken to satisfy, or to unite the...

  39. SOCRATES’ DEFENCE BEFORE HIS ACCUSERS AND JUDGES Socrates
    (pp. 107-110)

    I AM ACCUSED OF CORRUPTING THE YOUTH, AND OF instilling dangerous principles into them, as well in regard to the worship of the gods, as the rulers of government. You know, Athenians, I never made it myprofessionto teach; nor can envy, however violent against me, reproach me with having ever sold my instructions. I have an undeniable evidence for me in this respect, which is, my poverty. Always equally ready to communicate my thoughts either to the rich or poor, and to give them entire leisure to question or answer me, I lend myself to every one who...

  40. DIALOGUE ON COWARDICE AND KNAVERY
    (pp. 110-114)

    Landlord. GENTLEMEN, you all come different ways; and I s’pose are strangers; but may be; you’d like to cut and come again upon a roast turkey with good trimmings.

    Trusty. With all my heart. I’d play knife and fork even with a cut throat over such a supper: and I dare say, you will find none of us cowards or bankrupts in that business.

    All three. [To Trusty.] DO you call me names, sir?

    Trusty. Gentlemen, I meant no personalities.

    Hector. [Puts his hand to his sword.] But you called me a coward, you rascal.

    Hamb. [Takes off his coat.]...

  41. MR. SHERIDAN’S SPEECH AGAINST MR. TAYLOR Sheridan
    (pp. 114-115)

    WE HAVE THIS DAY BEEN HONOURED WITH THE COUNSEL of a complete gradation of lawyers. We have received the opinion of a Judge, of an Attorney-General, and of a practising Barrister. I agree with the learned gentleman in his admiration of the abilities of my honourable friend, Mr. Fox. What he has said of his quickness and of his profoundness, of his boldness and his candor, is literally just and true, which the mental accomplishment of my honourable friend is, on every occasion, calculated to extort even from his adversaries.

    The learned gentleman has, however, in this insidious eulogium, connected...

  42. PART OF CICERO’S ORATION AGAINST CATILINE Cicero
    (pp. 115-116)

    IT IS NOW A LONG TIME, CONSCRIPT FATHERS, THAT WE have trod amidst the dangers and machinations of this conspiracy: but I know not how it comes to pass, the full maturity of all those crimes, and of this long-ripening rage and insolence, has now broken out during the period of my consulship. Should Catiline alone be removed from this powerful band of traitors, it may abate, perhaps, our fears and anxieties for a while; but the danger will still remain, and continue lurking in the veins and vitals of the republic.

    For as men, oppressed with a severe fit...

  43. DESCRIPTION OF THE FIRST AMERICAN CONGRESS; FROM THE VISION OF COLUMBUS (Barlow)
    (pp. 116-118)
  44. SPEECH OF BUONAPARTE, COMMANDER IN CHIEF OF THE FRENCH ARMY IN ITALY, TO HIS BRETHREN IN ARMS Buonaparte
    (pp. 118-119)

    SOLDIERS, YOU ARE PRECIPITATED LIKE A TORRENT FROM the heights of the Appenines; you have overthrown and dispersed all that dared to oppose your march. Piedmont, rescued from Austrian tyranny, is left to its natural sentiments of regard and friendship to the French. Milan is yours; and the republican standard is displayed throughout all Lombardy. The dukes of Parma and Modena are indebted for their political existence only to your generosity.

    The army, which so proudly menaced you, has had no other barrier than its dissolution to oppose your invincible courage. The Po, the Tessen, the Adda, could not retard...

  45. REFLECTIONS OVER THE GRAVE OF A YOUNG MAN (Hervey)
    (pp. 120-120)

    HERE LIES THE GRIEF OF A FOND MOTHER, AND THE blasted expectations of an indulgent father. The youth grew up, like a watered plant; he shot deep, rose high, and bade fair for manhood. But just as the cedar began to tower, and promised ere long, to be the pride of the wood, and prince among the neighbouring trees, behold! the axe is laid unto the root; the fatal blow is struck; and all its branching honours tumbled to the dust And did he fall alone? No: the hopes of his father that begat him, and the pleasing prospects of...

  46. SCENE FROM THE DRAMA OF “MOSES IN THE BULRUSHES” (H. Moore)
    (pp. 120-125)
  47. SPEECH OF GAIUS CASSIUS TO HIS COLLECTED FORCES, AFTER THE DEATH OF CESAR G. Cassius
    (pp. 125-127)

    SOLDIERS AND FELLOW-CITIZENS, THE UNJUST REPROACHes of our enemies we could easily disprove, if we were not, by our numbers, and by the swords which we hold in our hands, in condition to despise them. While Cesar led the armies of the republic against the enemies of Rome, we took part in the same service with him; we obeyed him; we were happy to serve under his command. But when he declared war against the commonwealth, we became his enemies; and when he became an usurper and a tyrant, we resented, as an injury, even the favours which he presumed...

  48. PART OF MR. ERSKINE’S SPEECH AGAINST MR. PITT, 1784 Erskine
    (pp. 127-129)

    MR. SPEAKER, IT BECOMES US TO LEARN, NOT FROM THE minister, but from the throne itself, whether this country is to be governed by men, in whom the House of Commons can confide, or whether we, the people of England’s Representatives, are to be the sport and foot-ball of any junto that may hope to rule over us, by an unseen and unexplorable principle of government, utterly unknown to the constitution. This is the great question, to which every public spirited citizen of this country should direct his view. A question which goes very wide of the policy to be...

  49. EXTRACT FROM PRESIDENT WASHINGTON’S ADDRESS TO THE PEOPLE OF THE UNITED STATES, SEPT. 17, 1796 Washington
    (pp. 129-132)

    FRIENDS AND FELLOW-CITIZENS, THE PERIOD FOR A NEW election of a citizen to administer the executive government to the United States, being not far distant; and the time actually arrived, when your thoughts must be employed in designating the person, who is to be clothed with that important trust, it appears to me proper, especially as it may conduce to a more distinct expression of the public voice, that I should now apprise you of the resolution I have formed, to decline being considered among the number of those, out of whom a choice is to be made.

    I beg...

  50. DIALOGUE ON THE CHOICE OF BUSINESS FOR LIFE
    (pp. 132-135)

    Edward. It appears to me high time for us to choose our business for life. Our academical studies will soon be completed; and I wish to look a little forward. What say you? am I right?

    Charley. It may be well for you: poor men’s sons must look out for themselves. My father is able to support me at my ease; and my mamma says she would rather see me laid in a coffin than shut up in a study, spoiling my eyes and racking my brains, plodding over your nonsensical minister, doctor, and lawyer books; and I am sure...

  51. SPEECH OF BUONAPARTE, COMMANDER IN CHIEF OF THE FRENCH ARMY IN ITALY, BEFORE HIS ATTACK ON MILAN, APRIL 26, 1796 Buonaparte
    (pp. 135-136)

    SOLDIERS, YOU HAVE IN A FORTNIGHT GAINED SIX VICTOries taken twenty-one stands of colours; seventy-one pieces of cannon; several strong places; conquered the richest part of Piedmont; you have made fifteen thousand prisoners, and killed or wounded more than ten thousand men. You had hitherto fought only for sterile rocks, rendered illustrious by your courage, but useless to the country; you have equalled by your services the victorious army of Holland and the Rhine. Deprived of every thing, you have supplied every thing. You have won battles without cannon; made forced marches without shoes; watched without brandy, and often without...

  52. MR. PITT’S SPEECH, NOV. 18, IN OPPOSITION TO LORD SUFFOLK, WHO PROPOSED TO PARLIAMENT TO EMPLOY THE INDIANS AGAINST THE AMERICANS; AND WHO SAID, IN THE COURSE OF THE DEBATE, THAT “THEY HAD A RIGHT TO USE ALL THE MEANS, THAT GOD AND NATURE HAD PUT INTO THEIR HANDS, TO CONQUER AMERICA” Pitt
    (pp. 137-138)

    MY LORDS, I AM ASTONISHED TO HEAR SUCH PRINCIPLES confessed! I am shocked to hear them avowed in this House, or in this country! Principles equally unconstitutional, inhuman and unchristian!

    My lords, I did not intend to have encroached again on your attention; but I cannot repress my indignation. I feel myself impelled by every duty. My lords, we are called upon as members of this House, as men, as Christian men, to protest against such notions standing near the throne, polluting the ear of Majesty. “That God and nature put into our hands!” I know not what idea that...

  53. DIALOGUE BETWEEN A SCHOOL-MASTER AND SCHOOL COMMITTEE
    (pp. 138-145)

    Enter School-Master, with a pack on his back.

    Schoolmaster. HOW are you, landlord? what have you got that’s good to drink?

    Landlord. I have gin, West-India, genuine New-England, whiskey, and cider brandy.

    Schoolm. Make us a stiff mug of sling. Put in a gill and a half of your New-England; and sweeten it well with lasses.

    Land. It shall be done, sir, to your liking.

    Schoolm. Do you know of any vacancy in a school in your part of the country, landlord?

    Land. There is a vacancy in our district; and I expect the parson with our three school-committee-men, will...

  54. EXTRACT FROM MR. PITT’S SPEECH, IN ANSWER TO LORD MANSFIELD, ON THE AFFAIR OF MR. WILKES, 1770 Pitt
    (pp. 145-147)

    MY LORDS, THERE IS ONE PLAIN MAXIM, TO WHICH I HAVE invariably adhered through life; that in every question in which my liberty or property were concerned, I should consult and be determined by the dictates of common sense. I confess, my lords, that I am apt to distrust the refinements of learning, because I have seen the ablest and most learned men equally liable to deceive themselves, and to mislead others.

    The condition of human nature would be lamentable indeed, if nothing less than the greatest learning and talents, which fall to the share of so small a number...

  55. ON THE GENERAL JUDGMENT DAY; FROM DWIGHT’S CONQUEST OF CANAAN Dwight
    (pp. 147-150)
  56. ON THE WORKS OF CREATION AND PROVIDENCE (Hervey)
    (pp. 150-150)

    WHEN I CONTEMPLATE THOSE AMPLE AND MAGNIFICENT structures, erected over all the ethereal plains: when I look upon them as so many repositories of light, or fruitful abodes of life: when I remember that there may be other orbs, vastly more remote than those which appear to our unaided sight; orbs, whose effulgence, though traveling ever since the creation, is not yet arrived upon our coasts: when I stretch my thoughts to the innumerable orders of being, which inhabit all those spacious systems; from the loftiest seraph, to the lowest reptile; from the armies of angels which surround the Almighty’s...

  57. SPEECH OF MR. FOX, IN THE BRITISH PARLIAMENT, ON AMERICAN AFFAIRS, 1778 Fox
    (pp. 151-152)

    YOU HAVE NOW TWO WARS BEFORE YOU, OF WHICH YOU must choose one, for both you cannot support. The war against America has hitherto been carried on against her alone, unassisted by any ally whatever. Notwithstanding she stood alone, you have been obliged uniformly to increase your exertions, and to push your efforts to the extent of your power, without being able to bring it to an issue. You have exerted all your force hitherto without effect, and you cannot now divide a force, found already inadequate to its object.

    My opinion is for withdrawing your forces from America entirely;...

  58. THE CONJURER, A DIALOGUE (Everett)
    (pp. 153-161)

    Jack. WHAT a strange man this is, Richard! Did you ever see a conjurer before?

    Richard. There was one traveled this way before your remembrance; but he missed his figure very much. I was to have been an officer before this time, according to his predictions; and you, Jack, were to have had a fine rich young lady for your sister-in-law. But he was only an apprentice in the art; no more than A, B, C, to this man.

    Jack. Aye he is master of his trade, I warrant you. I dare say, when father comes home, he can tell...

  59. EXTRACT FROM MR. PITT’S SPEECH IN THE BRITISH PARLIAMENT, JAN. 20, 1775 Pitt
    (pp. 161-162)

    WHEN YOUR LORDSHIPS LOOK AT THE PAPERS TRANSMITted to us from America; when you consider their decency, firmness, and wisdom, you cannot but respect their cause, and wish to make it your own. For myself, I must declare and avow, that in all my reading and observation, (and it has ben my favourite study:) I have read Thucidydes, and have studied and admired the masterstates of the world: I say I must declare, that, for solidity of reasoning, force of sagacity, and wisdom of conclusion, under such a complication of difficult circumstances, no nation, or body of men can stand...

  60. SPEECH OF GALGACHUS TO THE CALEDONIAN ARMY Galgachus
    (pp. 162-165)

    COUNTRYMEN, AND FELLOW-SOLDIERS, WHEN I CONSIDer the cause for which we have drawn our swords, and the necessity of striking an effectual blow, before we sheathe them again, I feel joyful hopes arising in my mind, that this day an opening will be made for the restoration of British liberty, and for shaking off the infamous yoke of Roman slavery. Caledonia is yet free. The all-grasping power of Rome has not yet been able to seize our liberty. But it is to be preserved only by valour.

    You are not to expect to escape the ravage of the general plunderers...

  61. MODERN EDUCATION DIALOGUE BETWEEN A PRECEPTOR OF AN ACADEMY, AND A PARENT OF AN OFFERED PUPIL
    (pp. 165-170)

    Preceptor. [Solus.] I am heartily sick of this modern mode of education. Nothing but trash will suit the taste of people at this day. I am perplexed beyond all endurance with these frequent solicitations of parents, to give their children graceful airs, polite accomplishments, and a smattering of what they call the fine arts; while nothing is said about teaching them the substantial branches of literature. If they can but dance a little, fiddle a little, flute a little, and make a handsome bow and courtesy, that is sufficient to make them famous, in thisenlightened age. Three-fourths of the...

  62. THE EXISTENCE OF GOD, DEMONSTRATED FROM THE WORKS OF CREATION; BEING A SERMON PREACHED AT PROVIDENCE Maxcy
    (pp. 170-177)
    Jonathan Maxcy

    NOTHING WILL MORE EFFECTUALLY GUARD US AGAINST vice, than a firm belief in the existence of God. For surely if we realize that there is such a Being, we shall naturally infer from his perfections, from the nature of his moral government, and from our situation as rational creatures, that we are amenable at his awful tribunal. Superiour power, wisdom, and goodness, always lay us under restraint, and command our veneration. These, even in a mortal, overawe us. They restrain not only the actions, but the words and thoughts of the most vicious and abandoned. Our happiness depends on our...

  63. THE DIGNITY OF HUMAN NATURE EXTRACT OF AN ORATION DELIVERED AT RHODE-ISLAND COLLEGE, 1796 (Burges)
    (pp. 177-178)

    GUIDED BY REASON, MAN HAS TRAVELLED THROUGH THE abstruse regions of the philosophic world. He has originated rules by which he can direct the ship through the pathless ocean, and measure the comet’s flight over the fields of unlimited space. He has established society and government. He can aggregate the profusions of every climate, and every season. He can meliorate the severity, and remedy the imperfections of nature herself. All these things he can perform by the assistance of reason.

    By imagination, man seems to verge towards creative power. Aided by this, he can perform all the wonders of sculpture...

  64. INFERNAL CONFERENCE (Cumberland)
    (pp. 178-187)
  65. EXTRACT FROM MR. PITT’S SPEECH IN THE BRITISH PARLIAMENT, MAY 13, 1777 Pitt
    (pp. 187-189)

    MY LORDS, THIS IS A FLYING MOMENT; PERHAPS BUT SIX weeks left to arrest the dangers that surround us. It is difficult for government, after all that has passed, to shake hands with defiers of the king, defiers of the parliament, defiers of the people. I am a defier of nobody; but if an end is not put to this war, there is an end to this kingdom.

    I do not trust my judgment in my present state of health; this is the judgment of my better days; the result of forty years attention to America. They are rebels! but...

  66. ON THE DAY OF JUDGMENT (Young)
    (pp. 189-191)
  67. THE DISSIPATED OXFORD STUDENT, A DIALOGUE BETWEEN A BROTHER AND HIS TWO SISTERS Altered from Burney
    (pp. 191-201)

    Lionel. HOW do you do, girls? how do you do? I am glad to see you, upon my soul I am. [Shaking them hard by the hand.

    Lavina. I thought, brother, you had been at Dr. Marchmont’s!

    Lion. All in good time, my dear; I shall certainly visit the old gentleman before long.

    Lav. Gracious, Lionel!—if my mother—

    Lion. My dear little Lavina, [Chucking her under the chin] I have a mighty notion of making visits at my own time and appointment, instead of my mamma’s.

    Lav. O Lionel! and can you just now—

    Lion. Come, come, don’t let...

  68. EXTRACT FROM A SPEECH IN CONGRESS, APRIL, 1799, ON THE SUBJECT OF THE TREATY WITH GREAT BRITAIN (Ames)
    (pp. 201-204)

    IF ANY, AGAINST ALL THESE PROOFS WHICH HAVE BEEN offered, should maintain that the peace with the Indians will be stable without the Western posts, to them I will urge another reply. From arguments calculated to produce conviction, I will appeal directly to the conviction of the Western gentlemen, whether, supposing no posts and no treaty, the settlers will remain in security? Can they take it upon them to say, that an Indian peace, under these circumstances, will prove firm? No, sir, it will not be peace, but a sword; it will be no better than a lure to draw...

  69. EXTRACT FROM AN ORATION, PRONOUNCED AT WORCESTER, (MASS.) JULY 4, 1796 Blake
    (pp. 204-206)

    IN VIEWING 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 confined 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...

  70. GENERAL DESCRIPTION OF AMERICA EXTRACT FROM A POEM SPOKEN AT DARTMOUTH COLLEGE, ON COMMENCEMENT DAY, 1795 (Everett)
    (pp. 207-209)
  71. DIALOGUE BETWEEN A MASTER AND SLAVE
    (pp. 209-212)

    Master. NOW, villain! what have you to say for this second attempt to run away? Is there any punishment that you do not deserve?

    Slave. I well know that nothing I can say will avail. I submit to my fate.

    MastBut are you not a base fellow, a hardened and ungrateful rascal?

    Slave. I am a slave. That is answer enough.

    MastI am not content with that answer. I thought I discerned in you some tokens of a mind superior to your condition. I treated you accordingly. You have been comfortably fed and lodged, not overworked, and attended...

  72. PART OF MR. O’CONNOR’S SPEECH IN THE FIRST IRISH HOUSE OF COMMONS, IN FAVOUR OF THE BILL FOR EMANCIPATING THE ROMAN CATHOLICS, 1795 O’Connor
    (pp. 212-216)

    IF I WERE TO JUDGE FROM THE DEAD SILENCE WITH which my speech has been received, I should suspect that what I have said was not very palatable to some men in this House. But I have not risked connexions, endeared to me by every tie of blood and friendship, to support one set of men in preference to another. I have hazarded too much, by the part I have taken, to allow the breath of calumny to taint the objects I have had in view. Immutable principles, on which the happiness and liberty of my countrymen depend, convey to...

  73. SCENE FROM THE TRAGEDY OF TAMERLANE (Rowe)
    (pp. 216-220)
  74. COLONEL BARRE’S SPEECH IN THE BRITISH PARLIAMENT 1765, ON THE STAMP-ACT BILL Barre
    (pp. 220-221)

    ON THE FIRST READING OF THE BILL, MR. TOWNSEND spoke in its favour; and concluded with the following words: “And will these Americans, children planted by our care; nourished up by our indulgence, until they are grown to a degree of strength and opulence; and protected by our arms; will they grudge to contribute their mite, to relieve us from the heavy weight of that burthen which we lie under?”

    On this Colonel Barre rose, and answered Mr. Townsend in the following masterly manner;

    “They planted by YOUR care!” No; your oppressions planted them in America. They fled from your...

  75. THE LAST DAY EXTRACT FROM A MANUSCRIPT POEM (Everett)
    (pp. 222-225)
  76. A DIALOGUE ON LOQUACITY
    (pp. 225-228)

    Stephen. LADIES and gentlemen, you have probably heard of Foote, the comedian: if not, it is out of my power to tell you any thing about him, except this; he had but one leg, and his name was Samuel. Or, to speak more poetically, one leg he had, and Samuel was his name. This Foote wrote a farce, called the Alderman; in which he attempted to ridicule a well-fed magistrate in the city of London. This last, hearing of the intended affront, called upon the player, and threatened him severely for his presumption. Sir, says Foote, it is my business...

  77. AMERICAN SAGES (Barlow)
    (pp. 228-229)
  78. EXTRACT FROM MR. PITT’S SPEECH, NOV. 18, 1777, ON AMERICAN AFFAIRS Pitt
    (pp. 229-232)

    I RISE, MY LORDS, TO DECLARE MY SENTIMENTS ON THIS most solemn and serious subject. It has imposed a load upon my mind, which, I fear, nothing can remove; but which impels me to endeavour its alleviation, by a free and unreserved communication of my sentiments. In the first part of the address, I have the honour of heartily concurring with the noble Earl who moved it. No man feels sincerer joy than I do; none can offer more genuine congratulations on every accession of strength to the protestant succession: I therefore join in every congratulation on the birth of...

  79. SCENE FROM THE TRAGEDY OF CATO (Addison)
    (pp. 232-234)
  80. EXTRACT FROM AN ORATION DELIVERED AT BOSTON, JULY 4, 1794, IN COMMEMORATION OF AMERICAN INDEPENDENCE (Phillips)
    (pp. 234-235)

    AMERICANS! YOU HAVE A COUNTRY VAST IN EXTENT, AND embracing all the varieties of the most salubrious climes: held not by charters wrested from unwilling kings, but the bountiful gift of the Author of nature. The exuberance of your population is daily divesting the gloomy wilderness of its rude attire, and splendid cities rise to cheer the dreary desert. You have a government deservedly celebrated as “giving the sanctions of law to the precepts of reason;” presenting, instead of the rank luxuriance of natural licentiousness, the corrected sweets of civil liberty. You have fought the battles of freedom, and enkindled...

  81. DIALOGUE BETWEEN A WHITE INHABITANT OF THE UNITED STATES AND AN INDIAN (Everett)
    (pp. 235-238)

    White Man. Your friends, the inhabitants of the United States, wish to bury the tomahawk, and live in peace with the Indian tribes.

    Indian. Justice is the parent of peace. The Indians love war only as they love justice. Let us enjoy our rights, and be content with yours, and we will hang the tomahawk and scalping knife upon the tree of peace, and sit down together under its branches.

    W. Man. This is what we desire, and what is your interest as well as ours to promote. We have often made leagues with you; they have been as often...

  82. EXTRACT FROM AN ORATION, PRONOUNCED AT BOSTON, JULY 4, 1796 (Lathrop)
    (pp. 238-240)

    THAT THE BEST WAY FOR A GREAT EMPIRE TO TAX HER colonies is to confer benefits upon them, and, that no rulers have a right to levy contributions upon the property, or exact the services of their subjects, without their own, or the consent of their immediate representatives, were principles never recognized by the ministry and parliament of Great Britain. Fatally enamoured of their selfish systems of policy, and obstinately determined to effect the execution of their nefarious purposes, they were deaf to the suggestions of reason and the demands of justice. The frantic though transient energy of intoxicated rage...

  83. DIALOGUE BETWEEN EDWARD AND HARRY (Everett)
    (pp. 240-242)

    Harry. HOW are you Ned?

    Edward. What, is it you, brother Harry? Were it not for the small part of your face, that appears between your fore top and your cravat, I should never know you.

    Har. My appearance is a little altered to be sure; but I hope you will allow it is for the better.

    Edw. I wish I could. I perceive, that, some how or other, you are completely metamorphosed from a plain country lad, to a Boston buck, beau, or fop: which is the current word in your varying town dialect to express such a thing...

  84. DAVID AND GOLIATH (H. Moore)
    (pp. 242-246)
  85. AN ORATION ON THE POWERS OF ELOQUENCE, WRITTEN FOR AN EXHIBITION OF A SCHOOL IN BOSTON, 1794
    (pp. 246-252)

    AMIDST THE PROFUSION OF INTERESTING AND BRILLIANT objects in this assembly, should the speaker be able to engage the attention of a few eyes, and a few ears, he will esteem his reception flattering. To another is allotted the pleasing task of closing the evening, with remarks on Female Education (see American Preceptor, p.47). It is mine to recommend the POWERS OF ELOQUENCE, and to shew the influence which justly challenges, over the senses, passions, and understandings of mankind.

    Eloquence consists in a capacity of expressing, by the voice, attitude, gesture, and countenance, the emotions of the heart. To this...

  86. A DIALOGUE BETWEEN A CITY GENTLEMAN OF THE TOWN, AND A COUNTRY FARMER
    (pp. 252-256)

    Gentleman. HALLOO! there, Master! What have you got in your wallet?

    Farmer. Fowls, sir, at your service.

    Gent. And what do you ask a pair?

    Farm. Fifty cents a pair for ducks, and seventy-five cents apiece for geese and turkeys.

    Gent. What is the fellow talking about? I inquired the price of fowls; not of geese and turkeys.

    Farm. And pray, Mister, what is the difference between a fowl and a goose? My Bible teaches me, that all the feathered tribe are ranged under the general name of fowl.

    Gent. Why, you numskull! don’t quote scripture to me, to prove...

  87. EXTRACT FROM A DISCOURSE DELIVERED BEFORE THE NEW-YORK SOCIETY FOR PROMOTING THE MANUMISSION OF SLAVES, APRIL 12, 1797 Miller
    (pp. 256-257)

    I HAVE HITHERTO CONFINED MYSELF TO THE CONSIDERAtion of slavery as it exists among ourselves, and of that unjust domination which is exercised over the Africans and their descendants, who are already in our country. It is with a regret and indignation which I am unable to express, that I call your attention to the conduct of some among us, who, instead of diminishing, strive to increase the evil in question.

    While the friends of humanity, in Europe and America, are weeping over their injured fellow-creatures, and directing their ingenuity and their labours to the removal of so disgraceful a...

  88. A FORENSIC DISPUTE, ON THE QUESTION, ARE THE ANGLO-AMERICANS ENDOWED WITH CAPACITY AND GENIUS EQUAL TO EUROPEANS? (Everett)
    (pp. 257-261)

    A. MY opinion is decidedly on the affirmative of this question. In this opinion I am confirmed by sound argument and undeniable facts.

    If nature has lavished her favours on some countries, and dealt them out with a sparing hand in others, the Western world is far from being the scene of her parsimony. From a geographical survey of our country, directly the reverse will appear.

    This continent, extending through all the different climates of the earth, exhibiting on its immense surface the largest rivers and lakes, and the loftiest mountains in the known world, shews us that nature has...

  89. EXTRACT FROM AN ORATION, DELIVERED AT BOSTON, MARCH 5TH, 1780 Mason
    (pp. 262-265)

    THE RISING GLORY OF THIS WESTERN HEMISPHERE IS already announced; and she is summoned to her seat among the nations of the earth. We have publicly declared ourselves convinced of the destructive tendency of standing armies. We have acknowledged the necessity of public spirit and the love of virtue, to the happiness of any people; and we profess to be sensible of the great blessings that flow from them. Let us not then act unworthily of the reputable character we now sustain. Let integrity of heart, the spirit of freedom, and rigid virtue be seen to actuate every member of...

  90. Back Matter
    (pp. 266-267)