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b. The Indians :
Lived here (1).
In the stars (2).
In the eagle (2).
Life for us (3).
Death to the Indians (3). d. The face of the country is changed (3). e. The Indian
Of falcon glance (3
is gone. Of lion bearing (3) f. The Indian's offspring is degraded (3). g. The Indian race have
No war cry (4). h. The Indians
Know they are doomed (4).
i. Summary. Not long ago this was a wild country and the Indians inhabited it. The white man came, the country has been changed and the Indians have nearly disappeared.
6. THE ORATION. This extract which we have printed here is not a complete oration; it is an extract from a speech, and may be considered rather the conclusion, or peroration, which follows an argumentative speech. The speaker does not cite instances to show that there has been any real mistreatment of the Indian, and he does not ask for a change in the present methods of treatment, but he does make a powerful appeal to our emotions, excites our sympathies for the Indian, and leads us, by indirection, to think that the Indian has been mistreated and that his disappearance is to be charged to ill treatment by the whites. He secures our sympathy by picturing to us, in poetic language, the Indians before the white man came to this country. Though he speaks to us of their hunting and their warfare, he leads us to think of them as, physically, a strong and graceful race; intellectually, bold and wise, and very devout in their simple way. By the powerful contrast which he brings up in the third and four paragraphs, he still further excites our sympathies and compels us to feel, at the end, that we are, in a measure, personally responsible for the Indian's sufferings.
You can imagine that if this speech were delivered by a man of good presence, who had a rich, full voice, which he managed with skill, he could move you almost to action in defense of the Indians. Such is the purpose of oratory—to move to action by enlisting the feelings of the auditors.
You do not often find a selection more replete in figures, or one that requires a much wider range of knowledge on the part of the reader. Mr. Sprague flatters your intelligence by speaking in figurative terms, for he assumes that you know what the figures mean and how to apply them.
A CALL TO ARMS
By PATRICK HENRY
INTRODUCTORY NOTE Patrick Henry was born in Virginia in May, 1736. As a boy he gave little promise of being a scholar and, accordingly, he was started in business. He showed little aptitude for this occupation, soon failed and became very poor. After his marriage, he tried farming for two years, but was no more successful, and later again failed in keeping a store. He had, however, become a great reader, had managed to pick up a fair knowledge of Latin and Greek, and after his failure in business he read law and soon received license to practice. By the time he was twenty-seven he had become prominent in the latter profession and soon acquired a very considerable practice.
When the Stamp Act was passed, Henry was a comparatively unknown member of the House of Burgesses in Virginia, but the cause of liberty received his ardent support and he soon sprang into great prominence by the resolutions in which he denied the right of the British Parliament to enforce any tax upon America. It was in the debate which followed that he uttered those remarkable words, “Cæsar had his Brutus; Charles I his Cromwell, and George III”—(Here he was interrupted by the presiding officer and by members, who cried, “Treason! Treason!”)—“may profit by their example. If this be treason, make the most of it.” He succeeded in winning the adoption of his resolutions, though by a small margin.
His success in this matter brought him recognition throughout the country, and everywhere they echoed the word, “Taxation without representation is tyranny.” In 1774 the House of Burgesses was dissolved by Lord Dunmore, because of the active part they had taken in condemning the Boston Port Bill. Patrick Henry was a member of the first Revolutionary Convention of Virginia, in 1774, and there still further established his leadership by his matchless eloquence.
It is interesting to know that in the war which followed, Patrick Henry was placed in command of the Virginian forces, but that the active command was given to another. Although Henry was so disappointed and chagrined by this action that he resigned his commission, yet he was active in the Continental Congress, and subsequently became governor of Virginia, where at times he was forced by circumstances to rule almost like a king. He assisted in the ratification of the Federal Constitution for Virginia, and might have been a United States senator, a member of Washington's cabinet and chief justice of the United States Supreme Court if he had not declined the positions. He died in 1799.
The speech from which this selection is made was delivered in the Virginia Provincial Convention, on the twenty-eighth of March, 1775. Patrick Henry had introduced resolutions to organize a militia and put the colony into condition to defend itself against the British. The resolution had met with great opposition and, after several vigorous
speeches had been made against it, Mr. Henry spoke. There are different versions of the speech, but writers agree substantially.
R. PRESIDENT,—No man thinks
more highly than I do of the patriotism, as well as abilities, of the very worthy gentlemen who have just addressed the House. But different men often see the same subject in dif
ferent lights; and, therefore, I hope it will not be thought disrespectful to those gentlemen if, entertaining, as I do, opinions of a character very opposite to theirs, I shall speak forth my sentiments freely and without reserve. This is no time for ceremony. The question before the House is one of awful moment to this country. For my own part, I consider it as nothing less than a question of freedom or slavery; and in proportion to the magnitude of the subject ought to be the freedom of the debate. It is only in this way that we can hope to arrive at truth, and fulfill the great responsibility which we hold to God and our country. Should I keep back my opinions at such a time, through fear of giving offense, I should consider myself as guilty of treason towards my country, and of an act of disloyalty towards the Majesty of Heaven, which I revere above all earthly kings.
2. Mr. President, it is natural to man to indulge in the illusions of hope. We are apt to shut our eyes against a painful truth, and listen to the song of that siren till she transforms us into beasts. Is this the part of wise men, engaged in a great and arduous struggle for liberty? Are we disposed to