Thursday, April 02, 2009

A Speech for Our Time...

From here:

They tell us, sir, that we are weak; unable to cope with so formidable an
adversary. But when shall we be stronger? Will it be the next week, or the
next year? Will it be when we are totally disarmed, and when a British guard
shall be stationed in every house? Shall we gather strength by irresolution
and inaction? Shall we acquire the means of effectual resistance by lying
supinely on our backs and hugging the delusive phantom of hope, until our
enemies shall have bound us hand and foot? Sir, we are not weak if we make a
proper use of those means which the God of nature hath placed in our power.
The millions of people, armed in the holy cause of liberty, and in such a
country as that which we possess, are invincible by any force which our enemy
can send against us. Besides, sir, we shall not fight our battles alone.
There is a just God who presides over the destinies of nations, and who will
raise up friends to fight our battles for us. The battle, sir, is not to the
strong alone; it is to the vigilant, the active, the brave. Besides, sir, we
have no election. If we were base enough to desire it, it is now too late to
retire from the contest. There is no retreat but in submission and slavery!
Our chains are forged! Their clanking may be heard on the plains of Boston!
The war is inevitable--and let it come! I repeat it, sir, let it come.

It is in vain, sir, to extenuate the matter. Gentlemen may cry, Peace, Peace--
but there is no peace. The war is actually begun! The next gale that sweeps
from the north will bring to our ears the clash of resounding arms! Our
brethren are already in the field! Why stand we here idle? What is it that
gentlemen wish? What would they have? Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as
to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God!
I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty or
give me death!
So where's Patrick Henry now when you need him?

And what are we left with?