Изображения страниц

jurisdiction foreign to our constitutions and unac knowledged by our laws, giving his assent to their acts of pretended legislation for quartering large bodies of armed troops among us; for protecting them by a mock trial from punishment for any murders which they should commit on the inhabitants of these states; for cutting off our trade with all parts of the world for imposing tax'es on us without our consent、 ; | for depriving us in many cases of the benefits of trial by jury; for transporting us beyond seas' to be tried for pretend ed offences; for abolishing the free system of English laws in a neighboring province, establishing therein an arbitrary governinent, and enlarging its boundaries, so as to render it at once an example | and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these colonies; for taking away our charters, abolishing our most valuable laws, and altering fundamentally the forms of our governments; for suspending our own legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us | in all cases whatsoever.

He has abdicated government here by declaring us out of his protection and waging war against us. ! He has plundered our seas, ravaged our coasts, | burnt our towns', and destroyed the lives of our

people. |

He is at this time' | transporting large armies of foreign mercenaries to complete the works of death', } desola'tion, and tyranny already begun with circumstances of cruelty and perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages and totally unworthy the head of a civilized nation. {

He has constrained our fellow-citizens taken captive on the high seas to bear arms against their country,, to become the executioners of their friends and breth. ren, or to fall themselves by their hands. |

He has excited domestic insurrections among us,

· Fòrʼrin.

and has endeavored to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers the merciless Indian savages, whose known rule of warfare is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sex'es, and conditions. |

In every stage of these oppressions we have peti tioned for redress in the most humble terms: our re peated petitions | have been answered only by repeated injuries.

A prince whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a tyrant | is unfit to be the ruler of a free people. I/

Nor have we been wanting in attentions to our British brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here: we have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred, to disavow these usurpations which would inevitably interrupt our connexion and correspondence. They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must therefore acquiesce in the necessity which denounces our separation! and hold them as we hold the rest of mankind, enemies in war, in peace friends. [ We therefore the representatives of the United States of America in General Congress assembled, | 'appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, 'do in the name, and by the authority of the good people of these colonies, solemnly publish and declare, that these united colonies are, and of right ought to be, free and independent states; that they are absolved from all allegiance to the British crown, and that all political connexion | between them and the state of Great Britain is, and ought to be, totally dissolved; and that as free and

a Dis-à-vou.

Independent states, they have full power to levy war, conclude peace', contract alliances, establish com merce, and to do all other acts and things which independent states may of right do. |

And for the support of this declaration, 'with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, "we mutually pledge to each other our lives', our fortunes, and our sacred honor. |


Obidah, the son of Abensina, left the caravansera early in the morning, and pursued his journey through the plains of Indostan. He was fresh, and vigorous with rest; he was animated with hope'; he was incited by desire; he walked swiftly forward over the valleys, and saw the hills gradually rising before him. |

[ocr errors]


As he passed along, his ears were delighted with the morning song of the bird of paradise; he was fanned by the last flutters of the sinking breeze, and sprinkled with dew from groves of spices. He sometimes contemplated the towering height of the oak, i monarch of the hills; and sometimes caught the gentle fragrance of the primrose, eldest daughter of the spring all his senses were gratified, and all care was banished from his heart. |

Thus he went on, till the sun approached his merid ian, and the increased heat preyed upon his strength; he then looked round about him for some more commodious path. He saw, on his right hand, a grove that seemed to wave its shades as a sign of invitation; he entered it, and found the coolness, and verdure irresistibly pleasant. '

He did not, however, forget whither he was trav elling, but found a narrow way, bordered with flowers, |


which appeared to have the same direction with the main road; and was pleased, that by this happy experiment, he had found means to unite pleasure with business, and to gain the rewards of diligence, withou suffering its fatigues. |

He, therefore, still continued to walk for a time, I without the least remission of his ardor, except that he was sometimes tempted to stop by the music of the birds which the heat had assembled in the shade; ; and sometimes amused himself with plucking the flowers that covered the banks on either side, or the fruit that hung upon the branches.

At last, the green path began to decline from its first tendency, and to wind among hills, and thick ets, Į cooled with fountains, and murmuring with waterfalls. j Here Obidah paused for a time,, and began to consider whether it were longer safe to forsake the known. and common track; but remembering that the heat was now in its greatest violence, and that the plain was dusty, and uneven, he resolved to pursue the new path which he supposed only to make a few meanders, | in compliance with the varieties of the ground, and to end at last in the common road. |


Having thus calmed his solicitude, he renewed his pace, though he suspected that he was not gaining ground. This uneasiness of his mind, inclined him to lay hold on every new object, and give way to every sensation that might soothe, or divert him. listened to every echo; he mounted every hill for a fresh prospect; he turned aside to every cascade. ; ¦ and pleased himself with tracing the course of a gentle river

that rolled among the trees, and watered a large region with innumerable circumvolutions. |

In these amusements, the hours passed away unaccounted; his deviations had perplexed his memory, and he knew not towards what point to travel. He

[ocr errors]

stood pensive, and confused, afraid to go forward, | lest he should go wrong, yet conscious that the time of loitering was now past. While he was thus tortured with uncertainty, the sky was overspread with clouds; the day vanished from before him; and a sudden tempest gathered round his head,!

He was now roused by his danger, to a quick, and painful remembrance of his folly; he now saw how happiness is lost, when ease is consulted; he lamented the unmanly impatience that prompted him to seek shelter in the grove; and despised the petty curiosity | that led him on from trifle to trifle. While he was thus reflecting, the air grew black er, and a clap of thunder broke his meditation. |

He now resolved to do what yet remained in his power, to tread back the ground which he had passed, | and try to find some issue where the wood might open into the plain. He prostrated himself on the ground, and recommended his life to the Lord of Nature. He rose with confidence, and tranquil·lity, and pressed on with resolution. The beasts of the desert were in motion, and on every hand were heard the mingled howls of rage, and fear', and ravage, and expiration. All the horrors of darkness, and solitude, surround ed him: the winds roared in the woods, | and the torrents tumbled from the hills.


Thus forlorn, and distressed, he wandered through the wild, without knowing whither he was going, or whether he was every moment | drawing nearer to safety, or to destruction. At length, not far, but la bor, began to overcome, him; his breath grew short, and his knees trembled; and he was on the point of lying down in resignation to his fate, when he beheld, through the brambles, the glimmer of a taper. |

[ocr errors]

He advanced towards the light; and finding that it proceeded from the cottage of a hermit, he called humbly at the door, and obtained admission. The

« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »