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"the life and blood of the conspiracy." You do me honour over much: You have given to the subaltern all the credit of a superior. There are men engaged in this conspiracy, who are not only superior to me, but even to your own conceptions of yourself, my Lord; men, before the splendour of whose genius and virtues, I should bow with respectful deference, and who would think themselves dishonoured to be called your friend.... who would not disgrace themselves by shaking your bloodstained hand............
[Here he was interrupted.]
What, my Lord, shall you tell me, on the passage to that scaf fold, which that tyranny, of which you are only the intermediary executioner, has erected for my murder, that I am accounta ble for all the blood that has, and will be shed in this struggle of the oppressed against the oppressor, shall you tell me this.... and must I be so very a slave as not to repel it?
I do not fear to approach the omnipotent judge, to answer for the conduct of my whole life; and am I to be appalled and falsified by a mere remnant of mortality here? By you too, who, if it were possible to collect all the innocent blood that you have shed in your unhallowed ministry, in one great reservoir, your Lordship might swim in it,
[Here the Fudge interfered.]
Let no man dare, when I am dead, to charge me with disho nour; let no man attaint my memory by believing that I could have engaged in any cause but that of my country's liberty and independence; or that I could have become the pliant minion of power in the oppression or the miseries of my countrymen. The proclamation of the provisional government, speaks for our views; no inference can be tortured from it to countenance barbarity or debasement at home, or subjection, humiliation, or treachery from abroad; I would not have submitted to a foreign oppressor for the same reason that I would resist the foreign and domestic oppressor; in the dignity of freedom I would have fought upon the threshold of my country, and its enemy should enter only by passing over my lifeless corpse. And who lived but for my country, and who have subjected myself to the dangers of the jealous, and watchful oppressor, and the bondage of the grave, only to give my countrymen their rights, and my country her independence, and am I to be loaded with calumny, and not suffered to resent and repel it....No, God forbid !
If the spirits of the illustrious dead participate in the concerns and cares of those who are dear to them in this transitory life.... ever dear -and venerated shade of my departed father,
look down with scrutiny upon the conduct of your suffering son; and see if I have even for a moment deviated from those principles of morality and patriotism which it was your care to instil into my youthful mind; and for which I am now to offer up my life.
My Lords, you are impatient for the sacrifice....the blood which you seek is not congealed by the artificial terrors which surround your victim; it circulates warmly and unruffled, through the channels which God created for noble purposes, but which you are bent to destroy, for purposes so grievous, that they cry to heaven......... Be yet patient! I have but a few words more to say....I am going to my cold and silent grave: my lamp of life is nearly extinguished: my race is run: the grave opens to receive me, and I sink into its bosom! I have but one request to ask at my departure from this world, it is the charity of its silence!....Let no man write my epitaph, for as no man who knows my motives dare now vindicate them, let not prejudice or ignorance asperse them. Let them and me repose in obscurity and peace, and my tomb remain uninscribed, until other times, and other men, can do justice to my character; when my country takes her place among the nations of the earth, then....and not till then....let my epitaph be written........I have done.
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