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Sir, we have done every thing that could be done, to avert the storm which is now coming on. We have remonstrated; we have supplicated; we have prostrated ourselves before the throne, and have implored its [1]interterposition to arrest the tyrannical hands of the [2]ministry and [3]parliament. Our petitions have been slighted; our remonstrances have produced additional violence and insult; our supplications have been disregarded; and we have been spurned, with contempt, from the foot of the throne. In vain, after these things, may we indulge the fond hope of peace and reconciliation. There is no longer any room for hope. If we wish to be free — if we mean to preserve inviolate those inestimable privileges for which we have been so long contending — if we mean not basely to abandon the noble struggle in which we have been so long engaged, and which we have pledged ourselves never to abandon, until the glorious object of our contest shall be obtained — we must fight! I repeat it, sir, we must fight! An appeal to arms and to the God of Hosts is all that is left us!

They tell us, sir, that we are weak; unable to cope with so formidable an adversary. But when shall we be [4]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. Three 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 [5]chains are forged! [6]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? Why stand we here idle? What is it that gentlemen wish? What should they have? Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Allmighty God! I know not what course other may take; but as for me, give me liberty, or give me death!

  1. 其干涉。its は throne を承く。
  2. 英國の內閣。
  3. 英國の議會。
  4. 今より一層强く。
  5. 我等を束縛する鎖。
  6. chainsを承く。

議長、今や將に來らんとする暴風を避ける爲めには、あらゆる方法を盡した、即ち我等は請願もした、辯解もした、哀願もした、我等自身闕下に伏奏し、內閣及び議會の壓制を檢束するの干涉を試みられんことを直奏に及んだ、然るに我等の請願は輕視せられ、我等の哀願は何等の注意を惹くことなく、我等は輕蔑せられ、玉座の近くより蹴落されたのである、以上の事あるに拘らず、今尙ほ平和と調停の希望を抱いて居るか、否々、最早や斯る希望の餘地はないのである、若し我等が自由たらんことを希望するならば、 — 即ち若し我等が多年戰つて居た、彼の莫大の價値を有する權利を安全に維持し、之を得んと欲するならば、 — 卽ち若し我等の爭ふところの立派なる目的の達せらるゝまで、多年戰つて居て、決して止めざることに決定したる戰爭をば、耻を曝して止むる如きことなき覺悟を持て居るならば、我等は戰はざるを得ないのである、嗟呼、余は我等が戰はざるを得ないことを繰返して云ふのである、嗟呼、今や我等は武器に訴ふることゝ、軍神に訴ふることゝ、我等には此二を除ひて他に求むるところは何ものもないのである。

人は言ふ、我等の力弱くして、我等は到底斯る大敵に抵抗すること能はずと、されども何時我等は今よりも一層强くなることが出來るか、此事の出來るのは來週なるか、將た又た來年なるか、或は又全く武裝を解ひて、英軍が各戶に宿泊するの時なるか、我等は不決斷と不活潑の行動に依りて兵力を集むることが出來るか、敵が我等の手足を束縛するに至るまでも、只だ徙に橫臥し、空望にのみ耽つて、能く効力を有する抵抗を試むることが出來るか、若し我等は神が我等の力に適當して與へ給ふ方法を充分能く用ゐるならば、我等は決して弱きものでない。自由と云ふ神聖なる味方に加はり、又た我等が所有する如き邦土に在りて、武裝したる三百萬の人民は、敵が如何なる兵力を差向けるも、我等に勝つこと覺束ないのである、且つ又我々人民のみが戰鬪に加はるのでなく、其外には我々國民の運命を守護し給ひ、我等の戰爭に參加すべき幾多の同志の者を募らせ給ふところの正義の神は存在し給ふではないか、要するに戰勝者は獨り强者のみに限らず、注意周到なる者、活潑なる者、勇氣に富める者は、亦た戰勝者の內に數ふべきものである、今や我等には死するか、逃げるか、何れか其一を擇ぶことも出來ないのである、若し我等は劣等なる考に依りて之れを爲すとするも、戰爭を避くる如きは時期遲しと云ふべきである、嗟呼今や退却すること能はず、退却せんか、之に依りて屈服することゝ、奴隸になることを見るの外なからう、嗟呼我等を束縛する鎖は出來て居て、共鳴る音は已にボストン平野に於て聞ゑて居るではないか、戰爭は到底避けることが出來ない、 — 戰爭來らしめよ、戰爭來らしめよ。