Sunday, July 4, 2010

4757518692_fe7c69e460_bHarrison

Workout of the Day

Open Gym

Hours today are 10 to noon.

Tomorrow we will have reduced hours unless there is a groundswell of demand for the early AM sessions.  Hours Monday will be 9 AM to 1 PM and 4 PM to 8 PM.  Post to comments.

Every year on this day it is appropriate to read something from the time of the American Revolution.  Today, it is Patrick Henry's speech to the Virginia colonial delegates, March 23, 1775 at St. John's church in
Richmond. Resolutions
were presented by Mr. Henry putting the colony of Virginia
"into
a posture of defense…embodying, arming, and disciplining
such a number
of men as may be sufficient for that purpose." Before the vote
was
taken on his resolutions, Henry delivered the speech below,
imploring the
delegates to vote in favor.

He spoke without any notes in a voice that became louder and
louder,
climaxing with the now famous ending. Following his speech,
the vote was
taken in which his resolutions passed by a narrow margin, and
thus Virginia
joined in the American Revolution.

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 different lights; and,
therefore, I hope that 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.

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 be of the number of those who, having eyes, see not,
and having ears, hear not, the things which so nearly concern their
temporal
salvation?

For my part, whatever anguish of spirit it may cost, I am willing
to know the whole truth — to know the worst and to provide for it. I
have
but one lamp by which my feet are guided; and that is the lamp of
experience.
I know of no way of judging of the future but by the past. And judging
by the past, I wish to know what there has been in the conduct of the
British
ministry for the last ten years, to justify those hopes with which
gentlemen
have been pleased to solace themselves and the House?

Is it that insidious smile with which our petition has been lately
received? Trust it not, sir; it will prove a snare to your feet. Suffer
not yourselves to be betrayed with a kiss. Ask yourselves how this
gracious
reception of our petition comports with these warlike preparations which
cover our waters and darken our land. Are fleets and armies necessary to
a work of love and reconciliation? Have we shown ourselves so unwilling
to be reconciled that force must be called in to win back our love? Let
us not deceive ourselves, sir. These are the implements of war and
subjugation
— the last arguments to which kings resort. I ask gentlemen, sir, what
means this martial array, if its purpose be not to force us to
submission?
Can gentlemen assign any other possible motives for it? Has Great
Britain
any enemy, in this quarter of the world, to call for all this
accumulation
of navies and armies?

No, sir, she has none. They are meant for us; they can be meant
for
no other. They are sent over to bind and rivet upon us those chains
which
the British ministry have been so long forging. And what have we to
oppose
to them? Shall we try argument? Sir, we have been trying that for the
last
ten years. Have we anything new to offer on the subject? Nothing.

We have held the subject up in every light of which it is capable;
but it has been all in vain. Shall we resort to entreaty and humble
supplication?
What terms shall we find which have not been already exhausted? Let us
not, I beseech you, sir, deceive ourselves longer.

Sir, we have done everything that could be done to avert the storm
which is now coming on. We have petitioned; we have remonstrated; we
have
supplicated; we have prostrated ourselves before the throne, and have
implored
its interposition to arrest the tyrannical hands of the ministry and
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 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 the 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 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!

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