Men easily believe what their passions suggest to them, and the weakest reasons which persuade them, are to them demonstrations. – After they have thus deceived themselves, the decisive way wherewith they discourse of what they believe, serves to deceive others, or at least they fancy they have persuaded them with reasons the weakness whereof would be palpable, if they were free passion.
—Le Clerc’s Parrhasians.
Fear—Fear is implanted in us, as a preservative from evil; but its duty, like that of other passions, is not to overbear reason, but to assist it; nor should it be suffered to tyrannize in the imagination, to raise phantoms of horror, or to best life with supernumerary distresses.
Who’ll Fight? Now is your time, war spirits! you that love the smell of gunpowder, and are fond of human butchery! do ye not hear the growl of the accursed demon in the dying cries of seven hundred of your brethren in the South West!
Up, up and be doing; you have missed something already! hundreds have been slaughtered and you were not there to enjoy the feast of blood.
The widows and orphans’ wail is heard and you have not the satisfaction of being instruments in the cause. Towns and cities are to be sacked, and where will be your share of the Plunder! Te Deums will have been sung for the glorious achievements of that gallant and Christian bard, and you are not among them.
Come, arouse yourselves; your brother butchers will be revelling in the halls of the Montezumas, are you have awakened from your lethargy; then grid on your bucklers beat your ploughshares into swords, and pruning hooks into spears, (for the Savior was mistaken when he taught the reverse) fling your caps into the air and shout for liberty; Oh! glorious! glorious! let the world know how Godlike it is to stand up as a mark to be shot at and receive ten dollars per month for standing fire.
The area of freedom must be extended, then let your watchword be Blood! Blood! Blood!
Jubilee of the Industrial Reformers!!
The approaching National Anniversary will be appropriately observed in Lowell by the friends of Industrial Reform. A procession with banners and music will be formed, at some place near the depot, after the arrival of the friends from abroad. Friends! we expect the commencement of a Jubilee that shall be yet realized throughout the nation – one creditable to the sons and daughters of ’76. No flourish of rhetoric blazoned on banners, bearing the American eagle, whose talons only are visible to the laborer. The Revolution we propose, needs no fiendish weapons – no troops of war and carnage. It is a war of “right against might,” of justice against oppression.
Let those who “toil and spin,” come to the rescue and consult the great interest of the industrial classes – come one! Come all!!
Notice of time and place next week.
Although this sentiment is repudiated and denounced by many as unjust and absurd, when applied to “our country,” who can deny that it is the very spirit and basis of our present social, legal, financial and political notions.
Are we not taught to protect and defend, our own selves first, under all circumstances, and do we not do it, right or wrong; next, are we not taught to protect and defend our children, families and particular friends, their interests, property, characters, positions and occupations, right or wrong, and do we not aim to do it? Are not our lawyers bound under oath, to protect and defend their clients, right or wrong? Are we not bound to obey the laws of the country in which we live, right or wrong? Do we not swear to support the Constitution of our country, right or wrong, good or evil? Does not the successful gambler claim his wager, right or wrong? the hungry, avaricious lawyer his exorbitant fees, right or wrong? the “Shylock” miser and money-monger, the very extreme of his bond, right or wrong? and the master his slave, right or wrong? Do not our grasping lovers of land, or mortgagers, after receiving one half of the value, or more of a farm, sue up a mortgage and dispossess the mortgagee […] getting back the farm together with the money, interest and improvements made by the cultivator, after long years of hard labor, without once inquiring whether it is right or wrong? Do not the pirate and highway robber claim our money and obtain it if they can, right or wrong? Does not the avaricious speculator claim all he can get in trade and monopoly, whether of goods, money or land, (the free gift of God,) whether right or wrong? Does not the politician claim all the advantage he can gain by fraud, deception, abuse, intrigue and duplicity, justified by the motto – “our party, right or wrong? Must not our military men rush to the battle field at the command of a superior officer, without liberty to inquire whether right or wrong? Sufficient for them, “their country calls,” – let innocent millions be sacrificed – ‘tis for “ourselves” that we fight.
Until we can strip the bandage from the eyes of Justice, we shall govern and be governed by force and fraud. Our private and our public interests will clash, and we shall sustain the relation of enemies to each other. Man will continue to be the worst enemy of man; individuals, families and nations will be arrayed against each other; capital and labor will clash, force them into large competitive bodies, compel them to work for less than will sustain them, force them to dive into the dock, kill and destroy each other, as the late history of the oppressed labor in Brooklyn has clearly proven.
All this proceeds as naturally and inevitably from the established principle of ‘our cause’ whether right or wrong, as does heat and light proceed from the sun, the great fountain of light and heat; for who expects a bitter fountain to send forth sweet waters, “or a corrupt tree to bring forth good fruit.” There is no fraud or abuse which might not be justified under this banner.
The rumseller takes our money from us in a far more objectionable way, than the pure, unmitigated thief; as he gives us back a destructive dose, worse than the Mexicans’ copper bullets – which destroys us and often our families; and all this he does for his own supposed especial benefit; and surely he cannot stop to consider whether this is right or wrong!
May God protect the Right; and may men soon learn to do the same. Justice.
—New York, June 22, 1846
There’s a man in New York who has such unbounded patriotism, that he sits up all night with a pair of horse-pistols in his hands, watching the Constitution.