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THE Compiler of this work, having submitted his plan to a very respectable literary friend, had it returned, with the following character of the SELECTIONS, wbich is now given as an appropriate
66 To the Man of taste, who would add a truly valuable volume to his library; to the student, who would acquire a pure and classical style; to the parent, who would place in the hands of his child, the productions of some of the best orators, writers, and statesmen of the present age, this compilation will be found of great intrinsic value. The good will find in it much to commend ; the captious, little on which to fasten the talons of envy, while the most scrupulous moralist will not encounter a line to shock his feelings, or to alarm his apprehensions. No work, of equal magnitude, hitherto, published in the United States, presents more talent, or will give more satisfaction to the reader. The lover of eloquence will dwell on it with
rapture; and the man of letters of whatever country or profession, will find in it a sumptuous entertainment for the mind, The American, the Irishman, the Englishman, the Scotchman, and the Frenchiman, will each find flowers of their respective nations, collected into a bouquet, on which each may gaze with satisfaction and delight."
By the Representatives of the United States, in Congress assem
bled, July 4, 1776.
When, in the course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume, among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the laws of Nature, and of Nature's God entitle them; a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires, that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.
We hold these truths to be self-evident : that all men are created equal : that they are endowed, by their Creator, with certain unalienable rights ; that among these, are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. That, to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed; that, whenever any form of government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or abolish it, and to institute a new government, laying its foundation on such principles, and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their safety and happiness.
Prudence, indeed, will dictate, that governments long established, should not be changed for light and transient causes ; and, accordingly, all experience hath shown, that Mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves, by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But, when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same object, evinces a design to reduce them under absolute despotism ; it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such government, and to provide new guards for their future security. Such has been the patient sufferance of these colonies ; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former systems of government. The history of the present King of Great Britain, is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute tyranny over these States. To prove this, let facts be submitted to a candid world :
He has refused his assent to laws, the most wholesome, and necessary for the public good.
He has forbidden his governors to pass laws of immediate and press. ing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his assent should be obtained : and, when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.
He has refused to pass other laws, for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of representation in the legislature; a right inestimable to them, and formidable to tyrants only.
He has called together legislative bodies, at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their public records ; for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.
He has dissolved representative houses repeatedly, for opposing, with manly firmness, his invasions on the rights of the people.
He has refused, for a long time after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected ; whereby the legislative powers, incapable of annihilation, have returned to the people at large, for their exercise ; the State remaining, in the mean time, exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsion within.
He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States ; for that purpose, obstructing the laws for naturalization of foreigners ; refusing to pass others, to encourage their migrations hither; and raising the conditions of new appropriations of lands.
He has obstructed the administration of justice, by refusing his assent to laws, for establishing judiciary powers.
He has made judges dependeat on his will alone, for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.
He has erected a multitude of new offices, and sent hither swarms of officers, to harrass our people, and eat out their substance.
He has kept among us, in times of peace, standing armies, without the consent of our Legislatures.
He has affected to render the military independent of, and superior to, the civil power.
He has combined with others, to subject us to a jurisdiction, foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged 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 Statos.
For cutting off our trade with all parts of the world.
For abolishing the free system of English laws in a neighbouring province, establishing therein au arbitrary government, 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, desolation, and tyranny, already begun, with circumstances of cruelty and perfidy, scarcely parallelled 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