« PreviousContinue »
The duty of holding a neutral conduct may be inferred, without anything more, from the obligation which justice and humanity impose on every nation, in cases in which it is free to act, to maintain inviolate the relations of peace and amity towards other nations.
The inducements of interest for observing that conduct will best be referred to your own reflections and experience. With me a predominant motive has been to endeavor to gain time to our country to settle and mature its yet recent institutions, and to progress, without interruption, to that degree of strength and consistency which is necessary to give it, humanly speaking, the command of its own fortunes.
Though, in reviewing the incidents of my administration, I am unconscious of intentional error, I am nevertheless too sensible of my defects not to think it probable that I may have committed many errors. Whatever they may be, I fervently beseech the Almighty to avert or mitigate the evils to which they may tend. I shall also carry with me the hope that my country will never cease to view them with indulgence; and that after forty-five years of my life dedicated to its service, with an upright zeal, the faults of incompetent abilities will be consigned to oblivion, as myself must soon be to the mansions of rest.
Relying on its kindness in this as in other things, and actuated by that fervent love towards it which is so natural to a man who views it in the native soil of himself and his progenitors for several generations; I anticipate with pleas
ing expectation that retreat, in which I promise myself to realize, without alloy, the sweet enjoyment of partaking, in the midst of my fellow-citizens, the benign influences of good laws under a free government—the ever-favorite object of my heart, and the happy reward, as I trust, of our mutual cares, labors, and dangers.
THE AMERICAN FLAG.
BY J. R. DRAKE.
When Freedom, from her mountain height,
Unfurled her standard to the air,
And set the stars of glory there.
Majestic monarch of the cloud !
Who rear'st aloft thy eagle form, To hear the tempest trumping loud, And see the lightning-lances driven,
When strides the warrior of the storm, And rolls the thunder-drum of heaven; Child of the sun! to thee 'tis given
To guard the banner of the free,
To hover in the sulphur smoke,
The harbinger of victory.
Flag of the bravel thy folds shall fly
Flag of the seas! on ocean's wave
And frighted waves rush wildly back,
Flag of the free heart's only home!
By angel hands to valor given, Thy stars have lit the welkin dome,
And all thy hues were born in heaven. Forever float that standard sheet!
Where breathes the foe but falls before us, With freedom's soil beneath our feet,
And Freedom's banner waving o'er us !