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[342] Nothing for aggression is here, but everything for defense.

But the substantials of self-government were denied, and so ‘the old order changed, giving place to the new.’

They had understood their epoch. They had hewed to the very line, and then they waited for a twelve-month the fateful issue.

But resolute then for self-government they were, at the hazard of their fortunes and their lives.

A long renown to the Mecklenburg Patriots of 1775, the precursors of American Independence!

But a deathless renown to self-respecting, self-governing freemen, capable to rend asunder and destroy that unserviceable body of government which no longer fitly houses and serves the soul of liberty!

This great decision of the Mecklenburg forefathers, I say, bears every mark of the highest style of self-government.

Of pure Democracy there is no finer type.

No orders came thundering down from the seat of centralized power. They conversed with one another and determined their course in this county of Mecklenburg, and then staked the fortunes and the lives of freemen as of less value than their liberty.

Liberty to do what?

Liberty to establish justice and maintain it; liberty to surround arid guard their own social order with all their united force; liberty to keep off the encroachments of the officers of government, by keeping in hand the sum and methods of taxation and holding the tenure of the officer at the pleasure of his constituents.

Such is the attitude of freemen. Such is the mind of the Democrat—Democrat in the broadest sense, I mean. And then, what courage of the patriot!

Can you conceive of servility in souls like theirs? Can you conceive of a demagogue making headway in that company?

Let us keep before the eyes of our fellow-countrymen, thronging hither from all lands, this type and style of true Democracy, this type and nobler style of humanity. Is that too proud a claim?

Let us see. I brought with me to this celebration of Mecklenburg county Patriotism, a newspaper printed in the great metropolis called London one hundred and sixteen and a half years after the day and deeds we celebrate. It is the London Times of last November 25th. It contains the report of a speech in Birmingham made by the prime minister, an actual ruler of Great Britain to-day. Allow me

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