be of use to, be useful to
The little experience I have had in addressing public meetings, in country schoolhouses,
avails me nothing on the present occasion.
give expression to
You will not, therefore, be surprised, if in what I have to say I
evince no elaborate preparation, nor grace my speech with any high sounding exordium.
recovery or preservation from loss or danger
It carries your minds back to the day, and to the act of your great
deliverance; and to the signs, and to the wonders, associated with that act, and that day.
indicate by signs
The eye of the reformer is met with angry flashes,
portending disastrous times; but his heart may well beat lighter at the thought that America is young, and that she is still in the impressible stage of her existence.
fill or cover completely, usually with water
They may sometimes rise in quiet and stately majesty, and
inundate the land, refreshing and fertilizing the earth with their mysterious properties.
a right reserved exclusively by a person or group
This home government, you know, although a considerable distance from your home, did, in the exercise of its parental
prerogatives, impose upon its colonial children, such restraints, burdens and limitations, as, in its mature judgment, it deemed wise, right and proper.
showing inappropriate levity
Everybody can say it; the dastard, not less than the noble brave, can
flippantly discant on the tyranny of England towards the American Colonies.
act of correcting an error or a fault or an evil
Feeling themselves harshly and unjustly treated by the home government, your fathers, like men of honesty, and men of spirit, earnestly sought
argue in protest or opposition
They petitioned and
remonstrated; they did so in a decorous, respectful, and loyal manner.
characterized by propriety and dignity and good taste
They petitioned and remonstrated; they did so in a
decorous, respectful, and loyal manner.
completely acceptable; not open to reproach
Their conduct was wholly
impatient especially under restriction or delay
Your fathers were wise men, and if they did not go mad, they became
restive under this treatment.
identifying words by which someone or something is called
These people were called Tories in the days of your fathers; and the
appellation, probably, conveyed the same idea that is meant by a more modern, though a somewhat less euphonious term, which we often find in our papers, applied to some of our old politicians.
having a pleasant sound
These people were called Tories in the days of your fathers; and the appellation, probably, conveyed the same idea that is meant by a more modern, though a somewhat less
euphonious term, which we often find in our papers, applied to some of our old politicians.
The whole scene, as I look back to it, was simple, dignified and
good-natured tolerance of delay or incompetence
forbearance; but that they knew its limits.
careful to consider potential consequences and avoid risk
circumspect, exact and proportionate were all their movements!
a special anniversary or the celebration of it
Prayers are made, hymns are sung, and sermons are preached in honor of this day; while the quick martial tramp of a great and multitudinous nation, echoed back by all the hills, valleys and mountains of a vast continent, bespeak the occasion one of thrilling and universal interest — a nation’s
praise formally and eloquently
Sydney Smith tells us that men seldom
eulogize the wisdom and virtues of their fathers, but to excuse some folly or wickedness of their own.
showing unfeeling resistance to tender feelings
obdurate and dead to the claims of gratitude, that would not thankfully acknowledge such priceless benefits?
leave or give, especially by will after one's death
The rich inheritance of justice, liberty, prosperity and independence,
bequeathed by your fathers, is shared by you, not by me.
a shackle for the ankles or feet
To drag a man in
fetters into the grand illuminated temple of liberty, and call upon him to join you in joyous anthems, were inhuman mockery and sacrilegious irony.
I can to-day take up the
plaintive lament of a peeled and woe-smitten people!
For there, they that carried us away captive, required of us a song; and they who wasted us required of us
mirth, saying, Sing us one of the songs of Zion. How can we sing the Lord’s song in a strange land?
be deliberately ambiguous or unclear
“I will not
equivocate; I will not excuse;” I will use the severest language I can command; and yet not one word shall escape me that any man, whose judgment is not blinded by prejudice, or who is not at heart a slaveholder, shall not confess to be right and just.
break apart or in two, using violence
What, am I to argue that it is wrong to make men brutes, to rob them of their liberty, to work them without wages, to keep them ignorant of their relations to their fellow men, to beat them with sticks, to flay their flesh with the lash, to load their limbs with irons, to hunt them with dogs, to sell them at auction, to
sunder their families, to knock out their teeth, to burn their flesh, to starve them into obedience and submission to their masters?
The feeling of the nation must be quickened; the conscience of the nation must be roused; the
propriety of the nation must be startled; the hypocrisy of the nation must be exposed; and its crimes against God and man must be proclaimed and denounced.
pretending to have qualities or beliefs that you do not have
The feeling of the nation must be quickened; the conscience of the nation must be roused; the propriety of the nation must be startled; the
hypocrisy of the nation must be exposed; and its crimes against God and man must be proclaimed and denounced.
pompous or pretentious talk or writing
...your prayers and hymns, your sermons and thanksgivings, with all your religious parade, and solemnity, are, to him, mere
bombast, fraud, deception, impiety, and hypocrisy — a thin veil to cover up crimes which would disgrace a nation of savages.
It has been denounced with burning words, from the high places of the nation, as an
destroy completely, as if down to the roots
The duty to
extirpate and destroy it, is admitted even by our DOCTORS OF DIVINITY.
in name only
In order to put an end to it, some of these last have consented that their colored brethren (
nominally free) should leave this country, and establish themselves on the western coast of Africa!
walk with no particular goal
perambulate the country, and crowd the highways of the nation, with droves of human stock.
a sudden desire
There I see the tenderest ties ruthlessly broken, to gratify the lust,
caprice and rapacity of the buyers and sellers of men.
excessively greedy and grasping
There I see the tenderest ties ruthlessly broken, to gratify the lust, caprice and
rapacity of the buyers and sellers of men.
a clergyman or other person in religious orders
Your President, your Secretary of State, our lords, nobles, and
ecclesiastics, enforce, as a duty you owe to your free and glorious country, and to your God, that you do this accursed thing.
Not fewer than forty Americans have, within the past two years, been hunted down and, without a moment’s warning, hurried away in chains, and
consigned to slavery and excruciating torture.
give instructions to or direct somebody to do something
A worship that can be conducted by persons who refuse to give shelter to the houseless, to give bread to the hungry, clothing to the naked, and who
enjoin obedience to a law forbidding these acts of mercy, is a curse, not a blessing to mankind.
a protective structure of stone or concrete
It has made itself the
bulwark of American slavery, and the shield of American slave-hunters.
a person who does not acknowledge your god
They convert the very name of religion into an engine of tyranny, and barbarous cruelty, and serve to confirm more
infidels, in this age, than all the
infidel writings of Thomas Paine, Voltaire, and Bolingbroke, put together, have done!
ask for or request earnestly
It is not that “pure and undefiled religion” which is from above, and which is “first pure, then peaceable, easy to be
entreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy.”
There, the church, true to its mission of
ameliorating, elevating, and improving the condition of mankind, came forward promptly, bound up the wounds of the West Indian slave, and restored him to his liberty.
a formal ecclesiastical curse accompanied by excommunication
You hurl your
anathemas at the crowned headed tyrants of Russia and Austria, and pride yourselves on your Democratic institutions, while you yourselves consent to be the mere tools and body-guards of the tyrants of Virginia and Carolina.
extreme greed for material wealth
You glory in your refinement and your universal education yet you maintain a system as barbarous and dreadful as ever stained the character of a nation — a system begun in
avarice, supported in pride, and perpetuated in cruelty.
be deliberately ambiguous or unclear in order to mislead
palter with us in a double sense:
And keep the word of promise to the ear,
But break it to the heart.
a legally binding command or decision
fiat of the Almighty, “Let there be Light,” has not yet spent its force.
causing irritation or annoyance
God speed the year of jubilee
The wide world o’er
When from their
galling chains set free,
Th’ oppress’d shall vilely bend the knee
stable gear that joins two draft animals at the neck
And wear the
yoke of tyranny
Like brutes no more.
someone held in bondage
That hour will come, to each, to all,
And from his prison-house, the
tear or be torn violently
Until that year, day, hour, arrive,
With head, and heart, and hand I’ll strive,
To break the rod, and
rend the gyve,
The spoiler of his prey deprive —
So witness Heaven!