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AN

ORATION,

DELIVERED AT

SAL EM,

ON THE

Fourth of July,

1810.

BY JOSEPH E. SPRAGUE.

66°718 LIBERTT ALONE THAT GITES THE FLOW'R

66 OF FLEETING LIFE IT'S LUSTRE AND PERFUME."

CUWPEN.

PRINTED BY POOL AND PALPRAY;

1810.

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THE COMMITTEE OF ARRANGEMENTS present their unfeigned thanks to you for your elegant and spirited Oration, delivered before the Republicans on the FOURTH DAY OF JULY instant, and respectfully ask a copy for the Press. In behalf of the Committee,

JOSEPH WINN.

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Friends and Fellow Citizens,

ILLUSTRIOUs actions and important revolutions have been commemorated by all nations with public celebrations and national festivals. The Birth Days of the Great and the eras of important events, have in all ages been consecrated with public games, the lays of minstrelsy, or the strains of eloquence. And at this day, in every civilized nation, some memorable event is celebrated with an annual public festival. It has been, in despotic gove ernments, the policy of the sovereign, by increasing the number and pomp of public festivals, to enkindle in his subjects a veneration for his munificence, and a forgetfulness of their own servitude, and thus to lull the restless spirit of liberty. In free governments, public celebrations serve to excite a spirit of emulation. By ex. tolling the deeds o valor and virtue, we direct that ambition into a beneficial channel, which, left to itself, would seek advancement by intrigue. They afford the fittest occasion to pay the tribute of gratitude to national ben. efactors ; to inculcate those maxims by which freedom is supported, and to point out the dangers which menace its destruction. The mind of man, soaring on the pin. ions of curiosity through the regions of hope, in pursuit of highcr attainments and more exalted pleasures, loses

sight of present enjoyments. National blessings, grown a familiar, are forgotten, and their existence endangered. - From this disposition to neglect whatever has not the

stamp of novelty, arises the necessity that peculiar priv, ileges should be frequently brought to view, and the dangers which threaten their destruction often pointed out.

Such, fellow-citizens, are the principles which should induce us to commemorate, with at least one annual celebration, the great, the peculiar, and preeminent liberties and blessings we enjoy. Let us then, my friends, on this

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