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Patrick Henry

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The versalility ol talent lor whicli l'atncK. f, Henry, the American orator and patriot, was t tinguished, was happily illustruted in n tria[ t which took place soon aftér the war of v ence. Durnfg the distresses of the Repubücan r army. consequent on the invasión of Cornwallis [ r,nd Phillips, in J7ÖI, Mr. Venable, an nrmy commissary, took two steers lor the use of the , troops, from Mr. II ook a Scotchman, and a man ( of wealth, who was Stfêljêótéd of being unfriendly t to the American cause. The act had not been , strictly legal ; and on the establishment oí pcacc, t Hook, under the advice of, a gentleman of some disiinction in ihc law, thotight proper to f bringan actioii of tre.siaás against Mr. Vcruible, . in the District Court of ew London. Mr. J Ion , ry appeared lor the dciundant, and is said to have { conducted himself in a marnier rnueh tó the joyment of his hearers, the unfjmmate Hook wuys excepted. After Mr. Ilenry beenme anima. , tcd in the cause, he appeared to have complete i control ovor the passiöni of his audienee ; at one , time he excited thcir indignation against Hook ; vengèance was visible in èvèry counteh'ance; again , when he chose 10 relax and ridicule hitn, the . whélë audieiK-o was in a roar of Iaughter. He , pnintcd the disiress of the American army. ed, almost nakcd, to the rigor of a winter's -sky ; , and marking the frozen ground over wluch tliey , marched, vvitli the blood oí tliclr unshod feet.-' Wherc. was ihc man:' tontinued lk-nry, who had an American heart in hi-s boso.m, who would not have thrown open his field, his barns, his cellars, the dópra of his house, the portáis of his breast, to have reccivcd withopen arins the inoanest soldier in the littlc börid of fainishod pauiots? Where is the rnnn 1 Thcre he stands ; bul wheth er the henrt of ui American beats in his bosom, you gentltnnen me to jndge.' He tlun carried i the jury by the jiower of his imngination, lo the j plainsaround Vork, the surrender ol which had followed shortly aficr the act complained of. He depicted the eurrendcr in the most piówïng nnd noble colors of his eloquence ; the audience saw before their eyea ihe humiliaüoii and dejtciion of the British, as they maichcd oiu ol" thcir trenches; iep saw the triuinph which Hghtcd up ever) ; riot's face ; tlicy heard the shouts of victory. tbe cryof Washington aiul [Iberty, as i't ruiig and echocd through the American rauks, and was rcverberated from the hills and shores of the ucighboring river ; :but hark,' saulllenry, wliat hótea of discord are. thoec 'which di.sturb the general j y and silcn:e the acclamations ol victory ? They are Mie notes of John Hook hoait'cly bawling throügh the American camp, 'beef ! beef ! beef !' The Court was convulsed witli Iaughter ; - when Hook, turning Xo the Clerk, eaid, "novcr mind, you men ; wait till Billy Cowan gots m, he'll show him the law." 15'Jt Mr. Cowan vaa socomplctely overwhclmed with th" torrent which bore pon his cliënt, that when he rose to re;ly to Mr. Henry, he was scarcely ablc to make ai: iatelligible or audible a;emark. The causa was dccided almost by acclamation. The jury retired for form'a sake, and instantly returned with a verdict for the defendant.


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