PHENRY.TXT - The War Inevitable by Patrick Henry

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"The War Inevitable"

A speech by Patrick Henry
March 1775

"They tell us, Sir, that we are 
weak unable to cope with so
formidable an adversary. But when shall 
we be stronger? Will 
it be the next week, or the next year? Will it 
be when we are 
totally disarmed, and when a British guard shall be 
in every house? Shall we gather strength by irresolution 
inaction? Shall we acquire the means of effectual resistance 

by lying supinely on our backs, and hugging the delusive phantom
hope, until our enemies shall have bound us hand and
foot? Sir, we 
are not weak, if we make a proper use of
those means which the God of 
nature hath placed in our
     Three millions of People, armed 
in the holy cause of
liberty, and in such a country as that which we 
are invincible by any force which our enemy can send
us. Beside, Sir, we shall not fight our battles alone.
There is a just 
God who presides over the destinies of
Nations, and who will raise up 
friends to fight our battles
for us. The battle, Sir, is not to the 
strong alone. It is to
the vigilant, the active, the brave. Besides, 
Sir, we have
no election. If we were base enough to desire it, it is 
too late to retire from the contest. There is no retreat but
submission and slavery! Our chains are forged! Their
clanking may be 
heard on the plains of Boston! The war
is inevitable. and let it come! 
I repeat, Sir, let it come!
     It is in vain, Sir, to extenuate the 
matter. Gentlemen
may cry, Peace, Peace! -- but there is no peace. The 
is actually begun! The next gale that sweeps from the
North will 
bring to our ears the clash of resounding arms!
Our breathren are 
already in the field! Why stand we here
idle? What is it that Gentlemen 
wish? What would they
have? Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to 
be purchased
at the price of chains and slavery! Forbid it, Almighty

God! I know not what course others may take; but as for
me, give me 
liberty or give me death!"