or death, what we so proudly hail
once you provoke her, rattling on her tail...
~ Metallica - Don't Tread On Me
"If this be treason, make the most of it!"
"Patrick Henry Before the Virginia House of Burgesses" by Peter
Frederick Rothermel -Red Hill Museum
Henry: "Give Me Liberty Or Give Me Death"
"...There is no longer any room for hope. If we wish to be free-- if we mean to preserve inviolate those inestimable privileges for which we have been so long contending--if we mean not basely to abandon the noble struggle in which we have been so long engaged, and which we have pledged ourselves never to abandon until the glorious object of our contest shall be obtained--we must fight! I repeat it, sir, we must fight! An appeal to arms and to the God of hosts is all that is left 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 now too late to retire
from the contest. There is no retreat but in submission and slavery! Our chains
are forged! Their clanking may be heard on the plains of
It is in vain, sir, to extenuate the matter.
Gentlemen may cry, Peace, Peace-- but there is no peace. The war is actually
begun! The next gale that sweeps from the north will bring to our ears the
clash of resounding arms! Our brethren 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!"