124 DRAMATIC MOMENTS
which we are to steer through the ocean of time opening on us. * * * America, North and South, has a set of interests distinct from those of Europe. She should therefore have a sys- tem of her own, separate and apart from that of Europe. While the last is labouring to be- come the domicile of despotism, our endeavour should surely be to make our hemisphere that of freedom.
"One nation, most of all, could disturb us in this pursuit; she now offers to lead, aid, and accompany us in it. By acceding to her prop- osition, we detach her from the bands, bring her mighty weight into the scale of free gov- ernment, and emancipate a continent at one stroke, which might otherwise linger long in doubt and difficulty. Great Britain is the one nation which can do us the most harm of any one, on all the earth ; and with her on our side we need not fear the whole world. With her, then, we should most sedulously cherish a cor- dial friendship and nothing would tend more