Page:The World's Famous Orations Volume 7.djvu/262

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them; and, until that moment, let no words pass our lips, save those of war."

But another thought arose, and suggested to me the inquiry, Why have we not conquered? Why is it that, while our countrymen are fighting for independence in the North, liberty is perishing in the South? Why is it that a war which should have sprung to the Alps with the bound of a lion has dragged itself along for four months with the slow, uncertain motion of the scorpion surrounded by a circle of fire? How has the rapid and powerful intuition of a people newly arisen to life been converted into the weary, helpless effort of a sick man, turning from side to side?

Ah, had we all arisen strong in the sanctity of the idea for which our martyrs died; had the holy standard of their faith inspired our youth to battle; had we made of our every thought an action, and of our every action a thought; had we learned from them that liberty and independence are one, we should not now have war, but victory! Cosenza would not be compelled to venerate the memory of her martyrs in secret, nor Venice be restrained from honoring them with a monument. We, here gathered together, then might gladly invoke those sacred names without uncertainty as to our future destiny or a cloud of sadness on our brows; and we might say to those precursor souls: "Rejoice, for your spirit is incarnate in your brethren, and they are worthy of you." Could Attilio and Emilio