Page:The World's Famous Orations Volume 6.djvu/158

From Wikisource
Jump to: navigation, search
This page has been validated.


purposes so grievous, that they cry to heaven. Be yet patient! I have but a few words more to say. I am going to my cold and silent grave: my lamp of life is nearly extinguished: my race is run: the grave opens to receive me, and I sink into its bosom! I have but one request to ask at my departure from this world—it is the charity of its silence! Let no man write my epitaph: for as no man who knows my motives dare now vindicate them, let not prejudice or ignorance asperse them. Let them and me repose in obscurity and peace, and my tomb remain uninscribed, until other times, and other men, can do justice to my character; when. my country takes her place among the nations of the earth, then, and not till then, let my epitaph be written. I have done.[1]

  1. At his execution Emmet, in passing out of his cell, met the turnkey who had been kind to him. Fettered as he was he could not shake hands with him. but in stead kissed him on the cheek. The turnkey is said to have fainted then and there and not to have recovered until after Emmet was hanged and his head severed from his body.