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About The commoner. (Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-1923 | View Entire Issue (March 8, 1901)
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The Love of Liberty.
The letter written by Sixto Lopez, the' repre
sentative of the Filipinos, and addressed to Robert
Treat Paine, was a dignified protest in behalf of
a people struggling for liberty.
In that lcttor Sonor Lopez says:
Wc plead for peace, but tho pica is in the interests
of thoso who suffer and die hy sword and starvation;
not because of fear. We can fight long, even if we
have to suffer much, for wc are fighting for hearth
and home, and in a righteous cause. We are ready
for peace; we hold out the olive branch. But on that
branch is written, with the blood of brave men, the
word "liberty." For that we are willing to suffer;
for that wo arc prepared to die. But we will never
submit to have liberty conferred upon Ufa by the
'charity" or "benevolence" of any man or nation; it Is
ours by right and not by bounty.
For ono hundred and twenty-five years Ameri
can school children have been taught to stand
uncovered in tho presence of just such sentiments
as these. Every school book designed for the
purpose of imparting a desirable lesson, as well as
of giving tho child practice in the art of reading,
has been filled with sentiments similar to thoso
uttered by this representative of tho Filipino peo
ple. "No other country than ours has so carefully
treasured sentiments of liberty or been more
partial to the history of men who wcro willing to
die for freedom.
How does it happen then that this lofty senti
ment uttored by the representative of an unfortu
nate people has met with sneors in this country
It was our own Jefferson who declared: "The
God who gave us life gave us liberty at tho same
time." And tho Americans of Jefferson's period
subscribed to that sentiment in a solemn declara
tion of independence. For more than one hun
dred years, tho people of this country have acted
in tho belief that tho men of Jefferson's time
wroto tho truth.
The men who have written our books, tho
orators who have sought to stir up tho best im
pulses in tHo American heart, the poets. who have
courted the muse for our instruction and enter
tainment have acted on tho theory that tho way
to make tho American heart beat faster, tho way to
arouse American enthusiasm to its depths was to
play upon the harp of liberty. Every song that
may lay claim to being a national hymn em
phasizes this fact, and contains the same sentiment
to which this humble Filipino gave utterance.
How often has the American heart been stirred
by these words from Hail Columbia:
Let independence bo your boast,
Ever mindful -what it cost,
Ever grateful for the prize,
Let its altar reach the skies.
How often has the American pulse quickened
at the words from our national hymn:
Oh thus be it ever when freemen shall stand,"
Betweeu their loved homes and war's desolation,
Blest with victory and peace: may the Heaven rescued
Praise the power that liath made and preserved us
How often have American school boys recited
Webster's speech wherein ho declared, "God
grants liberty to thoso who love it and are always
ready to guard and defend it."
IIow often have they repeated those lines from
Give me again my hollow tree,
A crust of bread and liberty.
How often have they been told of the story of
Nathan Hale, that American patriot, who went
to his death declaring, "My only regret is that I
have but one life to give for my country."
How often have they read the words of Pat
rick Henry, -who exclaimed, "Give mo liberty or
give me death."
Uow often have they listened to the song of
Again to tho battle Achaians!
Our hearts bid the tyrants defiance!
Our land, the first guardian of Liberty's tree,
It has been and shall yet be the land, of the free.
Nor is there a school boy in tho land who
has not been thrillec by the heroism of Arnold
Winkclried. "There sounds not to the trump of
fame, tho echo of a nobler name," than that of
Make way for liberty he cried;
The keen points met from side to side;
He bowed amongst them like a tree,
And thus made way for liberty.
For more than a hundred years in this nation
of freemen, these stories have been told, and
these songs have been sung, and the song and the
story have inspired the little men and women of
America to that reverence for free institutions
upon which tho permanency of free government
"In liberty's unclouded blaze" the children of
America have learned of the sacrifices of the pio
neers in liberty's cause. The sentiments they
have applauded arc identically the sentiments ex
pressed by this -brown man of tho Orient in bei
half of the people whom we are now seeking to
subjugate; and yet today some have nothing but
sneers for this sentiment when it comes l'ronl a
representative of this people.
Can it be ' "tie that for more than a hundred
years the children of America have been .taught
to reverence falsehood? Can it bo true that the
cardinal principle of all their lessons has been a
lie? Can it be true that for more- than a century
in our Declaration of Independence, in our Con
stitution, in our laws, in our histories, in our
story and in our song we have been saying hom
age to false gods? Some one has said, "Let me
make the songs of a nation and I care not
who mako3 its laws." This was on the theory
that men are dominated more by their ballads
than by their laws. The fact is that tho ballads
are the index to tho sentiments of the nation.
Our ballads indicate our devotion to liberty, our
admiration for .sacrifices in liberty's behalf,
wherever, or by whom thoso sacrifices, may bo
made. But if such sentiments as were uttered
by Sixto Lopez are to bo met by sneers simply
because that sentiment is uttored in protest against
our own crimes against liberty, then our ballads
must be rewritten, our stories must bo expurgated,
our songs must be remodeled.
Let any American citizen devote a few hours
to tho preparation of a page by which he will be
brought to realize the present situation.
In one column let him put down tho laws, tho
patriotic songs, tho stories and the orations that
have made and kept this nation free; lot him re
cord tho many instances in tho world's history
where men have fought and died in freedom's
holy cause incidents which we have treasured
as sacredly as any occuring in our own national
In another column let him set down a few
laws, speeches and songs consistent with an em
pire, with wars of conquest and with a blood
bought commerce. Let him compare the two
columns and then ask himself whether this nation
can afford to revolutionize its policy and its ideals
whether it can afford to pay tho price of Buch
An Indefensible Appropriation.
Although Congressman Richardson, of Ten
nessee, exposed the iniquity of theproposed appro
priation for the Standard' Oil Bank in New York
city, that appropriation was made by the Repub
lican House. Tho vote on tho proposed appro
priation was evenly divided, standing- 92 for and
92 against. Under tho rules of the house, the
appropriation was passed by this vote. It will
be remembered that after Congressman Richard
son had made his statement to the House, Con
gressman Moody, a republican member of the
appropriation committee, stated that he appreci
ated the force of Mr. Richardson's statement and
that he would not attempt to reply to it. In
spito of the fact that the proposed appropriation
was indefensible, and admitted by republican
leaders to be indefensible, still it was made.
It was made in response to the suggestion
of tho bank that the large contributions this
bank had made to the llanna slush fund, de
served some recompense.
A. TVlan's a Me For V That.
By Robert Burns.
Is there for honest poverty, -yf-:
That lianas his head, and a' that? "iA-
The coward slave, we pass liira by,
Wc dare be poor for a' that!
For a' that, and a' that, . ,
Our toil's obscure, and a' that;
The rank is but tho guinea's stamp,
The man's the gowd for a' that. ,
What though on hamely fare we dine,
Wear hoddin gray, and a' that?
Gi'e fools their silks, and knaves their wine,
A man's a man for a' that; '
For a' that, and a' that,
Their tinsel show, and a' that . .
The honest man, though e'er sae poor, .
Is king o' men for a' that. j . -
Ye see yon birkie, ca'd a lord, - '
Wha struts, and stares, and a' that;
Though hundreds worship at his word,
. He's but a coof for a' that;
For a' that, and a' that,
His riband, star, and a' that
The man of independent mind,
Ho looks and lautrhs n.t. n' flmf.
A prince can male' a belted knight, "4 '
A marquis, duke and a' that, -
Hut an honest man's aboon his might1- ' .
Quid faith, ho mauna fa' that!
For a' that, and a' that, V
Their dignities, and a' that, '..
The pith o' sense and pride o' worth
Are higher ranks than a' that.
Then let us pray that come it may f
As como it will for a' that
That sense and worth, o'er a' the carthf
May bear the gree and a' that. '
For a' that, and a' that,
It's cotnin' yet, for a' that
That man to man, the warld o'er,
Shall brothers bo for a' that: '
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