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Nathan Hale (1755 – 1776)

Captain in the Continental Army during the American Revolutionary War.
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Nathan Hale
Hale is in the American pantheon not because of what he did but because of why he did it.
Hale quotes
And because that boy said those words, and because he died, thousands of other young men have given their lives to his country.
I wish to be useful, and every kind of service necessary to the public good becomes honorable by being necessary. If the exigencies of my country demand a peculiar service, its claim to perform that service are imperious.

Hale Nathan quotes
He behaved with great composure and resolution, saying he thought it the duty of every good Officer, to obey any orders given him by his Commander-in-Chief; and desired the Spectators to be at all times prepared to meet death in whatever shape it might appear.
Hale Nathan
However, at the gallows, he made a sensible and spirited speech; among other things, told them they were shedding the blood of the innocent, and that if he had ten thousand lives, he would lay them all down, if called to it, in defence of his injured, bleeding Country.
Nathan Hale quotes
‘Hate of oppression’s arbitrary plan,
The love of freedom, and the rights of man;
A strong desire to save from slavery’s chain
The future millions of the western main,
And hand down safe, from men’s invention cleared,
The sacred truths which all the just revered;
For ends like these, I wish to draw my breath,’
He bravely cried, ‘or dare encounter death.’
And when a cruel wretch pronounced his doom,
Replied, ‘Tis well, — for all is peace to come;
The sacred cause for which I drew my sword
Shall yet prevail, and peace shall be restored.
I’ve served with zeal the land that gave me birth,
Fulfilled my course, and done my work on earth;
Have ever aimed to tread that shining road
That leads a mortal to the blessed God.
I die resigned, and quit life’s empty stage,
For brighter worlds my every wish engage;
And while my body slumbers in the dust,
My soul shall join the assemblies of the just.’
Nathan Hale
I only regret that I have but one life to lose for my country.
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