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S.A. Bent, comp. Familiar Short Sayings of Great Men. 1887.

Nathan Hale

  • [An American patriot; born in Connecticut, 1755; graduated from Yale College; entered the army, 1775; sent by Washington to penetrate the enemy’s lines in Long Island, and procure intelligence, September, 1776; was seized and executed as a spy.]
  • I only regret that I have but one life to lose for my country.

  • His last words.
  • “What pity is it
  • That we can die but once to save our country!”
  • ADDISON: Cato, IV. 4.
  • Napoleon said, “Can a few days of life equal the happiness of dying for one’s country?”
  • The last words of Major John André of the British army, who was hanged as a spy, Oct. 2, 1780, for having attempted to conduct secret negotiations with Benedict Arnold for the surrender of West Point, were, when asked on the scaffold if he had any thing to say: “Nothing but to request you to witness to the world that I die like a brave man.”