Reference > Quotations > S.A. Bent, comp. > Familiar Short Sayings of Great Men
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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.]
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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.”
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