Puslapio vaizdai

pretend to be the punisher of robbers, and are yourself the general robber of mankind. You have taken Lydia; you have seized Syria; you are master of Persia; you have subdued the Bactrians, and attacked India. All this will not satisfy you, unless you lay your greedy and insatiable hands upon our flocks and our herds. How imprudent is your conduct! You grasp at riches, the possession of which only increases your avarice. You increase your hunger by what should produce satiety; so that the more you have, the more you desire. But have you forgot how long the conquest of the Bactrians detained you? While you were subduing them, the Sogdians revolted. Your victories serve no other purpose, than to find you employment by produ cing new wars. For the business of every conquest is twofold, to win and to preserve. And though you may be the greatest of warriors, you must expect that the nations you conquer will endeavour to shake off the yoke as fast as possible. For, what people chooses to be under foreign dominion? If you will cross the Tanais, you may travel over Scythia, and observe how extensive a territory we inhabit. But to conquer us is quite another business. Your army is loaded with the cumbrous spoils of many nations. You will find the Scythians, at one time, too nimble for your pursuit; and at another time, when you think we are fled far enough from you, you will have us surprise you in your camp. For the Scythians attack with no less vigour than they fly. Why should we put you in mind of the vastness of the country you will have to conquer? The deserts of Scythia are commonly talked of in Greece; and all the world knows, that our delight is to dwell at large, and not in towns or plantations. It will therefore be your wisdom to keep with strict attention what you have gained. Catching at more, you may lose what you have. We have a proverbial saying in Scythia, That Fortune has no feet, and is furnished only with hands, to distribute her capricious favours, and with fins, to elude the grasp of those to whom she has been bountiful. You give yourself out to be a god, the son of Jupiter Hammon. It suits the character of a god to bestow favours on mortals, not to deprive them of what they have. But if you are no god, reflect on the precarious condition of humanity. You will thus show more wisdom, than by dwelling on those subjects which have

puffed up your pride, and made you forget yourself. You see how little you are likely to gain by attempting the conquest of Scythia. On the other hand, you may, if you please, have in us a valuable alliance. We command the borders of both Europe and Asia. There is nothing between us and Bactria, but the river Tanais: and our terri tory extends to Thrace, which, as we have heard, borders on Macedon. If you decline attacking us in a hostile manner, you may have our friendship.-Nations which have never been at war are on an equal footing. But it is in vain that confidence is reposed in a conquered people. There can be no sincere friendship between the oppressors and the oppressed. Even in peace, the latter think themselves entitled to the rights of war against the former. We will, if you think good, enter into a treaty with you, according to our manner; which is, not by signing, sealing, and taking the gods to witness, as is the Grecian custom, but by doing actual services. The Scythians are not used to pro mise, but to perform without promising. And they think an appeal to the gods superfluous; for that those who have no regard for the esteem of men will not hesitate to offend the gods by perjury. You may therefore consider with yourself, whether you had better have a people of such a character, and so situated as to have it in their power either to serve you or to annoy you, according as you treat them, for allies, or for enemies. Q. CURTIUS.


HAD we been convened, Athenians! on some new subject of debate, I had waited till most of your usual counsellors had declared their opinions. If I had approved of what was proposed by them, I should have continued silent; if not, I should then have attempted to speak my sentiments. But since those very points, on which those speakers have oftentimes been heard already, are at this time to be considered, though I have arisen first, I presume I may expect your pardon; for, if they on former occasions had advised the proper measures, you would not have found it needful to consult at present.

First then, Athenians! however wretched the situation of our affairs at present seems, it must not by any means be thought desperate. What I am now going to advance may possibly appear a paradox; yet it is a certain truth, that our past misfortunes afford a circumstance most favourable to our future hopes. And what is that? even that our present difficulties are owing entirely to our total indolence and utter disregard of our own interest. For were we thus situated, in spite of every effort which our duty demanded, then indeed we might regard our fortunes as absolutely desperate. But now, Philip hath only conquered your supineness and inactivity; the state he hath not conquered. You cannot be said to be defeated; your force hath never been exerted.

If there is a man in this assembly, who thinks that we must find a formidable enemy in Philip, while he views on one hand the numerous armies which surround him, and on the other the weakness of our state, despoiled of so much of its dominions, I cannot deny that he thinks justly. Yet let him reflect on this; there was a time, Athenians! when we possessed Pydna, Potidea, and Methone, and all that country round; when many of the states now subjected to him were free and independent, and more inclined to our alliance than to his. If Philip, at that time weak in himself and without allies, had desponded of success against you, he would never have engaged in those enterprises. which are now crowned with success, nor could have raised himself to that pitch of grandeur at which you now behold him. But he knew well that the strongest places are only prizes laid between the combatants, and ready for the conqueror. He knew that the dominions of the absent devolve naturally to those who are in the field; the possessions of the supine to the active and intrepid. Animated by these sentiments he overturns whole nations. He either rules universally as a conqueror, or governs as a protector; for mankind naturally seek confederacy with such as they see resolved, and preparing not to be wanting to themselves.,

If you, my countrymen, will now at length be persuaded to entertain the like sentiments; if each of you be disposed to approve himself a useful citizen, to the utmost that his station and abilities enable him; if the rich will be ready to

contribute, and the young to take the field; in one word, if you will be yourselves, and banish those hopes which every single person entertains, that the active part of public business may lie upon others, and he remain at his ease; you may then, by the assistance of the gods, recall those opportunities which your supineness hath neglected, regain your dominions, and chastise the insolence of this man.

But when, O my countrymen! will you begin to exert your vigour? Do you wait till roused by some dire event? till forced by some necessity? What then are we to think of our present condition? To free men, the disgrace attending on misconduct is, in my opinion, the most urgent necessity. Or say, is it your sole ambition to wander through the public places, each inquiring of the other, 'What new advices?" Can anything be more new, than that a man of Macedon should conquer the Athenians, and give law to Greece? Philip dead?' 'No-but he is sick.' Pray, what is it to you whether Philip is sick or not? Supposing he should die, you would raise up another Philip, if you continue thus regardless of your interest.


Many, I know, delight more in nothing than in circulating all the rumours they hear as articles of intelligence, Some cry, Philip hath joined with the Lacedemonians, and they are concerting the destruction of Thebes. Others as sure us, he hath sent an embassy to the king of Persia; others, that he is fortifying places in Illyria. Thus we all go about framing our several tales. I do believe, indeed, Athenians! that he is intoxicated with his greatness, and does entertain his imagination with many such visionary projects, as he sees no power rising to oppose him. But I cannot be persuaded that he hath so taken his measures, that the weakest among us (for the weakest they are who spread such rumours) know what he is next to do. Let us disregard their tales. Let us only be persuaded of this, that he is our enemy; that we have long been subject to his insolence; that whatever we expected to have been done for us by others, hath turned against us; that all the resource left us is in ourselves; and that, if we are not inclined to carry our arms abroad, we should be forced to engage him at home. Let us be persuaded of these things, and then we shall come to a proper determination, and be no longer

guided by rumours. We need not be solicitous to know what particular events are to happen. We may be well assured that nothing good can happen, unless we give due attention to our affairs, and act as becomes Athenians.



I KNOW not, soldiers, whether you or your prisoners be encompassed by fortune with the stricter bonds and necessities. Two seas enclose you on the right and left ;—not a ship to flee to for escaping. Before you is the Po, a river broader and more rapid than the Rhone; behind you are the Alps, over which, even when your numbers were undiminished, you were hardly able to force a passage.-Here then, soldiers, you must either conquer or die, the very first hour you meet the enemy. But the same fortune which has laid you under the necessity of fighting, has set before your eyes those rewards of victory, than which no men are ever wont to wish for greater from the immortal gods. Should we by our valour recover only Sicily and Sardinia, which were ravished from our fathers, those would be no inconsiderable prizes. Yet, what are these? The wealth of Rome, whatever riches she has heaped together in the spoils of nations, all these, with the masters of them, will be yours. You have been long enough employed in driving the cattle upon the vast mountains of Lusitania and Celtiberia; you have hitherto met with no reward worthy of the labours and dangers you have undergone. The time is now come to reap the full recompense of your toilsome marches over so many mountains and rivers, and through so many nations, all of them in arms. This is the place which fortune has appointed to be the limits of your labours; it is here that you will finish your glorious warfare, and receive an ample recompense of your completed service. For I would not have you imagine, that victory will be as difficult as the name of a Roman war is great and sounding. It has often happened, that a despised enemy has given a bloody battle, and the most renowned kings and nations have by a small force been overthrown. And if you but take away the glitter of the Roman name, what is there wherein they may stand in competition with you? For (to say nothing of your service

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