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But him, though dead, Achilles thus bespake:
A SELENACHTS TO THE ALLIED CHIEFS. - Fenelon. Born, 1651 ; died, 1715
Original Abridgment. l'ELLOW-SOLDIERS and confederated chiefs! I grant yoli, if ever man deserved to have the weapon of stratagem and deceit turned ugainst him, it is he who has used it himself so often, - the faithless Adrastus! But shall it be said that we, who have united to pun. ish the perfidy of this man, that we are ourselves perfidious ? Shall fraud be counteracted by fraud ? If we can adopt the practices of Adrastus without guilt, Adrastus himself is innocent, and our present attempt to punish him is unwarrantable. You have sworn; by all that is most sacred, to leave Venusium a deposit in the hands of the Lucanians. The Lucanian garrison, you say, is corrupted by Adrastus. I do not doubt it. But this garrison is still Lucanian It receives the pay of the Lucanians, and has not yet refused to obey them. It has preserved, at least, an appearance of neutrality. Neither Adrastus nor his people have yet entered it. The treaty is still subsisting; and the Gods have not forgotten your oath.
Is a promise never to be kept but when a plausible pretence to break it is wanting ? Shall an oath be sacred only when nothing is to be gained by its violation ? If you are insensible to the love of virtue, and the fear of the Gods, have you no regard to your interest and reputation? If, to terminate a war, you violate your cath, how many wars will this impious conduct excite? Who will hereafter trust you? What security can you ever give for your good faith? A solemn treaty ? - You have trampled one under foot! An oath ? -.. You have committed perjury when perjury was profitable, and have defied the Gods! In peace, you will be regarded as treacherously preparing for war. Every affair, based on a confidence in your probity, will become impracticable. Your promises will not be believed. Nay, the very league which now constitutes your strength will lose its cohesive principle. Your perjury will be the triumph of Adrastus! He will not need to attack you himself. Your own dissensions, your own mistrusts, your own duplicity, will be your ruin.
Ye mighty chiefs, renowned for magnanimity and wisdom, especienced and brave, governing uncounted thousands, - despise not the ajunsel of a youth? To whatever extremity war may reduce you, let your resources be diligence and virtue. True fortitude can never despair. But, if you once pass the barrier of honor and integrity, the ruin of your cause is irreparable. You can neither reëstablish that confidence without which no affair of importance can succeed, nor can you bring men back to the reverence of that virtue which you have taught them to despise. What have you to fear? Is not your sourage equal tr victory, without the aid of fraud? Your own power
joined to that of the many under your command, - is it not sufficient? Let us fight, let us die, if we must, but let us not conquer unwor. thily. Adrastus, the impious Adrastus, is in our power, provided. provided we disdain to imitate the cowardice and treachery which have sealed his ruin!
11. TITUS QUINTIUS AGAINST QUARRELS BETWEEN TIIE SENATE AND LITE
PEOPLE. — Abridgment from Livy. Trovau I am conscious of no fault, O Romans, it is yet with the utmost shame I have come forward to your Assembly. You have seen it — posterity will know it — that, in my fourth consulate, the Æquans and Volscians came in arms to the very gates of Rome, and went away unchastised! Had I forescen that such an ignominy had been reserved for
year, that Rome might have been taken while I was Consul, — I would have shunned the office, either by exile or by death. Yes; I have had honors enough,- of life more than enough! I should have died in my third consulate. Whom did these most dastardly enemies despise ? — us, Consuls, or you, citizens ? If we are in fault, depose us, – punish us as we deserve. If you, Romans, are to blame, may neither Gods nor men make you suffer for your offences ! - only may you repent. No, Romans, the confidence of our enemies is not from a belief in their own courage, or in your cowardice. They have been too often vanquished, not to know both themselves and you. Discord, discord amongst ourselves, is the ruin of this city. The eternal disputes between the Senate and the People are the sole cause of our misfortunes.
In the name of Heaven, what is it, Romans, you would have ? You desired Tribunes of the commons. For the sake of concord, we granted Tribunes. You were eager to have Decemvirs. We suffered them to be created. You grew weary of Decemvirs. We compelled them to abdicate. You insisted on the restoration of the Tribuneship. We yielded. You invaded our rights. We have borne, and still bear. What termination is there to be to these dissensions? When shall we have a united city? When one commou country? With the enemy at our gates, — with the Volscian foe scaling your rampart, - there is no one to hinder it. But against us you are valiant, -- against us you diligently take up arms! Come on, then. Besiege the Senate-house. Make a camp of the Forum. Fill the jails with cur chief nobles. Then sally out with the same determined spirit against the enemy. Does your resolution fail ? Look, then, to see your lands ravaged, your houses plundered and in flames, the whole country laid waste with fire and sword.
Extinguish, 0 Romans, these fatal divisions! Break the spel of this enchantment, which renders you powerless and inactive! If you will but summon up the ancient Roman courage, and follow your Consuls to the field, I will submit to any punishment, if I do not rout and put to flight these ravagers of our territories, and transfer to their own cities the terror of war'
12 CAIUS MARIT'S TO TIIE ROMANS, ON THE OBJECTIONS TO MAKING OM
GENERAL. - Original Paraphrase from Sallust You have committed to my conduct, 0 Romans, the war against Jugurtha. The Patricians are offended at this. He has no family statues,” they exciaim. * He can point to no illustrious line if ancestors !" What then? Will dead ancestors will motionless stat. ues, help fight your battles ? Will it avail your General to appeal to these, in the perilous hour ? Rare wisdom would it be, my country men, to intrust the command of your army to one whose only qualification for it would be the virtue of his forefathers ! to one untried and unexperienced, but of most unexceptionable family! who could not show a solitary scar, but any number of ancestral statues! who knew not the first rudiments of war, but was very perfect in pedigrees ! I'ruly I have known of such holiday heroes, — raised, because of family considerations, to a command for which they were not fitted, — whi, when the moment for action arrived, were obliged, in their ignorance and trepidation, to give to some inferior officer to some despised Plebeian -- the ordering of every movement.
I submit it to you, Romans, -is Patrician pride or Plebeian experience the safer reliance? The actions of which my opponents have merely read, I have achieved or shared in. What they have seen written in books, I have seen written on battle-fields with steel and blood. They object to my humble birth. They sneer at my lowly origin. Impotent objection! Ignominious sneer! Where but in the spirit of a man (bear witness, Gods !), — where but in the spirit, can his nobility be lodged ? and where his dishonor, but in his own cowardly inaction, or his unworthy deeds ? Tell these railers at my obscure extraction, their haughty lineage could not make them noble - my humble birth could never make me base.
I profess no indifference to noble descent. It is a good thing to number great men among one's ancestry. But when a descendant is dwarfed in the comparison, it should be accounted a shame rather than a boast. These Patricians cannot despise me, if they would, since their titles of nobility date from ancestral services similar to those which I myself have rendered. And what if I can show no family statues ?
now the standards, the armor, and the spoils, which I myself have wrested from the vanquished. . I can show the scars of many wounds received in combating the enemies of Rome. These are my statues! These the honors I can boast of! Not an accidental inheritance, like theirs; but earned by toil, by abstinence, by valor; amid clouds of dust and seas of blood; scenes of action, in which these effeminate Patricians, who would now depreciate me in your estecm, have never dared to appear, - no, not even as spectators! Here, Romans, are my credentials; here, my titles of nobility; here, my elaims to the generalship of your army! Tell me, are they not as rospectable, are they not as valid, are they not as deserving of your confidence and reward, as those which any Patrician of them all can ver?
13. CAIUS GRACCIIUS CITED BEFORE THE CENSORS, APPEALS TO THE
PEOPLE. - Original Adaptation from J. S. Knowles.
I am cited here because I have returned
How have I served my time?” I 'll answer that:-
Ye men of Rome, there is no favor, now,
I have no gust for blood, nor for oppression !
The laws! the laws! Of common right the guari, –
14. GALGACUS TO TIIE CALEDONIANS. — Original Abridgment from Tacitus
REFLECTING on the origin of this war, and on the straits to which we are reduced, I am persuaded, O Caledonians, that to your strong hands and indomitable will is British liberty this day confided. There is no retreat for us, if vanquished. Not even the sea, covered as it is by the Roman Acet, offers a path for escape.
And thus war and arms, ever welcomed by the brave, are now the only safety of the cowardly, if any such there be. No refuge is behind us; naught but the rocks, and the waves, and the deadlier Romans : men whose pride you have vainly tried to conciliate by forbearance; whose cruelty you have vainly sought to deprecate by moderation. The robbers of the globe, when the land fails, they scour the sea. Is the cnemy rich, - they are , avaricious; is he poor, — they are ambitious. The East and the West are unable to satiate their desires. Wealth and poverty are alike coveted by their rapacity. To carry off, to massacre, to make seizures under false pretences, this they call empire ; and when they make a desert, they call it peace!
Do not suppose, however, that the prowess of these Romans is equal to their lust. They have thrived on our divisions. They know ho: to turn the vices of others to their own profit. Casting off all hope of pardon, let us exhibit the courage of men to whom salvation and glory are equally dear. Nursed in freedom as we have been, urcon. quered and unconquerable, let us, in the first onset, show these usurpors what manner of men they are that Old Caledonia shelters in her bosom! All the incitements to victory are on our side. Wives, parents, children, — these we have to protect; and these the Romans have not. They have none to cry shame upon their flight; none to shed tears of exultation at their success. Few in numbers, fearsul from ignorance, gazing on unknown forests and untried seas, the Gods have delivered them, hemmed in, bound and helpless, into our hands. Let not their showy aspect, their glitter of silver and gold, dismay you. Yucb adornments can neither harm nor protect from harm. lo