Imatges de pÓgina

ber we received this intelligence. We voted an immediate supply of threescore talents; forty men of war were ordered to sea; and so zealous were we, that, pre* ferring the necessities of the state to our very laws, our citizens above the age of five and forty years, were commanded to serve. What followed? A whole year was spent idly, without any thing done; and it was but in the third month of the following year, a little after the celebration of the feast of Ceres, that Charademus set sail, furnished with no more than five talents, and ten galleys, not half manned.

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A rumor was spread that Philip was sick. mor was followed by another—that Philip was dead. And then, as if all danger died with him, you dropped your preparations; whereas then, then was your time to push and be active; then was your time to secure yourselves, and confound him at once. Had your resolutions, taken with so much heat, been as warmly sec-onded by action, you had then been as terrible to Phil ip, as Philip, recovered, is now to you. "To what purpose, at this time, these reflections? What is done cannot be undone." Bat by your leave, Athenians, though past moments are hot to be recalled, past errors may be repeated. Have we not, now, a fresh provoca tion to war? Let the memory of oversights, by which you have suffered so much, instruct you to be more vigilant in the present danger. If the Olynthians are not instantly succored, and with your utmost efforts, you become assistants to Philip, and serve him more effectually than he can help himself.

It is not, surely, necessary to warn you, that votes alone can be of no consequence. Had your resolutions, of themselves, the virtue to compass what you intend, we should not see them multiply every day, as they do, and upon every occasion, with so little effect; nor would Philip be in a condition to brave and affront us in this manner. Proceed, then, Athenians, to support your deliberations with vigor. You have heads capable of advising what is best; you have judgment and experience to discern what is right; and you have power and opportunity to execute what you determine. What

time so proper for action? What occasion so happy? And when can you hope for such another, if this be neg. lected? Has not Philip, contrary to all treaties, insulted you in Thrace? Does he not, at this instant, straiten and invade your confederates, whom you have solemnly sworn to protect? Is he not an implacable enemy? A faithless ally? The usurper of provinces to which he has no title nor pretence? A stranger, a barbarian, a tyrant? And, indeed, what is he not?

Observe, I beseech you, men of Athens, how different your conduct appears, from the practices of your ancestors. They were friends to truth and plain dealing, and detested flattery and servile compliance. By unanimous consent, they continued arbiters of all Greece, for the space of forty-five years- without interruption; a public fund of no less than ten thousand talents, was ready for any emergency: they exercised over the kings of Mace don, that authority which is due to barbarians; obtained both by sea and land, in their own persons, frequent and signal victories; and, by their noble exploits, transmit ted to posterity an immortal memory of their virtue, superior to the reach of malice and detraction. It is to them we owe that great number of publick edifices, by which the city of Athens exceeds all the rest of the world in beauty and magnificence. It is to them we owe so many stately temples, so richly embellished, but above all, adorned with the spoils of vanquished enemies. But visit their own private habitations; visit the houses of Aristides, Miltiades, or any other of those patriots of antiquity: you will find nothing, not the least mark or ornament, to distinguish them from their neighbors. They took part in the government, not to enrich themselves, but the public; they had no scheme or ambition but for the public; nor knew any interest, but for the public. It was by a close and steady application to the general good of their country, by an exemplary piety towards the immortal gods, by a strict faith and religious honesty betwixt man and man, and a moderation always uniform, and of a piece, they established that reputation, which remains to this day, and will last to utmost posterity.

Such, O men of Athens, were your ancestors; so glorious in the eye of the world; so bountiful and munificent to their country; so sparing, so modest, so self-denying to themselves. What resemblance can we find in the present generation of these great men? At a time when your ancient competitors have left you a clear stage; when the Lacedemonians are disabled; the Thebans employed in troubles of their own; when no other state whatever is in a condition to rival or molest you; in short, when you are at full liberty; when you have the opportunity and the power to become once more the sole arbiters of Greece; you permit, patiently, whole provinces to be wrested from you; you lavish the public money in scandalous and obscure uses; you suffer your allies to perish in time of peace, whom you preserved in time of war; and, to sum up all, you yourselves, by your mercenary court, and servile resignation to the will and pleasure of designing insidjpus leaders, abet, encourage and strengthen the most dangerous and formidable of your enemies. Yes, Athenians, I repeat it, you yourselves are the contrivers of your own ruin. Lives there a man who has. confidence enough to deny it?Let him arise and assign, if he can, any other cause of the success and prosperity of Philip. "But," you reply, "what Athens may have lost in reputation abroad, she has gained in splendor at home. Was there ever a greater appearance of prosperity? A greater face of plenty? Is not the city enlarged? Are not the streets better paved, houses repaired and beautified?"—Away with such trifles. Shall I be paid with coUnters? An old square new vamped up! A fountain! An aqueduct! Are these acquisitions to brag of? Cast your eye upon the magistrate, under whose ministry you boast these precious improvements. Behold the despicable creature raised, all at once, from dirt to opulence; from the lowest obscurity, to the highest honHave not some of these upstarts built private houses and seats, vieing with the most sumptuous of our public palaces? And how have their fortunes and their power increased, but as the commonwealth has been ruined and impoverished?


To what are we to impute these disorders? And to what cause assign the decay of a state, so powerful and flourishing in past times? The reason is plain.—The servant is now become the master. The magistrate was then subservient to the people; punishments and rewards were properties of the people; all honors, dignities and preferments, were disposed by the voice and favor of the people; but the magistrate now has usurped the right of the people, and exercises an arbitrary authority over his ancient and natural lord. You, miserable people! (the mean while without money, without friends) from being the ruler, are become the servant; from being the master, the dependent; happy that these governors, into whose hands you have thus resigned your own power, are so good and so gracious as to continue your poor allowance to see plays.

Believe me, Athenians, if recovering from this lethargy, you would assume the ancient freedom and spirit of your fathers; if you would be your own soldiers and your own commanders, confiding no longer your affairs in foreign or mercenary hands; if you would charge yourselves with your own defence, employing abread, for the public, what you waste in unprofitable pleasures at home; the world might, once more, behold you making a figure worthy of Athenians. "You

would have us then (you say) do service in our armies, in our own persons; and for so doing, you would have the pensions we receive, in time of peace, accepted as pay, in time of war. Is it thus we are to understand you?" —Yes, Athenians, 'tis my plain meaning, I would make it a standing rule, that no person, great or little, should be the better for the public money, who should grudge to employ it for the public service. Are we in peace? The public is charged with your subsistence. Are we in war, or under a necessity at this time, to enter into a war? Let your gratitude oblige you to accept, as pay, in defence of your benefactors, what you receive, in peace, as mere bounty.Thus, without any innovation; without altering or abolishing any thing, but pernicious novelties, introduced, for the encouragement of sloth and idleness; by converting only, for the future, the same funds, for the use of the serviceable, which ere


spent, at present, upon the unprofitable; you may be well served in your armies; your troops regularly paid; justice duly administered; the public revenues reformed and increased; and every member of the commonwealth rendered useful to his country, according to his age and ability, without any further burthen to the state.

This, O men of Athens, is what my duty prompted me to represent to you upon this occasion. May the Gods inspire you, to determine upon such measures, as may be most expedient for the particular and general good of our country!

XII Jupiter to the inferior Deities, forbidding them to take any Part in the Contention between the Greeks and Trojans.—Homer.

AURORA, now, fair daughter of the dawn,
Sprinkled with rosy light the dewy lawn;
When Jove conven'd the senate of the skies,
Where high Olympus' cloudy tops arise.
The sire of gods his awful silence broke ;
The heavens, attentive, trembled as he spoke :
"Celestial states! Immortal gods! Give ear:
Hear our decree; and rev'rence what ye hear:
The fix'd decree, which not all heaven can move :
Thou fate fulfil it: and ye powers approve.
What god shall enter yon forbidden field,
Who yields assistance or but wills to yield;
Back to the skies, with shame he shall be driven,
Gash'd with dishonest wounds, the scorn of heaven :
Or, from our sacred hill, with fury thrown,
Deep in the dark Tartarean gulf shall groan;
With burning chains fix'd to the brazen floors,
And lock'd by hell's inexorable doors:
As far beneath th' infernal centre hurl'd
As irom that centre to th' etherial world.
Let each, submissive, dread those dire abodes,
Nor tempt the vengeance of the god of gods.
League all your forces, then, ye powers above
Your strength unite against the might of Jove.
Let down our golden everlasting chain,

Whose strong embrace holds heaven, and earth and main
Strive all of mortal and immortal birth,

To drag, by this, the thund'rer down to earth.

Ye strive in vain. If I but stretch this hand,
1 heave the gods, the ocean and the land.
I fix the chain to great Olympus' height,
And the vast world hangs trembling in my sight

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