Imatges de pÓgina
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to the necessity of being her own executioner, to attest her innocence. Hospitably entertained by her, as a kinsman of her husband's, Sextus, the perfidious guest became her brutal ravisher. The chaste, the generous Lucretia, could not survive the insult. Glorious wom-an! But once only treated as a slave, she thought life no longer to be endured. Lucretia, as a woman, disdained a life that depended on a tyrant's will; and shall we→ shall men, with such an example before our eyes, and after five and twenty years of ignominious servitudeshall we, through a fear of dying, defer one single instant to assert our liberty? No, Romans, now is the time; the favorable moment we have so long waited for, is come. Tarquin is not at Kome. The Patricians are at the head of the enterprize. The city is abundantly provided with men, arms, and all things necessaryThere is nothing wanting to secure the success, if our own courage does not fail us. And shall those warriors who have ever been so brave when foreign enemies were to be subdued, or when conquests were to be made to gratify the ambition and avarice of a Tarquin, be then only cowards, when they are to deliver themselves from slavery? Some of you are perhaps intimidated by the army which Tarquin now commands. The soldiers you imagine, will take the part of their general. Banish so groundless a fear. The love of liberty is natural to all: men. Your fellow citizens in the camp feel the weight of oppression, with as quick a sense as you that are in Rome; they will as eagerly seize the occasion of throw-ing off the yoke. But let us grant that there are some among them, who through baseness of spirit, or a bad education, will be disposed to favor the tyrant. The number of these can be but small, and we have means sufficient in our hands to reduce them to reason. have left us hostages more dear to them than life.Their wives, their children, their fathers, their mothers, are here in the city. Courage, Romans, the gods are for us ;-those gods, whose temples and alters the impious Tarquin has profaned, by sacrifices and libations, made with polluted hands, polluted with blood, and with num berless unexpiated crimes committed against his subjects.

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-Ye gods, who protected our forefathers-ye genii, who watch for the preservation and glory of Rome, do you inspire us with courage and unanimity in the glori ous.cause, and we will to our last breath, defend your worship, from all profanation!

XI.-Demosthenes to the Athenians, exciting them to prosecute the War against Philip.

WHEN I compare, Athenians, the speeches of some amongst us, with their actions, I am at a loss to reconcile what I see with what I hear. Their protestations are full of zeal against the public enemy; but their measures are so inconsistent, that all their professions become suspected. By confounding you with a variety of projects, they perplex your resolutions; and lead you from executing what is in your power, by engaging you in schemes not reducible to practice.

'Tis true, there was a time, when we were powerful enough, not only to defend our own borders, and protect our allies, but even to invade Philip in his own dominions. Yes, Athenians, there was such a juncture; I remember it well. But, by neglect of proper opportu nities, we are no longer in a situation to be invaders ; it will be well for us, if we can provide for our own defence, and our allies. Never did any conjuncture require so much prudence as this. However, I should not despair of seasonable remedies, had I the art to prevail with you to be unanimous in right measures. The opportu nities which have so often escaped us, have not been lost through ignorance or want of judgment, but through negligence or treachery. If I assume, at this time, more than ordinary liberty of speech, I conjure you to suffer patiently those truths, which have no other end but your own good. You have too many reasons to be sensible how much you have suffered by hearkening to sycophants. I shall, therefore, be plain, in laying before you the grounds of past miscarriages, in order to correct you in your future conduct.

You may remember it is not above three or four years since we had the news of Philip's laying siege to the fortress of Juno, in Thrace. It was, as I think, in Octo..

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, preferring 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, aud ten galleys, not half manned.

A rumor was spread that Philip was sick. That ru 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 res. tolutions, 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." But by your leave, Athenians, though past moments are not 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 vig. ilant 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 effec tually 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 experi ence to discern what is right; and you have power and opportunity to execute what you determine. What

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time so proper for action? What occasion so happy? And when can you hope for such another, if this be neglected? 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 fortyfive years, without interruption; a public fund of no less than ten thousand talents, was ready for any emergency; they exercised over the kings of Macedon, 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, transmitted 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 public 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 ainbition 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 aud 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.

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Such, O men of Athens, were your ancestors; so glorious in the eye of the world; so bountiful and munifi. cent 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 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 insidious 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. 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 honors. Have 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 P

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