Imatges de pÓgina
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open Athens to general resort, nor ever drive any stran. ger from us, whom either improvement or curiosity hath brought amongst us, lest any enemy should hurt us by seeing what is never concealed; we place not so great a confidence in the preparatives and artifices of war as in the native warmth of our souls impelling us to action. In point of education, the youth of some people are in. ured, by a course of laborious exercise, to support toil and hardship like men; but we, notwithstanding our easy and elegant way of life, face all the dangers of war as intrepidly as they. This may be proved by facts, since the Lacedemonians never invade our territories, barely with their own, but with the united strength of all their confederates. But when we invade the domi. nions of our neighbours, for the most part we conquer without difficulty, in an enemy's country, those who fight in defence of their own habitations. The strength of our whole force, no enemy hat! yet ever experienced, be. cause it is divided by our naval expeditions, or engaged in the different quarters of our service by land. But if any where they engage and defeat a small party of our forces, they boastingly give it out a total defeat; and, if they are beat, they were certainly overpowered by our united strenght. What though from a state of inactivity, rather than laborious exercise, or with a natural, rather than an acquired valour, we learn to encounter danger; this good at least we receive from it, that we never droop under the apprehension of possible misfortunes, and when we hazard the danger, are found no less courageous than those who are continually inured to it. these respects, our whole community deserves justly to be admired, and in many we have yet to mention.

In our manner of living we shew an elegance tempered with frugality, and we cultivate philosophy, without enervating the mind. We display our wealth in the sea. son of beneficence, and not in the vanity of discourse. A confession of poverty is disgrace to no man; no effort to avoid it, is disgrace indeed. There is visibly, in the same persons, an attention to their own private concerns, and those of the public; and in others, engaged in the labours of life, there is a competent skill in the affairs of government. For we are the only people who think him that does not meddle in state affairs--not indoleut,

our measures.

but good for nothing. And yet we pass the soundest judgment, and are quick at catching the right apprehen. sions of things, not thinking that words are prejudicial to actions; but rather the not being duly prepared by previous debate, before we are obliged to proceed to execution. Herein consists our distinguishing excellence, that in the hour of action we shew the greatest courage, and yet debate beforehand the expediency of

The courage of others is the result of ignorance; deliberation makes them cowards. And those undoubtedly must be owned to have the greatest souls, who, most acutely sensible of the miseries of war and the sweets of peace, are not hence in the least deter. red from facing danger,

In acts of beneficence, farther, we differ from the many. We preserve friends, not by receiving, but by conferring obligations. For he who does a kindness, hath the advantage over him who, by the law of gratitude, becomes a debtor to his benefactor. The person obliged is compelled to act the more insipid part, conscious that a return of kindness is merely a payment, and not an obligation. And we alone are splendidly beneficent to others, not so much from interested motives, as for the credit of pure liberality. I shall sum up what yet ree mains, by only adding, that our Athens, in general, is the school of Greece: and that every single Athenian among us is excellently formed, by his personal qualifications, for all the various scenes of active life, acting with a most graceful demeanor, and a most ready habit of dispatch.

That I have not, on this occasion, made use of a pomp of words, but the truth of facts, that height to which, by such a conduct, this state hath rose, is an undeniable proof. For we are now the only people of the world, who are found by experience to be greater than in report; the only people who, repelling the attacks of an invading enemy, exempts their defeat from the blush of indignation, and to their tributaries no discontent, as if subject to men unworthy to command. That we deserve our power, we need no evidence to manifest; we have great and signal proofs of this, which entitle us to the admiration of the present and of future ages.

We want no Homer to be the herald of our praise; no poet to

deck off a history with the charms of verse, where the opinion of exploits must suffer by a strict relation. Every sea hath been opened by our fleets, and every land been penetrated by our armies, which have every where left behind them eternal monuments of our enmity and our friendship.

In the just defence of such a state, these victims of their own valour, scorning the ruin threatened to it, have valiantly fought, and bravely died. And every one of those who survive is ready, I am persuaded, to sacri. 'fice life in such a cause.

And for this reason have I enlarged so much on national points, to give the clearest proof, that in the present war we have more at stake than men whose public advantages are not so valuable; and to illustrate by actual evidence, how great a commendation is due to them who are pow my subjects, and the greatest part of which they have already received. For the encomiums with which I have celebrated the state, have been earned for it by the bravery of these, and of men like these. And such compliments might be thought too high and exaggerated, if passed on any Grecians, but them alone. The fatal period to which these gallant souls are now reduced, is the surest evidence of their merit-an evidence'begun in their lives, and com. pleted hy their deaths : for it is a debt of justice to pay superior honours to men, who have devoted their lives in fighting for their country, though inferior to others in erery virtue but that of valour. Their last service effaceth all former demerits-it extends to the publie; their private demeanors reached only to a few. Yet not one of these was at all induced to shrink from danger, through fondness of those delights which the peaceful affluent life bestows; not one was the less lavish of his life, through that flattering hope attendant upon want, that poverty at length might be exchanged for affluence. One passion there was in their minds much stronger than these, the desire of vengeance on their enemies. Regarding this as the most honourable prize of dangers, they boldly rushed towards the mark, to seek revenge, and then to satisfy those secondary passions. The un. certain event they had already secured in hope; what their

eyes shewed plainly must be done, they trusted their own valour to accomplish, thinking it more glorious to

to pray

defend themselves, and die in the attempt, than to yield and live. From the reproach of cowardice, indeed, they fled, but presented their bodies to the shock of battle; when, insensible of fear, but triumphing in hope, in the doubtful charge they instantly drop; and thus discharged the duty which brave men owe to their country. As for you, who now survive them, it is your business

for a better fate--but to think it your duty also to preserve the same spirit and warmth of courage against your enemies; not judging the expediency of this from a mere harangue_where any man, indulging a flow of words, may tell you, what you yourselves know as well as he, how many advantages there are in fighting valiantly against your enemies but rather making the daily increasing grandeur of this community the object of your thoughts, and growing quite enamoured of it. And, when it really appears. great to your apprehensions, think again, that this grandeur was acquired by brave and valiant men; by men who knew their duty, and in the moments of action were sensible of shame; who, whenever their attempts were unsuccessful, thought it dishonourable their country should stand in need of any thing their valour could do for it, and so made it the most glorious present. Bestowing thus their lives on the public, they have every one received a praise that will never decay, a sepulchre that will be most illustri. ous.--Not that in which their bones lie mouldering, but that in which their fame is preserved, to be on every occasion, when honour is the employ of either word or act, eternally remembered. This whole earth is the se. pulchre of illustrious men; nor is it the inscription on the columns in their native soil that alone shews their merit, but the memorial of them, better than all inscriptions, in every foreign nation, reposited more durably in universal remembrance than on their own tomb. From this very moment, emulating these noble patterns, placing your happiness in liberty, and liberty in valour, be prepared to encounter all the dangers of war. For, to be lavish of life is not so noble in those whom misfortunes have reduced to misery and despair, as in men who hazard the loss of a comfortable subsistence, and the enjoyment of all the blessings this world affords, by an unsuccessful enterprize. Adversity, after a series of

ease and affluence, sinks deeper into the heart of a man of spirit, than the stroke of death insensibly received in the vigour of life and public hope.

For this reason, the parents of those who are now gone, whoever of them may be attending here, I do not bewail; I shall rather comfort. It is well known to what unhappy accidents they were liable from the mo. ment of their birth; and that happiness belongs to men who have reached the most glorious period of life, as these now have who are to you the source of sorrow; those, whose life hath received its ample measure, happy in its continuance, and equally happy in its conclusion. I know it in truth a difficultstask to fix comfort in those breasts which will have frequent remembrances, in seeing the happiness of others, of what they once themselves enjoyed. And sorrow flows not from the absence of those good things we have never yet experienced, but from the loss of those to which we have been accustomed. They, who are not yet by age exempted from issue, should be comforted in the hope of having more. The children yet to be born will be a private benefit to some, in causing them to forget such as no longer are, and will be a double benefit to their country, in preventing its desolation, and providing for its security. For those persons cannot in common justice be regarded as mem. bers of equal value to the public, who have no children to expose to danger for its safety. But

you, whose

age is already far advanced, compute the greater share of happiness your longer time hath afforded for so much gain, persuaded in yourselves the remainder will be but short, and enlighten that space by the glory gained by these. It is greatness of soul alone that never grows old; nor is it wealth that delights in the latter stage of life, as some give out, so much as honour, To you,

the sons and brothers of the deceased, what. ever number of you are here, a field of hardy contention is opened. For him, who no longer is, every one is ready to commend, so that to', whatever height you push your deserts, you will scarce ever be thought to equal, but to be somewhat inferior, to these. Envy will exert itself against a competitor whilst life remains; but when death stops the competition, affection will applaud without restraint.

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