Imatges de pàgina

tary Discipline, and a steady Observance of Civil Polity, are the fureft Barriers against these Evils. But there is ftill another Point of great Importance to be considered. The Profperity of some rifing Colonies, and the speedy Ruin of others, have in great measure been owing to their Form of Government. Was there but one manner of ruling States and Cities that could make them happy, the Choice would not be difficult. But I have learnt, that of the various Forms of Government among the Greeks and Barbarians, there are three which are highly extolled by those who have experienced them; and yet, that no one of these is in all Refpects perfect, but each of them has some innate and incureable Defect

. Chuse you then in what manner this City shall be governed. Shall it be by one Man? shall it be by a felect Number of the wisest among us? or shall the Legislative Power be in the People? As for me, I fhall submit to whatever Form of Administration you shall please to establish. As I think myself not unworthy to command, fo neither am I unwilling to obey. Your having chosen me to be the Leader of this Colony, and your calling the City after my Name, are Honours sufficient to content me; Honours, of which, living or dead, I can never be deprived.


Romulus was chosen King ; and Rome was governed by Kings

for upwards of 240 Years, till the Expulsion of Tarquin the 2d, which was occasion’d by, his Son Sextus ravishing Lucretia, the IVife of Collatinus, a noble Roman. Lucretia, upon receiving this Injury, sent for her Husband, who was then in the Camp at Ardea with Tarquin, and for several of his Friends, and having inform’d them of the Outrage she had received, and engag’d them to revenge it, ftab’d herself to the Heart, and dy'd before them. The Romang had long groan'd under the Tyranny and Cruelties of the Tarquins, and were therefore glad to lay hold on so flagrant and outrageous an Insult, to make off their Yoke. The fumcus Junius Brutus, who for some Reasons had mask'd himself, and concealed great

Talents, under the Appearance of Idiotism, suddenly threw off his Disguise; and gring near to the dying Lady, drew the Ponyard out of her Bofom, and VOL. I.



fhewing it all bloody to the Asembly, to their great Aftoniffin ment, thus addressed them.

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ES, noble Lady, I swear by this Blood, which was

once so pure, and which nothing but Royal Villainy could have polluted, that I will pursue Lucius Tarquinius the Proud, his wicked Wife, and their Children, with Fire and Sword; nor will I ever suffer any of that Family, or of any other whatsoever, to be King in Rome : Ye Gods, I call

you to witness this my Oath !- There, Romans, turn your Eyes to that fad Spectacle—the Daughter of Lucretius, Collatinus's Wife-fhe died by her own Hand. See there a noble Lady, whom the Lust of a Tarquin reduced to the Necessity of being her own Executioner, to atteft her Innocence. Hospitably entertain’d 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 Woman! But once only treated as a Slave, the thought Life no longer to be endur'd. Lucretia, a Woman, disdain’d 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 Servitude, shall We, through a Fear of dying, defer one fingle Instant to assert our Liberty? No, Romans, now is the Time; the favourable Moment we have so long waited for, is come. Tarquin is not at Rome, The Patricians are at the Head of the Enterprize. The City is abundantly provided with Men, Arms, and all Things necessary. There is nothing wanting to secure the Success, if our own Cotrage 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 gratisy the Ambition and Avarice of 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.

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 throwing off the Yoké. But let us grant there may be some among them, who thro' Baseness of Spirit, or a bad Education, will be disposed to favour the Tyrant. The Number of these can be but small, and we have Means fufficient in our Hands to reduce them to Reason. They 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 Altars the impious Tarquin has profaned by Sacrifices and Libations made with polluted Hands, polluted with Blood, and with numberless unexpiated Crimes committed against his Subjects. Ye Gods, who protected our Fore-fathers, ye Genii, who watch for the Preservation and Glory of Rome, do you inspire us with Courage and Unanimity in this glorious Cause, and we will to our last Breath defend your Worfhip from all Profanation.


After the Expulsion of the Tarquins, Rome was governed by two Confuls, who held their Office during the Space only of a Year, at the Conclusion of which new ones were chosen by the Senate and people. After some time, the People found themselves very much oppresse l by the Patricians; who engrosjed the whole Power of the State, and by various Exzortions, such as lending them Money at exorbitant Interest, and the like, had got Polefion of all their Lands, and often seized their Persons, imprisoned, or used them as Slaves, (the Laws permitting it in case of the Non-payment of their Debts) in a barbarous Manner. Unable to bear this cruel Treatment, a Number of them, at the Infiigation of Sicinnius Bellutus, and another Junius Brutus, took an Opportunity, when the State had great Need of their Asistance, to defert their Generals, and retired to a Hill three Miles from Rome. In this Exigence, a Deputation was sent to them from the Senate, persuading them with many fair Promises, to return. At the Head of this Deputation were T. Lartius, Menenius Agrippa, and M. Valerius, all three in great Esteem; and of whom two had govern’d the Republic, and commanded her Armies in quality of Dictator. When they were introduced to the Camp of the Male-contents, and had given an Account of their Commission, Junius Brutus, perceiving his Comrades continued in a profound Silence, and that none of them attempted to make himself an Advocate in the Cause, stepped forward, and thus addressed them.

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NE would imagine, Fellow-Soldiers, by this deep Si

lence, that still awed by that servile Fear in which the Patricians and your Creditors kept you so long. Every Man consults the Eyes of the rest, to discover whether there be more Resolution in others than he finds in himself; and not one of you has the Courage to speak in public, that which is the constant Subject of your private Conversation. Do you not know that you are free? This Camp, these Arms, do not they convince you that you are no longer under your Tyrants? And if you could ftill doubt it, would not this Step which the Senate has taken be sufficient to satisfy you? Those Patricians, fo haughty and imperious, now send to court us ; they no longer make use either of proud Commands, or cruel Threats; they invite us as their FellowCitizens to return into our common City; nay some of our Sovereigns, you see, are so gracious as to come to our very Camp, to offer us a general Pardon. Whence then can proceed this obstinate Silence, after such fingular Condescensions ? If you doubt the Sincerity of their Promises ; if you fear that under the Veil of a few fine Words they conceal your former Chains, why do you not speak ? Declare your Thoughts freely. Or, if you dare not open your Mouths, at least hear a Roman, who has Courage enough to fear nothing but the not speaking the Truth. [Then turning to Valerius,] You invite us to return to Rome, but you do not tell us upon what Conditions : Can Plebeians, poor, tho’ free, think of being united with Patricians so rich, and so ambitious ? And even though we should agree to the Conditions

you have to offer, what Security will the Patricians give us for the Performance, those haughty Patricians, who make it a Merit among themselves to have deceived the People? You talk to us of nothing but Pardon and Forgiveness, as if we were your Subjects, and Subjects in Rebellion; but that is the Point to be discussed. Is it the People or the Senate who are in Fault? Which of the two Orders was it, that first violated those Laws of Society, which ought to reign among the Members of the fame Republic? This is the Question. In order to judge of this without Prejudice, give me leave barely to relate a certain Number of Facts, for the Truth of which I will appeal to no other but yourself and your Collegue. Our State was founded by Kings, and never was the Roman People more free, and more happy, than under their Government. Tarquin himself, the last of those Princes, Tarquin, so odious to the Senate and the Nobility, favoured our Interests as much

owe that

as he opposed yours. Nevertheless, to revenge your Wrongs, we drove that Prince from Rome; we took Arms against a Sovereign who defended himself only with the Prayers he made to us to leave your Interests, and return to his Obedience. We afterwards cut to Pieces the Armies of Veii and Tarquinii, which endeavoured to restore him to the Throne. The formidable Power of Porsenna, the Famine we underwent during a long Siege, the fierce Assaults, the continual Battles, were all these, or in short, was any thing capable of shaking the Faith which we had given you? Thirty Latine Cities united to restore the Tarquins. What would you have done then, if we had abandoned you, and joined your Enemies? What Rewards might we not have obtained of Tarquin, while the Senate and Nobles would have been the Victims of his Refentment? Who was it that dispersed this dangerous Combination? To whom are you obliged for the Defeat of the Latines ? Is it not to this People ? Is it not to them you

very Power which you have since turned against them? What Recompence have we had for the Affistance we gave you? Is the Condition of the Roman People one Jot the better? Have you affociated them in your Offices and Dignities? Have our poor Citizens found so much as the smallest Relief in their Neceflities? On the contrary, have not our bravest Soldiers, oppressed with the Weight of Usury, been groaning in the Chains of their merciless Creditors? What has come of all those vain Promises of abolishing, in time of Peace, the Debts which the Extortions of the Great had forced us to contract? Scarce was the War finished, but you alike forgot our Services, and your Oaths. With what Design then do you come hither? Why do you try to reduce this people by the Enchantments of your Words ? Are there any Oaths so solemn as to bind your Faith? And after all, what would you get by a Union brought about by Artifice, kept up with mutual Distrust, and which muft end at last in a Civil War? Let us on both sides avoid such heavy Misfortunes, let us not lose the Happiness of our Separation ; suffer us to depart from a Country where we are loaded with Chains like so many Slaves, and where being reduced to be only Farmers of our own Inheritances, we are forced to cultivate them for the Profit of our Tyrants. So long as we have our Swords in our Hands, we shall be able to open ourselves a Way into more fortunate Climates; and wherever the Gods shall grant us to live in LIBERTY, there we fhall find our COUNTRY.

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