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And bucklers on their bosoms brazen-mail'd
There, many a shout and many a dying groan
XXXV. Idomeneus's description of the Ambuscade,
in which is finely depicted the brave mun and the coward.
To whom the leader of the host of Crete
# Meriones discrete.
Thy neck hehind, nor yet thy back annoy,
Enter quick, and from within
XXXVI. Lamentations over the Corse of Hector.
My hero! thou hast fall’n in prime of life,
Whose kindness even in the bands of death
XXXVII. Pericles' Oration at the funeral of those
Athenians, who had been first killed in the Pelo. ponnesian War.
Many of those who have spoken before me on occa. sions of this kind, have commended the author of that law which we are now obeying, for having instituted an
oration to the honour of those who sacrifice their lives in fighting for their country. For my part, I think it sufficient for men who have approved their virtue in action, by action to be honoured for it-by such as you see the public gratitude now performing about this funes ral; and that the virtues of many ought not to be endangered by the management of any one person, when their credit must precariously depend on his oration, which may be good, and may be bad. Difficult indeed it is, judiciously to handle a subject, where even probable truth will hardly gain assent. The hearer, enlightened by a long acquaintance, and warm in his affections, may quickly pronounce every thing unfavourally expressed, in respect to what he wishes and what he knows; whilst the stranger pronounceth all exaggerated, through envy of those deeds which he is conscious are above his own achievement. For the praises bestowed on others are then only to be endured, when men imagine they can do those feats they hear to have been done; they envy what they cannot equal, and immediately proDounce it false. Yet, as this solemnity has received its sanction from the authority of our ancestors, it is my duty also to obey the law, and to endeavour to procure, so far as I am able, the good will and approbation of all my audience.
I shall therefore begin first with our forefathers, since both justice and decency require we should, on this occasion, bestow on them an honourable remembrance. In this our country they kept themselves always firmly settled ; and, through their valour, handed it down free to every since succeeding generation.--Worthy, indeed, of praise are they, and yet more worthy are our immediate fathers; since, enlarging their own inheritance into the extensive empire which we now possess, they bequeathed that, their work of toil, to us their sous. Yet even these successes, we ourselves, here present, we who are yet in the strength and vigour of our days, have nobly improved, and have made such provisions for this our Athens, that now it is all-sufficient in itself to answer every exigence of war and of peace. I mean not here to recite those martial exploits by which these ends were accomplished, or the resclute defences we ourselves and our forefathers have made against the formidable invasions of Barbarians and Greeks. Your own knowledge of these will excuse the long detail. But, by what me. thods we have rose to this height of glory and power; by what polity, and by what conduct, we are thus aggrandized; shall first endeavour to shew, and then proceed to the praise of the deceased.
These, in my opinion, can be no impertinent topics on this occasion; the discussion of them must be beneficial to this nume. rous company of Athenians and of strangers.
We are happy in a form of government which cannot enry the laws of our neigbours; for it hath served as a model to others, but is original at Athens. And this our form, as committed not to the few, but to the whole body of the people, is called a democracy. How different soever in a private capacity, we all enjoy the same general equality our laws are fitted to preserve; and superior honours, just as we excel. The public adminis. tration is not confined to a particular family, but is at. tainable only by merit. Porerty is not a hindrance, since whoever is able to serve his country meets with no obstacle to preferment from his first obscurity. The offices of the state we go through without obstructions from one another; and live together in the mutual endear. ments of private life without suspicions; not angry with a neighbour for following the bent of his own humour, nor putting on that countenance of discontent, which pains, though it cannot punish: so that in private life we converse together without diffidence or damage, whilst we dare not, on any account, offend against the public, through the reverence we bear to the magistrates and the laws, chiefly to those enacted for redress of the injured, and to those unwritten, a breach of which is allowed dis. grace. Our laws have further provided for the mind most frequent intermissions of care, by the appointment of public recreations and sacrifices throughout the year, elegantly performed with a peculiar pomp, the daily delight of which is a charm that puts melancholy to Hight. The grandeur of this our Athens causes the produce of the whole earth to be imported here, by which we reap a familiar enjoyment, not more of the delicacies of onr own growth, thạn of those of other nations.
In the affairs of war we excel those of our enemies, who adhere to methods opposite to our own; for we lay