« SebelumnyaLanjutkan »
gret from the bosom of humanity. There will the moralist read, with warm aj probation, the sentiments of a Hamilton, on the subject of the barbarous custom to which he fell a sacrifice; there will he see the abhorrence in which he held a practice sanctioned by the mauners of the age in which he lived; and which, from a peculiar combination of circumstances, he conceived as to himself was unavoidable. There will the christian dwell, with exquisite delight, on the record of the bright example of this great man, who, in the fulness of belief, embraced the doctrines of christianity, partook of its ordinances, and died in the consoling hope of its promises.
Part of Mr. Pitt's Speech in the British Parliament. My Lords,
January 20, 1775. 1. I RISE with astonishment to see these papers brought to your table at so late a period of this business ; papers, to tell us what ? Why, what all the world knew before ; that the Americans, irritated by repeated injuries, and stripped of their inborn riglits and dearest privileges, have resisted, and entered into associations for the preservation of their common liberties. Had the early situation of the people of Boston been attended to, things would not have come to this. But the infant complaints of Boston were literally treated, like the capricious squalls of a child, who, it was said, did not know whether it was aggrieved or not.
2. But full well I knew, at that time, that this child, if not redressed, would soon assume the courage and voice of a man. Full well I knew, that the sons of ancestors, born under the same free constitution, and once breathing the same liberal air as Englishmen, would resist upon the same principles, and on the same occasions. What has government done? They have sent an armed force, consisting of seventeen thousand men, to. dragoon the Bostonians into what is called their duty; and, so far from once turning their eyes to the policy and destructive consequence of this scheme, are constantly sending out more troops. And we are told, in the language of menace, that, it seventeen thousand men will not do, fifty thousand sball.
3. It is true, my lords, with this force they may ravage the country; waste and destroy as they march ; but, in the progress of fifteen hundred miles, can they occupy the places they have passed ? Will not a country, which can produce three millions of people, wronged and insulted as they are, start up like hydras in every corner, and gather fresh strength from fresh opposition ? Nay, what dependence can you have upon the soldiery, the unhappy engines of your wrath? They are Englishmen, who must feel for the privileges of Englishmen. Do you think that these men can turn their arms against their brethren ? Surely not. A victory must be to them a defeat ; and carnage, a sacrifice.
4. But it is not merely three millions of people, the produce of America, we have to contend with, in this unnatural struggle; many more on their side, dispersed over the face of this wide empire. Every whig in this country, and in Ireland is with them. Who, then, let me demand, has given, and continues to give, this strange and unconstitutional advice? I do not mean to level at one man, or any particular set of men ; but thus much I will venture to declare, that, if his Majesty continues to hear such counsellors, he will not only be hadly advised, but undone.
5. He may continue indeed to wear his crown ; but it will not be worth his wearing. Robbed of so principal a jewel as America, it will lose its lustre, and no longer beam that effulgence which should irradiate the brow of majesty. In this alarming crisis, I come with this paper in my hand, to offer you the best of my experience and advice ; which is, that an humble petition be presented to his Majesty, beseeching him, that, in order to open the way towards a happy settlement of the dangerous troubles in America, it may graciously please him, that immediate orders be given to general Gage, for removing his Majesty's forces from the town of Boston.
6. And this, my lords, upon the most mature and deliberate grounds, is the best advice I can give you, at this juncture. Such conduct will convince America that you mean to try her cause in the spirit of freedom and inquiry, and not in letters of blood. There is no time to be lost. Every hour is big with danger. Perhaps, while I am now speaking, the decisive blow is struck, which may involve millions in the consequence. And, believe me, the very first drop of blood which is shed, will cause a wound which may never be healed.
Part of Hannibal's Speech to the Carthagenian Army. 1 On what side soever I turn my eyes, I behold all full of courage and strength. A veteran infantry; a most gallant cavalry; you, my allies, most faithful and valiant : you, Carthagenians, whom not only your country's cause, but the justest anger, impels to battle. The hope, the courage of assailants, is always greater than that of those who act upon the defensive. With hostile banners displayed, you are come down upon Italy, You bring the war. Grief, injuries, indignities, fire your minds, and spur you forward to revenge. First, they demanded me, that I, your general, should be delivered up to them; next, all of you who had fought at the seige of Saguntum ; and we were to be put to death by excruciating tortures.
2. Proud and cruel nation! Every thing must be yours, and at your disposal! You are to prescribe to us with whom we are to make war, with whom to make peace! You are to set us bounds; to shut us up between hills and rivers ; but you are not to observe the limits which yourselves have fixed ! • Pass not the Iberus.' What next? · Touch not the Saguntines ; Saguntum is upon the Iberus ; move not a step towards that city,' Is it a small matter, then, that you have deprived us of our ancient possessions, Sicily and Sardinia ? You would have Spain too! Well, we shall yield Spain, and then-you will pass into Africa. Will pass, did I say? This very year, they ordered one of their conşuls into Africa, the other into Spain.
3. No, soldiers, there is nothing left for us but what we can vindicate with our swords. Come on, then.
The Romans may, with more safety, be cowards. They have their own country behind them ; have places of refuge to flee to ; and are secure from danger in the roads thither. But for you, there is no middle fortune between death and victory. Let this be but well fixed in your minds; and once again, I say, you are conquerors.
Brutus' Speech on the Death of Cæsar. Romans, Countrymen, and Lovers,
1. Hear me, for my cause ; and be silent that you may hear. Believe me, for mine honour; and have respect for mine honour, that you may believe. Censure me in your wis. dom; and awake your senses, that you may the better judge If there be any in this assembly, any dear friend of Cæsar, te him I say, that Brutus’ love to Cæsar was no less than his. If. then, that friend demand, why Brutus rose against Cæsar, this is my answer: not that I loved Cæsar less, but that I loved
Had you rather Cæsar were living, and die all slaves, than that Cæsar were dead, to live all freemen? As Cæsar loved me, I weep for him; as he was fortunate, I rejoice at it; as he was valiant, I honour him ; but as he was ambitious, I slew him. There are tears for his love, joy for his fortune, honour for his valour, and death for his ambition. Who's here so base that he would be a bondsman ? If any, speak, for him have I offended, Who's here 50 rude, that he
would not be a Roman? If any, speak, for him have I offended. Who's here so vile that he will not love his country? If any, speak, for him have I offended. I pause for a reply.- None ? theu none have I offended. I have done no more to Cæsar than you should do to Brutus. And as I slew my best lover for the good of Rome, I reserve the same dagger for myself, whenever it shall please my country to need my death.
Part of Cicero's Oratiox against Verres. 1. I ASK now, Verres, what thou hast to advance against this charge? Wilt thou pretend to deny it? Wilt thou pretend, that any thing false, that even any thing aggravated, is alleged against thee? Had any prince, or any state, committed the same outrage against the privilege of Roman citizens, should we not think we had sufficient ground for demanding satisfaction ? What punishment ought, then, to be inflicted upon a tyrannical and wicked prætor, who dared, at no greater distance than Sicily, within sight of the Italian coast, to put to the infamous death of crucifixion, that unfortunate and innocent citizen, Publius Gavius Cosanus, only for his having asserted his privilege of citizenship, and declared his intention of appealing to the justice of his country, against a cruel oppressor, who had unjustly confined him in prison at Syracuse, whence he had just made his escape ?
2. The unhappy man, arrested as he was going to embark for his native country, is brought before the wicked prætor. With eyes darting fury, and a countenance distorted with cruelty, he orders the helpless victim of his rage to be stripped, and rods to be brought ; accusing him, but without the least shadow sof evidence, or even of suspicion, of having come to Sicily as a spy. It was in vain that the unhappy man cried out, I am a Roman citizen: I have served under Lucius Pretius, who is now at Panormus, and will attest my innocence. The blood. thirsty prætor, deaf to all he could urge in his own defence, ordered the infamous punishment to be inflicted. Thus, fathers, was an innocent Roman citizen publicly mangled with 6courging ; whilst the only words he uttered, amidst his cruel sufferings, were, • I am a Roman citizen!'
3. With these he hoped to defend himself from violence and infamy. But of so little service was this privilege to him, that, while he was thus asserting his citizenship, the order was given for his execution ; for his execution upon the cross! O liberty! O sound once delightful to every Roman ear! O sacred privi. lege of Roman citizenship ! once sacred ! now trampled upon! But what then? Is it come to this ? Shall an inferiour magis trate, a governour, who holds his whole power of the Roman people, in a Roman province, within sight of Italy, bind, scourge, torture with fire and red hot plates of iron, and at last put to the infamous death of the cross, a Roman citizen ? Shall neither the cries of innocence, expiring in agony, nor the tears of pitying spectators, nor the majesty of the Roman commonwealth, nor the fear of the justice of his country, restrain the licentious and wanton cruelty of a monster, who, in confidence of his riches strikes at the root of liberty, and sets mankind at defiance.
A Scythian Ambassador's Speech to Alexander. 1. When the Scythian ambassadors waited on Alexander the Great, they gazed on him a long time without speaking a word, being very probably surprized, as they formed a judgment of men from their air and stature, to find that his did not answer the high idea they entertained of him from his fame.
2. At last the oldest of the ambassadors addressed him thus : Had the gods given thee a body proportionable to thy ambition, the whole universe would have been too little for thee, With one hand thou wouldst touch the East, and with the other the West ; and, not satisfied with this, thou wouldst follow the sun, and know where he hides himself. But what have we to do with thee? We never set foot in thy country. May not those who inhabit woods be allowed to live without knowing who thou art, and whence thou comest? We will neither command over, nor submit to any man. And that thou mayest be sensible what kind of people the Scythians are, know, that we rec ved from heaven, as a rich present, a yoke of oxen, a ploughshare, a dart, a javelin, and a cup.
3. These we make use of, both with our friends and against our enemies.
To our friends we give corn, which we procure by the labour of our oxen ; with them we offer wine to the gods in our cup; and with regard to our enemies, we combat them at a distance with our arrows, and near at hand with our javeling. But thou, who boastest thy coming to extirpate robbers, art thyself the greatest robber upon earth. Thou hast plundered all nations thou overcomest; thou hast possessed thyself of Lybia, invaded Syria, Persia, and Bactria ; thou art forming a design to march as far as India, and now thou comest hither to seize upon our herds of cattle. The great possessions thou hast, only make thee covet the more eagerly what thou hast not. If thou art a god, thou oughtest to do good to mortals, and not deprive them of their possessions. If thou art a