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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 honours. 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 ?
To what are we to impute these disorders; and to what cause assign the decay of a state so powerful and flourishing in past times ?—The reason is plain.-The servant is now become the master. The magistrate was then subservient to the people; punishments and rewards were properties of the people ; all honours, dignities, and preferments, were disposed by the voice and favour of the people: but the magistrate, now, has usurped the right of the people, and exercises an arbitrary authority over his ancient and natural lord. You miserable people! (the meanwhile, without money, without friends) from being the ruler, are become the servant; from being the master, the dependent; happy that these governors, into whose hands you have ihus resigned your own power, are so good and so gracious as to continue your poor allowance to see plays.
Believe me, Athenians, if, recovering from this lethargy, you would assume the ancient freedom and spirit of your fathers; if you would be your own soldiers and your own commanders, confiding no longer your affairs in foreign or mercenary hands; if you would charge yourselves with your own defence, employing abroad, for the public, what you waste in unprofitable pleasures at home; the world might, once more, behold you making a figure worthy of Athenians. You would have us then (you say) do service in our armies, in our own persons; and, for so doing, you would have the pensions we receive in time of peace accepted as pay in time of war. Is it thus we are to understand you ? Yes, Athenians, it is my plain meaning. I would make it a standing rule, that no person, great or little, should be the better for the public money, who should grudge to employ it for the public service. Are we in peace ? the public is charged with your subsistence. Are we in war, or under a necessity, at this time, to enter into a war? let your gratitude oblige you to accept, as pay, in defence of your benefactors, what you receive, in peace, as mere bounty.--Thus, without any innovation ; without altering or abolishing any thing, but pernicious novelties, introduced for the encouragement of sloth and idleness; by converting only, for the future, the same funds, for the use of the serviceable, which are spent, at present, upon the unprofitable ; you may be well served in your armies ; your troops regularly paid; justice duly administered; the public revenues reformed and increased; and every member of the commonwealth, rendered useful to his country, according to his age and ability, without any further burden to the state.
This, O men of Athens, is what my duty prompted me to represent to you upon this occasion.—May the gods inspire you to determine upon such measures, as may be most expedient for the particular and general good of our country!
XII.--Jupiter to the inferior Deities, forbidding them to
take any part in the contention between the Greeks and Trojans.
AURORA, now, fair daughter of the dawn,
Strive, all of mortal and immortal birth,
And such are men, and gods, compard to Jove."
Sack of Troy.
'Twas now the dead of night, when sleep repairs
“O light of Trojans, and support of Troy,
The spectre, groaning from his inmost breast,
" Haste, goddess born! Escape, by timely flight,
If by a mortal arm my father's throne
Now peals of shouts came thund'ring from afar,
New clamors and new clangors now arise,
“ What hope, o Pantheus? whither can we run ?
XIV.-Moloch, the fallen Angel, to the infernal Powers, inciso
ing them to renew the War. MY sentence is for open war. Of wiles More unexpert, I boast not; then let those
Contrive who need ; or when they need, not now. For while they sit contriving, shall the rest, Millions that stand in arms, and longing wait The signal to ascend, sit ling'ring here, Heaven's fugitives, and for their dwelling-place Accept this dark opprobrious den of shame, The prison of his tyranny, who reigns By our delay? No; let us rather choose, Arm’d with hell flames and fury, all at once, O'er heaven's high towers to force resistless way, Turning our tortures into horrid arms, . Against the tort'rer; when, to meet the noise Of his almighty engine, he shall hear Infernal thunder ; and for lightning, see Black fire and horror shot with equal rage Among his angels--and his throne itself, Mix'd with Tartarean sulphur and strange fire, His own invented torments. But perhaps, The way seems difficult and steep to scale, With upright wing, against a higher foe. Let such bethink them, if the sleepy drench Of that forgetful lake henumb not still, That in our proper motion we ascend Up to our native seat; descent and fall To us is adverse. Who but felt of late, When the fierce foe hung upon our broken rear Insulting, and pursued us through the deep, With what compulsion and laborious flight, We sunk thus low? Th’ ascent is easy then, Th' event is fear'd. Should we again provoke Our stronger, some worse way his wrath may find, To our destruction ; if there be in hell, Fear to be worse destroy'd: What can be worse Than to dwell here, driven out from bliss, condemn'd In this abhorred deep to utter wo; Where pain of unextinguishable fire, Must exercise us without hope of end, The vassals of his anger, when the scourge Inexorable, and the tortring hour Calls us to penance ? More destroy'd than thus We should be quite abolish'd and expire. What fear we then? What doubt we to incense His utmost ire? Which to the height enrag'd, Will either quite consume us, and reduce To nothing this essential, (happier far, a Than miserable, to have eternal being) Or if our substance be indeed divine, And cannot cease to be, we are at worst On this side nothing; and by proof we feel Our power sufficient to disturb this heaven, And with perpetual inroads to alarm, Though inaccessible, his fatal throne; Which, if not victory, is yet revenge.