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rally thought. And, besides the disadvantages, which are common to me with all others in eminent stations, my case, is, in this respect, peculiarly hard ; that, whereas - a commander of Patrician rank, if he is guilty of a negle&, or breach of duty, has his great connections, the antiquity of his family, the important services of his ancestors, and the multitudes he has by power engaged in his interest, to screen him from condign punishment; my whole safety depends upon myself; which renders it the more indispensably necessary for me to take care, that my conduct be clear and unexceptionable. Besides, I am well aware, my countrymen, that the eye of the public is upon me; and that, though the impartial, who prefer the real advantage of the commonwealth to all other considerations, favour my pretensions, the Patricians want nothing so much, as an occasion against me. It is, therefore, my fixed resolution, to use my best endeavours, that you be not disappointed in me, and that their indirect designs against me may be defeated. I have, from my youth, been familiar with toils, and with dangers. I was faithful to your interest, my countrymen, when I served you for no reward, but that of honour. It is not my design to betray you, now that you have conferred upon me a place of profit. You have committed to my conduct the war against Jugurtha. The Patricians are offended at this. But where would be the wisdom of giving such a command to one of their honourable body, a person of illustrious birth, of ancient family, of innumerable statues, but-of no experience ? What service would his long line of dead ancestors, or his multitude of motionless statues, do his country in the day of battle? What could such a general do, but, in his trepidation and inexperience, have recourse to some inferior commander, for direction in difficulties, to which he was not himself equal? Thus, your Patrician general would, in: fact, have a general over him ; so that, the acting commander would still be a Plebeian. So true is this, my countrymen, that I have myself known those, who have been: chosen consuls, begin then to read the history of their own country, of which till that time they were totally ignorant; that is, they firft obtained the employment, and then bethought themselves of the qualifications necessary for the : proper discharge of it.. I submit: to your judgment, : Romans, on which side the advantage lies, when a comparison is made between Patrician haughtiness, and Plebeian expe-rience. The very: actions which they have only read, I. have partly seen, and partly myfelf atchieved. What they know by reading, I know by action. They are pleased to fught my mean birth : I despise their mean characters. Want of birth and fortune is the objection against me: want .of. personal worth against them. But are not all men of the fame species ?' What can make a difference between one: man and another, but the endowments of the mind? For: my part, I shall always look upon the bravest man as the noa blest man. Suppose it were enquired of the fathers of fuch. Patricians as Albinus and Beitia, whether, if they had their choice, they would desire fons of their character, or of mine ;; what would they answer; but that they should wish the worthiest to be their fons? If the Patricians have reason to despise me, let them likewise despise their ancestors, whose nobility was the fruit of their virtue. Do they envy the hou nours bestowed upon me?. Let them envy likewise my labours, , my abstinence, and the dangers I have undergone for my country; by which I have acquired them. But those worthless men lead such a life of inactivity, as if they despif-ed any honours you can bestow; whilst they aspire to ho..


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nours, as if they had deserved them by the mot indústrious
virtue. They arrogate the rewards of activity for their hav-
ing enjoyed the pleasures of luxury. Yet none can be more
lavish than they are, in praise of their ancestors. And they
imagine they honour themselves by celebrating their fore-
fathers. Whereas they do the very contrary. For, as much
as their ancestors were distinguished for their virtues, fo
much are they disgraced by their vices. The glory of an-
cestors cafts a light, indeed, upon their posterity : but it
only ferves to few what the descendants are. It alike ex-
hibits to public view their degeneracy and their worth. I
own, I cannot boast of the deeds of my forefathers : but I hope
I may answer the cavils of the Patricians, by standing up in
defence of what I have myself done. Observe, now, my
countrymen, the injustice of the Patricians. They arrogate
to themselves honours on account of the exploits done by
their forefathers, whilst they will not allow me the due praise
för performing the very fame fort of actions in my own per-
fon. He has no ftatues, they cry, of his family. He can
trace no venerable line of ancestors.-What then! Is it
matter of more praise to disgrace one's illustrious ancestors
than to become illustrious by his own good behaviour? What
if I can shew no itatues of my family? I can fhew the stand-
ards, the armour, and the trappings, which I have myself
taken from the vanquished; I can shew the fears of those
wounds, which I have received by facing the enemies of my
country. These are my statues. These are the honours I
boast of; not left me by inheritance, as theirs ; but earned
by toil, by abstinence, by valour, amidst clouds of dust; and
Leas of blood ; scenes of action, where those effeminate Pa-
tricians, who endeavour, by indirect means,' to depreciate
me in your esteem, have never dared to shew their faces.





Tf the king were present, Cleon, there would be no need

of my answering to what you have just proposed. He would himself reprove you for endeavouring to draw him into an imitation of foreign absurdities, and for bringing envy upon him by such unmanly flattery. As he is absent, I take upon me to tell you in his name, that no praise is lafting, but what is rational; and that you do what you can to lessen his glory, instead of adding to it. Heroes have never, among us, been deified, till after their death. And whatever may be your way of thinking, Cleon, for my part, I wish the king may not, for many years to come, obtain that honour. You have mentioned, as precedents of what you propose, Hercules and Bacchuș. Do you imagine, Cleon, that they were deified over a cup of wine? And are you and I qualified to make gods? Is the king, our lovereign, to receive his divinity from you and me, who are his subjects? First try your power, whether you can make a king. It is, surely, easier to make a king, than a god ? to give an earthly dominion, than a throne in heaven. I only with, that the gods may have heard, without offence, the arrogant propoíal you have made, of adding one to their number; and that they may, fiill be so propitious to us, as to grant the continuance of that success to our affairs, with which they have hitherto favoured us. For my part, I am not ashamed of my country; nor do I approve of our adopting the rites of foreign nations, or learning from them how нб


we ought to reverence our kings. To receive laws, or rules of conduct, from them, what is it, but to confess ourselves inferior to them?

Quintus Curtius.



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TF your person were as gigantic, as your desires, the world
I would not contain you. Your right hand would touch
the east, and your left the west, at the same time. You
grasp at more than you are equal'to. From Europe you reach
Afia: from Asia you lay hold on Europe. And if you should
conquer all mankind, you seem disposed to wage war with
woods and snows, with rivers and wild beasts, and to attempt
to subdue nature. But have you considered the usual course
of things? Have you reflected, that great trees are many
years in growing to their height, and are cut down in an
hour. It is foolish to think of the fruit only, without con-
fidering the height you have to climb, to come at it. Take
care left, while you ftrive to reach the top, you fall to the
ground with the branches you have laid hold on. The
lion, when dead, is devoured by ravens; and ruft consumes
the hardness of iron. There is nothing fo strong, but it is
in danger from what is weak. It will, therefore, be your
wisdom, to take care how you venture beyond your reach.
Besides, what have you to do with the Scythians, or the Scy-
thians with you? We have never invaded Macedon : why
fhould you attack Scythia ? We inhabit vast desarts, and
pathless woods, where we do not want to hear of the name
of Alexander. We are not disposed to submit to flavery ;


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