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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 neglect, 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 fafety 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 beft 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 intereft, my countrymen, when I ferved 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 illuftrious birth, of ancient family, of innumerable ftatues, but-of no experience ? What service would his long line of dead ancestors, or his multitude of motionless ftatues, 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 coun-trymen, 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 first 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 fight my mean birth : I despise their mean characters. Want of birth and fortune is the objection against me :

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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 bravelt man as the noa bleft 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 with 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 honours bestowed upon me? Let them envy likewise bours, 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 despifed any honours you can bestow; whilst they aspire to how.

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nours, as if they had deserved them by the most indústrious virtue.

They arrogate the rewards of activity for their having 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 forefathers. Whereas they do the very contrary. For, as much a's their ancestors were distinguished for their virtues, fo much are they disgraced by their vices. The glory of ancestors casts a light, indeed, upon their poiterity : but it only ferves to fhew what the descendants are.

It alike exhibits to public view their degeneracy and their worth. I own, I cannot boast of the deeds of my forefathers: but I hope 1 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 perfon. 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 standards, the armour, and the trappings, which I have myself taken from the vanquished ; I can fhew the fcars of thofe wounds, which I have received by facing the enemies of my country. These are my ftatues. 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 duft; and leas of blood ; scenes of action, where those effeminate Patricians, who endeavour, by indirect means, to depreciate me in your esteem, have never dared to shew their faces.






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F 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


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 Bacchus. 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 hcard, without offence, the arrogant propoíal you have made, of adding one to their number; and that they may fill 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 alhamed of my country; nor do I approve of our adopting the rites of foreign nations, or learning from them how



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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?


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F your person were as gigantic, as your desires, the world

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 confidering the height you have to climb, to come at it. Take care left, while you strive 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 Scythians with you? We have never invaded Macedon: why fhould you attack Scythia? We inhabit vast defarts, 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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