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kings and nations have by a small force been overthrown. And if you but take away the glitter of the Roman name, what is there wherein they may stand in competition with you? For (to say nothing of your service in war for twenty years together with so much valour and success) from the very pillars of Hercules, from the ocean, from the utmost bounds of the earth, through fo many warlike nations of Spain and Gaul, are you not come hither victorious ? And with whom are you now to fight ? With raw soldiers, an undisciplined army, beaten, vanquished, besieged by the Gauls the
lait fummer, an army unknown to their leader, and unacquainted with him.
Ox, shall I, who was born I might almost fay, but cer. tainly brought up, in the tent of my father, that moft excellent general, Mall I, the conqueror of Spain and Gaul, and not only of the Alpine nations, but, which is greater yet, of the Alps the nselves, shall I compare myself with this half year captain ? A captain before whom should one place the two armies without their enligns, I am persuaded he would not know to which of them he is conful ? I esteem it no small advantage, soldiers, that there is not one among you, who has not often been an eye-witness of my exploits in war ; not one of whose valour I myself have not been a spectator, so as to be able to name the times and places of his noble achievements; that with soldiers, whom I have a thousand times praised and rewarded, and whose pupil I was before I became their general, I shall march against an army of men, strangers to one another,
On what lide foever I turn my eyes, I behold all full of courage and ftrength; a veteran infantry; a moft gallant cavalry: you, my allies, most faithful and valiant ; you, Carthaginians, whom not only your country's cause, but the justeft anger impels to battle. The hope, the courage of assailants, is always greater than of those who act upon
che defensive. With hostile banners displayed, you are come
down upon Italy; you bring the war. Grief, injuries, indignities fire your minds, and four you forward to revenge! -First they demanded me; that I, your general, fhould be delivered up to them; next, all of you, who had fought at the fiege of Saguntum ; and we were to be put to death by the extremeft tortures. Proud and cruel nation! Every thing must be yours, and at your dispofal! you are to prescribe to us with whom we shall make war, with whom we shall make peace! You are to set us bounds : to shut us up within hills and rivers ; but you-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 ftep towards that city. Is it a small matter, then, that you have deprived us of our ancient poffeffions, Sicily and Sardinia ; you would have Spain too? Well, we fhall yield Spain and then--you will pass into Africa. Will pass, did I fay? --This very year they ordered one of their consuls into Africa, the other into Spain. No, foldiers, there is nothing left for us but what we can vindicate with our fwords. Come on, then. Be men. The Romans may with more safety be cowards; they have their own country behind them, bave places of refuge to fee 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 fay, you are conquerors.
TO APPOINT HIM GENERAL IN THE EXPEDITION
after their obtaining them. They fulicit them in one manner, and execute them in another. They fet out with a great appearance of aciivity, humility, and moderation : and they quickly fall into floth, pride, and avarice. It is, undoubtedly, no easy matter to discharge, to the general fatisfaction, the duty of a fupreme commander in trouble.” fome times. I am, I hope, duly sensible of the importance of the office I propose to take up in me, fjr the service of my country. To carry on, with effect, an expenfive war, and yet be frugal of the public money; to oblige those to ferve, whom it may be delicate to offend; to conduct, at the same time, a complicated variety of cperations ; to concert measures at home answerable to the ftate of things abroad; and to gain every valuable end, in fpite of opposition from the envious, the factious, and the dissaffected ; to do all this, my countrymen, is more difficult than is gene. rally thought. And, beside the disadvantages which are common to me with all others in eminent stations, my
cafe 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 fervices of his ancestors, and the multitudes he has by power engaged in his intereft, to fcreen him from condign punishment: my whole fafety depends upon myself; which renders it the more indispenfably neceffary for me to take care, that my conduct be clear and unexceptionalle. Befides, I am well aware, my country, men, that the eye of the public is upon me : and that, though the imparcial, who prefer the real advantages of the commonwealth to all other considerations, favour my pretensions, the Patricians want nothing fu much as an occasion againft 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 faithfulto your interest, my countrymen, when I served you
for no reward but that of honour. It is not my dekgn 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 iheir honourable body, a person of illustrious birth, of ancient family, of innumerable ftatues, but—of no ex. perience! What service would his long line of dead ances. tors, 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 fome 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 coinmander wouldftill 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 theirown 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 experience. The very action which they have only read, I have partly seen, and partly myself achieved. What they know by reading I know by action. They are pleased to flight 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 diñerence between one man and another, but the endowments of the mind ? For my part, I fhall always look upon
the bravest man as the noblest man. Suppose it were inquired of the fathers of such Patricians as Albinus and Beftia, whether, if they had their choice, they would cie
fire sons 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 honours bestowed upon me? Let them envy likewise my labours, my abftinence, , and the dangers I have undergone for my country; by which 1 have acquired them. But those worthless men lead such a life of inactivity, as if they despised any honours you can bestow; whilst they aspire to honours, as if they had deferv. ed them by the most industrious 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 as their ancestors were distinguished for their virtues, so much are they disgraced by their vices. The glory of ancestors cafts a light, indeed, upon their pofterity: but it only serves to show what the de. scendants 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 I may answer the cavils of the Patricians, by standing up in defence of what I have my self done. Observe now, my countrymen, the injustice of the Patricians. They arrogate to themselves honours on account of the exploits done by their forefathers, a hilt they will not allow me the due praise for 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 show no ftatues of my fami. ly! I can show the standards, the armour, and the trappings, which I have myself taken from the vanquished; I can show the scars of those wounds, which i have received by facing H