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On the other hand, the magnitude and difficulty of the trust, to which the voice of my country called me, being sufficient to awaken in the wisest and most experienced of her citizens, a distrustful scrutiny into his qualifications, could not but overwhelm with despondence one, who inheriting inferior endowments from nature, and unpractised in the duties of civil administration, ought to be peculiarly conscious of his own deficiencies.
In this conflict of emotions, all I dare aver is, that it has been my faithful study to collect my duty from a just appreciation of every circumstance by which it might be affected. All I dare hope is, that if, in executing this task, I have been too much swayed by a grateful remembrance of former instances, or by an affectionate sensibility to this transcendent proof of the confidence of my fellow-citizens, and have thence too little consulted my incapacity as well as disinclination for the weighty and untried cares before me, my error will be palliated by the motives which misled me; and its consequences be judged by my country, with some share of the partiality in which they originated.
Such being the impressions under which I have, in obedience to the public summons, repaired to the present station, it would be peculiarly improper to omit in this first official act, my fervent supplications to that Almighty Being, who rules over the universe, who presides in the councils of nations, and whose providential aids can supply every human defect, that his benediction may consecrate to the liberties and happiness of the people of the United States, a government instituted by themselves for these essential purposes; and may enable every instrument employed in its administration, to execute with success, the functions allotted to his charge. In tendering this homage to the great Author of every public and private good, I assure myself that it expresses your sentiments not less than my own; nor those of my fellow-citizens at large, less than either.
No people can be bound to acknowledge and adore the invisible Hand, which conducts the affairs of men, more than the people of the United States. Every step, by which we have advanced to the character of an independent nation, seems to have been distin. guished by some token of providential agency. And in the important revolution just accomplished in the system of their united government, the tranquil deliberations and voluntary consent of so many distinct communities, from which the event has resulted, cannot be compared with the means by which most governments have been established, without some return of pious gratitude, with a humble anticipation of the future blessing which the past seems to presage. These reflections, arising out of the present crisis, have forced themselves too strongly on my mind to be suppressed. You will join with me, I trust, in thinking that there are none, under the influence of which, the proceedings of a new and free government can more auspiciously commence.
SPEECH OF PAULUS EMILIUS TO THE ROMAN PEOPLE,
AS HE WAS ABOUT TAKING THE COMMAND OF THEIR ARMY.
OU seem to me, Romans, to have expressed more
joy when Macedonia fell to my lot, than when I was elected consul, or entered upon that office. And to me your joy seemed to be occasioned by the hopes you conceived, that I should put an end, worthy of the grandeur and reputation of the Roman people, to a war, which in your opinion, has already been of too long continuance. I have reason to believe, that the same gods, who have occasioned Macedonia to fall to my lot, will also assist me with their protection in conducting and terminating this war successfully. But of this, I may venture to assure you, that I
shall do my utmost not to fall short of your expeco tations.
The senate has wisely regulated every thing necessary in the expedition I am charged with; and, as I am ordered to set out immediately, I shall make no delay; and I know that my colleague Caius Licinius, out of his great zeal for the public service, will raise and march off the troops appointed for me, with as much order and expedition, as if they were for himself. I shall take care to transmit to you, as well as to the senate, an exact account of all that
and you may rely upon the certainty and truth of my letters. But I beg of you, as a great favour, that you will not give credit to, or lay any weight, out of credulity, upon the light reports, which are frequently spread abroad without any author.
I perceive well, that in this war, more than in any other, whatever resolution people may form to obviate these rumors, they will not fail to make impression, and inspire I know not what discouragement. There are those, who in company, and even at table, command armies, make dispositions, and prescribe all the operations of the campaign. They know better than we, where we should encamp, and what posts it is necessary for us to seize; at what time, and by what defile we ought to enter Macedonia; where it is proper to have magazines; from whence, either by sea or land, we are to bring provisions; when we are to fight the enemy, and when lie still.
They not only prescribe what is best to do; but for deviating ever so little from their plans, they make it a crime in their consul, and cite him before their tribunal. But know, Románs, this is of very bad ef. fect with your generals. All have not the resolution and constancy of Fabius, to despise impertinent reports. He could choose rather to suffer the people, upon such unhappy rumors, to invade his authority, than to ruin affairs in order to preserve their opinion, and an empty name.
I am far from believing, that generals stand in 116 need of advice: I think, on the contrary, that whoever would conduct every thing alone, upon his own opinion, and without counsel, shows more presumption than prudence. But some may ask, How then shall we act reasonably? I answer, by not suffering any persons to obtrude their advice upon your generals, but such as are, in the first place, versed in the art of war, and have learned from experience what it is to command; and in the second place, who are upon the spot; who know the enemy; are witnesses in person to all that passes; and sharers with us in all dangers.
If there be any one, who conceives himself capable of assisting me with his counsels in the war you have charged me with, let him not refuse to do the repub. lic that service; but let him go with me into Macedo. nia. Ships, horses, tents, provisions, shall all be provided for him at my charge. But if he will not take so much trouble, and prefers the tranquillity of the city to the dangers and fatigues of the field, let him not take upon
him to hold the helm, and continue idle in the port. The city of itself supplies sufficient matter of discourse on other subjects; but as for these, let it be silent upon them; and know, that we shall pay no regard to any counsels, but such as shall be given us in the camp itself.
EXHORTATION ON TEMPERANCE IN PLEASURE.
ET me particularly exhort youth to temperance
of that rock on which thousands, from race to race, continue to split. The love of pleasure, natural to man in every period of his life, glows at this age with excessive ardor. Novelty, adds fresh charms, as yet, to every gratification. The world appears to
spread a continual feast; and health, vigor, and high spirits, invite them to partake of it without restraint. In vain we warn them of latent dangers. Religion is accused of insufferable severity, in prohibiting enjoyment: and the old, when they offer their admonitions, are upbraided with having forgotten that they once were young
And yet, my friends, to what do the restraints of religion, and the counsels of age, with respect to pleasure, amount? They may all be comprised in few words,-not to hurt yourselves, and not to hurt others, by your pursuit of pleasure. Within these bounds, pleasure is lawful; beyond them, it becomes criminal, because it is ruinous. Are these restraints any other, than what a wise man would choose to impose on himself?. We call you not to renounce pleasure, but to enjoy it in safety. Instead of abridging it, we exhort you to pursue it on an extensive plan. We propose measures for securing its possession, and for prolonging its duration.
Consult your whole nature. Consider yourselves not only as sensitive, but as rational beings; not only as rational, but social, not only as social, but immortal. Whatever violates your nature, in any of these respects, cannot afford true pleasure, any more than that which undermines an essential part of the vital system can promote health. For the truth of this conclusion, we appeal not merely to the authority of res ligion, nor to the testimony of the aged, but to yourselves and your own experience. We ask, whether you have not found, that in a course of criminal excess, your pleasure was more than compensated by succeeding pain? Whether, if not from every particular instance, yet from every habit, at least, of unlawful gratification, there did not spring some thorn to wound you; there did not arise some consequence to make you repent of it in the issue?
“How long then, ye simple ones, will ye love simplicity?” How long repeat the same round of perni