« السابقةمتابعة »
improvements. Behold the despicable creature, raised all at once, from dirt to oppulence; from the lowest ob scurity 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 coinmonwealth 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 mean while without money, without friends) from being the ruler, are become the servant; from being the master, the dependent; happy that these governours, into whose hands you have thus 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, 'tis 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. 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 burthen 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 expedient for the particular and general good of our country!
XII-Jupiter to the inferiour Deities, forbidding them to take any part in the Contention between the Greeks and Trojans. HOMER.
AURORA, now, fair daughter of the dawn,
Your strength unite against the might of Jove.
XIII-Eneas to Queen Dido, giving an Account of th Sack of Troy.-Virgil.
ALL were attentive to the godlike man,
When, from his lofty couch, he thus began :—
'Twas now the dead of night, when sleep repairs
I wept to see the visionary man;
"O light of Trojans, and support of Troy, Thy father's champion, and thy country's joy! O, long expected by thy friends! From whence Art thou so late return'd to our defence? Alas! what wounds are these? What new disgrace Deforms the manly honours of thy face?
The spectre groaning from his inmost breast, This warning, in these mournful words express'd. "Haste, goddess born! Escape by timely flight, The flames and horrours of this fatal night, Thy foes already have possess'd our wall; Troy nods from high, and totters to her fall. Enough is paid to Priam's royal name, Enough to country, and to deathless fame. If by a mortal arm my father's throne Could have been sav'd-this arm the feat had done. Troy now commends to thee her future state, And gives her gods companions of her fate; Under their umbrage hope for happier walls, And follow where thy various fortune calls." He said, and brought from forth the sacred choir, The gods and relics of th' immortal fire.
Now peals of shouts came thund'ring from afar, Cries, threats, and loud lament, and mingled war. The noise approaches, though our palace stood Aloof from streets, embosom'd close with wood; Louder and louder still I hear th' alarms Of human cries distinct, and clashing arms. Fear broke my slumbers.
I mount the terrace; thence the town survey,
In smokey flames, and catches on his friends.
New clamours and new clangours now arise,
But first to gather friends, with whom t' oppose,
Pantheus, Apollo's priest, a sacred name,
"What hope, O Pantheus? Whither can we run?
Some block the narrow streets; some scour the wide.
XIV.-Moloch the fallen Angel, to the infernal powers, inciting them to renew the War.-MILTON.
MY sentence is for open war.