« AnteriorContinuar »
We know not yet what we shall be, nor will it ever enter into the heart of man to conceive the glory that will be always in referve for him. The foul, confidered in relation tó its Creator, is like one of thofe mathematical lines that may draw nearer to another for all eternity, without a poffibility of touching it: and can there be a thought fo tranfporting, as to confider ourselves in these perpetual approaches to Him, who is not only the standard of perfection but of happiness? SPECTATOR.
ON THE BEING OF A GOD.
RETIRE-The world fhut out;-Thy thoughts call
Imagination's airy wing reprefs;
Lock up thy fenfes ;- Let no paffions ftir;-
WHAT am I? and from whence? -1 nothing know,
Would want fome other Father-much defign
That can't be from themselves or man; that art
And nothing greater, yet allow'd than man.-
To dance, would form a universe of duft.
Has matter none? Then whence thefe glorious forms,
ORATIONS AND HARANGUES.
JUNIUS BRUTUS OVER THE DEAD BODY OF LUCRETIA.
YES, noble lady! I fwear by this blood, which was once fo pure, and which nothing but royal villainy could have polluted, that I will purfue Lucius Tarquinius the proud, his wicked wife, and their children, with fire and sword; nor will I ever fuffer any of that family, or of any other whatfoever, to be king in Rome. Ye Gods, I call you to witness this my oath!-There, Romans, turn your eyes to that fad spectacle-the daughter of Lucretius, Collatinus's wife-she died by her own hand. See there a noble lady, whom the luft of a Tarquin reduced to the neceffity of being her own executioner, to atteft her innocence. Hofpitably entertained by her as a kinfman of her husband's, Sextus, the perfidious gueft, became her brutal ravifher. The chafte, the generous Lucretia could not furvive the infult. Glorious woman! but once only treated as a flave,fhe thought life no longer to be endured. Lucretia, a woman, difdained a life that depended on a tyrant's will; and fhall we, shall men, with fuch an example before our eyes, and after five and twenty years of ignominious fervitude, fhall we, through a fear of dying, defer one fingle inftant to affert our liberty?
No, Romans, now is the time; the favourable moment we Tarquin is not at Rome. have fo long waited for is come. The Patricians are at the head of the enterprise, The city is abundantly provided with men, arms, and all things neceffary. There is nothing wanting to fecure the fuccefs, if Can all thefe warriors, our own courage do not fail us. who have ever been fo brave when foreign enemies were to be fubdued, or when conquests were to be made to gratify the ambition and avarice of Tarquin, be then only cowards, when they are to deliver themselves from flavery? Some of you are perhaps intimidated by the army which Tarquin now.commands: The foldiers, you imagine, will take the part of their general. Banish fo groundless a fear. The Your fello citizens love of liberty is natural to all men. in the camp feel the weight of oppreffion with as quick a fense as you that are in Rome; they will as eagerly feize the occafion of throwing off the yoke, but let us grant there may be fome among them, who through bafenes of fpirit, or a bad education, will be disposed to favour the tyrant. The number of these can be but small, and we have means fufficient in our hands to reduce them to reason. have left us hoftages more dear to them than life. wives, their children, their fathers, their mothers, are here in the city. Courage, Romans! the Gods are for us; those Gods, whofe temples and altars the impious Tarquin has profaned with facrifices and libations made with polluted hands, polluted with blood, and with numberless unexpiated crimes committed against his fubjects. Ye Gods, who protected our forefathers; ye Genii, who watch for the prefervation and glory of Rome, do you infpire us with courage and unanimity in this glorious caufe, and we will to our laft breath defend your worship from profanation.
KNOW not, foldiers, whether you or your prifoners be encompaffed by fortune with the stricter bonds and neceffities. Two feas enclofe you on the right and left ;not a fhip to flee to for escaping. Before you is the Po, a river broader and more rapid than the Rhone; behind you are the Alps, over which, even when your numbers were undiminished, you were hardly able to force a passage. Here, then, foldiers, you must either conquer or die, the very first hour you meet the enemy. But the fame fortune which has thus laid you under the neceflity of fighting, has fet before your eyes those rewards of victory, than which no man was ever wont to wish for greater from the immortal Gods. Should we by our valour recover only Sicity and Sardinia, which were ravished from our fathers, those would be no inconfiderable prizes. Yet what are thefe The wealth of Rome, whatever riches fhe has heaped together in the fpoils of nations, all thefe, with the masters of them, will be yours. You have been long enough employed in driving the cattle upon the vaft mountains of Lufitania and Celtiberia; you have hitherto met with no reward worthy of the labours and dangers you have undergone. The time is now come to reap the full recompenfe of your toilfome marches overfo many mountains and rivers, and through fo many nations, all of them in arms. This is the place which fortune has appointed to be the limits of your labours, it is here that you will finith your glorious warfare, and receive an ample recompenfe of your com. pleted fervice. For I would not have you imagine, that victory will be as difficult as the name of a Roman war is great and founding. It has often happened that a defpifed enemy has given a bloody battle, and the moft renowned