« AnteriorContinuar »
But for supporting robbers; shall we now
Cas. Brutus, bay not me
Bru. Go to ! you are not, Cassius.
Cas. Urge me no more; I shall forget myself
Bru. Away, slight man !
Bru. Hear me, for I will speak.
Cas. Must I endure all this?
breaks. Go show
slaves how cholerick you are,
Cas. Is it come to this?
Bru. You say you are a better soldier ;
Cas. You wrong me every way; you wrong me, Brutus;
Bru. If you did, I care not.
Cas. When Cæsar lived, he durst not thus have moved
Bru. Peace! peace! you durst not so have tempted him
Cas. Do not presume too much upon my love;
do what I shall be sorry for. Bru. You have done what you
I did send to you
-I had rather coin my heart,
you denied me;, was that done like Cassius ?
Cas. I denied you not.
Bru. I do not, till you practise them on me.
Bru. A flatterer's would not, though they do
Cas. Come, Anthony, and young Octavius, come! Revenge yourselves alone on Cassius;
For Cassius is a-weary of the world ;
I could weep
Bru. Sheath your dagger;
Cas. Hath Cassius lived
Bru. When I spoke that, I was ill-tempered too.
Cas. Have you not love enough to bear with me
Bru. Yes, Cassius; and henceforth,
SPEECH OF DEMOSTHENES TO THE ATHENIANS, CONCERN
ING THE REGULATION OF THE STATE. You ask, Athenians, '“What real advantage have we derived from the speeches of Demosthenes? He rises when he thinks proper ; he deafens us with his harangues ; he declaims against the degeneracy of present times; he tells us of the virtues of our ancestors ; he transports us by his airy extravagance; he puffs up our vanity; and then sits down."
2. But, could these my speeches once gain an effectual influence upon your minds, so great would be the advantages conferred upon my country, that, were I to attempt to speak them, they would appear to many as visionary. Yet still I must assume the merit of doing some service, by accustoming you to hear salutary truths.
3. And, if your counsellors be solicitous for any point of moment to their country, let them first cure your ears; for they are distempered ; and this from the inveterate habit of listening to falsehoods, to every thing, rather than your real interests.
4. There is no man who dares openly and boldly to declare in what case our constitútion is subverted. But I shall declare it. When you, Athenians, become a helpless rabble, without conduct, without property, without arms, without order, without unanimity; when neither your general, nor any other person, hath the least respect for your decrees; when no man dares to inform you of this your condition, to urge the necessary reformation, much less to exert his effort to effect it; then is your constitution subverted. And this is now the case.
5. But, O my fellow-citizens! a language of a different nature hath poured in upon us; false, and highly dangerous to the state. Such is that assertion, that in your tribunals is your great security; that your right of suffrage is the real bulwark of the constitution. That these tribunals
common resource in all private contests, I acknowledge.
6. But it is by arms we are to subdue our enemies ; by arms we are to defend our state. It is not by our decrees that we can conquer. To those, on the contrary, who fight our battles with success, to these we owe the power of decreeing, of transacting all our affairs, without control or danger. In arms, then, let us be terrible; in our judicial transactions, humane.
7. If it be observed, that these sentiments are more ele
vated than might be expected from my character, the observation, I confess, is just. Whatever is said about a state of such dignity, upon affairs of such importance, should appear more elevated than any character. To your worth should it correspond, not to that of the speaker.
8. And now I shall inform you why none of those, who stand high in your esteem, speak in the same manner. The candidates for office and employment go about soliciting your voices, the slaves of popular favour. To gain the rank of general, is each man's great concern; not to fill this station with true manlike intrepidity.
9. Courage, if he possess it, he deems unnecessary; for thus he reasons; he has the honour, the renown of this city to support him; he finds himself free from oppression and control; he needs but to amuse you with fair hopes; and thus he secures a kind of inheritance in your emoluments. And he reasons truly
10. But, do you yourselves once assume the conduct of your own affairs; and then, as you take an equal share of duty, so shall you acquire an equal share of glory. Now, your ministers and publick speakers, without one thought of directing you faithfully to your true interest, resign themselves entirely to these generals. Formerly you divided into classes, in order to raise the supplies; now the business of the classes is to gain the management of publick affairs.
11. The orator is the leader; the general seconds his attempts; the Three Hundred are the assistants on each side ; and all others take their parties, and serve to fill up the sevetal factions. And you see the consequences.
12. This man gains a statue; this amasses a fortune; one or two command the state; while you sit down unconcerned witnesses of their success; and, for an uninterrupted course of ease and indolence, give them up those great and glorious advantages, which really belong to you.
JUDGE HALE's ADVICE TO HIS CHILDREN.
OBSERVE, and mark as well as you may, what is the temper and disposition of those persons, whose speeches you