« AnteriorContinuar »
But for supporting robbers; shall we now
Cas. Brutus, bay not me
I'll not endure it; you forget yourself,
Bru. Go to! you are not, Cassius.
Bru. I say you are not.
Cas. Urge me no more; I shall forget myself Have mind upon your health-tempt me no further. Bru. Away, slight man!
Cas.. Is it possible?
Bru. Hear me, for I will speak.
Must I give way and room to your rash choler?
Shall I be frighted when a madman stares?
Cas. Must I endure all this?
Bru. All this! ay, more. Fret till your proud heart breaks.
Go show your slaves how cholerick you are,
And make your bondmen tremble. Must I budge?
You shall digest the venom of your spleen,
Cas. Is it come to this?
Bru. You say you are a better soldier;
Let it appear, so; make your vaunting true,
And it shall please me well. For my own part,
I shall be glad to learn of noble men.
Cas. You wrong me every way; you wrong me, Brutus; I said an elder soldier, not a better:
Did I say better?
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. I durst not?
Cas. What, durst not tempt him?
Bru. For your life you durst not.
Cas. Do not presume too much upon my love; may do what I shall be sorry for.
Bru. You have done what you should be
And drop my blood for drachmas, than to wring
To you for gold to pay my legions,
Which you denied me;, was that done like Cassius?
When Marcus Brutus grows so covetous,
Dash him in pieces.
Cas. I denied you not.
Bru. You did.
Cas. I did not; he was but a fool
That brought my answer back. Brutus hath rived my heart;
A friend should bear a friend's infirmities;
But Brutus makes mine greater than they are.
Bru. I do not, till you practise them on me.
Bru. I do not like your faults.
Cas. A friendly eye could never see such faults. Bru. A flatterer's would not, though they do Appear as huge as high Olympus.
Cas. Come, Anthony, and young Octavius, come! Revenge yourselves alone on Cassius;
For Cassius is a-weary of the world;
When thou didst hate him worst, thou lovedst him better
Bru. Sheath your dagger;
Be angry when you will, it shall have scope;
Cas. Hath Cassius lived
To be but mirth and laughter to his Brutus,
Cas. O, Brutus !
Bru. What's the matter?
Cas. Have you not love enough to bear with me When that rash humour which my mother gave me Makes me forgetful?
Bru. Yes, Cassius; and henceforth,
When you are over-earnest with your Brutus,
SPEECH OF DEMOSTHENES TO THE ATHENIANS, CONCERNING 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 constitution 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 are our 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 several 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