« AnteriorContinuar »
ceived from my countrymen, increases with every review of the momentous contest.
4. While I repeat my obligations to the army in general, I should do injustice to my own feelings not to acknowledge, in this place, the peculiar services and distinguished merits of the gentlernen who have been attached to my person during the war.
5. It was impossible the choice of confidential officers to compose my fạmily should have been more fortunate: Permit me, sir, to recommend, in particular, those who have continued in the service to the present moment, as worthy of the favourable notice and pat'ronage of congress.
6. I consider it as an indispensable duty to close this last solemn act of my, official life, by commending the interests of our dearest country to the protection of Almighty God, and those who have the superintendence of them to his holy keeping.
7. Having now finished the work assigned me, I retire from the great theatre of action; and, bidding an affectionate farewell to this august' body, under whose orders I have so long acted, I here offer my commission, and take my leave of all the employments of publick life.
G. WASHINGTON. Dec. 23, 1783.
SPEECH OF A SCYTHIAN AMBASSADOR TO ALEXANDER.
WHEN the Scythian ambassadors waited on Alexander the Great, they gazed on him a long time without speaking a word, being, very probably, surprised, as they formed a judgment of men from their air and stature, to find that his did not answer the high idea they entertained of him from his fame.
2. At last, the oldest of the ambassadors addressed him thus :-" Had the gods given thee a body proportionable to thy ambition, the whole universe would have been too little for thee. With one hand thou wouldst touch the cast, and with the other the west ; and, not satisfied with this, thou wouldst follow the sun, and know where he hides himself.
3. “Bat what have we to do with thee? We never set foot in thy country. May not those who inliabit woods be allowed to live, without knowing who thou art and whence thou comest? We will neither command over, nor submit to any man.
4. “ And that thou mayest be sensible what kind of people the Scythians are, know that we received from Heaven, as a rich present, a yoke of oxen, a ploughshare, a dart, a javelin and a cup. These we make use of, both with our friends and against our enemies.
5. “To our friends we give corn, which we procure by the labour of our oxen ; with them we offer wine to the gods in our cup; and, with regard to our enemies, we com’bat* them at a distance with our arrows, and near at hand with our jav'elins.t
6. “But thou, who boastest thy coming to extir pate robbers, art thyself the greatest robber upon earth. Thou hast plundered all nations thou overcamest ; thou hast possessed thyself of Lybia, invaded Syria, Persia and Bactriana ; thou art forming a design to march as far as India, and now thou comest hither to seize upon our herds of cattle.
ny. The great possessions thou hast only make thee covet the more eagerly what thou hast not. If thou art a god, thou oughtest to do good to mortals, and not deprive them of their possessions.
8. “ If thou art a mere man, reflect always on what thou art. They whom thou shalt not molest will be thy true friends; the strongest friendships being contracted between equals, and they are esteemed equals who have not tried their strength against each other. But do not suppose that those whom thou conquerest can love thee."
The REVENGE OF A GREAT SOUL.
DEMETRIUS POLIORCE/TES, who had done singular services for the people of the city of Ath'ens, on setting out for a war in which he was engaged, left his wife and children to their protection. He lost the battle, and was obliged to seek security for his person in flight.
* Pronounced cũnı'bat. tjáv'linz.
2. He doubted not, at first, but that he should find a safe asylum among his good friends, the Athenians; but those ungrateful people refused to receive him, and even sent back to him his wife and children, under pretence that they, probably, might not be safe in Athens, where the enemy might coine and take them.
3. This conduct pierced* the heart of Demetrius; for noth ing is so affecting to an honest mind, as the ingratitude of those we love, and to whom we have done singular services. Some time afterwards, this prince recovered his affairs, and came with a large army to lay siege to Athens.
4. The Athenians, persuaded that they had no pardon to expect froin Demetrius, determined to die swordt in hand, and passed a decree, which condemned to death those who should first propose to surrender to that prince; but they did not recollect that there was but little corn in the city, and that they would in a short time be in want of bread.
5. Want soon made them sensible of their errour ; and, after having suffered hunger for a long time, the most reasonable among them said, “ It would be better that Demetrius should kill us at once, than for us to die by the lingering death of famine. Perhaps he will have pity on our wives and children.” They then opened to him the gates of the city.
6. Demetrius, having taken possession of the city, ordered that all the married men should assemble in a spacious place appointed for the purpose, and that the soldiery, sword in hand, should surround them. Cries and lamentations were then heard from every quarter of-the city; women embracing their husbands, children their parents, and all taking an eternal farewell of each other.
7. When the married men were all thus collected, Demetrius, for whom an elevated situation was provided, reproached them for their ingratitude in the most feeling manner, insomuch that he himself could not help shedding tears. Demetrius for some time remained silent, while, the Athenians expected, that the next words he uttered would be to order his soldiers to massacre them all.
* Pronounced peers’d. sörd.
8. It is hardly possible to say what must have been their surprise, when they heard that good prince say, “I wish to convince you how ungenerously you have treated me; for it was not to an enemy you have refused assistance, but to a prince who loved you, who still loves you, and who wishes to revenge himself
only by granting your pardon, and by being still your friend. Return to your own homes: while you have been here, my soldiers have been filling your houses with provisions."
CUDJOE, THE FAITHFUL AFRICAN.
A NEW-ENGLAND sloop, trading on the coast of Guinea, in 1752, left a second mate, William Murray, sick on shore, and sailed without him. Murray was at the house of a black man named Cudjoe, with whom he had contracted an acquaintance during their trade.
2. He recovered ; and, the sloop being gone, he continued with his black friend till some other opportunity should offer of his getting home. In the mean time, a Dutch ship came into the road, and some of the blacks, coming on board of her, were treacherously seized, and carried off as their slaves.
3. The relations and friends, transported with sudden rage, ran to the house of Cudjoe, to take revenge by killing Murray. Cudjoe stopped them at the door, and demanded what they wanted. “The white men,” said they,“ have carried away our brothers and sons, and we will kill all white
Give us the white man you have in your house, for we will kill him."
4. “ Nay,” said Cudjoe, “the white men who carried away your relations are bad men; kill them when you can take them ; but this white man is a good man, and you must not kill him.” “But he is a white man,” they cried; "and the white men are all bad men; we must kill them all.” “Nay," says he, “ you must not kill a man who has done no harm, only for being white.
5. “This man is my friend; my house is his post ; I am his soldier, and must fight for him; you must kill me before
you can kill him.
What good man will ever come again under my roof, if I let my floor be stained with a good man's blood ?"
6. The negroes, seeing his resolution, and being convinced by his discourse that they were wrong, went away ashamed. In a few days, Murray ventured abroad again with his friend Cudjoe, when several of them took him by the hand, and told him they were glad they had not killed him ; for, as he was a good meaning, innocent man, their god would have been very angry, and would have spoiled their fishing.
THE INDIAN CHIEF.
The following poem is founded on a traditionary story, which is common on the
borders of the great falls of Niagara, although differing in some unimportant
And silenced the cataract's roar;
The warriour chieftain on shore. 2. The war-shout has sounded, the stream must be crossed ;
Why lingers the leader afar ! "Twere better his life than his glory be lost;
He never came late to the war.
But, fast as the shore fled his reach,
And dashed the canoe on the beach.
And all but their leader be there?
And he pushed with the strength of despair. 5. He has quitted the shore, he has gained the deep,
His guide is the lightning alone;
The rapids were bearing him down.
“O, what is the meaning of this!" He spake, and just turned to the cataract's side, As the lightning flashed down the abyss.