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rally thought. And, besides the disadvantages, which are common to me with all others in eminent stations, my 'case is, in this respect, peculiarly hard ; that, whereas a commander of Patrician rank, if he is guilty of a neglect, or breach of duty, has his great connections, the antiquity of his family, the important fervices of his ancestors, and the multitudes he has by power engaged in his interest, to screen him from condign punishment; my whole fafety depends: upon myself; which renders it the more indispensably neceffary for me to take care, that my conduct be clear and unexceptionable. Besides, I am well aware my countrymen, that the eye of the public is upon me; and that, though the impartial, who prefer the real advantage of the commonwealth to all other considerations, favour my pre
ensions, the Patricians want nothing so much, as an occasion again me. It is, therefore, my fixed resolution, to use my beit endeavours, that you be not disappointed in me, and that their indirect designs against me may be defeated. I have, from my youth, been familiar with toils, and with dangers. I was faithful to your interest, my countrymen, when I served you for no reward, but that of honour. It is not my design to betray you, now that you have conferred upon me a place of profit. You have committed to my conduct the war against Jugurtha. The Patricians are offended at this. But where would be the wisdom of giving such a command to one of their honourable body, a person of illustrious birth, of ancient fainily, of innumerable ftatues, but-of no experience ? What service would his long line of dead ancestors, or his multitude of motionless statues, do his country in the day of battle! What could such a general do, but, in his trepidation and inexperience, have recourse to fome inferior commander, for direction in difficulties, to which he was not
himself equal? Thus, your Patrician general would, in fact, have a general over him ; so that the acting commander would still be a Plebeian. So true is this,'mycountry men, that I myself have known those, who have been chosen confuls, begin then to read the history of their own country, of which till that time they were totally ignorant; that is, they first obtained the employment, and then bethought themselves of the qualifications necessary for the proper discharge of it. I submit to your judgment, Romans! on which fide the advantage lies, when a comparison is made between Patrician haughtiness, and Plebian experience. The very actions which they have only read, I have partly seen, and partly myself achieved. What they know by reading, I know by a&ion. They are pleased to sight my mean birth : I despife their mean characters. Want of birth and fortune is the objection against me: want of personal worth againft them. But are not all men of the fame species ? What can make a difference between one man and another, but the endowments of the mind ? For my part, I shall always look upon the bravest man as the nobleft man. Suppose it were inquired of the fathers of such Patricians as Albinus and Bestia, whether, if they had their choice, they would defire fons of their character, or of mine ; what would they answer; but that they should wish the worthiest to be their fons? If the Patricians have reason to despise me, let them likewise despise their ancestors, whose nobility was the fruit of their virtue. Do they envy the honours bestowed upon me? Let them envy likewise labours, my abstinence, and the dangers I have undergone for my country; by which I have acquired them. But those worthless men lead such a life of inactivity, as if they despised any honours you can bestow; whilst they aspire to honours, as if they had deserved them by the most industrious virtue.
They arrogate the rewards of activity for their having enjoined the pleasures of luxury. Yet none can be more lavish than they are in praise of their ancestors. And they imagine they honour themselves by celebrating their forefathers. Whereas they do the very contrary. For, as much as their ancestors were distinguished for their virtues, so much are they disgraced by their vices. The glory of ancestors casts a light, indeed, upon their potterity ; but it only serves to thew what the descendants are. It alike exhibits to public view their degeneracy and their worth. . I own, I cannot boast of the deeds of my forefathers: but I hope I may answer tile cavils of the Patricians, by standing up in defence of what I have myself done. Observe, now, my countrymen, the injustice of the Patricians : They arrogate to themselves honours on account of the exploits done by their forefathers, whillt they will not allow me the due praise for performing the very same fort of actions in my own person. He has no statues, they cry, of his family. He can trace no venerable line of ancestors.-- What then! Is it matter of more praise to disgrace one's illustrious ancestors, than to become illustrious by his own good behaviour ? What if I can Mew no itatues of my family? I can fhew the standards, the armour, and the trappings, which I have myself taken from the vanquished: I can fhew the scars of those wounds, which I have received by facing the enemies of my country. These are my' statues. These are the honours I boast of; not left me by inheritance, as theirs; but earned by toil, by abstinence, by valour, amidst clouds of dust, and feas of blood; scenes of action, where those effeminate Patricians, who endeavour, by indirect means, to depreciate me in your esteem have never dared to thew their faces.
CALISTHENES's REPROOF OF CLEON's
FLATTERY TO ALEXANDER. If the king were present, Cleon, there would be no need of my answering to what you have just proposed. He would himself reprove you for endeavouring to draw him into an imitation of foreign absurdities, and for bringing envy upon him by such unmanly flattiry, As he is absent, I take upon me to tell you in his name, that no praise is lasting, but what is rational; and that you do what you can to lessen his glory, instead of adding to it. Heroes have never, among us, been deified, till after their death. And what. ever may
your way of thinking, Cleon, for my part, I with the king may not, for many years to come, obtain that honour. You have mentioned, as precedents of what you propose, Hercules and Bacchus. Do you imagine, Cleon, that they were deified over a cup of wine? And are you and I qualified to make gods? Is the king, our sovereign, to receive his divinity from you and me, who are his subjects? First try your power, whether you can make a king. It is, surely, easier to make a king, than a'godt to give an earthly dominion, than a throne in heaven? I only wish, that the gods may have heard, without offence, the arrogant proposal you have made, of adding one to their number; and that they may fill be fo propitious to us, as to grant the continuance of that success to our affairs, with which they have hitherto fa. voured us. For my part, I am not ashamed of my country ; nor do I approve of our adopting the rites of foreign nations, or learning from them how we ought to reverence our kings.
To receive laws, or rules of conduct, from them, what is it, but to confess ourselves inferior to them?
THE SCYTHIAN AMBASSADORS TO
F your person were as gigantic as your desires, the world would not contain you. Your right hand would touch the east, and your left the west, at the same time. You grasp at more than you are equal to. From Europe you reach Afia: from Afia you lay hold on Europe. And if you should conquer all ma ind, you seem disposed to wage war with woods and snows, with rivers and wild beaits, and to attempt to subdue Nature. But have you considered the usual course of things? Have you reflected, that great trees are many years in growing to their height, and are cut down in an hour. It is foolish to think of the fruit only, without conAdering the height you have to climb to come at it. Take care left, while you strive to reach the top, you fall to the ground, with the branches you have laid hold on. The lion, when dead, is devoured by ravens; and ruft consumes the hardness of iron. There is nothing so strong, but it is in danger from what is weak. It will, therefore, be your wisdom to take care how you venture beyond your reach. Besides, what have you to do with the Scythians, or the Scythians with you? We have never invaded Macedon : why Should you attack Scythia? We inhabit vaft deserts, and . pathless wcods, where we do not want to hear of the name of Alexander. We are not disposed to submit to lavery;