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dors. Their intimations of some unimaginable horror - I know not what impending over myself, should I fail to induce you to accept their terms, have strongly moved your sympathies in my behalf. Another appeal, which I would you might have been spared, has lent force to their suit. A wife and children, threatened with widowhood and orphanage, weeping and despairing, have knelt at your feet, on the very threshold of the Senate-chamber. -- Conscript Fathers! Shall not Regulus be saved? Must he return to Carthage to meet the cruelties which the Ambassadors brandish before our eyes?- With one voice you answer, No!-Countrymen! Friends! For all that I have suffered for all that I may have to suffer - I am repaid in the compensation of this moment! Unfortunate, you may hold me; but, O, not undeserving! Your confidence in my honor survives all the ruin that adverse fortune could inflict. You have not forgotten the past. Republics are not ungrateful! May the thanks I cannot utter bring down blessings from the Gods on you and Rome!
Conscript Fathers! There is but one course to be pursued. Abandon all thought of peace. Reject the overtures of Carthage! Reject them wholly and unconditionally! What! Give back to her a thousand able-bodied men, and receive in return this one attenuated, war-worn, fever-wasted frame, - this weed, whitened in a dungeon's darkness, pale and sapless, which no kindness of the sun, no softness of the summer breeze, can ever restore to health and vigor? It must not it shall not be! O! were Regulus what he was once, before captivity had unstrung his sinews and enervated his limbs, he might pause, he might proudly think he were well worth a thousand of the foe; he might say, "Make the exchange! Rome shall not lose by it!" But now alas! now 't is gone, - that impetuosity of strength, which could once make him a leader indeed, to penetrate a phalanx or guide a pursuit. His very armor would be a burthen now. His battle-cry would be drowned in the din of the onset. His sword would fall harmless on his opponent's shield. But, if he cannot live, he can at least die, for his country! Do not deny him this supreme consolation. Consider every indignity, every torture, which Carthage shall heap on his dying hours, will be better than a trumpet's call to your armies. They will remember only Regulus, their fellow-soldier and their leader. They will forget his defeats. They will regard only his services to the Republic. Tunis, Sardinia, Sicily, -every well-fought field, won by his blood and theirs, will flash on their remembrance, and kindle their avenging wrath. And so shall Regulus, though dead, fight as he never fought before against the foe.
Conscript Fathers! There is another theme. My family-forgive the thought! To you, and to Rome, I confide them. I leave them no legacy but my name, no testament but my example.
Ambassadors of Carthage! expected. I am your captive.
await me. Doubt not that you shall find, to Roman hearts, country is dearer than life. and integrity more precious than freedom!
I have spoken; though not as you
• LEONIDAS TO HIS THREE HUNDRED.—Original Translation from Pichat.
YE men of Sparta, listen to the hope with which the Gods inspire Leonidas! Consider how largely our death may redound to the glory and benefit of our country. Against this barbarian King, who, in his battle array, reckons as many nations as our ranks do soldiers, what could united Greece effect? In this emergency there is need that some unexpected power should interpose itself; that a valor and devotion, unknown hitherto, even to Sparta, should strike, amaze, confound, this ambitious Despot! From our blood, here freely shed to-day, shall this moral power, this sublime lesson of patriotism, proceed. To Greece it shall teach the secret of her strength; to the ' Persians, the certainty of their weakness. Before our scarred and bleeding bodies, we shall see the great King grow pale at his own victory, and recoil affrighted. Or, should he succeed in forcing the pass of Thermopylae, he will tremble to learn, that, in marching upon our cities, he will find ten thousand, after us, equally prepared for death. Ten thousand, do I say? O, the swift contagion of a generous enthusiasm! Our example shall make Greece all fertile in heroes. An avenging cry shall follow the cry of her affliction. Country! Independence! From the Messenian hills to the Hellespont, every heart shall respond; and a hundred thousand heroes, with one sacred accord, shall arm themselves, in emulation of our unanimous death. These rocks shall give back the echo of their oaths. Then shall our little band, the brave three hundred, - from the world of shades, revisit the scene; behold the haughty Xerxes, a fugitive, re-cross the Hellespont in a frail bark; while Greece, after eclipsing the most glorious of her exploits, shall hallow a new Olympus in the mound that covers our tombs.
Yes, fellow-soldiers, history and posterity shall consecrate our ashes. Wherever courage is honored, through all time, shall Thermopyla and the Spartan three hundred be remembered. Ours shall be an immortality such as no human glory has yet attained. And when ages shall have swept by, and Sparta's last hour shall have come, then, even in her ruins, shall she be eloquent. Tyrants shall turn away from them, appalled; but the heroes of liberty the poets, the sages, the historians of all time- shall invoke and bless the memory of the gallant three hundred of Leonidas!
5. BRUTUS OVER THE DEAD LUCRETIA.
- Original and Compiled.
You are amazed, O Romans! even amid the general horror at Lucretia's death, that Brutus, whom you have known hitherto only as the fool, should all at once assume the language and bearing of a man! Did not the Sibyl say, a fool should set Rome free? I am that fool! Brutus bids Rome be free! If he has played the fool, it was to seize the wise man's opportunity. Here he throws off the mask of madness. 'Tis Lucius Junius now, your countryman, who calls upon you, by this innocent blood, to swear eternal vengeance against kings!
Look, Romans! turn your eyes on this sad spectacle ! — the daughter of Lucretius, Collatinus' wife! By her own hand she died! See there a nole lady, whom the ruffian lust of a Tarquin reduced to the necessity of being her own executioner, to attest her innocence: Hospitably entertained by her as her husband's kinsman, Sextus, the perfidious guest, became her brutal ravisher. The chaste, the genercus Lucretia, could not survive the outrage. Heroic matron! But once only treated as a slave, life was no longer endurable! And if the, with her soft woman's nature, disdained a life, that depended on a tyrant's will, shall we shall men, with such an example before their eyes, and after five-and-twenty years of ignominious servitude -shall we, through a fear of death, delay one moment to assert our freedom? No, Romans! The favorable moment is come. The time is now! Fear not that the army will take the part of their Generals, rather than of the People. The love of liberty is natural to all ; and your fellow-citizens in the Camp feel the weight of oppression as sensibly as you. Doubt not they will as eagerly seize the opportunity of throwing off their yoke.
Courage, Romans! The Gods are for us! those Gods whose temples and altars the impious Tarquin has profaned. By the blood of the wronged Lucretia, I swear, - hear me, ye Powers Supreme! - by this blood, which was once so pure, and which nothing but royal villany could have polluted, - I swear that I will pursue, to the death, these Tarquins, with fire and sword; nor will I ever suffer any one of that family, or of any other family whatsoever, to be King in Rome! On to the Forum! Bear the body hence, high in the public view, through all the streets! On, Romans, on! The foot shall set you
6. REPLY OF ACHILLES TO THE ENVOYS OF AGAMEMNON, SOLICITING A REC ONCILIATION. - Cowper's Homer.
I MUST with plainness speak my fixed resolve;
In battle for their wives. I have destroyed
gave, however, to the Kings and Chiefs
And tell it him aloud, that other Greeks
I will not wed the daughter of your Chief, -
Bear ye mine answer back.
↑ HECTOR'S REBUKE TO POLYDAMAS.-Cowper's Homer. Abridged.
POLYDAMAS to dauntless Hector spake:
To censure me, although advising well ·
To whom dark-louring Hector thus replied:
8. HECTOR'S EXPLOIT AT THE BARRIERS OF THE GRECIAN FLEET. — Idem.
So hung the war in balance,
Till Jove himself, superior fame, at length,
First through the wall. In lofty sounds that reached
Now press them! now, ye Trojans, steed-renowned,
Such was his exhortation. They, his voice
The nobleness of this reply may have been paralleled, but not surpassed, by patriots of succeeding times.