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brave and affront us in this manner.-Proceed, then, Athenians, to fupport your deliberations with vigour. You have heads, capable of advifing what is beft; you have judgment and experience, to difcern what is right; and you have power and opportunity, to execute what you determine. What time fo proper for action? What occafion fo happy? And when can you hope for fuch another, if this be neglected? Has not Philip, contrary to all treaties, infulted you in Thrace? Does he not, at this inftant, ftraiten and invade your confederates, whom you have folemnly fworn to protect? Is he not an implacable enemy? a faithlefs ally? the ufurper of provinces, to which he has no title nor pretence? a ftranger, a barbarian, a tyrant? and, indeed, what is he not?
OBSERVE, I befeech you, men of Athens, how different your conduct appears, from the practices of your ancestors. They were friends to truth and plain dealing, and detefted flattery and fervile compliance. By unanimous confent, they continued arbiters of all Greece, for the fpace of forty-five years, without interruption: a public fund, of no less than ten thousand talents, was ready for any emergency: they exercised over the kings of Macedon, that authority which is due to barbarians; obtained both by fea and land, in their own persons, frequent and fignal victories; and by their noble exploits, tranfmitted to pofterity, an immortal memory of their virtue, fuperior to the reach of malice and detraction. It is to them we owe that great number of public edifices, by which the city of Athens exceeds all the reft of the world, in beauty and magnificence. It is to them we owe fo many ftately temples, fo richly embellished; but, above all, adorned with the fpoils of vanquished enemies.-But, vifit their own private habitations. Vifit the houfes of
Ariftides, Miltiades, or any other of thofe patriots of antiquity; you will find nothing, not the leaft mark or ornament, to diftinguifh them from their neighbours. They took part in the government, not to enrich themselves, but the public; they had no schemes or ambition, but for the public; nor knew any intereft, but the public. It was by a clofe and steady application to the general good of their country; by an exemplary piety toward the immortal gods; by a ftrict faith, and religious honefty, betwixt man and man; and a moderation, always uniform, and of a piece; they established that reputation, which remains to this day, and will laft to utmost posterity.
SUCH, O men of Athens! were your ancestors: fo glorious in the eye of the world; fo bountiful and munificent to their country; fo fparing, fo modeft, fo felf-denying to 'themfelves. What refemblance can we find, in the prefent generation, of thefe great men? At a time, when your ancient competitors have left you a clear stage; when the Lacedemonians are difabled; the Thebans employed in troubles of their own; when no other state whatever is in a con dition to rival or moleft you; in fhort, when you are at full liberty; when you have the opportunity and the power to become once more the fole arbiters of Greece; you permit, patiently, whole provinces to be wrefted from you; you lavish the public money to fcandalous and obfcure ufes; you fuffer your allies to perifh in time of peace, whom you preferved in time of war; and, to fum up all, you yourselves, by your mercenary court, and fertile refignation to the will and pleafure of defigning infidious leaders, abet, encourage, and ftrengthen the moft danger ous and formidable of your enemies. Yes, Athe mians, I repeat it, you yourselves are the contrivers
of your own ruin. Lives there a man who has confidence enough to deny it? let him arife, and affign, if he can, any other caufe of the fuccefs and profperity of Philip. "But," you reply, "what Athens may have loft in reputation abroad, fhe has gained in fplendor at home. Was there ever a greater appearance of profperity; a greater face of plenty? Is not the city enlarged? Are not the streets better paved, houses repaired and beautified?"-Away with fuch trifles! Shall I be paid with counters? An old square new vamped up! a fountain! an aqueduct! Are thefe acquifitions to brag of? Caft your eye upon the magiftrate, under whofe miniftry you boast these precious improvements. Behold the defpicable creature, raifed, all at once, from dirt, to opulence; from the lowest obscurity, to the highest honours. Have not fome of thefe upftarts built private houses and feats, vying with the moft fumptuous of our public palaces? And how have their fortunes and their power increafed, but as the commonwealth has been ruined and impoverished!
To what are we to impute these disorders; and to what caufe affign the decay of a ftate, fo powerful and flourishing in past time?—The reason is plain. The fervant is now become the mafter. The magiftrate was then fubfervient to the people: punishments and rewards, were properties of the people : all honours, dignities, and preferments, were dif pofed by the voice and favour of the people. But the magiftrate, now, has ufurped the right of the people, and exercises an arbitrary authority over his ancient and natural lord. You miferable people! the mean while, without money, without friends; from being the ruler, are become the fervant; from being the mafter, the dependent; happy that these governors, into whofe hands you have thus refigned K 5
your own power, are so good, and fo gracious, as to continue your poor allowance to see plays.
BELIEVE me, Athenians, if, recovering from this lethargy, you would affume the ancient freedom and spirit of your fathers; if you would be your own foldiers, and your own commanders, confiding no longer your affairs in foreign or mercenary hands; if you would charge yourselves with your own defence, employing abroad, for the public, what you wafte in unprofitable pleasures at home; the world might, once more, behold you making a figure worthy of Athenians. "You would have us then "(you fay) do fervice in our armies, in our own "perfons; and for fo doing, you would have the "penfions we receive in time of peace, accepted as 66 pay in time of war. Is it thus we are to under"stand you?"-Yes, Athenians, 'tis my plain meaning. I would make it a standing rule, that no perfon, great or little, fhould be the better for the public money, who fhould grudge to employ it for the public fervice. Are we in peace? the public is charged with your fubfiftence. Are we in war, or under a neceffity, as at this time, to enter into a war? let your gratitude oblige you to accept, as pay, in defence of your benefactors, what you receive, in peace, as mere bounty: -Thus, without any innovation; without altering or abolishing any thing, but pernicious novelties, introduced for the encouragement of floth, and idlenefs; by converting only for the future, the fame funds, for the use of the ferviceable, which are spent, at prefent, upon the unprofitable; you may be well ferved in your armies; your troops regularly paid; juftice duly adminiftered; the public revenues reformed, and increased; and every member of the commonwealth, rendered
rendered useful to his country, according to his age and ability, without any further burden to the state.
THIS, O men of Athens! is what my duty prompted me to represent to you upon this occafion. -May the gods inspire you, to determine upon fuch measures, as may be most expedient, for the particular and general good of our country!
THE PERFECT SPEAKER.
MAGINE to yourselves, a Demofthenes, ad
dreffing the moft illuftrious affembly in the world, upon a point, whereon the fate of the most illuftrious of nations, depended.-How awful fuch a meeting! How vaft the subject! Is man poffeffed of talents adequate to the great occafion? Adequate—yes, fuperior. By the power of his eloquence, the auguftnefs of the affembly is loft, in the dignity of the orator; and the importance of the fubject, for a while, fuperfeded, by the admiration of his talents.-With what ftrength of argument, with what powers of the fancy, with what emotions of the heart, does he affault and fubjugate the whole man, and, at once, captivate his reafon, his imagination, and his paffions!To effect this, must be the utmost effort, of the moft improved state of human nature.-Not a faculty that he poffeffes, is here unemployed: not a faculty that he poffeffes, but is here exerted to its higheft