« ZurückWeiter »
is dear to us, resolve to exert ourselves, if not for glory, at least for safety; if not in vindication of British honour, at least in defence of our lives. How Commendanear were the Brigantines' to shaking off the yoke— tion. led on, too, by a woman? They burned a Roman settlement; they attacked the dreaded Roman legions in their camp. Had not their partial success drawn Regret. them into a fatal security, the business would have been done. And shall not we of the Caledonian region, Courage. whose territories are yet free, and whose strength entire—shall not we, my fellow-soldiers, attempt something which may show these foreign ravagers that they have more to do than they think of before they can be masters of the whole island.
But, after all, who are these mighty Romans ? Are Contempt. they gods, or mortal men like ourselves? Do we not see that they fall into the same errors and weaknesses as others? Does not peace effeminate them? Does not abundance debauch them? Does not luxury enervate them? Do they not even go to excess in the most unmanly vices ? And can you imagine that Remonthey who are remarkable for their vices are likewise strance. remarkable for their valour ? What, then, do we Courage. dread ?_Shall I tell
fellowsoldiers ! It is by means of our intestine divi- Regret. sions that the Romans have gained so great advantages over us. They turn the mismanagement of their enemies to their own praise. They boast of what they have done, and say nothing of what we might have done, had we been so wise as to unite against them.
What is this formidable Roman army? Is it not Contempt composed of a mixture of people from different coun
1 The Brigantines, according to Ptolemy, inhabited what is now called Yorkshire, the bishopric of Durham, &c.
tries, some more, some less, disposed to military achievements ; some more, some less, capable of bear
ing fatigue and hardship. They keep together, Courage. while they are successful. Attack them with vigour; distress them; and
will see them more disunited. among themselves than we are now. Can
any one Regret. imagine, that Gauls, Germans, and—with shame I
must add, Britons, who basely lend, for a time, their
limbs and their lives to build up a foreign tyrannyCourage. can any one imagine that these will not be longer eneContempt. mies than slaves! or that such an army is held toge
ther by sentiments of fidelity or affection ? No: the only bond of union among them is fear. And, whenever terror ceases to work upon the minds of that mixed multitude, they who now fear will then hate their tyrannical masters. On our side there is
possible incitement to valour. The Roman courage is not, as ours, inflamed by the thought of wives and children in danger of falling into the hands of the enemy. The Romans have no parents, as we have, to reproach them if they should desert their infirm old
age. They have no country here to fight for. Contempt. They are a motley collection of foreigners, in
a land wholly unknown to them, cut off from their native country, hemmed in by the surrounding ocean, and given, I hope, a prey into our hands beyond all possibility of escape. Let not the sound of the Roman name affright your ears; nor let the glare of gold or silver upon their armour dazzle your eyes. It is not by gold or silver that men are either wounded or
defended, though they are rendered a richer prey to Courage, the conquerors. Let us boldly attack this disunited
rabble; we shall find among themselves a reinforcement to our army. The degenerate Britons, who are incorporated into their forces, will, through shame of their country's cause deserted by them, quickly
leave the Romans, and come over to us. The Gauls, remembering their former liberty, and that it was the Romans who deprived them of it, will forsake their tyrants, and join the assertors of freedom. The Germans who remain in their army will follow the example of their countrymen, the Usipii, who so lately deserted. And what will there be then to fear? A few half-garrisoned forts; a few municipal towns Contempt. inhabited by worn-out old men, discord universally prevailing, occasioned by tyranny in those who command, and obstinacy in those who should obey. On our side, an army united in the cause of their country, Courage. their wives, their children, their aged parents, their liberties, their lives. At the head of this army-I hope I do not offend against modesty in saying, there Apologs. is a general ready to exert all his abilities, such as they are, and to hazard his life in leading you to victory and to freedom.
I conclude, my countrymen and fellow-soldiers, Encouragwith putting you in mind, that on your behaviour ing. this day depends your future enjoyment of peace and liberty, or your subjection to a tyrannical enemy, with all its grievous consequences. When, therefore, you come to engage_think of your ancestors and think of your posterity.
The speech of the Scythian ambassadors to Alexander, who
was preparing war against them.-Q. Curtius. If your person were as gigantic as your desires, the Respect. 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 Asia: from Asia you
lay hold on Europe. And if you should conquer all mankind, you seem disposed to wage war with woods
and snows, with rivers and wild beasts, and to attempt Warning.
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, Contempt. and are cut down in an hour? It is foolish to think
of the fruit only, without considering the height you Warning. have to climb to come at it. Take care, lest, 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 rust 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 vast deserts and path
less woods, where we do not want to hear of the Courage. name of Alexander. We are not disposed to submit
to slavery; and we have no ambition to tyrannize over any nation. That you may understand the genius of the Scythians, we present you with a yoke of oxen, an arrow, and a goblet. We use these respectively in our commerce with friends and with foes. We give to our friends the corn, which we raise by the labour of our oxen. With the goblet we join with them in pouring drink-offerings to the gods; and with arrows we attack our enemies. We have conquered those who have attempted to tyrannize over us in our own country, and likewise the kings of the Medes and Persians, when they made
unjust war upon us; and we have opened to our. Accusation, selves a way into Egypt. You pretend to be the
punisher of robbers, and are yourself the general
robber of mankind. You have taken Lydia ; you have seized Syria; you are master of Persia; you have subdued the Bactrians, and attacked India. All this will not satisfy you, unless you lay your greedy and insatiable hands upon our flocks and our herds. How imprudent is your
Remonat riches, the possession of which only increases your avarice. You increase your hunger by what should produce satiety; so that the more you have, the more you desire. But have you forgot how long the conquest of the Bactrians detained you? While you were subduing them, the Sogdians revolted. Your victories serve no other purpose than to find you employment by producing new wars; for the business Instruction. of every conquest is two-fold—to win, and to preserve. And though you may be the greatest of warriors. Warning. you must expect, that the nations you conquer will endeavour to shake off the yoke as fast as possible. For what people chooses to be under foreign domi- Courage. nion? If you will cross the Tanais, you may travel over Scythia, and observe how extensive a territory we inhabit. But to conquer us is quite another busi- Warning.
Your army is loaded with the cumbrous spoils of many nations. You will find the poverty of the Scythians, at one time, too nimble for your pursuit ; Threatening. and, at another time, when you think we are fled far enough from you, you will have us surprise you in your camp; for the Scythians attack with no less vigour than they fly. Why should we put you in Remonmind of the vastness of the country you will have to conquer ?
The deserts of Scythia are commonly talked of in Greece; and all the world knows that our delight is to dwell at large, and not in towns or plantations. It will therefore be your wisdom to Advising. keep, with strict atiention, what you have gained. Catching at more, you may lose what you have. We Warning.