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CHARACTER OF THE GAULS.
| the first step towards the execution of any project, For the Gauls. I do not say frequently, but even after it has been resolved on; but the cause is te in everything, they attempt, are carried forward | be sought previous to the resolution. In fact, i headlong by their passions, and never listen to the is something that first puts the idea into our heads dictates of reason.
and that inclines us, after mature deliberation, tu
carry it into execution. NOTHING WITHOUT A CAUSE. For nothing happens without a cause, not even
A STATESMAN. among those events which seem to be most fortu- For a statesman who is ignorant of the way in itous.
which events have originated, and who cannot tel
from what circumstances they have arisen, mayb FEELINGS OF KINGS.
compared to a physician who fails to make himsel But he recollected, also, that kings entertain acquainted with the causes of those diseases whid feelings neither of enmity nor friendship towards he is called in to cure. They are both equally us any, but are in both guided solely by what they less and worthless; for the latter cannot be suj consider to be their interest.
| posed to be acquainted with the proper means &
restoring the body to health, nor can the forme WRITERS OF HISTORY AND TRAGEDY CONTRASTED.
be likely to discover the remedies necessary to go · Consider, then, the peculiar character of history, the better of the evils that are incident to state and what is its proper aim. A historian ought not For matters of the greatest importance often tal to try, like the writers of tragedy, to astonish and their rise from the most trifling incidents; and terrify the reader by extraordinary occurrences, is easier to resist the beginnings of evils than 1 nor yet ought he to draw on his imagination for stop them when they have made considerab speeches that might have been delivered, nor progress. events that might have happened; but he should be satisfied to give a simple narrative of the
HYPOCRISY OF MEN. speeches actually delivered, and of the events as they occurred, even though they may contain noth
For all those with whom we live are like acto ing noble or exciting. But the object and scope on a stage, they, assum
d scope on a stage, they assume whatever dress and a of tragedy are altogether different from those of pearance may suit their present purpose, and the history. It is the business of the latter to strike speak and act in strict keeping with this characte and fascinate the minds of the audience who are In this way we find it difficult to get at their re listening by such representations as are barely pos- sentiments, or to bring into clear day the trul sible; whereas history professes to deliver lessons, which they have hid in a cloud of darkness. from which all ages may derive improvement, bySo Shakespeare (“As You Like It," act ii., sc. 1) giving a true and accurate account of the speeches
“All the world's a stage, and events as they actually took place. In the one, And all the men and women merely players.” therefore, the probable, though untrue, may be
A MAN OF CONCEIT. sufficient to guide us to the end in view, which is the delight and amusement of the audience; but Flaminius was well-suited to gain the affections the other addresses itself to a nobler object-the the populace, and very desirous to stand high instruction and improvement of the human race, their favor; but he was destitute of all those y and must have truth as its basis,
culiar talents that are necessary for the conducti
of war and actual business, though he entertain SOME END IN ALL HUMAN ACTIONS PROPOSED.
a high opinion of his own abilities. For certainly, it ought never to be imagined, either by the rulers of states, or by those who are A GENERAL OUGHT TO EXAMINE THE CHARACTI
OF HIS OPPONENT. going to give an account of their transactions, that the main object of war is victory, and putting For every one must confess that there is others in subjection to us. No wise man ever greater proof of the abilities of a general than makes war merely for the sake of showing his su- investigate, with the utmost care, into the chart periority over his neighbors, nor navigates the sea ter and natural abilities of his opponent. for the sole purpose of passing from place to place. Nor does he practise an art or science merely to MEN ASSIMILATED TO THE CLIMATE IN WHI acquire a knowledge of it. In all human actions
THEY LIVE. there is always some end in view, either of pleasure, or honor, or advantage, as the result of our
Looking at their morose and austere manne labors.
which are the necessary consequence of the ca
and harsh climate that overhangs the whole DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE CAUSE AND BEGIN- their province, for men are very much in disj NING OF AN ACT.
sition and feelings according to the nature of t These misconceptions arise from our forgetting country which they inhabit; nor can we attribr that there is a difference between the beginning it to any other reason than that in the varic of a war and its cause and pretext, and that the nations of the world, so far removed from ea latter of these are always in order antecedent to other, we find so vast a difference in featur the former. To speak correctly, the beginning is complexion, and customs.
EVERY INJURY IS NOT TO BE SUBMITTED TO. I to secure their obedience than by a victory in the For it is my opinion that war is no doubt much field of battle. For in the one case they yield to to be dreaded, but still not to such a degree that necessity; in the other, it is their own free choice. we should be willing to submit to every kind of Besides, how often is the victory dearly bought, insult rather than engage in it. For why should while the conquest of an enemy by affection may we value so highly equality of government, liberty be brought about without expense or loss! And of speech, and the glorious name of freedom, if what ought to be particularly observed is, that nothing is to be preferred to peace ?
subjects have a right to claim a large share in the
success that has been obtained by arms, whereas PEACE NOT TO BE PREFERRED TO EVERYTHING. the prince alone reaps all the glory of a victory
Nor can we approve of what Pindar recommends which is gained by kind treatment.
FATE OF COURTIERS, he expresses it in his poetical language
For the rapidity with which men, in all the "In the radiant splendors of majestic Peace; " various positions of life, rise and fall is very for this plausible and specious advice was found marked; but this is chiefly seen in those who are in the end to be not less dishonorable than de- attached to the court of kings. For as the counters structive of the best interests of their country. I which are employed in calculation assume their In short, peace is the greatest of all blessings, if particular value at the will of the man who casts it leaves us in the possession of our honors and up the account,--sometimes representing a talent, lawful rights; but if it is attended with the loss sometimes a farthing, --so courtiers are rich and of our national independence, and places a blot on prosperous, wretched and in poverty, at the nod our escutcheon, there is nothing more truly per- of their prince. nicious or fatal to our true interests.
A WORK BEGUN IS HALF DONE.
For when the ancients said that a work begun So true it is, that to engage in reckless and des- was half done, they meant that we ought to take perate enterprises is most frequently the way to the utmost pains in every undertaking to make a reduce men eventually to utter helplessness, and good beginning. an inability to make resistance.
EXECUTION, AND NOT WORDS. WHAT THINGS ARE ALLOWABLE IN WAR.
For the truth is, that as nothing is more easy For the laws of war force us to appropriate to than to bind one's self by words to enter on the ourselves what belongs to our enemy, to destroy most daring enterprises, so there is nothing more their forts and cities, their ships and harbors, the difficult than to bring them to a successful result. fruits of their country, with the inhabitants, for For the former only requires that a man should the purpose of weakening them, and adding have sufficient confidence; while success depends strength to ourselves. Yet when men proceed to on qualities which few possess, and is very rarely break their fury on senseless objects, whose de- reached in life. struction will neither be of advantage to themMives, nor in the slightest degree disable their
EFFECTS OF PENURY. mponent from carrying on the war, especially if Wherefore, there arose disputes, jealousy, and they burn the temples of the gods, destroy their heart-burnings—a state of things which generally statues, and waste their ornamental furniture, takes place, not only in great empires, but among what else can we say of such proceedings, except private individuals, when they are depressed by that they are the acts of men devoid of all feelings poverty, and are without the means of carrying
propriety, and infected by frenzy? For it is in their designs into effect. no way the object of war, at least among men who have just notions of their duty, to annihilate and
BEST FORM OF GOVERNMENT. atterly subvert those from whom they may have For that form of government is, no doubt, to be received provocation, but only to induce them to considered the best which is composed of all the imend that in which they have acted amiss-not three now mentioned-namely, royalty, aristoc to involve the innocent and guilty in one common racy and democracy. rain, but rather to save them both. We may also observe. that it is the act of a tyrant only, who | THE USUAL END OF A DEMOCRATICAL GOVERNhates, and is hated by, his subjects, to exact by
MENT. force and terror a reluctant and unwilling obedi- For when the people are accustomed to gain ence; while a king, distinguished for his kindness their livelihood without labor, and to live at the and forbearance, gains the affections of his sub expense of others, and when at that moment some jects, who learn to look upon him as their friend bold and enterprising leader makes his appearand benefactor, and to submit with cheerfulness ance, who has been prevented from taking part in to his commands.
public affairs by his poverty, it is then that we
see a beautiful example of the character of the CONQUER ENEMIES BY GENEROSITY.
multitude: they run together in tumultuous assemWhen we conquer our enemies by kind treat-blies, and commit all kinds of violence, ending in ment, and by acts of justice, we are more likely I assassinations, banishments, and seizure of private property, till, being brought at last to a state of, tenance betraying the joyful expectation of sacsavage anarchy, they once more find a master, and cess, or the sadness of defeat, nor yet by feelings submit themselves to arbitrary sway.
of friendship or affection for those around him.
| He should communicate his intention to none ex HOW EACH FORM OF GOVERNMENT DEGEN
cept to those without whose assistance his plans ERATES.
cannot be carried into execution, and not even to For as rust is the canker of iron, and worms de- them till the time when their services are required stroy wood, and as these substances, even though make it necessary that they should be made ac-> they may escape a violent end, at last fall a prey quainted with them. Nor should the tongue only to the decay that is, as it were, natural to them; | be silent, but still more must the mind itself be an in the same manner, likewise, in every kind of its guard; for it has often happened that many, government there is a particular vice inherent in who have a strict watch over their tongue, hare it, which is attached to its very nature, and which betrayed their intentions by some external signs, brings it to a close. Thus royalty degenerates and sometimes by their actions. into tyranny, aristocracy into obligarchy, and democracy into savage violence and anarchy.
FAVORITES OF FORTUNE.
These writers, then, have all agreed in repre RELIGION USED TO TERRIFY THE VULGAR.
senting Scipio as one of those favorites of fortune But since the great mass of a people are fickle who bring all their schemes to a happy end by a and inconstant, full of unruly desires, passionate, random thought, and, according to all appearance, and reckless of consequences, there is no other by running counter to all the rules of reason. way left to curb them than by filling them with They regard such men as more immediately under horrible imaginings, and by the pageantry of ter- the inspiration of Heaven, and more deserving of rifying myths. The ancients, therefore, did not, our admiration, than those who carry out their in my opinion, act unwisely, nor without sufficient plans in strict consonance with rational principles, reason, when they implanted such notions of the forgetting all the while that in the one case men gods, and a belief in punishments in another truly merit praise, while in the other all that can world; but those of the present day are much be said of them is that they are fortunate. The rather to be accused of folly, who try to extirpate most vulgar and commonplace of men may be all such opinions.
fortunate, but the others are distinguished for
their mental qualities. These are the men who GOVERNMENT OF THE MULTITUDE IS THE GREAT
approach nearest to the Divine Being, and are in EST OF ALL EVILS.
highest favor with the gods. For when a state, after having gone through many and great dangers, reaches to the highest
DIVINE IMPULBE. pinnacle of power, and reigns with undisputed! For those who are unable, either from lack of sway, it cannot be otherwise than that luxury and mental capacity, or imperfect knowledge, or indoexpensive habits should be developed, and that lent habits to discern clearly the right time for men should indulge in ambitious projects, and be action, the causes and probable course of events, desirous to acquire the high dignities of state. are very apt to attribute to the gods and fortune And as these evils are apt to increase, the appe- what is after all the result of sound sense and the tite for power grows on what it feeds upon, and proper use of our rational faculties. men feel ashamed that any of their fellow-citizens should in any way surpass them. Hence arise all MANY KNOW TO CONQUER, FEW TO USE THELE those vices which are the natural result of luxury
VICTORY WITH ADVANTAGE. and overbearing arrogance. Then the people step For as we have often observed, it is no doubts in and give the finishing stroke to the change in great thing to be successful in our undertakings. the form of government, finding themselves op- and to defeat our enemy in the field of battle; bat: pressed by the grasping nature of some, and their it is a proof of greater wisdom, and requires more vanity flattered by the ambitious views of others. skill, to make a good use of victory. For many For, fired with rage, and giving full play to their know how to conquer; few are able to use their evil passions, they are no longer willing to submit conquest aright. to control, and to share with their rulers the administration of affairs, but insist on having every
POWER OF A MAN IN HIGH AUTHORITY. thing subject to their authority. The invariable Thus an admonition, when it comes at the proper result of such a state of things is, that the govern moment, from the lips of a man who enjoys the ment indeed assumes the noblest of all names, respect of the world, is often able not only to de that of a free and popular state, but becomes, in ter men from the commission of crime, but leads truth, the most execrable of all-the dominion of them into the right path. For when the life of a the mob.
speaker is known to be in unison with his words,
it is impossible that his advice should not have SECRECY RECOMMENDED.
the greatest weight. Now of all the precautions that have been mentioned, the first that the general of an army
CHARACTER OF THE MULTITUDE. ought to attend to is secrecy. He ought to take The multitude is easily led astray, is moved in care that his designs be not disclosed by his coun-levery direction by the smallest force, so that the
agitations of the mob and the sea have a wonderful
DIFFICULT TO ESCAPE SORROW. resemblance to each other. For as the latter is in It is a difficult matter to escape sorrow; every day
e calm, and exhibits no appearance of brings some new cause of anxiety. danger to the eye till some violent hurricane agilates its surface, when it becomes fierce as the
ACQUAINTANCES AND FRIENDS. winds themselves; in the same way the multitude By my skill I have got many acquaintances, but s swayed and guided in its actions according to be
ang.co by my manners very many friends. the temper and character of its leaders and advis
AVARICE. As in the case of those who are afflicted with fropsy, no external application is able to take
SIMONIDES. way or allay the thirst, unless some internal hange has been produced by proper remedies; in
SIMONIDES, lyric poet, was born in the island of he same way, also, the desire of gain can never be
Ceos in the year 556 B.C. atiated unless the vicious inclinations of the mind |
LIFE OF MEN HERE BELOW. have been got rid of by reason.
The vigor of man is but for a day, and his sorFORCE OF TRUTH.
rows are incurable. Labor upon labor comes for For my own part I am fully persuaded that the a few short years; unavoidable death is impending: bost powerful goddess, and one that rules man- for the good and the bad have an equal share in it. kind with the most authoritative sway, is Truth.
THE WAY TO HADES. for though she is resisted by all, and ofttimes has Irawn up against her the plausibilities of false
Being of good cheer, proceed creeping along the lood in the subtlest forms, she triumphs over all road to Hades: for it is not of difficult passage nor Ipposition. I know not how it is that she, by her uneven, nor full of windings, but all very straight wa unadorned charms, forces herself into the and down-hill, and can be gone along with shut heart of man. At times her power is instantly eyes. elt; at other times, though obscured for awhile,
HOW WE LIVE. be at last bursts forth in meridian splendor, and konquers by her innate force the falsehood with For there is plenty of time to die, but we lead a which she has been oppressed.
bad life for a few years. WANT OF PERSEVERANCE IN MAN.
TO-MORROW. For some men. like unskilful jockeys, give up! Being mortal, thou canst not tell what will be heir designs when they have almost reached the to-morrow, nor when thou seest a man happy, how Toal; while others, on the contrary, obtain a vic-| long he will be so, for not so swift is the flight of ory over their opponents, by exerting, at the last the wide-winged fly. moment, more vigorous efforts than before.
Death overtakes even the coward.
ADVANTAGE OF SILENCE. powerful, as conscience, that dwells in the breast of each.
The reward of silence is attended by no danger.
TIME THE TOUCHSTONE OF EVERYTHING. There is no better touchstone of everything than time, which shows the mind of man in his breast.
FLOURISHED B.C. 289.
BORN B.C. 495—DIED B.C. 406. death of Menander, B.C. 289. According to Suidas, he wrote forty plays.
SOPHOCLES, the celebrated tragic poet, was a
native of the Attic village of Colonus; born five AN EASY DEATH.
years before the battle of Marathon, about thirty Of the things which man prays to obtain from years younger than Æschylus, and fifteen years the gods, he prays for nothing more fervently than older than Euripides. His father's name was an easy hour of death.
Sophilus or Sophillus; but what was his condition
in life is a matter of which we have no certain SORROW WITH MANY FEET.
knowledge. At all events, the young Sophocles Sorrow is an evil with many feet.
received an education not inferior to that of the sons of the most distinguished citizens of Athens. GOD SEES THE RIGHTEOUS AND THE WICKED. His first appearance as a dramatist took place in Believe that the gods behold the righteous and B.C. 468, when he gained the first prize in competi-Waleet
t prize in competi. also the wicked, nor has any impious man ever tion with the veteran Æschylus; and from that
escaped their eye. time Sophocles held the supremacy of the Athe
So Jeremiah (xxxii. 19)"For Thine eyes are open upon all nian stage. Family dissensions troubled his last
the ways of the sons of men; to give every one according to years. One of his sons summoned his father be-his
er be- his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings." fore the magistrates, on the charge that his mind was affected by old age. As his only reply, Soph
A GOOD MAN IS HIS OWN FRIEND. ocles answered, “If I am Sophocles, I am not be- For what good man is not his own friend? side myself; and if I am beside myself, I am not
The Psalmist (xlix. 18) says—“As long as thou doest good Sophocles.” He then read a passage from the
to thyself, men will speak well of thee." magnificent parodos to his unpublished play, “ (Edipus at Colonus," and when he had finished,
TOILING FOR A PARENT. the judges dismissed the case, and rebuked the For if any one toil for a parent, it is not fitting ungrateful prosecutor. The poet was allowed to to bear remembrance of the toil. pass the remainder of his days in peace. He died at the extreme age of ninety.
WE KNOW NOT WHAT A DAY MAY BRING FORTH. DOING GOOD SHOULD BE THE TASK OF MAN. For I know that being a man I have no more
For a man to exert his power in doing good so power to rule the events of to-morrow than thou. far as he can is a most glorious task.
TO LAY MY BONES AMONG YE. THE HONEST CONTRASTED WITH THE BASE. II come to bestow on you as a gift, this my For it is not just lightly to deem the wicked wretched body, not goodly to the sight, but the good or the good wicked. He that throws a advantages to be gained from it are of greater faithful friend away, I call as bad as if he threw consequence than a fair form. his life away, which is most dear to him. But in
Shakespeare (“Henry VIII.," act iv., sc. 2) saystime thou wilt know all this; for time alone shows
"O father abbot, the honest man; the base thou mightest discover An old man, broken with the storms of state, even in one day.
Is come to lay his weary bones among ye;
Give him a little earth for charity."
TIME CHANGES EVERYTHING.
O dearest son of Ægeus, to the gods alone is THE WISE GATHER WISDOM FROM THE PAST.
given exemption from old age and death; but the The wise form right judgment of the present all-powerful hand of time crumbles everything from what is past.
else to dust. The vigor of the earth, the vigor of
the body wastes away; faith dies and perfidy THE AGED.
springs up afresh; the gale does not always blow A trifling bend of the scale sends aged frames to the same to friends among men, nor to state rest.
towards state. For what is grateful now becomes
hateful, to some at once, to others in distant time; MAN CONTROLLED BY FATE.
and then delights again. For why should man fear, whom the decrees of So 1 Timothy (vi. 16)—“Who only hath immortality, dwellfate control, while there is no sure foresight of ing in the light which no man can approach unto." aught? "Twere best to live at random, even as
WHERE THE CAUSE IS JUST, THE WEAK CONQUERS one could.
| In a just cause, the weak subdue the strong. Ye race of mortals, how I deem your life as nothing but an airy dream! For this is the only
THE DEAD FEEL NO GRIEF. happiness granted to man, to fancy that he has it, For rage is not abated but by death; the dead and so fancying to see the glittering vision melt feel no grief. away.
THE HUNTER TAKEN IN HIS OWN TOILS. NO ONE TO BE PRONOUNCED HAPPY BEFORE DEATH.
And know that thou art seized, as thou hast Wherefore since thou art looking out, as being
seized; fortune takes the hunter in his own toils;
$ for things got by fraud and injustice abide not mortal, for thy last day, call no man happy, before he has passed the boundary of life, having
SMALL CIRCUMSTANCES OFTEN IMPORTANT. suffered nothing evil. Lord Byron says
Things of trifling appearance are often preg“The first dark day of nothingness.
nant with high import; a prudent man neglects Do The last of danger and distress."