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which you have ever most desired! Liberty is before your eyes; and liberty will soon bring riches, glory, renown. These are the rewards that Fortune holds out to the victors. The time, the place, our dangers, our wants, the splendid spoils of war, exhort you more than my words can do. As for myself, whether as a commander or a private soldier, make what use of me you will. Neither in soul nor in body will I be absent from your side; and you-you, I am persuaded, will prefer to command as rulers, rather than to obey as slaves. SALLUST (paraphrase from).
II. — ALEXANDER THE GREAT TO HIS MEN.
AT length, fellow-soldiers, we enter on the last of our battles. How many regions have we traversed, looking forward to the victory which we must this day achieve! We have crossed the Gran'i-cus, we have climbed the ridges of Cilicia, we have passed through Syria and Egypt; our very entrance into a country has been the signal of victory; what more irresistible incitements could we have to confidence and glory? The Persian fugitives, overtaken, rally and attempt to make head against us, simply because they can not fly. This is the third day that they have stood under their loads of armor, fixed in one position, scarcely surviving their terrors.
have joined them, tribes with barbarous names.
What stronger proof of their desperate condition could they give than in burning their cities, and laying waste their fields; thus acknowledging, in act, that whatever they cannot destroy must fall into our hands! We hear of unknown tribes that Be sure, soldiers, their names are the most formidable part of them. But when were brave men scared by names? And how does it affect the fate of this contest to know who are Scythians, or who Cadusians? Obscurity is the lot of the ignoble. Heroes do not dwell in oblivion. These unwarlike hordes, dragged from their dens and caves, bring into the field their alarming names! Well, even in names we can beat them; for to such eminence in manly virtue have you arrived, that there is not a spot in the whole earth where the name of the Macedonians is not known and respected.
Observe the wretched appointments of these barbarians. Some have no weapon but a dart; others poise stones in a sling; few have proper and efficient arms. There stands the larger mob here stands the stronger army!
Soldiers! Intrepid sons of Macedonia! Your courage has
CHARGE OF THE LIGHT BRIGADE.
been tried in many a well-fought field; nor do I ask you now to show once more that bravery which could defy all odds, unless you see me, Alexander, your general, fighting to the last gasp, in front of the banners! My scars I shall count as ornaments. What spoils we seize shall be bestowed in honoring and enriching yourselves. Did Alexander ever stint you of your share?
Thus much to the brave. Should there be others here, - very few, if any, they must be,-let them consider, that, having advanced thus far, it is impossible for us to retreat. We must conqueror we must perish. There is no alternative. Such is the extent of country to be retraced, so multiplied and difficult are the rivers and mountains obstructing return, so hostile the tribes in our way, that we can cut a passage to our native land and our household gods no otherwise than by the sword. Forward, then, Macedonians-forward to the field, and victory shall secure at once your glory and your safety!
QUINTUS CURTIUS (paraphrase from).
HALF a league, half a league, half a league onward, all in the valley of Death, rode the six hundred. "Charge!" was the captain's cry theirs not to reason why; theirs not to make reply; theirs but to do and die! Into the valley of Death rode the six hundred.
Cannon to right of them, cannon to left of them, cannon in front of them, volleyed and thundered. Stormed at with shot and shell, boldly they rode and well; into the jaws of Death, into the mouth of Hell, rode the six hundred.
Flashed all their sabers bare, flashed all at once in air, sabering the gunners there, charging an army, while all the world wondered. Plunged in the battery smoke, fiercely the line they broke; strong was the saber-stroke, making an army reel, shaken and sundered. Then they rode back; but not - not the six hundred!
Cannon to right of them, cannon to left of them, cannon behind them, volleyed and thundered; stormed at with shot and shell, they that had struck so well rode through the jaws of Death, half a league back again, up from the mouth of Hell, all that was left of them-left of six hundred! When can their glory fade? O, the wild charge they made!-all the world wondered. Honor the charge they made- honor the Light Brigade! Noble six hundred!
IV. ALASCO TO HIS COUNTRYMEN.
SOLDIERS, the chief, Malinski, has betrayed
Could turn the scale of fate. String every heart
For hireling hosts to ply the trade of war.
For what's most dear to man, wherever found –
Till from their tombs our warrior sires come forth,
V. -A BATTLE-SONG FOR FREEDOM.
MEN of action! men of might!
Stern defenders of the right!
Are you girded for the fight?
Have you marked and trenched the ground,
Where the din of arms must sound,
Ere the victor can be crowned?
Lost the right you had by birth.
From your hearths, and homes, and altars,
Hush! The hour of fate is nigh.
VI.-SONG OF MARION'S MEN.
OUR band is few, but true and tried,
our leader frank and bold; The British soldier trembles when Marion's name is told. Our fortress is the good green wood, our tent the cypress-tree; We know the forest round us as seamen know the sea.
We know its walls of thorny vines, its glades of reedy grass,
Woe to the English soldiery that little dread us near!
Well knows the fair and friendly moon the band that Marion
The glitter of their rifles, the scampering of their steeds.
Back to the pathless forest, before the peep of day.
Grave men there are by broad Santee, grave men with hoary hairs:
- DARIUS TO HIS ARMY.
THIS day, O soldiers, will terminate or establish the largest empire that any age has known. But recently lords of all the climes from the Hellespont to the ocean, we have now to fight, not for glory, but for safety, and, for what we prize above safety -liberty! If we can not make a stand here, no place of retreat remains. By continued armaments every thing in our rear is exhausted. The cities are deserted. The very fields are abandoned by their cultivators. Our wives and children, who have followed the levies, are but so many spoils prepared for the enemy, unless we interpose our bodies as a rampart before these dearest objects and pledges of affection.
On my part, I have collected an army such as the largest plain can hardly contain. I have chosen a field of battle where our whole line can act. The rest depends on yourselves. Dare to conquer, and you will conquer! We hear of the enemy's reputation. Reputation!· - As if that were a weapon which brave men had not learnt to despise! These spacious plains expose the poverty of your foe-a poverty which the Cilician mountains concealed. We perceive thin ranks, wire-drawn wings, a center quite drained; while their last line faces to the rear, in readiness to fly.
If we but conquer now, all the victories of the war will be transferred to us. The enemy have no place of refuge; here the Euphrates bars them in, and there the Tigris. A heavy booty impedes their operations. Entangled in the spoils they have won from us, they may be easily overwhelmed; and thus the means of our triumph will be its reward.