« PreviousContinue »
R. He was more successful than the fox we read of in the fable, who, having lost his tail, wished to persuade his brethren of the inutility of that appendage.
G. He was ashamed of his loss, Dick. Depend upon it, that frx wanted assurance. But my principles are gaining ground fast, or how else can you account for the fact that men of three score are turning fops, and most of the rising generation attend to nothing but dress. Time was when the long coat and surtout were the peculiar garb of manhood, now no boy is without them.
R. You might add that drinking and tobacco, gaming and debt, were once the vices of men, but now every fashionable urchin can drink his bottle, smoke his cigar, and bet like a gamester. Of debts I have nothing to add to the description you have just given me.
G. You have omitted one accomplishment however. The lad of fashion must swear a little. Nothing will show one's consequence like a volley of oaths now and then. But dress is the remote cause of all this. I am sorry to own it, but you seldom see a man of sense who is a fop. When you
dress a calf's head, you must always take out the brains.
R. But how do all these consequences proceed from dress ?
G. I will tell you, since I have begun to reveal our secrets. The time was, Dick, when modesty was considered an accomplishment in children, and deference to their su. periors a duty. But now, almost as soon as they can walk, children are sent to the dancing academy to get rid of their modesty, and learn to disregard the presence of their elders and superiors.
R. How does this affect their dress?
G. The competition commences at school, and then, as the tuition will all be lost without practice, and there is some fear of the lads relapsing into his former modesty, he must be introduced into company, and frequent balls and assemblies where dress is indispensible. And as with a genteel coat, and a thorough knowledge of the capacity of his heels, he meets with a better reception than real worth does in a plain garb, it is no wonder that so many of our young men decorate their persons instead of adorning their minds, and parade at the corners of our streets, instead of attending to their business or studies.
R. But is not all this an argument against dress? G. Yes, Dick; but what has argument to do with fashYou might as well talk of reason to the idiot, who is not a subject of it.
R. Do you ever consider what the end of all this folly must necessarily be?
G. O, no! futurity is another word we have nothing to do with. But I have made my confessions, and have no idea of hearing a lecture upon them. So good bye to you; the first glass I drink shall be to your health and reforma
R. You had better continue thirsty and promote your own. I thank you, however, for the hints you have given me; and I trust, in future, I shall remain contented with my obscurity and no longer envy those, whose exterior is their only recommendation,
PART OF THE SPEECH OF PUBLIUS SCIPIO TO THE ROMAN ARMY, BEFORE THE BATTLE OF THE TICIN.
THAT you may not be unapprized, soldiers, of what sort of enemies you are about to encounter, or what is to be feared from them, I tell you they are the very same, whom, in a former war, you vanquished both by land and sea; the same from whom you took Sicily and Sardinia; and who have been these twenty years your tributaries.
2. You will not, I pressme, march against these men with only that courage with which you are wont to face other enemies; but with a certain anger and indignation, such as you would feel if you saw your slaves on a sudden rise up in arms against you.
3. But you have heard, perhaps, that, though they are few in number, they are men of stout hearts and robust bodies; heroes of such strength and vigor as nothing is able to resist: Mere effigies! nay, shadows of men! wretches, emaciated with hunger and benumbed with cold! bruised
and battered to pieces among the rocks and craggy cliffs ; their weapons broken, and their horses weak and foundered!
4. Such are the cavalry, and such the infantry, with which you are going to con end ; not enemies, but the fragments of enemies. There is nothing which I more apprehend, than that it will be thought Hannibal was vanquished by the Alps before we had any conflict with him.
5. I need not be in any fear that you should suspect me of saying these things merely to encourage you, while inwardly I have different sentiments. Have I ever shown any inclination to avoid a contest with this tremendous Hannibal ? and have I now met with him only by accident and unawares ? or am I come on purpose to challenge him to the combat ?
6. I would gladly try, whether the earth, within these twenty years, has brought forth a new kind of Carthagenians ; or whether they be the same sort of men who fought at the Ægates, and whom at Eryx you suffered to redeem themselves at eighteea denarii per head. Whether this Hannibal, for labours and journies, be as he would be thought, the rival of Hercules ; or whether he be what his father left him, a tributary, a vassal, a slave to the Roman people.
7. Did not the consciousness of his wicked deed at Sa. guntum torment him and inake him desperate, he would have some regard, if not to his conquered country, yet surely to his own family, to his father's memory, to the treaty written with Amilcar's own hand. We might have starved them in Eryx; we might have passed into Africa with our victorious feet, and in a few days have destroyed Carthage.
8. At their humble supplication, we pardoned them. We released them when they were closely shut up without a possibility of escaping. We made peace with them when they were conquered. When they were distressed by the African war, we considered them, and treated them, as a people under our protection.
9. And what is the return they make us for all these favours ! Under the conduct of a hair brained young man, they come hither to overturn our state, and lay waste our country,
10. I could wish, indeed, that it were not so; and that the war we are now engaged in concerned our glory only, and not our preservation. But the contest at present is not for the possession of Sicily and Sardinia, but of Italy itself. Nor is there behind us another army, which, if we should not prove the conquerors, may make head against our victorious enemies.
11. There are no more Alps for them to pass, which might give us leisure to raise new forces. No, soldiers; here you must take your stand, as if you were just now before the walls of Rome. Let every one reflect, that he is now to defend, not his own person only, but his wife, his children, his helpless infants.
12. Yet let not private considerations alone possess our minds. Let us remember that the eyes of the Senate and people of Rome are upon us; and that, as our force and courage shall now prove, such will be the fortune of that city, and of the Roman empire.
PART OF HANNIBAL'S SPEECH TO THE CARTHAGENIAN ARMY ON THE SAME OCCASION.
ON what side soever I turn my eyes, I behold all full of courage and strength. A veteran infantry; a most gallant cavalry; you, my allies, most faithful and valiant; you, Carthagenians, whom not only your country's cause, but the justest anger, impels to battle. The hope, the courage of assailants, is always greater than that of those who act upon the defensive.
2. With hostile banners displayed, you are come down upon Italy. You bring the war. Grief, injuries, indignities, fire your minds, and spur you forward to revenge. First, they demanded me; that 1, your general, should be delivered up to them; next, all of you who have fought at the siege of Saguntum; and we were to be put to death by excrutiating tortures.
3. Proud and cruel nation! Every thing must be yours, and at your disposal! You are to prescribe to us with whom
we are to make war, with whom to make peace! You are to set us bounds; to shut us up between hills and rivers but you are not to observe the limits which yourselves have fixed!
4. "Pass not the Iberus." What next? "Touch not the Saguntines; Saguntum is upon the Iberus; move not a step towards that city." Is it a small matter, then, that you have deprived us of our ancient possessions, Sicily and Sardinia? You would have Spain too!
5. Well, we shall yield Spain, and then-you will pass into Africa. Will pass, did say? This very year, they ordered one of their consuls into Africa, and the other into Spain. No, soldiers, there is nothing left for us but what we can vindicate with our swords.
6. Come on, then. Be men. The Romans may, with more safety be cowards. They have their own country behind them; have places of refuge to flee to ; and are secure from danger in the roads thither. But for you, there is no middle fortune between death and victory. Let this be but well fixed in your minds; and, once again, I say you are conquerors.
EXTRACT FROM DR. BELKNAP'S ADDRESS TO THE INHABITANTS OF NEW-HAMPSHIRE, AT THE CLOSE OF HIS HISTORY OF THAT STATE.
CITIZENS OF NEW-HAMPSHIRE,
HAVING spent above twenty years of my life with you, and passed through varicus scenes of peace and war within that time; being personally acquainted with many of you, both in your public and private characters ; and having an earnest desire to promote your true interest, I trust you will not think me altogether unqualified to give you a few hints by way of advice.
2. You are certainly a rising state; your numbers are rapidly increasing; and your importance in the political scale will be augmented, in proportion to your improving