« НазадПродовжити »
of the existence of God than my accusers are ; and so convinced, that I abandon myself to God and you, that you may judge of me as you shall deem best for yourselves and me."
Socrates pronounced this discourse with a firm and intrepid tone. His air, his action, his visage, expressed nothing of the accused. He seemed to be the master of his judges, from the greatness of soul with which he spoke, without however losing any of the modesty natural to him. But how slight soever the proofs were against him, the faction was powerful enough to find him guilty. There was the form of a process against him, and his irreligion was the pretence upon which it was grounded ; but his death was certainly a concerted thing. His steady uninterrupted course of obstinate virtue, which had made him in many cases appear singular, and oppose whatever he thought illegal or unjust, without any regard to times or persons, had procured him a great deal of envy and ill-will. After his sentence, he continued with the same serene and intrepid aspect with which he had long enforced virtue, and held tyrants in awe. When he entered his prison, which then became the residence of virtue and probity, his friends followed him, and continued to visit him during the interval between his condemnation and his death.
The Scythian ambassadors to Alexander, on his making prepa
rations to attack their country. If your person were as gigantic as your desires, the world could not contain you. Your right hand vould 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
should conquer all mankind, you seem disposed to wage war with woods and snows, with rivers and wild beasts, and to attempt to subdue nature. But have
considered the usual course of things? have you reflected, that great trees are many years
growing to their height, and are cut down in an hour ? It is foolish to think of the fruit ouly, without considering the height you 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.
Besides, what have you to do with the Scythians, or the Scythians with you? We have never invaded Macedon;
why should you attack Scythia ? 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 conduct! you grasp at 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 forgotten how long the conquest of the Bactrians detained you? While you were subduing them, the Sogdians revolted. Your victories serve to no other purpose than to find you employment, by producing new wars ; for the business of every conquest is twofold, to win, and to preserve. Though you may be the greatest of warriors, you must expect that the nations you conquer will endeavour to shake off the yoke as fast as possible: for what people choose to be under foreign dominion ?
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 business. You will find us, at one time, too nimble for your pursuit ; and at another, 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. It will, therefore, be your wisdom to keep with strict attention what you have gained : catching at more, you may lose what
have. We have a proverbial saying in Scythia, That Fortune has no feet, and is furnished only with hands to distribute her capricious favours, and with fins to elude the grasp of those to whom she has been bountiful.—You profess yourself to be a god, the son of Jupiter Ammon : it suits the character of a god to bestow favours on mortals, not to deprive them of what they have. But if you are no god, reflect on the precarious condition of humanity. You will thus show more wisdom, than by dwelling on those subjects which have puffed up your pride, and made you forget yourself.
You see how little you are likely to gain by attempting the conquest of Scythia. On the other hand, you may, if you please, have in us a valuable alliance. We command the borders both of Europe and Asia. There is nothing between us and Bactria, but the river Tanais ; and our territory extends to Thrace, which, as we have heard,
borders on Macedon. If you decline attacking us in a hostile manner, you may have our friendship. Nations which have never been at war are on an equal footing : but it is in vain that confidence is reposed in a conquered people. There can be no sincere friendship between the oppressors and the oppressed : even in peace, the latter think themselves entitled to the rights of war against the former.
if you think good, enter into a treaty with you, according to our manner, wbich is not by signing, sealing, and taking the gods to witness, as is the Grecian custom ; but by doing actual services. The Scythians are not used to promise, but perform without promising. And they think an appeal to the gods superfluous ; for that those who have no regard for the esteem of men, will not hesitate to offend the gods by perjury.-You may therefore consider with yourself, whether you would choose to have for allies, or for enemies, a people of such a character, and so situated as to have it in their power either to serve you, or to annoy you, according as you treat them.
Speech of the Earl of Chatham, on the subject of employing
Indians to fight against the Americans. I CANNOT, my lords, I will not, join in congratulation on misfortune and disgrace. This, my lords, is a perilous and treendous moment: it is not a time for adulation ; the smoothness of flattery cannot save us in this rugged and awful crisis. It is now necessary to instruct the throne in the language of truth. We must, if possible, dispel the delusion and darkness which envelop it; and display, in its full danger and genuine colours, the ruin which is brought to our doors. Čan ministers still presume to expect support in their infatuation? Can parliament be so dead to its dignity and duty, as to give their support to measures thus obtruded and forced upon them ? measures, my lords, which have reduced this late flourishing empire to scorn and contempt? But yesterday, and England might have stood against the world; now, none so poor as to do her reverence! The people, whom we at first despised as rebels, but whom we now acknowledge as enemies, are abetted against us, supplied with every military store, their interest consulted, and their ambassadors entertained by our inveterate enemy ;and ministers do not, and dare not, interpose with dignity
or effect. The desperate state of our army abroad is in part known. No inan more highly esteems' and honours the English troops than I do: I know their virtues and their valour ; I know they can achieve any thing but impossibilities ; and I know that the conquest of English America is an impossibility. You cannot, my lords, you cannot conquer America. What is your present situation there? We do not know the worst : but we know that in three campaigns we have done nothing, and suffered much. You may swell every expense, accumulate every assistance, and extend your traffic to the shambles of every German despot; your attempts will be for ever vain and impotent;-doubly so, indeed, from this mercenary aid on which you rely ; for it ir. ritates, to an incurable resentment, the minds of your
adversaries, to overrun them with the mercenary sons of rapine and plunder, devoting them and their possessions to the rapacity of hireling cruelty.
But, my lords, who is the man, that, in addition to the disgraces and mischiefs of the war, has dared to authorize and associate to our arms, the tomahawk and scalping knife of the savage ?-to call into civilized alliance, the wild and inhuman inhabitants of the woods ?—to delegate to the merciless Indian, the defence of disputed rights, and to wage the horrors of his barbarous war against our brethren ? My lords, these enormities cry aloud for redress and punishment. But, my lords, this barbarous measure has been defended, not only on the principles of policy and necessity, but also on those of morality ; " for it is perfectly allowable,” says Lord Suffolk, " to use all the means which God and nature have put into our hands.” I am astonished, I am shocked, to hear such principles confessed ; to hear them avowed in this house, or in this country. My lords, I did not intend to encroach so much on your attention ; but I cannot repress my indignation-I feel myself impelled to speak. My lords, we are called upon as members of this house, as men, as Christians, to protest against such horrible barbarity! " That God and nature have put into our hands!” What ideas of God and nature, that noble lord may entertain, I know not ; but I know that such detestable principles are equally abhorrent to religion and humanity. What! to attribute the sacred sanction of God and nature to the massacres of the Indian scalping knife ! to the savage, torturing and murdering his unhappy victims ! Such notione shock every precept of morality, every feeling of humanity, every sentiment of honour. These abominable principles, and
this more abominable avowal of them, demand the most de. cisive indignation. I call upon that right reverend, and this most learned Bench, to vindicate the religion of their God, to support the justice of their country. I call upon the bishops to interpose the unsullied sanctity of their lawn, upon the judges to interpose the purity of their ermine, to save us from this pollution. I call upon the honour of your lordships, to reverence the dignity of your ancestors, and to maintain your own. I call upon the spirit and humanity of my country, to vindicate the national character. I invoke the genius of the constitution. From
the tapestry that adorns these walls, the immortal ancestor of this noble lord frowns with indignation at the disgrace of his country. In vain did he defend the liberty, and establish the religion of Britain, against the tyranny of Rome, if these worse than Popish cruelties and inquisitorial practices, are endured among us. To send forth the merciless Indian, thirsting for blood ! against whom ?--your protestant brethren!—to lay waste their country, to desolate their dwellings, and extirpate their race and name, by the aid and instrumentality of these ungovernable savages !—Spain can no longer boast pre-eminence in barbarity. She armed herself with bloodhounds to extirpate the wretched natives of Mexico ; we, more ruthless, loose those brutal warriors against our countrymen in America, endeared to us by every tie that can sanctify humanity. I solemnly call upon your lordships, and upon every order of men in the statė, to stamp upon this infamous procédure the indelible stigma of the public abhorrence. More particularly, I call upon the venerable prelates of our religion, to do away this iniquity: let them perform a lustration to purify the country from this deep and deadly sin.
My lords, I am old and weak, and at present unable to say more; but my feelings and indignation were too strong to have allowed me to say less. I could not have slept this night in my bed, nor even reposed my head upon my pillow, without giving vent to my steadfast abhorrence of such enormous and preposterous principles.
Every benevolent mind must be gratified with the cheering prospect which is now opening in favour of the American Indians. This benighted and unhappy part of our species, notwithstanding their savage enormities, are entitled to compassion; especially from those who are enlightened by the rays of that Gospel, which dispenses hope to the miserable, and breathes“ peace on earth, and good will to men." They are, indeed, not only entitled to compassion, but to our active and liberal co-operation in the present happy measures, for diffusing amongst them the blessings of civil life, and the benign influence of Christianity.