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them my supplications,— first, to grant me at your hands the same kindness, in this conflict, which I have ever borne towards our country and all of you; and next, that they may incline you all to pronounce upon this Impeachment the decision which shall best consult the glory of the State, and the religious obligations of each individual Judge!
7. PUBLIC SPIRIT OF ATHENIANS. – Demosthenes on the Crown. THE Athenians never were known to live contented in a slavish though secure obedience to unjust and arbitrary power. No. Our whole history is a series of gallant contests for preëminence: the whole period of our national existence hath been spent in braving dangers, for the sake of glory and renown. And so highly do you esteem such conduct, as characteristic of the Athenian spirit, that those of your ancestors who were most eminent for it are ever the st favorite objects of your praise. And with reason : for, who can reflect, without astonishment, on the magnanimity of those men who resigned their lands, gave up their city, and embarked in their ships, rather than live at the bidding of a stranger ? The Athenians of that day looked out for no speaker, no general, to procure them a state of easy slavery. They had the spirit to reject even life, unless they were allowed to enjoy that life in freedom. For it was a principle fixed deeply in every breast, that man was not born to his parents only, but to his country. And mark the distinction. He who regards himself as born only to his parents waits in passive submission for the hour of his natural dissolution. He who considers that he is the child of his country, also, volunteers to meet death rather than behold that country reduced to vassalage; and thinks those insults and disgraces which he must endure, in a state enslaved, much more terrible than death.
Should I attempt to assert that it was I who inspired you with sentiments worthy of your ancestors, I should meet the just resentment of every hearer. No: it is my point to show that such sentiments are properly your own; that they were the sentiments of my country long before my days. I claim but my share of merit in having acted on such principles in every part of my administration. He, then, who condemns every part of my administration, — he who directs you to treat me with severity, as one who hath involved the state in terrors and dangers,— while he labors to deprive me of present honor, robs you of the applause of all posterity. For, if you now pronounce, that, as my public conduct hath not been right, Ctesiphon must stand condemned, it must be thought that you yourselves have acted wrong, not that you owe your present state to the caprice of fortune. — But it cannot be! No, my countrymen, it cannot be that you have acted wrong
in encountering danger bravely for the liberty and safety of all Greece. No! I swear it by the spirits of our sires, who rushed upon destruction at Marathon! — by those who stood arrayed at Platæa ! ---- by those who fought the sea-fight at Salámis ! - by the men of Artemisium ! - by the others, so many and so brave, who now rest in our public sepulchres ! - all of whom their country judged worthy of the same honor; all
, I say, Æschines; not those only who prevailed, not those only who were victorious. — And with reason. What was the part of gallant men, they all performed. Their success was such as the supreme Ruler of the world dispensed to each.
8. DEMOSTHENES NOT VANQUISHED BY PHILIP. - Demosthenes on the Crown.
Lord Brougham's Translation. A WICKED thing, Athenians, a wicked thing is a calumniator, ever; - querulous and industrious in seeking pretences of complaint. But this creature is despicable by nature, and incapable of any trace of generous and noble deeds; ape of a tragedian, third-rate actor, spurious orator! For what, Eschines, does your eloquence profit the country? You now descant upon what is past and gone; as if a physician, when called to patients in a sinking state, should give no advice, nor prescribe any course by which the disease might be cured ; but, after one of them had died, and the last offices were performing to his remains, should follow him to the grave, and expound how the poor man never would have died had such and such things only been done. Moonstricken! is it now that at length you too speak out ?
As to the defeat, that incident in which you so exult (wretch! who should rather mourn for it), look through my whole conduct, and you shall find nothing there that brought down this calamity on my country. Consider only, Athenians: Never, from any embassy upon which you sent me, did I come off worsted by Philip's ambassadors ; not from Thessaly, not from Ambracia, not from Illyria, not from the Thracian kings, not from the Byzantians, nor from any other quarter whatever, — nor finally, of late, from Thebes. But wheresoever his negotiators were overcome in debate, thither Philip marched, and carried the day by his arms. Do you, then, exact this of me; and are you not ashamed, at the moment you are upbraiding me for weakness, to require that I should defy him single-handed, and by force of words alone? For what other weapons had I ? Certainly not the lives of men, nor the fortune of warriors, nor the military operations of which you are so blundering as to demand an account at my hands.
But, whatever a minister can be accountable for, make of that the strictest scrutiny, and I do not object. What, then, falls within this description ? To descry events in their first beginnings, to cast his look forward, and to warn others of their approach. All this I have done. Then, to confine within the narrowest bounds all delays, and backwardness, and ignorance, and contentiousness, faults which are inherent and unavoidable in all States; and, on the other hand, to promote unanimity, and friendly dispositions, and zeal in the performance of public duty :- and all these things I likewise did, nor can any man point out any of them that, so far as depended on me, was left undone.
If, then, it should be asked by what means Philip for the most part succeeded in his operations, every one would answer, By his army, by his largesses, by corrupting those at the head of affairs. Well, then, I neither had armies, nor did I command them; and therefore the argument respecting military operations cannot touch me. Nay, in so far as I was inaccessible to bribes, there I conquered Philip For, as he who purchases any one overcomes him who has received the price and sold himself, so he who will not take the money, nor consent to be bribed, has conquered the bidder. Thus, as far as I am concerned, this country stands unconquered.
9. CATALINE DENOUNCED. Cicero, the greatest of Roman orators, was born at Arpinum, 106 B. C., two hundred and sixteen years after the death of Demosthenes. Having taken part against Antony, after the assassination of Cæsar, Cicero was proscribed. He was murdered by a party of sowiers, headed by Popilius Lænas, whose life he had formerly saved by his eloquence; and his head and hands were publicly exhibited on the rostrum at Rome. He perished in his sixty-fourth year, 13 B. C. His writings are voluminous. As an orator, Cicero ranks next to Demosthenes; and his orations against Catiline and Terres are masterpieces of denunciatory eloquence.
How far, o Catiline, wilt thou abuse our patience? How long shalt thou baffle justice in thy mad career ? To what extreme wilt thou carry thy audacity ? Art thou nothing daunted by the nightly watch, posted to secure the Palatium ? Nothing, by the city guards? Nothing, by the rally of all good citizens ? Nothing, by the assembling of the Senate in this fortified place ? Nothing, by the averted looks of all here present ? Seest thou not that all thy plots are exposed ? - that thy wretched conspiracy is laid bare to every man's knowledge, here in the Senate ? — that we are well aware of thy proceedings of last night; of the night before ; – the place of meeting, the company convoked, the measures concerted ? Alas, the times! Alas, the public morals !
The Senate understands all this. The Consul sees it. Yet the traitor lives! Lives ? Ay, truly, and confronts us here in council, — takes part in our deliberations, — and, with his measuring eye, marks out each man of us for slaughter! And we, all this while, strenuous that we are, think we have amply discharged our duty to the State, if we but shun this madman's sword and fury !
Long since, O Catiline, ought the Consul to have ordered thee to execution, and brought upon thy own head the ruin thou hast been meditating against others! There was that virtue once in Rome, that a wicked citizen was held more execrable than the deadliest foe. We have a law still, Catiline, for thee. Think not that we are powerless, because forbearing. We have a decree, — though it rests among our archives like a sword in its scabbard, -a decree, by which thy life would be made to pay the forfeit of thy crimes. And, should I order thee to be instantly seized and put to death, I make just doubt whether all good men would not think it done rather too late, than any man too cruelly. But, for good reasons, I will yet defer the blow long since deserved. Then will I doom thee, when no man is found, so lost, so wicked, nay, so like thyself, but shall confess that it was justly dealt. While there is one man that dares defend thee, live! But thou shalt live so beset, so surrounded, so scrutinized, by the vigilant guards that I have placed around thee, that thou shalt not stir a foot against the Republic, without my knowledge. There shall be eyes to detect thy slightest movement, and ears to catch thy wariest whisper, of which thou shalt not dream. The darkness of night shall not cover thy treason — the walls of privacy shall not stifle its voice. Bafled on all sides, thy most secret counsels clear as noon-day, what canst thou now have in view ? Proceed, plot, conspire, as thou wilt; there is nothing you can contrive, nothing you can propose, nothing you can attempt, which I shall not know, hear and promptly understand. Thou shalt soon be made aware that I am even more active in providing for the preservation of the State, than thou in plotting its destruction!
10. CATILINE EXPELLED. - Cicero. Ar length, Romans, we are rid of Catiline! We have driven him forth, drunk with fury, breathing mischief, threatening to revisit us with fire and sword. He is gone; he is fled; he has escaped; he has broken away. No longer, within the very walls of the city, shall he plot her ruin. We have forced him from secret plots into open rebellion. The bad citizen is now the avowed traitor. His flight is the confession of his treason ! Would that his attendants had not been so few!
Be speedy, ye companions of his dissolute pleasures; be speedy, and you may overtake him before night, on the Aurelian road. Let him not languish, deprived of your society. Haste to join the congenial crew that compose his army; his army,
say, — for who doubts that the army under Manlius expect Catiline for their leader ? And such an army! Outcasts from honor, and fugitives from debt; gamblers and felons; miscreants, whose dreams are of rapine, murder and conflagration !
Against these gallant troops of your adversary, prepare, O Romans, your garrisons and armies; and first to that maimed and battered gladiator oppose your Consuls and Generals; next, against that miserable, outcast horde, lead forth the strength and flower of all Italy ! On the one side chastity contends; on the other, wantonness: here purity, there pollution; here integrity, there treachery ; here piety, there profaneness ; here constancy, there rage; here honesty, there baseness; here continence, there lust; in short, equity, temperance, fortitude, prudence, struggle with iniquity, luxury, cowardice, rashness; every virtue with every vice; and, lastly, the contest lies between well-grounded hope and absolute despair. In such a conflict, were even human aid to fail, would not the immortal Gods empower such conspicuous virtue to triumph over such complicated vice?
11. VERRES DENOUNCED. - Cicero.
An opinion has long prevailed, Fathers, that, in public prosecutions, men of wealth, however clearly convicted, are always safe. This opinion, so injurious to your order, so detrimental to the State, it is now in your power to refute. A man is on trial before you who is rich, and who hopes his riches will compass his acquittal; but whose life and actions are his sufficient condemnation in the eyes of all candid men. I speak of Caius Verres, who, if he now receive not the sentence his crimes deserve, it shall not be through the lack of a criminal, or of a prosecutor ; but through the failure of the ministers of justice to do their duty. Passing over the shameful irregularities of his youth, what does the quæstorship of Verres exhibit but one continued scene of villanies ? The public treasure squandered, a Consul stripped and betrayed, an army deserted and reduced to want, a province robbel, the civil and religious rights of a People trampled on! But his prætorship in Sicily has crowned his career of wickedness, and completed the lasting monument of his infamy. His decisions have violated all law, all precedent, all right. His extortions from the industrious have been beyond computation. Our most faithful allies have been treated as enemies. Roman citizens have, like slaves, been put to death with tortures. Men the most worthy have been condemned and hanished without a hearing, while the most atrocious criminals have, with money, purchased exemption from the punishment due to their guilt.
I ask now, Verres, what have you to advance against these charges ? Art thou not the tyrant prætor, who, at no greater distance than Sicily, within sight of the Italian coast, dared to put to an infamous death, on the cross, that ill-fated and innocent citizen, Publius Gavịus Cosanus? And what was his offence? He had declared his intention of appealing to the justice of his country against your brutal persecutions ! For this, when about to embark for home, he was seized, brought before you, charged with being a spy, scourged and tortured. In vain did he exclaim : “I am a Roman citizen! I have served under Lucius Pretius, who is now at Panormus, and who will attest my innocence!" Deaf to all remonstrance, remorseless, thirsting for innocent blood, you ordered the savage punishment to be inflicted ! While the sacred words, “ I am a Roman citizen,” were on his lips, words which, in the remotest regions, are a passport to protection, you ordered him to death, to a death upon the cross !
O liberty! O sound once delightful to every Roman ear! 0 sacred privilege of Roman citizenship! once sacred, - now trampled on! Is it come to this ? Shall an inferior magistrate, a governor, who holds his whole power of the Roman People, in a Roman prov. ince, within sight of Italy, bind, scourge, torture, and put to an infa. mous death, a Roman citizen ? Shall neither the cries of innocence expiring in agony, the tears of pitying spectators, the majesty of the Roman Commonwealth, nor the fear of the justice of his country,