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EL EG A N T EXTRACT S.

69267

BOOK

THE

T H I R D.

ORATIONS, CHARACTERS, AND LETTERS.

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§ 1. The Oration which was spoken by false. Yet, as this solemnity has re

Pericles, at the public Funeral of ceived its sanction from the authority those ATHENIANS who had been first of our ancestors, it is my duty also to killed in the PELOPONNESIAN War. obey the law, and to endeavour to pro

cure, so far as I am able, the good. ANY of those who have spoken will and approbation of all my audi

before me on occasions of this - ence. kind, have commended the author of I shall therefore begin first with our that law which we are now obeying, forefathers, fince both justice and de. for having instituted an oration to the cency require we should, on this occa. honour of those who sacrifice their lives fion, bestow on them an honourable rein fighting for their country. For my membrance. In this our country they part, I think it sufficient for men who kept themselves always firmly settled; have approved their virtue in action, and, through their valour, handed it by action to be honoured for ilby down free to every since - fucceeding such a: you fee the public gratitude generation.-Worthy, indeed, of praise now perfo ming about this funeral ; are they, and yet more worthy are our and that the virtues of many ought immediate fathers; since,enlarging their not to b: endangered by the manage. own inheritance into the extensive emment of any one person, when their pire which we now possess, they becredit mift precarioully depend on his queathed that their work of toil'to us oration, which may be good, and may their sons. Yet even these successes, be tad. Difficult indeed it is, judi. we ourselves, here present, we who are ciously to handle a subject, where even yet in the strength and vigour of our prot able truth will hardly gain affent, days, have nobly improved, and have The h-arer, enlightened by a long ac- made such provisions for this our A. quaintance, and warm in his affections, thens, that now it is all-fufficient in itmay quickly pronounce every thing un- self to answer every exigence of war favour.ibly expressed, in respect to what and of peace. I mean not here to rehe withes and what he knows ; whilft cite those martial exploits by which the itranger pronounceth all exagge. these ends were accomplished, or the rated, through envy of those deeds resolute defences we ourselves and our which he is conscious are above his forefathers have made against the forown atchievement. For the praises be. midable invasions of Barbarians and ftowed on others are then only to be Greeks. Your own knowledge of these endurel, u hen men imagine they can will excuse the long detail. But, by do those feats they hear to have been what methods we have rose to this done ; they envy what they cannot height of glory and power; by what equal, and immediately pronounce it polity, and by what conduct we are

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thus aggrandized, I shall first endeavour opposite to our own : for we lay open to shew; and then proceed to the praise Athens to general resort, nor ever drive of the deceased. These, in my opinion, any stranger from us, whom either imcan be no importinent topics on this provement or curiosity hath brought occafion; the discussion of them must be amongit us, lest any enemy should hurt beneficial to this numerous company of us by feeing what is never concealed : Athenians and of itrangers.

we place not so great a confidence in We are happy in a form of govern- the preparatives and artifices of war as ment which cannot envy the laws of our in the native warmth of our souls imneighbours ; for it hath served as a mo. pelling us to action. In point of educadel to others, but is original at Athens. tion, the youth of some people are inAnd'this our form, as committed not to ured, by a course of laborious exercise, the few, but to the whole body of the to support toil and hardship like men ; people, is called a democracy. How but we, notwithstanding our easy and different foever in a private capacity, elegant way of life, face all the dangers we all enjoy the same general equality of war as intrepidly as they. This may our laws are fitted to preserve; and su- be proved by facts, since the Lacedæmoperior honours, just as we excel. The nians never invade our territories, barepublic administration is not confined to ly with their own, but with the united a particular family, but is attainable strength of all their confederates. But, only by merit. Poverty is not an hin. when we invade the dominions of our drance, since whoever is able to serve his neighbours, for the most part we concountry meets with no obstacle to pre- quer without difficulty, in an enemy's ferment from his first obscurity. The country, those who fight in defence offices of the state we go through with of their own habitations. The strength out obstructions from one another; and of our whole force, no enemy hath yet live togetherin the mutual endearments ever experienced, because it is divided of private life without suspicions; not by our naval expeditions, or engaged angry with a neighbour for following the in the different quarters of our service bent of his own humour, nor putting on by land. But if anywhere they engage that countenance of discontent, which and defeat a smal! party of our forces, pains, though it cannot punish ; so that they boastingly give it out a total dein private life we converse together feat; and, if they are beat, they were without diffidence or damage, whilst certainly overpowered by our united we dare not, on any account, offend strength. What though from a state of against the public, through the reve. inactivity, rather than laborious exerrence we bear to the magistrates and cise, or with a natural, rather than an the laws, chiefly to those enacted for re- acquired valour, we learn to encounter dress of the injured, and to those un- danger; this good at least we receive written, a breach of which is allowed from it, that we never droop under the disgrace. Our laws have further provid- apprehension of posible misfortunes, ed for the mind most frequent intermis- and when we hazard the danger, are fions of care, by the appointment of pub- found no less courageous than those who lic recreations and facrifices through. are continually inured to it. In the le out the year, elegantly performed with respects, our whole community deserves a peculiát pomp, the daily delight of justly to be admired, and in many we which is a charm that puts melancholy have yet to mention. to fight. The grandeur of this our In our manner of living we Mew an Athens causeth the produce of the elegance tempered with frugality, and whole earth to be imported here, by we cultivate philof@phy, without enerwhich we reap a familiar enjoyment, vating the mind. We display our wealth not more of the delicacies of our own in the season of beneficence, and not in growth, than of those of other na- the vanity of discourse. A confeflion tions.

of poverty is disgrace to no man; no In the affairs of war we excel those effort to avoid it, is disgrace indeed. of our enemies who adhere to methods. There is vilbly, in the same persons, an

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