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JUNIUS BRUTUS OVER THE DEAD BODY OF
Yes, noble lady! I swear by this blood, which was once so pure, and which nothing but royal villany could have polInted, that I will pursue Lucius Tarquinius the proud, his wicked wife, and their children, with fire and sword; nor will I ever suffer any of that family, or of any other whatsoever, to be king iu Rome. Ye Gods, I call you to witness this my oath !--There, Romans, turn your eyes to that sad spectacle—the daughter of Lucretius, Collatinus's wife - she died by her own hand. See there a noble lady, whom the lust of a Tarquin reduced to the necessity of being her own executioner, to attest her innocence. Hospitably entertained by her as a kinsman of her husband's, Sextus, the perfidious guest, became her brutal ravisher. The chaste, the generous Lucretia could not survive the insult. Glorious woman! but once only treated as a slave, she thought life no longer to be endured. Lucretia, a woman, disdained a life that depended on a tyrant's will ; and shall we, shall men, with such an example before our eyes, and after five and twenty years of ignominious servitude, shall we, through a fear
of dying, defer one single instant to assert our liberty? No, Romans, now is the time; the favourable moment we
have so long waited for is come. Tarquin is not at Rome. The patricians are at the head of the enterprise. The city is abundantly provided with men, arms, and all things necessary. There is nothing wanting to secure the success, if our own courage do not fail us. Can all these warriors, who have ever been so brave when foreign enemies were to be subdued, or when conquests were to be made to gratify the ambition and avarice of Tarquin, be then only cowards, when they are to deliver themselves from slavery? Some of you are perhaps intimidated by the army which Tarquin How commands: The soldiers, you imagine, will take the part of their general. Banish so groundless a fear. The love of liberty is natural to all men. Your fellow citizens in the camp feel the weight of oppression with as quick a sense as you that are in Rome : they will as eagerly seize the occasion of throwing off the yoke. But let us grant there may be some among them, who through baseness of spirit, or a bad education, will be disposed to favour the tyrant. The number of these can be but small, and we have means sufficient in our hands, to reduce them to reason. They have left us hostages more dear to them than life. Their wives, their children, their fathers, their mothers, are here in the city. Courage, Romans ! the Gods are for us ; those Gods, whose temples and altars the impious Tarquin las profaned with sacrifices and libations made with polluted kands, polluted with blood, and with numberless unexpiated crimes committed against his subjects. Ye Gods, who protected our forefathers; ye Genii, who watch for the preservation and glory of Rome, do you inspire us with courage and unanimity in this glorious cause, and we will to our last breath defend your worship from profanation.
I know not, soldiers, whether you or your prisoners he encompassed by fortune with the stricter bonds and necessities. Two seas enclose you on the right and left ;~-pot a ship to flee to for escaping. Before you is the Po, a river
broader and more rapid than the Rhone; beliiud you are the Alps, over which, even when your numbers were undimiw islied, you were hardly able to force a passage, Here, then, soldiers, you-nrust either conquer or die, the very
first hour you meet the enemy. But the same fortune, which has thus laid you under the necessity of fighting, has set before your eyes those rewards of victory, than which no man was ever wont to wish for greater from the immortal Gods. Should we by our valour recover only Sicily and Sardinia, which were ravished from our fathers, these would be no inconsider able prizes. Yet what are these. The wealth of Rome, whatever riches she has heaped together in the spoils of nations, all these, with the masters of them, will be yours. You have been long enough employed in driving the cattle upon the vast mountains of Lusitania and Celtiberia ; you have hither to met with no reward worthy of the labours and dangers you have undergone. The time is now come, to reap the full recompense of your toilsome marches over so many mountains and rivers; and through so many nations, all of them in arms. This is the place which fortune has appointed to be the limits of your labours: it is here that you will finish your glorious warfare, and receive an ample recompense of your coinpleted service. For I would not have you imagine, that victory will be as difficult, as the name of a Roman war is great and sounding. It has often happened, that a despised enemy has given a bloody battle, and the most renowned kings and nalions have by a small force been overthrown. And if you but take away the glitter of the Roman name, what is there wherein they may stand in competition with you? For (to say nothing of your service in war for twenty years together with so much valour and success) from the very pillars of Hercules, from the ocean, from the utinost bounds of the earth, through so many warlike nations of Spain and Gaul, are you not come hither victorious ? And with whom are you now to fight? With raw soldiers, an undisciplined army, beaten, vanquished, besieged by the Gauls the very last suminer, an army unknown to their leader, and unacquainted with him.
Or, shall I, who was born I might almost say, but certainly brought up, in the tent of my father, that most excellent general; shall I, the conqueror of Spain and Gaul, and not
only of the Alpine nations, bút, which is greater yet, of the Alps themselves shall I compare tuyself with this half year captaind A captain before whom should one place the two. arnies without their sensigns, I am persuaded he would not kuow to which of them he is consul? I esteem it no small advautage, soldiers, that there is not one among you, who has not often been an eyewitness of my exploits in war; not one, of whose valour I myself have not been a spectator, so as to be able to name the times and places of his noble achievements; that with soldiers, whom I have a thousand times praised and rewarded, and whose pupil I was before I became their general, I shall march against an army of men, strangers to one another.
On what side soever I turn my eyes, I belold all full of courage and strevgth ; a veteran infantry; a most gallant ca, valry : you, my allies, most faithful and valiant; you, Cara thaginians, whom uot only your country's cause, but the just est anger impels to battle. The hope, the courage of assait ants, is always greater than of those who act upon the defensive. With hostile banners displayed, you are cone down upon Italy; you bring the war. Grief, injuries, indignities fire
your minds, and spur you forward to revenge !-- First they demanded me; that I, your general, should be delivered up to them; next, all of you, who had fought at the siego of Saguntum; and we were to be put to death by the exa tremest tortures. Proud and cruel nation! Every thing must be yours, and at your disposal ! you are to prescribe to us with whom we shall make war, with whom we shall make peace! You are to set us bounds; to shut us up within hills and rivers : but you —you are not to observe the limits which yourselves have fixed. Pass not the Iberus. What next? Douch not the Saguntines. Saguntum is upon the Iberus, niove not a step toward 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? Well, we shall yield Spain ! and then--you will pass into Africa. Will pass, did I say?This very year they ordered one of their éonza suls isto Africa, the oiher into Spain. No, soldiers, there is nothing left for us, but what we can vindicate with our swords. 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 froit
. . . . . o. f** * 2:3 to - - . . * * * , , ). It is but too common, my countrymen, to observe a material difference between the behaviour of those, who stand: candidates for places of power and trust, before, and after, their obtaining them. They solicit them in one manner, and execute them in another. They set out with a great appearance of activity, humility, and moderation: and they quickly fall, into sloth, pride, and avarice. It is, undoubtedly, no easy matter to discharge, to the general satisfaction, the duty of a supreme commander in troublesome times. I am, I hope, duly sensible of the importance of the office I propose to take upon me, for the service of my country. To carry on, with effect, an expensive war, and yet be frugal of the public money; to oblige those to serve, whom it may be delicate to offend; to conduct, at the same time, a coniplicated variety of operations; to concert measures at home answerable to the state of things abroad; and to gain every valuable end, in spite of opposition from the envious, the factious, and the disaffected; to do all this, my countrymen, is more difficult than is generally thought. And, beside the disadvantages which are common to me with all others in-eminent stations, my case is, in this respect, peculiarly hard; that whereas a commander of patrician rank, if he is guilty of a neglect, or breach of duty, has his great connections, the antiquity of his family, the important services of his ancestors, and the multitudes he has by power engaged in his interest, to screen him from condign punishment; only whole safety depends upon myself, which renders it the more