« FöregåendeFortsätt »
tion should be put, that you might vanish; you were descried, with a criminal anxiety, retiring from the scenes of your past glory; or you were perceived coasting the upper benches of this house, like a bird of prey, with an evil aspect and sepulchral note, meditating to pounce on its quarry. These ways—they were not the ways of honor—you practised pending a negociation which was to end either in your sale or your sedition; the former taking place, you supported the rankest measures that ever came before Parliament, the embargo of 1776 for instance. “Õ, fatal embargo, that breach of law and ruin of commerce !" You supported the unparalleled profusion and jobbing of Lord Harcourt's scandalous ministry,—the address to support the American war,—the other address to send 4000 men, which you had declared to be necessary to the defence of Ireland, to fight against the liberties of America, to which you had declared yourself a friend. You, Sir, who delight to utter execrations against the American commissioners of 1778, on account of their hostility to America; you, Sir, who manufacture stage thunder against Mr. Eden, for his anti-American principles; you, Sir, whom it pleases to chaunt a hymn to the immortal Hampden; you, Sir, approved of the tyranny exercised against America ;-and you, Sir, voted 4000 Irish troops to cut the throats of the Americans fighting for their freedom, fighting for your freedom, fighting for the great principle, liberty. Such has been your con.
duct, and at such conduct every order of your fellow creatures have a right to exclaim! The merchant may say to you—the constitutionalist may say to you --the American may say to you—and I, I now say to you-Sir-you are not an honest man.
GERMANICUS TO HIS MUTINOUS TROOPS.
My wife and child are ever dear to me, but not more so than my father and the commonwealth. But the emperor will be safe in his own imperial dignity, and the commonwealth has other armies to fight her battles. For my wife and children, if from their destruction, you might derive additional glory, I could yield them up a sacrifice in such a cause: at present I remove them from the rage of frantic men. If honors are still to multiply, let my blood glut your fury. The great grand daughter of Augustus, and the daughter in law of Tiberius, need not be left to fill the measure of your iniquity. Without that horrible catastrophe the scene of guilt may end. But let me ask you, in these last few days what have you not attempted ?What have you left unviolated ? By what name shall I now address you? Shall I call you soldiers ? Soldiers ! who have dared to besiege the son of your emperor! who have made him a prisoner in his own intrenchments! Can I call you citizens? Citizens!
who have trampled under your feet the authority of the senate; who have violated the most awful sanctions, even those which hostile states have ever held in respect, the rights of ambassadors, and the law of nations ! Julius Cæsar by a single word was able to quell a mutiny: he spoke to the men who resisted his authority; he called them Romans, and they became his soldiers. Augustus shewed himself to the legions that fought at Actium, and the majesty of his countenance awed them into obedience. The distance be. tween myself and those illustrious characters, I know is great; and yet, descended from them, with their blood in my veins, I should resent with indignation a parallel outrage from the soldiers of Syria, or of Spain: and will you, ye men of the first legion, who received your colours from the hand of Tiberius; and you, ye men of the twentieth, his fellow warriors in the field, his companions in so many victories, will you thus requite him for all the favors so graciously bestowed upon you? From every other quarter of the empire Tiberius has received nothing but joyful tidings: and must I wound his ear with the news of your revolt? Must he hear from me, that neither the soldiers raised by himself, nor the veterans, who fought under him, are willing to own his authority? Must be be told that neither dismissions from the service, nor money lavishly granted, can appease the fury of ungrateful men ? Must I inform him, that here the centurions are murdered; that, in this camp, the tri
bunes are driven from their post ; that here the ambassadors of Rome are detained prisoners ? That the intrenchments present a scene of slaughter? That riyers are discoloured with our blood ? And that a Roman general leads a precarious life, at the mercy of men inflamed with epidemic madness? Why the other day, when I endeavoured to address you, why was the sword which was aimed at my breast, why in that moment was it wrested from me ? Oh!
mistaken friends! the man who presented his sword dealt more kindly by me. I could then have closed my eyes in peace. I should not have lived to see the disgrace of the legions, and all the horrors that followed. After my death, you would have chosen another general, regardless of my unhappy lot, but still of spirit to revenge the massacre of Varus and his trhee legions.May that revenge be still reserved for the Roman sword; and may the gods withhold from the Belgic states, though now they court the opportunity, the vast renown of vindicating the Roman name, and humbling the pride of German nations! and may thy departed spirit, adored Augustus! who now art ranked among the Gods; and may thy image, Drusus, my ever honored father! may thy memory inspire these misguided men, whom I now see touched by remorse! May your active energy blot out the disgrace that sits heavy upon them; and may the rage of civil discord discharge itself upon the enemies of Rome! And you my fellow soldiers! whom I behold with altered looks,
whose hearts begin to melt with sorrow and repentance, if you mean to preserve the ambassadors of the senate; if you intend to remain faithful to your prince, and to restore my wife and children; detatch yourselves, at once from the contagion of guilty men; withdraw from the seditious: that act will be a proof of your remorse, an earnest of returning virtue.
The period was now come, when that enormous fabric, the Roman empire, which had diffused slavery and oppression, together with peace and civility, over so considerable a portion of the globe, was approaching towards its final dissolution. Italy and the centre of the empire, removed, during so many ages, from all concern of the wars, had entirely lost the military spirit, and were peopled by an enervated race, equally disposed to submit to a foreign yoke, or to the tyranny of their own rulers.
The emperors found themselves obliged to recruit their legions from the frontier provinces, where the genius of war, though lan guishing, was not totally extinct; and these mercenary forces, careless of laws and civil institutions, established a military government, no 'less dangerous to the sovereign than to the people. The farther progress of the same disorders