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no regard for the esteem of men will not hesitate to offend the gods by perjury. You may therefore consider with yourself, whether you had better have 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, for allies or for enemies.
HANNIBAL TO HIS
Translated from LIVY.
I KNOW not, soldiers, whether you or your prisoners be encompassed by fortune with the stricter bonds and necessities. Two seas inclose you on the right and left not a ship to fly to for escaping. Before you is the Po, a river broader and more rapid than the Rhone behind you are the Alps; over which, even when your numbers were undiminished, you were hardly able to force a passage. Here then, soldiers, you must 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 men are 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, those would be no inconsiderable prizes. Yet, what are those? 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 hitherto 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 labour; it is here that you will finish your glorious warfare, and receive an ample recompense for your completed 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 nations 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 utmost 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 summer; 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, but which is greater still, of the Alps themselves; shall I compare myself with this half-year captain? a captain, before whom should one place the two armies, without their ensigns, I am persuaded he would not know to which of them he is consul. I esteem it no small advantage, soldiers, that there is not one among you, who has not often been an eye-witness 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 behold all full of courage and strength. A veteran infantry; a most gallant cavalry: you, my allies, most faithful and valiant; you, Carthaginians, whom not only your country's cause, but the justest anger, impels to battle. The hope, the courage of assailants, is always greater than of those who act upon the defensive. With hostile banners displayed, you are come 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 siege of Saguntum: and we were to be put to death by the extremest tortures. Proud and cruel nation! everything 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? "Touch not the Saguntines." Is Saguntum upon the Iberus? "Move not a step towards 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 consuls into Africa, the other 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 fly to, and are secure from danger in the roads thither; but for you, there is no middle fortune between death and victory. Let this be but well fixed in your minds; and once again, I say, you are conquerors!
CAIUS MARIUS TO THE ROMANS.
Translated from SALLUST.
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 complicated 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.
But, besides the disadvantages which are common to me with all others in eminent stations, my case is, in this respect, peculiarly hard-that whereas a com
mander 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, my whole safety depends upon myself; which renders it the more indispensably necessary for me to take care that my conduct be clear and unexceptionable. Besides, I am well aware, my countrymen, that the eye of the public is upon me ; and that, though the impartial, who prefer the real advantage of the commonwealth to all other considerations, favour my pretensions, the Patricians want nothing so much as an occasion against me. It is, therefore, my fixed resolution, to use my best endeavours, that you be not disappointed in me, and that their indirect designs against me may be defeated.
I have, from my youth, been familiar with toils and with dangers. I was faithful to your interest, my countrymen, when I served you for no reward, but that of honour. It is not my design to betray you, now that you have conferred upon me a place of profit. You have committed to my conduct the war against Jugurtha. The Patricians are offended at this. But where would be the wisdom of giving such a command to one of their honourable body? a person of illustrious birth, of ancient family, of innumerable statues, but-of no experience! What service would his long line of dead ancestors, or his multitude of motionless statues, do his country in the day of battle? What could such a general do, but, in his trepidation and inexperience, have recourse to some inferior commander, for direction in difficulties to which he was not himself equal ? Thus your Patrician general would, in fact, have a general over him; so that the acting commander