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or affect us like the shepherd's reed. But these, even amidst all their noble ease, strike, alarm, transport us. When I consider the contents of the Scriptures, and believe myself interested in the promises they make, and the privileges they confer, I am induced to cry oui,
" What are all the other books in the world, compared with these invaluable volumes !” *
The defence of Socrates before his judges. SOCRATES, in his defence, employed neither artifice for the glitter of eloquence. He had not recourse either to solicitation or entreaty. He brought neither his wife nor children to incline the judges in his favour, by their fighs and tears. But though he firmly refused to make use of any other voice than his own, and to appear before his judges in the submissive posture of a suppliant, he did not behave in that manner from pride, or contempt of the tribunal: it was from a noble and intrepid assurance, resulting from greatness of soul, and the consciousness of his truth and innocence. His defence had nothing timorous or weak in it.
His discourse was bold, manly, generous, without paflion, without emotion, full of the noble liberty of a philosopher, with no other ornament than that of truth, and brightened universally with the character and language of innocence. Plato, who was present, transcribed it after
* That accomplished scholar and distinguished writer, the late Sir William Jones, chief Justice of Bengal, at the end of his Bible wrote the following note ; which coming from a man of his profound erudition, and perfect knowledge of the oriental languages, customs, and manners, must be considered as a powerful testimony, not only to the sublimity, but to the divine inspiration of the sacred writings.
“I have,” says he, “ regularly and attentively read these Holy Scriptures ; and I am of opinion, that this volume, independently of its divine origin, contains more true sublimity, more exquisite beauty, more pure morality, more important history, and finer strains both of poetry and eloquence, than can be collected from all other books, in whatever age or language they may have been composed."
there are any
wards, and without any additions, composed from it the work which he calls the Apology of Socrates, one of the molt consummate master-pieces of antiquity. The following is an extract from it.
“I am accused of corrupting the youth, and of instilling dangerous maxims into their minds, as well in regard to divine worship, as to the rules of government. You know, Athenians, that I never made it my profession to teach : nor can envy, however violent, reproach me with having ever sold my instructions I have an undeniable evidence for me in this respect, which is my poverty. I am always equally ready to communicate my thoughts both to the rich and the poor, and to give them opportunity to question and answer me.
I lend myself to every one who is desirous of becoming virtuous; and if, amongst those who hear me,
prove either good or bad, neither the virtues of the one, nor the vices of the other, to which I have not contributed, are to be ascribed to me
My whole employment is to counsel the young and the old against too much love for the body, for riches, and all other precarisus things, of whatever nature they be ; and against too little regard for the soul, which ought to be the object of their affection For 1 incessantly urge to them, that virtue does not proceed from riches; but on the contrary, riches from virtue ; and that all the other goods of human life, as well public as private, have their fource in the same principle.
"If to speak in this manner be to corrupt youth, I confels, Athenians, that I am guilty, and deserve to be punilhed. If what I say be not true, it is most easy to convict me of falsehood. I see here a great number of my disciples : they have only to come forward It will perhaps be said that the regard and veneration due to a master who has infructed them, will prevent them from declaring against me : but their fathers, brothers, and uncles, cannut, as good relations and good citizens, excuse themselves for not tanding forth to demand vengeance against the corrupter of their fons, brothers and nephews. These are, however, the persons who take upon them ny defence, and interest themselves in the success of my cause.
“Pass on me what fentence you please, Athenians : 1 can neither repent nor alter my conduct. I must not abandon or fufpend a function which God himself has imposed on me. Now he has charged me with the care of instructing
my fellow-citizens. If after having faithfully kept all the posts wherein I was placed by our generals at Potidæa, Amphipolis, and Delium, the fear of death should at this time make me abandon that in which the divine Providence has placed me, by commanding me to pass my life in the study of philosophy, for the inltruction of myself and others; this would be a most criminal desertion indeed, and make me highly worthy of being cited before this tribunal as an impious man, who does not believe in the gods. Should you resolve to acquit me, I should not, Athenians, hesitate to say, I honour and love you ; but I shall choose rather to obey God than you ; and to my latest breath shall never renounce my philosophy, nor cease to exhort and reprove you according to my custom, by saying to each of you as occasion offers ; “my good friend and citizen of the most famous city in the world for wisdom and valour, are you not ashamed to have no other thoughts than those of amaling wealth, and of acquiring glory, credit, and dignities ; neglecting the treasures of prudence, truth and wisdom, and taking no pains to render your soul as good and perfect as it is capable of being ?"
“I am reproached with abject fear, and meanness of fpir. it, for being so busy in imparting my advice to every one in private, and for having always avoided to be present in your assemblies to give my counsels to my country. I think I have sufficiently proved my courage and fortitude, both in the field where I have borne arms with you, and in the fenate, where I alone opposed the unjult ientence you pronounced against the ten captains, who had not taken up and interred the bodies of those who were killed and drowned in the sea fight near the island Arginuíæ ; and when, upon more than one occasion, I opposed the violent and cruel orders of the thirty tyrants. What is it then that has prevented me from appearing in your affemblies? Do not take it ill, I beseech you, if I speak my thoughts without disguise, and with truth and freedoms. Every man who would generously oppose a whole people, either amongst us or elsewhere, and who inflexibly applies himfelf to prevent the violation of the laws, and the practice of iniquity in a government, will never do so long with impunity. It is absolutely necessary for a man of this dispofi. tion, if he has any thoughts of living, to remain in a private station, and never to have any share in public affairs.
“ For the rest, Athenians, if, in my present extreme danger, I do not imitate the behaviour of those, who, upon less emergences, have implored and supplicated their judges with tears, and have brought forth their children, relations, and friends ; it is not through pride and obftinacy, or any contempt for you, but solely for your honour, and for that of the whole city. You should know, that there are amongst our citizens, those who do not regard death as an evil, and who give that name only to injultice and infamy. At my age, and with the reputation, true or false, which I have, would it be consistent for me, after al} the lessons I have given upon the contempt of death, to be afraid of it myself, and to belie, in my lalt action, all the principles and Tentiments of my past life?
“ But without fpeaking of my fame, which I should extremely injure by such a conduct, I do not think it allowable to entreat a judge, nor to be absolved by supplications. He ought to be influenced only by reason and evidence. The judge does not lit upon the bench to show favour, by violating the laws, but to do justice in conforming to them. He does not swear to discharge with impunity, whom he pleafes, but to do justice where it is due. We ought not, therefore, to accustom you to perjury, nor you to suffer yourselves to be accustomed to it ; for in so doing, both the one and the other of us equally injure justice and religion, and both are criminals.
“Do not, therefore, expect from me, Athenians, that I should have recourse amongst you to means which I believe neither honest nor lawful, especially upon this occafion, wherein I am accused of impiety, by Miletus“: for, if I should influence you by my prayers, and thereby induce you to violate your oaths, it would be undeniably evident, that I teach you not to believe in the gods; and even in defending an i justifyin' myself, should furnith my adverfa. ries with arms against me, and prove that I believe no di.. vinity. But I am very far from such bad thoughts : I am more convinced of the existence of God than my accusers are ; and so convinced, that I abandon myself to God and you, that you may judge of me you shall deem best for yourselves and me.” Socrates pronounced this discourse with a firm and intrepid tone.
His air, his action, his visage, expreffed nothing of the accused. He seemed to be the master of his judges, from the greatness of soul with which he spoke,
without however losing any of the modesty natural to him. But how slight foever the proofs were against him, the faction was powerful enough to find him guilty. There was the form of a process against him, and his irreligion was the pretence upon which it was grounded : but his death was certainly a concerted thing. His steady, uninterrupted course of obllinate virtue, which had made him in many cafes appear fingular, and oppose whatever he thought ille. gal or unjust, without any regard to times or persons, had procured him a great deal of envy and ill will. After his fentence, he continued with the same ferene and intrepid afpect with which he had long enforced virtue and held tyrants in awe.
When he entered his prison, which then became the residence of virtue and probity, his friends followed him, and continued to visit him during the interval between his condemnation and his death.
SECTION II. The Scythian ambassadors to Alexander, on his making prepar.
ations to at tack their country. If your person were as gigantic as your desires, the world could not contain you. Your right hand would touch the east, and your left the west at the fame time : you grasp at more than you are equal to. From Europe you reach Alia ; from Asia you lay hold on Europe. And if you should conquer all mankind, you seem disposed to wage“ war with wood and snows, with rivers and wild beasts, and to attempt to subdue nature Bụt have you conlide ed the usual course of things ? have you
reflected, that great trees are many years in growing to their height, and are cut down in an hour ? It is foolish to think of the fruit only, without considering the height you have to climb to come at it. Take care, left, while you strive to reach the top, you fall to the ground with the branches you have laid hold on.
Besides, what have you to do with the Scythians, or the Scythians with you? We have never invaded Macedon ; why should you attack Scythia ? You pretend to be the punither of robbers ; and are yourself the general robber of mankind. You have taken Lydia ; you have seized Syria ; you are master of Persia ; you have subdued the Bactrians, and attacked India : all this will not satisfy you, unless you lay your greedy and insatiable hands upon our Aocks and our herds. How imprudent is your conduct; you grasp at