Page images

them with all the clearness, illustration, example, that we can bring forward: that we are to shew the circumstances, that can aggravate the guilt: that we are to go further, shew the mischievous consequences and tendency of those crimes to society; and that we are, if able so to do, to arouse and awaken in the minds of all that hear us, those generous and noble sympathies, which Providence has planted in the breasts of all men, to be the true guardians of the common rights of humanity. Your Lordships know, that this is the duty of the prosecutors, and that, therefore, we are not to consider the defence of the party, which is wisely and properly left to himself; but we are to press the accusation with all the energy, of which it is capable, and to come with minds perfectly convinced before an august and awful tribunal, which at once tries the accuser and the accused.

[St John's College, 1845.]

134. No sooner was the unjust condemnation of Socrates known through Greece, than a general indignation was kindled in the minds of good men, who universally regretted that so distinguished an advocate for virtue should have fallen a sacrifice to jealousy and envy. The Athenians themselves, so remarkable for their caprice, who never knew the value of their great men till after their death, soon became sensible of the folly, as well as criminality, of putting to death the man who had been the chief ornament of their city and of the age, and turned their indignation against his accusers. Melitus was condemned to death, and Anytus, to escape a similar fate, went into voluntary exile. To give a farther proof of the sincerity of their regret, the Athenians for a while interrupted public business; decreed a general mourning; recalled the exiled friends of Socrates; and erected a statue to his memory in one of the most frequented parts of the city. His death happened in the first year of the ninety-sixth Olympiad, and in the seventieth year of his age. Socrates left behind him nothing in writing; but his illustrious pupils, Xenophon and Plato, have in some measure supplied this defect. The Memoirs of Socrates written by Xenophon afford, however, a much more accurate idea of the opinions of Socrates, and of his manner of teaching, than the Dialogues of Plato, who every where mixes his own conceptions and diction, and, as we shall afterwards see those of other philosophers, with the ideas and language of his master. It is related that when Socrates heard Plato recite his Lysis, he said, “How much does this young man make me say, which I never conceived !”

[University Scholarships, 1846.]

135. THE Carthaginians having given up hostages even before the Roman army did set forth, to perform whatsoever should be enjoined them, with condition that their city might not be destroyed; and having accordingly, when they were so required, yielded up all their weapons and engines of war, the Romans told them plainly, that the city of Carthage, which was the body of the citizens, should be friendly dealt withal; but the town must needs be demolished, and removed into some other place, that should be twelve miles distant from the

For," said the Romans, “ this trade of merchandize, by which ye now live, is not so fit for peaceable men, such as ye promise to become hereafter, as is the trade of husbandry, an wholesome kind of life, and enduing men with many laudable qualities, which enable their bodies, and make them very apt for conversation.” This villainous dealing of the Romans, though sugared with glossing words, plainly shews what good observation the elder Cato had made of the hasty growth of Carthage in riches.


[Classical Tripos, 1846.] 136. It is therefore the voice both of God and nature, not of learning only, that especially in matters of action and policy, “the sentences and judgments of men experienced, aged, and wise, yea though they speak without any proof or demonstration, are no less to be hearkened unto, than as being demonstrations in themselves ; because such men's long observation is as an eye, wherewith they presently and plainly behold those principles which sway over all actions.” Whereby we are taught both the cause wherefore wise men's judgments should be credited, and the mean how to use their judgments to the increase of our own wisdom. That which sheweth them to be wise, is the gathering of principles out of their own particular experiments. And the framing of our particular experiments according to the rule of their principles shall make us such as they are.

[Classical Tripos, 1846.]

137. AND that learning should take up too much time or leisure: I answer; the most active or busy man that hath been or can be, hath, no question, many vacant times of leisure, while he expecteth the tides and returns of business (except he be either tedious and of no despatch, or lightly and unworthily ambitious to meddle in things that may be better done by others:) and then the question is but, how those spaces and times of leisure shall be filled and spent; whether in pleasures or in studies; as was well answered by Demosthenes to his adversary Æschines, that was a man given to pleasure, and told him, that his orations did smell of the lamp: “Indeed," said Demosthenes, "there is a great difference between the things that you and I do by lamp-light.” So as no man need doubt that learning will expulse business; but rather it will keep and defend the possession of the mind against idleness and pleasure, which otherwise at unawares may enter, to the prejudice of both.

[St John's College Voluntary Classical, 1846.]

138. In a lyttel beast whiche of all other is most to be mervayled at, I meane the Bee, is left to man by nature, as it seemeth, a perpetual figure of a juste governaunce or rule: who have among them one principall Bee for theyr governour, which excelleth all other in greatnes, yet hath he no pricke or stinge, but in him is more knowledge thanne in the residue. For if the daye folowynge shall be fayre and dry, and that the bees maye yssue out of theyr stalles without peryll of raine, or vehement wynd, in the mornyng erely he calleth them, makyng a noyse, as it were the sowne of a horne or a trumpet, and with that all the residue

them to labour and fleeth abrode, gatherynge nothynge, but that shall be swete and profitable, althouge they sitte often tymes on herbes and other thynges that be venemous and stynkynge. The capitaine hymselfe laboureth not for his sustynaunce but all the other for him: he only seeth that if any drane or other unprofytable bee entereth into the hyve and consumeth the honey gathered by other that he be immediately expelled from that company. And whanne there is another nombre of bees encreased they semblably have alsoo a capitaine whiche be not suffered to continue with the other. Wherefore this new company gathered in a swarm havynge theyr capitaine among them and environyng him, to preserve him from harme, yssue forthe, sekyng a new habitation; whiche they find in some tree, excepte with some pleasáunt noyse they be allured and conveyed into another hyve.


[Trinity College, 1846.]

139. AGATHOCLES, in an assembly of the people, (being an eloquent knave,) persuaded them, that, for the violent sickness by which the commonwealth was utterly consumed, he found no better than the violent remedies which he had administered; and that he affected no other thing, than the reducing of the state from an oligarchy, or the rule of a few tyrannous magistrates, to the ancient and indifferent democraty, by which it had been governed from the first institution with so great glory and prosperity. This he did, to have the crown clapped on his head (as it were) perforce. So as this rabble, his oration ended, proclaimed him king; again and again saluting and adoring him by that name, as if it had been given to him by some lawful election. Hence had our king Richard the Third a piece of his pattern; but the one was of base, the other of kingly parents; the one took liberty from a commonweal, the other sought only to succeed in a monarchy; the one continued his cruelty to the end, the other, after he had obtained the crown, sought, by making of good laws, to recover the love of his people.

[King's College, 1846.]

140. ATHENS had nothing to fear from them either by land or sea. The utmost they could attempt in Attica would be to occupy a fortress, which would perhaps enable them to cause some damage and annoyance,

« PreviousContinue »