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fit to contest, is, that a translation of the sacred books from the Hebrew into the Greek, was made in Egypt, in the time of the Ptolemies; that we have this translation still extant; and that it is the same which was used in the time of our blessed Saviour, as most of the passages cited by the sacred writers of the New Testament, from the original Greek of the Old, are to be found verbatim in this version. It still subsists, and continues to be used in the oriental churches; as it also was by those in the primitive ages, among whom it passed for a canonical translation.
This version, therefore, which renders the scripture of the Old Testament intelligible to a vast number of people, became one of the most considerable fruits of the Grecian conquests, and was evidently comprehended in the design God had in view, when he delivered up all the east to the Greeks, and supported them in those regions, notwithstanding their divisions and jealousies, their wars, and the frequent revolutions that happened among them. In this manner did God prepare the way for the preaching of the gospel, which was then approaching, and facilitate the union of so many nations, of different languages and manners, into one society, and the same worship and doctrines, by the instrumentality of the finest, most copious, and correct language that was ever spoken in the world, and which became common to all the countries that were conquered by Alexander.
THE VARIOUS EXPEDITIONS OF PYRRHUS. HE IS SLAIN AT THE
SIEGE OF ARGOS.
PYRRHUS, when he returned into Epirus, after he had entirely abandoned Macedonia, might have passed his days in tranquillity among his subjects, and enjoyed the sweets of peace, by governing his people agreeably to the rules of justice; but a disposition so active and impetuous as his own, in conjunction with a restless and ardent ambition, was incapable of being at rest itself, or suffering others to be so. This indisposition of mind was, in reality, a raging fever, which knew no intermission. In a word, he grew insupportable to himself, and was continually flying himself in pursuit of foreign objects, and in following, from country to country, a felicity no where to be found. He therefore seized, with joy, the first opportunity that offered for plunging himself into new
f The inhabitants of Tarentum were then at war with the Romans, and their own country not furnishing them with generals of sufficient abilities to oppose such formidable enemies, they turned their eyes toward Epirus, and dispatched ambassadors thither, not only from themselves, but from all the Greeks in Italy, with magnificent presents for Pyrrhus. They had orders to tell him, that they wanted a leader of experience and reputation; that they had a competent number of
Plut. in Pyrrh. p. 390-397. Pausan. 1. i. p. 21, 22. Justin. L xviii. c. 1, 2. f A. M. 3724. Ant. J. C. 280.
good troops, and by only assembling the forces of the Lucanians, Messapians, Samnites and Tarentines, were in a condition to bring an army of twenty thousand horse and thirty five thousand foot into the field. The joy with which Pyrrhus received a proposal so agreeable to his disposition, and so conformable to his character, may be easily imagined. The Epirots, by his example, conceived a warm desire and violent passion for this war.
A Thessalian, named Cineas, was then at the court of Pyrrhus. He was a man of great capacity, and having been the disciple of Demosthenes, was distinguished from all the orators of that time, not only for coming the nearest to the force and eloquence of that great master, but for having been most successful in deriving, from so excellent a school, the solid principles, and best maxims of true politics. This person was much attached to Pyrrhus, who had employed him on embassies to several cities with whom he had negotiations to transact. Cineas, through the whole course of these employments, confirmed, by his conduct, the truth of this expression of Euripides, that "the eloquence of an enemy is no less prevalent than his sword." And Pyrrhus accordingly declared, that he had gained more cities by the eloquence of Cineas, than he could possibly have conquered by the force of arms. For this reason he entertained the greatest esteem for his person; conferred many honours upon him, and employed him in the most important affairs. A man of this character is always an inestimable treas ure, and would constitute the happiness of a prince
and his people, were his counsels admitted to take
Cineas perceiving that Pyrrhus was preparing to pass into Italy, and finding him one day disengaged from affairs, and in a temper not to be offended with innocent liberties, entered into a free conversation with that prince. "Your majesty intends," said he, "to march against the Romans; should the gods be so gracious as to render you victorious, what advantage would you derive from your conquest ?" "Were the Romans once subdued by my arms," replied Pyrrhus, "all Italy would then be ours." "Supposing ourselves masters of that country," continued Cineas, "how should we proceed next?" Pyrrhus, who did not yet perceive his drift, continued, "Sicily will then present itself to us, and you know the importance of that island." "But will our expeditions," added Cineas, "end with the conquest of Sicily ?" "No, certainly," replied Pyrrhus, with an air of emotion, "Can we stop short in so glorious a career? If the gods are pleased to crown is with success, these would be only preludes to more glorious enterprises; Carthage, with all Africa, Macedonia, my ancient domain, every province in Greece, shall be part of our future conquests.” "And when we have conquered all we can, how shall we dispose of ourselves ?" "Dispose of ourselves! We will live at our ease. We will pass whole days in feasts and agreeable conversation, and think of nothing but enjoying ourselves," "Ah! my lord," interrupted Cineas," and what prevents us now from living at ease, making of feasts, celebrating festivals, and enjoy. ing all your majesty has mentioned? Why should we
go so far in search of an happiness already in our power; and pay so dear for what we may now enjoy without the least trouble ?"
This discourse of Cineas affected, but not corrected Pyrrhus. He could make no reasonable objection to what he had heard; but his natural ardour, more affecting, more durable, urged him on in pursuit of a phantom of glory, that was always presenting a delusive and shining outside to his view, and would not permit him to enjoy the least repose, either by night or day.
Monsieur Paschal has considered this reflection of Cineas, in the twenty sixth chapter of his thoughts; wherein he has explained, in an admirable manner, the origin of the tumultuous employments of mankind, and of all the world calls diversion or pastime. "The soul,” says that great man, "discovers nothing in herself that can furnish her with contentment. Whatever she beholds there, afflicts her wehn she considers it sedately. This obliges her to have recourse to external enjoyments, that she may lose in them the remembrance of her real state. In this oblivion consists her joy; and, to render her miserable, it suffices to oblige her to enter into, and converse with herself."
He then proceeds to justify the truth of this reflec. tion, by a variety of examples; after which he adds the following remarks. "When Cineas told Pyrrhus, who proposed to live at ease when he had conquered a large part of the world, that it would be better for him to hasten his intended happiness, by enjoying the repose in his power, without going in quest of it through such a number of fatigues; he gave him a counsel that admitted of many difficulties, and which seemed