Sivut kuvina

this Circumstance a few Words from me to you will be neither improper nor unseasonable. And that you may not be unapprized of what sort of Enemies you are going to encounter, or of what is to be feared from them, they are the very same whom, in a former War, you vanquished both by Land and Sea; the same from whom you took Sicily and Sardinia, and who have been these twenty Years your Tributaries. You will not, I presume, march against these Men with only that Courage, with which you are wont to face other Enemies, but with a certain Anger and Indignation, such as you would feel, . if you saw your Slaves on a sudden rise up in Arms against you., Conquered and enflaved, it is not Boldness, but Necessity that urges them to Battle: Unless you can believe that those who avoided sighting when their Army was entire, have acquired better Hope by the Loss of two thirds of their Horse and Foot, in the Passage of the Alps.

But you heard perhaps, that, though they are few in Number, they are Men of stout Hearts and robust Bodies. Heroes of such Strength and Vigour, as nothing is able to resist. Mere Effigies ! nay Shadows of Men! Wretches emaciated with Hunger, and benumbed with Cold! bruised and battered to pieces among the Rocks and craggy Cliffs ! their Weapons broke, and their Horses weak and foundered! Such are the Cavalry, and such the Infantry, with which you are going to contend; not Enemies, but the Fragments of Enemies. There is nothing which I more apprehend, than that it will be thought, Hannibal was vanquished by the Alps, before we had any Conflict with him. But perhaps it was fitting that so it should be; and that with a People and a Leader, who had violated Leagues and Covenants, the Gods themselves, without Man's Help, should begin the War, and bring it to a near Conclufion; and that we, who, next to the Gods, have been injured and offended, should happily finish what they have begun. I need not be in any fear, that you should suspect me of saying these things merely to encourage you, while inwardly I have different Sentiments. What hindered me from going into Spain? that was my Province; where I should have had the less-dreaded Asdrubal, not Hannibal to deal with. But hearing, as I passed along the Coast of Gaul, of this Enemy's March, I landed my Troops, sent the Horse forward, and pitched my Camp upon the Rhone. A Part of my Cavalry encountered and defeated that of the Enemy; my Infantry not being able to overtake theirs, which fled before us, I returned to my Fleet, and with all the Expedition I could use in so long a Voyage by Sea and Land, am come to meet them

Helgues and with a peoperhaps it walips, be

at the Foot of the Alps. Was it then my Inclination to avoid a Contest with this tremendous Hannibal? And have I lit upon him only by accident and unawares? Or am I come on purpose to challenge him to the Combat? I would gladly try, whether the Earth, within these twenty Years, has brought forth a new kind of Carthaginians, or whether they be the same sort of Men who fought at the Ægates; and whom, at Eryx, you suffered to redeem themselves at eighteen Denarii per Head: Whether this Hannibal, for Labours and Journeys, be, as he would be thought, the Rival of Hercules ; or whether he be what his Father left him, a Tributary, a Vaffal, a Slave of the Roman People. Did not the Consciousness of his wicked Deed at Saguntum torment him, and make him desperate, he would have some Regard, if not to his conquered Country, yet surely to his own Family,, to his Father's Memory, to the Treaty written with Amilcar's own Hand. We might have starved them in Eryx; we might have passed into Africa with our victorious Fleet, and in a few Days have destroyed Carthage. At their humble Supplication we pardoned them ; we released them, when they were closely shut up without a Porfibility of escaping; we made Peace with them when they were conquered. When they were distressed by the African War, we considered them, we treated them as a People under our Protection. And what is the Return they make us for all these Favours ? Under the Conduct of a hare-brained young Man, they come hither to overturn our State, and lay waste our Country.- I could with indeed, that it were not lo; and that the War we are now engaged in concerned only our own Glory, and not our Preservation. But the Contest at present is not for the Possession of Sicily and Sardinia, but of Italy itself. Nor is there, behind us, another Army which, if we should not prove the Conquerors, may make head against our victorious Enemies. There are no more Alps for them to pass, which might give us leisure to raise new Forces. No, Soldiers, here you must make your Stand, as if you were just now before the Walls of Rome. Let every one reflect, that he is now to defend, not his own. Person alone, but his Wife, his Children, his helpless Infants. Yet let not private Confiderations alone possess our Minds; let us remember that the Eyes of the Senate and People of Rome are upon us, and that as our Force and Courage shall now prove, such will be the Fortune of that City, and of the Roman Empire.



Hannibal, on the other Side, made use of a new kind of Rheto

ric to inspire his Soldiers with Resolution. He gave Arms to several Mountaineers whom he had taken Prisoners in his Palage over the Alps, and proposed to them to fight two and two to the Death of one of them, in the Sight of his Army; promiling Liberty and a compleat Suit of Armour, with a Warhorse, to such of them as came off victorious. From the Foy with which the Prisoners accepted these Conditions, and the Sentiments which Hannibal obferu'd in his Troops on beholding thëse Confiets, he took Occasion to give them a more lively Image of their present Situation, which laid them under the absolute

celity of conquering or dying. His Speech was to this Effect. TF in the Estimation of your own Fortune, you will but I bear the same Mind which you just now did, in contemplating the Fortune of others, the Victory, Soldiers, is ours. What you have seen, was not a mere Shew for Amusement, but a Representation of your own real Condition. I know not whether you or your Prisoners be encompassed by Fortune with the strieter Bonds and Necessities. Two Seas enclose 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 ravish'd from our Fathers, those would be no inconsiderable Prizes, Yet, what are those ? The Wealth of Rome, whatever Riches fhe has heaped together from 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 Recompence of your toilsome Marches over so znany Mountains and Rivers, and through so many Nations, all of

F 4


them in Arms. This is the Place, which Fortune has apa pointed to be the Limits of your Labours; it is here that you will finish your glorious Warfare, and receive an ample Recompence of your compleated Service. For I would not have you imagine, that Victory will be as difficult as the Name of a ROMAN War is great and founding. 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 that 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 fo much Valour and Success) from the very Pillars of Her. cules, 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 cer, tainly 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 yet, 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 Atchievements ; 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 ; à 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 Aflailants is always greater, than of those who act upon the Defensive. With hostile Banners display'd, you are come down upon Italy; you bring the War. Grief, Injuries, In. dignities fire your Minds, and spur you forward to Revenge.

First they demanded me; that I, your General, should be deliver'd up to them ; next, all 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 ro 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 fix'd ? Pafs not the IBERUS. What next? Touch not the SAGUNTINES; SAGUNTUM is upon the IBERUS, move not a Step towards that City. It is a small Matter then, that you have depriv'd us of our ancient Poffeßions, Sicily and Sardinia ; you would have Spain too ? Well, we shall yield Spain ; and then you will pass into Africa. Will país, did I say?--This very Year they order'd 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 fix'd in your Minds, and once again, I say, you are CONQUERORS.


The two following Speeches are those preceding the Battle of

Zama; which concluded the second Punic War to the Advantage of the Romans, after it had lasted 17 Years. They are different from the two former, as they relate to a Treaty of Peace. The two Generals were Hannibal and the famous Ścipio Africanus, Son of the former Scipio. An Interview was desired by Hannibal, and agreed to by Scipio. The Place pitch'd upon was a large Plain between the two Camps, entirely open, and where no Ambush could be laid. The two Generals rode thither, escorted by an equal Number of Guards; from whom separating, and each attended only by an Interpreter, they met in they Mid-way. Both remain`d for a while Filent, viewing each otber with mutual Admiration. Hannibal

at length spoke thus. CINCE Fate has so ordain'd it, that I, who began the

War, and who have been so often on the Point of end


« EdellinenJatka »