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· Persians, Medes, Greeks, and Romans. We there
see all the kingdoms of the world rising, as it were, out of the earth; gradually advancing by almost an insensible increase ; extending at. last their conquests on every side ; arriving, by different means, at the height of human greatness, and falling, at once, from that height, by sudden revolutions; and loft, as I may say, and funk into that nothing from whence they sprung. But what is still more worth our attention, is, that we see there the causes of their advancement and their fall, in the manners of the people, their characters, their virtues and vices. We learn there, not only to discover the secret and hidden springs of human politicks, which give the movement to all actions and enterprises, but to discern withal, a sovereign Being watching and presi. ding over all, directing and conducting every event, and disposing and absolutely deciding the fate of all the kingdoms and empires of the world. . What I have said of people, may also be understood of the great and illustrious men, who have been distinguished for the good or ill they have wrought in every nation. We must diligently apply ourselves, to study their genius, natural inclination, virtues, faults, particular and personal qualiîcations; in a word, the peculiar disposition which prevails in them, and distinguishes them from the rest of mankind; for that is properly to know them: otherwise we see only the surface and outside of them; and men are not to be dis. cerned or judged of by their dress or their countenance only..
Neither must we expect to know them principally from such of their actions as make the most glorious figure. When they expose themselves to the publick, they may dissemble, and lie under a restraint, by assuming, for a time, the visage and mask which suits best
with the character they are to support: they - hew themselves most to be what they are,
in private, in the closet, and at home, when they are unreserved, and without disguise; it is there they act and talk as nature directs. · VI. OBSERVE in history what relates to manners and the conduct of life. iis .
The observations I have already mentioned, are not the only ones to be made, nor the most essential; such as relate to the regulation of manners, are still more important. “ The greatest advantage, says Livy, in his. “ excellent preface, arising from the know.. “ ledge of history, is, that you may see there “ examples of every kind set in the clearest “ light. You have patterns for your imita“ tion, both in your private conduct, and in “ the administration of publick affairs. You “ see there also, such actions as are vici“ ous in their first setting out, are fatal in “their event, and for that reason ought to “ be avoided.”
The case is near the same with the study of history, as with travelling : if it is confined barely to the passing over countries, the visiting of cities, the examining the beauty and magnificence of the buildings and publick monuments, where is the mighty advantage attending it? Does it make a man wiser, more regular, or temperate? Does it remove his pre
judices, or take away his errors? The novelty and variety of these objects, may amuse hins for a time, like a child, and he may gaze upon them with a stupid admiration; but, if this is all, it is not to travel, but wander, and to lose both his time and trouble : Non eft hoc peregrinari, fed errare. 'Tis said of Ulysses, that he took a view of abundance of cities ;: but not till after it had been observed before, that he applied himself to study the manners and genius of the people.
vil. CAREFULLY to take notice of every thing that bears any relation to religion.
I have one obfervation more to make upon the study of history, which consists in careful. ly observing whatever relates to religion, and the great truths which are necessarily depen. dent upon it. For, amidst the confused chaos of ridiculous opinions, absurd ceremonies, impious sacrifices, and detestable principles, which idolatry, the daughter and mother of ignorance and corruption, has brought into the world, to the reproach of human reason and understanding, there are still to be dir. cerned some precious remains of almost all the fundamental truths of our holy religion. There we more especially see the existence of a Being supreme in power, and supremely just, the absolute Lord of kings and kingdoms; whose providence rules all the events of this life; whose justice prepares for the next the rewards and chastisements that are due to the righteous and the wicked; and, lastly, whose all-piercing eye searches into the secret corners of our consciences, and spreads, trouble and confusion there, whether we will or not.
An account of the famous 'retreat of the ten thousand Greeks, under the conduct of the .. great Xenophon, commonly Nyled XENOPHON’s RETREAT. THis celebrated transaction, 'which was a T march of two thousand three hundred and twenty five miles, the longest we read of in history, through the territories of a powerful and victorious enemy, and under all the dangers and difficulties that can be imagined, was performed by an army of 10,000 men, :under the conduct of one of the wiseft and compleatest Generals of antiquity, and tranfmitted to posterity by his own inimitable pen.
After the battle of Cunaxa, and the death of Cyrus, in whose behalf they had engaged in this expedition, their camp plundered, themselves in a .victorious enemy's country, and at a.vast distance from their own, and expecting every moment to feel the severest effects of the King's resentment; it was in this extreme difficulty that Xenophon began to give some lignal proofs of his bravery and sagacity, as well as of his singular eloquence ; by which he not only inspired the desponding Greeks with fresh courage, but persuaded their remaining chiefs to resolve upon this noble, tho' arduous and · dangerous retreat, and, after the death of Clearchus, to appoint him their General, and the chief conductor of it. What still inhaunces
his merit on this occasion, is, that he had, till tot then, served only as a voluntier, and withoạt
any commission or command; and was, as is
The first step which the Persian monarch had taken, with regard to the Grecian army, was, to send Phalinus with express command to them to lay down their arms, and to come and beg his pardon at the gate of his pavilion. This was ftrenuouily opposed by the Greek chiefs ; one of whom, Proxenus, alked him, Whether the King demanded it as a conqueror, or desired it as a friend? if the former, why did he not rather come, and disarm them by force ? but if the latter, he desired to know what he would give them in exchange? Being answered, that the King had a right to demand it in the first sense, seeing Cyrus their master was dead, and themselves wholly in his power, and surrounded on all sides with his troops; Xenophon, who was one of the company, gave him this reply, “You see that we have nothing “ left but our arms and our valour; whilst we “ have the former, we can easily make use of “ the latter; but if we deliver up those, we “ give up all indeed. Think not therefore, « that we will part with the only two advan“ tages we have left us; but rather, that we « will try with them to gain those that are in “ your possession.” When Phalinus heard this, he said, with a smile, “ You speak ele“ gantly indeed, young man, and like a phi“ losopher ; but you will find yourself greatly “ deceived, if you imagine that your valour “. can be proof against the King's numerous “ forces.”
He told them furthermore, that several of the Greek chiefs less sanguine than they, especially after the death of Cyrus, had offer. ed themselves and their troops to serve under