« ՆախորդըՇարունակել »
gods by perjury. You may therefore, consider with yourself, whether you had better have a people of such a character, and so situated as to have it in their power either to serve you, or to annoy you , according as you treat them, for allies, or for enemies.
CHA P. V I. Galgacus the General of the Caledonii
to his Army, to incite them to action against the Romans.
W HEN I reflect on the causes of the war, and the circumstances of our situation, I feel a strong persuasion that our united efforts on the present day will prove the beginning of universal liberty to Britain. For none of us are hitherto debased by slavery ; and we haye no prospect of a secure retreat behind us , either by land or sea , whilst the Roman fleet hovers around. Thus the use of arms, which is at all times honourable to the brave, here offers the only safety even to cowards. In all the battles which have yet been fought with various success against the Romans, the resources of hope and aid were in our hands ; for we , the noblest inhabitants of Britain, and therefore stationed in its deepest recesses , far from the view of servile shores, have preserved even our eyes unpolluted by the contact of subjection. We, at the farthest limits both of land and liberty, have been defended to this day by the obscurity of our situation and of our fame. The extremity of Britain is now disclosed ; and whatever is unknown becomes an object of importance. But there is no nation beyond us ; nothing but waves and rocks ; and the Romans are before us. The arrogance of these invaders it will be in vain to encounter by obsequiousness and submission. These plunderers of the world after exhausting the land by their devastations, are rifling the ocean : stimulated by avarice, if their enemy be rich; by ambition , if poor: unsatiated by the East and by the West : the only people who behold wealth and indigence with equal ayidity. To ravage, to slaughter , to usurp under false titles, they call empire ; and when they make a desert, they call it peace.
Our children and relations are by the appointment ot nature, rendered the dearest of all things to us. These are torn away by levies to foreign servitude. Our wives and sisters , though they should escape the violation of hostile force, are polluted under the name of friendship and hospitality. Our estates and possessions are consumed in tributes ; our grain in contributions. Even the powers of our bodies are worn down amidst stripes and insults, in clearing woods and draining marshes. Wretches born to slavery are first bought, and afterwards fed by their masters : Britain continually buys ,.continually feeds her own servitude. And as among doniestic slaves every new-comer serves for the scorn.and derision of his fellows; so, in this ancient household of the world, we, as the last and vilest, are sought out for destruction. For we have neither cultivated lands , nor mines , nor harbours, which can induce them to preserve us for our labours; and our valour and unsubmitting spirit will only render us more obnoxious to our imperious masters ; while the very remoteness and secrecy of our situation, in proportion as it conduces to security, will tend to inspire suspicion. Since then all hopes of forgiveness are vain, let those at length assume courage, to whom glory , to whom safety is dear, The Brigantines , even under a female leader, had force enough to burn the enemy's settlements, to storm their camps ; and, if success had not introduced negligence and inactivity, would have been able entirely to throw off the yoke : And shall not we, untouched , unsubdued, and struggling not for the acquisition, but the continuance of liberty , declare at the very first onset what kind of men Caledonia has reserved for her defence?
Can you imagine that the Romans are as brave in war as they are insolent in peace ? Acquiring renown from our discords and dissensions, they convert the errors of their enemies to the glory of their own army; an army compounded of the most different nations, which , as success alone has kept together , misfortune will certainly dissipate. Unless, indeed, you can suppose that Gauls, and Germans, and (I blush to say it ) even Britons, lavishing their blood for a foreign state, to which they have been longer foes than subjects, will be retained by loyalty and affection ! 'Terror and dread alone, weak bonds of attachment , are the ties by which they are restrained ; and when these are once broken, those who cease to fear, will begin to hate. Every incitement to victory is on our side. The Romans have no wives to animate them ; no parents to upbraid their flight. Most of them have either no habitation, or a distant one. Few in number, ignorant of the country, looking around in silent borror at the woods , seas, and a haven itself unknown to them, they are delivered by the gods, as it were, imprisoned and
bound, into our hands. Be not terrified with an idle shew, and the glitter of silver and gold, which can neither protect nor wound. In the Very ranks of the enemy we shall find our own bands. The Britons will acknowledge their own cause. The Gauls will recollect their former liberty. The Germans will desert them, as the Usipü have lately done.-Nor is there any thing förmidable behind them : Ungarrisoned forts; colonies of invalids ; municipal towns distempered and distracted between unjust masters, and ill-obeying subjects. Here is your general; here your army. There , tributes, mines, and all the train of servile punishments ; which whether to bear eternally, or instantly to revenge, this field must determine. March then to battle, and think of your ancestors, and your posterity.
The Earl of Arundel's Speech , pro
posing an accommodation between Henry II, and Stephen.
In the midst of a wide and open plain , Henry found Stephen encamped , and pitched his own tents within a quarter of a mile of him, preparing for a battle with all the eagerness , that the desire of empire and glory could excite in a brave and youthful heart, elate with success. Stephen also much wished to bring the contest between them to a speedy decision : but , while the and Eustace were consulting with William of Ipres , in whose affection they most confided, and by whose private advice they took all their measures ; the eart of Arundel, having assem
bled the English nobility, and principal officers, spoke to this effect.
It is now above sixteen years, that on a doubtful and disputed claim to the crown, the rage of civil war has almost continually infested this kingdom. During this melancholy period how much blood has been shed! What devastations and misery have been brought on the people! The laws have lost their force, the crown its authority : licentiousness and impunity have shaken all the foundations of public security. This great and noble nation has been delivered a prey to the basest of foreigners, the abominable scum of Flanders, Brabant, and Bretagne, robbers rather than soldiers, restrained by no laws , divine or human, tied to no country, subject to no prince, instruments of all tyranny, violence, and oppression. At the same time, our cruel neighbours, the Welch and the Scotch, calling themselves allies or auxiliaries to the Empress, but in reality enemies and destroyers of England, have broken their bounds, ravaged our borders, and taken from us whole provinces, which we can never hope to recover; while, instead of employing our united force against them, we continue thus madly, without any care of out public safety or national honour, to turn our swords against our own bosoms. What benefits have we gained, to compensate all these losses , or what do we expect? WVhen Matilda was mistress of the kingdom, though her power was not yet confirmed, in what manner did she govern ? Did she not make even those of her own faction and court regret the king ? Was not her pride more intolerable still than his levity, her rapine