« PreviousContinue »
ount of the famous retreat of the ten and Greeks, under the conduct of the Xenophon, commonly flyled XENOPHON'S
s celebrated tranfaction, which was a march of two thousand three hundred enty five miles, the longest we read of in
through the territories of a powerful corious enemy, and under all the dan1 difficulties that can be imagined, was ed by an army of 10,000 men, under luct of one of the wifeft and compleaterals of antiquity, and tranfmitted to y by his own inimitable pen.
the battle of Cunaxa, and the death s, in whofe behalf they had engaged in pedition, their camp plundered, themin a victorious enemy's country, and at
ftance from their own, and expecting aoment to feel the feverest effects of the refentment; it was in this extreme ty that Xenophon began to give some roofs of his bravery and fagacity, as well us fingular eloquence; by which he not fpired the defponding Greeks with fresh ge, but perfuaded their remaining chiefs. olve upon this noble, tho' arduous and rous retreat, and, after the death of Cle
to appoint him their General, and the conductor of it. What ftill inhaunces erit on this occafion, is, that he had, till ferved only as a voluntier, and without commiffion or command; and was, as is monly fuppofed, under thirty years of age,, he was raifed to that dignity.
judices, or take away his errors? The novelty and variety of these objects, may amuse him for a time, like a child, and he may gaze upon them with a ftupid admiration; but, if this is all, it is not to travel, but wander, and to lofe both his time and trouble: Non eft hoc peregrinari, fed errare. 'Tis faid of Ulyffes, that he took a view of abundance of cities; but not till after it had been abferved before, that he applied himfelf to ftudy the manners and genius of the people.
VII. CAREFULLY to take notice of every thing that bears any relation to religion..
I have one obfervation more to make upon the study of hiftory, which confifts in carefully obferving whatever relates to religion, and the great truths which are neceffarily dependent upon it. For, amidst the confufed chaos of ridiculous opinions, abfurd ceremonies, impious facrifices, and deteftable principles, which idolatry, the daughter and mother of ignorance and corruption, has brought into the world, to the reproach of human reafon and understanding, there are ftill to be dif cerned fome precious remains of almost all' the fundamental truths of our holy religion. There we more efpecially fee the existence of a Being fupreme in power, and fupremely juft, the abfolute Lord of kings and kingdoms; whofe providence rules all the events of this life; whofe juftice prepares for the next the rewards and chaftifements that are due to the righteous and the wicked; and, laftly, whofe all-piercing eye fearches into the fecret corners of our confciences, and fpreads 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 flyled XENOPHON'S RETREAT.
His celebrated tranfaction, 'which was a
and twenty five miles, the longeft 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 wifeft and compleateft Generals of antiquity, and tranfmitted to pofterity 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, themfelves in a victorious enemy's country, and at a vaft distance from their own, and expecting every moment to feel the fevereft effects of the King's refentment; it was in this extreme difficulty that Xenophon began to give fome fignal proofs of his bravery and fagacity, as well as of his fingular eloquence; by which he not only inspired the defponding Greeks with fresh courage, but perfuaded their remaining chiefs to refolve 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 ftill inhaunces his merit on this occafion, is, that he had, till then, ferved only as a voluntier, and without any commiffion or command; and was, as is commonly fuppofed, under thirty years of age, when he was raifed to that dignity.
THE first step which the Perfian monarch had taken, with regard to the Grecian army, was, to fend Phalinus with exprefs command to them to lay down their arms, and to come and beg his pardon at the gate of his pavilion. This was ftrenuously oppofed by the Greek chiefs; one of whom, Proxenus, afked him, Whether the King demanded it as a conqueror, or defired it as a friend? if the former, why did he not rather come, and difarm them by force? but if the latter, he defired to know what he would give them in exchange? Being anfwered, that the King had a right to demand it in the firft fenfe, feeing Cyrus their mafter was dead, and themfelves wholly in his power, and furrounded on all fides with his troops; Xenophon, who was one of the company, gave him this reply, "You fee that we have nothing " left but our arms and our valour; whilft we “have the former, we can easily make use of "the latter; but if we deliver up thofe, we "give up all indeed. Think not therefore, "that we will part with the only two advantages we have left us; but rather, that we "will try with them to gain those that are in your poffeffion.” When Phalinus heard this, he faid, with a fmile, "You fpeak ele"gantly indeed, young man, and like a phi"lofopher; 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 feveral of the Greek chiefs lefs fanguine than they, efpecially after the death of Cyrus, had offered themselves and their troops to ferve under