« PreviousContinue »
“ be added to the other. In Demosthenes we discover more “ labour and study, in Cicero more nature and genius."
* I have elsewhere observed another difference between those two great orators, which I beg leave to insert in this place. That which characterises Demosthenes more than any other circumstance, and in which he has never been imitated, is such an absolute oblivion of himself, and so scrupulous and constant a solicitude to suppress all ostentation of wit : in a word, such a perpetual care to confine the atterition of the auditor to the cause, and not to the orator, that he never suffers any one turn of thought or expression to escape him, from no other view than merely to please and shine. This reserve and moderation in so amiabie a genius as Demosthenes, and in matters so susceptible of grace and eloquence, adds perfection to his merit, and renders him superior to all praises.
Cicero was sensible of all the estimation due to the elo. quence of Demothenes, and experienced all its force and beauty. But as he was persuaded, that an orator, when he is engaged in any points that are not strictly essential, cught to form his style by the taste of his audience, and did not believe that the genius of his times was consistent with such a rigid exactness, he therefore judged it necessary to accommodate himself in some measure to the ears and delicacy of his auditors, who required more grace and elegance in his discourse. For this reason he had some regard to the agreeable, but, at the same time, never lost sight of any important point in the cause he pleaded. He even thought that this qualified him for promoting the interest of his country, and was not mistaken, as to please is one of the most certain means of persuading : but at the same time, he laboured for his own reputation, and never forgot himself.
The death of Demosthenes and Hyperides caused the Athenians to regret the reigns of Philip and Alexander, and recalled to their remembrance the magnanimity, generosity, and clemency which these two princes retained, even amidst the emotions of their displeasure : and how inclinable they had always been to pardon offences, and treat their enemies with humanity. Whereas Antipater, under the mask of a private man in a bad cloak, with all the appearances of a plain and frugal life, and without affecting any title of author. ity, discovered himself to be a rigid and imperious master.
Antipater was however prevailed upon, by the prayers of Phocion, to recal several persons from banishment, notwithstanding all the severity of his disposition; and there is reason to believe that Demetrius was one of this nuinber ; at
to In the discourse on the cloqueace of the bari
least, it is certain that he had a considerable share in the administration of the republic from that time. As for those whose recal to Athens Phocion} was unable to obtain, he procured for them more commodious situations, that were not so remote as their former settlements; and took his measan ures so effectually, that they were not banished, according to the first sentence, beyond the Ceraunian mountains and the promontory of Tenares; by which means they did not live sequestered from the pleasures of Greece, but obtained a settlement in Peloponnesus. Who can help admiring, on the one hand, the amiable and generous disposition of Phocion, who employed his credit with Antipater, in order to procure a set of unfortunate persons some alleviation of their calamities; and, on the other hand, a kind of humanity in a. prince, who was not very desirous of distinguishing himself by that quality, but was sensible, however, that it would be extremely rigid in him to add new mortifications to the ina conveniencies of banishment,
Antipater in other respects exercised his government with great justice and moderation, over those who continued in Athens; he bestowed the principal posts and employments on such persons as he imagined were the most virtuous and honest men ; and contented himself with removing from all authority such as he thought were most likely to excite troubles. He was sensible, that this people could neither support a state of absolute servitude, nor the enjoyment of entire liberty ; for which reason he thought it necessary to take from the one whatever was too rigid, and from the other all that it had of excessive and licentious.
The conqueror, after so glorious a campaign, set out for Macedonia, to celebrate the nuptials of his daughter Phila with Craterus, and the solemnity was performed with all imaginable grandeur. Phila was one of the most accomplished princesses of her age, and her beauty was the least part of her merit. The lustre of her charms was heightened by the sweetness and modesty that softened her aspect, by, an air. of complacency, and a natural disposition to oblige, which won the hearts of all who beheld her. These engaging qualities were rendered still more amiable by the brightness of a superior genius, and a prudence uncommon in her sex, which made her capable of the greatest affairs. It is even said, that, young as she then was, her father Antipater, who was one of the most able politicians of his age, never engaged in any affair of importance without consulting her. This princess never made use of the influence she had over lier two husbands (for after the death of Craterus, she es. poused Demetrius the son of Antigonus), but to procure some favour for the officers, their daughters, or sisters. If they
were poor, she furnished them with portions for their marriage ; and if they were so unhappy as to be calumniated, she herself was very active in their justification. So generous a liberality gave her an absolute power among the troops. All cabals were dissolved by her presence, and all revolts gave way, and were appeased by her conduct.
SECTION III. PROCESSION OF ALEXANDER'S FUNERAL.-PTOLEMY, CRATERUS, ANTIPATER, AND ANTIGONUS CONFED
ERATE AGAINST EACH OTHER. Much about this time * the † funeral obsequies of Alexana der, were performed. Aridæus having been deputed by all the governors and grandees of the kingdom, to take upon himself the care of that solemnity, had employed two years, in preparing every thing that could possibly render it the most pompous and august funeral that had ever been seen. When all things were ready for the celebration of this mournful but superb ceremonial, orders were given for the procession to begin. This was preceded by a great number of pioneers and other workmen, whose office was to make all the ways practicable through which the procession was to pass.
As soon as these were levelled, that magnisicent chariot, the invention and design of which raised as much admiration as the immense riches that glittered all over it, set out from Babylon. The body of the chariot rested upon two axletrees, that were inserted into four wheels, made after the Persian manner; the naves and spokes of which were coyered with gold, and the rounds plated with iron. The ex. tremities of the axle-trees were made of gold, representing the muscles of lions biting a dart. The chariot had four draught beams, or poles, to each of which were harnessed four sets of mules, each set consisting of four of those ani. mals ; so that this chariot was drawn by sixty-four mules. The strongest of those creatures, and the largest, were chos. en on this occasion. They were adorned with crowns of gold, and collars enriched with precious stones and golden bells.
* A. M. 3683. Ant. J. C. 321. Diod. I. xviii p. 608-610.,
t I could have wished it had been in my power to have explained several passages of this description in a more clear and intelligible manner than I have done ; but that was not possible for me to cffcct, though I had recourse co persons of greater capacity than myself,
On this chariot was erected a pavilion of entire gold, 13 feco wide, and 18 in length, supported by columns of the Ionic order, enabellished with the leaves of acanthus. The inside was adorned with a blaze of jewels, disposed in the form of shells. The circumference was beautified with a fringe of golden net work ; the threads that composed the texture were an inch in thickness, and to those were fastened large bells, whose sound was heard to a great distance.
The external decorations were disposed into four relievos.
The first represented Alexander seated in a military chariot, with a splendid sceptre in his hand, and surrounded on one side with a troop of Macedonians in arms; and on the other with an equal nunber of Persians armed in their mati
These were preceded by the king's equerries. In the second were seen elephants completely harnessed, with a hand of Indians seated on the fore-part of their bodies ; and on the hinder, another band of Macedonians armed as in the day of battle.
The third exhibited to the view several squadrons of horse ranged in military array.
The fourth represented ships preparing for a battle. At the entrance into the pavilion were golden lions, that scemed to guard the passage.
The four corners were adorned with statues of gold, representing victories with trophies of arms in their hands.
Under tlie pavilion was placed a throne of gold of a square form, adorned with the heads of animals,* whose necks were encompassed with golden circles a foot and a half in breadth; to these were hung crowns that glittered with the liveliest colours, and such as were carried in procession at the cele bration of sacred solemnities.
At the foot of the throne was placed the coffin of Alexar.der, formed of beaten gold, and half filled with aromatic. spices and perfumes, as well to exhale an agreeable odenr, as for the preservation of the corpse. A pall of purple wrought with gold covered the cofin.
Between this and the throne the arms of that monarch were disposed in the manner he wore tliem while living.
The outside of the pavilion was likewise covered with pure ple flowered with gold. The top ended in a very large crowny of the same metal, which seemed to be a composit on of olive branches. The rays of the sun which darted on this diadem, in conjunction with the motion of the chariot, caused it to emit a kind of rays like those of lightning.
* The Greck word trachelaphos import's a kind of hart, from whosc chia a beard hangs cowo like that of goats, ijro
It may easily be imagined, that in so long a procession, the motion of a chariot, loaded like this, would be liable to creat inconveniences. In order, therefore, that the pavilion, with all its appendages, might, when the chariot moved in any uneven ways, constantly continue in the same situation, notwithstanding the inequality of the ground, and the shocks that would frequently be unavoidable, a cylinder was raised from the middle of each axle-tree, to support the pavilion ; by which expedient the whole machine was preserved steady.
The chariot was followed by the royal guards, all in arms, and magnificently arrayed...
The multitude of spectators of this solemnity is hardly credible ; but they were drawn together as well by their ven: eration for the memory of Alexander, as by the magnificence of this funeral pomp, which had never been equalled in the world.
There was a current prediction, that the place where Alexander should be interred would be rendered the most happy and flourishing part of the whole earth. The governors contested with each other for the disposal of a body that was to be attended with such a glorious prerogative. The affection Perdiccas entertained for his country, made him desirous that the corpse should be conveyed to Æge in MaGedonia, where the remains of its kings were deposited. Other places were likewise proposed, but the preference was given to Egypt. Ptolemy, who had such extraordinary and recent obligations to the king of Macedonia, was deter: mined to signalise his gratitude on this occasion. cordingly set out with a numerous guard of his best troops, in order to meet the procession, and advanced as far as Syria. When he had joined the attendants on the funeral, he prevented them from interring the corpse in the temple of Jupiter-Ammon, as they had proposed. It was therefore deposited, first in the city of Memplňs, and from thence was conveyed to Alexandria. Ptolemy raised a magnificent temple to the memory of this monarch, and rendered him all the honours which were usually paid to demi-geds and heroes by pagan antiquity:
* Freinshemius, in his supplement to Livy, relates after Leo the African,t that the tomb of Alexander the Great was still to be seen in his time, and that it was reverenced by the Mahommedans, as the monument not only of an illustrious king, but of a great prophet.
Cappadocia and Paphlagonia, which border on the Pontic'sea, were allotted to Eumenes, in consequence of the par
* Lib. cxxxiii.... + This author lived in the 15th century. | Plut, in Eumen. P. 584. Diod. 1. xviii. p. 599.