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his end, sent for all his children, and giving to each of them, one after another, a bundle of arrows tied fast together, desired the to break them. Each used his endeavours, but was not able to do it. Then untying the bundle, and giving them the arrows one by one, they were very easily broken. Let this image, says the father, be a lessen to you, of the mighty advantage that results from union and concord. order to strengthen and enlarge these domestic advantages, the Scythians used to admit their friends into the same terms of union with them as their relations. Friendship was considered by them as a sacred and inviolable alliance, which differed but little from that which nature has put between brethren, and which they could not infringe without being guilty of a heinous crime.
Ancient authors seem to have vied with each other, who should most extol the innocence of manners that reigned among the Scythians by magnificent encomiums. That of Horace I shall transcribe at large. That poet does not confine it entirely to the Scythians, but joins the Gete with them, their near neighbours. It is in that beautiful ode, where he inveighs against the luxury and irregularities of the age in which he lived. After having told us, that peace and tranquillity of mind is not to be procured either by immense riches or sumptuous buildings, he adds,
"An hundred times happier are the Scythians, who roam "about in their itinerant houses, their waggons; and happier even are the frozen Getæ. With them the earth, "without being divided by land-marks, produceth her fruits, "which are gathered in common. There each man's tillage "is but of one year's continuance; and when that term of "his labour is expired, he is relieved by a successor, who "takes his place, and manures the ground on the same con"ditions. There the innocent step-mothers form no cruel designs against the lives of their husbands' children by a "former wife. The wives do not pretend to domineer over "their husbands on account of their fortunes, nor are to be corrupted by the insinuating language of spruce adulterers. The greatest portion of the maiden is her father and "mother's virtue, her inviolable attachment to her husband, "and her perfect disregard of all other men. They dare "not be unfaithful, because they are convinced that infidelity " is a crime, and its reward is death."
a Lucian. in Tex. p. 51.
Campestres melius Scythæ.
Quorum plaustra vagas rite trahunt domos,
Vivunt, et rigidi Getæ ;
Immetata quibus jugera liberas
Fruges et Cererem erunt!
Nec cultura placet longior annua,
When we consider the manners and character of the Scythians without prejudice, can we possibly forbear to look upon them with esteem and admiration? Does not their manner of living, as to the exterior part of it at least, bear a great resemblance to that of the patriarchs, who had no fixed habitation; who did not till the ground; who had no other occupation than that of feeding their flocks and herds; and who dwelt in tents? Can we believe this people were much to be pitied, for not understanding, or rather for despising, the use of gold and silver. a Is it not to be wished, that those metals had for ever lain buried in the bowels of the earth, and that they had never been dug from thence to become the causes and instruments of all vices and iniquity? What advantage could gold or silver be of to the Scythians, who valued nothing but what the necessities of men actually require, and who took care to set narrow bounds to those necessities? It is no wonder, that, living as they did, without houses, they should make no account of those arts that were so highly valued in other places, as architecture, sculpture, and painting; or that they should despise fine clothes and costly furniture, since they found the skins of beasts sufficient to defend them against the inclemency of the seasons. After all, can we truly say, that these pretended advantages contribute to the real happiness of life? Were those nations that had them in the greatest plenty, more healthful or robust than the Scythians? Did they live to a greater age than they? or did they spend their lives in greater freedom and tranquillity, or a greater exemption from cares and troubles? Let us acknowledge it, to the shame of ancient philosophy; the Scythians, who did not particularly apply themselves to the study of wisdom, carried it however to a greater height in their practice than either the Egyptians, Grecians, or any other civilized nation. They did not give the name of goods or riches to any thing but what, humanly speaking, truly deserved that title; as health, strength, courage, the love of labour and liberty, innocence of life, sincerity, and abhorrence of all fraud and dissimulation, and, in a word, Equali recreat sorte vicarius.
Illic matre carentibus
Privignis mulier temperat innocens:
Nec dotata regit virum
Conjux, nec nitido fidit adultero.
Dos est magna parentium
Virtus, et metuens alterius viri
Certo fredere castitas:
Et peccare neias, aut pretium est mori.
a Aurum irrepertum, et sic melius situm
Quan. cogere humanos in usus
Hor. Lib. iii. Od. 24.
Hor. Lib. iii. Od. 3,
all such qualities as render a man more virtuous and more valuable. If to these happy dispositions, we add the knowledge and love of God and of our Redeemer, without which the most exalted virtues are of no value and ineffectual, they would have been a perfect people.
When we compare the manners of the Scythians with those of the present age, we are tempted to believe, that the pencils which drew so beautiful a picture were not free from partiality and flattery; and that both Justin and Horace have decked them with virtues that did not belong to them. But all antiquity agrees in giving the same testimony of them; and Homer in particular, whose opinion ought to be of great weight, calls them “the most just and upright "of men."
But at length, who could believe it? luxury, that might be thought only to thrive in an agreeable and delightful soil, penetrated into this rough and uncultivated region; and breaking down the fences, which the constant practice of several ages, founded in the nature of the climate, and the genius of the people, had set against it, did at last effectually corrupt the manners of the Scythians, and bring them, in that respect, upon a level with the other nations, where it had long been predominant, It is a Strabo that acquaints us with this particular, which is very worthy of our notice; he lived in the time of Augustus and Tiberius. After having greatly commended the simplicity, frugality, and innocence of the ancient Scythians, and their extreme aversion to all deceit and even dissimulation, he owns, that their intercourse in later times with other nations had extirpated those virtues, and planted the contrary vices in their stead. One would think, says he, that the natural effect of such an intercourse with civilized and polite nations should have consisted only in rendering them more humanized and courteous, by softening that air of savageness and ferocity which they had before: but, instead of that, it introduced a total ruin of their ancient manners, and transformed them into quite different creatures. It is undoubtedly with reference to this change that Athenæus says, the Scythians abandoned themselves to voJuptuousness and luxury, at the same time that they suffercd self-interest and avarice to prevail amongst them.
Strabo in making the remark I have been mentioning, does not deny, but that it was to the Romans and Grecians this fatal change of manners was owing. Our exampie, says he, has perverted almost all the nations of the world: by carrying the refinements of luxury and pleasure amongst them, we have taught them insincerity and fraud, and a thousand kinds of shameful and infamous arts to get money. It is a a Lib. vii. p. 301. 6 Lib. xii. p. 524,
miserable talent, and a very unhappy distinction for a nation, through its ingenuity in inventing modes and refining upon every thing that tends to nourish and promote luxury, tobecome the corrupter of all its neighbours, and the author, as it were, of their vices and debauchery.
It was against these Scythians, but at a time when they were yet uncorrupted, and in their utmost vigour, that Darius undertook an expedition; which I shall make the subject of the next article.
Darius's Expedition against the Scythians.
• I have already observed, that the pretence used by Darius, for undertaking this war against the Scythians, was the irruption formerly made by that people into Asia: but in reality he had no other end, than to satisfy his own ambition, and to extend his conquests.
His brother Artabanes, for whom he had a great regard, and who, on his side, had no less zeal for the true interests of the king his brother, thought it his duty on this occasion to speak his sentiments with all the freedom that an affair of such importance required. "Great prince," says he to him", they who form any great enterprise, ought carefully to "consider whether it will be beneficial or prejudicial to the "state; whether the execution of it will be easy or diffi"cult; whether it be likely to augment or diminish their "glory; and, lastly, whether the thing designed be consistent "with, or contrary to the rules of justice. For my own part, "I cannot perceive, Sir, even though you were sure of success, what advantage you can propose to yourself in undertaking a war against the Scythians. Consider the vast dis"tance between them and you; and the prodigious space of "land and sea that separates them from your dominions; be"sides, they are a people that dwell in wild and uncultivated "deserts; that have neither towns nor houses; that have no "fixed settlement, or place of habitation; and that are des“titute of all manner of riches. What spoil or benefit can accrue to your troops from such an expedition; or, to speak more properly, what loss have you not reason to apprehend?
As they are accustomed to remove from country to "country, if they should think proper to fly before you; not out of cowardice or fear, for they are a very courageous "and warlike people, but only with a design to harass and
a Herod 1 iv. c. 8-96.
b Omnes qui magnarum rerum consilia suspiciunt, æstimare debent, an, quod inchoatur, reipubice utile psis gloriosum, aut promptum effectu, aut certe non arduum sit. Tacit, Hist. 1. in c. 76.
"ruin your army, by continual and fatiguing marches; what "would become of us in such an uncultivated, barren, and "naked country, where we shall neither find forage for our "horses, nor provision for our men? I am afraid, Sir, that "through a false notion of glory, and the influence of flatterers, you may be hurried into a war which may turn to the "dishonour of the nation. You now enjoy the sweets of "of peace and tranquillity in the midst of your people, where you are the object of their admiration, and the author of "their happiness. You are sensible the gods have placed you upon the throne to be their coadjutor, or, to speak more properly, to be the dispenser of their bounty, rather than "the minister of their power. You pride yourself upon being the protector, the guardian, and the father of your "subjects: and you often declare to us, because you really "believe so, that you look upon yourself as invested with
sovereign power only to make your people happy. What exquisite joy must it be to so great a prince as you are, to "be the source of so many blessings; and under the shadow " of your name to preserve such infinite numbers of people "in so desirable a tranquillity! is not the glory of a king, “who loves his subjects and is beloved by them; who m"stead of waging war against neighbouring or distant na"tions, makes use of his power to keep them in peace and amity with each other; is not such a glory vastly prefer"able to that of ravaging and spoiling a country, of filling "the earth with slaughter and desolation, with horror, consternation, and despair? But there is one motive more, "which ought to have a greater influence upon you than all others, I mean that of justice. Thanks to the gods, you "are not of the number of those princes, who acknowledge no other law than that of force, and who imagine that they have a peculiar privilege annexed to their dignity, "which private persons have not, of invading other men's 66 properties. You do not make your greatness consist in being able to do whatever you will, but in willing only what may be done, without infringing the laws, or violating jus"tice. To speak plain, shall one man be reckoned unjust, "and a robber, for seizing on a few acres of his neighbour's "estate; and shall another be reckoned just and great, and "have the title of hero, because he seizes upon, and usurps "whole provinces? Permit me, Sir, to ask you what title have you to Scythia? What injury have the Scythians done you? "What reason can you allege for declaring war against "them? The war indeed, in which you have been been en
a Id in samma fortuna equius, quod validius: et sua retinere, private domus: de alienis certare, regiam laudem esse Tacit Annal. I. xxv c. 1.
6 Ut felicitatis est quantum vefis posse, sic magnitudinis velle quantum pos dis. Plin. in Paneg. Traj.,