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Biographical and Historical: This is a supposed speech of Spartacus written by Elijah Kellogg, a New England clergyman. Spartacus was a Thracian by birth, who served in the Roman army. Having deserted, he was taken prisoner, sold as a slave, and trained as a gladiator at Capua. He escaped and gathered about him a large army of slaves and gladiators, with whom he intended to push northward and allow them all to return to their homes. They, however, after attacking many towns, were finally overcome. Spartacus himself died in battle, and six thousand slaves were crucified on the road from Capua to Rome.
Capua was a city of great luxury, containing an amphitheater nearly as large as the Coliseum at Rome. The ancients attached great importance to the rites of burial, and believed that the soul could not reach the Elysian Fields unless the body had been buried.
MERIT BEFORE BIRTH
TRANSLATED FROM SALLUST You have committed to my conduct, 0 Romans, the war against Jugurtha. The patricians take offence. They say, “Why, he has no family statues. He can point to no illustrious ancestors.” What of that? Will dead ancestors or motionless statues fight 5 battles? Can your general appeal to them in the hour of extremest danger? How wise it would be, surely, to intrust your army to some untried person without a single scar, but with any number of ancestral statues,—who knows not the simplest rudiments of
military service, but is very perfect in pedigree! I have known 10 such holiday heroes, raised, because of family, to positions for
which they had no fitness. But, then, in the moment of action they were obliged, in their ignorance and trepidation, to intrust every movement, even the most simple, to some subaltern, some
despised plebeian. 15 What they have seen in books, I have seen written on battle
fields, with steel and blood. They sneer at my mean origin. Where,—and may the gods bear witness,—where, but in the spirit of man, is nobility lodged? Tell these despicable railers that their
haughty lineage cannot make them noble, nor will my humble 20 birth make me base. I profess no indifference to noble descent;
but when a descendant is dwarfed in the comparison, it should be a shame, and not a matter to boast of! I can show the standards, the armor, and the spoils which I have in person wrested from the vanquished. I can show the scars of many wounds received in combating the enemies of Rome. These are my statues ! These are my honors, to boast of; not inherited by accident, but earned by toil, by abstinence, by valor, amid clouds of dust and seas of blood. Their titles date from similar acts of their ancestors;
but these detractors did not even dare to appear on the field as 30 spectators. These are my credentials! These, O Romans, are
my titles of nobility! Tell me, are they not as deserving of your confidence and reward as those of which any patrician of them all can boast?
Biographical and Historical: Sallust, the author of this selection, was a famous Roman historian of the first century B. C. Caius Marius was the son of a small farmer and worked his way up from this humble origin to the highest position, that of consul, in spite of the determined opposition of the senate, and the aristocracy. By the vote of the · Roman people, he was given command of the army in the campaign against Jugurtha, a prince who had usurped the Numidian throne.
RIENZI'S ADDRESS TO THE ROMANS
Of petty tyrants; feudal despots; lords,
Each hour dark fraud,
Such shames are common.
Rouse ye, Romans ! rouse ye, slaves !
Yet this is Rome, .
The Eternal City shall be free! Biographical and Historical: Mary Russell Mitford, born in 1787, was an English writer of miscellaneous works. Among her most noted productions is the tragedy “Rienzi,” which was presented in London in 1828. It is the story of the Roman patriot, Rienzi, who led a revolution at Rome in 1347. He overthrew the power of the aristocracy and introduced many reforms in the government. After establishing himself in power, however, he is said to have become in turn haughty and arbitrary.
MY LORDS: What have I to say why sentence of death should not be pronounced on me, according to law? I have nothing to say that can alter your predetermination, nor that it will become
me to say with any view to the mitigation of that sentence which 5 you are here to pronounce, and I must abide by. But I have
that to say which interests me more than life, and which you have labored to destroy. I have much to say why my reputation should be rescued from the load of false accusation and calumny which
has been heaped upon it. 10 Were I only to suffer death, after being adjudged guilty by
your tribunal, I should bow in silence, and meet the fate that awaits me without a murmur; but the sentence of law which delivers my body to the executioner will, through the ministry
of that law, labor, in its own vindication, to consign my character 15 to obloquy; for there must be guilt somewhere—whether in the
sentence of the court, or in the catastrophe, posterity must deter
mine. The man dies, but his memory lives. That mine may not perish—that it may live in the respect of my countrymen
I seize upon this opportunity to vindicate myself from some of the 20 charges alleged against me.
When my spirit shall be wafted to a more friendly port; when my shade shall have joined the bands of those martyred heroes who have shed their blood, on the scaffold and in the field, in
defense of their country and virtue; this is my hope I wish that 25 my memory and name may animate those who survive me, while
I look down with complacency on the destruction of that perfidious government which upholds its domination by blasphemy of the Most High, which displays its powers over man as over
the beasts of the forest, which sets man upon his brother, and 30 lifts his hand, in the name of God, against the throat of his
fellow who believes or doubts a little more or less than the government standard-a government which is steeled to barbarity by the cries of the orphans and the tears of the widows which its cruelty
has made. 35 I swear by the throne of Heaven, before which I must shortly
appear—by the blood of the murdered patriots who have gone before me—that my conduct has been, through all this peril and all my purposes, governed only by the convictions which I have
uttered, and no other view than that of the emancipation of my 40 country from the superinhuman oppression under which she has
so long and too patiently travailed; and that I confidently and assuredly hope, wild and chimerical as it may appear, that there is still union and strergth in Ireland to accomplish this noble
enterprise. 45 My country was my idol. To it I sacrificed every selfish,
every endearing sentiment; and for it I now offer up my life! I acted as an Irishman, determined on delivering my country from the yoke of a foreign and unrelenting tyranny, and from the more
galling yoke of a domestic faction, its joint partner and perpetrator 50 in the patricide, whose reward is the ignominy of existing with
an exterior of splendor and a consciousness of depravity. It was