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Plutarch's Lives: The Dryden Translation


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Publisher:Bantam Books (Mm), 2007



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This historic book may have numerous typos, missing text or index. Purchasers can download a free scanned copy of the original book (without typos) from the publisher. 1811. Not illustrated. Excerpt: ... 200'.o:.. (v ' ' 1. ' '/ pericles and fabius maximus compared. such were the lives of these two persons, so illustrious and worthy of imitation, both in their civil and their military capacity We will first compare their talents for war. And here it strikes us at once, that Pericles came into power at a time when the Athenians.were at the height of their glory, great in themselves and respectable to their neighbours; so that in the very strength of the republic, with only common success he was secure from any disgraceful step: whereas Fabius took the helm when Rome was in her deepest disgrace and distress; so that he had not the well established prosperity of a flourishing state to preserve, but to draw his country from an abyss of misery and to raise it to happiness. Besides, the successes of Cimon, the victories of Myronides and Leocrates, and the numerous achievements of Tolmides furnished occasion to Pericles, during his administration, rather to entertain the city with feasts and games, than to make new acquisitions or to defend the old ones by arms. On the other hand, Fabius had the frightful objects before his eyes of defeats and disasters, of Roman consuls and generals slain, of lakes.and fields and forests full of the dead carcasses of whole armies, and of rivers flowing with blood down to the very sea. In this tottering and decayed condition of the commonwealth, he was to support it by his counsels and his vigor, and to keep it from falling into absolute ruin, to which it was so nearly reduced by the errors of former commanders. It may seem, indeed, a less arduous performance to manage the tempers of a people humbled by cahiniities, and compelled by necessity to listen to reason, than to restrain the wildness and insolence of a city elated with success...

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