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bours. All transactions which require reputation , probity and confidence, will become impossible to you ; you will have no means of making people bez lieve what you promise.

There is , added Telemachus, a yet nearer con çern which must needs affect you, if

you
have

any sense of probity, or any foresight with regard to your own interest, viz, thar so treacherous a conduct would be an internal attack upon your whole league , and quickly ruin ic; your perjury would cause Adrastus to triumph.

The whole assembly, murmuring at thef: words , asked him how he could take upon him to say, thac an action which would infallibly make the confederates victorious, would ruin the confederacy? How , replied he, will you be able to confide in each other if you once violare your sincerity, the only band of fociety and confidence? When you have laid it down as a maxim, that the laws of probity and fidelity may be dispensed with for the sake of lome signal advantage, which , of you will crust another, since another may find it very advancageous to fallify his word and to deceive you? Where will you be then? Which of you will not endeavour by his own artifices to prevent those of his neighbour ? What will be the fate of a confederacy of so many nations, when they have agreed among themselves after a general diseussion of the matter , that it is lawful to over reach one's neighbour and to violate one's plighted faith? How greac will your mutual jealousies be, your diffentions , your zeal to destroy each other? Adrastus will have no occasion to attack you; you will fufficiently worry one another, and justify his perfidies. Ye fage, ye magnanimous prioces, you who fu wisely govern innumerable multicude , disdain not to hearken to the

counsels of a young man. Should you ever fall into . the most terrible extremities into which war fometimes precipitates men, you may rise again by your vigilance and the struggles of your virtue; for true courage never despairs : Bur if you have once broken down che barrier of honour and probicy, your ruin is

inevitable :

KS

plus rétablir ni la confiance nécessaire au succès de toutes les affaires importances, ni ramener les home mes aux principes de la vertu, après que vous leur auriez appris à les mépriser. Que craignez - vous ? N'avez-vous pas assez de courage pour vaincre sans tromper ? Votre vertu jointe aux forces de tant de peuples , ne vous suffic-elle pas ? Combattons, mourons , s'il le faur , plutôt que de vaincre si indignement: Adraste , l'impie Adraste eit dans nos mains , pourvu que nous ayons horreur d'imiter fa lâcheré & fa maus vaise foi.

Lorsque Télémaque acheva. ce discours , il sencit que la douce persuasion avoit coulé de fes levres ; & avoit passé jusqu'au fond des cæurs. Il remarqua un profond silence dans l'assemblée ; chacun pensoit , non à lui , ni aux graces de fes paroles , mais à la force de la vérité qui se faisoic sentir dans la suite de fon raisonnement. L'étonnement écoie peint sur les visages. Enfin on entendir un murmure sourd , qui se répandoit peu-à-peu dans l'ara semblée. Les uns regardoient les autres, & nosoiene parler les premiers. On arrendoit que les chefs de l'armée se déclaraflent , & chacun avoit de la peine à retenir ses sentimens. Enfin le grave Nestor prononça ces paroles :

Digne fils d'Ulysse , les Dieux vous ont fait parler; & Minerve, qui a tanc de fois inspiré votre pere , a mis dus votre cæeur le conseil fage & généreux que vous avez donné Je ne regarde point votre jeu nesle, je ne considére que Minerve dans tout ce que vous venez de dire. Vous avez parlé pour la vertu ; sans elle les plus grands avantages sont de vraies pertes ; fans elle og s'attire bientôt la vengeance de ses ennemis , la défiance de ses alliés, l'horreur de tous les gens du bien, &. la juste colere des Dieux. Laitons donc Vénuse entre les mains des Lucaniens, & ne fongeons plus qu'à vaincre Adraste par notre courage.

Il dit , & toute l'assemblée applaudit à ses fan ges paroles. Mais en applaudissant, chacun éconné tournoit les yeux vers le fils d'Ulysse , & on croyoit

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inevitable: : you can never revive the confidence which, is necessary to make all important affairs successful nor reclaim men to the principles of virtue which you have taught them to despise. And what do you apprehend? Are you not brave enough to conquer without creachery? Is not your valour, together with the forces of so many nations, fufficient for this ? Lec us fighe, lec us die , if it must be fo , rather than conquer by such vile means. Adrastus , the impious Adrastus , is in our power, provided we abhor imitating his baseness and perfidy.

When Telemachus concluded his speech, he perceived that soft persuasion had flowed from his lips, and funk deep into their hearts. He observed that there was a profound silence throughout the whole assembly; every one's thoughts being employed, noc on him or the graces of his words, but on the force of truth , which was so striking in the whole course of his reasoning. Amazement was painted on their faces. At length an hollow murmur was heard spreading itself by little and little through the whole afsembly. They all looked one upon another, being afraid to speak first, and waiting till the principal commanders should declare themselves, though every one found it difficult to retain his sentiments, Ac lait the grave Nestor pronounced these words:

Worthy fon of Ulysses, the Gods prompted you to speak , and Minerva , who fo often inspired your father , suggested to you the wise and generous counsel which

you have given us. I do not regard your youth, I see Minerva in all you have said. You have pleaded the cause of virtue. Without virtue the greatest advantages are real losses ; without vircue men foon draw on themselves the vengeance of their enemies , the jealousy of their allies, the hatred of all good men, and the just wrath of the Gods. Let us therefore leave Venusium in the hands of the Lucanians, and think of conquering Adrastus only by our courage,

He said ; and the whole assembly applauded the wisdom of his words. But every one, as he gave

his applause , turned his eyes with amazement towards K6

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voir reluire en lui la sagesse de Minerve qui l'inspi. roit.

Il s'éleva bientôt une autre question dans le confeil des rois, où il n'acquit pas moins de gloire. Adraste, toujours cruel & perfide, envoya dans le camp un transfuge nommé Acante, qui devoit empoison. ner les plus illustres chefs de l'armée. Sur - tout il avoit ordre de ne rien épargner pour faire mourir le jeune Télémaque , qui étoit déjà la terreur des Dauniens. Télémaque qui avoit trop de courage & de candeur pour être enclin à la défiance , reçut sans peine, avec amitié, ce malheureux, qui avoit vu Ulysse en Sicile , & qui lui racontoic les aventures de ce héros. Il le nourrissoit , & lachoir de le consoler dans son malheur ; car Acante fe plaignoit d'avoir été trompé & traité indignement par Adraste : mais c'étoit nourrir & ré. chauffer dans son sein une vipere venimeuse , toute prête à faire une blessure mortelle. On furprit un autre transfuge nommé Arion, qu'Acante envoyoit vers Adraste , pour lui apprendre l'état du camp des alliés , & pour lui assurer qu'il empoi fonneroic le lendemain les principaux rois avee Télémaque, dans un feftin que celui-ci lui devoit donner. Arion pris, avoua sa trahison. On foupçonna qu'il étoit d’intelligence avec Acante , parce qu'ils étoient bons amis : mais Acante, profondément diffimulé & intrépide, fe défendoit avec tant d'art qu'on ne pouvoit le convaincre , ni découvrir le fond de la conjuration.

Plusieurs des rois furent d'avis qu'il falloit dans le doute , facrifier Acante à la sûreté publique.

Il faut , disoient-ils, le faire mourir ; la vie d'un seul homme n'est rien, quand il s'agit d'assurer celle de ranr de rois. Qu'importe qu’un innocent périsse , quand il s'agit de conserver ceux qui représentent les Dieux au milieu des hommes ? Quelle maxime inhumaine ! quelle politique bar

répondie Télémaque. Quoi ! vous êtes fi prodigues du fang humain ! vous qui êtes établis

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the son of Ulysses, and imagined that he saw the wifdom of Minerva , his inspirer, shine forth in him.

There soon arose another question in the council of the kings , by which he did nor acquire less glory. Adraftus, ever bloody and perfidious, fent into the camp one Acanthus a deserter, who was to poison the most illustrious chiefs of the army. He was particu. larly ordered to spare no pains to effect the death of the young Telemachus, who was already become the terror of the Daunians. Telemachus who had too much courage and candour to be mistrustful, readily and kindly received this wretch , who had seen Ulyfses in Sicily, and who related to him the adventures of thac hero. He sablifted him, and endeavoured to comfort him in his misfortunes ; for Acanthus complained of having been deceived and unworthily treated by Adrastus. But this was cherishing and warming a venomous viper in his bofom , which was ready to sting him to death. Another deferter was taken, whose name was Arion, whom Acanthus was fending back to Adrastus, to inform him of the state of the confederate camp, and to assure him that he would the next day poison the principal kings and Telemachus at an entertainment which the latter was to give him. Arion being apprehended , confessed his treason, and it was suspected that Acanthus was concerned with him, because they were intimate friends ; but Acanthus, who was a deep dissembler and not to be daunted , defended himself so artfully that he could not be convicted, nor the bottom of the conspiracy discovered.

Several of the kings were of opinion that they ought in this uncertainty to sacrifice Acanthus to the public safety. He mult, said they , be put to death; the life of a single perlon is nothing, when the safety of so many princes is concerned. What if an invocenc perfons perish , when the point in debate is the prefervation of those who represent the Gods among

? What an inhuman maxim ! What barharous policy, replied Telemachus ! How ! are you so lavish of hu. man blood ! you who are appointed the shepherds

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