Imágenes de página
PDF
ePub

own interest. If you give the Daunians a just king , he will govern them with justice, and reach them how beneficial it is to preserve their fincerity, and never to usurp che dominions of their neighbours ; which they could never learn under the impious Adrastus. While they are swayed by a wise and moderate prince , you will have nothing to apprehend from them. They will be indebted to you for the good king that you will have given them; they will be indebted to you for the peace ard prosperity they will enjoy. Inftead of attacking, they will continually bless you, and both the prince and the people will be the work of your hands. If on the contrary you divide their country among yourselves, the evils which will ensuc, and of which I tell you beforehand , are these : The Daunians driven to despair will begin the war again ; they will justly fight for their liberty, and the Gods, who are enemies to tyranny , will fight for them. And if the Gods interfere, you will sooner or later he confounded, and your prosperity will vanish like smoke. Counsel and wisdom will be taken from your commanders, rage from your armies, and fertility from your lands. you will deceive yourselves with false hopes, you will be rash in your enterprizes, you will silence men of probity who tell you the truth, you will fall of a sudden, and it will be said of you , Are these the flourishing nations, who were to give law to the whole earth ? Lo! they fly before their enemies ; they are the sport of nations who trample them under their feer. These are the doings of the Gods : this is what unjust, haughty and inhuman nations deserve.

Again, consider char if you artempe to divide this conquest among you, you will unite all the neighbouring nations against you. Your confederacy , formed to defend the common liberty of Hesperia against Adrastus, will become odious ; aud you yourselves will be justly acculed by all the world of aiming at universal tyranny. But supposing that you are victorious over the Daunians and all other cations, this victory will prove your destruction, and I MS

will

COU

vous détruira ; voici comment. Confidérez que cette entreprise vous désunira tous. Comme elle n'est point fondée sur la justice, vous n'aurez point de regle pour. borner entre vous les prétentions de chacun : chacun voudra que fa part de la conquête soit proportionnée à la puissance; nul d'entre vous n'aura assez d'autorité parmi les autres į pour faire ce partage paisiblement. Voilà la fource d'une guerre, dont vos petits-enfans ne verront pas la fin. Ne vaut-il pas mieux être juste & modéré, que de suivre son ambition avec tant de péril, & au travers de cant de malheurs, inévicables ? La paix profonde, les plaisirs, doux & innocens qui l'accompagnent , l'heureuse abondance, l'a. mitié de ses voisins, la gloire qui est inséparable de la justice, l'autorité qu'on acquiert , en fe. rendaug par la bonne, foi l'arbitre de tous les:peuples étrangers., ne font-ce pas des biens plus desirables, que la folle vanité d'une conquêre injuste.? O princes ! Ô rois ! vous voyez que je vous parle sans intérêt. Ecoutez. donc celui qui vous aime assez pour vous contredire & pour vous déplaire , en vous représentant la vérité.

Pendant que Télémaque parloit ainst avec une autorité qu'on n'avoit jamais vue en nul autre , & que tous les princes étonnés & en suspens admiroient la Sagesse de ses conseils., on entendit un bruit. confus qui se répandit dans tout le camp , & qui vint jus qu'au lieu où se tenoit l'assemblée. Un étranger., dit-on , est venu aborder sur ces côtes avec une croupe d'hommes armés. Cei inconnu et d'une haute mine, tout paroît héroïque en lui; on voit aisément: qu'il a long-temps fouffert , & que son grand courage. l'a mis au-defus de toutes ses souffrances. D'abord les peuples du pays", qui gardent les côces, ont voulu le reponsser, comme un endemi qui vient faire. we irruption : mais, après avoir tiré fon épée avec un aic intrépide, il a déclaré qu'il sauroit se défendre fi on l'attaquoit ; mais qu'il ne demandoit que la paix & l'hospitalicé. Aussitôt il a présenté un rameau d'olivier comme un fuppliaar. On l'a écouté ; il a

demandé

[ocr errors]

will tell you in what manner. Consider that this enterprise will dissolve your union. As it is not founded on justice, you will have no rule to secrle every claimant's pretensions among yourselves ; every one will infitt chat his share of the conquest be proporrioned to his power; not one of you will have authority enough over the rest to make a peaceable partie tion. Lo ! the source of

war, of which your grandchildren will not see the end. Is it por better to be jult and moderace , than to follow one's ambition through such a multitude of dangers and inevitable calamities ? Are not a profound peace, its train of sweet and innocent pleasures , a happy plenty, the friendship of one's neighbours, the glory which is inseparable from justice, the authority which is acquired in rendering ourfelves by our integrity the arbiter of all for ign nations are not thefe, I say, more delirable blessings than the foolish vanity of an unjust conquest ? O kings ! princes ! you see that I have no interest in what I say; have regard therefore to one who loves you enough to contradict and displease you, by setting the truth before you.

While Telemachus was discourling in this manner with an authority which they had never seen in any ocher, and all the astonished and fufpenseful princes were admiring the wisdom of his counsels, there was heard, a confused noise which spread itself through the camp, and reached even to the place where the affem bly was held, A stranger, ic was faid, is just landed on this coat with a band of soldiers. This unknown person is of a lofty mien ; every thing in him looks heroic ; one easily perceives thac he has suffered a long while, and that his great courage has rendered him superior to all his sufferings. The people of the country, who guard the coast, at first resolved to repell him as an enemy that was come to invade them : Buc drawing his sword with an intrepid air , he told. them that he knew how to defendi himself in case be were attacked, buc.char the desired nothing but peace and hofpicality. Upon which he held out an oliver branch as a supplianc, he was heard; he defired to MG

be

demandé à être conduit vers ceux qui gouvernent dans cette côre de l'Hespérie , & on l'amene ici pour le faire parler aux rois assemblés.

A peine ce discours fut- il achevé, qu'on vir entrer cer inconnu avec une majesté qui surprit coute l'asfemblée. On auroit cru facilement que c'étoit le Dieu Mars , quand il assemble sur les montagnes de Thrace ses troupes sanguinaires. Il commença à parler ainsi :

O vous, pasteurs des peuples, qui êtes fans doute afsemblés ici pour défendre la patrie contre les ennemis, ou pour faire fleurir les plus justes loix, écoucez un homme que la fortune a persécuré. Fassent les Dieux que vous n'éprouviez jamais de semblables malheurs ! Je suis Diomede, roi d'Ecolie , qui blessai Vénus au siege d: Troye. La vengeance de cette Déesle me poursuit dans tout l'univers Neptune , qui ne peut rien refufer à la divine fille de la mer, m'a livré à la rage des vents & des flors , qui ont brisé plu ieurs fois mes vaisseaux contre les écueils. L'in. exorable Vénus m'a ôté coure espérance de revoir mon royaume, ma famille, & cette douce lumiere du pays où j'ai commencé de voir le jour en naissant. Non je ne reverrai jamais tout ce qui m'a été le plus cher au monde. Je viens , après cant de naufrages, chercher sur ces rives inconnues un peu de repos & une retraite assurée. Si vous craignez les Dieux, & sur-tout Jupiter qui a foin des étrangers; si vous êres fensibles à la compassion, nè me refufez pas dans ces vastes pays quelque coin de cerre stérile, quelques déserts, quelques fables , ou quelques rochers escarpés, pour y fonder avec mes compagnons une ville qui foit du moins une criste image de notre patrie perdue. Nous ne demandons qu'un peu d'espace qui vous soir inutile. Nous vivrons en paix avec vous dans une étroite alliance; vos ennemis feront les nôtres; nous entrerons dans tous vos intérêts ; nous ne demandons que la liberté de vivre selon nos loix.*

: Pendant que Diomede parloie ainsi Télémaque ayant les yeux attachés fur lui , montra sur son visage coutes les différentes passions. Quand Diomede commença à parler de ses longs malheurs, il espéra que

CCT

be brought before those who rule in this part of Hero peria , and is conducted hither to be examined by the assembled kings.

This was hardly said, but the stranger entered with a majesty which surprised the whole assembly. He might easily have been taken for the God of war, when he assembles his blood thirsty troops in the moutains of Thrace He began thus :

( ye shepherds of the people, who are undoubra edly assembled here to defend your country againiz. its enemies, or to give life to the most righteous laws, hear a man whom fortune has persecuted. May the Gods grant that you may never taste the like distress! I am Diomed, king of Æcolia, who wounded venus at the siege of Troy. The vengeance of that Goddess pursues me through the whole world. Neptune, who can refuse nothing to the divine daughter of the sea , gave me up to the rage of the winds and the billows which have often dashed my ships in pieces against the rocks. Inexorable Venus has robe bed me of all hopes of ever seeing again my kingdom, my family, and chat graceful light of the country where I first beheid che day: No, I shall never see more what was dearest in the world to ine. I come ,

after various shipwrecks, to seek on these unknown shores a little repose and a safe retrear. If you fear the Gods, and especially Jupiter who takes care of strangers ; if you have any sense of pity, refuse me not some barren corner of these spacious rea gions, some defert , some fandy spot, or steepy rocks , where I and my companions may found a city which may at least be a melancholy image of our lost country. We only desire some small tract which is useless to you. We will live in peace and strict friendship with you ; your enemies shall be ours; we will espouse all your incerests, and desire nothing but to live according to our own laws.

While Diomed was speaking thus, Telemachus. keeping his eyes fixed upon him, discovered all the different passions in his countenance..

When Dio. medes began to mention his long sufferings, he hoped

thar

[ocr errors]
« AnteriorContinuar »