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another.* One of their kings, whose name was Scylurus, finding himself dram near his end, sent for all his children, and giving to each of them, one after another a bundle of arrows tied fast together, desired them 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 emblem, said the father, be a lesson to you, of the mighty advantage that results from union and concord. In 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 the al., liance nature has put between brethren, and which they could not infringe without being guilty of a heinous crime.t
Ancient authors seem to have contended who should most extol the innocence of manners that reigned among the Scythians, by magnificent encomiums. I shall transcribe that of Horace at large. That poet does not confine it entirely to the Scythians, but joins the Getæ with them, their near neighbours. It is in that beautiful ode, where he inveighs against the luxury and irregularities of the age
he lived in. After telling us, that peace and tranquillity of mind is not to be procured either by immense riches, or sumptuous buildings, he adds, “ a hundred times happier are the Scythians, who roam about in their itinerant houses, their wagons; 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 conditions. There the innocent step-mothers form no cruel designs against the lives of their husband's 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 insimuating language of spruce adulterers. The greatest portion of the maiden, as the virtue of her father and mother, her inviolable attachment to her husband, and her perfect disregard to all other men. They dare not be unfaithful, because they are convinced that infidelity is a crime, and its reward is death. I
When we consider the manners and character of the Scythians without prejudice, can we possibly forbear to look upon them with esteem and admiras tion? 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 iather, for despising the use of gold and silver? 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 advan
* Plut. de Garrul. p. 511.
| Lucian. in Tex. p. Campestres melius Scythæ,
Quorum plaustra vagas rite trahunt damas,
Immetata quibus juger liberas
Nec cultura placet longior annua,
Æquali recreat sorte vicarius.
Privigois mulier temperat innocens ;
Conjux, nec nitido fidit adultero:
Virtus, et netuens alterius viri
Et peccare nefas, aut pretium est mori. Hor, lib. iii. Od. 24 | Aurum irrepertum, et sic melius situm
Cum terra celat, spernere fortior,
Omac sacrum rapicala dextra. Hor. lib. iii. Od. &
tage could gold or silver be of to the Scythians, who valued nothing but what the necessities of man 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? ere 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 in a greater exemp. tion from cares and troubles ? Let us acknowledge, to the shame of ancient philosophy, that 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 exercise and liberty, innocence of life, sincerity, an abhorrence of all fraud and dissimulation, and, in a word, 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 to thrive only in an agreeable and delightful soil, penetrated into this rough and uncultivated region; and breaking down the barriers, 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 other nations, where it had long been predominant. It is Strabo that acquaints us with this particular, which is very worthy of our notice : he lived in the time of Augustus and Tiberius. * After he has greatly commended the simplicity, frugality, and innocence of the ancient Scythians, and their extreme aversion to all dissimulation and deceit, be owns that their intercourse, in later times, with other nations, bad 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 dissoluteness of manners among them, and quite transformed them into different creatures." It is undoubtedly with reference to this change that Athenæus says, the Scythians abandoned themselves to voluptuousness and luxury, at the same time that they suffered self-interest and avarice to prevail among them.t
Strabo, in making the remark I have been mentioning, does not deny that this fatal change of manners was owing to the Romans and Grecians. “Our example," says he,“ has perverted almost all the nations of the world: by carry. ing the refinements of luxury and pleasure among them, we have taught them insincerity and fraud, and a thousand kinds of shameful and infamous arts to get money. It is a miserable talent, and a very unhappy distinction for a nation, through its ingenuity in inventing modes, and refining upon every thing
• Strab. I. vij.
Athen. l. xii. p. 524.
that tends to nourish and promote luxury, to become the corruptor 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 unsuccessful expe• dition; which I will make the subject of the next article.
SECTION IV.-DARIUS'S EXPEDITION AGAINST THE SCYTHIANS. I have already observed, that the pretence used by Darius for undertaking the war against the Scythians, was the irruption formerly made by that people into Asia, but in reality he had no other purpose, 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 bis brother, thought it his duty on this occasion to speak his sentiments with all the freedom triat an affair of such importance required. “Great prince,” said 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 difficult; 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 distance between them and you, and the prodigious space of land and sea that separates them from your dominions ; besides, they are a people that dwell in wild and uncultivaied deserts; that have neither towns nor houses ; that have no fixed settlement, or place of halitation; and that are destitute 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 ruin your army, by continual and fatiguing marches; what would become of us, in such an uncultivated, barren, and naked country, where we should 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 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. It is your pleasure to be 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 it not the glory of a king, who loves his subjects, and is beloved by them, who instead of making war against the neighbouring or distant nations, makes use of his power to keep them in peace and amity with each other; is not such a glory vastly preferable to that of ravaging and spoiling nations, 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 nuinber of those princes, who acknowledged no other law than that of force, and who imagine that they have a peculiar privilege aunexed to their dignity,
* Omnes qui magnarum rerum consilia suscipiunt, astimare debent, ao, quod inchoatur, reipublicæ utile, ipsis gloriosum, aut promptum effectu, aut certe non arduum sit.Tacit. Hist. I. ii. c. 76.
which private persons have not, of invading other men's 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 justice. To speak plain, shall one man be considered unjust, and a robber, for seizing on a few acres of his neighbour's estate ; and shall another bé accounted just and great, and have the title of hero, only 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 engaged against the Babylonians, was at the same time both just and necessary : the gods have accordingly crowned your arms with success. It belongs to you, sir, to judge whether that which you are now going to undertake is of the same nature.”
Nothing, on the one hand, but the generous zeal of a brother, truly concerned for the glory of his prince, and the good of his country, could inspire such a freedom: as on the other, nothing but a perfect moderation in the prince could make him capable of bearing with it. Darius, as Tacitus observes of another great emperor, had the art of reconciling_two things which are generally incompatible, the sovereignty and liberty. I Far from being offended at the freedom used by his brother, he thanked him for his good advice, though he did not follow it; for he had taken bis resolution. He departed from Susa at the head of an army of seven hundred thousand men; and his fleet, consisting of six hundred sail of ships, was chiefly manned with Ionians, and other Grecian nations, that dwelt upon the sea-coast of Asia Minor and the Hellespont. He marched his army towards the Thracian Bosphorus, which he passed upon a bridge of boats: after which, having made himself master of all Thrace, he came to the banks of the Danube, otherwise called the Ister, where he had ordered his fleet to join him. In several places on his march he caused pillars to be erected, with magnificent inscriptions, in one of which he suffered himself to be called, “the best and handsomest man living." What a littleness of soul and vanity was this!
And yet, if all this prince's faults had terminated only in sentiments of pride and vanity, perhaps they would appear more excusable than they do, at least they would not have been so pernicious to his subjects. But how shall we reconcile Darius's disposition, which seemed to be so exceedingly humane and gentle, with a barbarous and cruel action of his towards Ebasus, a venerable old man, whose merit, as well as quality, entitled him to respect! This nobleman had three sons who were all preparing themselves to attend the king in this expedition against the Scythians. Upon Darius's departure from Susa, the good old father begged as a favour of him, that he would please to leave him one of his sons at home, to be a comfort to him in his old age. “ Oine," replied Darius, “will not be sufficient for you; I will leave you all the three:' and immediately he caused the whole to be put to death.
When the army had passed the Danube upon a bridge of boats, the king was for having the bridge broken down, that his army might not be weakened by leaving so considerable a detachment of his troops, as was necessary to guard it. But one of his officers represented to him that it might be proper to keep that as a necessary resource, in case the war with the Scythians should prove unfortunate. The king assented to this opinion, and committed the guarding of the bridge to the care of the lonians, who built it, giving them leave at the same time to go back to their own country, if he did not return in the space of two months: he then proceeded on his march to Scythia.ll
. As soon as the Scythians were informed that Darius was marching against them, they immediately entered into consultation upon the measures neces
*ld in somma fortun æquius, quod validius: et sua retinere, privatæ domus ; de alienis certare, regiam laudem esse.-Tacit. Annal. l. xxv. c. 1.
Ut felicitatis est quantum velis posse, sic magnitudinis velle quantum possis. -Plin. in Paneg. Traj. Nerva Cæsar res olím dissociabiles miscuit, principatum et libertatem....Tacit. in Vit. Agric. cap. iii, i Herod. l. iv. c. 84. Sepec. de bra, e. svi
Herod. I. iv. c. 99, 101.
sary to be taken. They were very sensible that they were not in a condition to resist so formidable an enemy alone. They applied therefore to all the neighbouring people, and desired their assistance, alleging that the danger was general, and concerned them all; and that it was their common interest to oppose an enemy, whose views of conquest were not confined to one nation. Some returned favourable answers to their demand; others absolutely refused to enter into a war, which they said did not regard them; but they soon bad reason to repent their refusal.
One wise precaution taken by the Scythians, was secure their wives and children by sending them in carriages to the most northern parts of the country; with them likewise, they sent all their herds and flocks, reserving nothing to themselves but what was necessary for the support of their army. Another precaution of theirs was to fill up all their wells, and stop up their springs, and to consuine all the forage in those parts through which the Persian army were to pass. This done, they marched in conjunction with their allies against the enemy, not with the view of giving him battle, for they were determined to avoid that, but to draw him into such places as best suited their interest. Whenever the Persians seemed disposed to attack them, they still retired farther up into the country; and thereby drew them on from place to place, into the territories of those nations that had refused to enter into alliance with them, by which means their lands became a prey to the two armies of the Persians and Scythians.f
Darius, weary of those tedious and fatiguing pursuits, sent a herald to the king of the Scythians, whose name was Indathyrsus, with this message, in his name : “Prince of the Scythians, wherefore dost thou continually fly before me? Why dost thou not stop somewhere or other, either to give me battle, if thou believest thyself able to encounter me, or if thou thinkest thyself too weak, to acknowledge thy master, by presenting him with earth and water ?" The Scythians were a high-spirited people, extremely jealous of their liberty, and professed enemies to all slavery. Indathyrsus sent Darius the following answer: “If I Ay before thee, prince of the Persians, it is not because I fear thee : what I do now, is no more than what I am used to do in time of peace. We Scythians have neither cities nor lands to defend : if thou hast a mind to force us to come to an engagement, come and attack the tombs of our fathers, and thou shalt find what inanner of men we are. As to the title of master, which thou assumest, keep it for other nations than the Scythians. For my part I acknowledge no other master than the great Jupiter, one of my own ancestors, and the goddess Vesta.”I
The farther Darius advanced into the country, the greater hardships his army was exposed to. Just when it was reduced to the last extremity, there came a herald to Darius from the Scythian prince, with a bird, a mouse, a frog, and five arrows as a present. The king desired to know the meaning of these gifts. The messenger answered, that his orders were only to deliver them, and nothing more; and that it was left to the Persian king to find out the meaning. Darius concluded at first, that the Scythians thereby consented to deliver up the earth and water to him, which were represented by a mouse and a frog; as also their cavalry, whose swiftness was represented by the bird ; together with their own persons and arms, signified by the arrows. But Gobryas, one of the seven lords that had deposed the Magian impostor, expounded the enigma in the following manner: “Know,” said he to the Persians," that unless you can fly away in the air like birds, or bide yourselves in the earth like miče, or swim in the water like frogs, you shall in no wise be able to avoid the arrows of the Scythians."'S
And indeed, the whole Persian army, marching in a vast uncultivated and barren country, in which there was no water, was reduced to so deplorable a condition, that they had nothing before their eyes but inevitable ruin; nor
• Herod. l. iv. c. 102, 118, 119.
+ Herod. 1. iv. c. 120, 125. | Herod. I. iv. c. 128, 130.
Herod. I. iv. c. 126, 127.