« PreviousContinue »
SIR WALTER RALEGH, KT.
NOW FIRST COLLECTED:
TO WHICH ARE PREFIXED
THE LIVES OF THE AUTHOR,
BY OLDYS AND BIRCH.
IN EIGHT VOLUMES.
THE HISTORY OF THE WORLD.
BOOK V. CHAP. 4-6,
AT THE UNIVERSITY PRESS.
THE FIRST PART
W O R L D:
THE TIMES FROM THE SETTLED RULE OF ALEXANDER'S SUCCESSORS IN THE EAST, UNTIL THE ROMANS, PREVAILING OVER ALL, MADE CONQUEST OF ASIA AND MACEDON.
BOOK V. CONTINUED.
CHAP. IV. Of Philip the father of Perseus, king of Macedon. His first acts and war with the Romans, by whom he was subdued.
SECT. İ. How the Romans grew acquainted in the east countries, and desirous bounded, the works of nature must needs be finite, and many of them resemble one the other. Now in those actions that seem to have their whole dependance upon the will of man, we are less to wonder, if we find less variety, since it is no great portion of things which is obnoxious unto human power, and since they are the same affections, by which the wills of sundry men are overruled in managing the affairs of our daily life. It may be observed in the change of empires, before those times whereof we now write, how the Assyrians or Chaldæans invaded the kingdom of the Medes, with two hundred thousand foot and threescore thousand horse; but failing in their intended conquest, they becan subject within a while themselves unto the Medes and Persians. In like manner Darius, and after him Xerxes, fell upon the Greeks with such numbers of men as might have seemed resistless. But after that the Persians were beaten home, their empire was never secure of the Greeks, who at all times of leisure from intestine war devised upon that conquest thereof, which finally they made under the great Alexander. If Nabuchodonosor with his rough old soldiers had undertaken the Medes, or Cyrus with his well trained army had made the attempt upon Greece, the issue might, in human reason, have been far different : yet would it then have been expedient for them to employ the travel and virtue of their men, rather than the greatness of their names, against those people that were no less valiant, though less renowned than their own. For the menacing words used by Cyrus, and some small displeasures done to the Greeks, (in which kind it may be that Nabuchodonosor likewise offended the Medes and Persians,) were not so available to victory, as to draw on revenge in the future. Great kingdoms, when they decay in strength, suffer as did the old lion for the oppression done in his youth, being pinched by the wolf, gored by the bull, yea, and kicked by
of war there. The beginning of many princes, with great wars, at one time. The Ætolians overrun Peloponnesus. Philip and his associates make war against the Ætolians. Alteration of the state in Sparta. The Ætolians invade Greece and Macedon, and aro inondod at homa hu Philin
vents, the limis probable cause.
that is not unrut. in Vita Sertorii. RALEGH, VOL. IV.
But princes are often carried away from reason, by misunderstanding the language of fame; and, despising the virtue that makes little noise, adventure to provoke it against themselves, as if it were not possible that their own glory should be foiled by any of less noted excellence. Against the same stone whereat Xerxes, and before him (as I take it) Evilmerodach, had stumbled, Pyrrhus the Epirot hath dashed his foot. He was not indeed the king of all Greece, though most of mark, and a better soldier than any other Greekish king, when he entered into war against the Romans. This war he undertook as it were for his mind's sake; having received no injury, but hoping by the glory of his name, and of the Greeks that served under him, to prevail so easily against the barbarous Romans, that they should only serve as a step to his further intended conquests of Sicily and Afric. But when the Romans, by their victory against Pyrrhus, had found their own virtue to be of richer metal, than was the more shining valour of the Greeks; then did all the bravery of the Epirot (his elephants, and whatsoever else had served to make him terrible) serve only to make the Romans, in time following, to think more highly of themselves. b For since they had overcome the best warrior in Greece, even him, that, being thus beaten by them, could in a year after make himself lord of Greece and Macedon; what should hinder them from the conquest of all those unwarlike provinces, which in compass of twelve years a Macedonian king of late memory had won ? Certainly there was hereunto requisite no more, than to bring to their own devotion, by some good means, the whole country of Greece; all the rest, this done, would follow of itself. How to deal with the Greeks, Philip and Alexander had shewed a way, which, or perhaps a better, they might learn by getting more acquaintance with the nation.
When therefore the first Punic war was ended, which followed soon after the wars of Pyrrhus and of the Tarentines, then were the Romans at good leisure to hearken after news in Greece, and to entertain any good occasion that should be on that side presented. They had also then
6 The king of Spain's pretended greatest fleet that ever the Spaniards invincible navy, being beaten out of gathered together, we never made the British seas, invited us to those account of any of his preparations of Spain; and having broken the after that time.