|Publication Date||June 25, 2012|
Ladies and Gentlemen :I shall invite your attention :o an episode in ancient history which brings into view the decline and fall of the Roman republic. This is, to tny mind, the most instructive chapter in the annals of ancient times, since it shows how a great people became 1prey to their own vices and follies, and after conquer I ng the world surrendered their liberty to men whom they had armed to take away the liberty of others. The historian Sallust dates the decline of the republic from the destruction of Carthage, from which time, he says, the manners of our forefathers degenerated, not as before, gradually, but with the downward rush of a torrent. Having no longer a rival that she need fear, Rome began to plunder the provinces, not merely by a tribute of fixed amount, but by military governors practically irresponsible, who were chiefly engaged in robbing the provincials and dividing the plunder with those who were able to shield them from punishment. The whole industrial system rested on slavery, which was robbery in a more aggravated form. Three or four hundred men ruled the world in this manner. Their appetites grew with what they fed on, and, since the amount of plunder was not unlimited, they fell to quarreling over it. The quarrels of the nobles gave opportunities to demagogues to rise by espousing the interests of the plebs. Such a condition was sure to produce the gang and the boss in due time.
(Typographical errors above are due to OCR software and don't occur in the book.)
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