Page:The World's Famous Orations Volume 1.djvu/32

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.

INTRODUCTION


was the one by Pericles,[1] on those who had died in the Peloponnesian War. The sentence reads: "It was for such a country then that these men, nobly resolving not to have it taken from them, fell fighting; and every one of their survivors may well be willing to suffer in its behalf."

Having described the glories of Greece and the advantages of the government, he pointed out that her people, recognizing the blessings of citizenship, were willing to die rather than surrender those blessings. He thus states, in a few words, the secret of a nation's strength — love of country, justified by the government's care for the welfare of the people.

One of the speeches of Socrates as reported by Plato contains a noble paragraph which rebukes the worldly-minded of today. It presents a lofty ideal of life and deserves to be committed to memory:

"O Athenians, I honor and love you; but I shall obey God rather than you; and as long as I breathe and am able I shall not cease study-

  1. It will be found in volume one of this series.

xx