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To: chara&ter of the prince who removed C H A P.
H 2 blush,
c H. A. P. to direct the general tenor of the administration of XVIII. Constantine *
... Had Constantine fallen on the banks of the Tyber, or even in the plains of Hadrianople, fuch is the charaćter which, with a few exceptions, he might have transmitted to posterity. But the conclusion of his reign (according to the moderate and indeed tender sentence of a writer of the same age) degraded him from the rank which he had acquired among the most deserving of the Roman princes *. In the life of Augustus, we behold the tyrant of the republic, converted, almost by imperceptible degrees, into the father of his country and of human kind. In that of Constantine, we may contemplate a hero, who had so long inspired his subjects with love, and his enemies with terror, degenerating into a cruel and dissolute monarch, corrupted by his fortune, or raised by conquest above the necessity of diffimulation. The general peace which he maintained during the last fourteen years of his reign,
A, D. 323–337.
* The virtues of Constantine are colle&ed for the most part from Eutropius, and the younger Vićtor, two fincere pagans, who wrote after the extinétion of his family. Even Zosimus, and the Emperor Julian, acknowledge his personal courage and military at
eb immodica, profusiones. *
4 Julian. Orat. i. p. 8. in a flattering discourse pronounced before the son of Constantine; and Caesares, p. 335. Zosimus, p. 114, 115. The stately buildings of Constantinople, &c. may be quoted
as a lasting and unexceptionable proof of the profufeness of their
morum fauces aperuit primus omnium Constantinus. L. xvi. c. 8-
C H A Pe