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has become a beacon for the inspiration of the oppressed, wherever they live. It is destined to become the model and the influence by which all men shall one day govern themselves and find liberty and happiness.
The last section, called “Citizenship and Service,” rounds out the story of freedom and patriotism. First is the passionate desire for liberty, growing up in the old world and in America in times past, and once more blazing forth in the crisis of the World War. Next is the American idea of free governmentthat is, the idea of a government controlled by all the people, and obeyed by all the people, because they realize that unrestrained liberty is anarchy, and that free government means "a liberty connected with order.” And last is the spirit of service, of brotherhood, of coöperation of all for the good of all, without which no free government can endure.
There is no more important subject than this for you to study. It is something to be studied, that you may know that free government is not merely or even mainly a mode of electing presidents and legislatures. It is something for you to see in imagination, that you may realize what it has cost and through how many centuries it has developed, and that you may know, also, that we must guard it and carry it on farther in each generation. And it is something that you must feelideals and emotions that will so control you that you will swear to do your part to preserve what men have won of the right to rule themselves. For unless this study and imagination and feeling pass into action, unless you are willing to take the lessons of service that the selections in the last part of this group teach you as a motive force in your own life, tyranny in one form or another will gain control of a nation grown cold to the ideals of liberty and service, and free government will be no more. Which God forbid! The responsibility rests on you, you boys and girls who are now preparing not merely for happy and successful lives in free America, but for carrying out the great tradition of liberty and service
It had been a day of triumph in Capua. Lentulus returning with victorious eagles had amused the populace with the sports of the amphitheater to an extent hitherto unknown even in that
luxurious city. The shouts of revelry had died away; the roar 5 of the lion had ceased; the last loiterer had retired from the
banquet and the lights in the palace of the victor were extinguished. The moon, piercing the tissue of fleecy clouds, silvered the dewdrop on the corselet of the Roman sentinel, and tipped the
dark waters of Volturnus with wavy, tremulous light. It was a 10 night of holy calm, when the zephyr sways the young spring
leaves, and whispers among the hollow reeds its dreamy music. No sound was heard but the last sob of some weary wave, telling its story to the smooth pebbles of the beach, and then all was still as the breast when the spirit has departed.
In the deep recesses of the amphitheater a band of gladiators
were crowded together—their muscles still knotted with the agony of conflict, the foam upon their lips, and the scowl of battle yet lingering upon their brows—when Spartacus, rising in the midst of that grim assemblage, thus addressed them:
"Ye call me chief, and ye do well to call him chief who, for twelve long years, has met upon the arena every shape of man or beast that the broad Empire of Rome could furnish, and yet never has lowered his arm. And if there be one among you who
can say that, ever, in public fight or private brawl, my actions 10 did belie my tongue, let him step forth and say it. If there be
three in all your throng dare face me on the bloody sand, let them come on!
"Yet, I was not always thus, a hired butcher, a savage chief of savage men. My father was a reverent man, who feared 15 great Jupiter, and brought to the rural deities his offerings of
fruits and flowers. He dwelt among the vine-clad rocks and olive groves at the foot of Helicon. My early life ran quiet as the brook by which I sported. I was taught to prune the vine,
to tend the flock; and then, at noon, I gathered my sheep beneath 20 the shade and played upon the shepherd's flute. I had a friend,
the son of our neighbor; we led our flocks to the same pasture, and shared together our rustic meal.
“One evening, after the sheep were folded and we were all seated beneath the myrtle that shaded our cottage, my grandsire, 25 an old man, was telling of Marathon and Leuctra, and how, in
ancient times, a little band of Spartans, in a defile of the mountains, withstood a whole army. I did not then know what war meant; but my cheeks burned-I knew not why-and I clasped
the knees of that venerable man, till my mother, parting the hair 30 from off my brow, kissed my throbbing temples, and bade me go to rest, and think no more of those old tales and savage wars.
“That very night the Romans landed on our shore, and the clash of steel was heard within our quiet vale. I saw the breast
that had nourished me trampled by the iron hoof of the war35 horse; the bleeding body of my father flung amid the blazing
rafters of our dwelling. Today I killed a man in the arena, and when I broke his helmet clasps, behold! he was my friend! He knew me—smiled faintly-gasped—and died; the same sweet
smile that I had marked upon his face when, in adventurous boy5 hood, we scaled some lofty cliff to pluck the first ripe grapes and
bear them home in childish triumph. I told the praetor he was my friend, noble and brave, and I begged his body, that I might burn it upon the funeral-pile, and mourn over him. Aye, on my
knees, amid the dust and blood of the arena, I begged that boon, 10 while all the Roman maids and matrons, and those holy virgins
they call vestal, and the rabble, shouted in mockery, deeming it rare sport, forsooth, to see Rome's fiercest gladiator turn pale and tremble like a very child before that piece of bleeding clay;
but the praetor drew back as if I were pollution, and sternly said, 15 ‘Let the carrion rot! There are no noble men but Romans!'
And he, deprived of funeral rites, must wander, a hapless ghost, beside the waters of that sluggish river, and look--and lookand look in vain to the bright Elysian Fields where dwell his
ancestors and noble kindred. And so must you, and so must I, 20 die like dogs!
“O Rome! Rome! thou hast been a tender nurse to me! Aye, thou hast given to that poor, gentle, timid shepherd-lad, who never knew a harsher sound than a flute-note, muscles of iron and
a heart of flint; taught him to drive the sword through rugged 25 brass and plaited mail, and warm it in the marrow of his foe!
to gaze into the glaring eyeballs of the fierce Numidian lion, even as a smooth-cheeked boy upon a laughing girl. And he shall pay thee back till thy yellow Tiber is red as frothing wine, and in its deepest ooze thy lifeblood lies curdled!
"Ye stand here now like giants, as ye are! The strength of brass is in your toughened sinews; but tomorrow some Roman Adonis, breathing sweet odors from his curly locks, shall come, and with his lily fingers pat your brawny shoulders, and bet his
sesterces upon your blood! Hark! Hear ye yon lion roaring in 35 his den? 'Tis three days since he tasted meat; but tomorrow he
shall break his fast upon your flesh; and ye shall be a dainty meal for him.
"If ye are brutes, then stand here like fat oxen waiting for the butcher's knife; if ye are men, follow me! strike down yon sen5 tinel, and gain the mountain passes, and there do bloody work
as did your sires at old Thermopylae! Is Sparta dead? Is the old Grecian spirit frozen in your veins, that you do crouch and cower like baseborn slaves beneath your master's lash? O com
rades! warriors! Thracians! if we must fight, let us fight for 10 ourselves; if we must slaughter, let us slaughter our oppressors;
if we must die, let us die under the open sky, by the bright waters, in noble, honorable battle.”
NOTES AND QUESTIONS Biographical and Historical Note. This is a supposed speech of Spartacus written by Elijah Kellogg, a New England clergyman. Spartacus was a Thracian, who served in the Roman army. Having deserted, he was taken prisoner, sold as a slave, and trained as a gladiator at Capua, a Roman city, containing an amphitheater famous for its gladiatorial contests and combats of wild beasts. In 73 B.C. Spartacus escaped and gathered about him a large army of slaves and gladiators, with whom he intended to push northward until they were all able to return to their homes. After attacking many towns, however, they were finally overcome. Spartacus died in battle, and six thousand of his followers were crucified.
Discussion. 1. Who was Spartacus, and what was the occasion of his speech? 2. To whom was he talking? 3. Of what battles did his grandsire tell one evening? How did these tales of battle affect the young Spartacus? 4. In The Elson Readers, Book Seven, you read of "a little band of Spartans” at Thermopylae; can you tell what these brave Spartans did for the freedom of their people? 5. Tell the story of Spartacus and his boyhood friend whom he killed. 6. What appeal does Spartacus make to his comrades in the last paragraph? 7. Find a statement in the Introduction on page 254 that is particularly appropriate to the thought of this selection. 8. Find in the Glossary the meaning of: zephyr; arena; belie; Jupiter; venerable; Adonis. 9. Pronounce: recesses; sinews.
Phrases for Study
victorious eagles, 257, 2 rural deities, 258, 15
must wander, 259, 16 yellow Tiber, 259, 28