judging rightly enough of my own strength, that it was not capable of any great matters; and calling to mind the saying of the late Chancellor Olivier, that the French were like monkeys that swarm up a tree from branch to branch, and never stop till they come to the highest, and there shew their breech. "Turpe est, quod nequeas, capiti committere pondus, Et pressum inflexo mox dare terga genu."
Upon these interjections, placable flicks of the lionly tail addressed to Britannia the Ruler, who expected him in some mildish way to lash terga cauda in retiring, Sir Willoughby Patterne passed from a land of alien manners; and ever after he spoke of America respectfully and pensively, with a tail tucked in, as it were. His travels were profitable to himself.
After the meeting was ended, I sent to my friend Isaac Penington, by his son and servant, who returned home, though it was late, that evening, a short account of the business in the following distich: Praevaluit veritas: inimnici terga dedere; Nos sumus in tuto; laus tribuenda Deo. Which may be thus Englished: Truth hath prevailed; the enemies did fly; We are in safety; praise to God on high.
According to their different natural disposition, i.e. the timid, though armed, turned their backs before inferior numbers; while the brave, though unarmed, met death in the face. Praestare terga is an expression found only in T. Et aliquando, etc. Et==ac tamen. The language is Virgilian, cf. Aen. 2, 367. Quod. Cf. note 12. Ni frequens fiduciam foret.
For he had broken down a gate and vanished overnight, and wandered into the sacred precincts of the villosi terga bisontes, the still-wild denizens of the last league of the British woodlands Caesar found; and Bos Taurus had risen in his wrath, and showed that an ancient race was not to be trifled with, with impunity.
Quod ad me attinet, jam pridem mihi decretum est, neque exercitus neque ducis terga tuta esse. Proinde et honesta mors turpi vita potior; et incolumitas ac decus eodem loco sita sunt: nec inglorium fuerit, in ipso terrarum ac naturae fine cecidisse."
"They are neither brave in war, nor faithful in peace." But when Julius Caesar, great as the world itself, "Territa quaesitis ostendit terga Britannis," were they not brave under their leader Cassivellaunus? And when Belinus and Brennus added the Roman empire to their conquests? What were they in the time of Constantine, son of our Helen?
The reader will remember the beautiful lines of Virgil upon the subject, " et primum parva duorum Corpora natorum serpens amplexus uterque Implicat, et miseros morsu depascitur artus. Post, ipsum auxilio subeuntem ac tela ferentem Corripiunt, spirisque ligant ingentibus: et jam Bis medium amplexi, bis collo squamea circum Terga dati, superant capite et cervicibus altis.