« AnteriorContinuar »
personages. It is added, that when this king was asleep, he started up three times through excess of joy, and cried, “I have got Themistocles the Athenian!"
The next morning, at day-break, he sent for the greatest lords of his court, and commanded Themistocles to be brought before him, who expected nothing but destruction; especially after what one of his guards, upon hearing his name, had said to him the night before, even in the presence-chamber, just as he had left the king, “ Thou serpent
of Greece, thou compound of fraud and malice, the good "genius of our prince brings thee hither!” However, the serenity which appeared in the king's face seemed to promise him a favourable reception. Themistocles was not mistaken, for the king began by making him a present of 200 a talents, which sum he had promised to any one who should deliver him up, which consequently was his due, as Themistocles had brought him his head, by surrendering himself to him. He afterwards desired him to give an account of the affairs of Greece. But as Themistocles could not express his thoughts to the king without the assistance of an interpreter, he desired time might be allowed him to learn the Persian tongue; hoping he then should be able to explain those things which he was desirous of communicating to him, better than he could by the aid of a third person. It is the same, says he, with the speech of a man, as with a piece of tapestry, which must be spread out and unfolded, to show the figures and beauty of the work. Themistocles, in the space of twelve months, made so great a progress in the Persian language, that he spoke it with greater elegance than the Persians themselves, and consequently could converse with the king without the help of an interpreter. This prince treated him with uncommon marks of friendship and esteem; he made him marry a lady descended from one of the noblest families in Persia; gave him a palace and an equipage suitable to it, and settled a noble pension on him. He used to carry him abroad on his parties of hunting, and invited him to every banquet and entertainment; and sometimes conversed privately with him, so that the lords of the court grew jealous and uneasy upon that account. He even presented him to the princesses, Who honoured him with their esteem, and received his visits. It is observed, as a proof of the peculiar favour showed him, that by the king's special order, Themistocles was admitted to hear the lectures and discourses of the Magi, and was instructed by them in all the secrets of their philosephy.
@ 200,000'French crowns; or about 45,000 sterling:
تر و هر بسته که
Another proof of his great influence is related. Demaratus of Sparta, who was then at court, being commanded by the king to ask any thing of him, he desired that he might be suffered to make his entry on horseback, into the city of Sardis, with the royal tiara on his head : a ridiculous vanity! equally unworthy of the Grecian grandeur, and the simplicity of a Lacedæmonian ! the king, exasperated at the insolence of his demand, expressed his disgust in the strongest terms, and seemed resolved not to pardon him ; but Themistocles having interceded, the king restored him to favour.
In five, the credit and influence of Themistocles was so great, that under the succeeding reigns, in which the affairs of Persia were still more mixed with those of Greece, whenever the kings were desirous of engaging any Greek in their service, they used to declare expressly in their
letters, that he should be in greater favour with them than Themistocles had been with king Artaxerxes.
It is said also that Themistocles, when in his most flourishing condition in Persia, honoured and esteemed by all the world, who were emulous in making their court to him, said one day, when his table was covered magnificently : “Chil“ dren, we should have been ruined, if we had not been “ ruined.”
But at last, as it was judged necessary for the king's interest that Themistoeles should reside in some city of Asia Minor, that he might be ready on any occasion which should present itself; he was accordingly sent to Magnesia, situated on the Meander; and besides the whole revenues of that city, (which amounted to 50 a talents every year) had those of Myus and Lampsacus assigned him for his maintenance. One of the cities was to furnish him with bread, another with wine, and a third with other provisions. Some authors add two more, viz. for his furniture and clothes. Such was the custom of the ancient kings of the East : instead of settling pensions on persons whom they rewarded, they gave them cities, and sometimes even provinces, which under the name of bread, wine, &c. were to furnish them abundantly with all things necessary for supporting, in a magnificent manner, their household establishment. Themistocles lived for some years in Magnesia in the utmost splendour, till he came to his end in the manner which will be related hereafter.
a 50,000 crowns; or about l. 11,250 sterlingi
SECT. III. Cimon begins to make a Figure at Athens. His first Achieve.
ments. A double Victory gained over the Persians, near the River Eurymedon. Death of Themistocles.
The Athenians having lost one of their most distinguishod citizens, as well as ablest generals, by the banishment of Themistocles, endeavoured to retrieve that loss, by bestowing the command of the armies on Cimon, who was not inferior to him in merit.
He spent his youth in such excesses as did him no honour, and presaged no good with regard to his future conduct. The example of this illustrious Athenian, who passed his juvenile years in so dissolute a manner, and afterwards rose to so exalted a pitch of glory, shows, that parents must not always despair of the happiness of a son, when wild and irregular in his youth; especially when nature has endued him with genius, goodness of heart, generous inclinations, and an esteem for persons of merit. Such was the character of Cimon. The ill reputation he had drawn upon himself, having prejudiced the people against him, he at first was very ill received by them, when, being discouraged by this repulse, he resolved to lay aside all thoughts of concerning himself with public business. But Aristides perceiving through all his faults, that he possessed many fine qualities, consoled him, inspired him with hope, pointed out the path he should take, instilled good principles into him, and did not a little contribute, by the excellent instructions he gave him, and the affection he expressed for him on all occasions, to make him the man he afterwards appeared. What more important service could he have done his country?
© Plutarch observes, that after Címon had laid aside his juvenile extravagancies, his conduct was in every respect great and noble; and that he was inferior to Miltiades neither in courage and intrepidity, nor to Themistocles in prudence and sense, but that he was more just and virtuous than either of them; and that without being at all inferior to them in military excellence, he far surpassed them in the practice of the moral virtues.
It would be of great advantage to a state, if those who excel in particular professions, would take pleasure, and make it their duty to fashion and instruct such youths as are remarkable for the pregnancy of their parts and goodness of disposition. They would thereby have an opportunity of serving their country even after their death, and of perpetuating in it, in the person of their pupils, a taste and inclination for true merit, and the practice of the wisest maxims.
a A. M. 3534. Ant J. C. 470. Diod. l. xi. p 45. Plato in Gim. p. 482, 483, 6 Plat. in Cim. p. 480.
The Athenians, a little after Themistocles had left his country, having put to sea a fleet under the command of Cimon, the son of Miltiades, took Eion, on the banks of the Strymon, Amphipolis, and other places of Thrace; and as this was a very fruitful country, Cimon planted a colony in it, and sent 10,000 Athenians thither for that purpose.
a The fate of Eion is too singular to be omitted here. Boges was governor of it under the king of Persia, and acted with such a zeal and fidelity for his sovereign, as have few examples. When besieged by Cimon and the Athenians, it was in his power to have capitulated upon honourable terms, and to have retired to Asia with his family and all his effects. However, being persuaded he could not do this with honour, he resolved to die rather than surrender. The city was assaulted with the utmost fury, and he defended it with incredible bravery. Being at last in the utmost want of provisions, he threw from the walls into the river Strymon, all the gold and silver in the place; and causing fire to be set to a pile, and having killed his wife, his children, and his whole family, he threw them into the midst of the flames, and afterwards rushed into them himself. The king of Persia. could not but admire, and at the same time bewail, so surprising an example of generosity. The heathens, indeed might give this name to what is rather savage ferocity and barbarity.
Cimon made himself master also of the island of Scyros, where he found the bones of Theseus, the son of Ægeus, who had fled from Athens to that city, and there ended his days. An oracle had commanded that search should be made after his bones. Cimon put them on board his galley, adorned them magnificently, and carried them to his native country, near 800 years after Theseus had left it. The people received them with the highest expressions of joy, and, to perpetuate the remembrance of this event, they founded a disputation or prize for tragic writers, which became very famous, and contributed exceedingly to the improvement of the drama, by the wonderful emulation it excited among the tragic poets, whose pieces were represented on the stage For Sophocles, who was then a young man, having brought his first play on the stage, the archon, who presided at these games, observing there was a strong faction among the spec
a Herod l. vij. c. 107 Plut. p. 48. 6 Plutarch calls him Butis. Herodotus seems to place this history, under Xermēs; but it is more probphle, that it happened under Anlaserxes his succesez
tators, prevailed with Cimon and the rest of the generals his colleagues, (who were 10 in number, and chosen one out of each tribe) to sit as judges. The prize was adjudged to Sophocles, which so deeply afflicted Æschylus, who till then had been considered as the greatest dramatic poet, that Athens became insupportable to him, and he withdrew to Sicily, where he died.
a The confederates had taken a great number of Barbarian prisoners in Sestus and Byzantium; and, as a proof of the high regard they had for Cimon, entreated him to distribute the booty. Accordingly Cimon placed all the captives (stark naked) on one side, and on the other all their riches and spoils. The allies complained of this partition as too unequal; but Cimon giving them the choice, they immediately took the riches which had belonged to the Persians, and left the prisoners for the Athenians. Cimon therefore set out with his portion, and was considered very little qualified to settle the distribution of prizes: For the allies carried off a great number of chains, necklaces and bracelets, of gold; a large quantity of rich habits, and fine purple cloaks; whilst the Athenians had for their share only a multitude of human creatures, quite naked, and unfit for labour. However, the relations and friends of these captives came soon after from Phrygia and Lydia, and purchased them all at a very high price; so that, with the monies arising from their ransom, Cimon had enough to maintain his feet four months; besides a great sum of money which was put into the public treasury, not to mention what he himself had for his own share. He afterwards used to take exceeding pleasure, in relating this adventure to his frienus.
6 He made the best use of his riches, as Gorgias the rhetorician has happily expressed it in few, but strong and elegant, words. <“ Cimon,” says he, “amassed riches, only to “ use them; and he employed them to no other use, than to
acquire esteem and honour.” We may here perceive (by the way) what was the scope and aim of the most exalted actions of the heathens; and with what justice Tertullian defined a pagan, how perfect soever he might appear, a vain-glorious animal, animal gloria. The gardens and orchards of Cimon were always open, by his order, to the citizens in general; who were allowed to gather whatever fruits they pleased. His_table was daily covered in a frugal, but polite manner. It was entirely different from those delicate and sumptuous tables, to which only a few persons
a Plut. in Cim p. 484 6 Plut. in Cim. p. 184. Cornel. Nep. in Cim. c iv. Athen. l. xij p. 533.
«Φησί των Κιμωνα τα χρήματα κλάσθαι μεν ώς χρωτο, χρήσθαι δε ως τιμώτο, VOL. III,