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other extreme, to which this negligence and want of economy generally lead, I mean rapine, a love of gifts, and exactions; for here, as well as in the management of the public monies, the maxim of Tacitus holds gooda, viz. that when a man has squandered away his estate, he then makes it his whole study to retrieve the loss of it by all sorts of methols, not excepting the most criminal.
Pericles knew much better the use which a statesman ought to make of riches. He was sensible that he ought to expend them in the service of the public, in procuring of able men to assist him in the administration; in relieving good officers, who too often are destitute of the favours of fortune; in rewarding and encouraging merit of every kind, and a thousand such things; to which doubtless, either on account of the exquisite joy they give, or the solid glory that results from them, no one will be so thoughtless as to compare the expenses lavished away in entertainments, equipages, or gaming. In this view Pericles managed his own estate with the utmost economy; having himself taught one of his old servants to take care of his domestic concerns ; and he always had the account brought him, at stated times, of all things that had been received as well as expended; confining himself and his family to a decent subsistence (from which he banished severely all superfluities of a vain and ostentatious kind), suitable to his estate and condition. This way of life, indeed, did by no means please his children when they were come to years of maturity, and much less his wife. They thought Pericles did not live at a sufficient expense for persons of their rank; and murmured at that low sordid economy, as they called it, which carried no air of the plenty which generally reigns in houses where riches and authority are united. However Pericles paid little regard to these complaints, and directed his conduct by far superior views.
I believe we may apply on this occasion, a very just remark of Plutarch, in his parallel of Aristides and Cato. After saying that political virtue or the art of governing cities and kingdoms, is the greatest and most perfect that man can acquire, he adds, that economy is not one of the least considerable branches of this virtue. And indeed, as viches are one of the means which may most contribute to the Security or ruin of a state; the art that teaches to dispose and make a good use of them, and which is called economy, is certainly a branch of politics; and not one of the least considerable branches of it, since great wisdom is required, in order to the observing a just medium on these occasions, and to the banishing poverty and too great opulence from a country. It is this art, which, by avoiding industriously all trifling and needless expenses, prevents a magistrate from being forced to overburthen a people with taxes; and keeps always in reserve, in the public coffers, monies sufficient for the supporting a war that may break out, or for providing against any unforeseen emergency. Now what is said of a kingdom or a city, may be said also of individuals. For a city, which is composed of an assemblage of houses, and which forms a whole of several parts united, is either powerful or weak in the aggregate, in proportion as all the members of which it consists, are powerful or weak. Pericles certainly acquitted himself well with regard to that part of this science which relates to the government of a family: but I do not know whether the same may be said of his administration of the public revenues.
a Si ambitione ærarium exbauserimus, per scelera supplendum eriti Tacit, Anual. . L . 38
Sect. XII. Jealousy and Contests arise between the Athenians and La
cedæmonians. A Treaty of Peace is concluded for thirty Years.
a Such was the conduct of Pericles with respect to his domestic concerns: and he was no less famous for his administration of public affairs. The Lacedæmonians beginning to grow jealous of the prosperity of the Athenians, and to take umbrage at it; Pericles, to inspire his citizens with greater courage and magnanimity, published a decree, importing, that notice should be sent to all the Greeks, inhabiting either Europe or Asia, and to all the cities great or small, to send immediately their deputies or representatives to Athens, to examine and debate on ways and means to rebuild the temples that had been burnt by the Barbarians; to perform the sacrifices, which they had engaged themselves to offer up, for the preservation and safety of Greece, when war was carrying on against them; as also, to consider on the necessary expedients for establishing such an order and discipline in their navy, that all ships might sail in safety, and the Greeks live in peace one with another.
Accordingly 20 person were chosen for this embassy, each of whom was upwards of 50 years of age. Five of these were sent to the Ionians and Dorians of Asia, and the inhabitants of the islands as far as Lesbos and Rhodes; five to the countries of the Hellespont and Thrace, as far as Byzantium. Five were ordered to go to Bæotia, to Phocis, and Peloponnesus; and from thence, by the country of the Lorians, to proceed to the several cities of the upper con:
a Plut. in Pericl, p. 162,
tinent as far as Acarnania and Ambracia. The last five were ordered to cross Eubea, and to go to the people of mount Eta, and those of the gulf of Malea, and to the inhabitants of Phthiotis, of Achaia, and of Thessaly ; to induce the several nations to come to the assembly convened at Athens, and to assist at the debates which should be there carried on concerning peace, and the general affairs of Greece. I judged it necessary to enter into this detail, as it shows how far the power of the Greeks extended, and the authority which the Athenians enjoyed among them.
But all these solicitations were in vain ; as the cities did not send their deputies, which, according to historians, was owing to the opposition made by the Lacedæmonians, a circumstance we are not to wonder at. They were sensible, that Pericles's design was to have Athens acknowledged as mistress and sovereign of all the other Grecian cities; and Lacedæmon was far from allowing it that honour. A secret leaven of dissention had, for some years, begun to disturb the tranquillity of Greece; and we shall find by the sequel, that this discord augmented continually.
Pericles had acquired great fame for the wisdom with which he formed and conducted his enterprises. The troops reposed the highest confidence in him, and whenever they followed him, assured themselves of success. His chief maxim in war was, never to venture a battle unless he were almost certain of victory, and not to lavish the blood of the citizens. He used to say frequently, that were it in his power they should be immortal; that when trees were felled they shoot to life again in a little time, but when once men die, they are lost for ever. A victory that was only the effect of fortunate temerity, appeared to him little worthy of praise, though it often was much admired.
His expedition into the Thracian Chersonesus did him great honour, and was of great advantage to all the Greeks of that country; for he not only strengthened the Grecian cities of that peninsula, by the colonies of Athenians which he carried thither, but also shut up the isthmus with a strong wall, with forts at proper distances from sea to sea; securing by that means the whole country from the perpetual incursions of the Thracians, who were very near neighbours to it.
He also sailed with 100 ships round Peloponnesus, spreading the terror of the Athenian arms wherever he canie, the success of which was not once interrupted on this occasion.
He advanced as far as the kingdom of Pontus with a large, well-manned, and magnificent Heet; and granted the Grecian cities all they thought fit to ask of him. At the same time he displayed to the Barbarian nations in that neighbourhood, to their kings and princes, the greatness of the power of
the Athenians; and proved to them, by the security with which he sailed to all parts, that they possessed the empire of the seas without a rival.
e But so constant and shining a fortune began to dazzle the eyes of the Athenians. Intoxicated with the idea of their power and grandeur, they now revolved nothing but the boldest and most lofty projects. They were for ever talking of new attempts upon Egypt; of attacking the maritime provinces of the great king; of carrying their arms into Sicily, (a fatal and unhappy design, which at that time did not take effect, though it was revived soon after); and to extend their conquests towards Hetruria on one side, and Carthage on the other. Pericles was far from giving into such idle views, or supporting them with his credit and approbation. On the contrary, his whole study was to damp that restless ardour, and check an ambition which no longer knew either bounds or measure. It was his opinion that the Athenians ought to employ their forces for the future, only in securing and preserving their present acquisitions; and he thought he had gained a great point in restraining the power of the Lacedæmonians, the reducing of which he always meditated; and this was particularly seen in the sacred war.
6 This name was given to the war which was raised on account of Delphos. The Lacedæmonians having entered armed into the country where that temple is situated, had dispossessed the people of Phocis of the superintendence of that temple, and bestowed it on the Delphians. As soon as they left it, Pericles went thither with an army, and restored the Phocenses.
Eubea having rebelled at the same time, Pericles was obliged to march thither with an army. He was no sooner arrived there, than news was brought, that the inhabitants of Megara had taken up arms; and that the Lacedæmonians, headed by Plistonax their king, were on the frontiers of Attica. This obliged him to quit Eubea, and to go with all possible expedition to defend his country. The Lacedæmoman army being retired, he returned against the rebels, and again subjected all the cities of Eubea to the Athenians.
€ After this Expedition, a truce for thirty years was concluded between the Athenians and Lacedæmonians. This treaty restored tranquillity for the present: but as it did not descend to the root of the evil, nor cure the jealousy and enmity of the two nations, this calm was not of long doration.
• Plat in Peric). p. 104.
6 Ibid. :A, M. 3558. Ant. J. C. 448. Thucyd. Los p. 75. Diod. p. 87,
SECT. XIII. New Subjects of Contention between the two Nations, occa
sioned by the Athenians laying Siege to Samos ; by their succouring the People of Corcyra, and besieging Potidea. An open Rupture ensues.
a The Athenians, six years after, took up arms against Samos in favour of Miletus. These two cities were contesting for that of Priene, to which each claimed a right. It is pretended, that Pericles kindled this war to please a famous courtezan, of whom he was very fond; her name was Aspasia, a native of Miletus. After several events and battles, Pericles besieged the capital of the island of Samos. It is said, that this was the first time he used military engines, as battering-rams and tortoises, invented by Artemon the engineer, who was lame, and therefore was always carried in a chair to the batteries, whence he was surnamed Periphoretus. The use of these machines had been long known in the east. The Samians, after sustaining a nine months' siege, surrendered, Pericles rased their walls, dispossessed them of their ships, and demanded immense sums to defray the expenses of the war. Part of these sums they paid down; agreed to disburse the rest at a certain time, and gave hostages by way of security for the payment.
After the reduction of Samos, Pericles, being returned to Athens, buried in a splendid manner all who had lost their lives in this war, and pronounced in person the funeral oration over their graves. This custom, which he first introduced, was afterwards regularly observed. The senate of the Areopagus always appointed the orator on these occasions. He was chosen, ten years after, for the like ceremony in the beginning of the Peloponnesian war.
6 Pericles, who foresaw that a rupture would soon ensue between the Athenians and Lacedæmonians, advised the former to send aid to the people of Corcyra, whom the Corinthians had invaded; and to win over to their interest that island, which was so very formidable at sea; foretelling them, that they would be attacked by the nations of the Peloponnesus. The occasion of the quarrel between the peoj le of Corcyra and Corinth, which gave rise to the Peloponnesian war, one of the most considerable events in the Grecian history, was as follows.
Epidamnum, a maritime city of Macedonia among the a A M. 3564. Ant. J. C. 440. Thucyd. 1. i. p. 75, 76. Diod. 1. xii. p. 88, 89. Plut in Periel. p. 6-167. 6A M 3574. Ant. J. C. 432. Thucyd l.i. p 17-37. Diod. l. xii p. 90-93. Plut. in Pericl. p. 167.
c This city was afterwards called Dyrrachium.