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they would create jealousies and divisions among their enemies, or rather augment the division which already was very prevalent amongst them; that the confederates in that case would not fail to separate from one another in order to return and defend their respective countries; and that then the king without difficulty, and almost without striking a stroke, might make himself master of all Greece. This wise advice was not followed, and a battle was resolved upon.
Xerxes, imputing the ill success of all his former engagements at sea to his own absence, was resolved to be witness of this from the top of an eminence, where he caused a throne to be erected for that purpose. This might have contributed in some measure to animate his forces: but there is another much more sure and effectual mode of doing it, I mean, by the prince's actual presence and example, when he himself shares in the danger, and thereby shows himself worthy of being the soul and head of a brave and numerous body of men ready to die for his service. A prince, who has not this sort of fortitude which nothing can shake, and which even takes new vigour from danger, may nevertheless be endued with other excellent qualities, but then he is by no means proper to command an army. No qualification whatsoever can supply the want of courage in a general: and the a more he labours to show the appearance of it, when he has not the reality, the more he discovers his cowardice and fear. There is, it must be owned, a vast difference between a general-officer, and a common soldier. Xerxes ought not to have exposed his person otherwise than became a prince; that is to say, as the head, not as the hand : as he, whose business it is to direct and give orders, not as those who are to put thein in execution. But to keep himself entirely at a distance from danger, and to act no other part than that of a spectator, was really renouncing the quality and office of a general.
6 Themistocles, knowing that some of the commanders in the Grecian fleet still entertained thoughts of sailing towards the isthmus, contrived to have notice given covertly to Xerxes, that as the Grecian allies were now assembled together in one place it would be an easy matter for him to subdue and destroy them all together; whereas, if they once separated from one another, as they were going to do, he might never meet with another opportunity so favourable. The king gave into this opinion; and immediately commanded a great number of his vessels to surround Salamis by night, in order to make it impracticable for the Greeks to escape from that post.
a Quanto magis occutare ac abdere pavorem nitebantur, manifestius pavitt. Tacit. Hist,
Herod. d. yiii. c. 74-78,
a Nobody among the Grecians perceived that their army was surrounded in this manner, Aristides came that very night from Ægina, where he had some forces, under his command, and with very great danger passed through the whole feet of the enemy. When he came up to Themistocles's tent, he took him aside, and spoke to him in the following manner: “If we are wise, Themistocles, we shall “ from henceforward lay aside that vain and childish dissen“tion that has hitherto divided us, and strive, with a more " noble and useful emulation, which of us shall render the “ best service to his country, you by commanding and doing “the duty of a wise and able captain, and I by obeying your “orders, and by assisting you with my person and advice." He then informed him of the army's being surrounded with the ships of the Persians, and warmly exhorted him to give them battle without delay. Themistocles, extremely astonished at such a greatness of soul, and such a noble and generous frankness, was somewhat ashamed that he had suffered himself to be so much excelled by his rival; but without being ashamed to own it, he promised Aristides, that he would henceforward imitate his generosity, and even exceed it, if it were possible, in the whole of his future conduct. Then, after having imparted to him the stratagem he had contrived to deceive the Barbarian, he desired him to go in person to Eurybiades, in order to convince him that there was no other means of safety for them, than to engage the enemy by sea at Salamis; which commission Aristides executed with pleasure and success; for he possessed much influence over that general. 4. Both sides therefore prepared themselves for the battle. The Grecian fleet consisted of 380 sail of ships, which in every thing followed the direction and orders of Themistocles. As nothing escaped his vigilance, and as, like an able commander, he knew how to improve every circumstance and incident to advantage, before he would begin the engagement he waited till a certain wind which rose regularly every day at a certain hour, and which was entirely contrary to the enemy, began to blow. As soon as this wind rose the signal was given for battle. The Persians, who knew that their king had his eyes upon them, advanced with such courage and impetuosity, as were capable of striking an enemy with terror. But the heat of the first attack quickly abated, when they came to be engaged. Every thing was against them: the wind, which blew directly in their faces, the height, and the heaviness of teir vessels, which could not move nor turn without greiit difficulty, and even the a Plut in Arist. P. 3. eruu. l, viis. C. 78-82. b Herod. lib. viii. C. 84-96.
number of their ships, which was so far from being of use to them, that it only served to embarrass them in a place so straight and narrow, as that in which they fought: whereas on the side of the Grecians, every thing was done with good order, and without hurry or confusion; because every thing was directed by one commander. The Ionians, whom Themistocles had' warned, by characters engraven upon stones along the coasts of Eubea, to remember from whom they derived their original, were the first that betook themselves to flight, and were quickly followed by the rest of the fleet. But queen Artemisia distinguished herself by incredible efforts of resolution and courage, so that Xerxes, who saw in what maner she had behaved herself, cried out, a that the men had behaved like women in this engagement, and that the women had shown the courage of men. The Athenians, being enraged that a woman had dared to appear in arms against them, had promised a reward of 10,000 drachmas to any one that should be able to take her alive: but she had the good fortune to escape their pursuit. If they had taken her, she could have deserved nothing from them but the highest commendations, and the most honourable and generous treatment.
6 The manner in which that queen escaped ought not to omitted. Seeing herself warmly pursued by an Athenian ship, from which it seemed impossible for her to escape, she hung out Grecian colours, and attacked one of the Persian vessels, on board of which was Damasithymus, king of d Calynda, with whom she had had some quarrel, and sunk it: this made her pursuers believe that her ship was one of the Grecian fleet, and they gave over the chase.
Such was the success of the battle of Salamis, one of the most memorable actions related in ancient history, and which has rendered the name and courage of the Grecians famous for ever. A great number of the Persian ships were
taken, and a much greater sunk upon this occasion. Many of their allies, who dreaded the king's cruelty no less than the enemy, made the best of their way into their own country.
α Οι μεν άνδρες γεγόνασί μοι γυναίκες, αι δε γυναίκες, ανδρες. Artemisia inter primos duces bellum acerrime ciebat. Quippe, ut in viro mn.. liebrem timorem, ita in muliere virilem audaciam cerneres. Justin. ). ii. c. 12. b Herod. I. viii. c 07,8%. Polyæn. I. viii c. 53:
c It apptars that Artemisia valued hersel no less upon stratager than cou. rage, and at the same time was not very delicate in the choice o' the measures she used It is said, that being desirous o seizing Lalmus, a small city of Caria, that lay very commodiously for her, she laid her troops in aabush, and under pretence of celebrating the reast of the mother of the gods, in a wood consecrated to her near that city, she repaired thither with a great train ot' eunuchs, women drums and trumpe is. The inhabitants ran in throngs to see that religious ceremony and in the mean time Artemisia's troops took possession of the place. Polyæn. Stratag, 1. viii. c. 53.
d A city of Lycią.
Themistocles, in a secret conversation with Aristides, proposed to his consideration, in order to sound him, and to learn his real sentiments, whether it would not be proper for them to send some vessels to break down the bridge which Xerxes had caused to be built, to the end, says he, that we may take Asia in Europe : but though he made this proposal, he was far from approving it. Aristides believing him to be in earnest, argued very warmly and strenuously against any such project, and represented to him how dangerous it was to reduce so powerful an enemy to despair, from whom it was their business to deliver themselves as soon as possible. Themistocles seemed to acquiesce in his reasons; and in order to hasten the king's departure, contrived to have him secretly informed, that the Grecians designed to break down the bridge. The point Themistocles seems to have had in view by this false confidence, was to strengthen himself with Aristides's opinion, which was of great weight, against that of the other generals, in case they inclined to go and break down the bridge. Perhaps too he might aim at guarding himself by this means against the ill will of his enemies, who might one day accuse him of treason before the people, if ever they came to know that he had been the author of that secret advice to Xerxes.
This prince being frightened at such news, made the best use he could of his time, and set out by night, leaving Mardonius behind him, with an army of 300,000 men, in order to reduce Greece, if he was able. The Grecians who expected that Xerxes would have come to another engagement the next day, having learnt that he was fled, pursued him as fast as they could, but to no purpose. They had destroyed 200 of the enemy's ships, besides those which they had taken. The remainder of the Persian fleet, after having suffered extremely by the winds in their passage, retired towards the coast of Asia, and entered into the port of Cuma, a city of Æolia, where they passed the winter, without daring afterwards to return into Greece.
Xerxes took the rest of his army along with him, and marched towards the Hellespont. As no provisions had been prepared for them beforehand, they underwent great hardships during their whole march, which lasted five-andforty days. After having consumed all the fruits they could find, the soldiers were obliged to live upon herbs, and even upon the bark and leaves of trees. This occasioned a great sickness in the army; and great numbers died of fluxes and the plague.
The king, through eagerness and impatience to make his escape, left his army behind him, and travelled on before a Herod. I. viii. c. 115--120.
6 Ibid. c. 130,
with a small retinue, in order to reach the bridge with the greater expedition : but when he arrived at the place, he found the bridge broken down by the violence of the waves, during a great tempest that had happened, and was reduced to the necessity of passing the strait in a cock-boat. a This was a spectacle well calculated to show mankind the mutability of all earthly things, and the instability of human greatness ; a prince, whose armies and fleets the land and sea were scarce able to contain a little while before, now stealing away in a small boat almost without any servants or attendants! such was the event and success of Xerxes's expedition against Greece.
If we compare Xerxes with himself at different times and on different occasions, we shall hardly know him for the same man. When affairs were under consideration and debate, no person could show more courage and intrepidity, than this prince: he is surprised and even offended, if any one foresees the least difficulty in the execution of his projects, or shows any apprehension concerning the issue of them. But when he comes to the point of execution, and to the hour of danger he flies like a coward, and thinks of nothing but saving his own life and person. Here we have a sensible and evident proof of the difference between true courage, which is never destitute of prudence and temerity, always blind and presumptuous. A wise and prudent prince weighs every thing and examines all circumstances, before he enters into a b war of which he is not afraid, but at the same time does not desire; and when the time of action is come, the sight of danger serves only to animate his courage. Presumption inverts this order. c When she has introduced assurance and boldness, where wisdom and circumspection ought to preside, she admits fear and despair where courage and intrepidity ought to be exerted.
d The first care of the Grecians after the battle of Salamis, was to send the first fruits of the rich spoil they had taken to Delphos. Cimon, who was then very young signalized himself in a particular manner in that engagement, and performed actions of such distinguished valour, as acquired him a g eat reputation, and made him be considered from henceforth as a citizen, that would be capable of rendering
a Erat res spectaculo digna & æstimatione sortis humanæ, rarum varietate miranda, in esiguo latentem videre navigio, quem paulo ante vix æquor omne capiebat carentem etiam omni servorum ministerio, cujus exercitus, propter multitudine., terris graves erant Justin. I ji. c. 13
Non times bella, non provocas. Plin. de Traj Fortissimus in ipso discrimine qui ante discrimen quietissimus. Tacit. Hi st. 1. i. c. 14.
c Ante discrimen teroces, in periculo pav.di. Ibid & 68. d Herod. I. viii. c. 122, 125.