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the like occasion. He used to say, that the true citizen, or the honest man, ought to make no other use of his credit and power, than upon all occasions to practise what was honest and just, and engage others to do the same.
Considering this contrariety of principles and humours, we are not to wonder, if, during the administration of these great men, there was a continual
opposition between them. Themistocles, who was bold and enterprising, was sure almost always to find Aristides against him, who thought himself obliged to thwart the other's designs, even sometimes when they were just and beneficial to the public, lest he should gain too great an ascendant and authority, which might become pernicious to the commonwealth. One day, he having got the better of Themistocles, who had made some proposal really advantageous to the state, he could not contain himself, but cried aloud as he went out of the assembly, “ That the “ Athenians would never prosper, till they threw them both “ into the Barathrum :" the Barathrum was a pit, into which malefactors condemned to die were thrown. ā But notwithstanding this mutual opposition, when the common interest was at stake, they were no longer enemies : and whenever they were to take the field, or engage in any expedition, they agreed together to lay aside all differences on leaving the city, and to be at liberty to resume them on their return, if they thought fit.
The predominant passion of Themistocles was ambition and the love of glory, which discovered itself from his childhood. After the battle of Marathon, of which we shall speak presently, when the people were everywhere extolling the valour and conduct of Miltiades, who had won it, Themistocles never appeared but in a very thoughtful and melancholy humour: he spent whole nights without sleep, and was never seen at public feasts and entertainments as usual. When his friends, astonished at this change, asked him the reason of it, he made answer, “ That Miltiades's trophies would “ not let him sleep.' These were a kind of spur, which never ceased to goad and animate his ambition. From this time Themistocles addicted himself wholly to arms; and the love of martial glory wholly engrossed him.
As for Aristides, the love of the public good was the great spring of all his actions. What he was most particularly admired for, was his constancy and steadiness under the unforeseen changes to which those who have the administration of affairs are exposed ; for he was neither elevated with the honour conferred upon him, nor cast down at the contempt and disappointments he sometimes experienced. On all
Plut. Apophthegm p. 186.
occasions, he preserved his usual calmness and temper, being
Another thing related of him, with respect to a public employment, is very remarkable. He was no sooner made Treasurer-general of the republic, than he made it appear, that his predecessors in that office had cheated the state of vast sums of money ; and, among the rest, Themistocles in particular ; for this great man, with all his merit, was not irreproachable on that head. For which reason, when Aristides came to pass his accounts, Themistocles raised a powerful faction against him, accused him of having embezzled the public treasure, and prevailed so far as to have him condemned and fined. But the principal inhabitants, and the most virtuous part of the citizens, rising up against so unjust a sentence, not only the judgment was reversed and the fine remitted, but he was elected treasurer again for the year ensuing. He then seemed to repent of his former administration ; and by showing himself more 'tractable and indulgent towards others, he found out the secret of pleasing all that plundered the commonwealth : for, as he neither reproved them, nor narrowly inspected their accounts, all those plunderers, grown fat with spoil and rapine, now extolled Aristides to the skies. It would have been easy for him, as we perceive, to have enriched himself in a post of that nature, which seems, as it were, to invite a man to it by the many favourable opportunities it lays in his way ; especially as he had to do with officers, who for their part were intent upon nothing but robbing the public, and would have been ready to conceal the frauds of the treasurer, their master, upon condition he did them the same favour.
These very officers now made interest with the people to have him continued a third year in the same employment. But when the time of election was come, just as they were upon the point of electing Aristides unanimously, he rose up and warmly reproved the Athenian people : “What,” says " he, when I managed your treasure with all the fidelity and
diligence an honest man is capable of, I met with the most
“ cruel treatment, and the most mortifying return; and now " that I have abandoned it to the mercy of all these robbers “ of the public, I am an admirable man, and the best of ci“ tizens ! I cannot help declaring to you, that I am more “ ashamed of the honour you do me this day, than I was of “ the condemnation you passed against me this time twelve
month : and with grief I find, that it is more glorious with “ us to be complaisant to knaves, than to save the treasures " of the republic.” By this declaration he silenced the public plunderers, and gained the esteem of all good men.
Such were the characters of these two illustrious Athenians, who began to display the extent of their merit when Darius turned his arms against Greece. 2. DARIUS SENDS HERALDS INTO GREECE, IN ORDER
TO SOUND THE PEOPLE, AND TO REQUIRE THEM TO SUBMIT. a Before this prince would directly engage in this enterprise, he judged it expedient, first of all, to sound the Grecians, and to know in what manner the different states stood affected towards him. With this view he sent heralds into all parts of Greece, to require earth and water in his name : this was the form used by the Persians when they exacted submission from those they were desirous of bringing under subjection. On the arrival of these heralds, many of the Grecian cities, dreading the power of the Persians, complied with their demands; and among these were the inhabitants of Ægina, a little isle over-against and not far from Athens. This proceeding of the people of Ægina was looked upon as a public treason. The Athenians represented the matter to the Spartans, who immediately sent Cleomenes, one of their kings, to apprehend the authors of it. The people of Ægina refused to deliver
them, under pretence that he came without his colleague. This colleague was Demaratus, who had himself suggested that excuse. As soon as Cleomenes was returned to Sparta, in order to be revenged on Demaratus for that affront, he endeavoured to get him deposed, as not being of the royal family; and succeeded in his attempt by the assistance of the priestess of Delphos, whom he had suborned to give an answer favourable to his designs. Demaratus, not being able to endure so gross an affront, banished himself from his country, and retired to Darius, who received him with open arms, and gave him a considerable establishment in Persia.' He was succeeded in the throne by Leutychides, who joined his colleague, and went with him tó Ægina, from whence they brought away ten of the principal inhabitants, and committed them to the custody of the Athenians, their declared enemies Cleomenes dying not long after, and the fraud he had committed at Delphos being discovered, the Lacedæmonians endeavoured to oblige the people of Athens to set those prisoners at liberty, but they refused.
*a Her. I. vi. C. 49-86,
"The Persian heralds that went to Sparta and Athens, were not so favourably received as those that had been sent to the other cities. One of them was thrown into a well, and the other into a deep ditch, and were bid to take thence earth and water. I should be less surprised at this unworthy treatment, if Athens alone had been concerned in it. It was a proceeding suitable enough to a popular government, rash, impetuous, and violent; where reason is seldom heard, and every thing determined by passion. But I do not here recognise the Spartan equity and gravity. They were at liberty to refuse what was demanded : but to treat public officers in such a manner, was an open violation of the law of nations. b If what historians say on this head be true, the crime did not remain unpunished. Talthybius, one of Agamemnon's heralds, was honoured at Sparta as a god, and had a temple there. He revenged the indignities done to the heralds of the king of Persia, and made the Spartans feel the effects of his wrath, by bringing many terrible accidents upon
them. In order to appease him, and to expiate their offence, they sent afterwards several of their chief citizens into Persia, who voluntarily offered themselves as victims for their country. They were delivered into the hands of Xerxes, who would not let them suffer, but sent them back to their own country. As for the Athenians, Talthybius executed his vengeance on the family of Miltiades, who was princi pally concerned in the outrage committed upon Darius's heralds. 3. THE PERSIANS DEFEATED AT MARATHON BY
MILTIADES. e Darius immediately sent away Datis and Artaphernes, whom he had appointed generals in the room of Mardonius. Their instructions were, to give up Eretria and Athens to be plundered, to burn all the houses and temples therein, to make all the inhabitants of both places prisoners, and to send them to Darius; for which purpose they went provided with a great number of chains and fetters. They set sail with a Heet of 500 or 600 ships, and an army of 500,000 men. After having made themselves masters of the isles in the
a Her 1 vii c. 133, 138.
d Plut in Moral, p. 89.
Egean sea, which they did without difficulty, they turned their course towards Eretria, a city of Euriæa, Juich they took after a siege of seven days by the treachery of some of the principal inhabitants: they reduced it entirely to ashes, put all the inhabitants in chains, and sent them to Persia. 2 Darius, contrary to their expectation, treated them kindly, and gave them a village in the country of Cissia for their habitation, which was but a day's journey from Susa, wh reb Apollonius Tyanæus found some of their descendants 600 years afterwards.
c After this success at Eretria, the Persians advanced towards Attica. Hippias conducted them to Marathon, a little town by the sea-side. They took care to acquaint the Athenians with the fate of Eretria ; and to let them know, that not an inhabitant of that place had escaped their vengeance, in hopes that this news would induce them to surrender iminediately. The Athenians had sent to Lacedamon, to desire succours against the common enemy, which the Spartans granted them instantly and without deliberation; but which could not set out till some days after, on account of an ancient custom and a superstitious maxim amongst them, that did not admit them to begin a march before the full of the moon. Not one of their other allies prepared to succour them, so great terror had the formidable army of the Persians spread on every side. The inhabitants of Platää alone furnished them with 1000 soldiers. In this extremity the Athenians were obliged to arm their slaves, which had never been done there before this occasion.
The Persian army, commanded by Datis, consisted of 100,000 foot, and 10,000 horse. That of the Athenians amounted in all but to 10,000 men. It was headed by ten generals, of whom Miltiades was the chief ; and these ten were to have the command of the whole army, each for a day, one after another. There was a great dispute among these officers, whether they should hazard a battle, or expect the enemy within their walls. The latter opinion had a great majority, and appeared very reasonable: for what appearance of success could there be in facing with a handful of soldiers so numerous and formidable an army as that of the Persians ? Miltiades, however, declared for the contrary opinion; and showed that the only means to exalt the courage of their own troops, and to strike a terror into those of the enemy, was to advance boldly towards them with an air of confidence and intrepidity. Aristides strenuously defended this opinion, and brought some of the other commanders into it; so that when the suffrages came to be taken, they
a Herod. I vi. c. 119 6 Philostr. l. j. e. 17, © Herod I. vi. c. 102-170 Cor. Nep. in Mjlt. c. 4-6. Justin. l. ii. C. 3. Plut. in Aristid. p. 321.