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engagement the next day, having learnt that he was Xertes fled, pursued him as fast as they could, but to no purpose. m

They had destroyed two hundred 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 in 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 by the way of the Hellespont. As no, provisions had been prepared for them beforehand, they underwent great hardships during their whole march, which lasted five and forty 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 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, in a great tempest that had happened, and was reduced to the necessity of passing the streight in a cockboat. * This was a spectacle very proper to shew 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 little boat almost without any servants or attendants !

m Herod. l. viii. c. 130. * Erat res spectaculo digna & æstimatione sortis humana, rerum varietate miranda, in exiguo laientem videre navigio, quem paulo ante vix æquor omne capiebat; carentem etiam omni servorum ministerio, cujus exercilus, propter multitudinem, terris grades erant. Justin. 1. ii. c. 13.

Xerxes. Such was the event and success of Xerxes's expedi

tion 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 shew 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 shews any apprehension concerning events. 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 great prince weighs every thing, and examines all circumstances, before he enters into a * 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. of 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.

» The first thing the Grecians took care of after the battle of Salamin, 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 great reputation, and made him be considered from henceforth as a citizen, that would be capable

* Herod. l. viii. c. 122, 125. * Non times bella , non prorocas. Plin. de Traj. Fortissimus in ipsa discrimine, qui a ito discrimen quietissimus. Tacit. Hist. I. i. c. 14.

+ Ante discrimen feroces, in periculo paridi. Ibid. 1. i. c. 68.

of rendering the most important-services to his coun. Xerxes. try on future occasions.

o But Themistocles carried off almost all the honour of this victory, which was the most signal that ever the Grecians obtained over the Persians. The force of truth obliged even those, who envied his glory most, to render him this testimony. It was a custom in Greece, that after a battle, the commanding officer should declare who had distinguished themselves most, by writing in a paper the names of the man who had merited the first prize, and of him who had merited the second. On this occasion, by a judgment which shews the good opinion natural for every man to have of himself, each officer concerned, adjudged the first rank to himself, and allowed the second to Themistocles; which was indeed giving him the preference to them all.

The Lacedæmonians, having carried him to Sparta, in order to pay him the honours due to his merit, decreed to their general Eurybiades the prize of valour, and to Themistocles that of wisdom, which was a crown of olive for both of them. They also made a present to Themistocles of the finest chariot in the city; and on his departure sent three hundred young men of the most considerable families to wait upon him to the frontiers : An honour they had never shewn to any person whatsoever before.

But that which gave him a still more sensible pleasure, were the public acclamations he received at the first Olympick games, that were celebrated after the battle of Salamin, where all the people of Greece were met together. As soon as he appeared, the whole assembly rose up to do him honour: No body regarded either the games or the combats; Themistocles was the only spectacle. The eyes of all the company were fixed upon him, and every body was eager to shew him and point him out with the hand to the strangers that did not know him.

• Plut. in Themist. p. 120.

Xerres. He acknowledged afterwards to his friends, that he

looked upon that day as the happiest of his life ; that he had never tasted any joy so sensible and so transporting; and that this reward, the genuine fruit of his labours, exceeded all his desires.

The reader has undoubtedly observed in Themistočles two or three principal strokes of his character, which entitle him to be ranked amongst the greatest men. The design which he formed and executed, of making the whole force of Athens maritime, shewed him to have a superior genius, capable of the highest view, penetrating into futu. rity, and judicious to seize the decisive point in great affairs. As the territory belonging to Athens was of á barrén nature and small extent, he rightly conceived, that the only way that city had to enrich and aggrandize herself was by sea. And indeed that scheme may justly be looked upon as the source and cause of all those great events, which raised the republick of Athens in the sequel to so flourishing a condition.

But, in my opinion, though this wisdom and foresight is a most excellent and valuable talent, yet is it infinitely less meritorious than that uncommon temper and moderation, which Themistocles shewed on two critical occasions, when Greece had been utterly undone, if he had listened to the dictates of an illjudged ambition, and had piqued himself upon a false point of honour, as is usual among persons of his age and profession. The first of these occasions was, when, notwithstanding the crying injustice that was committed, both in reference to the republick, of which he was a member, and to his own person, in appointing a Lacedæmonian generalissimo of the fleet, he exhorted and prevailed with the Athenians tc desist from their pretensions, though never so justly founded, in order to prevent the fatal effects with which a division among the confederates must have been necessarily attended. And what an admirable instance did he give of his presence of mind

and coolness of temper, when the same Eurybiades Xerxes. not only affronted him with harsh and offensive language, but lifted up his cane at him in a menacing posture! Let it be remembered at the same time, that Themistocles was then but young; that he was full of an ardent ambition for glory; that he was commander of a mumérous fleet; and that he had right and reason on his side. How would our young officers behave on the like occasion ? Thenistocles took all patiently, and the victory of Salamin was the fruits of his patience.

As to Aristides, I shall have occasion in the sequel to speak more extensively upon his character and merit. He was, properly speaking, the man of the commonwealth : Provided that was well and faithfully served, he was very little concerned by whom it was done. The merit of others was far from offending him ; and instead of that, became his own by the approbation and encouragement he gave it. We have seen him make his way through the enemy's fleet, at the peril of his life, in order to give Themistocles some good intelligence and advice: And * Plutarch takes notice, that during all the time the latter had the command, Aristides assisted him on all occasions with his counsel and credit, notwith. standing he had reason to look upon him not only as his rival, but his enemy. Let us compare this nobleness and greatness of soul with the little-spiritedness and meanness of those men, who are so nice, punctilious, and jealous in point of command; who are incompatible with their colleagues, using all their attention and industry to ingross the glory of every thing to themselves ; always ready to sacrifice the publick to their private interests, or to suffer their rivals to commit blunders, that they themselves may reap advantage from them.

* Πάντα συνέπραττε και συνεξέλευεν, ενδοξότατον επί σωτηρία κοινή ποιών τον έχθισον. . In vit. Arist. p. 323.

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