ePub 版

set out for Athens. The sides of his ships were covered with bucklers and all sorts of spoils, in form of trophies ; and causing a great number of vessels to be towed after bim by way of triumph, he displayed also the ensigns and ornaments of those he bad burned, which were more than the others; the whole amounting to about two hundred ships. It is said, that reflecting on what had been done against him, upon approaching the fort, he was struck with some terror, and was afraid to quit his vessel, till he saw froin the deck a great number of his friends and relations who were come to the shore to receive him, and earnestly entreated him to land.*

The people came out of the city in a body to meet him, and at his appearance set up incredible shouts of joy. In the midst of an infinite number of officers and soldiers, and eyes were fixed solely on him, whom they considered as victory itself, descended from the skies ; all around him passionately caressing, blessing and crowning bim, in emulation of each other. Those who could not approach him were never tired with contemplating him at a distance, while ihe old men showed him to their children. They repeated with the highest praises all the good actions be had done for his country ; por could they refuse their admiration even to those he had done against it during his banishment, of which they imputed the fault to themselves alone. This public joy was mingled with tears and regret, from the remembrance of past misfortunes, which they could not avoid comparing with their present felicity. “We could not have failed," said they, “of the conquest of Sicily; our other hopes could never have proved abortive, if we had referred all our affairs and forces to the disposal of Alcibiades alone. In what a condition was Athens when he took upon him our protection and defence! We had not only almost entirely lost our power at sea, but were scarcely possessed of the suburbs of our city, and to add to our misfortunes, were torn in pieces by a horrid civil war. He, notwithsianding, has raised the republic from its ruins; and, not content with having re-instated it in the possession of the sovereignty of the sea, has rendered it universally victorious by land; as if the fate of Athens had been in his hands alone, either to ruin or preserve it, and victory was annexed to his person, and obeyed his orders.”

This favourable reception of Alcibiades did not prevent bis demanding an assembly of the people, in order to his justification before them ; well knowing how necessary it was for his safety to be absolved in form. He appeared therefore, and after having deplored his misfortunes, which he imputed very little to the people, and entirely ascribed to his ill fo tune, and some dæmon envious of his prosperity, he represented to them the designs of the enemy, and exhorted them not to conceive any other than great hopes. The Athenians, transported with hearing him speak, decreed him crowns of gold, appointed him general by sea and land with unlimited power, restored him all his fortunes, and ordered the Eumolpides and Cerycest to absolve him from the curses they had pronounced against him by the order of the people; doing their utmost to make him amends for the injury and shame of his banishment, by the glory of his recall, and to efface the remembrance of the anathemas themselves had decreed, by the vows and prayers which they made in his favour. While all the Eumolpides and Ceryces were employed in revoking those imprecations, Theodorus, the principal of them, had the courage to say, “ But for me,

I have not cursed him, if he has done no evil to his country; insinuating by that bold expression, that the maledictions, being conditional, could not fall upon the head of the innocent, nor be averted from the guilty.

In the midst of this glory and brilliant prosperity of Alcibiades, the majority of the people could not help being concerned, when they considered the time of his return. For it happened precisely upon the day when the Athenians

A. M. 3597. Ant. J. C. 407. The Eumolpides and Ceryces were two families at Athens who had different functions in the mysteries of Ceres. They took their names from Eumolpus and Ceryx, the first who had exercised these of fces. Perhaps the employmeut of the latter had some relation to that of a herald.

celebrated the feast in honour of Minerva, worshipped under the name of Agraulis. The priests took off all the ornaments from the statue of the goddess to wash it, from whence that feast was called II luvingia, and afterwards covered it; and that day was accounted one of the inost ominous and unfortunate. It was the twenty fifth of the month Thargelion, which answers to the second of July.. This circumstance displeased that superstitious people, because it seemed to imply, thai the goddess, patroness, and protectress of Athens, did not receive Alcibiades agreeably, and with a benign aspect, since she covered and concealed herself, as if she would keep him off and remove him from her.

All things having, however, succeeded according to his wish, and the hundred ships he was to command being ready, he deferred his departure out of a laudable ambition to celebrate the great mysteries; for from the time the Lacedæmonians had fortified Decelia, and taken possession of all the ways from Athens to Eleusina, the feast had not been solemnized in all its pomp, and the procession had been obliged to go by sea.* The particular ceremonies of this solemnity may be seen in book x. chap. iii.

Alcibiades believed it would be a most glorious action, and attract the bless ings of the gods, and the praises of men, if he restored all its lustre and solemnity to this feast, in making the procession go by land under the convoy of his troops, to defend it against the attacks of the enemy. For either Agis would suffer it to pass quietly, notwithstanding the numerous troops he had at Decelia, which would considerably lessen the reputation of that king, and he a blot in bis glory; or, if he should choose to attack it, and oppose the march, he should then have the satisfaction to fight a sacred battle ; a battle grateful to the gods, for the greatest and most venerable of all their mysteric3, in the sight of his country and citizens, who would be witnesses of his valour and regard for religion. It is very likely, that by this public and ostentatious act of piety, which struck the people's view in so sensible a manner, and was so extremely to his taste, the principal design of Alcibiades was to efface entirely froin their minds the suspicions of impiety, to which the mutilation of statues, and profanation of mysteries, had given birth.

Having taken the resolution, he gave notice to the Eumolpides and Ceryces to hold themselves in readiness, posted centinels upon the hills, sent ou: runners at the break of day, and taking with him the priests, the initiated, and the probationers, with those who initiated them, he covered them with his army, and disposed the whole pomp with wonderful order and profound silence. “Never was show,” says Plutarch,“more august, nor more worthy the majesty of the gods, than this warlike procession and religious expeditici; in which even those who envied the glory of Alcibiades were obliged to own, that he was no less happy in discharging the functions of a high-priest than those of a general. No enemy dared to appear to disturb that poinpous march, and Alcibiades re-conducied the sacred troops to Athens with entire safety: This success gave him new courage, and raised the valour and boldness of his army to such a degree, that they looked upon themselves as invincible while he commanded them."

He acquired the affection of the poor and the lower sort of people to such a degree, that they most ardently desired to have him for their king. Many of them openly declared themselves to that effect; and there were some who addressed themselves to him, and exhorted him to set himself above eavy, and not to trouble himself about laws, degrees or suffrages; to put down those wordy impertinents that disturbed the state with their vain harangues, to make himself master of affairs, and to govern with entire authority, without fearing accusers. For bim, what his thoughts of the tyranny and his designs were, are unknown; but the most powerful citizens, apprehending the breaking out of a fire, of which they already saw the sparks, pressed him to depart without delay; granting whatever he demanded, and giving him, for colleagues, the

* Plut, in Alcib. p. 210.

generals most agreeable to him. He set sail accordingly with one hundred ships, and steered for the island of Andros which bad revolted. His bigh reputation and the good fortune which had atterded him in all his enterprises caused the citizens to expect nothing from him but what was great and extraordinary.



[ocr errors]

The Lacedæmonians, justly alarmed at the return and success of Alcibiades, conceived that such an enemy made it necessary to oppose him with an able general, capable of making head against him. For this reason they made choice of Lysander, and gave him the command of the fleet. When he arrived at Ephesus, he found the city very well disposed in his favour, and well affected to Sparta; but otherwise in a very unhappy situation. For it was in danger of becoming barbarous by assuming the manners and customs of the Persians, who had great commerce with it, as well from the neighbourbood of Lydia, as because the king's generals commonly took up their winter-quarters there. An idle and voluptuvus life, filled up with luxury and empty show, could not fail of disgusting infinitely a man like Lysander, who had been bred from his birth in the simplicity, poverty, and severe discipline of Sparta. Having brought his army to Ephesus, he gave orders for assembling ships of burden there from all parts, erected an arsenal for building galleys, made the ports free for merchants, gave the public places to artificers, put all arts in motion, and held them in honour; and by these means filled the city with riches, and laid the foundations of that grandeur and magnificence to which it afterwards attained. So great a change can the application and ability of a single person occasion in a state.*

While he was making these dispositions, he received advice, that Cyrus, the king's youngest son had arrived at Sardis. That prince could not be above sixteen years old at that time, being born after his father's accession to the crown in the seventeenth year of his reign. Parysatis, his mother, loved him to idolatry, and had the entire ascendant over her husband. It was she that occasioned his having the supreme government of all the provinces of Asia Minor given to him; a command that subjected all the provincial governors of the most important part of the empire to his authority. The view of Parysatis was, without doubt, to put the young prince into a condition to dispute the throne with his brother, after the king's death; as we shall see he does to some effect. One of the principal instructions given him by his father, upon sending him to his government, was to give effectual aid to the Lacedæmonians against Athens, an order very contrary to the measures observed till then by. Tissaphernes, and the other governors of those provinces. It had always been their maxim, sometimes to assist one party, sometimes the other, in order to hold their power in such a balance, that the one might never be able to crush the other entirely; from whence it followed, that both parties were kept weak by the war, and neither in condition to form any enterprises against the Persian empire.

Upon Lysander's being apprised therefore of the arrival of Cyrus at Sardis, be set out from Ephesus to make him a visit and to complain of the delays and breach of faith of Tissaphernes, who, notwithstanding the orders he had received to support the Lacedæmonians, and to drive the Athenians out of the sea, had always covertly favoured the latter, out of regard for Alcibiades, whose measures be entirely gave into, and had been the sole cause of the loss of the feet, by pot supplying it with the necessary quantity of provisions, This discourse pleased Cyrus, who looked upon Tissaphernes as a very bad man, and his particular enemy; and he answered, that the king bad given him


[ocr errors]

* Xenoph. Hellen. l. xi. p. 440—442. Plut. in Lysand. p. 434, 435. Diod. l. xiii. P.



orders to support the Lacedæmonians powerfully, and that he had received five hundred talents * for that purpose. Lysander, contrary to the common character of the Spartans, was submissive and condescending, full of complacency for the grandees, always ready to pay court to them, and supporting, for the good of the service, all the weight of their haughtiness and vanity with incredible patience; in which behaviour some people make the whole address and merit of a courtier consist.

He did not forget himself on this occasion, and setting at work all that the industry and art of a complete courtier could suggest of flattery and insinuation, he perfectly gained the young prince's favour and good opinion. After having praised his generosity, magnificence, and zeal for the Lacedæmonians, he desired him to give each soldier and mariner a drachmt per day: in order to debauch those of the enemy by that means, and thereby terminate the war the sooner. Cyrus very niuch approved the project; but said, that he could make no charge in the king's order, and that the treaty with them expressly settled only half a talents to be paid monthly for each galley. The prince, however, at the end of a banquet, which he gave him before his departure, drinking to his health, and pressing himn to ask something of him, Lysander desired that an obolusg a day might be added to the seamen's pay.

This was granted, and he gave them four oboli, instead of three which they received before, and paid them all the arrears due to them, with a month's advance ; giving: Lysander ten thousand darics|| for that purpose, that is, a hundred thous sand livres, or upwards of twenty thousand dollars.

This largess filled the whole fleet with ardour and alacrity, and almost unmanned the enemy's galleys; the greatest part of the mariners deserting to the party where the pay was best. The Athenians, in despair upon receiving this news, endeavoured to conciliate Cyrus, by the interposition of Tissaphernes; but he would not hearken to them, notwithstanding the satrap represented, that it was not for the king's interest to aggrandize the Lacedæmonians, but to balance the power of one side with that of the other, in order to perpetuate the war, and to ruin both by their own divisions.

Though Lysander bad considerably weakened the enemy by augmenting the mariner's

pay, and thereby very much hurt their naval power, he dared not, however, hazard a battle with them, particularly apprehending Alcibiades, who was a man of execution, had the greater number of ships, and had never been overthrown in any battle either by sea or land. But after Alcibiades had left Samos to go into Phocæa and lonia, to raise money, of which he was in want for the payment of his troops, and had given the command of his fleet to Antiochus, with express orders not to fight or attack the enemy in his absence; the new cominander, to make shovy of his courage and to brave Lysander, entered the port of Ephesus with two galleys, and after having made a great noise, retired with loud laughter, and an air of contempt and insult. Lysander enraged at that affront, immediately detached some galleys, and went himself in pursuit of him. But as the Athenians advanced to support Antiochus, he ordered other galleys of his side to come on, till the whole fleet arrived, and the engagement became general on both sides. Lysander gained the victory, and having taken fifteen of the Athenian galleys, he erected a trophy. Alcibiades, on his return to Samos, sailed even into the port to offer him battle ; but Lysander was contented with his victory, and did not think proper to accept it; so that he retired without doing any thing.

Thrasybulus at the same time, the most dangerous enemy be had in his army, left the camp, and went to Athens tu accuse him. To inflame his enemies in the city the more, he told the people in a full assembly, that Alcibiades had entirely ruined their affairs, and the navy, by the licentiousness he had introduced; that he had given himself up to the most notorious debauchees and



* About five hundred thousand dollars,

Tenpence, French.

Nearly 500 dollars. 1. The drachm was six oboli, or tenpeace. French; cach obolus being three halfpence; so that the four oboli were sixpence balfpenny a day, instead of five pence,

or three oboli. U A Daric is about $1.87%


[ocr errors]

drunkards,* who from common seamen were the only persons in repate about bim ; that he abandoned his whole authority to them, to be at leisure to enrich himself in the provinces, and there to plunge himself into intemperance and all other infamous excesses, to the disgrace of Athens, while his fleet was left neglected in tire face of the enemy.f

Another article of accusation against him was taken from the forts he had built near the city of Byzantium, for an asylum and retreat for him, as neither being able nor willing to return any more to his country. The Athenians, a capricious, inconstant people, gave credit to these impeachments. The loss of the last battle, and his little success since his departure from Athens, instead of the great and wonderful actions expected from him, entirely sunk him in their opinion; and his own glory and reputation may be said to bave occasioned bis ruin. For he was suspected of not desiring to do what was not done, which they could not believe out of his power, because they were fully persuaded that nothing be desired to do was impossible to him. They made it a crime in Alcibiades, that the rapidity of his conquests did not answer te that of their imaginations ; not considering, that he made war without money upon a people who had the great king for their treasurer, and that he was of ten obliged to quit his camp, to go in quest of what was necessary for the payment and subsistence of his troops. However it was, Alcibiades was deposed, and ten generals nominated in his stead, which coming to his knowledge, he retired in bis galley to some castles he had in the Thracian Chersonesus.

About this time died Plistonax, one of the kings of Lacedæmon, and was succeeded by Pausanias, who reigned fourteen years. The latter made a fine answer to one who asked, why it was not permitted to change any thing in the ancient customs of Sparta : Because,” said he," at Sparta the laws command men, and not men the laws "S

Lysander, who intended to establish the government of the nobility in all the cities dependent upon Sparta, that the governors of his chuosing might be always at his disposal, from his having rendered them independent of their people, caused such persons of the principal cities to come to Ephesus, as he knew to be the boldest, and most enterprising and ambitious. Those he placed at the head of affairs, promoted to the greatest honours, and raised to the first employments in the army, thereby rendering himself, says Plutarch, the accomplice of all the crimes and oppressions they committed to advance and enrich themselves. For this reason they were always extremely attached to him, and regretted him infinitely when Callicratidas came to succeed him, and took upon himn the command of the fleet. He was not inferior to Lysander either in valour or military knowledge, and was infinitely above him in point of moral virtue. Alike severe to biinself and others, inaccessible to flatlery and sloth, the declared enemy of luxury, he retained the modesty, temperance, and austerity of the ancient Spartans ; virtues that began to distinguish him particularly, as they were not too common in his time. His probity and justice were proof against all things; his simplicity and integrity abhorred all falsehood and fraud, to which were joined a truly Spartan nobleness and grandeur of soul. The great and powerful could not hinder themselves from admiring his virtues; but they were better pleased with the facility and condescension of his predecessor, who was blind to the injustice and violence of their actions.!!

It was not without mortification and jealousy that Lysander saw him arrive at Ephesus to take upon him the command, and out of a criminal baseness and treachery, not uncommon with those who hearken more to their private ambition than the good of the public, he did him all the injury in his power. Of the ten thousand darics, which Cyrus bad given him for the augmentation of the mariners' pay, he returned the remainder to that prince; telling Callicra

* Antiochus is pointed at in this place, a mean debauched man, who had acquired the favour of Alze biad s, by catching a quail for him, which he had let fly. 1 A. M. 3598. Ant. J. C. 416.

1 Diod. 1. xiii. p. 196. $ Plut. in Apoph. p. 230. Xca. Hellen. 1. i. p. 442-414. Pluta in Lysand. p. 433 436. Diod. L. xiii. p. 197, 198

« 上一頁繼續 »