« 上一頁繼續 »
was to burn the fleet belonging to the rest of the Grecian states, which then lay in a neighbouring port, and that by this means Athens would certainly become mistress of all Greece. Aristides hereupon returned to the assembly, and only declared to them, that indeed nothing could be more advantageous to the commonwealth than the proposition of Themistocles, but at the same time nothing in the world could be more unjust. The people unanimously ordained, that Themistocles should entirely desist from his project. We see in this instance, that the title of Just was not given to Aristides, even in his life-time, without some foundation; a title, says Plutarch, infinitely superior to all those which conquerors pursue with so much ardour, and which in some measure, assimilates a man to the Divinity.*
I do not know whether all history can afford us a fact more worthy of admi ration than this. It is not a company of philosopbers with whom it is easy to establish fine maxims and sublime ideas of morality in the schools, who determine on this occasion, that the consideration of profit and advantage ought never to prevail in preference to wbat is honest and just. It is an entire people, who are highly interested in the proposal made to them, who are convinced that it is of the greatest importance to the welfare of the state, and who bowever reject it with unanimous consent, and without a moment's hesitation, and that for this only reason, that it is contrary to justice. How black and perfidious, on the other hand, was the design which Themistocles proposed to them of burning the fleet of their Grecian confederates, at a time of profound peace, solely to aggrandize the power of the Athenians! Had he a hundred times the merit ascribed to him, this single action would be sufficient to sully all bis glory. For it is the heart, that is to say, integrity and probity, that constitutes and distinguishes true merit.
I am sorry that Plutarch, who generally judges of things with great justness, does not seem, on this occasion, to condemn Themistocles. After having -spoken of the works he had effected in the Piræus, he goes on to the fact in question ; of which he says, “Themistocles projected sometbing STILL GREATER for the augmentation of their maritime power.”+
The Lacedæmonians having proposed in the council of the Amphictyons, that all the cities which had not taken arms against Xerxes should be excluded from that assembly, Themistocles, who apprehended, that if the Thessalians, the Argives, and the Thebans, were excluded
from that council, the Spartans would by that means become masters of the suffrages, and consequently determine all affairs according to their pleasure; made a speech in behalf of the cities they were for excluding, and brought the deputies that composed the assembly over to his sentiments. He represented to them, that the greatest part of the cities that had entered into the confederacy, which were but thirtyone in the whole, were very small and inconsiderable; that it would therefore be a very strange, as well as a very dangerous proceeding, to deprive all the other cities of Greece of their votes and places in the grand assembly of the nation, and by that means suffer the august council of the Amphictyons to fall under the direction and influence of two or three of the most powerful cities, which for the future would give law to all the rest, and would subvert and abolish that equality of power, which was justly regarded as the basis and soul of all republics. Themistocles, by this plain and open declaration of his opinion, drew upon himself the batred of the Lacedæmonians, who from that time became his professed enemies. He had also incurred the displeasure of the rest of the allies, by his having exacted contributions from them in too riggrous and rapacious a manner. I
When the city of Athens was entirely rebuilt, the people finding themselves in a state of peace and tranquillity, endeavoured, by all means to get the government into their hands, and to make the Athenian state entirely popular,
* Plut, in Themist, p 121, 122. in Arist. p. 332,
+ Μετζον τι διενοήθη
Plut, in Themişlı p. 123
This design of theirs, though kept as secret as possible, did not escape the vigilance and penetration of Aristides, who saw all the consequences with which such an innovation would be attended. But, as he considered on one hand, that the people were entitled to some regard on account of the valour they bad shown in all the late battles which had been gained ; and on the other, that it would be no easy matter to curb and restrain a people who still, in a manner, had their arms in their hands, and who were grown more insolent than ever from their victories; on these considerations, he thought it proper to compromise with them, and to find out some medium to satisfy and appease them. He therefore passed a decree, by which it was ordained that the government should be common to all the citizens, and that the archons, who were the chief magistrates of the commonwealth, and who were formerly chosen out of the richest of its members, or those who received at least five hundred medimni of grain out of the product of their lands, should, for the future, be elected indiscriminately from the general body of the Athenians. By thus giving up some. thing to the people, he prevented all dissensions and commotions, which might have proved fatal, not only to the Athenian state, but to all Greece.*
XIV. THE LACEDEMONIANS LOSE THE CHIEF COMMAND THROUGH
THE PRIDE AND ARROGANCE OF PAUSANIAS.
The Grecians, encouraged by the happy success which had every where attended their victorious arms, determined to send a fleet to sea in order to deliver such of their allies as were still under the yoke of the Persians, out of their hands. Pausanias was the commander of the fleet for the Lacedæmonians, and Aristides, and Cimon the son of Miltiades, commanded for the Athenians. They first directed their course to the isle of Cyprus, where they restored all the cities to their liberty ; then steering towards the Hellespont, they attacked the city of Byzantium, of which they made themselves masters, and took a vast number of prisoners, a great part of whom were of the richest and most considerable families of Persia.t
Pausanias, who from this time conceived thoughts of betraying his country, judged it proper to make use of this opportunity to gain the favour of Xerxes. To this end he caused a report to be spread among his troops, that the Persian noblemen, whom he had committed to the guard and care of one of his officers, had made their escape by night and were fled: but he had set them at liberty himself, and sent a letter by them to Xerxes, wherein he offered to deliver the city of Sparta and all Greece into his hands on condition he would give him his daughter in marriage. The king did not fail to give him a favourable answer, and to send him very large sums of money also, in order to win over as many of the Grecians as he should find disposed to enter into his designs. The person he appointed to manage this intrigue with him was Artabazus ; and to the end that he might have it in his power to transact the matter with the greater ease and security, he made him governor of all the sea-coasts of Asia Minor.
Pausanias, who was already dazzled with the prospect of his future greatness, began from this moment to change his whole conduct and behaviour. The poor, modest, and frugal way of living at Sparta ; the subjection to rigid and austere laws, which neither spared nor respected any man's person, but were altogether as inexorable and inflexible to the greatest as to the meanest condition: all this, became insupportable to Pausanias. He could not bear the thoughts of going back to Sparta, after having been possessed of such bigh commands and employments, to return to a state of equality that would confound him with the meanest of the citizens ; and this was the cause of his entering into a treaty with the barbarians. He therefore entirely laid aside the manners and behaviour of his country; assumed both the dress and state of the Persians, and imitated them in all their expensive luxuries and magnificence. He treated the allies with an insufferable rudeness and insolence; never spoke
• Plut, in Arist, p. 332,
1 A, M, 3528 Ant. J. C. 470. Thucyd, do ia p. 63, 84-86
to the officers but with menaces and arrogance ; required extraordinary and unusual honours to be paid him ; and by his whole behaviour rendered the Spartan dominion odious to all the confederates. On the other hand, the courteous, affable, and obliging deportment of Aristides and Cimon ; their total disdain of all imperious and haughty airs, which only tend to alienate people and multiply enemies ; a gentle, kind, and beneficent disposition, which showed itself in all their actions, and which served to temper the authority of their commands, and to render it both easy and amiable; the justice and humanitý icuous in every th they did
; the great care they took to offend no person whatever, and to do kind offices and services to all about them; all this, hurt Pausanias exceedingly, by the contrast of their opposite characters, and greatly increased the general discontent. At last this dissatisfaction publicly broke out; and all the allies deserted bim, and put themselves under the command and protection of the Athenians. Thus did Arist. ides, says Plutarch, by the prevalence of that humanity and gentleness, which he opposed to the arrogance and roughness of Pausanias, and by inspiring Ci. mon his colleague with the same sentiments, insensibly draw off the minds of the allies from the Lacedæmonians, without their perceiving it, and at length deprived them of the command; not by open force, or by sending out armies or fleets against them, and still less by making use of any arts or perfidious practices, but by the wisdom and moderation of his conduct, and by rendering the government of the Athenians respectable.*
It must be confessed at the same time, that the Spartan people on this occasion showed a greatness of soul and a spirit of moderation, that can never be suffciently admired. For when they were convinced that their commanders grew haughty and insolent from their too great authority, they willingly renounced the superiority which they had hitherto exercised over the rest of the Grecians, and forbore sending any more of their generals to command the Grecian armies; choosing rather, adds the historian, to have their citizens wise, modest and submissive to the discipline and laws of the commonwealth, than to maintain their pre-eminence and superiority over all the Grecian states.
SECTION XV.—THE SECRET CONSPIRACY OF PAUSANIAS WITH THE PERSIANS.
Upon the repeated complaints which the Spartan commonwealth received on all hands against Pausanias, they recalled him home to give an account of his conduct. But not having sufficient evidence to convict him of bis having carried on a correspondence with Xerxes, they were obliged to acquit him on his first trial; after which he returned of his own accord, and without the consent and approbation of the republic, to the city of Byzantium, from whence he continued to carry on his secret practices with Artabazus. But as he was still guilty of many violent and unjust proceedings while he resided there, the Athenians obliged him to leave the place; and he then retired to Colonæ, a small city of the Troas, There he received an order from the ephori to return to Sparta, on pain of being declared, in case of disobedience, a public enemy and traitor to his country. He complied with the summons, and went home, hoping he should still be able to bring himself off by the power of money. On his arrival he was committed to prison, and was soon afterwards brought again upon his trial before the judges. The charge brought against him was sup, ported by many suspicious circumstances and strong presumptions. Several of his own slaves confessed that be bad promised to give them their liberty, in case they would enter into his designs, and serve him with fidelity and zeal in the execution of his projects. But, as it was the custom for the ephori never to pronounce sentence of death against a Spartan, without a full and direct proof of the crime laid to his charge, they looked upon the evidence against him us insufficient; and the more so, as he was of the royal family, and was actually invested with the administration of the regal office ; for Pausanias exercised the function of king, as being the guardian and nearest relation to Plistarchus, the son of Leonidas, who was then in his minority. He was therefore acquitted a second time, and set at liberty.*
* Plut, in Arist, p. 332, 339
While the ephori were thus perplexed for want of clear and plain evidence against the offender, a certain slave, who was called the Argilian, came to them, and brought them a letter, written by Pausanias himself to the king of Persia, which the slave was to have carried and delivered to Artabazus. It must be observed by the way, that this Persian governor and Pausanias had agreed together, to put to death all the couriers sent from one to the other, as soon as their packets or messages were delivered, that there might be no possibility left of tracing out or discovering their correspondence. The Argilian, who saw none of his fellow servants that were sent expresses return again, had some suspicion; and when it came to his turn to go, he opened the letter he was entrusted with, in which Artabazus was positively desired to kill him, pursuant to their agreement. This was the letter the slave put into the hands of the ephori ; who still thought even this proof insufficient in the eye of the law, and therefore endeavoured to corroborate it by the testimony of Pausanias himself. The slave, in concert with them, withdrew to the temple of Neptune in Tenaros, as to a secure asylum. Two small closets were purposely made there, in which the ephori and some Spartans bid themselves. The instant Pausanias was informed that the Argilian had fled to this temple, he hastened thither to inquire the reason. The slave confessed that he had opened the letter; and that finding by the contents of it that he was to be put to death, bę had led to the temple to save his life. As Pausanias could not deny the fact, he made the best excuse he could: promised the slave a great reward ; obliged bim to promise not to mention what had passed between them to any person whatever. Pausanias then left him.
His guilt was now but too evident. The moment he returned to the city, the ephori were resolved, to seize him. From the aspect of one of these magistrates, he plainly perceived that some danger was impending over him, and therefore ran with the utmost speed to the temple of Pallas, called Chalcioecos, near that place, and got into it before bis pursuers could overtake bim. The entrance was immediately stopped up with great stones, and history informs us, that the criminal's mother set the first example on that occasion. They now tore off the roof of the building ; but as the ephori did not dare to take him out of it by force, because this would have been a violation of that sacred asylum, they resolved to leave him exposed to the inclemencies of the weather, and accordingly he was starved to death. His corpse was buried not far from that place; but the oracle of Delphos, whom they consulted soon after, declared, that to appease the anger of the goddess, who was justly offended on account of the violation of her temple, two statues must be set up there in honour of Pausanias, which was done accordingly.
Such was the end of Pausanias, whose wild and inconsiderate ambition had stiled in him all sentiments of probity, honour, love of country, zeal for liberty, and of hatred and aversion for the barbarians; sentiments which, in some mea. sure, were inherent in ail the Greeks, and particularly the Lacedæmonians.
SECTION XVI.-THEMISTOCLES FLIES FOR SHELTER TO KING ADMETUS.
THEMISTOCLES was also charged with being an accomplice of Pausanias. He was then in exile. A passionate thirst of glory, and a strong desire to command arbitrarily over the citizens, had made him very odious to them. He had built, very near his house, a temple in honour of Diana, under this title, “to Diana, goddess of good counsel ;" thereby hinting to the Athenians, that he had given good counsel to their city, and to all Greece; and he had also placed bis statue in it, which was standing in the time of Plutarch, who says
• A. M, 3529. Ant. J. C. 475, Thucyd. 1. i. p. 86, 89. Diod. l. xi. pa 34–36. Corn. Nep. in Pausan.
peared, from this statue, that his physiognomy was as heroic as his valour. Finding that men listened with pleasure to all the calumnies his enemies spread against him, to silence them he was for ever expatiating, in all public assem, blies, on the services he had rendered his country. As they were at last tired with hearing him repeat the same thing so often, “how!" said be, "are you weary of having good offices frequently done you by the same persons ?" He did not consider, that putting them so often in mind of bis services, was in a manner reproaching them with their having forgotten thein, which was not very obliging ;* and he seemed not to know, that the surest way to acquire applause, is to leave it to be bestowed by others, and to resolve to do such things only as are praise-worthy; and that a frequent mention of one's own virtue and exalted actions, is so far from appeasing envy, that it only inflames it.
Themistocles, after having been banished from Athens by the ostracism, withdrew to Argos. He was there when Pausanias was prosecuted as a traitor who had conspired against his country. He had at first concealed his designs from Themistocles, though he was one of his best friends ; but as soon as he was expelled his country, and had highly resented that injury, he disclosed his projects to him, and pressed him to join in them. Toinduce this compliance, he showed him the letters which the king of Persia wrote to him; and endeavoured to animate him against the Athenians by painting their injustice and ingratitude in the strongest colours. Themistocles, however, reject with indignation the proposals of Pausanias, and refused peremptorily to engage in any manner in his schemes ; but then he concealed what had passed between them, and did not discover the enterprise he had formed, whether it was that he imagined Pausanias would renounce it of himself, or was persuaded that it would be discovered some other way; it not being possible for so dangerous and ill-concerted an enterprise to take effect.
After the death of Pausanias, several letters and other things were found among his papers, which raised a violent suspicion of Themistocles. The Lacedæmonians sent deputies to Athens, to accuse and have sentence of death passed upon him ; and those citizens who envied him joined these accusers. Aristides had now a fair opportunity of revenging himself on his rival, for the injurious treatment he had received from him, had his soul been capable of receiving so cruel a satisfaction. But be refused absolutely to join in so horrid a combination; as little inclined to delight in the misfortunes of his adversary, as he had been before to regret his success. Themistocles answered by letters all the calumnies with which he was charged; and represented to the Athenians, that as he had ever been fond of ruling, and his temper being such as would not suffer him to be lorded over by others, it was highly improbable that he should have a design to deliver up himself, and all Greece, to enemies and barbarians.
In the mean time the people, too strongly wrought upon by bis accusers, sent some persons to seize him, that he might be tried by the council of Greece. Themistocles, having timely notice of it, went into the island of Corcyra, to whose inhabitants he had formerly done some service: however, not thinking himself safe there, he fled to Epirus, and finding himself still pursued by the Athenians and Lacedæmonians, out of despair ke made a very dangerous choice, which was, to fly to Admetus king of Molossus for refuge. This prince, having formerly desired the aid of the Athenians, and being refused with ignominy, by Themistocles, who at that time presided in the government, had retained the deepest resentment on that account,
and declared, that he would take the first opportunity to revenge himself. But Themistocles, imagining that in the unhappy situation of his affairs, the recent envy of nis
* Hoc molestum est. Nam isthæc commemoratio quasi exprobatio cst immemoris beneficii.-
Terren in Andr. † Thucyd. 1. i. p. 89, 90. Plut. in Themist. p. 123, 124. Corn. Nep. in Themist, c. viii.
* Plut, ia Themist. p. 112.