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FALVEY MEMORIAL LIBRARY
FALVEY MEMORIAL LIBRARY
Chambers's London Journal
Chambers's London Journal of History, Literature, Poetry, Biography, and Adventure, v. 2, no. 54, Ju...
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Chambers's London Journal of History, Literature, Poetry, Biography, and Adventure, v. 2, no. 54, June 4, 1842.
Blanchard, Edward Litt Leman.
11 October 2015
London: W. Strange ... W. Clements ... and G. Berger
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.. r" ........ “L 1 l. I- 3 l “ BY EDUCATION MEN BECOME EASY 10 LEAD, BUT DIYFICULT TD nnrvz-EASY TO Gov!-:v.N, BUT iinvossiiatn To IINSLAVE."-LORD BRDUGHAII. NUMBER 54. Conclusion of the ‘War with Persia. Aiiinsr the doubt of public men consequent on the treason of Pausrmius, Themistocles di not pass un- suspected. He had some time previously erected a smalltemple nearhis house, dedicated to “ Diana, the god- dess of good counsel ” which was held to insinuate that by his advice alone had the public liberties been main- tained. Now that the dangers of war were removed from the streets of Athens, the speculative inhabitants were continually on the rack of expectation and desire for some new excitement or novelty, and the enemies of Tbemistocles gave them ample occasion to vent their suspicion and ill-will on the hero of Salamis. Envy and malice are old denizens of the earth, and their power at Athens was at all times considerable. As we have already had occasion to notice in the case of Aris- tides, a. man had only to become truly great, to prove himself irreproachably honest, and he was certain to incur the hatred of the citizens. Themistocles was ostracised as an enemy to the state, and banished to gas. On the discovery of the treason of Pausauius, however, he was charged with a participation in the ofence, or at all events of being aware of in existence without divulging it to the state. All who envied his former greatness now became his enemies, the people were lashed into a fury against him by the denun- ciations of demagogues; and, to make his position doubly perilous, the artans who had not yet for- otten his recent duplicity towards them, and anxious perhaps to have the traitorous conduct of Pausanins shared by an Athenian, publicly accused him before tho Amphictyon council as an accessory to that treason, and demanded his immediate trial. Messengers were accord- ingly despatched to Argos for the purpose of appre- liending him, when Themistocles, either impelled by a sense of guilt, or apprehensive that the violence of his enemies would not permit the due course of justice, nor uarantee an impartial inquiry, tied from one city to another before his pursuers, until he was compelled to seek the protection of the Persian court, then at Sardis. Boldly avowing himselfto King Artaxerxes, he declared his name, his country, and misfortunes. “I have given," said Thrmistocles, in impassioned bitterness, " to my ungi-atcful country assistance more than once; I am now come to offer these services to you. My life is in your hands; you may now exert your clemency or display your vengeance. By the former you may preserve a faithful suppliant; by the latter destroy the greatest ‘reece.” The Persian monarch was delighted by this acquisition to his counsels; he entertain:-d The- mistocles most royally; gave him the taxes of three cities for his support, and heaped upon him diguities nnd honours. So gratified was he with his arrival, that even in his sleep the king expressed great plea- ‘sure at the event, by rapturously exclaiming “ I have , got Thcinistocles the Athenian.” The courtiers, as a matter of course, made all due obeisance to the favourite, and such was his address that he speedily ingratiated himself with all classes, and became an espccia favourite with the people. Yet in the midst of all this splendour-surrounded as he . was b comforts, his family in ailluence, and the public respect awarded to him on all occasions-the worm was at his heart. He would rather have been on the tented field, or amid the brawls of the Ecclesia; his vanity, ‘though great, aimed at noble purposes, and his disposition, though perhaps alloyed by a due share of selishness. delighted in the performance of great actions, in the proud fulfilment of is country’s expectations. The slothful pageantry of Persia dazzled not his eye; and althou.2'.l' "l.‘9 bitterness of regret, and the spleen arising from the ingratitudc or suspicion of his fellow-citizens, had enabled him for atime to cheat himself with the belief that yet, with Persian assistance, he would take revenge on Attica, still when the fleet was assigned to his command, and its purpose fixed for the invasion of Athens, his heart sunk within him. Remorse produced a terrible reaction; although branded with the name of traitor. he shrunk No. 22. Vol. ll. SATURDAY, JUNE 4, 1842. from the guilt of active treason, and, divided between his duty to his country and his promise to Persia, he solv the troubled diliiculty of his position by swallowing poison. The great, the gifted-the sage in council, the energetic in action-by the promptings ofan I a vanit , laying himself bare to the foul calurnnies of suspicion, tore the laurels from his brow, stained his unrivalled honour, and, all unable to bear against the adliction of disgrace, died the coward‘s death, seeking the scrutiny of his countrymen, or put himself in the keeping of those who so often had listened delight. edly to his voice, and who had crowned him, in all the ecstacies of triumph, with the immortal acknow- ledgments of patriotic judgment and ralour. It is some conselntionlwhilerecording the fall and fateof greatness, io trace t e un eviating career o at least one honest man. When the allies resolved to pursue the Persian war, it was determined, instead of each state contributing to the general fund by voluntary con- tribution, thata proportionate amount should be le- vied on each, :1 common treasury appointed, anda person placed in charge of its collection and disbursement. Some ditiiculty occurred, in the iirst instance, as to the amount of the shares proper to the greater and lesser states, when it was suggested to leave the entire mat- ter in the hands of Aristides-to fix the amount, and to expend it as he might see occasion. So universally was his probity admitted that the proposition was cheer- fully adopted, and during the whole contest no murmur, no suspicion,wos breathed againstliis integrity ofpurpose or propriety of conduct. Indeed, so frngnliras his life, and so mean his estate, that his lcinsman Collins was summoned before the court of Areopagus, to justify his prodigality, while his relative enjoyed so small ii patri- mony. :1 ins, in his defence, produced but one wit- ness : it was Aristides himself, who acknowledged that his friend had repeatedly offered him half his income, but that be rather sought to remain in honourable and independent poverty, and to seek, in the unvarying up- plause of his own integrity, forthe pleasure which others derived in the possession of wealth, case, an luxury. Such was the man who controlled the generalexcbeque of Greece-who enforced taxes, demanded subsidies, and expended them as he chose. Suc was the man, who, amidst the rash strife of contending demagogues, the self-ambition of warlike leaders, and the confusion incident to the operations of a protracted contest, sus- tained sn unspotted reputation, and lived securely in the affections of his countrymen. lle ceased to be regarded as a mere Athenian; each separate state beheld in hima citizen, and from him began to con- sider Greece as an undivided ‘country. Whc-no good old age oyertook this virtuous man-noble, gennrous, and just-a gallant soldier, in profound statesman-an impartial magistrate, and an unobstrusive citizen-the whole country mourned his death as a common loss. The government of Athens took upon itself the care of his family: his son was educated by the state, and his daughters dowered with generous muiiincance. Perhaps it is because so few public men have earned for them- selves so matchless a dignity, so pure a fame, that the charm which halos the name and character of Aristides still delight the sympathies of our nature, still gladden the eye as it roves through the multitudiuous instances of eatness which abound in antique history. The secret involved in his osses.-ion nnd i-etainment of an untarnisb reputation is this--that he sought not the praises and rewards of others: he listened to the voice ofthe monitor within, and like that voice shall the un- sullied honour of Tim Jvsr be quencliless-be green and young or eve Not the leastof the services of Aristides to his country wu the reclamation of imon, the son of Miltiades. This young man, chagrined at the usage his father had received from the ungrateful citizens, had given himself up to the ignoble pastime of dissipation; and, while PRICE THREE HALFPENCE. sion, and the dangers of repelling it, he seemed to con- sider bis conduct as evidencing his family revenge on the state. Aristides, liowever, saw, beneath the, frivolity of his amusement, an intellect of superior promise, and an ability capable of being useful to the common cause of Greece. He, therefore, took Cimon into his private councils, advised him against his career of error, and pointed out to him the noblest plan of vengeance by which he mivht shame the unrequited services of his sire. lle appucaled to his feelings as an Athenian, to his passions asaman-he ointed out the desire of glory which ought to actuate the son of Miltiades, and showed to him how posterity would ask what became‘ of the youth who, had purchased the imprisoned corpse of his father, and given to it, amidst the sneezing ingratitude of those delivered by his actions, the rites of honourable burial. Ile ad vised without upbraiding-he shaded the prolitless career of the past by the glowing tints of a praiseworthy future, and by his kind and cssiducus counsel snatched from an inglorious fate one who became an ornament to his country, an avenger 0 its wrongs. as well as another evidence of the incurable dckleness of the,Athenian clraractcr. By ingrafting on his natural temper the solid acquirr-ments derived frotnziristides, and gonducrping himself by thebrigitl pile laiilldownto hip: lgy l3 P3 10 IC l'l'I(7nIl0l‘wI0 9 us In 5 HS QCUODS, 0 e generous us well as brave-he s eedily led captive the excitable affections of his fellow-citizens, and, by his rnodenition valour, and discretion crave ample token of his possessing, in no small dogrch? the bravery of his father, the active wisdom of Tliemistocles, and the unim- peachnbls intevrity of his "rent preceptor. llavinv air 1;" u. r til‘ or b “ IYTDVE HDSE VVDT y 0 ‘HI ID OOH (91105 '7 BCOIIYSG of usefulness under the public direction of Aristides, he obtained the coinmzmd of the fleet after the treason of Pansanius, and l'll‘0(5(‘t",1l(‘tl to clear the seas of the rem- nants of the Persian fl:-ct ; he followed up the successes of his predecessor, in Tlirace, and added that country to the1Greci,pn domaiip lhat fertileland tgagrant Serrpori, so on0 t a seat a carnave unti It ecame ie iea - quarteis of the Roman ciiipire in the East ulti- mately the chosen country of the Turks, proclaims, by the-beauty in which it is clad by nature, and the sub- limities with which it is decorat by art, that the Greek alone is worthy of its occupancy, and that, after . the lapse of nearly twenty-five centuries, another Cirnon is r uired to chastise and chase the barbarians from that won rous land, and give it to the high in thought and great in deed, so that it may be made worthy of the olden time. ' From ‘Thrace and its neighbourhood Cimon proceeded along the coasts of sin ' colonies from Persian tliraldom, and compelling them to furnish contingents of men and money to assist in the discomliture o the common enemy. The Persian garri- sons in several of these cities were somewhat formidable. the opposition of which continued to be supported by the remnants oftlie fleet, as well as by the additions, it continued to receive of ships and troops from various ports on the Levant. Among the places which defended themselves against the impetuosity of Cimon was the city ofEion, which deserves honoprable mention,ss dia- tinguisbed frnm the general elfeininacy of the an-mes of Persia. Boges, the overnor, appears to have been actuated by the noble resoluteness ofa truesoldier, his valour increasing as the danger of his position became rnorsimminent. llnving vainly endeavoured to drive off his assailants, and seeing no hope of retaining his charge with honour, the governor determined on showing to the Greeks at least one instance in which a Persian could bravely contest his duty to the last. lle defended the final attack with consummate skill, evincing a courses and devotedness worthy of success; the progress of the siege, however, and the successful passage of thsGreeks through the defences, showed him at length that all hope of victor was vain-that he, in common with the millions ofhis countrymen, must fall beneath the invol- nerable prowess ofthe allies. The last etlort, heightened his countrymen were involved in the troubles of inva. to fury by the madness and despair of ignominious do- Iinor, liberating the Greek ‘ av-Iv-q ‘ .-s -.-m... .-...