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highest station, that he involved himself in troublesome quarrels with persons of the first rank and influence in the state, particularly with Aristides the son of Lysimachus, by whom he was constantly opposed. Their enmity began early, but the cause (as Ariston, the philosopher, relates) was nothing more than their regard for Stesileus of Teos. After this, their disputes continued about public affairs; and were naturally augmented by the dissimilarity of their lives and manners. Aristides was of a mild temper, and of the utmost probity. He managed the concerns of government with inflexible justice, not with a view to ingratiate himself with the people, or to promote his own reputation, but solely for the advantage and safety of the state. He was therefore necessarily obliged to oppose Themistocles, and to prevent his promotion, because he frequently urged the people to unwarrantable enterprises, and was ambitions of introducing great innovations. Themistocles indeed was so hurried away with the lust of glory, and so immoderately anxious to distinguish himself by some illustrious action, that though he was very young when the battle of Marathon was fought, and when the generalship of Miltiades was every where extolled, yet even then he was observed to keep much alone, to be very pensive, to watch whole nights, and not to attend the usual entertainments: and when he was asked the reason by his friends, who wondered at the change, he said, “The trophies of Miltiades would not suffer him “ to sleep.” While others imagined the defeat of the Persians at Marathon had put an end to the war, he considered it as the beginning of greater conflicts; and, for the benefit of Greece, he was
10 He did not question but Darius would at length perceive, that the only way to deal with the Greeks was to attack them vigorously by sea, where they could make the least opposition.
always preparing himself and the Athenians against them, because he foresaw them at a distance 1.
And, in the first place, whereas the Athenians had used to share the revenue of the silver mines of Laurium 12 among themselves, he alone had the courage to make a motion to the people, that instead of that division, they should build with the produce a number of galleys to be employed in the war against the Æginetæ, who then made a considerable figure in Greece, and by means of their numerous navy were masters of the sea "3. By seasonably stirring up the resentment and emulation of his countrymen against these islanders, he the more easily prevailed upon them to provide themselves with ships, than if he had displayed the terrors of Darius and the Persians, who were at a greater distance, and of whose coming they had but slight apprehensions.
With this money a hundred galleys, of three banks of oars, were built, which afterward fought against Xerxes. From
11 The two principal qualifications of a general are a quick and comprehensive view of what is to be done upon any present emergency, and a happy foresight of what is to come: both these qualifications Themistocles possessed. With respect to the latter, Thucydides gives him this elogium, επι πλεισαν τα γενησομενα apesos Elxa595. (L.) How correctly true of the immortal Fox!*
12 A inountain in Attica, near Cape Sunium. These mines were exhausted in the time of Pausanias, i. 1.*
13 This island, from it's situation, was pronounced by Pericles this step he proceeded to others, in order to draw the attention of the Athenians to maritime affairs; and to convince them that, though by land they were not able to cope with their neighbours, yet with a naval force they might not only repel the barbarians, but hold all Greece in subjection. Thus of good land-forces, as Plato 15 says, he made them mariners and seamen, and brought upon himself the aspersion of having taken from his countrymen the spear and the shield, and sent them to the bench and the oar. Stesimbrotus writes, that Themistocles carried these measures into effect, in spite of the opposition of Miltiades. Whether by this proceeding he corrupted the purity and simplicity of the Athenian constitution, is a speculation too philosophical to be here pursued. But that the Greeks owed their safety to his naval preparations, and that those ships re-established the city of Athens after it had been destroyed (to omit other proofs) Xerxes himself is a sufficient witness. For, after his defeat at sea, he was no longer able to make head against the Athenians, though his land-forces remained entire; and in my opinion he left Mardonius rather to prevent a pursuit, than with any hope of his bringing Greece into subjection.
a speck in the eye of the Piræus." In the Persian war it fur. nished, next to Athens, the most considerable quota of vessels. (Pausan. ii. 29.)*
14 Plutarch in this place follows Herodotus, vii. 144. But Thucydides i. 14. expressly states, that Themistocles availed himself of both these arguments, the apprehensions which the Athenians entertained of the return of the Persians, and the war against the Æginetæ. He could not indeed well neglect so powerful an argument as the former, since (according to Plato) accounts were daily brought of the formidable preparations of Darius; and, upon his death, it appeared that Xerxes inherited all his father's rancour against the Greeks.
Some authors write, that Themistocles was. intent upon the acquisition of money 16, with a view to spend it profusely; and indeed for his frequent
35 De Legg. iv., where he enters at large into a comparison of the effects of their naval and military victories upon the Athenians. Aristotle (vii. 7.) inquires, whether or not a marine be useful for civilised states; and, with a caution against the corruption 'tom often introduced by foreign commerce, decides in the affirmative. *
16 Herodotus (viii. 112.) represents Themistocles as insatiably covetous : he probably, however, amassed wealth chiefly with a view of indulging his ambition, by purchasing the attachment of a great number of partisans, or of gratifying his taste for magniticence. *
sacrifices, and the splendid manner in which he entertained strangers, he had need of a large supply. Others, on the contrary, accuse him of meanness and attention to trifles, and say that he even sold presents which were made him for his table. Nay, when he begged a colt of Philides (a breeder of horses) and was refused, he threatened that he would soon make a Trojan horse of his house; enigmatically hinting that he would raise up troubles and impeachments against him from some of his own family.
In ambition, however, he had no equal. For when he was yet young, and but little known, he prevailed upon Epicles of Hermione, a performer upon the lyre much valued by the Athenians, to practise at his house; hoping thus to draw thither a number of people. And when he went to the Olympic games, he endeavoured to rival Cimon in the elegance of his table, the splendor of his pavilions, and the other expenses of his train. These things were not agreeable to the Greeks. They looked upon them as suitable to a young man of a noble family; but, when an obscure person set himself up so much above his fortune, he gained nothing by it but the imputation of vanity. He exhibited a tragedy " also at his own cost, and gained the prize with his tragedians, at a time when those entertainments were pursued with great emulation and avidity. In memory of his success, He put up this inscription; “ Themistocles the Phrearian exhibited the tragedy, Phrynichus com
17 Tragedy at this time was just arrived at perfection ; and so great a passion had the Athenians for this kind of entertainment, that the principal persons in the commonwealth could not oblige them more, than by exhibiting the best tragedy with the most elegant decorations. Public prizes were appointed for those, who excelled
in this respect.
posed it 18, Adimantus presided."
This gained him popularity; and what added to it was, his charging his memory with the names of the citizens, so that he readily called each by his own. an impartial judge likewise in the causes, which were brought before him; and Simonides of Ceos 19 making an unreasonable request to him when Archon, he answered, “Neither would you be a
good poet, if you transgressed the rules of harmony; nor I a good magistrate, if I granted your
petition contrary to law.” Another time he rallied Simonides for his absurdity in abusing “ the Corinthians, who inhabited so elegant a city, “ and having his own picture drawn, when he had
so ill-favoured an aspect.'
At length, having acquired great power and popularity, his faction prevailed, and he procured
18 Phrynicbus was the disciple of Thespis, who was esteemed the inventor of tragedy. He was the first, that brought female actors upon the stage. His chief plays were Actæon, Alcestis, and the Danaïdes. Æschylus was his contemporary.
19 Simonides celebrated the battles of Marathon and Salamis in his poems, and was the author of several odes and elegies, some of which are still extant and well known. He was a great favourite of Pausanias king of Sparta, and of Hiero king of Sicily, Plato had so high an opinion of his merit, that he gave him the epithet of divine.' He died Ol. Ixxviii. 1., at almost ninety years of
age; so that he was nearly fourscore, when he described the battle of Salamis.
20 The former translator renders aute spatnyanses, when he was commander of the army,' which is indeed the sense of it a little below, but not here. Plutarch uses the word spatnyos for 'prætor,' which is almost synonymous to Archon. And in this passage he so explains it himself, : Nor I a good magistrate' (apxww). (L.) This however, it should be added, could not be the chief Archonship; as he was then too young for that responsible dignity, is above pronounced an obscure person,' and appears both from Thucyd, i. 93., and Herod. vii. 143., to have first attained that distinguished situation several years afterward.*