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posing of the finances, troops, and fleet, and managing all public affairs at his sole discretion. He then began to change his conduct, not complying as before with the caprice and fancies of the people, but substituting instead of his former complaisance and indulgence, a more firm and independant manner of government, without, however, departing in any thing from right reason, and the love of the public good. He often engaged the people by remonstrances and arguments to submit voluntarily to what he proposed; but sometimes also by a salutary constraint he obliged them to consent to their own advantage; herein imitating the conduct of a wise physician, who in the course of a long illness complies sometimes with the patient's humour, but frequently orders such medicines, as make him sick and torment him, whilst they cure him. Finding himself therefore at the head of a haughty people, as he had a wonderful dexterity in managing their dispositions, he would, according to different conjunctures, sometimes employ terror to correct the pride occasioned by their good successes, and sometimes hope to re-animate their courage when depressed by adversity; shewing that rhetoric, as Plato observes, is only the art of inclining and captivating the hearts and understandings of others, and that the surest way to succeed in it, is to know how to make a proper use of the passions, which seldom or never fail of success.

What gave Pericles such great credit among the people, was not only the irresistible force of his eloquence, but the high opinion they had of his merit, his prudence, his ability in the affairs of the public, and above all, his disinterestedness; [a] for he was judged incapable of being corrupted by presents, or governed by avarice. In short, though he was long sole master of the republic, had raised the grandeur of Athens to the highest point to which it was capable, and heaped up immense treasures in the city, he did not increase the estate his father left him one single drachma. He always managed his patrimony indeed [a] 'Ανδροτάτο σιροφανώς γενομένα, και χρημάτων κρίντλoνος.

His great

with economy, took an exact account of the laying out of his revenue, and retrenched all extravagant and superfluous expences, to the great displeasure of his wife and children, who affected show and magnificence: but to all this vain and frivolous glory he preferred the [6] solid satisfaction of assisting a great number of distressed citizens.

He was no less excellent as a general than as a statesman. The troops had an entire confidence in him, and followed him with equal assurance. maxim in war was not to hazard a battle, till he was almost secure of success, and to spare the blood of the citizens. He used to say, that was it in his power, they should be immortal; that trees cut down and destroyed might grow up again in time, but men that were dead were gone for ever. A victory obtained by a successful temerity, in his opinion, did not deserve any commendation, though often much admired. He was so firmly attached to this maxim, that nothing could ever divert him from it, as was evidently seen at the time the Lacedæmonians made an irruption into Attica. Like a pilot, says Plutarch, who after he has given necessary orders in a storm to all around him, despises the prayers and tears of his companions; so Pericles, having taken wise measures for the security of his country, and resolving not to march out of the city against the enemy, [c] continued firm and unshaken in his resolution, though solicited by the most pressing entreaties of several of his friends, menaced and accused by his enemies, made the subject of ballads and lampoons, and censured as a man of no courage, and a traitor to his country. This constancy and greatness of soul is a very necessary qualification in the administration of public affairs.

Thus all the military expeditions of Pericles, which were many in number, constantly succeeded to his wishes, and justly acquired him the reputation of a general consummate in the art of war.

[+] Βοηθών πολλοίς των πενήτων. βραχία Φρουίζων των καταβοώλων και [] "Έχρήλο του αυτά λογισμούς, δυχιραινόνων.


He did not suffer himself to be flushed by fortune, nor followed the blind ardour of the people, who, elate from so many instances of good success, and haughty from a power which was daily increasing, meditated new conquests, projected vast schemes, and dreamed of nothing but attacking Egypt again, and subduing the maritime provinces of the Persian empire. Many even then began to cast their eyes upon Sicily, and indulge the unhappy and fatal thoughts of sending a fleet against it; thoughts which Alcibiades soon after revived, to the entire ruin of Athens. Pericles employed his whole credit and abilities to suppress these unruly sallies and restless dispositions. He rather chose to preserve and secure the old conquests, judg ing it sufficient to confine the Lacedæmonians within due bounds, who looked

power and

grandeur of Athens with a jealous eye.

This grandeur was not only splendid abroad by victories acquired over the enemy, but still more so at home from the magnificence of the buildings and works wherewith Pericles had adorned and embellished the city, which threw strangers into admiration and rapture, and gave them a great idea of the Athe

upon the

nian power.

It is surprising to see in how little time so many different works of architecture, sculpture, engraving, and painting, were finished and yet carried to the highest pitch of perfection. For works, finished with so much ease and haste, have not generallya solid and lasting grace, nor the regular exactness of perfect beauty. Nothing but length of time and assiduity of labour can give them force to preserve and make them triumph over ages. And it is this makes the works of Pericles the more admirable, which were finished with so much rapidity, and notwithstanding lasted so long. For every one of them, as soon as erected, had the beautiful air of antiquity; and even now, says Plutarch, above five hundred years after, they have a certain air of youth and freshness, as if but just come from the hands of the workman; they still retain a grace and newness, that time cannot extinguish, as though they were animated with immortal youth, and a soul exempt from age was diffused quite through them.


Phidias, the famous sculptor, was overseer of the works. It was he in particular, who made the famous golden statue of Minerva, so much esteemed by the connoisseurs of antiquity. There was an incredible ardour and emulation among the workmen. Every one strove who should most excel, and immortalize their names by the excellency of their work.

What occasioned the admiration of the whole world, raised a jealousy against Pericles. His enemies were incessantly crying out in the public assemblies, that it was a dishonour to the people to apply to their own use the wealth of Greece, which he had caused to be brought from Delos, where it was deposited, that the allies could not look upon such an attempt but as ma, nifest tyranny, whilst they saw the inoney they had been compelled to raise for the war, employed by the Athenians, in gilding and adorning their city, in making fine statues, and erecting temples at the expence of millions

Pericles, on the other hand, remonstrated to the Athenians, that they were not obliged to give an ac-. count to their allies of the money they had received; that it was enough that they defended them, and kept the Barbarians at a distance, whilst on their side they furnished neither soldiers, nor horses, nor ships, and were excused for certain sums of money, which as soon as paid in, were no longer theirs who paid them, but the property of those that received them, provided they performed the conditions for which they were given. He added, that the city being sufficiently provided with all stores necessary for war, it was proper to employ the rest of their wealth in such works, as when finished would procure immortal glory; and whilst they were in hand, would diffuse universal plenty, and subsist a great number of citizens. One day, as the complaints ran high against him, he offered to take the whole charges upon himself, provided the public inscriptions might declare that all was done at his expence. At these words the people, either through admiration of his magnanimity, or unwilling through emulation to grant

him that glory, cried out, that he might make use of the treasury, to supply all the necessary expences, as freely as he pleased.

The enemies of Pericles, not venturing any more to fall directly upon him, accused before the people the persons that were most firmly attached to him, Phidias, Aspasia, and Anaxagoras. Pericles, who was thoroughly acquainted with the lightness and inconstancy of the Athenians, fearing he should at last be obliged to sink under the machinations and intrigues of his invidious adversaries, to divert the storm, kindled the Peloponnesian war which had been so long preparing; assured that he should thereby put a stop to the complaints that were raised against him, and appease envy; because in so pressing a danger, the city would not fail to put the public affairs into his hands, and submit to his conduct, upon the account of his great power and reputation.


I shall make three; the first upon the character of the

persons spoken of in this piece of history; the second upon ostracism; and the third upon the emulation which reigned in Greece, and especially at Athens, with reference to the politer arts.


CIMON, AND PERICLES. We ought not, in my opinion, to pass over this piece of history, without asking the pupils which of these four great men they like best, and which of their good or ill qualities affect them most; and without pointing out to them the particular lineaments that distinguish their several characters.


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