Part 3 out of 5
"Ill can the native of one land explain to the son of another why he
loves it," returned Lysander. "That which the Ionian calls pleasure
is to me but tedious vanity; that which he calls grace, is to me but
enervate levity. Me it pleases to find the day, from sunrise to night,
full of occupations that leave no languor, that employ, but not
excite. For the morning, our gymnasia, our military games, the
chace--diversions that brace the limbs and leave us in peace fit for
war--diversions, which, unlike the brawls of the wordy Agora, bless us
with the calm mind and clear spirit resulting from vigorous habits,
and ensuring jocund health. Noon brings our simple feast, shared in
public, enlivened by jest; late at eve we collect in our Leschae, and
the winter nights seem short, listening to the old men's talk of our
sires and heroes. To us life is one serene yet active holiday. No
Spartan condescends to labour, yet no Spartan can womanise himself by
ease. For us, too, differing from you Ionian Greeks, for us women are
companions, not slaves. Man's youth is passed under the eyes and in
the presence of those from whom he may select, as his heart inclines,
the future mother of his children. Not for us your feverish and
miserable ambitions, the intrigues of demagogues, the drudgery of the
mart, the babble of the populace; we alone know the quiet repose
of heart. That which I see everywhere else, the gnawing strife of
passion, visits not the stately calm of the Spartan life. We have the
leisure, not of the body alone, but of the soul. Equality with us is
the all in all, and we know not that jealous anguish--the desire to
rise one above the other. We busy ourselves not in making wealth,
in ruling mobs, in ostentatious rivalries of state, and gaud, and
power--struggles without an object. When we struggle it is for an
end. Nothing moves us from our calm, but danger to Sparta, or woe to
Hellas. Harmony, peace, and order--these are the graces of our social
life. Pity us, O Athenian!"
Cimon had listened with profound attention to a speech unusually
prolix and descriptive for a Spartan; and he sighed deeply as it
closed. For that young Athenian, destined to so renowned a place in
the history of his country, was, despite his popular manners, no
favourer of the popular passions. Lofty and calm, and essentially an
aristocrat by nature and opinion, this picture of a life unruffled by
the restless changes of democracy, safe and aloof from the shifting
humours of the multitude, charmed and allured him. He forgot for the
moment those counter propensities which made him still Athenian--the
taste for magnificence, the love of women, and the desire of rule. His
busy schemes slept within him, and he answered:
"Happy is the Spartan who thinks with you. Yet," he added, after a
pause, "yet own that there are amongst you many to whom the life you
describe has ceased to proffer the charms that enthrall you, and
who envy the more diversified and exciting existence of surrounding
States. Lysander's eulogiums shame his chief Pausanias."
"It is not for me, nor for thee, whose years scarce exceed my own, to
judge of our elders in renown," said Lysander, with a slight shade
over his calm brow. "Pausanias will surely be found still a Spartan,
when Sparta needs him; and the heart of the Heracleid beats under the
robe of the Mede."
"Be frank with me, Lysander; thou knowest that my own countrymen often
jealously accuse me of loving Sparta too well. I imitate, say they,
the manners and dress of the Spartan, as Pausanias those of the Mede.
Trust me then, and bear with me, when I say that Pausanias ruins the
cause of Sparta. If he tarry here longer in the command he will render
all the allies enemies to thy country. Already he has impaired his
fame and dimmed his laurels; already, despite his pretexts and
excuses, we perceive that his whole nature is corrupted. Recall him
to Sparta, while it is yet time--time to reconcile the Greeks with
Sparta, time to save the hero of Plataea from the contaminations of
the East. Preserve his own glory, dearer to thee as his special friend
than to all men, yet dear to me, though an Athenian, from the memory
of the deeds which delivered Hellas."
Cimon spoke with the blunt and candid eloquence natural to him, and to
which his manly countenance and earnest tone and character for truth
gave singular effect.
Lysander remained long silent. At length he said, "I neither deny nor
assent to thine arguments, son of Miltiades. The Ephors alone can
judge of their wisdom."
"But if we address them, by message, to the Ephors, thou and the
nobler Spartans will not resent our remonstrances?"
"All that injures Pausanias Lysander will resent. Little know I of the
fables of poets, but Homer is at least as familiar to the Dorian as to
the Ionian, and I think with him that between friends there is but one
love and one anger."
"Then are the frailties of Pausanias dearer to thee than his fame, or
Pausanias himself dearer to thee than Sparta--the erring brother than
the venerable mother."
Lysander's voice died on his lips; the reproof struck home to him.
He turned away his face, and with a slow wave of his hand seemed to
implore forbearance. Cimon was touched by the action and the generous
embarrassment of the Spartan; he saw, too, that he had left in the
mind he had addressed thoughts that might work as he had designed, and
he judged by the effect produced on Lysander what influence the same
arguments might effect addressed to others less under the control of
personal friendship. Therefore, with a few gentle words, he turned
aside, continued his way, and left Lysander alone.
Entering the town, the Athenian threaded his path through some of the
narrow lanes and alleys that wound from the quays towards the citadel,
avoiding the broader and more frequented streets. The course he took
was such as rendered it little probable that he should encounter any
of the higher classes, and especially the Spartans, who from their
constitutional pride shunned the resorts of the populace. But as he
came nearer the citadel stray Helots were seen at times, emerging from
the inns and drinking houses, and these stopped short and inclined low
if they caught sight of him at a distance, for his hat and staff, his
majestic stature, and composed step, made them take him for a Spartan.
One of these slaves, however, emerging suddenly from a house close by
which Cimon passed, recognized him, and retreating within abruptly,
entered a room in which a man sat alone, and seemingly in profound
thought; his cheek rested on one hand, with the other he leaned upon a
small lyre, his eyes were bent on the ground, and he started, as a man
does dream-like from a reverie, when the Helot touched him and said
abruptly, and in a tone of surprise and inquiry,--
"Cimon, the Athenian, is ascending the hill towards the Spartan
"The Spartan quarter! Cimon!" exclaimed Alcman, for it was he. "Give
me thy cap and hide."
Hastily enduing himself in these rough garments, and drawing the cap
over his face, the Mothon hurried to the threshold, and, seeing the
Athenian at the distance, followed his footsteps, though with the
skill of a man used to ambush he kept himself unseen--now under the
projecting roofs of the houses, now skirting the wall, which, heavy
with buttresses, led towards the outworks of the citadel. And with
such success did he pursue his track that when Cimon paused at last
at the place of his destination, and gave one vigilant and searching
glance around him, he detected no living form.
He had then reached a small space of table-land on which stood a few
trees of great age--all that time and the encroachments of the citadel
and the town had spared of the sacred grove which formerly surrounded
a rude and primitive temple, the grey columns of which gleamed through
the heavy foliage. Passing, with a slow and cautious step, under the
thick shadow of these trees, Cimon now arrived before the open door of
the temple, placed at the east so as to admit the first beams of the
rising sun. Through the threshold, in the middle of the fane, the
eye rested on the statue of Apollo, raised upon a lofty pedestal and
surrounded by a rail--a statue not such as the later genius of the
Athenian represented the god of light, and youth, and beauty; not
wrought from Parian marble, or smoothest ivory, and in the divinest
proportions of the human form, but rude, formal, and roughly hewn from
the wood of the yew-tree--some early effigy of the god, made by the
simple piety of the first Dorian colonisers of Byzantium. Three forms
stood mute by an altar, equally homely and ancient, and adorned with
horns, placed a little apart, and considerably below the statue.
As the shadow of the Athenian, who halted at the threshold, fell long
and dark along the floor, the figures turned slowly, and advanced
towards him. With an inclination of his head Cimon retreated from the
temple; and, looking round, saw abutting from the rear of the building
a small cell or chamber, which doubtless in former times had served
some priestly purpose, but now, doorless, empty, desolate, showed the
utter neglect into which the ancient shrine of the Dorian god had
fallen amidst the gay and dissolute Byzantians. To this cell Cimon
directed his steps; the men he had seen in the temple followed him,
and all four, with brief and formal greeting, seated themselves,
Cimon on a fragment of some broken column, the others on a bench that
stretched along the wall.
"Peers of Sparta," said the Athenian, "ye have doubtless ere this
revolved sufficiently the grave matter which I opened to you in a
former conference, and in which, to hear your decision, I seek at your
appointment these sacred precincts."
"Son of Miltiades," answered the blunt Polydorus, "you inform us that
it is the intention of the Athenians to despatch a messenger to Sparta
demanding the instant recall of Pausanias. You ask us to second that
request. But without our aid the Athenians are masters to do as they
will. Why should we abet your quarrel against the Regent?"
"Friend," replied Cimon, "we, the Athenians, confess to no quarrel
with Pausanias; what we demand is to avoid all quarrel with him or
yourselves. You seem to have overlooked my main arguments. Permit me
to reurge them briefly. If Pausanias remains, the allies have resolved
openly to revolt; if you, the Spartans, assist your chief, as methinks
you needs must do, you are at once at war with the rest of the Greeks.
If you desert him you leave Hellas without a chief, and we will choose
one of our own. Meanwhile, in the midst of our dissensions, the towns
and states well affected to Persia will return to her sway; and Persia
herself falls upon us as no longer an united enemy but an easy prey.
For the sake, therefore, of Sparta and of Greece, we entreat you to
co-operate with us; or rather, to let the recall of Pausanias be
effected more by the wise precaution of the Spartans than by the
fierce resolve of the other Greeks. So you save best the dignity of
your State, and so, in reality, you best serve your chief. For less
shameful to him is it to be recalled by you than to be deposed by us."
"I know not," said Gelon, surlily, "what Sparta hath to do at all with
this foreign expedition; we are safe in our own defiles."
"Pardon me, if I remind you that you were scarcely safe at
Thermopylae, and that had the advice Demaratus proffered to Xerxes
been taken, and that island of Cithera, which commands Sparta itself,
been occupied by Persian troops, as in a future time, if Sparta desert
Greece, it may be, you were undone. And, wisely or not, Sparta is now
in command at Byzantium, and it behoves her to maintain, with the
dignity she assumes, the interests she represents. Grant that
Pausanias be recalled, another Spartan can succeed him. Whom of your
countrymen would you prefer to that high post, if you, O Peers, aid us
in the dismissal of Pausanias?
 Alexander, King of Macedon, had visited the Athenians with
overtures of peace and alliance from Xerxes and Mardonius. These
overtures were confined to the Athenians alone, and the Spartans
were fearful lest they should be accepted. The Athenians, however,
generously refused them. Gold, said they, hath no amount, earth no
territory how beautiful soever that could tempt the Athenians to
accept conditions from the Mede for the servitude of Greece. On this
the Persians invaded Attica, and the Athenians, after waiting in vain
for promised aid from Sparta, took refuge at Salamis. Meanwhile, they
had sent messengers or ambassadors to Sparta, to remonstrate on the
violation of their agreement in delaying succour. This chanced at the
very time when, by the death of his father Cleombrotus, Pausanias
became Regent. Slowly, and after much hesitation, the Spartans sent
them aid under Pausanias. Two of the ambassadors were Aristides and
 This chapter was left unfinished by the author; probably with the
intention of recasting it. Such an intention, at least, is indicated
by the marginal marks upon the MS.
The fountain sparkled to the noonday, the sward around it was
sheltered from the sun by vines formed into shadowy arcades, with
interlaced leaves for roof. Afar through the vistas thus formed
gleamed the blue of a sleeping sea.
Under the hills, or close by the margin of the fountain, Cleonice was
seated upon a grassy knoll, covered with wild flowers. Behind her, at
a little distance, grouped her handmaids, engaged in their womanly
work, and occasionally conversing in whispers. At her feet reposed the
grand form of Pausanias. Alcman stood not far behind him, his hand,
resting on his lyre, his gaze fixed upon the upward jet of the
"Behold," said Cleonice, "how the water soars up to the level of its
"As my soul would soar to thy love," said the Spartan, amorously.
"As thy soul should soar to the stars. O son of Hercules, when I hear
thee burst into thy wild nights of ambition, I see not thy way to the
"Why dost thou ever thus chide the ambition which may give me thee?"
"No, for thou mightest then be as much below me as thou art now above.
Too humble to mate with the Heracleid, I am too proud to stoop to the
Tributary of the Mede."
"Tributary for a sprinkling of water and a handful of earth. Well,
my pride may revolt, too, from that tribute. But, alas! what is the
tribute Sparta exacts from me now?--personal liberty--freedom of soul
itself. The Mede's Tributary may be a king over millions; the Spartan
Regent is a slave to the few."
"Cease--cease--cease. I will not hear thee," cried Cleonice, placing
her hands on her ears.
Pausanias gently drew them away; and holding them both captive in
the large clasp of his own right hand, gazed eagerly into her pure,
"Tell me," he said, "for in much thou art wiser than I am, unjust
though thou art. Tell me this. Look onward to the future with a gaze
as steadfast as now meets mine, and say if thou canst discover any
path, except that which it pleases thee to condemn, which may lead
thee and me to the marriage altar!"
Down sank those candid eyes, and the virgin's cheek grew first rosy
red, and then pale, as if every drop of blood had receded to the
"Speak!" insisted Pausanias, softening his haughty voice to its
"I cannot see the path to the altar," murmured Cleonice, and the tears
rolled down her cheeks.
"And if thou seest it not," returned Pausanias, "art thou brave enough
to say--Be we lost to each other for life? I, though man and Spartan,
am not brave enough to say that!"
He released her hands as he spoke, and clasped his own over his face.
Both were long silent.
Alcman had for some moments watched the lovers with deep interest, and
had caught into his listening ears the purport of their words. He now
raised his lyre, and swept his hand over the chords. The touch was
that of a master, and the musical sounds produced their effect on
all. The handmaids paused from their work. Cleonice turned her eyes
wistfully towards the Mothon. Pausanias drew his hands from his face,
and cried joyously, "I accept the omen. Foster-brother, I have heard
that measure to a Hymeneal Song. Sing us the words that go with the
"Nay," said Alcman, gently, "the words are not those which are sung
before youth and maiden when they walk over perishing flowers to
bridal altars. They are the words which embody a legend of the land in
which the heroes of old dwell, removed from earth, yet preserved from
"Ah," said Cleonice--and a strange expression, calmly mournful,
settled on her features--"then the words may haply utter my own
thoughts. Sing them to us, I pray thee."
The Mothon bowed his head, and thus began:--
THE ISLE OF SPIRITS.
Many wonders on the ocean
By the moonlight may be seen;
Under moonlight on the Euxine
Rose the blessed silver isle,
As Leostratus of Croton,
At the Pythian God's behest,
Steer'd along the troubled waters
To the tranquil spirit-land.
In the earthquake of the battle,
When the Locrians reel'd before
Croton's shock of marching iron,
Strode a Phantom to their van:
Strode the shade of Locrian Ajax,
Guarding still the native soil,
And Leostratus, confronting,
Wounded fell before the spear.
Leech and herb the wound could heal not
Said the Pythian God, "Depart,
Voyage o'er the troubled Euxine
To the tranquil spirit-land.
"There abides the Locrian Ajax,
He who gave the wound shall heal;
Godlike souls are in their mercy
Stronger yet than in their wrath."
While at ease on lulled waters
Rose the blessed silver isle,
Purple vines in lengthening vistas
Knit the hill-top to the beach.
And the beach had sparry caverns,
And a floor of golden sands,
And wherever soared the cypress,
Underneath it bloomed the rose.
Glimmered there amid the vine trees,
Thoro' cavern, over beach,
Lifelike shadows of a beauty
Which the living know no more,
Towering statures of great heroes,
They who fought at Thebes and Troy;
And with looks that poets dream of
Beam'd the women heroes loved.
Kingly, forth before their comrades,
As the vessel touch'd the shore,
Came the stateliest Two, by Hymen
Ever hallowed into One.
As He strode, the forests trembled
To the awe that crowned his brow:
As She stepp'd, the ocean dimpled
To the ray that left her smile.
"Welcome hither, fearless warrior!"
Said a voice in which there slept
Thunder-sounds to scatter armies,
As a north-wind scatters leaves.
"Welcome hither, wounded sufferer,"
Said a voice of music low
As the coo of doves that nestle
Under summer boughs at noon.
"Who are ye, O shapes of glory?"
Ask'd the wondering living man:
Quoth the Man-ghost, "This is Helen,
And the Fair is for the Brave.
"Fairest prize to bravest victor;
Whom doth Greece her bravest deem?"
Said Leostratus, "Achilles:"
"Bride and bridegroom then are we."
"Low I kneel to thee, Pelides,
But, O marvel, she thy bride,
She whose guilt unpeopled Hellas,
She whose marriage lights fired Troy?"
Frown'd the large front of Achilles,
Overshadowing sea and sky,
Even as when between Olympus
And Oceanus hangs storm.
"Know, thou dullard," said Pelides,
"That on the funereal pyre
Earthly sins are purged from glory,
And the Soul is as the Name."
If to her in life--a Paris,
If to me in life--a slave,
Helen's mate is _here_ Achilles,
Mine--the sister of the stars.
Nought of her survives but beauty,
Nought of me survives but fame;
Here the Beautiful and Famous
Then throughout the Blessed Island
Sang aloud the Race of Light,
"Know, the Beautiful and Famous
Marry here for evermore!"
"Thy song bears a meaning deeper than its words," said Pausanias; "but
if that meaning be consolation, I comprehend it not."
"I do," said Cleonice. "Singer, I pray thee draw near. Let us talk of
what my lost mother said was the favourite theme of the grander sages
of Miletus. Let us talk of what lies afar and undiscovered amid waters
more troubled than the Euxine. Let us speak of the Land of Souls."
"Who ever returned from that land to tell us of it?" said Pausanias.
"Voyagers that never voyaged thither save in song."
"Son of Cleombrotus," said Alcman, "hast thou not heard that in one of
the cities founded by thine ancestor, Hercules, and named after his
own name, there yet dwells a Priesthood that can summon to living eyes
the Phantoms of the Dead?"
"No," answered Pausanias, with the credulous wonder common to
eager natures which Philosophy has not withdrawn from the realm of
"But," asked Cleonice, "does it need the Necromancer to convince us
that the soul does not perish when the breath leaves the lips? If
I judge the burthen of thy song aright, thou art not, O singer,
uninitiated in the divine and consoling doctrines which, emanating, it
is said, from the schools of Miletus, establish the immortality of the
soul, not for Demigods and Heroes only, but for us all; which imply
the soul's purification from earthly sins, in some regions less
chilling and stationary than the sunless and melancholy Hades."
Alcman looked at the girl surprised.
"Art thou not, maiden," said he, "one of the many female disciples
whom the successors of Pythagoras the Samian have enrolled?"
"Nay," said Cleonice, modestly; "but my mother had listened to great
teachers of wisdom, and I speak imperfectly the thoughts I have heard
her utter when she told me she had no terror of the grave."
"Fair Byzantine," returned the Mothon, while Pausanias, leaning his
upraised face on his hand, listened mutely to themes new to his mind
and foreign to his Spartan culture. "Fair Byzantine, we in Lacedaemon,
whether free or enslaved, are not educated to the subtle learning
which distinguishes the intellect of Ionian Sages. But I, born and
licensed to be a poet, converse eagerly with all who swell the stores
which enrich the treasure-house of song. And thus, since we have left
the land of Sparta, and more especially in yon city, the centre of
many tribes and of many minds, I have picked up, as it were, desultory
and scattered notions, which, for want of a fitting teacher, I bind
and arrange for myself as well as I may. And since the ideas that now
float through the atmosphere of Hellas are not confined to the great,
nay, perhaps are less visible to them, than to those whose eyes are
not riveted on the absorbing substances of ambition and power, so I
have learned something, I know not how, save that I have listened and
reflected. And here, where I have heard what sages conjecture of a
world which seems so far off, but to which we are so near that we may
reach it in a moment, my interest might indeed be intense. For what is
this world to him who came into it a slave!"
"Alcman," exclaimed Pausanias, "the foster-brother of the Heracleid is
no more a slave."
The Mothon bowed his head gratefully, but the expression on his face
retained the same calm and sombre resignation.
"Alas," said Cleonice, with the delicacy of female consolation, "who
in this life is really free? Have citizens no thraldom in custom and
law? Are we not all slaves?"
"True. All slaves!" murmured the royal victor. "Envy none, O Alcman.
Yet," he continued gloomily, "what is the life beyond the grave which
sacred tradition and ancient song holds out to us? Not thy silver
island, vain singer, unless it be only for an early race more
immediately akin to the Gods. Shadows in the shade are the dead; at
the best reviving only their habits when on earth, in phantom-like
delusions; aiming spectral darts like Orion at spectral lions; things
bloodless and pulseless; existences followed to no purpose through
eternity, as dreams are through a night. Who cares so to live again?
"The sages that now rise around, and speak oracles different from
those heard at Delphi," said Alcman, "treat not thus the Soul's
immortality. They begin by inquiring how creation rose; they seek to
find the primitive element; what that may be they dispute; some say
the fiery, some the airy, some the ethereal element. Their language
here is obscure. But it is a something which forms, harmonizes, works,
and lives on for ever. And of that something is the Soul; creative,
harmonious, active, an element in itself. Out of its development here,
that soul comes on to a new development elsewhere. If here the beginning
lead to that new development in what we call virtue, it moves to light
and joy:--if it can only roll on through the grooves it has here made
for itself, in what we call vice and crime, its path is darkness and
"In what we call virtue--what we call vice and crime? Ah," said
Pausanias, with a stern sneer, "Spartan virtue, O Alcman, is what a
Helot may call crime. And if ever the Helot rose and shouted freedom,
would he not say, This is virtue? Would the Spartan call it virtue,
too, my foster-brother?"
"Son of Cleombrotus," answered Alcman, "it is not for me to vindicate
the acts of the master; nor to blame the slave who is of my race. Yet
the sage definers of virtue distinguish between the Conscience of
a Polity and that of the Individual Man. Self-preservation is the
instinct of every community, and all the ordinances ascribed to
Lycurgus are designed to preserve the Spartan existence. For what are
the pure Spartan race? a handful of men established as lords in the
midst of a hostile population. Close by the eyrie thine eagle fathers
built in the rocks, hung the silent Amyclae, a city of foes that cost
the Spartans many generations to subdue. Hence thy State was a camp,
its citizens sentinels; its children were brought up from the cradle
to support the stern life to which necessity devoted the men. Hardship
and privation were second nature. Not enough to be brave; vigilance
was equally essential. Every Spartan life was precious; therefore came
the cunning which characterises the Spartan; therefore the boy is
permitted to steal, but punished if detected; therefore the whole
Commonwealth strives to keep aloof from the wars of Greece unless
itself be threatened. A single battle in a common cause might suffice
to depopulate the Spartan race, and leave it at the mercy of the
thousands that so reluctantly own its dominion, Hence the ruthless
determination to crush the spirit, to degrade the class of the
enslaved Helots; hence its dread lest the slumbering brute force of
the Servile find in its own masses a head to teach the consciousness,
and a hand to guide the movements, of its power. These are the
necessities of the Polity, its vices are the outgrowth of its
necessities; and the life that so galls thee, and which has sometimes
rendered mad those who return to it from having known another, and the
danger that evermore surrounds the lords of a sullen multitude, are
the punishments of these vices. Comprehendest thou?"
"But individuals have a conscience apart from that of the Community.
Every community has its errors in its laws. No human laws, how
skilfully soever framed, but give to a national character defects as
well as merits, merits as well as defects. Craft, selfishness, cruelty
to the subdued, inhospitable frigidity to neighbours, make the defects
of the Spartan character. But," added Alcman, with a kind of reluctant
anguish in his voice, "the character has its grand virtues, too, or
would the Helots not be the masters? Valour indomitable; grand scorn
of death; passionate ardour for the State which is so severe a mother
to them; antique faith in the sacred altars; sublime devotion to what
is held to be duty. Are these not found in the Spartan beyond all
the Greeks, as thou seest them in thy friend Lysander; in that soul,
stately, pure, compact in its own firm substance as a statue within
a temple is in its Parian stone? But what the Gods ask from man is
virtue in himself, according as he comprehends it. And, therefore,
here all societies are equal; for the Gods pardon in the man the
faults he shares with his Community, and ask from him but the good and
the beautiful, such as the nature of his Community will permit him to
conceive and to accomplish. Thou knowest that there are many kinds of
music--for instance, the Doric, the Aeolian, the Ionian--in Hellas.
The Lydians have their music, the Phrygians theirs too. The Scyth and
the Mede doubtless have their own. Each race prefers the music it
cultivates, and finds fault with the music of other races. And yet a
man who has learned melody and measure, will recognize a music in them
all. So it is with virtue, the music of the human soul. It differs in
differing races. But he who has learned to know what virtue is can
recognize its harmonies, wherever they be heard. And thus the soul
that fulfils its own notions of music, and carries them up to its idea
of excellence, is the master soul; and in the regions to which it goes,
when the breath leaves the lips, it pursues the same are set free from
the trammels that confined, and the false judgments that marred it here.
For then the soul is no longer Spartan, or Ionian, Lydian, Median, or
Scythian. Escaped into the upper air, it is the citizen of universal
freedom and universal light. And hence it does not live as a ghost in
gloomy shades, being merely a pale memory of things that have passed
away; but in its primitive being as an emanation from the one divine
principle which penetrates everywhere, vivifies all things, and enjoys
in all. This is what I weave together from the doctrines of varying
schools; schools that collect from the fields of thought flowers of
different kinds which conceal, by adorning it, the ligament that
unites them all: this, I say, O Pausanias, is my conception of the
Cleonice rose softly, and taking from her bosom a rose, kissed it
fervently, and laid it at the feet of the singer.
"Were this my soul," cried she, "I would ask thee to bind it in the
Vague and troubled thoughts passed meanwhile through the mind of the
Heracleid; old ideas being disturbed and dislodged, the new ones did
not find easy settlement in a brain occupied with ambitious schemes
and a heart agitated by stormy passions. In much superstitious, in
much sceptical, as education had made him the one, and experience but
of worldly things was calculated to make him the other, he followed
not the wing of the philosophy which passed through heights not
occupied by Olympus, and dived into depths where no Tartarus echoed to
the wail of Cocytus.
After a pause he said in his perplexity,
"Well mayst thou own that no Delphian oracle tells thee all this. And
when thou speakest of the Divine Principle as One, dost thou not, O
presumptuous man, depopulate the Halls of Ida? Nay, is it not Zeus
himself whom thou dethronest; is not thy Divine Principle the Fate
which Zeus himself must obey?"
"There is a young man of Clazomenae," answered the singer, "named
Anaxagoras, who avoiding all active life, though of birth the noblest,
gives himself up to contemplation, and whom I have listened to in the
city as he passed through it, on his way into Egypt. And I heard
him say, 'Fate is an empty name.' Fate is blind, the Divine is
"How!" cried Cleonice. "An empty name--she! Necessity the
The musician drew from the harp one of the most artful of Sappho's
"What drew forth that music?" he asked, smiling. "My hand and my will
from a genius not present, not visible. Was that genius a blind fate?
no, it was a grand intelligence. Nature is to the Deity what my hand
and will are to the unseen genius of the musician. They obey an
intelligence and they form a music. If creation proceed from an
intelligence, what we call fate is but the consequence of its laws.
And Nature operates not in the external world alone, but in the core
of all life; therefore in the mind of man obeying only what some
supreme intelligence has placed there: therefore in man's mind
producing music or discord, according as he has learned the principles
of harmony, that is, of good. And there be sages who declare that
Intelligence and Love are the same. Yet," added the Mothon, with an
aspect solemnly compassionate, "not the love thou mockest by the name
of Aphrodite. No mortal eye hath ever seen that love within the known
sphere, yet all insensibly feel its reign. What keeps the world
together but affection? What makes the earth bring forth its fruits,
but the kindness which beams in the sunlight and descends in the dews?
What makes the lioness watch over her cubs, and the bird, with all air
for its wanderings, come back to the fledglings in its nest? Strike
love, the conjoiner, from creation, and creation returns to a void.
Destroy love the parental, and life is born but to perish. Where stop
the influence of love or how limit its multiform degrees? Love guards
the fatherland; crowns with turrets the walls of the freeman. What but
love binds the citizens of States together, and frames and heeds the
laws that submit individual liberty to the rule of the common good?
Love creates, love cements, love enters and harmonises all things. And
as like attracts like, so love attracts in the hereafter the loving
souls that conceived it here. From the region where it summons them,
its opposites are excluded. There ceases war; there ceases pain. There
indeed intermingle the beautiful and glorious, but beauty purified
from earthly sin, the glorious resting from earthly toil. Ask ye how
to know on earth where love is really presiding? Not in Paphos, not
in Amathus. Wherever thou seest beauty and good; wherever thou seest
life, and that life pervaded with faculties of joy, there thou seest
love; there thou shouldst recognize the Divinity."
"And where I see misery and hate," said the Spartan, "what should I
"Master," returned the singer, "can the good come without a struggle?
Is the beautiful accomplished without strife? Recall the tales of
primeval chaos, when, as sang the Ascraean singer, love first darted
into the midst; imagine the heave and throe of joining elements;
conjure up the first living shapes, born of the fluctuating slime and
vapour. Surely they were things incomplete, deformed ghastly fragments
of being, as are the dreams of a maniac. Had creative Love stopped
there, and then, standing on the height of some fair completed world,
had viewed the warring portents, wouldst thou not have said--But these
are the works of Evil and Hate? Love did not stop there, it worked on;
and out of the chaos once ensouled, this glorious world swung itself
into ether, the completed sister of the stars. Again, O my listeners,
contemplate the sculptor, when the block from the granite shaft first
stands rude and shapeless before him. See him in his earlier strife
with the obstinate matter--how uncouth the first outline of limb and
feature; unlovelier often in the rugged commencements of shape, than
when the dumb mass stood shapeless. If the sculptor had stopped there,
the thing might serve as an image for the savage of an abominable
creed, engaged in the sacrifice of human flesh. But he pauses not, he
works on. Stroke by stroke comes from the stone a shape of more beauty
than man himself is endowed with, and in a human temple stands a
"Thus is it with the soul in the mundane sphere; it works its way on
through the adverse matter. We see its work half completed; we cry,
Lo, this is misery, this is hate--because the chaos is not yet a
perfected world, and the stone block is not yet a statue of Apollo.
But for that reason must we pause?--no, we must work on, till the
victory brings the repose.
"All things come into order from the war of contraries--the elements
fight and wrestle to produce the wild flower at our feet; from a wild
flower man hath striven and toiled to perfect the marvellous rose of
the hundred leaves. Hate is necessary for the energies of love, evil
for the activity of good; until, I say, the victory is won, until Hate
and Evil are subdued, as the sculptor subdues the stone; and then
rises the divine image serene for ever, and rests on its pedestal
in the Uranian Temple. Lift thine eyes; that temple is yonder. O
Pausanias, the sculptor's work-room is the earth."
Alcman paused, and sweeping his hand once more over his lyre, chanted
"Dewdrop that weepest on the sharp-barbed thorn,
Why didst thou fall from Day's golden chalices?
'My tears bathe the thorn,' said the Dewdrop,
'To nourish the bloom of the rose.'
"Soul of the Infant, why to calamity
Comest thou wailing from the calm spirit-source?
'Ask of the Dew,' said the Infant,
'Why it descends on the thorn!'
"Dewdrop from storm, and soul from calamity
Vanish soon--whither? let the Dew answer thee;
'Have not my tears been my glory?
Tears drew me up to the sun.'
"What were thine uses, that thou art glorified?
What did thy tears give, profiting earth or sky?
'There, to the thorn-stem a blossom,
Here, to the Iris a tint.'"
Alcman had modulated the tones of his voice into a sweetness so
plaintive and touching, that, when he paused, the hand-maidens had
involuntarily risen and gathered round, hushed and noiseless. Cleonice
had lowered her veil over her face and bosom; but the heaving of
its tissue betrayed her half-suppressed, gentle sob; and the proud
mournfulness on the Spartan's swarthy countenance had given way to a
soft composure, melancholy still--but melancholy as a lulled, though
dark water, over which starlight steals through disparted cloud.
Cleonice was the first to break the spell which bound them all.
"I would go within," she murmured faintly.
"The sun, now slanting, strikes through the vine-leaves, and blinds me
with its glare."
Pausanias approached timidly, and taking her by the hand, drew her
aside, along one of the grassy alleys that stretched onwards to the
The handmaidens tarried behind to cluster nearer round the singer.
They forgot he was a slave.
 Anaxagoras was then between 20 and 30 years of age.--See Ritter,
vol. ii., for the sentiment here ascribed to him, and a general view
of his tenets.
"Thou art weeping still, Cleonice!" said the Spartan, "and I have not
the privilege to kiss away thy tears."
"Nay, I weep not," answered the girl, throwing up her veil; and her
face was calm, if still sad--the tear yet on the eyelids, but the
smile upon the lip--[Greek: dakruoen gelaoisa]. "Thy singer has
learned his art from a teacher heavenlier than the Pierides, and its
name is Hope."
"But if I understand him aright," said Pausanias, "the Hope that
inspires him is a goddess who blesses us little on the earth."
As if the Mothon had overheard the Spartan, his voice here suddenly
rose behind them, singing:
"_There_ the Beautiful and Glorious
Involuntarily both turned. The Mothon seemed as if explaining to the
handmaids the allegory of his marriage song upon Helen and Achilles,
for his hand was raised on high, and again, with an emphasis, he
"There, throughout the Blessed Islands,
And amid the Race of Light,
Do the Beautiful and Glorious
"Canst thou not wait, if thou so lovest me?' said Cleonice, with more
tenderness in her voice than it had ever yet betrayed to him; "life is
very short. Hush!" she continued, checking the passionate interruption
that burst from his lips; "I have something I would confide to thee:
listen. Know that in my childhood I had a dear friend, a maiden a few
years older than myself, and she had the divine gift of trance which
comes from Apollo. Often, gazing into space, her eyes became fixed,
and her frame still as a statue's; then a shiver seized her limbs, and
prophecy broke from her lips. And she told me, in one of these hours,
when, as she said, 'all space and all time seemed spread before her
like a sunlit ocean,' she told me of my future, so far as its leaves
have yet unfolded from the stem of my life. Spartan, she prophesied
that I should see thee--and--" Cleonice paused, blushing, and then
hurried on, "and she told me that suddenly her eye could follow my
fate on the earth no more, that it vanished out of the time and the
space on which it gazed, and saying it she wept, and broke into
funeral song. And therefore, Pausanias, I say life is very short for
me at least--"
"Hold," cried Pausanias; "torture not me, nor delude thyself with the
dreams of a raving girl. Lives she near? Let me visit her with thee,
and I will prove thy prophetess an impostor."
"They whom the Priesthood of Delphi employ throughout Hellas to find
the fit natures for a Pythoness heard of her, and heard herself. She
whom thou callest impostor gives the answer to perplexed nations from
the Pythian shrine. But wherefore doubt her?--where the sorrow? I feel
none. If love does rule the worlds beyond, and does unite souls who
love nobly here, yonder we shall meet, O descendant of Hercules, and
human laws will not part us there."
"Thou die! die before me! thou, scarcely half my years! And I be left
here, with no comfort but a singer's dreamy verse, not even mine
ambition! Thrones would vanish out of earth, and turn to cinders in
"Speak not of thrones," said Cleonice, with imploring softness, "for
the prophetess, too, spake of steps that went towards a throne, and
vanished at the threshold of darkness, beside which sate the Furies.
Speak not of thrones, dream but of glory and Hellas--of what thy soul
tells thee is that virtue which makes life an Uranian music, and thus
unites it to the eternal symphony, as the breath of the single flute
melts when it parts from the instrument into the great concord of the
choir. Knowest thou not that in the creed of the Persians each mortal
is watched on earth by a good spirit and an evil one? And they who
loved us below, or to whom we have done beneficent and gentle deeds,
if they go before us into death, pass to the side of the good spirit,
and strengthen him to save and to bless thee against the malice of the
bad, and the bad is strengthened in his turn by those whom we have
injured. Wouldst thou have all the Greeks whose birthright thou
wouldst barter, whose blood thou wouldst shed for barbaric aid to thy
solitary and lawless power, stand by the side of the evil Fiend?
And what could I do against so many? what could my soul do," added
Cleonice with simple pathos, "by the side of the kinder spirit?"
Pausanias was wholly subdued. He knelt to the girl, he kissed the hem
of her robe, and for the moment ambition, luxury, pomp, pride fled
from his soul, and left there only the grateful tenderness of the man,
and the lofty instincts of the hero. But just then--was it the evil
spirit that sent him?--the boughs of the vine were put aside, and
Gongylus the Eretrian stood before them. His black eyes glittered keen
upon Pausanias, who rose from his knee, startled and displeased.
"What brings thee hither, man?" said the Regent, haughtily.
"Danger," answered Gongylus, in a hissing whisper. "Lose not a
"Danger!" exclaimed Cleonice, tremblingly, and clasping her hands, and
all the human love at her heart was visible in her aspect. "Danger,
and to _him_!"
"Danger is but as the breeze of my native air," said the Spartan,
smiling; "thus I draw it in and thus breathe it away. I follow thee,
Gongylus. Take my greeting, Cleonice--the Good to the Beautiful. Well,
then, keep Alcman yet awhile to sing thy kind face to repose, and this
time let him tune his lyre to songs of a more Dorian strain--songs
that show what a Heracleid thinks of danger." He waved his hand, and
the two men, striding hastily, passed along the vine alley, darkened
its vista for a few minutes, then vanishing down the descent to the
beach, the wide blue sea again lay lone and still before the eyes of
the Byzantine maid.
Pausanias and the Eretrian halted on the shore.
"Now speak," said the Spartan Regent. "Where is the danger?"
"Before thee," answered Gongylus, and his hand pointed to the ocean.
"I see the fleet of the Greeks in the harbour--I see the flag of
my galley above the forest of their masts. I see detached vessels
skimming along the waves hither and thither as in holiday and sport;
but discipline slackens where no foe dares to show himself. Eretrian,
I see no danger."
"Yet danger is there, and where danger is thou shouldst be. I have
learned from my spies, not an hour since, that there is a conspiracy
formed--a mutiny on the eve of an outburst. Thy place now should be in
"My boat waits yonder in that creek, overspread by the wild shrubs,"
answered Pausanias; "a few strokes of the oar, and I am where thou
seest. And in truth, without thy summons, I should have been on board
ere sunset, seeing that on the morrow I have ordered a general review
of the vessels of the fleet. Was that to be the occasion for the mutiny?"
"So it is supposed."
"I shall see the faces of the mutineers," said Pausanias, with a calm
visage, and an eye which seemed to brighten the very atmosphere. "Thou
shakest thy head; is this all?"
"Thou art not a bird--this moment in one place, that moment in
another. There, with yon armament, is the danger thou canst meet. But
yonder sails a danger which thou canst not, I fear me, overtake."
"Yonder!" said Pausanias, his eye following the hand of the Eretrian.
"I see naught save the white wing of a seagull--perchance, by its dip
into the water, it foretells a storm."
"Farther off than the seagull, and seeming smaller than the white spot
of its wing, seest thou nothing!"
"A dim speck on the farthest horizon, if mine eyes mistake not."
"The speck of a sail that is bound to Sparta, It carries with it a
request for thy recall."
This time the cheek of Pausanias paled, and his voice slightly
faltered as he said,
"Art thou sure of this?"
"So I hear that the Samian captain, Uliades, has boasted at noon in
the public baths."
"A Samian!--is it only a Samian who hath ventured to address to Sparta
a complaint of her General?"
"From what I could gather," replied Gongylus, "the complaint is
more powerfully backed. But I have not as yet heard more, though I
conjecture that Athens has not been silent, and before the vessel
sailed Ionian captains were seen to come with joyous faces from the
lodgings of Cimon."
The Regent's brow grew yet more troubled. "Cimon, of all the Greeks
out of Laconia, is the one whose word would weigh most in Sparta. But
my Spartans themselves are not suspected of privity and connivance in
"It is not said that they are."
Pausanias shaded his face with his hand for a moment in deep thought.
Gongylus continued--"If the Ephors recall thee before the Asian army
is on the frontier, farewell to the sovereignty of Hellas!"
"Ha!" cried Pausanias, "tempt me not. Thinkest thou I need other
tempter than I have here?"--smiting his breast.
Gongylus recoiled in surprise. "Pardon me, Pausanias, but temptation
is another word for hesitation. I dreamed not that I could tempt; I
did not know that thou didst hesitate."
The Spartan remained silent.
"Are not thy messengers on the road to the great king?--nay, perhaps
already they have reached him. Didst thou not say how intolerable to
thee would be life henceforth in the iron thraldom of Sparta--and
"And now--I forbid thee to question me more. Thou hast performed thy
task, leave me to mine."
He sprang with the spring of the mountain goat from the crag on which
he stood--over a precipitous chasm, lighted on a narrow ledge, from
which a slip of the foot would have been sure death, another bound yet
more fearful, and his whole weight hung suspended by the bough of the
ilex which he grasped with a single hand; then from bough to bough,
from crag to crag, the Eretrian saw him descending till he vanished
amidst the trees that darkened over the fissures at the foot of the
And before Gongylus had recovered his amaze at the almost preterhuman
agility and vigour of the Spartan, and his dizzy sense at the
contemplation of such peril braved by another, a boat shot into the
sea from the green creek, and he saw Pausanias seated beside Lysander
on one of the benches, and conversing with him, as if in calm
earnestness, while the ten rowers sent the boat towards the fleet with
the swiftness of an arrow to its goal.
"Lysander," said Pausanias, "hast thou heard that the Ionians have
offered to me the insult of a mission to the Ephors demanding my
"No. Who would tell me of insult to thee?"
"But hast thou any conjecture that other Spartans around me, and
who love me less than thou, would approve, nay, have approved, this
embassy of spies and malcontents?"
"I think none have so approved. I fear some would so approve. The
Spartans round thee would rejoice did they know that the pride of
their armies, the Victor of Plataea, were once more within their
"Even to the danger of Hellas from the Mede?"
"They would rather all Hellas were Medised than Pausanias the
"Boy, boy," said Pausanias, between his ground teeth, "dost thou not
see that what is sought is the disgrace of Pausanias the Heracleid?
Grant that I am recalled from the head of this armament, and on the
charge of Ionians, and I am dishonoured in the eyes of all Greece.
Dost thou remember in the last Olympiad that when Themistocles, the
only rival now to me in glory, appeared on the Altis, assembled
Greece rose to greet and do him honour? And if I, deposed, dismissed,
appeared at the next Olympiad, how would assembled Greece receive
me? Couldst thou not see the pointed finger and hear the muttered
taunt--That is Pausanias, whom the Ionians banished from Byzantium.
No, I must abide here; I must prosecute the vast plans which shall
dwarf into shadow the petty genius of Themistocles. I must counteract
this mischievous embassy to the Ephors. I must send to them an
ambassador of my own. Lysander, wilt thou go, and burying in thy bosom
thine own Spartan prejudices, deem that thou canst only serve me by
proving the reasons why I should remain here; pleading for me, arguing
for me, and winning my suit?"
"It is for thee to command and for me to obey thee," answered
Lysander, simply. "Is not that the duty of soldier to chief? When
we converse as friends I may contend with thee in speech. When thou
sayest, Do this, I execute thine action. To reason with thee would be
Pausanias placed his clasped hands on the young man's shoulder, and
leaving them there, impressively said--
"I select thee for this mission because thee alone can I trust. And of
me hast thou a doubt?--tell me."
"If I saw thee taking the Persian gold I should say that the Demon
had mocked mine eyes with a delusion. Never could I doubt,
'Thou wert standing under Jove's sky against the arms of Hellas."
"And then, if some other chief bade thee raise thy sword against me,
thou art Spartan and wouldst obey?"
"I am Spartan, and cannot believe that I should ever have a cause, or
listen to a command, to raise my sword against the chief I now serve
and love," replied Lysander.
Pausanias withdrew his hands from the young man's broad shoulder. He
felt humbled beside the quiet truth of that sublime soul. His own
deceit became more black to his conscience. "Methinks," he said
tremulously, "I will not send thee after all--and perhaps the news may
The boat had now gained the fleet, and steering amidst the crowded
triremes, made its way towards the floating banner of the Spartan
Serpent. More immediately round the General's galley were the vessels
of the Peloponnesian allies, by whom he was still honoured. A
welcoming shout rose from the seamen lounging on their decks as they
caught sight of the renowned Heracleid. Cimon, who was on his own
galley at some distance, heard the shout.
"So Pausanias," he said, turning to the officers round him, "has
deigned to come on board, to direct, I suppose, the manoeuvres for
"I believe it is but the form of a review for manoeuvres," said
an Athenian officer, "in which Pausanias will inspect the various
divisions of the fleet, and if more be intended, will give the
requisite orders for a subsequent day. No arrangements demanding much
preparation can be anticipated, for Antagoras, the rich Chian, gives
a great banquet this day--a supper to the principal captains of the
"A frank and hospitable reveller is Antagoras," answered Cimon. "He
would have extended his invitation to the Athenians--me included--but
in their name I declined."
"May I ask wherefore?" said the officer who had before spoken. "Cimon
is not held averse to wine-cup and myrtle-bough."
"But things are said over some wine-cups and under some
myrtle-boughs," answered Cimon, with a quiet laugh, "which it is
imprudence to hear and would be treason to repeat. Sup with me here on
deck, friends--a supper for sober companions--sober as the Laconian
Syssitia, and let not Spartans say that _our_ manners are spoilt by
the luxuries of Byzantium."
In an immense peristyle of a house which a Byzantine noble, ruined by
lavish extravagance, had been glad to cede to the accommodation of
Antagoras and other officers of Chios, the young rival of Pausanias
feasted the chiefs of the Aegean. However modern civilization may in
some things surpass the ancient, it is certainly not in luxury and
splendour. And although the Hellenic States had not, at that period,
aimed at the pomp of show and the refinements of voluptuous pleasure
which preceded their decline; and although they never did carry luxury
to the wondrous extent which it reached in Asia, or even in Sicily,
yet even at that time a wealthy sojourner in such a city as Byzantium
could command an entertainment that no monarch in our age would
venture to parade before royal guests, and submit to the criticism of
tax paying subjects.
The columns of the peristyle were of dazzling alabaster, with their
capitals richly gilt. The space above was roofless; but an immense
awning of purple, richly embroidered in Persian looms--a spoil of some
gorgeous Mede--shaded the feasters from the summer sky. The couches on
which the banqueters reclined were of citron wood, inlaid with ivory,
and covered with the tapestries of Asiatic looms. At the four corners
of the vast hall played four fountains, and their spray sparkled to a
blaze of light from colossal candelabra, in which burnt perfumed oil.
The guests were not assembled at a single table, but in small groups;
to each group its tripod of exquisite workmanship. To that feast
of fifty revellers no less than seventy cooks had contributed the
inventions of their art, but under one great master, to whose care
the banquet had been consigned by the liberal host, and who ransacked
earth, sky, and sea for dainties more various than this degenerate age
ever sees accumulated at a single board. And the epicure who has but
glanced over the elaborate page of Athenaeus, must own with melancholy
self-humiliation that the ancients must have carried the art of
flattering the palate to a perfection as absolute as the art which
built the Parthenon, and sculptured out of gold and ivory the Olympian
Jove. But the first course, with its profusion of birds, flesh, and
fishes, its marvellous combinations of forced meats, and inventive
poetry of sauces, was now over. And in the interval preceding that
second course, in which gastronomy put forth its most exquisite
masterpieces, the slaves began to remove the tables, soon to be
replaced. Vessels of fragrant waters, in which the banqueters dipped
their fingers, were handed round; perfumes, which the Byzantine marts
collected from every clime, escaped from their precious receptacles.
Then were distributed the garlands. With these each guest crowned
locks that steamed with odours; and in them were combined the flowers
that most charm the eye, with bud or herb that most guard from the
bead the fumes of wine: with hyacinth and flax, with golden asphodel
and silver lily, the green of ivy and parsley leaf was thus entwined;
and above all the rose, said to convey a delicious coolness to the
temples on which it bloomed. And now for the first time wine came to
heighten the spirits and test the charm of the garlands. Each, as the
large goblet passed to him, poured from the brim, before it touched
his lips, his libation to the good spirit. And as Antagoras, rising
first, set this pious example, out from the further ends of the
hall, behind the fountains, burst a concert of flutes, and the great
Hellenic Hymn of the Paean.
As this ceased, the fresh tables appeared before the banqueters,
covered with all the fruits in season, and with those triumphs in
confectionery, of which honey was the main ingredient, that well
justified the favour in which the Greeks held the bee.
Then, instead of the pure juice of the grape, from which the libation
had been poured, came the wines, mixed at least three parts with
water, and deliciously cooled.
Up again rose Antagoras, and every eye turned to him.
"Companions," said the young Chian, "it is not held in free States
well for a man to seize by himself upon supreme authority. We deem
that a magistracy should only be obtained by the votes of others.
Nevertheless, I venture to think that the latter plan does not always
ensure to us a good master. I believe it was by election that we
Greeks have given to ourselves a generalissimo, not contented, it
is said, to prove the invariable wisdom of that mode of government;
wherefore this seems an occasion to revive the good custom of tyranny.
And I propose to do so in my person by proclaiming myself Symposiarch
and absolute commander in the Commonwealth here assembled. But if ye
prefer the chance of the die--"
"No, no," cried the guests, almost universally; "Antagoras, the
Symposiarch, we submit. Issue thy laws."
"Hearken then, and obey. First, then, as to the strength of the wine.
Behold the crater in which there are three Naiades to one Dionysos. He
is a match for them; not for more. No man shall put into his wine more
water than the slaves have mixed. Yet if any man is so diffident of
the god that he thinks three Naiades too much for him, he may omit one
or two, and let the wine and the water fight it out upon equal terms.
So much for the quality of the drink. As to quantity, it is a question
to be deliberated hereafter. And now this cup to Zeus the Preserver."
The toast went round.
"Music, and the music of Lydia!" then shouted Antagoras, and resumed
his place on the couch beside Uliades.
The music proceeded, the wines circled.
"Friend," whispered Uliades to the host, "thy father left thee wines,
I know. But if thou givest many banquets like this, I doubt if thou
wilt leave wines to thy son."
"I shall die childless, perhaps," answered the Chian; "and any friend
will give me enough to pay Charon's fee across the Styx."
"That is a melancholy reflection," said Uliades, "and there is no
subject of talk that pleases me less than that same Styx. Why dost
thou bite thy lip, and choke the sigh? By the Gods! art thou not
"Happy!" repeated Antagoras, with a bitter smile. "Oh, yes!"
"Good! Cleonice torments thee no more. I myself have gone through thy
trials; ay, and oftentimes. Seven times at Samos, five at Rhodes,
once at Miletus, and forty-three times at Corinth, have I been an
impassioned and unsuccessful lover. Courage; I love still."
Antagoras turned away. By this time the hall was yet more crowded,
for many not invited to the supper came, as was the custom with the
Greeks, to the Symposium; but these were all of the Ionian race.
"The music is dull without the dancers," cried the host. "Ho, there!
the dancing girls. Now would I give all the rest of my wealth to see
among these girls one face that yet but for a moment could make me
forget--" "Forget what, or whom?" said Uliades; "not Cleonice?"
"Man, man, wilt thou provoke me to strangle thee?" muttered
Uliades edged himself away.
"Ungrateful!" he cried. "What are a hundred Byzantine girls to one
tried male friend?"
"I will not be ungrateful, Uliades, if thou stand by my side against
"Thou art, then, bent upon this perilous hazard?"
"Bent on driving Pausanias from Byzantium, or into Hades--yes."
"Touch!" said Uliades, holding out his right hand. "By Cypris, but
these girls dance like the daughters of Oceanus; every step undulates
as a wave."
Antagoras motioned to his cup-bearer. "Tell the leader of that dancing
choir to come hither." The cupbearer obeyed.
A man with a solemn air came to the foot of the Chian's couch, bowing
low. He was an Egyptian--one of the meanest castes.
"Swarthy friend," said Antagoras, "didst thou ever hear of the Pyrrhic
dance of the Spartans?"
"Surely, of all dances am I teacher and preceptor."
"Your girls know it, then?"
"Somewhat, from having seen it; but not from practice. 'Tis a male
dance and a warlike dance, O magnanimous, but, in this instance,
"Hist, and listen." Antagoras whispered. The Egyptian nodded his head,
returned to the dancing girls, and when their measure had ceased,
gathered them round him.
Antagoras again rose.
"Companions, we are bound now to do homage to our masters--the
pleasant, affable and familiar warriors of Sparta."
At this the guests gave way to their applauding laughter.
"And therefore these delicate maidens will present to us that flowing
and Amathusian dance, which the Graces taught to Spartan sinews. Ho,
The Egyptian had by this time told the dancers what they were expected
to do; and they came forward with an affectation of stern dignity, the
burlesque humour of which delighted all those lively revellers. And
when with adroit mimicry their slight arms and mincing steps mocked
that grand and masculine measure so associated with images of Spartan
austerity and decorum, the exhibition became so humorously ludicrous,
that perhaps a Spartan himself would have been compelled to laugh at
it. But the merriment rose to its height, when the Egyptian, who had
withdrawn for a few minutes, reappeared with a Median robe and mitred
cap, and calling out in his barbarous African accent, "Way for the
conqueror!" threw into his mien and gestures all the likeness to
Pausanias himself, which a practised mime and posture-master could
attain. The laughter of Antagoras alone was not loud--it was low and
sullen, as if sobs of rage were stifling it; but his eye watched the
effect produced, and it answered the end he had in view.
As the dancers now, while the laughter was at its loudest roar,
vanished behind the draperies, the host rose, and his countenance was
severe and grave--
"Companions, one cup more, and let it be to Harmodius and Aristogiton.
Let the song in their honour come only from the lips of free citizens,
of our Ionian comrades. Uliades, begin. I pass to thee a myrtle bough;
and under it I pass a sword."
Then he began the famous hymn ascribed to Callistratus, commencing
with a clear and sonorous voice, and the guests repeating each stanza
after him with the enthusiasm which the words usually produced among
the Hellenic republicans:
I in a myrtle bough the sword will carry,
As did Harmodius and Aristogiton;
When they the tyrant slew,
And back to Athens gave her equal laws.
Thou art in nowise dead, best-loved Harmodius;
Isles of the Blessed are, they say, thy dwelling,
There swift Achilles dwells,
And there, they say, with thee dwells Diomed.
I in a myrtle bough the sword will carry,
As did Harmodius and Aristogiton,
When to Athene's shrine
They gave their sacrifice--a tyrant man.
Ever on earth for both of you lives glory,
O loved Harmodius, loved Aristogiton,
For ye the tyrant slew,
And back to Athens ye gave equal laws.
When the song had ceased, the dancers, the musicians, the attendant
slaves had withdrawn from the hall, dismissed by a whispered order
He, now standing up, took from his brows the floral crown, and first
sprinkling them with wine, replaced the flowers by a wreath of
poplar. The assembly, a little while before so noisy, was hushed into
attentive and earnest silence. The action of Antagoras, the expression
of his countenance, the exclusion of the slaves, prepared all present
for something more than the convivial address of a Symposiarch.
"Men and Greeks," said the Chian, "on the evening before Teucer led
his comrades in exile over the wide waters to found a second Salamis,
he sprinkled his forehead with Lyaean dews, being crowned with the
poplar leaves--emblems of hardihood and contest; and, this done, he
invited his companions to dispel their cares for the night, that their
hearts might with more cheerful hope and bolder courage meet what the
morrow might bring to them on the ocean. I imitate the ancient hero,
in honour less of him than of the name of Salamis. We, too, have a
Salamis to remember, and a second Salamis to found. Can ye forget
that, had the advice of the Spartan leader Eurybiades been adopted,
the victory of Salamis would never have been achieved? He was for
retreat to the Isthmus; he was for defending the Peloponnese, because
in the Peloponnesus was the unsocial selfish Sparta, and leaving the
rest of Hellas to the armament of Xerxes. Themistocles spoke against
the ignoble counsel; the Spartan raised his staff to strike him. Ye
know the Spartan manners. 'Strike if you will, but hear me,' cried
Themistocles. He was heard, Xerxes was defeated, and Hellas saved.
"I am not Themistocles; nor is there a Spartan staff to silence free
lips. But I too say, Hear me! for a new Salamis is to be won. What
was the former Salamis?--the victory that secured independence to the
Greeks, and delivered them from the Mede and the Medising traitors.
Again we must fight a Salamis. Where, ye say, is the Mede?--not at
Byzantium, it is true, in person; but the Medising traitor is here."
A profound sensation thrilled through the assembly.
"Enough of humility do the maritime Ionians practise when they accept
the hegemony of a Spartan landsman; enough of submission do the free
citizens of Hellas show when they suffer the imperious Dorian to
sentence them to punishments only fit for slaves. But when the Spartan
appears in the robes of the Mede, when the imperious Dorian places in
the government of a city, which our joint arms now occupy, a recreant
who has changed an Eretrian birthright for a Persian satrapy; when
prisoners, made by the valour of all Hellas, mysteriously escape the
care of the Lacedaemonian, who wears their garb, and imitates their
manners--say, O ye Greeks, O ye warriors, if there is no second
Salamis to conquer!"
The animated words, and the wine already drunk, produced on the
banqueters an effect sudden, electrical, universal. They had come to
the hall gay revellers; they were prepared to leave the hall stern
Their hoarse murmur was as the voice of the sea before a storm.
Antagoras surveyed them with a fierce joy, and, with a change of tone,
thus continued: "Ye understand me, ye know already that a delivery
is to be achieved. I pass on: I submit to your wisdom the mode of
achieving it. While I speak, a swift-sailing vessel bears to Sparta
the complaints of myself, of Uliades, and of many Ionian captains here
present, against the Spartan general. And although the Athenian chiefs
decline to proffer complaints of their own, lest their State, which has
risked so much for the common cause, be suspected of using the
admiration it excites for the purpose of subserving its ambition, yet
Cimon, the young son of the great Miltiades, who has ties of friendship
and hospitality with families of high mark in Sparta, has been persuaded
to add to our public statement a private letter to the effect, that
speaking for himself, not in the name of Athens, he deems our complaints
justly founded, and the recall of Pausanias expedient for the discipline
of the armament. But can we say what effect this embassy may have upon a
sullen and haughty government; against, too, a royal descendant of
Hercules; against the general who at Plataea flattered Sparta with a
renown to which her absence from Marathon, and her meditated flight from
Salamis, gave but disputable pretensions?"
"And," interrupted Uliades, rising, "and--if, O Antagoras, I may crave
pardon for standing a moment between thee and thy guests--and this is
not all, for even if they recall Pausanias, they may send us another
general as bad, and without the fame which somewhat reconciles our
Ionian pride to the hegemony of a Dorian. Now, whatever my quarrel
with Pausanias, I am less against a man than a principle. I am a
seaman, and against the principle of having for the commander of the
Greek fleet a Spartan who does not know how to handle a sail. I am an
Ionian, and against the principle of placing the Ionian race under the
imperious domination of a Dorian. Therefore I say, now is the moment
to emancipate our blood and our ocean--the one from an alien, the
other from a landsman. And the hegemony of the Spartan should pass
Uliades sat down with an applause more clamorous than had greeted the
eloquence of Antagoras, for the pride of race and of special calling
is ever more strong in its impulses than hatred to a single man. And
despite of all that could be said against Pausanias, still these
warriors felt awe for his greatness, and remembered that at Plataea,
where all were brave, he had been proclaimed the bravest.
Antagoras, with the quickness of a republican Greek, trained from
earliest youth to sympathy with popular assemblies, saw that Uliades
had touched the right key, and swallowed down with a passionate gulp
his personal wrath against his rival, which might otherwise have been
carried too far, and have lost him the advantage he had gained.
"Rightly and wisely speaks Uliades," said he. "Our cause is that of
our whole race; and clear has that true Samian made it to you all, O
Ionians and captains of the seas, that we must not wait for the lordly
answer Sparta may return to our embassage. Ye know that while night
lasts we must return to our several vessels; an hour more, and we
shall be on deck. To-morrow Pausanias reviews the fleet, and we may be
some days before we return to land, and can meet in concert. Whether
to-morrow or later the occasion for action may present itself, is a
question I would pray you to leave to those whom you entrust with the
discretionary power to act."
"How act?" cried a Lesbian officer.
"Thus would I suggest," said Antagoras, with well dissembled humility;
"let the captains of one or more Ionian vessels perform such a deed of
open defiance against Pausanias as leaves to them no option between
death and success; having so done, hoist a signal, and sailing at once
to the Athenian ships, place themselves under the Athenian leader; all
the rest of the Ionian captains will then follow their example. And
then, too numerous and too powerful to be punished for a revolt, we
shall proclaim a revolution, and declare that we will all sail back
to our native havens unless we have the liberty of choosing our own
"But," said the Lesbian who had before spoken, "the Athenians as yet
have held back and declined our overtures, and without them we are not
strong enough to cope with the Peloponnesian allies."
"The Athenians will be compelled to protect the Ionians, if the
Ionians in sufficient force demand it," said Uliades. "For as we are
nought without them, they are nought without us. Take the course
suggested by Antagoras: I advise it. Ye know me, a plain man, but
I speak not without warrant. And before the Spartans can either
contemptuously dismiss our embassy or send us out another general, the
Ionian will be the mistress of the Hellenic seas, and Sparta, the land
of oligarchies, will no more have the power to oligarchize democracy.
Otherwise, believe me, that power she has now from her hegemony, and
that power, whenever it suit her, she will use."
Uliades was chiefly popular in the fleet as a rough good seaman, as a
blunt and somewhat vulgar humourist. But whenever he gave advice, the
advice carried with it a weight not always bestowed upon superior
genius, because from the very commonness of his nature, he reached at
the common sense and the common feelings of those whom he addressed.
He spoke, in short, what an ordinary man thought and felt. He was a
practical man, brave but not over-audacious, not likely to run himself
or others into idle dangers, and when he said he had a warrant for
his advice, he was believed to speak from his knowledge of the course
which the Athenian chiefs, Aristides and Cimon, would pursue if the
plan recommended were actively executed.
"I am convinced," said the Lesbian. "And since all are grateful to
Athens for that final stand against the Mede, to which all Greece owes
her liberties, and since the chief of her armaments here is a man of
so modest a virtue, and so clement a justice, as we all acknowledge
in Aristides, fitting is it for us Ionians to constitute Athens the
maritime sovereign of our race."
"Are ye all of that mind?" cried Antagoras, and was answered by the
universal shout, "We are---all!" or if the shout was not universal,
none heeded the few whom fear or prudence might keep silent. "All that
remains then is to appoint the captain who shall hazard the first
danger and make the first signal. For my part, as one of the electors,
I give my vote for Uliades, and this is my ballot." He took from his
temples the poplar wreath, and cast it into a silver vase on the
tripod placed before him.
"Uliades by acclamation!" cried several voices.
"I accept," said the Ionian, "and as Ulysses, a prudent man, asked for
a colleague in enterprises of danger, so I ask for a companion in the
hazard I undertake, and I select Antagoras."
This choice received the same applauding acquiescence as that which
had greeted the nomination of the Ionian.
And in the midst of the applause was heard without the sharp shrill
sound of the Phrygian pipe.
"Comrades," said Antagoras, "ye hear the summons to our ships? Our
boats are waiting at the steps of the quay, by the Temple of Neptune.
Two sentences more, and then to sea. First, silence and fidelity;
the finger to the lip, the right hand raised to Zeus Horkios. For a
pledge, here is an oath. Secondly, be this the signal: whenever ye
shall see Uliades and myself steer our triremes out of the line in
which they may be marshalled, look forth and watch breathless, and the
instant you perceive that beside our flags of Samos and Chios we hoist
the ensign of Athens, draw off from your stations, and follow the wake
of our keels, to the Athenian navy. Then, as the Gods direct us. Hark,
a second time shrills the fife."
At the very hour when the Ionian captains were hurrying towards their
boats, Pausanias was pacing his decks alone, with irregular strides,
and through the cordage and the masts the starshine came fitfully on
his troubled features. Long undecided he paused, as the waves sparkled
to the stroke of oars, and beheld the boats of the feasters making
towards the division of the fleet in which lay the navy of the isles.
Farther on, remote and still, anchored the ships of Athens. He
clenched his hand, and turned from the sight.
"To lose an empire," he muttered, "and without a struggle; an empire
over yon mutinous rivals, over yon happy and envied Athens: an
empire--where its limits?--if Asia puts her armies to my lead, why
should not Asia be Hellenized, rather than Hellas be within the
tribute of the Mede? Dull--dull stolid Sparta! methinks I could
pardon the slavery thou inflictest on my life, didst thou but leave
unshackled my intelligence. But each vast scheme to be thwarted, every
thought for thine own aggrandisement beyond thy barren rocks, met and
inexorably baffled by a selfish aphorism, a cramping saw--'Sparta is
wide eno' for Spartans.'--'Ocean is the element of the fickle.'--'What
matters the ascendancy of Athens?--it does not cross the
Isthmus.'--'Venture nothing where I want nothing.' Why, this is the
soul's prison! Ah, had I been born Athenian, I had never uttered a
thought against my country. She and I would have expanded and aspired
Thus arguing with himself, he at length confirmed his resolve, and
with a steadfast step entered his pavilion. There, not on broidered
cushions, but by preference on the hard floor, without coverlid, lay
Lysander calmly sleeping, his crimson warlike cloak, weather-stained,
partially wrapt around him; no pillow to his head but his own right
By the light of the high lamp that stood within the pavilion,
Pausanias contemplated the slumberer.
"He says he loves me, and yet can sleep," he murmured bitterly. Then
seating himself before a table he began to write, with slowness and
precision, whether as one not accustomed to the task or weighing every
When he had concluded, he again turned his eyes to the sleeper. "How
tranquil! Was, my sleep ever as serene? I will not disturb him to the
The fold of the curtain was drawn aside, and Alcman entered
"Thou hast obeyed?" whispered Pausanias.
"Yes; the ship is ready, the wind favours. Hast thou decided?"
"I have," said Pausanias, with compressed lips.
He rose, and touched Lysander, lightly, but the touch sufficed;
the sleeper woke on the instant, casting aside slumber easily as a
"My Pausanias," said the young Spartan, "I am at thine orders--shall I
go? Alas! I read thine eye, and I shall leave thee in peril."
"Greater peril in the council of the Ephors and in the babbling lips
of the hoary Gerontes, than amidst the meeting of armaments. Thou wilt
take this letter to the Ephors. I have said in it but little; I have
said that I confide my cause to thee. Remember that thou insist on
the disgrace to me--the Heracleid, and through me to Sparta, that
my recall would occasion; remember that thou prove that my alleged
harshness is but necessary to the discipline that preserves armies,
and to the ascendancy of Spartan rule. And as to the idle tale of
Persian prisoners escaped, why thou knowest how even the Ionians could
make nothing of that charge. Crowd all sail, strain every oar, no ship
in the fleet so swift as that which bears thee. I care not for the few
hours' start the talebearers have. Our Spartan forms are slow; they
can scarce have an audience ere thou reach. The Gods speed and guard
thee, beloved friend. With thee goes all the future of Pausanias."
Lysander grasped his hand in a silence more eloquent than words, and
a tear fell on that hand which he clasped. "Be not ashamed of it," he
said then, as he turned away, and, wrapping his cloak round his face,
left the pavilion. Alcman followed, lowered a boat from the side, and
in a few moments the Spartan and the Mothon were on the sea. The boat
made to a vessel close at hand--a vessel builded in Cyprus, manned by
Bithynians; its sails were all up, but it bore no flag. Scarcely had
Lysander climbed the deck than it heaved to and fro, swaying as the
anchor was drawn up, then, righting itself, sprang forward, like a
hound unleashed for the chase. Pausanias with folded arms stood on the
deck of his own vessel, gazing after it, gazing long, till shooting
far beyond the fleet, far towards the melting line between sea and
sky, it grew less and lesser, and as the twilight dawned, it had faded
The Heracleid turned to Alcman, who, after he had conveyed Lysander to
the ship, had regained his master's side.
"What thinkest thou, Alcman, will be the result of all this?"
"The emancipation of the Helots," said the Mothon quietly. "The
Athenians are too near thee, the Persians are too far. Wouldst thou
have armies Sparta can neither give nor take away from thee, bind to
thee a race by the strongest of human ties--make them see in thy power
the necessary condition of their freedom."
Pausanias made no answer. He turned within his pavilion, and flinging
himself down on the same spot from which he had disturbed Lysander,
said, "Sleep here was so kind to him that it may linger where he left
it. I have two hours yet for oblivion before the sun rise."
If we were enabled minutely to examine the mental organization of men
who have risked great dangers, whether by the impulse of virtue, or
in the perpetration of crime, we should probably find therein a large
preponderance of hope. By that preponderance we should account for
those heroic designs which would annihilate prudence as a calculator,
did not a sanguine confidence in the results produce special energies
to achieve them, and thus create a prudence of its own, being as it
were the self-conscious admeasurement of the diviner strength which
justified the preterhuman spring. Nor less should we account by the
same cause for that audacity which startles us in criminals on a
colossal scale, which blinds them to the risks of detection, and often
at the bar of justice, while the evidences that ensure condemnation
are thickening round them, with the persuasion of acquittal or escape.
Hope is thus alike the sublime inspirer or the arch corrupter; it is
the foe of terror, the defier of consequences, the buoyant gamester
which at every loss doubles the stakes, with a firm hand rattles the
dice, and, invoking ruin, cries within itself, "How shall I expend the
In the character, therefore, of a man like Pausanias, risking so
much glory, daring so much peril, strong indeed must have been this
sanguine motive power of human action. Nor is a large and active
development of hope incompatible with a temperament habitually grave
and often profoundly melancholy. For hope itself is often engendered
by discontent. A vigorous nature keenly susceptible to joy, and
deprived of the possession of the joy it yearns for by circumstances
that surround it in the present, is goaded on by its impatience
and dissatisfaction; it hopes for the something it has not got,
indifferent to the things it possesses, and saddened by the want which
it experiences. And therefore it has been well said by philosophers,
that real happiness would exclude desire; in other words, not only at
the gates of hell, but at the porch of heaven, he who entered would
leave hope behind him. For perfect bliss is but supreme content. And
if content could say to itself,--"But I hope for something more," it
would destroy its own existence.
From his brief slumber the Spartan rose refreshed. The trumpets were
sounding near him, and the very sound brightened his aspect, and
animated his spirits.
Agreeably to orders he had given the night before, the anchor was
raised, the rowers were on their benches, the libation to the Carnean
Apollo, under whose special protection the ship was placed, had been
poured forth, and with the rising sea and to the blare of trumpets the
gorgeous trireme moved forth from the bay.
It moved, as the trumpets ceased, to the note of a sweeter, but not
less exciting music. For, according to Hellenic custom, to the rowers
was allotted a musician, with whose harmony their oars, when first
putting forth to sea, kept time. And on this occasion Alcman
superseded the wonted performer by his own more popular song and the
melody of his richer voice. Standing by the mainmast, and holding
the large harp, which was stricken by the quill, its strings being
deepened by a sounding-board, he chanted an Io Paean to the Dorian god
of light and poesy. The harp at stated intervals was supported by a
burst of flutes, and the burthen of the verse was caught up by the
rowers as in chorus. Thus, far and wide over the shining waves, went
forth the hymn.
Io, Io Paean! slowly. Song and oar must chime together:
Io, Io Paean! by what title call Apollo!
Clarian? Xanthian? Boedromian?
Countless are thy names, Apollo,
Io Carnee! Io Carnee!
By the margent of Eurotas,
'Neath the shadows of Taeygetus,
Thee the sons of Lacedaemon
Name Carneus. Io, Io!
Io Carnee! Io Carnee!
Io, Io Paean! quicker. Song and voice must chime together:
Io Paean! Io Paean! King Apollo, Io, Io!
For thine altars do the seasons
Paint the tributary flowers,
Spring thy hyacinth restores,
Summer greets thee with the rose,
Autumn the blue Cyane mingles
With the coronals of corn,
And in every wreath thy laurel
Weaves its everlasting green.
Io Carnee! Io Carnee!
For the brows Apollo favours
Spring and winter does the laurel
Weave its everlasting green.
Io, Io Paean! louder. Voice and oar must chime together:
For the brows Apollo favours
Even Ocean bears the laurel.
Io Carnee! Io Carnee!
Io, Io Paean! stronger. Strong are those who win the laurel.
As the ship of the Spartan commander thus bore out to sea, the other
vessels of the armament had been gradually forming themselves into a
crescent, preserving still the order in which the allies maintained
their several contributions to the fleet, the Athenian ships at the
extreme end occupying the right wing, the Peloponnesians massed
together at the left.
The Chian galleys adjoined the Samian; for Uliades and Antagoras had
contrived that their ships should be close to each other, so that they
might take counsel at any moment and act in concert.
And now when the fleet had thus opened its arms as it were to receive
the commander, the great trireme of Pausanias began to veer round, and
to approach the half moon of the expanded armament. On it came, with
its beaked prow, like a falcon swooping down on some array of the
From the stern hung a gilded shield and a crimson pennon. The
heavy-armed soldiers in their Spartan mail occupied the centre of the
vessel, and the sun shone full upon their armour.
"By Pallas the guardian," said Cimon, "it is the Athenian vessels that
the strategus honours with his first visit."
And indeed the Spartan galley now came alongside that of Aristides,
the admiral of the Athenian navy.
The soldiers on board the former gave way on either side. And a murmur
of admiration circled through the Athenian ship, as Pausanias
suddenly appeared. For, as if bent that day on either awing mutiny or
conciliating the discontented, the Spartan chief had wisely laid aside
the wondrous Median robes. He stood on her stern in the armour he had
worn at Plataea, resting one hand upon his shield, which itself rested
on the deck. His head alone was uncovered, his long sable locks
gathered up into a knot, in the Spartan fashion, a crest as it were
in itself to that lofty head. And so imposing were his whole air and
carriage, that Cimon, gazing at him, muttered, "What profane hand will
dare to rob that demigod of command?"
Pausanias came on board the vessel of the Athenian admiral, attended
by the five Spartan chiefs who have been mentioned before as the
warlike companions assigned to him. He relaxed the haughty demeanour
which had given so much displeasure, adopting a tone of marked
courtesy. He spoke with high and merited praise of the seaman-like
appearance of the Athenian crews, and the admirable build and
equipment of their vessels.
"Pity only," said he, smiling, "that we have no Persians on the ocean
now, and that instead of their visiting us we must go in search of
"Would that be wise on our part?" said Aristides. "Is not Greece large
enough for Greeks?"
"Greece has not done growing," answered the Spartan; "and the Gods
forbid that she should do so. When man ceases to grow in height he
expands in bulk; when he stops there too, the frame begins to stoop,
the muscles to shrink, the skin to shrivel, and decrepit old age
steals on. I have heard it said of the Athenians that they think
nothing done while aught remains to do. Is it not truly said, worthy
son of Miltiades?"
Cimon bowed his head. "General, I cannot disavow the sentiment. But if
Greece entered Asia, would it not be as a river that runs into a sea?
it expands, and is merged."
"The river, Cimon, may lose the sweetness of its wave and take the
brine of the sea. But the Greek can never lose the flavour of the
Greek genius, and could he penetrate the universe, the universe would
be Hellenized. But if, O Athenian chiefs, ye judge that we have now
done all that is needful to protect Athens, and awe the Barbarian, ye
must be longing to retire from the armament and return to your homes."
"When it is fit that we should return, we shall be recalled," said
"What, is your State so unerring in its judgment? Experience does not
permit me to think so, for it ostracised Aristides."
"An honour," replied the Athenian, "that I did not deserve, but an
action that, had I been the adviser of those who sent me forth, I
should have opposed as too lenient. Instead of ostracising me, they
should have cast both myself and Themistocles into the Barathrum."
"You speak with true Attic honour, and I comprehend that where, in
commonwealths constituted like yours, party runs high, and the State
itself is shaken, ostracism may be a necessary tribute to the very
virtues that attract the zeal of a party and imperil the equality ye
so prize. But what can compensate to a State for the evil of depriving
itself of its greatest citizens?"
"Peace and freedom," said Aristides. "If you would have the young
trees thrive you must not let one tree be so large as to overshadow
them. Ah, general at Plataea," added the Athenian, in a benignant
whisper, for the grand image before him moved his heart with a mingled
feeling of generous admiration and prophetic pity, "ah, pardon me if I
remind thee of the ring of Polycrates, and say that Fortune is a queen
that requires tribute. Man should tremble most when most seemingly
fortune-favoured, and guard most against a fall when his rise is at
"But it is only at its highest flight that the eagle is safe from the
arrow," answered Pausanias.
"And the nest the eagle has forgotten in her soaring is the more
exposed to the spoiler."
"Well, my nest is in rocky Sparta; hardy the spoiler who ventures
thither. Yet, to descend from these speculative comparisons, it seems
that thou hast a friendly and meaning purpose in thy warnings. Thou
knowest that there are in this armament men who grudge to me whatever
I now owe to Fortune, who would topple me from the height to which I
did not climb, but was led by the congregated Greeks, and who, while
perhaps they are forging arrowheads for the eagle, have sent to place
poison and a snare in its distant nest. So the Nausicaa is on
its voyage to Sparta, conveying to the Ephors complaints against
me--complaints from men who fought by my side against the Mede."
"I have heard that a Cyprian vessel left the fleet yesterday, bound
to Laconia. I have heard that it does bear men charged by some of the
Ionians with representations unfavourable to the continuance of thy
command. It bears none from me as the Nauarchus of the Athenians.
"But I have complained to thyself, Pausanias, in vain."
"Hast thou complained of late, and in vain?"
"Honest men may err; if they amend, do just men continue to accuse?"
"I do not accuse, Pausanias, I but imply that those who do may have a
cause, but it will be heard before a tribunal of thine own countrymen,
and doubtless thou hast sent to the tribunal those who may meet the
charge on thy behalf."
"Well," said Pausanias, still preserving his studied urbanity and
lofty smile, "even Agamemnon and Achilles quarrelled, but Greece took
Troy not the less. And at least, since Aristides does not denounce me,
if I have committed even worse faults than Agamemnon, I have not made
an enemy of Achilles. And if," he added after a pause, "if some of
these Ionians, not waiting for the return of their envoys, openly
mutiny, they must be treated as Thersites was." Then he hurried
on quickly, for observing that Cimon's brow lowered, and his lips
quivered, he desired to cut off all words that might lead to
"But I have a request to ask of the Athenian Nauarchus. Will you
gratify myself and the fleet by putting your Athenian triremes into
play? Your seamen are so famous for their manoeuvres, that they might
furnish us with sports of more grace and agility than do the Lydian
dancers. Landsman though I be, no sight more glads mine eye, than
these sea lions of pine and brass, bounding under the yoke of their
tamers. I presume not to give thee instructions what to perform. Who
can dictate to the seamen of Salamis? But when your ships have
played out their martial sport, let them exchange stations with the
Peloponnesian vessels, and occupy for the present the left of the
armament. Ye object not?"
"Place us where thou wilt, as was said to thee at Plataea," answered
"I now leave ye to prepare, Athenians, and greet ye, saying, the Good
to the Beautiful" "A wondrous presence for a Greek commander!" said
Cimon, as Pausanias again stood on the stern of his own vessel, which
moved off towards the ships of the islands.
"And no mean capacity," returned Aristides. "See you not his object in
"Ha, truly; in case of mutiny on board the Ionian ships, he separates
them from Athens. But woe to him if he thinks in his heart that an
Ionian is a Thersites, to be silenced by the blow of a sceptre.
Meanwhile let the Greeks see what manner of seamen are the Athenians.
Methinks this game ordained to us is a contest before Neptune, and for
Pausanias bore right on towards the vessels from the Aegaean Isles.
Their masts and prows were heavy with garlands, but no music sounded
from their decks, no welcoming shout from their crews.
"Son of Cleombrotus," said the prudent Erasinidas, "sullen dogs bite.
Unwise the stranger who trusts himself to their kennel. Pass not to
those triremes; let the captains, if thou wantest them, come to thee."
Pausanias replied, "Dogs fear the steady eye and spring at the
recreant back. Helmsman, steer to yonder ship with the olive tree on
the Parasemon, and the image of Bacchus on the guardian standard. It
is the ship of Antagoras the Chian captain."
Pausanias turned to his warlike Five. "This time, forgive me, I go
alone." And before their natural Spartan slowness enabled them to
combat this resolution, their leader was by the side of his rival,
alone in the Chian vessel, and surrounded by his sworn foes.
"Antagoras," said the Spartan, "a Chian seaman's ship is his dearest
home. I stand on thy deck as at thy hearth, and ask thy hospitality; a
crust of thy honied bread, and a cup of thy Chian wine. For from
thy ship I would see the Athenian vessels go through their nautical
The Chian turned pale and trembled; his vengeance was braved and
foiled. He was powerless against the man who trusted to his honour,
and asked to break of his bread and eat of his cup. Pausanias did not
appear to heed the embarrassment of his unwilling host, but turning
round, addressed some careless words to the soldiers on the raised
central platform, and then quietly seated himself, directing his eyes
towards the Athenian ships Upon these all the sails were now lowered.
In nice manoeuvres the seamen preferred trusting to their oars.
Presently one vessel started forth, and with a swiftness that seemed
to increase at every stroke.
A table was brought upon deck and placed before Pausanias, and the
slaves began to serve to him such light food as sufficed to furnish
the customary meal of the Greeks in the earlier forenoon.
"But where is mine host?" asked the Spartan. "Does Antagoras himself
not deign to share a meal with his guest?"
On receiving the message, Antagoras had no option but to come forward.
The Spartan eyed him deliberately, and the young Chian felt with
secret rage the magic of that commanding eye.
Pausanias motioned to him to be seated, making room beside himself.
The Chian silently obeyed.
"Antagoras," said the Spartan in a low voice, "thou art doubtless one
of those who have already infringed the laws of military discipline
and obedience. Interrupt me not yet. A vessel without waiting my
permission has left the fleet with accusations against me, thy
commander; of what nature I am not even advised. Thou wilt scarcely