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Thus ends the Life of Darius, a Prince endued with many great and excellent Qualities, which however sometimes gave way to several great Faults, which very much tarnished the Glory of his Reign. :, Aš the Epitaph of this Prince hath something very singular in it, I shall here add it: Η δυναμης και οινον πινειν πολυν και τα τον . . .Qepety zaws.
СНАР. ІІ. Contains the Reign of Xerxes, which con. tinued for twelve Years only, but is full of Action, and crouded with a rich Harvest of great Events. As soon as he was mounted on
the Throne, he employed the first Year of his A.M.3519 reign in continuing the warlikePreparationswhich
his Father had begun for the Expedition against Egypt, and confirmed to the Jews all the Privileges that had been formerly granted them by his Father Darius ; particularly that which alsigned them the Tribute of Samaria to furnish Victims, and defray the other Expences of the Temple.
The second Year he marched with his Army against the Egyptians, and after he had fubdued them, returned the same Year to Susa. This Year was born the famous Historian Herodote, at Halicarnassus : in Caria; he is called the Father of all prophane History, and the chief Author of this and the former Period.:
Xerxes puft up by his Success against the Egyptians, refolved to carry the War againft the Greeks, and discharged those of his Houshold to buy him any more Figs that came from Attica, (which were accounted the best),
saying, that he would eat none of them, till the Country was his own; fo fure did he think himself of the Success of his Expedition. Nevertheless, before he engaged in an Enterprize of so great importance, he thought proper to consult the Opinions of all the wife Men of his Empire; he acquainted them with his Resolutions, and exposed to them in the strongest Terms the Obligation he thought himself under to revenge the Insolence of the Athenians, and to repair the Affront received at the Battle of Marathon : he also explain'd to them the great Advantages that might be expected from the Success of that War, seeing it wou'd pave a Way for the entire Conquest of all Europe.
Mardonius, whom the Disgrace he had formerly met with in his Expedition against Greece, had neither made wiser, nor less ambitious, being the first that offered to speak, and knowing Xerxes's Temper,flatter'd him with che hopes of certain Conqueft, making him believe that nothing could stand before him. The rest of the Council, though of a contrary Opi. nion, perceiving that the King very much relished the flattering Speech of Mardonius,and not daring to expose their real Sentiments, kept silence, till at length the brave Artaban his Uncle, took the liberty in a noble Speech (such as he had formerly made to Darius) to expose both the Danger and Fruitlessness of that Design ; and at the same time severely reproved the disa honesty and rashness of Mardonius's Advice. Notwithstanding this, Xerxes pursued his first Resolution, defending himfelf against the wholefome Advice of his Unele Artaban, by an idle Pretext of his having been thereto encouraged
the Night before by a Vision, which promis'd
Thus Xerxes, conformable to the Prediction of Dan. xi. 2. Daniel, by his Power and great Riches raised
against Greece all the Kingdoms of the then known World.
All things being prepared, the fifth Year of his Reign he began his March towards Sardis, the Place appointed for the Rendezvous of all his Forces; his Fleet also advanced a. long the Coast of Asia Minor towards the Hela lespont, which he passed the following Summer with his Army upon two Bridges of Boats, which he had ordered to be constructed with vaft Labour and Expence. It was before this Passage into Europe, that he ordered the Representation of a Sea-fight to be performed ; and being seated upon a Throne which he hadordered to be erected on a highPlace, from whence he had a full View of all his Force, which was fo great, that it covered both Sea and Land round about him; and tho’he accounted hini: felfthe happiest of all Mortals, yet this melancholly Reflexion made upon that occasion, that before an hundred Years there should not one of all these thousands remain alive, forced Tears from his Eyes.
THERE There are many other things very remarkable, which our Author gives a full Account of, that happened during the course of this March ; such are the Orders that Xerxes gave to cut a Passage for his Ships through Mount Athos, and the threatning Letter he sent to the Mountain itself on this occasion.' The Description he gives of the making of these Bridges, and the Punishment Xerxes ordered to be inflicted on the Sea for breaking the first Bridge, are all glaring Instances of the Vanity and Folly of this Prince. There is also an Account of the Interview that he had with Pythieusa Prince of Lydia, and of Pythieusa's Wife's Contrivance to cure her Husband of his extraordinary Covetousness, and bad Treatment of his Subjects, by ordering one day, when he was set down to Table very hungry, nothing to be served up but Gold ; thereby convincing him of the small Válue of that Metal, any farther than it was of real Use in Life. .
Xerxes having pass'd the Hellefpont with his Army, wherein there were seven Days and seven Nights employed, he advanced across the Chersonese of Thrace to Dorisque, a City near the Mouth of the River Heber, and having ordered his Fleet to follow him, he made a Review of his whole Forces, which, according to Herodote, who lived at that time, amounted to two millions one hundred thousand Land Forcės, three hundred thousand Marines on board of thirteen hundred fighting Ships, and two hundred and forty thousand Men on board of three thousand Transports ; in all two millions six hundred and forty thousand: besides these, the Servants, Eunuchs, Suttlers and Women, No XX. 1732
• that VOL, IV.
that followed the Army, amounted to as many more ; so that the whole Number of People that followed Xerxes in this Expedition, were five millions two hundred and eighty thousand; a number almost incredible, were it not attested by so good Authorities as that of Herodote, Plutarch, and Ifocrates. And according to the Computation of Herodote, there could be no less than seven hundred thousand Bushels of Corn, each Day required to nourish this great Mulcitude. In all that great Army there was none to be found that could equal or be compared with Xerxes himself, either for Stature or Beauty of Countenance ; a poor Elogium for a Prince, and a General of so great an Army, when no other good Quality accompany'd them.
THE Lacedemonians and Athenians, againit whom this mighty Storm was chiefly directed, did not continue idle; they sent Deputations to Argos, Sicily, Crete, and Corcyra to demand Succours: but of all these there was none that sent them any, except sixty Ships from Corcyra, who under pretext that they were detained by contrary Winds, continued in a State of Inactivity, till they saw which way Fortune would turn the Scales; so that the Lacedemonians and Atbenians were left deftitute of all Asistance to stand or fall by themselyes.
THE Athenians chose Themistocles for their Genéral; who foreseeing the Storm that threatned them from Persia, and being resolved to prepare against it, had taken care under fome other pretence to equip a Fleet of one hundred - Ships, which were afterwards of very signal - service, and proved the greatest Mean to preTerve Greece from Ruin.