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mense sums, as were designed only for the support of the war, in superfluous buildings and vain decorations ? And would it not have been better to have eased the allies of a part of their contributions, which under the government of Pericles were raised near one-third above what they were before ?
Cimon also took care to adorn the city. But besides that the money he laid out was part of the booty he had taken from the enemy, and was not the heart's-blood and substance of the people; the expence was very moderate, and confined either to such works as were absolutely necessary, as the port, the walls, and fortifications of the city; or of very great use to the citizens ; such as the porticos and public walks; the places of exercise, as the academy, the usual residence of the poets, and celebrated retreat of the philosophers. This place he took a peculiar care to make more commodious and agreeable; and by this slight expence gave occasion to those learned discourses, which were so deserving of a free people, and derived so much honour to the city of Athens from all after-ages.
He had heaped up immense riches, but made such an use of them as might make the Christians ashamed; giving largely to all the poor he met with, distributing clothes to such as wanted them, and inviting the necessitous citizens of Athens to eat at his table. What comparison is there, says Plutarch, between the table of Cimon, which was plain, frugal, popular, and at a small expence fed every day a great number of citizens; and that of Lucullus, which was magnificently served, and more worthy of a Persian grandee than a citizen of Rome, being designed to gratify at a vast expence the sensuality of some professed debauchees, whose only merit was a nice palate, and doubtless the art of highly commending the master of the house.
by his military expeditions Cimon was equal in glory to the most eminent commanders among the Greeks ; for no body before him ever carried their arms and conquests so far, and to the bravery and
courage he had in common with the rest, he added a prudence and moderation, which were of no less service to his country.
His youth indeed was not unblamable; but the rest of his life covered, and abundantly made amends for his former faults; and where can we find a virtue without blemish ?
If such a thing were possible among the heathens, it would be the virtue of Aristides. An extraordinary greatness of soul made him superior to every passion. Interest, pleasure, ambition, resentment, jealousy, were extinguished in him by the love of virtue and his country. He was a man born for the republic. Provided that was well served, he was unconcerned by whom it was done. The merit of others, instead of offending him, became his own by the approbation he gave it. He had a share in all the great victories obtained by the Greeks in his time, without being at all the more haughty on that account. His inclination was not to rule in Athens, but to make Athens rule. And this he effected, not as we have already observed, by fitting out great fleets, and sending vast armies into the field, but by rendering the government of the Athenians amiable to the allies by his mildness
, goodness, humanity, and justice. The disinterestedness he shewed in the management of the public treasure, and the love of poverty, which he carried, if I may venture to say, almost to an excess, are virtues so far superior to the practice of our age, that they scarce seem credible to us. In a word, and we may hence judge of the real merit of Aristides, if Athens had always been governed by commanders like him, and had been content to enjoy the honour of being mistress of Greece, and with preserving the peace and happiness of her neighbours, she would have been at the same time the terror of her enemies, the delight of her allies, and the admiration of the whole world.
Themistocles made no scruple to use tricking and subtlety in compassing his designs, and was not always firm and constant in his undertakings. But for Aris
tides, his conduct and principles were always uniform, stedfast in the pursuit of whatever he thought just, and incapable of the least falshood or shadow of flattery, disguise or fraud, no not in jest.
He had one maxiin of the greatest importance to all such as would enter into public employments, who are too apt to rely upon their friends, and their intrigues. And this was, that every true citizen and man of probity should place his whole credit in doing and advising upon all occasions whatever was just and honest. He spoke thus, from observing that the great credit of their friends induced most persons in office to abuse their power, by committing unjust actions.
Nothing could be more admirable than the behaviour of Aristides before the battle of Marathon, or more different from our way of thinking and acting at present. The command of the army being divided between ten Athenian generals, who had each their particular day to preside over the rest, Aristides was the first to give up this command to Miltiades, as the person of the greatest ability among them, and engaged his colleagues to do the same, by representing to them, that it was not shameful, but great and salutary, to submit to superior merit. And by thus uniting the whole authority in a single chief, he enabled Miltiades to gain a great victory over the Persians.
There is one quality very extraordinary, which belongs to all the four great men I have been speaking of, and deserves to be carefully taken notice of by a master, and to be pointed out to his scholars; and that is their facility in sacrificing their own private resentments to the good of the public. Their hatred had nothing implacable in it, no rancour, no fury, as among the Romans. The safety of the state reconciles then without leaving any jealousy or gall behind it; and far from secretly crossing the designs of a former rival, every one concurs with zeal to the success of his enterprises, and to the advancement of
This quality, this characteristic, is one of the noblest, most difficult, and most superior to human nature, that we moct with in history; and I may venture to say, the most necessary and important for persons in high stations, in whom it is but too common to observe a narrowness of soul, which they are pleased to call great and noble, and puts them upon being captious, nice and jealous in point of commmand, incompatible with their colleagues, solely attentive to their own glory, always ready to sacrifice the public to their private interest, and suffering theirrivals to commit faults
, that they may turn them to their own advantage.
But, we shall see a quite different conduct in the persons whose characters we are now examining.
Themistocles, not long before the battle of Salamis, finding the Athenians regretted Aristides, and were desirous of his relurn, though he was the principal author of his banishment, made no scruple to recal hiin, by a decree in favour of all exiles, which allowed thein to return and assist their country with their counsel, and defend it with their valour.
[g] Aristides, thus recalled, went some time after to find Themistocles in his tent, and gave him an important piece of advice, upon which the success of the war, and the safety of Greece depended. His discourse deserved to have been engraved in letters of gold. " Theniistocles, says he, if we are wise, we shall "henceforward lay aside that vain and childish dissen
tion, which has hitherto set us at variance; and by "a more noble and useful emulation, strive who shall “ take the most pains in serving our country; you,
by cummanding and doing the duty of a discreet " and good officer; and I, by obeying and assisting “
you with my person and advice. Ple then communicated to him what he judged necessary in the present conjuncture. Themistocles astonished at his greatness of soul, and so noble a frankness of sentiments, was ashamed to be outdone by his rival; and freely owning it, promised from thenceforth ta imi
 Herod. lib. 8. Plut. in Vit. Themist. & Aristiờ.
tate his generous example, and if possible exceed it
Is there in history any thing more entirely grand
We have also in Cimon a great instance of the virtue I am describing, who being actually banished by ostracism, came notwithstanding to take his place in his tribe to fight against the Lacedæmonians, who till then had been constantly his friends, and with whom he stood charged of holding private intelligence. An when his enemies had obtained an order from the public council, to forbid his going to the battle, he withdrew, and conjured his friends to prove his innocence and their own by their actions. They took the
[h] Tásla cuvinpale xy ovvies. suam famam gestis exultavit: ad
sequendo, verecundiâ in prædican-