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Pericles   


whence, has befouled with them a man who, perchance, was not altogether
free from fault or blame, but yet had a noble spirit, and a soul that
was bent on honour; and where such qualities are, there can no such
cruel and brutal passion find harbour or gain admittance. As to Ephialtes,
the truth of the story, as Aristotle has told it, is this: that having
made himself formidable to the oligarchical party, by being an uncompromising
asserter of the people's rights in calling to account and prosecuting
those who any way wronged them, his enemies, lying in wait for him,
by the means of Aristodicus the Tanagraean, privately despatched him.
Cimon, while he was admiral, ended his days in the Isle of Cyprus.
And the aristocratical party, seeing that Pericles was already before
this grown to be the greatest and foremost man of all the city, but
nevertheless wishing there should be somebody set up against him,
to blunt and turn the edge of his power, that it might not altogether
prove a monarchy, put forward Thucydides of Alopece, a discreet person,
and a near kinsman of Cimon's, to conduct the opposition against him;
who, indeed, though less skilled in warlike affairs than Cimon was,
yet was better versed in speaking and political business and keeping
close guard in the city, and, engaging with Pericles on the hustings,
in a short time brought the government to an equality of parties.
For he would not suffer those who were called the honest and good
(persons of worth and distinction) to be scattered up and down and
mix themselves and be lost among the populace, as formerly, diminishing
and obscuring their superiority amongst the masses; but taking them
apart by themselves and uniting them in one body, by their combined
weight he was able, as it were upon the balance, to make a counterpoise
to the other party.
For, indeed, there was from the beginning a sort of concealed split,
or seam, as it might be in a piece of iron, marking the different
popular and aristocratical tendencies; but the open rivalry and contention
of these two opponents made the gash deep, and severed the city into
the two parties of the people and the few. And so Pericles, at that
time, more than at any other, let loose the reins to the people, and
made his policy subservient to their pleasure, contriving continually
to have some great public show or solemnity, some banquet, or some
procession or other in the town to please them, coaxing his countrymen
like children with such delights and pleasures as were not, however,
unedifying. Besides that every year he sent out threescore galleys,
on board of which there were numbers of the citizens, who were in
pay eight months, learning at the same time and practising the art
of seamanship.
He sent, moreover, a thousand of them into the Chersonese as planters,
to share the land among them by lot, and five hundred more into the
isle of Naxos, and half that number to Andros, a thousand into Thrace
to dwell among the Bisaltae, and others into Italy, when the city
Sybaris, which now was called Thurii, was to be repeopled. And this
he did to ease and discharge the city of an idle, and, by reason of
their idleness, a busy meddling crowd of people; and at the same time
to meet the necessities and restore the fortunes of the poor townsmen,
and to intimidate, also, and check their allies from attempting any
change, by posting such garrisons, as it were, in the midst of them.
That which gave most pleasure and ornament to the city of Athens,
and the greatest admiration and even astonishment to all strangers,
and that which now is Greece's only evidence that the power she boasts
of and her ancient wealth are no romance or idle story, was his construction
of the public and sacred buildings. Yet this was that of all his actions
in the government which his enemies most looked askance upon and cavilled
at in the popular assemblies, crying out how that the commonwealth
of Athens had lost its reputation and was ill-spoken of abroad for
removing the common treasure of the Greeks from the isle of Delos
into their own custody; and how that their fairest excuse for so doing,
namely, that they took it away for fear the barbarians should seize
it, and on purpose to secure it in a safe place, this Pericles had
made unavailable, and how that "Greece cannot but resent it as an

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