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Pericles   


a lamp supply it with oil."
The Lacedaemonians beginning to show themselves troubled at the growth
of the Athenian power, Pericles, on the other hand, to elevate the
people's spirit yet more, and to raise them to the thought of great
actions, proposed a decree, to summon all the Greeks in what, part
soever, whether of Europe or Asia, every city, little as well as great,
to send their deputies to Athens to a general assembly, or convention,
there to consult and advise concerning the Greek temples which the
barbarians had burnt down, and the sacrifices which were due from
them upon vows they had made to their gods for the safety of Greece
when they fought against the barbarians; and also concerning the navigation
of the sea, that they might henceforward pass to and fro and trade
securely and be at peace among themselves.
Upon this errand there were twenty men, of such as were above fifty
years of age, sent by commission; five to summon the Ionians and Dorians
in Asia, and the islanders as far as Lesbos and Rhodes; five to visit
all the places in the Hellespont and Thrace, up to Byzantium; and
other five besides these to go to Boeotia and Phocis and Peloponnesus,
and from hence to pass through the Locrians over to the neighbouring
continent as far as Acarnania and Ambracia; and the rest to take their
course through Euboea to the Oetaeans and the Malian Gulf, and to
the Achaeans of Phthiotis and the Thessalians; all of them to treat
with the people as they passed, and persuade them to come and take
their part in the debates for settling the peace and jointly regulating
the affairs of Greece.
Nothing was effected, nor did the cities meet by their deputies, as
was desired; the Lacedaemonians, as it is said, crossing the design
underhand, and the attempt being disappointed and baffled first in
Peloponnesus. I thought fit, however, to introduce the mention of
it, to show the spirit of the man and the greatness of his thoughts.
In his military conduct, he gained a great reputation for wariness;
he would not by his good-will engage in any fight which had much uncertainty
or hazard; he did not envy the glory of generals whose rash adventures
fortune favoured with brilliant success, however they were admired
by others; nor did he think them worthy his imitation, but always
used to say to his citizens that, so far as lay in his power, they
should continue immortal, and live for ever. Seeing Tolmides, the
son of Tolmaeus, upon the confidence of his former successes, and
flushed with the honour his military actions had procured him, making
preparations to attack the Boeotians in their own country when there
was no likely opportunity, and that he had prevailed with the bravest
and most enterprising of the youth to enlist themselves as volunteers
in the service, who besides his other force made up a thousand, he
endeavoured to withhold him and to advise him from it in the public
assembly, telling him in a memorable saying of his, which still goes
about, that, if he would not take Pericles's advice, yet he would
not do amiss to wait and be ruled by time, the wisest counsellor of
all. This saying, at that time, was but slightly commended; but within
a few days after, when news was brought that Tolmides himself had
been defeated and slain in battle near Coronea, and that many brave
citizens had fallen with him, it gained him great repute as well as
good-will among the people, for wisdom and for love of his countrymen.
But of all his expeditions, that to the Chersonese gave most satisfaction
and pleasure, having proved the safety of the Greeks who inhabited
there. For not only by carrying along with him a thousand fresh citizens
of Athens he gave new strength and vigour to the cities, but also
by belting the neck of land, which joins the peninsula to the continent,
with bulwarks and forts from sea to sea, he put a stop to the inroads
of the Thracians, who lay all about the Chersonese, and closed the
door against a continual and grievous war, with which that country
had been long harassed, lying exposed to the encroachments and influx
of barbarous neighbours, and groaning under the evils of a predatory
population both upon and within its borders.
Nor was he less admired and talked of abroad for his sailing around

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