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Pericles   


lest they should force him to act against his judgment; but, like
a skilful steersman or pilot of a ship, who, when a sudden squall
comes on, out at sea, makes all his arrangements, sees that all is
tight and fast, and then follows the dictates of his skill, and minds
the business of the ship, taking no notice of the tears and entreaties
of the sea-sick and fearful passengers, so he, having shut up the
city gates, and placed guards at all posts for security, followed
his own reason and judgment, little regarding those that cried out
against him and were angry at his management, although there were
a great many of his friends that urged him with requests, and many
of his enemies threatened and accused him for doing as he did, and
many made songs and lampoons upon him, which were sung about the town
to his disgrace, reproaching him with the cowardly exercise of his
office of general, and the tame abandonment of everything to the enemy's
hands.
Cleon, also, already was among his assailants, making use of the feeling
against him as a step to the leadership of the people, as appears
in the anapaestic verses of Hermippus-
"Satyr-king, instead of swords,
Will you always handle words?
Very brave indeed we find them,
But a Teles lurks behind them.
"Yet to gnash your teeth you're seen,
When the little dagger keen,
Whetted every day anew,
Of sharp Cleon touches you."
Pericles, however, was not at all moved by any attacks, but took all
patiently, and submitted in silence to the disgrace they threw upon
him and the ill-will they bore him; and, sending out a fleet of a
hundred galleys to Peloponnesus, he did not go along with it in person,
but stayed behind, that he might watch at home and keep the city under
his own control, till the Peloponnesians broke up their camp and were
gone. Yet to soothe the common people, jaded and distressed with the
war, he relieved them with distributions of public moneys, and ordained
new divisions of subject land. For having turned out all the people
of Aegina, he parted the island among the Athenians according to lot.
Some comfort also, and ease in their miseries, they might receive
from what their enemies endured. For the fleet, sailing round the
Peloponnese, ravaged a great deal of the country, and pillaged and
plundered the towns and smaller cities; and by land he himself entered
with an army the Megarian country, and made havoc of it all. Whence
it is clear that the Peloponnesians, though they did the Athenians
much mischief by land, yet suffering as much themselves from them
by sea, would not have protracted the war to such a length, but would
quickly have given it over, as Pericles at first foretold they would,
had not some divine power crossed human purposes.
In the first place, the pestilential disease, or plague, seized upon
the city, and ate up all the flower and prime of their youth and strength.
Upon occasion of which, the people, distempered and afflicted in their
souls, as well as in their bodies, were utterly enraged like madmen
against Pericles, and, like patients grown delirious, sought to lay
violent hands on their physician, or, as it were, their father. They
had been possessed, by his enemies, with the belief that the occasion
of the plague was the crowding of the country people together into
the town forced as they were now, in the heat of the summer-weather,
to dwell many of them together even as they could, in small tenements
and stifling hovels, and to be tied to a lazy course of life within
doors, whereas before they lived in a pure, open, and free air. The
cause and author of all this, said they, is he who on account of the
war has poured a multitude of people in upon us within the walls,
and uses all these men that he has here upon no employ or service,
but keeps them pent up like cattle, to be overrun with infection from
one another, affording them neither shift of quarters nor any refreshment.
With the design to remedy these evils, and do the enemy some inconvenience,

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