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We have seen that Themistocles had fled to Ad Artax. metus, king of the Molossi, and had met with a gra- Longim.cious reception from him; but the Athenians and Lacedæmonians would not suffer him to live in peace, and required that prince to deliver him up; threatening, in case of refusal, to carry their arms into hist country. Admetus, who was unwilling to draw such formidable enemies upon himself, and much more to deliver up the man who had fled to him for refuge, informed him of the great danger to which he was exposed, and favoured his flight. Themistocles went as far by land as Pydna, a city of Macedonia, and there embarked on board a merchant ship which was sailing to Ionia. None of the passengers knew him. A storm having carried this vessel near the island of Naxos, then besieged by the Athenians; the imminent danger to which Themistocles was exposed, obliged him to discover himself to the pilot and master of the ship; after which, by in. treaties and menaces, he forced them to sail towards Asia.
Themistocles might on this occasion call to mind the advice which his father had given him when an infant, viz. to lay very little stress on the favour of the common people. They were then walking together in the harbour. His father pointing to some rotten gailics that lay neglected on the strand, Behold there, says he, son, (pointing to them) thus do the people treat their governors, when they can do them no further service.
He was now arrived in Cumæ, a city of Æolia in Asia minor. The king of Persia had set a price upon his head, and promised two hundred * tents to any man who should deliver him up. The whole coast was covered with people, who were watching
Thucyd. 1. i. p. 90, 91. Plut. in Themist. p. 125, 127. Diod. 1. xi. p. 42, 44. Corn. Nep. in Themist. c. viii. x. in Themist. p. 112.
Two hundred thousand crowns, or about 45,000 7. sterling.
Artax. for him. He fled to Egæ, a little city of Eolia, Longim. where no one knew him except Nicogenes, at whose house he lodged. He was the most wealthy man in that country, and very intimate with all the lords of the Persian court. Themistocles was concealed some days in his house, till Nicogenes sent him under a strong guard, to Susa, in one of those covered chariots in which the Persians, who were extremely jealous, use to carry their wives; those who carried him telling every body, that they were carrying a young Greek lady to a courtier of great distinction.
Being come to the Persian court, he waited upon the captain of the guards, and told him, that he wast a Grecian by birth, and begged the king would admit him to audience, having matters of great importance to communicate to him. The officer informed him of a ceremony, which he knew was insupportable to some Greeks, but without which none were allowed to speak to the king; and this was, to fall prostrate before him. "Our laws, says he, command us to "honour the king in that manner, and to worship " him as the living image of the immortal God, who "maintains and preserves all things." Themistocles promised to comply. Being admitted to audience, he fell on his face before the king, after the Persian manner; and afterwards rising up, "Great king*,' says he by an interpreter, "I am Themistocles the "Athenian, who having been banished by the Greeks, "am come to your court in hopes of finding an asy"lum in it. I have indeed brought many calamities "on the Persians; but, on the other side, I have "done them no less services, by the salutary advices "I have given them more than once; and I now si am able to do them more important services than "ever. My life is in your hands. You may now "exert your clemency, or display your vengeance:
Thucydides makes him say very near the same words; but informs us, that Themistocles did not speak them to the king. but sent them by way of letter before he was introduced to him.
"By the former you will preserve your suppliant; Artax. "by the latter you will destroy the greatest enemy Longim. "of Greece."
The king made him no answer at this audience, though he was struck with admiration at his great sense and boldness; but history informs us, he told his friends, that he considered Themistocles's arrival as a very great happiness; that he implored his god Arimanius always to inspire his enemies with such thoughts, and to prompt them to banish and make away with their most illustrious personages. It is added, that when this king was asleep, he started up three times in excess of joy, and cried thrice, I have got Themistocles the Athenian!
The next morning, at day-break, he sent for the greatest lords of his court, and commanded Themistocles to be brought before him, who expected nothing but destruction; especially after what one of his guards, upon hearing his name, had said to him the night before, even in the presence-chamber, just as he had left the king, Thou serpent of Greece, thou compound of fraud and malice, the good genius of our prince brings thee hither! However, the serenity which appeared in the king's face seemed to promise him`a favourable reception. Themistocles was not mistaken, for the king began by making him a present of two hundred talents, which sum he had promised to any one who should deliver him up, which consequently was his due, as Themistocles had brought him his head, by surrendering himself to him. He afterwards desired him to give an account of the affairs of Greece. But as Themistocles could not express his thoughts to the king without the assistance of an interpreter, he desired time might be allowed him to learn the Persian tongue; hoping he then should be able to explain those things he was desirous of communicating to him, better than he
Two hundred thousand French crowns; or, about 45,000 sterling.
Artax. could by the aid of a third person. It is the same, Longim. says he, with the speech of a man, as with a piece of tapestry, which must be spread out and unfolded, to show the figures and other beauties wrought in it. Themistocles having studied the Persian tongue twelve months, made so great a progress, that he spoke it with greater elegance than the Persians themselves, and consequently could converse with the king without the help of an interpreter. This prince treated him with uncommon marks of friendship and esteem; he made him marry a lady descended from one of the noblest families in Persia; gave him a palace and an equipage suitable to it, and settled a noble pension on him. He used to carry him abroad on his parties of hunting, and every banquet and entertainment; and sometimes conversed privately with him, so that the lords of the court grew jealous and uneasy upon that account. He even presented him to the princesses, who honoured him with their esteem, and received his visits. It is observed, as a proof of the peculiar favour shewed him, that by the king's special order, Themistocles was admitted to hear the lectures and discourses of the Magi, and was instructed by them in all the secrets of their philosophy.
Another proof of his great credit is related. Demaratus of Sparta, who was then at court, being commanded by the king to ask any thing of him, he desired that he might be suffered to make his entry on horseback, into the city of Sardes, with the royal tiara on his head: A ridiculous vanity! equally unworthy of the Grecian grandeur, and the simplicity of a Lacedæmonian! The king, exasperated at the insolence of his demand, expressed his disgust in the strongest terms, and seemed resolved not to pardon him; but Themistocles having interceded, the king restored him to favour.
In fine, Themistocles was in such great credit, that under the succeeding reigns, in which the affairs of Persia were still more mixed with those of Greece,
whenever the kings were desirous of drawing over Artax. any Greek to their interest, they used to declare ex- Longim. pressly in their letters, that he should be in greater favour with them, than Themistocles had been with king Artaxerxes.
It is said also that Themistocles, when in his most flourishing condition in Persia, was honoured and esteemed by all the world, who were emulous in making their court to him, said one day, when his table was covered magnificently: Children, we should have been ruined, if we had not been ruined.
But at last, as it was judged necessary for the king's interest that Themistocles should reside in some city of Asia minor, that he might be ready on any occasion which should present itself; accordingly he was sent to Magnesia, situated on the Meander; and for his subsistence, besides the whole revenues of that city, (which amounted to fifty* talents every year) had those of Myunte and Lampsacus assigned him. One of the cities was to furnish him with bread, another with wine, and a third with other provisions. Some authors add two more, viz. for his furniture and cloaths. Such was the custom of the ancient kings of the east: Instead of settling pensions on persons they rewarded, they gave them cities, and sometimes even provinces, which under the name of bread, wine, &c. were to furnish them abundantly with all things necessary for supporting, in a magnificent manner, their family and equipage. Themistocles lived for some years in Magnesia in the utmost splendor, till he came to his end in the manner which will be related hereafter.
Fifty thousand crowns; or, about 11,250 7. sterling.