Imatges de pÓgina

exchanging a fresh watch-word. He wondered who could have given it out, and asked what it mighi be. Xenophon replied, that it was · Jupiter the Preserver, and Victory.' Cyrus having heard it said, “I agree to it; let it be so :' and having said this, rode off to his station.

The minuteness with which a circumstance, in itself so little important, is related, is highly characteristic of a young man ambitious of notice and gratified by the honof conferred on him. At the same time it seems to imply that Xenophon 'had hitherto taken no part in the conduct of the army, and had not been invited to the councils of the prince; for had he been accustomed to converse familiarly with Cyrus, he would scarcely have recorded the present interview.

The battle of Cunaxa, which followed immediately after the anecdote that has just been related, in which Cyrus was slain and his army completely defeated by Artaxerxes, belongs to the history of Persia rather than to the life of Xenophon. The native troops in the army of Cyrus were totally routed; but in that part of the field in which the Greeks fought, the forces of Artaxerxes were put to flight in every direction, and almost without resistance. These last were pursued until the Grecians, wearied with slaughter and fatigue, returned to their camp.

In the mean time, Clearchus was too good a general to neglect provisions for the immediate wants of his army. After dinner, when they were, according to the manner of the Greeks, assembled together to spend the heat of the day in conversation, some heralds arrived from the king and from Tissaphernes, demanding, in the name of the king, that they should ground their arms and surrender at discretion. Clearchus replied; and, among the rest, Xenophon thus addressed the messenger:

· With us, Phalesius, as you may perceive, nothing is of value but our arms and our honor. As long as we preserve our arms, we can rely on our own valor; but in parting with them, we should be conscious of betraying ourselves. Think not therefore that we will resign our only remaining property, but rather we will use them in fighting for yours.' Phalesius laughed heartily at this set speech, and replied, 'You appear to be a scholar, young man, and what you say is pleasant enough; but I would not have your inexperience so much deceive you, as to set your boasted valor against the power of the king."

* It is wonderful that in the teeth of this contempAfter the battle of Cunaxa, and the fa young Cyrus, the prudence and vigor of his were called into action. The Ten Thou Greeks, who had followed the standard of an bitious prince, were now above six hundred lea from their native home, in a country surrounded every side by a victorious enemy, without mor or provisions, or a leader. All gave themsel up to despair. They felt that they were still t thousand miles from the nearest part of Gree close to the vast armies of the king, and s rounded on all sides by tribes of hostile barbariai who would supply them with nothing but at t expense of blows and blood : they had no gui acquainted with the country, no knowlege of th deep and rapid rivers which intersected it, and u cavalry to explore the road, or cover their rear o the march. As if discipline and hope had ende together, the roll-call was scarcely attended to, th watch-fires were scantily, or not at all, supplied and even their principal meal was neglected; wher chance led, they threw themselves down to rest but not to sleep—for sleep was banished by thought

tuous speech, recorded by Xenophon himself, two dis. tinguished critics and historians, Spelman and Dodwell should have contended that he was at this time about fifty years of age.

f that country and those friends, whom they now o longer expected, and scarcely dared hope to ehold again. * But the army had among them a man,

little inown indeed, but of far greater talents and bolder nergies than any general under whom they had erved; and probably the only man who could have extricated them from their present situation of unparalleled danger. Xenophon had hitherto held no rank; had been attached to no division of the army; and had appeared only as the friend of Proxenus. He, like the rest, lay awake, suffering from grief and alarm; but his mind was not of a temperament to suffer without a remedy, and he represents himself as having been encouraged by a dream during a momentary doze, which he has so related and interpreted, as to leave it doubtful whether his remarkable attention to omens and sacrifices was the result of sound policy or of sincere belief,

Rousing bimself from slumber, he began to reflect on the folly and. rashness in which all participated. : The night was far spent; the enemy would probably be on them with the dawn; submission could only conduct through suffering to an ignominious death: no one provided for the emergency; despair produced the effect of security; and from what people among them, thought he, can I pect a general, fit for this business ? or why shou I hesitate to act on account of my youth ? 11 thus give myself up without an effort to the enen I shall never reach a more mature age.

Full of these thoughts he rose, and calling tog ther the officers belonging to the division of Pros nus, he set before them, in an animated speech, t certain ruin and destruction which must ensue fro their submission; the grounds on which he trust for success, from strenuous exertion and prude counsel ; and concluded with assuring them that was at their service in any capacity; and that they thought fit invest him with the comman his youth should only pledge him to more vigoro exertion. On this, the officers unanimously d clared their readiness to serve under him, with tl exception of one Apollonides, who, speaking the Bæotian dialect, recommended that they shou seek safety by submitting to the orders of the kin To this proposal Xenophon replied with well-time warmth, declaring that sentiments so base ought be punished by degradation to servile duties; < expression which led to the discovery that tl officer in question had actually been a Lydia slave, and retained the marks of slavery on h

« AnteriorContinua »