Imatges de pÓgina


person. He was accordingly cashiered, and the example proved of the greatest advantage ; for it infused a new spirit into the rest, who, on the suggestion of Xenophon, immediately proceeded to

a general council of all the surviving generals and officers, to the number of nearly a hundred. By this time it was midnight, and the Baotian officers, to save time, requested that Xenophon would open the business, by repeating what he had stated to them.

He accordingly made another judicious and encouraging speech, in which he strongly reprobated the idea of placing the smallest dependence on any thing but their own prudence, courage, and unanimity; and recommended, as the first step towards providing for the expected attack, that they should instantly proceed to supply by election the places of the commanders whom they had lost.

As soon as it was day, the new commanders, placing pickets in advance, again assembled the army, and exhorted them to take courage, to maintain discipline, and to rely on the favor of the gods, who would not fail to avenge themselves on the perfidious Persians. Xenophon in particular, having armed himself with a splendor becoming his present rank, endeavored to raise hope and inspire sentiments of honor; and fortunately the favorable omen of sternutation occurred in the midst of his speech; on which the soldiers, all with one accord, worshipped Jupiter the Preserver, from whom the omen was reputed to proceed; and Xenophon breaking off his harangue, proposed a sacrifice to the god, desiring those who approved of the motion to hold up their hands: the show of hands being unanimous, the sacrifice was formally vowed, and a hymn sung; after which he resumed his discourse, and at great length set before the army, now full of hope and cheerfulness, the system which they must adopt to insure a safe and honorable return to their native country, and especially enforcing the necessity of a strict adherence to discipline, always the great deficiency of Grecian troops, and of all troops in a retreat, when it becomes doubly necessary. His proposals were unanimously carried, as before, by a show of hands. Thus, without assuming any superior authority, he in fact acted as commander-in-chief, and was cheerfully obeyed; the whole army feeling that they were indebted to his genius for their present safety, and depending on him for their future hopes.

On one occasion Xenophon, during the Retreat,

encouraged the almost broken spirits of the army by relating a dream, the interpretation of which was evidently that he should extricate them from their perilous situation; and soon afterwards he announced information which he had received of a shallower passage lower down, with a landingplace, where the Persian horse would be unable to act against them. The usual sacrifices and libations to the gods having been performed, the whole army sung the pæan, and prepared to cross the river. The Persians, astonished probably at their apparently undiminished numbers and resolution, offered no effectual resistance; and the mountaineers being held in check by the judicious dispositions of Xenophon, made little impression on

So complete indeed was the success, that the first division of the Greeks actually captured some booty from the Persian troops.

In their subsequent march they suffered so dreadfully from snow and frost, that the men fell down benumbed with cold, and the cattle perished. The sufferings of the army became extreme, and it

required all the art and authority of Xenophon and the other generals to preserve the men from

yielding to the severity of the climate and fatigue. He superintended the retreat of his countrymen


the rear.


VOL. 1.

successfully; and though often opposed by maleve lence and envy, yet his eloquence and his activit convinced the Greeks that no general could ex tricate them from every difficulty better than thi disciple of Socrates. He rose superior to dange and, though under continual alarms from the sudde attacks of the Persians, he was enabled to cros rapid rivers, penetrate through vast deserts, gai the tops of mountains, till he could rest secure fo a while, and refresh his tired companions.. Th celebrated retreat was at last happily effected, an the Greeks returned home after a march of on thousand one hundred and fifty-five parasangs, ( leagues, which was performed in two hundred an fifteen days, after an absence of fifteen months.*

* The army of Cyrus marched from Sardis, throug Lydia, Phrygia, Lycaonia, and Cappadocia, crosse the mountains of Cilicia, passed through Cilicia ar Syria to the Euphrates, forded this river, passe through a part of Arabia and Babylonia, until the reached the plain of Cudaxa. In retreating, the obje of the Greeks was to strike the Euxine; but the err they committed was in making that sea extend too f to the east. From Cunaxa they turned their course the Tigris, crossed that river, marched through Med northwards, still following the course of the Tigri er The whole, perhaps, might now be forgotten, or irijat least but obscurely known, if the great philosoespher who planned it had not employed his pen in tuescribing the dangers which he escaped, and the ce difficulties which he surmounted; the particulars of ut which memorable adventure are so well related by Te himself in his · Retreat of the Ten Thousand.' He

was no sooner returned from Cunaxa than he sought new honors in following the fortune of Age1 silaus in Asia. He enjoyed his confidence; he fought under his standard, and conquered with him in the Asiatic provinces, as well as at the battle of Coronæa. His fame, however, did not escape the aspersions of jealousy: he was publicly banished

They then crossed the mountains of the Carduchi, and, after great exertions, reached the sources of the river just mentioned. After this they traversed Armenia, crossed the Euphrates not far from its source, lost many of their number in the marshes through the cold and snow, and at last reached the Phasis. Leaving this stream, they passed through the countries Trochi, Chalybes, Macrones, Colchians, and at last reached the Greek colony of Trapezus on the coast of the

As there were not ships enough there to receive them all, they determined to return home by ed land, and, marching along the coast of the Euxine,

came at last to Chalcedon.--See the Map.

Euxine sea.


« AnteriorContinua »