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empires grew up to through length of time only; and began where others end. It bore the principle of its destruction in its own bosom, and this internal vice increased every reign.
After the unsuccessful expeditions of Darius and Xerxes against Scythia and Greece, the princes their successors became insensible to the ambition of making conquests, and gave themselves up a prey to idleness and effeminacy: they grew careless of military discipline, and substituted in the place of regular soldiers, inured to the toils of war, a confusa ed multltude of men, who were taken by force out of their respective countries. The reader may have observed, on more than one occasion, that the whole strength, and almost the only resource of the Persian army, lay in the Greeks in their service ; that they properly depended on them only, and always took great care to oppose them to the best troops of the enemy : they were the only soldiers in Darius' army who performed their duty, and continued faithful to him to the last; and we have seen that Memnon the Rhodian was the sole great general who fought against Alexander.
Instead of choosing for the command of their forces, offis cers of skill and experience, they used to appoint persons of the greatest quality of every nation, who frequently had no other merit than their exalted birth, their riches and credit; and who were distinguished by nothing but the sumptuousness of their feasts and entertainments, by the magnificence of their equipages, and by the crowd with which they were ever surrounded, of guards, domestics, eunuchs, and women. Such an assemblage, formed merely for vain show and os. tentation, rather than for warlike expeditions, incumbered the army, already but too numerous, with useless soldiers, made it slow in marches and movements by its too heavy baggage, and rendered it incapable of subsisting.long in a country, and of completing great enterprises in sight of an eneiny.
The Persian monarchs shutting themselves up in their palaces, in order to abandon themselves to pleasures, and appearing seldom abroad, placed their 'whole confidence, and by that means all their authority, in eunuchs; to women, to slaves, and to flattering courtiers, wliose sole thoughts and endeavours were to banish true merit, which was offensive to them ; to give the rewards appointed for services to their own creaturres ; and to intrust the greatest employments of the state to persons devoted to their interested and ambitious views, rather than to such whose abilities rendered them capable of serving their country.
Another character of these princes, which is but too frequent in that high sphere, contributed very much to the ra
in of the empire. They were accustomed from their infan. cy to have their ears soothed with false praises, and the most extravagant compliments, and to have a blind submission paid to their will. They were educated in so exalted an idea of their own grandeur, as persuaded them that the rest of men were formed merely to serve them, and administer to their pleasures. They were not taught their duties, nor the maxims of a wise and good government; the principles by which men judge of solid merit; and are capable of choosing persons able to govern under them. They did not know that they were raised to sovereign power merely to protect their subjects and make them happy. They were not made sensible of the exquisite pleasure that monarch feels who is the delight of his subjects and the public source of the felicity of so vast an empire, as Cyrus the Great had been, who was so dear to his people, that every individual family considered him as their father, and bewailed his death as a public calamity. Su far from this, a monarch’s grandeur was de. clared to consist in making himself feared, and in his being able to gratify all his passions with impunity.
So ill-judged an education must necessarily form either weak or vicious princes. They were not able to sustain the weight of so mighty an empire, nor to grasp the several parts of so extensive and painful an administration. Idleness, and a love for pleasure, made them careless, and averse to business of every kind ; and they sacrificed matters of the highest importance to their vain amusements. Some of them were born with such happy dispositions, that they would have become good princes had they not been enervated by the-charms of a. voluptuous life, and abandoned themselves to the allurements of a too despotic power and an over-great prosperity. By flattery they were rendered incapable of listening, in their councils, to any expression delivered with freedom,
or of suffering the least opposition to their wills. It was no wonder they were not beloved by their subjects, since their whole study was to aggrandize themselves, and to sacrifice all considerations to that alone. Darius, in his misfortunes, was abandoned by tlie generals of his armies, by the governors of his provinces, by his officers, domestics, and subjects; and did not find any where a sincere affection, nor a real attachment to his person and interest. The dazzling splendour of the Persian monarchy concealed a real weakness ; and this unwieldy power, heightened by so much pomp and pride, was abborred by the people, so that this colossus, at the very first blow, fell to the ground.
SECTION WIT.'' LACEDƏMÓNIA REVOLTS FROM THE MACEDONIANS, ANTIPATER DEFEATS AGIS. ALEXANDER
MARCHES AGAINST BESSUS. WHILST things passed in Asia as we have seen, * some tumrits broke out in Greece and Macedonia. Memnon, whom Alexander had sent into Thrace, having revoited there, and thereby drawn the forces of Antipater on that side, the Lacedæmonians thought this a proper opportunity to throw off the Macedonian yoke, and engaged almost all Peloponnesus in their design. Upon this news, (Antipater, after having settled to the best of his power the affairs of Thrace, returned with the utmost expedition into Greece, whence he immediately dispatched couriers, in order to give Alexander an account of these several transactions. As soon as Antipater was come up with the enemy, he resolved to venture abattle. The Lacedæmonian army consisted of no more than 20,000 foot, and 2000 horse, under the command of Agis their kings whereas that of Antipater was twice that number. Agis, in order to make the superiority of numbers of no effect, had made choice of a narrow spot of ground. The battle began with great vigour, each party endeavouring to signalise themselves in an extraordinary manner, for the honour of their respective countries, the one fired with the remembrance of their pristine glory, and the other animated by their present greatness, fought with equal courage ; the Lacedæmonians for:diberty, and the Macedonians for empire. So long as the armies continued on the spot where the battle began, Agis had the advantage ; but Antipater, by pretending to fly, drew the enemy into the plains, -after which, extending his whole army, le gained a superiority, and made a proper use of his advantage. Agis was distinguished by his suit of armour, his noble mein, and still more so by. his 'valour. The battle was hottest round his person, and he himself performed the most astonishing acts of brarery. At last, after having been wounded in several parts of the body, his soldiers laying him upon Iris shield, carried him off. However this did not damp their courage, for hav. ing seized an advantageous post where they kept close in their ranks, they resisted with great vigour the attacks of the enemy. After having withstood them a long time, the Lacedæmonians began to give ground, being scarce able to hold their arms, which were all covered with sweat ; "they
•A. M. 3695. Ant. J.C. 329. Diod. 1. xvii. p. 537. Q. Curt. 1. vi. c. I.
afterwards retired very fast, and at last ran quite away. The king seeing himself closely pursued, still made some efforts, notwithstanding the weak condition to which he was reduced, in order to oppose the enemy. Intrepid and invincible to the last, oppressed by numbers, he died sword in hand.
In this engagement, upwards of 3000 Lacedæmonians lost their lives, and 1000 Macedonians at most; but very few of the latter returned home unwounded. This victory not only ruined the power of Sparta and its allies, but also the hopes of those who only waited the issue of this war to declare themselves. Antipater immediately sent the news of this success to Alexander ; but, like an experienced courtier, he drew the account of it in the most modest and circumspect terms; in such as were best adapted to diminish the lustre of a victory which might expose him to envy. He was sensible that Alexander's jealousy with regard to honour was so very great, that he looked upon the glory which another person obtained as a diminution of his own : and, *indeed, he could not forbear, when this news was brought him, to let drop some wards which discovered his jealousy. Antipater did not dare to dispose of any thing by his own private authority, and only gave the Lacedæmonians leave to send an embassy to the king, in order that they themselves might tell him the-ill success they had met with. Alexander par.' doned them, some of those who had occasioned the revolt excepted, and these he punished.
+ Darius' death did not hinder Alexander from pursuing Bessus, who had withdrawu into Bactriana, where he had assumed the title of king, by the name of Artaxerxes. But finding at last that it would be impossible for him to come up with him, he returned into Parthia ; and resting his troops some days in Hecatompylos, comnanded provisions of all sorts to be brought thither.
During his stay there, a report prevailed throughout the whole army, that the king, content with the conquests he had achieved, was preparing to return into ivacedonia. That very instant the soldiers, as if a signal had been made for their setting out, ran like madmen to their tents, began to pack up their baggage, load the waggons with the utmost dispatch, and fill the whole camp with noise and tumult. Alexander was soon informed of this, when, terrified at the
* Alexander hostes vinci voluerat ; Antipatrum vicisse, we racirus quidem indigoabacur, suæ demptum glorie existimans quicquid ccs. cisset alienæ. Q, Curt. 1. Curt. I. vi. c. 2-4.
disorder, he summoned the officers to his tent, where, with tears in his eyes, he complained, that in the midst of so glo rious a career lhe was stopped on a sudden, and forced to rea turn back into his own country, rather like one who had been overcome than as a conqueror. The officers comforted him, by representing, that this sudden motion was a mere sally, and a transient gust of passion, which would not be attended wi:h any ill consequences ; and assured him, that the soldiers, to a man, would obey him, provided he would address himself to them in tender expressions. He promise ed to do it. The circumstance which had given occasion to this false report, was, his having disbanded some Grecian soldiers, after rewarding them in a very bountiful manner; so that the Macedonians imagined they also were to fight no more,
Alexander having summoned the army, made the followa ing speech : “I am not surprized, O soldiers, if, after the "mighty things we have hitherto performed, you should “ be satiated with glory, and have no other views but ease " and repose. I will not now enumerate the rarious naw " tions, we have conquered. We have subdued møre pro« vinces than others have cities. Could I persuade myor "self, that our conquests were well secured over nations “ who were so soon overcome, I would think as you do " (for I will not dissemhle my thoughts); and would make “ all the haste imaginable to revisit my household gods, my “ mother, my sisters, and my subjects, and enjoy in the 5 midst of my country the glory. I have acquired in con
cert with you. But this glory will all vanish very soon, “ if we do not put the last hand to the work.
Do you imagine that so many nations, accustomed to otlver sove. reigns, and who have no manner of similitude to us eith
in their religion, manners, or language, ly subdued the moment they were conquered ; and that “ they will not take up arms in case we return back with
so much precipitation? What will become of the rest who < still remain unconquered ? How! shall we leave our vic
tory imperfect, merely for want of courage ?. But that “ which touches me much more, shall we suffer the dear
testable crime of Bessus to go unpunished ? Can to see the sceptre of Darius in the sanguinary hands of that monster, who, after having loaded him with chains as
a captive, at fast assassinated his sovereign, in order to “ deprive us of the glory of saving him? As for myself, 1 S shall not be easy til I see that infamous wretch hanging
oni a gibbet, there to pay, to all kings and nations of the earth, " the just punishment due to his execrable crime. I do no?