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Your hero formed so regularly good,
you have gained from heaven Promethean fire,
LIFE OF CLEOMENES,
TRANSLATED FROM PLUTARCH
MR THOMAS CREECH.
Thus fell Agis. His brother Archidamus was too quick for Leonidas, and saved himself by a timely retreat. But his wife then newly brought to bed, the tyrant forced her from her own house, and compelled her to marry his son Cleomenes, though at that time too young for a wife; for he was unwilling that any one else should have her, she being heiress to her father Gylippus's great estate ; for person, the finest woman in all Greece, very goodnatured, of an exemplary life; and therefore, they say, she did all she could, that she might not be compelled to this match.
Being thus married to Cleomenes, she hated Leonidas ; but to the youth she showed herself a kind and obliging wife. He, as soon as they came together, began to love her very much; and the constant kindness that she still retained for the memory of Agis, wrought somewhat of concern in the young man for him; so that he would often enquire
of her concerning what had pased, and attentively listen to the story of Agis's designs. Now Cleomenes had a generous and great soul : he was as temperate and moderate in his pleasures as Agis, but not so very cautious, circumspect, and gentle;
of passion always galled him, and his eagerness to pursue that which he thought good and just, was violent and heady. To make men willing to obey, he conceived to be the best discipline; but likewise to break the stubborn, and force them to be better, was, in his opinion, commendable and brave. This disposition made him dislike the management of the city. The citizens lay dissolved in supine idleness and pleasures ; the king minded nothing, designing, if nobody gave him any disturbance, to waste his time in ease and riot; the public was neglected, and each man intent upon his private gain. It was dangerous, now Agis was killed, to mention the exercising and training of their youth; and to set up for the ancient bravery and equality, was treason against the state. It is said also, that Cleomenes, whilst a boy, studied philosophy under Sphærus the Borysthenite, who, coming to Sparta, was very diligent in instructing the youth, Sphærus was one of the chief of Zeno the Citiean's scholars; and it is likely that he admired the manly temper of Cleomenes, and inflamed his generous ambition. The ancient Leonidas, as story saith, being asked, What manner of poet he thought Tyrtæus? replied, An excellent one to whet the courages of youth; for, being filled with fury by his poems, they daringly ventured on any danger. Now the Stoic philosophy is a dangerous incentive to hot and fiery dispositions; but being mixed with a grave and cautious temper, is very good to fix and settle the resolutions.
Upon the death of his father Leonidas, he succeeded; and, observing the citizens of all sorts to be debauched, the rich neglecting the public, and intent on their own gain and pleasure, and the poor being cramped in their private fortunes, grown inactive, cowards, and not inclinable to the Spartan institution and way of breeding, that he had only the name of King, and the Ephori all the power, was resolved to change the present posture of affairs. He had a friend, whose name was Xenares, his lover, (such an affection the Spartans express by the word éu veñðar,) him he sounded; and of him he would commonly enquire, What manner of king Agis was, by what means, and by what assistance he began and pursued his designs. Xenares at first willingly complied with his request, and told him the whole story, with all the particular circumstances of the actions. But when he observed Cleomenes to be extremely affected at the relation, and more than ordinarily moved at Agis's new model of the government, and begging a repetition of the story, he at first severely chid him, told him he was frantic, and at last left off all sort of familiarity and conversation with him; yet he never told any man the cause of their disagreement, but would only say, “Cleomenes knew very well.” Cleomenes finding Xenares averse to his designs, and thinking all others to be of the same opinion, consulted with none, but contrived the whole business by himself. And considering that it would be easier to bring about an alteration when the city was at war than when in peace, he engaged the commonwealth in a quarrel with the Achæans, who had given them fair occasions to complain; for Aratus, a man of the greatest power amongst all the Achæans, designed, from the very beginning, to bring all the Peloponnesians into one common body. And to effect this, he undertook many expeditions, and ran through a
long course of policy; for he thought this the only means to make them an equal match for their foreign enemies. All the rest agreed to his proposals; only the Lacedæmonians, the Eleans, and as many of the Arcadians as inclined to the Spartan interest, refused. Therefore, as soon as Leonidas was dead, he fell upon the Arcadians, and wasted those especially that bordered on Achaia; by this means designing to try the inclinations of the Spartans, and despising Cleomenes as a youth, and of no experience in affairs of state or war. Upon this the Ephori sent Cleomenes to surprise the Athenæum, dedicated to Minerva, near Belbina, which is a pass of Laconia, and was then under the jurisdiction of the Megalopolitans. Cleomenes possessed himself of the place, and fortified it; at which action Aratus shewed no public resentment, but marched by night to surprise Tegea and Orchomenium. The design failed; for those that were to betray the cities into his hands, doubted the success; so Aratus retreated, imagining that his design had been undiscovered. But Cleomenes wrote a jeering letter to him, and desired to know, as from a friend, whither he intended to march at night? And Aratus answering, That having understood his design to fortify Belbina, he resolved to march thither to oppose him; Cleomenes returned, That he believed it, but desired him to give an account, if it stood with his convenience, why he carried those torches and ladders with him.
Aratus laughing at the jeer, and asking what manner of youth this was? Democrites, a Spartan exile, replied, “ If you have any designs upon the Lacedæmonians, begin before this young eagle's talons are grown.
Presently after this, Cleomenes being in Arcadia with a few horse, and 300 foot, the Ephori, fearing to engage in the war, command