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By Plutarch

(died 213 B.C.E.)

Translated by John Dryden

The philosopher Chrysippus, O Polycrates, quotes an ancient proverb,
not as really it should be, apprehending, I suppose, that it sounded
too harshly, but so as he thought it would run best, in these words:-
"Who praise their fathers but the generous sons?" But Dionysodorus
the Troezenian proves him to be wrong, and restores the true reading,
which is thus:- 

"Who praise their fathers but degenerate sons?" telling us that the
proverb is meant to stop the mouth of those who, having no merit of
their own, take refuge in the virtues of their ancestors, and make
their advantage of praising them. But, as Pindar hath it-

"He that by nature doth inherit 
From ancestors a noble spirit," as you do, who made your life the
copy of the fairest originals of your family- such, I say, may take
great satisfaction in being reminded, both by hearing others speak
and speaking themselves, of the best of their progenitors. For they
assume not the glory of praises earned by others out of any want of
worth of their own, but affiliating their own deeds to those of their
ancestors, give them honour as the authors both of their descent and
manners. Therefore I have sent to you the life which I have written
of your fellow-citizen and forefather, Aratus, to whom you are no
discredit in point either of reputation or of authority, not as though
you had not been most diligently concerning to inform yourself from
the beginning concerning his actions, but that your sons, Polycrates
and Pythocles, may both by hearing and reading become familiar with
those family examples which it behooves them to follow and imitate.
It is a piece of self-love, and not of the love of virtue, to imagine
one has already attained to what is best. 

The city of Sicyon, from the time that it first fell off from the
pure and Doric aristocracy (its harmony being destroyed, and a mere
series of seditions and personal contests of popular leaders ensuing),
continued to be distempered and unsettled, changing from one tyrant
to another, until, Cleon being slain, Timoclides and Clinias, men
of the most repute and power amongst the citizens, were chosen to
the magistracy. And the commonwealth now seeming to be in a pretty
settled condition, Timoclides died, and Abantidas, the son of Paseas,
to possess himself of the tyranny, killed Clinias, and, of his kindred
and friends, slew some and banished others. He sought also to kill
his son Aratus, whom he left behind him, being but seven years old.
This boy in the general disorder getting out of the house with those
that fled, and wandering about the city helpless and in great fear,
by chance got undiscovered into the house of a woman who was Abantidas's
sister, but married to Prophantus, the brother of Clinias, her name
being Soso. She, being of a generous temper, and believing the boy
had by some supernatural guidance fled to her for shelter, hid him
in the house, and at night sent him away to Argos. 

Aratus, being thus delivered and secured from this danger, conceived
from the first and ever after nourished a vehement and burning hatred
against tyrants, which strengthened with his years. Being therefore
bred up amongst his father's acquaintance and friends at Argos with
a liberal education, and perceiving his body to promise good health
and stature, he addicted himself to the exercises of the palaestra,
to that degree that he competed in the five games, and gained some
crowns; and indeed in his statues one may observe a certain kind of
athletic cast, and the sagacity and majesty of his countenance does
not dissemble his full diet and the use of the hoe. Whence it came
to pass that he less studied eloquence than perhaps became a statesman,
and yet he was more accomplished in speaking than many believe, judging
by the commentaries which he left behind him, written carelessly and,
by the way, as fast as he could do it, and in such words as first
came to his mind. 

In the course of time, Dinias and Aristoteles the logician killed
Abantidas, who used to be present in the market-place at their discussions,
and to make one in them; till they taking the occasion, insensibly
accustomed him to the practice, and so had opportunity to contrive
and execute a plot against him. After him Paseas, the father of Abantidas,
taking upon him the government, was assassinated by Nicocles, who
himself set up for tyrant. Of him it is related that he was strikingly
like Periander, the son of Cypselus, just as it is said that Orontes
the Persian bore a great resemblance to Alcmaeon, the son of Amphiaraus,
and that Lacedaemonian youth, whom Myrsilus relates to have been trodden
to pieces by the crowd of those that came to see him upon that report,
to Hector. 

This Nicocles governed four months, in which, after he had done all
kinds of mischief to the city, he very nearly let it fall into the
hands of the Aetolians. By this time Aratus, being grown a youth,
was in much esteem, both for his noble birth, and his spirit and disposition,
which, while neither insignificant nor wanting in energy, were solid,
and tempered with a steadiness of judgment beyond his years. For which
reason the exiles had their eyes most upon him, nor did Nicocles less
observe his motions, but secretly spied and watched him, not out of
apprehension of any such considerable or utterly audacious attempt,
but suspecting he held correspondence with the kings, who were his
father's friends and acquaintance. And, indeed, Aratus first attempted
this way; but finding that Antigonus, who had promised fair, neglected
him and delayed the time, and that his hopes from Egypt and Ptolemy
were long to wait for, he determined to cut off the tyrant by himself.

And first he broke his mind to Aristomachus and Ecdelus, the one an
exile of Sicyon, the other, Ecdelus, an Arcadian of Megalopolis, a
philosopher, and a man of action, having been the familiar friend
of Arcesilaus the Academic at Athens. These readily consenting, he
communicated with the other exiles, whereof some few, being ashamed
to seem to despair of success, engaged in the design; but most of
them endeavoured to divert him from his purpose, as one that for want
of experience was too rash and daring. 

Whilst he was consulting to seize upon some post in Sicyonia, from
whence he might make war upon the tyrant, there came to Argos a certain
Sicyonian, newly escaped out of prison, brother to Xenocles, one of
the exiles, who, being by him presented to Aratus, informed him that
that part of the wall over which he escaped was, inside, almost level
with the ground, adjoining a rocky and elevated place, and that from
the outside it might be scaled with ladders. Aratus, hearing this,
despatches away Xenocles with two of his own servants, Seuthas and
Technon, to view the wall, resolving, if possible, secretly and with
one risk to hazard all on a single trial, rather than carry on a contest
as a private man against a tyrant by long war and open force. Xenocles,
therefore, with his companions, returning, having taken the height
of the wall, and declaring the place not to be impossible or indeed
difficult to get over, but that it was not easy to approach it undiscovered
by reason of some small but uncommonly savage and noisy dogs belonging
to a gardener hard by, he immediately undertook the business.

Now the preparation of arms gave no jealousy, because robberies and
petty forays were at that time common everywhere between one set of
people and another; and for the ladders, Euphranor, the machine-maker,
made them openly, his trade rendering him unsuspected, though one
of the exiles. As for men, each of his friends in Argos furnished
him with ten apiece out of those few they had, and he armed thirty
of his own servants, and hired some few soldiers of Xenophilus, the
chief of the robber captains, to whom it was given out that they were
to march into the territory of Sicyon to seize the king's stud; most
of them were sent before, in small parties, to the tower of Polygnotus,
with orders to wait there; Caphisias also was despatched beforehand
lightly armed, with four others, who were, as soon as it was dark,
to come to the gardener's house, pretending to be travellers, and
procuring their lodging there, to shut up him and his dogs; for there
was no other way to getting past. And for the ladders, they had been
made to take in pieces, and were put into chests, and sent before,
hidden upon wagons. In the meantime, some of the spies of Nicocles
appearing in Argos, and being said to go privately about watching
Aratus, he came early in the morning into the market-place, showing
himself openly and conversing with his friends; then he anointed himself
in the exercise ground, and, taking with him thence some of the young
men that used to drink and spend their time with him, he went home;
and presently after several of his servants were seen about the market-place,
one carrying garlands, another buying flambeaux, and a third speaking
to the women that used to sing and play at banquets, all of which
things the spies observing were deceived, and said, laughing to one
another. "Certainly nothing can be more timorous than a tyrant, if
Nicocles, being master of so great a city and so numerous a force,
stands in fear of a youth that spends what he has to subsist upon
in his banishment in pleasures and day-debauches;" and, being thus
imposed upon, they returned home. 

But Aratus, departing immediately after his morning meal, and coming
to his soldiers at Polygnotus's tower, led them to Nemea; where he
disclosed to most of them, for the first time, his true design, making
them large promises and fair speeches, and marched towards the city,
giving for the word Apollo victorious, proportioning his march to
the motion of the moon, so as to have the benefit of her light upon
the way, and to be in the garden, which was close to the wall, just
as she was setting. Here Caphisias to him, who had not secured the
dogs, which had run away before he could catch them, but had only
made sure of the gardener. Upon which most of the company being out
of heart and desiring to retreat, Aratus encouraged them to go on,
promising to retire in case the dogs were too troublesome; at the
same time sending forward those that carried the ladders, conducted
by Ecdelus and Mnasitheus, he followed them himself leisurely, the
dogs already barking very loud and following the steps of Ecdelus
and his companion. However, they got to the wall, and reared the ladders
with safety. But as the foremost men were mounting them, the captain
of the watch that was to be relieved by the morning guard passed on
his way with the bell; and there were many lights, and a noise of
people coming up. Hearing which, they clapt themselves close to the
ladders, and so were unobserved; but as the other watch also was coming
up to meet this, they were in extreme danger of being discovered.
But when this also went by without observing them, immediately Mnasitheus
and Ecdelus got upon the wall, and, possessing themselves of the approaches
inside and out, sent away Technon to Aratus, desiring him to make
all the haste he could. 

Now there was no great distance from the garden to the wall and to
the tower in which latter a large hound was kept. The hound did not
hear their steps of himself, whether that he were naturally drowsy,
or over-wearied the day before, but, the gardener's curs awaking him,
he first began to growl and grumble in response, and then as they
passed by to bark out aloud. And the barking was now so great, that
the sentinel opposite shouted out to the dog's keeper to know why
the dog kept such a barking, and whether anything was the matter;
who answered, that it was nothing but only that his dog had been set
barking by the lights of the watch and the noise of the bell. This
reply much encouraged Aratus's soldiers, who thought the dog's keeper
was privy to their design, and wished to conceal what was passing,
and that many others in the city were of the conspiracy. But when
they came to scale the wall, the attempt then appeared both to require
time and to be full of danger, for the ladders shook and tottered
extremely unless they mounted them leisurely and one by one, and time
pressed, for the cocks began to crow, and the country people that
used to bring things to the market would be coming to the town directly.
Therefore Aratus made haste to get up himself, forty only of the company
being already upon the wall and, staying but for a few more of those
that were below, he made straight to the tyrant's house and the general's
office, where the mercenary soldiers passed the night, and, coming
suddenly upon them, and taking them prisoners without killing any
one of them, he immediately sent to all his friends in their houses
to desire them to come to him, which they did from all quarters. By
this time the day began to break, and the theatre was filled with
a multitude that were held in suspense by uncertain reports and knew
nothing distinctly of what had happened, until a public crier came
forward and proclaimed that Aratus, the son of Clinias, invited the
citizens to recover their liberty. 

Then at last assured that what they had so long looked for was come
to pass, they pressed in throngs to the tyrant's gates to set them
on fire. And such a flame was kindled, the whole house catching fire,
that it was seen as far as Corinth; so that the Corinthians, wondering
what the matter could be, were upon the point of coming to their assistance.
Nicocles fled away secretly out of the city by means of certain underground
passages, and the soldiers helping the Sicyonians to quench the fire,
plundered the house. This Aratus hindered not, but divided also the
rest of the riches of the tyrant amongst the citizens. In this exploit,
not one of these engaged in it was slain, nor any of the contrary
party, fortune so ordering the action as to be clear and free from
civil bloodshed. He restored eighty exiles who had been expelled by
Nicocles, and no less than five hundred who had been driven out by
former tyrants and had endured a long banishment, pretty nearly, by
this time, of fifty years' duration. These returning, most of them
very poor, were impatient to enter upon their former possessions,
and, proceeding to their several farms and houses, gave great perplexity
to Aratus, who considered that the city without was envied for its
liberty and aimed at by Antigonus, and within was full of disorder
and sedition. Wherefore, as things stood, he thought it best to associate
it to the Achaean community, and so, although Dorians, they of their
own will took upon them the name and citizenship of the Achaeans,
who at that time had neither great repute nor much power. For the
most of them lived in small towns, and their territory was neither
large nor fruitful, and the neighbouring sea was almost wholly without
a harbour, breaking direct upon a rocky shore. But yet these above
others made it appear that the Grecian courage was invincible, whensoever
it could only have order and concord within itself and a prudent general
to direct it. For though they had scarcely been counted as any part
of the ancient Grecian power, and at this time it did not equal the
strength of one ordinary city, yet by prudence and unanimity, and
because they knew not how to envy and malign, but to obey and follow
him amongst them that was most eminent for virtue, they not only preserved
their own liberty in the midst of so many great cities, military powers,
and monarchies, but went on steadily saving and delivering from slavery
great numbers of the Greeks. 

As for Aratus, he was in his behaviour a true statesman, high-minded,
and more intent upon the public than his private concerns, a bitter
hater of tyrants, making the common good the rule and law of his friendships
and enmities. So that indeed he seems not to have been so faithful
a friend, as he was a reasonable and gentle enemy, ready, according
to the needs of the state, to suit himself on occasion to either side;
concord between nations, brotherhood between cities, the council and
the assembly unanimous in their votes, being the objects above all
other blessings to which he was passionately devoted; backward, indeed,
and diffident in the use of arms and often force, but in effecting
a purpose underhand, and outwitting cities and potentates without
observation, most politic and dexterous. Therefore, though he succeeded
beyond hope in many enterprises which he undertook, yet he seems to
have left quite as many unattempted, though feasible enough, for want
of assurance. For it should seem, that as the sight of certain beasts
is strong in the night but dim by day, the tenderness of the humours
of their eyes not bearing the contact of the light, so there is also
one kind of human skill and sagacity which is easily daunted and disturbed
in actions done in the open day and before the world, and recovers
all its self-possession in secret and covert enterprises; which inequality
is occasioned in noble minds for want of philosophy, a mere wild and
uncultivated fruit of a virtue without true knowledge coming up; as
might be made out by examples. 

Aratus, therefore, having associated himself and his city to the Achaeans,
served in the cavalry, and made himself much beloved by his commanding
officers for his exact obedience; for though he had made so large
an addition to the common strength as that of his own credit and the
power of his country, yet he was as ready as the most ordinary person
to be commanded by the Achaean general of the time being, whether
he were a man of Dynae, or of Tritaea, or any yet meaner town than
these. Having also a present of five-and-twenty talents sent him from
the king, he took them but gave them all to his fellow-citizens who
wanted money, amongst other purposes, for the redemption of those
who had been taken prisoners. 

But the exiles being by no means to be satisfied, disturbing continually
those that were in possession of their estates, Sicyon was in great
danger of falling into perfect desolation; so that, having no hope
left but in the kindness of Ptolemy, he resolved to sail to him, and
to beg so much money of him as might reconcile all parties. So he
set sail from Mothone beyond Malea, designing to make the direct passage.
But the pilot not being able to keep the vessel up against a strong
wind and high waves that came in from the open sea, he was driven
from his course, and with much ado got to shore in Andros, an enemy's
land, possessed by Antigonus, who had a garrison there. To avoid which
he immediately landed, and, leaving the ship, went up into the country
a good way from the sea, having along with him only one friend, called
Timanthes; and throwing themselves into some ground thickly covered
with wood, they had but an ill night's rest of it. Not long after,
the commander of the troops came, and, inquiring for Aratus, was deceived
by his servants, who had been instructed to say that he had fled at
once over into the island of Euboea. However, he declared the ship,
the property on board of her, and the servants, to be lawful prize,
and detained them accordingly. As for Aratus, after some few days
in his extremity, by good fortune a Roman ship happened to put in
just at the spot in which he made his abode, sometimes peeping out
to seek his opportunity, sometimes keeping close. She was bound for
Syria; but going aboard, he agreed with the master to land him in
Caria. In which voyage he met with no less danger on the sea than
before. From Caria being after much time arrived in Egypt, he immediately
went to the king, who had a great kindness for him, and had received
from him many presents of drawings and paintings out of Greece. Aratus
had a very good judgment in them, and always took care to collect
and send him the most curious and finished works, especially those
of Pamphilus and Melanthus. 

For the Sicyonian pieces were still in the height of their reputation,
as being the only ones whose colours were lasting; so that Apelles
himself, even after he had become well known and admired, went thither,
and gave a talent to be admitted into the society of the painters
there, not so much to partake of their skill, which he wanted not,
but of their credit. And accordingly Aratus, when he freed the city,
immediately took down the representations of the rest of the tyrants,
but demurred a long time about that of Aristratus, who flourished
in the time of Philip. For this Aristratus was painted by Melanthus
and his scholars, standing by a chariot, in which a figure of Victory
was carried, Apelles himself having had a hand in it, as Polemon the
geographer reports. It was an extraordinary piece, and therefore Aratus
was fain to spare it for the workmanship, and yet, instigated by the
hatred he bore the tyrants, commanded it to be taken down. But Neacles
the painter, one of Aratus's friends, entreated him, it is said, with
tears in his eyes, to spare it, and, finding he did not prevail with
him, told him at last he should carry on his war with the tyrants,
but with the tyrants alone: "Let therefore the chariot and the Victory
stand, and I will take means for the removal of Aristratus;" to which
Aratus consenting, Neacles blotted out Aristratus, and in his place
painted a palm-tree, not daring to add anything else of his own invention.
The feet of the defaced figure of Aristratus are said to have escaped
notice, and to be hid under the chariot. By these means Aratus got
favour with the king, who, after he was more fully acquainted with
him, loved him so much the more, and gave him for the relief of his
city one hundred and fifty talents; forty of which he immediately
carried away with him, when he sailed to Peloponnesus, but the rest
the king divided into instalments, and sent them to him afterwards
at different times. 

Assuredly it was a great thing to procure for his fellow-citizens
a sum of money, a small portion of which had been sufficient, when
presented by a king to other captains and popular leaders, to induce
them to turn dishonest, and betray and give away their native countries
to him. But it was a much greater, that by means of this money he
effected a reconciliation and good understanding between the rich
and poor, and created quiet and security for the whole people. His
moderation, also, amidst so great power was very admirable. For being
declared sole arbitrator and plenipotentiary for settling the questions
of property in the case of the exiles, he would not accept the commission
alone, but, associating with himself fifteen of the citizens, with
great pains and trouble he succeeded in adjusting matters, and established
peace and good-will in the city, for which good service, not only
all the citizens in general bestowed extraordinary honours upon him,
but the exiles, apart by themselves, erecting his statue in brass,
inscribed on it these elegiac verses:- 

"Your counsels, deeds, and skill for Greece in war 
Known beyond Hercules's pillars are; 
But we this image, O Aratus, gave, 
Of you who saved us, to the gods who save, 
By you from exile to our homes restored, 
That virtue and that justice to record, 
To which the blessing Sicyon owes this day 
Of wealth that's shared alike, and laws that all obey." 

By his success in effecting these things, Aratus secured himself from
the envy of his fellow-citizens, on account of the benefits they felt
he had done them; but King Antigonus being troubled in his mind about
him, and designing either wholly to bring him over to his party, or
else to make him suspected by Ptolemy, besides other marks of his
favour shown to him, who had little mind to receive them, added this
too, that, sacrificing to the gods in Corinth, he sent portions to
Aratus at Sicyon, and at the feast, where were many guests, he said
openly, "I thought this Sicyonian youth had been only a lover of liberty
and of his fellow-citizens, but now I look upon him as a good judge
of the manners and actions of kings. For formerly he despised us,
and, placing his hopes further off, admired the Egyptian riches, hearing
so much of their elephants, fleets, and palaces. But after seeing
all these at a nearer distance, perceiving them to be but mere stage
show and pageantry, he is now come over to us. And for my part I willingly
receive him, and, resolving to make great use of him myself, command
you to look upon him as a friend." These words were soon taken hold
of by those that envied and maligned him, who strove which of them
should, in their letters to Ptolemy, attack him with the worst calumnies,
so that Ptolemy sent to expostulate the matter with him; so much envy
and ill-will did there always attend the so much contended for, and
so ardently and passionately aspired to, friendships of princes and
great men. 

But Aratus, being now for the first time chosen general of the Achaeans
ravaged the country of Locris and Calydon, just over against Achaea
and then went to assist the Boeotians with ten thousand soldiers,
but came not up to them until after the battle near Chaeronea had
been fought, in which they were beaten by the Aetolians, with the
loss of Aboeocritus the Boeotarch, and a thousand men besides. A year
after, being again elected general, he resolved to attempt the capture
of the Acro-Corinthus, not so much for the advantage of the Sicyonians
or Achaeans, as considering that by expelling the Macedonian garrison
he should free all Greece alike from a tyranny which oppressed every
part of her. Chares, the Athenian, having the good fortune to get
the better, in a certain battle, of the king's generals, wrote to
the people of Athens that this victory was "sister to that at Marathon."
And so may this action be very safely termed sister to those of Pelopidas
the Theban and Thrasybulus the Athenian, in which they slew the tyrants;
except, perhaps, it exceed them upon this account, that it was not
against natural Grecians, but against a foreign and stranger domination.
The Isthmus, rising like a bank between the seas, collects into a
single spot and compresses together the whole continent of Greece;
and Acro-Corinthus, being a high mountain springing up out of the
very middle of what here is Greece, whensoever it is held with a garrison,
stands in the way and cuts off all Peloponnesus from intercourse of
every kind, free passage of men and arms, and all traffic by sea and
land, and makes him lord of all that is master of it. Wherefore the
younger Philip did not jest, but said very true, when he called the
city of Corinth "the fetters of Greece." So that this post was always
much contended for, especially by the kings and tyrants; and so vehemently
was it longed for by Antigonus, that his passion for it came little
short of that of frantic love; he was continually occupied with devising
how to take it by surprise from those that were then masters of it,
since he despaired to do it by open force. 

Therefore Alexander, who held the place, being dead, poisoned by him,
as is reported, and his wife Nicaea succeeding in the government and
the possession of Acro-Corinthus, he immediately made use of his son,
Demetrius, and, giving her pleasing hopes of a royal marriage and
of a happy life with a youth, whom a woman now growing old might well
find agreeable, with this lure of his son he succeeded in taking her;
but the place itself she did not deliver up, but continued to hold
it with a very strong garrison, of which he seeming to take no notice,
celebrated the wedding in Corinth, entertaining them with shows and
banquets every day, as one that had nothing else in his mind but to
give himself up for a while to indulgence in pleasure and mirth. But
when the moment came, and Amoebeus began to sing in the theatre, he
waited himself upon Nicaea to the play, she being carried in a royally
decorated chair, extremely pleased with her new honour, not dreaming
of what was intended. As soon, therefore, as they were come to the
turning which led up to the citadel, he desired her to go on before
him to the theatre, but for himself, bidding farewell to the music,
farewell to the wedding, he went on faster than one would have thought
his age would have admitted to the Acro-Corinthus, and, finding the
gate shut, knocked with his staff, commanding them to open, which
they within, being amazed, did. And having thus made himself master
of the place, he could not contain himself for joy; but, though an
old man, and one that had seen so many turns of fortune, he must needs
revel it in the open streets and the midst of the market-place, crowned
with garlands and attended with flute-women, inviting everybody he
met to partake in his festivity. So much more does joy without discretion
transport and agitate the mind than either fear or sorrow. Antigonus,
therefore, having in this manner possessed himself of Acro-Corinthus,
put a garrison into it of those he trusted most, making Persaeus the
philosopher governor. 

Now Aratus, even in the lifetime of Alexander, had made an attempt,
but, a confederacy being made between Alexander and the Achaeans,
he desisted. But now he started afresh, with a new plan of effecting
the thing, which was this: there were in Corinth four brothers, Syrians
born, one of whom, called Diocles, served as a soldier in the garrison,
but the three others, having stolen some gold of the king's, came
to Sicyon, to one Aegias, a banker, whom Aratus made use of in his
business. To him they immediately sold part of their gold, and the
rest, one of them, called Erginus, coming often thither, exchanged
by parcels. Becoming, by this means, familiarly acquainted with Aegias,
and being by him led into discourses concerning the fortress, he told
him that in going up to his brother he had observed, in the face of
the rock, a side cleft, leading to that part of the wall of the castle
which was lower than the rest. At which Aegias joking with him and
saying, "So, you wise man, for the sake of a little gold you have
broken into the king's treasure; when you might, if you chose, get
money in abundance for a single hour's work, burglary, you know, and
treason being punished with the same death." Erginus laughed and told
him then, he would break the thing to Diocles (for he did not altogether
trust his other brothers), and, returning within a few days, he bargained
to conduct Aratus to that part of the wall where it was no more than
fifteen feet high, and to do what else should be necessary, together
with his brother Diocles. 

Aratus, therefore, agreed to give them sixty talents if he succeeded,
but if he failed in his enterprise, and yet he and they came off safe,
then he would give each of them a house and a talent. Now the threescore
talents being to be deposited in the hands of Aegias for Erginus and
his partners, and Aratus neither having so much by him, nor willing,
by borrowing it from others, to give any one a suspicion of his design,
he pawned his plate and his wife's golden ornaments to Aegias for
the money. For so high was his temper, and so strong his passion for
noble actions, that, even as he had heard that Phocion and Epaminondas
were the best and justest of the Greeks, because they refused the
greatest presents, and would not surrender their duty for money, so
he now chose to be at the expense of this enterprise privately, and
to advance all the cost out of his own property, taking the whole
hazard on himself for the sake of the rest that did not so much as
know what was doing. And who indeed can withhold, even now, his admiration
for and his sympathy with the generous mind of one, who paid so largely
to purchase so great a risk, and lent out his richest possessions
to have an opportunity to expose his own life, by entering among his
enemies in the dead of the night, without desiring any other security
for them than the hope of a noble success. 

Now the enterprise, though dangerous enough in itself, was made much
more so by an error happening through mistake in the very beginning.
For Technon, one of Aratus's servants, was sent away to Diocles, that
they might together view the wall. Now he had never seen Diocles,
but made no question of knowing him by the marks Erginus had given
him of him; namely, that he had curly hair, a swarthy complexion,
and no beard. Being come, therefore, to the appointed place, he stayed
waiting for Erginus and Diocles outside the town, in front of the
place called Ornis. In the meantime, Dionysius, elder brother to Erginus
and Diocles, who knew nothing at all of the matter, but much resembled
Diocles, happened to pass by. Technon, upon this likeness, all being
in accordance with what he had been told, asked him if he knew Erginus;
and on his replying that he was his brother, taking it for granted
that he was speaking with Diocles, not so much as asking his name
or staying for any other token, he gave him his hand, and began to
discourse with him and ask him questions about matters agreed upon
with Erginus. Dionysius, cunningly taking the advantage of his mistake,
seemed to understand him very well, and returning towards the city,
led him on, still talking, without any suspicion. And being now near
the gate, he was just about to seize on him when by chance again Erginus
met them, and, apprehending the cheat and the danger beckoned to Technon
to make his escape, and immediately both of them, betaking themselves
to their heels, ran away as fast as they could to Aratus, who for
all this despaired not, but immediately sent away Erginus to Dionysius
to bribe him to hold his tongue. And he not only effected that, but
also brought him along with him to Aratus. But when they had him,
they no longer left him at liberty, but binding him, they kept him
close shut up in a room, whilst they prepared for executing their

All things being now ready, he commanded the rest of his forces to
pass the night by their arms, and taking with him four hundred chosen
men, few of whom knew what they were going about, he led them to the
gates by the temple of Juno. It was the midst of summer and the moon
was at full, and the night so clear without any clouds, that there
was danger lest the arms glistening in the moonlight should discover
them. But as the foremost of them came near the city, a mist came
off from the sea, and darkened the city itself and the outskirts about
it. Then the rest of them, sitting down, put off their shoes, because
men both make less noise and also climb surer if they go up ladders
barefooted, but Erginus, taking with him seven young men dressed like
travellers, got unobserved to the gate, and killed the sentry with
the other guards. And at the same time the ladders were clapped to
the walls, and Aratus, having in great haste got up a hundred men,
commanded the rest to follow as they could, and immediately drawing
up his ladders after him, he marched through the city with his hundred
men towards the castle, being already overjoyed that he was undiscovered,
and not doubting of the success. But while still they were some way
off, a watch of four men came with a light, who did not see them,
because they were still in the shade of the moon, but were seen plainly
enough themselves as they came on directly towards them. So withdrawing
a little way amongst some walls and plots for houses, they lay in
wait for them; and three of them they killed. But the fourth, being
wounded in the head with a sword, fled, crying out that the enemy
was in the city. And immediately the trumpets sounded, and all the
city was in an uproar at what had happened, and the streets were full
of people running up and down, and many lights were seen shining both
below in the town, and above in the castle, and a confused noise was
to be heard in all parts. 

In the meantime, Aratus was hard at work struggling to get up the
rocks, at first slowly and with much difficulty, straying continually
from the path, which lay deep, and was overshadowed with the crags,
leading to the wall with many windings and turnings; but the moon
immediately, and as if by miracle, it is said, dispersing the clouds,
shone out and gave light to the most difficult part of the way, until
he got to that part of the wall he desired, and there she overshadowed
and hid him, the clouds coming together again. Those soldiers whom
Aratus had left outside the gate, near Juno's temple, to the number
of three hundred, entering the town, now full of tumult and lights,
and not knowing the way by which the former had gone, and finding
no track of them, slunk aside, and crowded together in one body under
a flank of the cliff that cast a strong shadow, and there stood and
waited in great distress and perplexity. For, by this time, those
that had gone with Aratus were attacked with missiles from the citadel,
and were busy fighting, and a sound of cries of battle came down from
above, and a loud noise, echoed back and back from the mountain sides,
and therefore confused and uncertain whence it proceeded, was heard
on all sides. They being thus in doubt which way to turn themselves,
Archelaus, the commander of Antigonus's troops, having a great number
of soldiers with him, made up towards the castle with great shouts
and noise of trumpets to fall upon Aratus's people, and passed by
the three hundred, who, as if they had risen out of an ambush, immediately
charged him, killing the first they encountered, and so affrighted
the rest, together with Archelaus, that they put them to flight and
pursued them until they had quite broken and dispersed them about
the city. No sooner were these defeated, but Erginus came to them
from those that were fighting above, to acquaint them that Aratus
was engaged with the enemy, who defended themselves very stoutly,
and there was a fierce conflict at the very wall, and need of speedy
help. They therefore desired him to lead them on without delay, and,
marching up, by their shouts made their friends understand who they
were, and encouraged them; and the full moon, shining on their arms,
made them, in the long line by which they advanced, appear more in
number to the enemy than they were; and the echo of the night multiplied
their shouts. In short, falling on with the rest, they made the enemy
give way, and were masters of the castle and garrison, day now beginning
to be bright, and the rising sun shining out upon their success. By
this time, also, the rest of his army came up to Aratus from Sicyon,
the Corinthians joyfully receiving them at the gates and helping them
to secure the king's party. 

And now, having put all things into a safe posture, he came down from
the castle to the theatre, an infinite number of people crowding thither
to see him and to hear what he would say to the Corinthians. Therefore
drawing up the Achaeans on each side of the stage-passages, he came
forward himself upon the stage, with his corselet still on, and his
face showing the effects of all his hard work and want of sleep, so
that his natural exultation and joyfulness of mind were overborne
by the weariness of his body. The people, as soon as he came forth,
breaking out into great applauses and congratulations, he took his
spear in his right hand, and, resting his body upon it with his knee
a little bent, stood a good while in that posture, silently receiving
their shouts and acclamations, while they extolled his valour and
wondered at his fortune; which being over, standing up, he began an
oration in the name of the Achaeans, suitable to the late action,
persuading the Corinthians to associate themselves to the Achaeans,
and withal delivered up to them the keys of their gates, which had
never been in their power since the time of King Philip. Of the captains
of Antigonus, he dismissed Archelaus, whom he had taken prisoner,
and Theophrastus, who refused to quit his post, he put to death. As
for Persaeus, when he saw the castle was lost, he had got away to
Cenchreae, where, some time after, discoursing with one that said
to him that the wise man only is a true general, "Indeed," he replied,
"none of Zeno's maxims once pleased me better than this, but I have
been converted to another opinion by the young man of Sicyon." This
is told by many of Persaeus. Aratus immediately after made himself
master of the temple of Juno and haven of Lechaeum, seized upon five-and-twenty
of the king's ships, together with five hundred horses and four hundred
Syrians: these he sold. The Achaeans kept guard in the Acro-Corinthus
with a body of four hundred soldiers, and fifty dogs with as many

The Romans, extolling Philopoemen, called him the last of the Grecians,
as if no great man had ever since his time been bred amongst them.
But I should call this capture of the Acro-Corinthus the last of the
Grecian exploits, being comparable to the best of them, both for the
daringness of it, and the success, as was presently seen by the consequences.
For the Megarians, revolting from Antigonus, joined Aratus, and the
Troezenians and Epidaurians enrolled themselves in the Achaean community,
and issuing forth for the first time, he entered Attica, and passing
over into Salamis, he plundered the island, turning the Achaean force
every way, as if it were just let loose out of prison and set at liberty.
All freemen whom he took he sent back to the Athenians without ransom,
as a sort of first invitation to them to come over to the league.
He made Ptolemy become a confederate of the Achaeans, with the privilege
of command both by sea and land. And so great was his power with them,
that since he could not by law be chosen their general every year,
yet every other year he was, and by his counsels and actions was in
effect always so. For they perceived that neither riches nor reputation,
nor the friendship of kings, nor the private interest of his own country,
nor anything else was so dear to him as the increase of the Achaeans'
power and greatness. For he believed that the cities, weak individually,
could be preserved by nothing else but a mutual assistance under the
closest bond of the common interest, and, as the members of the body
live and breathe by the union of all in a single natural growth, and
on the dissolution of this, when once they separate, pine away and
putrefy, in the same manner are cities ruined by being dissevered,
as well as preserved when, as the members of one great body, they
enjoy the benefit of that province and counsel that govern the whole.

Now being distressed to see that, whereas the chief neighbouring cities
enjoyed their own laws and liberties, the Argives were in bondage,
he took counsel for destroying their tyrant, Aristomachus, being very
desirous both to pay his debt of gratitude to the city where he had
been bred up, by restoring it its liberty, and to add so considerable
a town to the Achaeans. Nor were there some wanting who had the courage
to undertake the thing, of whom Aeschylus and Charimenes the soothsayer
were the chief. But they wanted swords; for the tyrant had prohibited
the keeping of any under a great penalty. Therefore Aratus, having
provided some small daggers at Corinth and hidden them in the pack-saddles
of some pack-horses that carried ordinary ware, sent them to Argos.
But Charimenes letting another person into the design, Aeschylus and
his partners were angry at it, and henceforth would have no more to
do with him, and took their measures by themselves, and Charimenes,
on finding this, went, out of anger, and informed against them, just
as they were on their way to attack the tyrant; however, the most
of them made a shift to escape out of the market-place, and fled to
Corinth. Not long after, Aristomachus was slain by some slaves, and
Aristippus, a worse tyrant than he, seized the government. Upon this,
Aratus, mustering all the Achaeans present that were of age, hurried
away to the aid of the city, believing that he should find the people
ready to join with him. But the greater number being by this time
habituated to slavery and content to submit, and no one coming to
join him, he was obliged to retire, having moreover exposed the Achaeans
to the charge of committing acts of hostility in the midst of peace;
upon which account they were sued before the Mantineans, and, Aratus
not making his appearance, Aristippus gained the cause, and had damages
allowed him to the value of thirty minae. And now hating and fearing
Aratus, he sought means to kill him, having the assistance herein
of King Antigonus; so that Aratus was perpetually dogged and watched
by those that waited for an opportunity to do this service. But there
is no such safeguard of a ruler as the sincere and steady good-will
of his subjects, for where both the common people and the principal
citizens have their fears not of, but for, their governor, he sees
with many eyes and hears with many ears whatsoever is doing. Therefore
I cannot but here stop short a little in the course of my narrative
to describe the manner of life which the so much envied arbitrary
power and the so much celebrated and admired pomp and pride of absolute
government obliged Aristippus to lead. 

For though Antigonus was his friend and ally, and though he maintained
numerous soldiers to act as his body-guard, and had not left one enemy
of his alive in the city, yet he was forced to make his guards encamp
in the colonnade about his house; and for his servants, he turned
them all out immediately after supper, and then shutting the doors
upon them, he crept up into a small upper chamber, together with his
mistress, through a trap-door, upon which he placed his bed, and there
slept after such a fashion, as one in his condition can be supposed
to sleep, that is, interruptedly and in fear. The ladder was taken
away by the woman's mother, and locked up in another room; in the
morning she brought it again, and putting it to, called up this brave
and wonderful tyrant, who came crawling out like some creeping thing
out of its hole. Whereas Aratus, not by force of arms, but lawfully
and by his virtue, lived in possession of a firmly settled command,
wearing the ordinary coat and cloak, being the common and declared
enemy of all tyrants, and has left behind him a noble race of descendants
surviving among the Grecians to this day; while those occupiers of
citadels and maintainers of body-guards, who made all this use of
arms and gates and bolts to protect their lives, in some few cases
perhaps escaped like the bare from the hunters; but in no instance
have we either house or family, or so much as a tomb to which any
respect is shown, remaining to preserve the memory of any one of them.

Against this Aristippus, therefore, Aratus made many open and many
secret attempts, whilst he endeavoured to take Argos, though without
success; once, particularly, clapping scaling ladders in the night
to the walls, he desperately got up upon it with a few of his soldiers,
and killed the guards that opposed him. But the day appearing, the
tyrant set upon him on all hands, whilst the Argives, as if it had
not been their liberty that was contended for, but some Nemean game
going on for which it was their privilege to assign the prize, like
fair and impartial judges, sat looking on in great quietness. Aratus,
fighting bravely, was run through the thigh with a lance, yet he maintained
his ground against the enemy till night, and, had he been able to
go on and hold out that night also, he had gained his point; for the
tyrant thought of nothing but flying, and had already shipped most
of his goods. But Aratus, having no intelligence of this, and wanting
water, being disabled himself by his wound, retreated with his soldiers.

Despairing henceforth to do any good this way, he fell openly with
his army into Argolis, and plundered it, and in a fierce battle with
Aristippus near the river Chares, he was accused of having withdrawn
out of the fight, and thereby abandoned the victory. For whereas one
part of his army had unmistakably got the better, and was pursuing
the enemy at a good distance from him, he yet retreated in confusion
into his camp, not so much because he was overpressed by those with
whom he was engaged, as out of mistrust of success and through a panic
fear. But when the other wing, returning from the pursuit, showed
themselves extremely vexed, that though they had put the enemy to
flight and killed many more of his men than they had lost, yet those
that were in a manner conquered should erect a trophy as conquerors,
being much ashamed he resolved to fight them again about the trophy,
and the next day but one drew up his army to give them battle. But,
perceiving that they were reinforced with fresh troops, and came on
with better courage than before, he durst not hazard a fight, but
retired and sent to request a truce to bury his dead. However, by
his dexterity in dealing personally with men and managing political
affairs, and by his general favour, he excused and obliterated this
fault, and brought in Cleonae to the Achaean association, and celebrated
the Nemean games at Cleonae, as the proper and more ancient place
for them. The games were also celebrated by the Argives at the same
time, which gave the first occasion to the violation of the privilege
of safe conduct and immunity always granted to those that came to
compete for the prizes, the Achaeans at that time selling as enemies
all those they caught going through their country after joining in
the games at Argos. So vehement and implacable a hater was he of the

Not long after, having notice that Aristippus had a design upon Cleonae,
but was afraid of him, because he then was staying in Corinth, he
assembled an army by public proclamation, and commanding them to take
along with them provisions for several days, he marched to Cenchreae,
hoping by this stratagem to entice Aristippus to fall upon Cleonae,
when he supposed him far enough off. And so it happened, for he immediately
brought his forces against it from Argos. But Aratus, returning from
Cenchreae to Corinth in the dusk of the evening, and setting posts
of his troops in all the roads, led on the Achaeans, who followed
in such good order and with so much speed and alacrity, that they
were undiscovered by Aristippus, not only whilst upon their march,
but even when they got, still in the night, into Cleonae, and drew
up in order of battle. As soon as it was morning, the gates being
opened and the trumpets sounding, he fell upon the enemy with great
cries and fury, routed them at once, and kept close in pursuit, following
the course which he most imagined Aristippus would choose, there being
many turns that might be taken. And so the chase lasted as far as
Mycenae, where the tyrant was slain by a certain Cretan called Tragiscus,
as Dinias reports. Of the common soldiers, there fell above fifteen
hundred. Yet though Aratus had obtained so great a victory and that
too without the loss of a man, he could not make himself master of
Argos, nor set it at liberty, because Agias and the younger Aristomachus
got into the town with some of the king's forces, and seized upon
the government. However, by this exploit he spoiled the scoffs and
jests of those that flattered the tyrants, and in their raillery would
say that the Achaean general was usually troubled with a looseness
when he was to fight a battle, that the sound of a trumpet struck
him with a drowsiness and a giddiness, and that when he had drawn
up his army and given the word, he used to ask his lieutenants and
officers whether there was any further need of his presence now the
die was cast, and then went aloof, to await the result at a distance.
For indeed these stories were so generally listened to, that, when
the philosophers disputed whether to have one's heart beat and to
change colour upon any apparent danger be an argument of fear, or
rather of some distemperature and chilliness of bodily constitution,
Aratus was always quoted as a good general who was always thus affected
in time of battle. 

Having thus despatched Aristippus, he advised with himself how to
overthrow Lydiades, the Megalopolitan, who held usurped power over
his country. This person was naturally of a generous temper, and not
insensible of true honour, and had been led into this wickedness,
not by the ordinary motives of other tyrants, licentiousness and rapacity,
but being young, and stimulated with the desire of glory, he had let
his mind be unwarily prepossessed with the vain and false applauses
given to tyranny, as some happy and glorious thing. But he no sooner
seized the government, than he grew weary of the pomp and burden of
it. And at once emulating the tranquillity and fearing the policy
of Aratus, he took the best resolutions, first, to free himself from
hatred and fear, from soldiers and guards, and, secondly, to be the
public benefactor of his country. And sending for Aratus, he resigned
the government, and incorporated his city into the Achaean community.
The Achaeans, applauding this generous action, chose him their general;
upon which, desiring to outdo Aratus in glory, amongst many other
uncalled-for things, he declared war against the Lacedaemonians; which
Aratus opposing was thought to do it out of envy; and Lydiades was
the second time chosen general, though Aratus acted openly against
him, and laboured to have the office conferred upon another. For Aratus
himself had the command every other year, as has been said. Lydiades,
however, succeeded so well in his pretensions, that he was thrice
chosen general, governing alternately, as did Aratus; but at last,
declaring himself his professed enemy, and accusing him frequently
to the Achaeans, he was rejected, and fell into contempt, people now
seeing that it was a contest between a counterfeit and a true, unadulterated
virtue, and, as Aesop tells us that the cuckoo once, asking the little
birds why they flew away from her, was answered, because they feared
she would one day prove a hawk, so Lydiades's former tyranny still
cast a doubt upon the reality of his change. 

But Aratus gained new honour in the Aetolian war. For the Achaeans
resolving to fall upon the Aetolians on the Megarian confines, and
Agis also, the Lacedaemonian king, who came to their assistance with
an army, encouraging them to fight, Aratus opposed this determination.
And patiently enduring many reproaches, many scoffs and jeerings at
his soft and cowardly temper, he would not, for any appearance of
disgrace, abandon what he judged to be true common advantage, and
suffered the enemy to pass over Geranea into Peloponnesus without
a battle. But when, after they passed by, news came that they had
suddenly captured Pellene, he was no longer the same man, nor would
he hear of any delay, or wait to draw together his whole force, but
marched towards the enemy, with such as he had about him, to fall
upon them, as they were indeed now much less formidable through the
intemperances and disorders committed in their success. For as soon
as they entered the city, the common soldiers dispersed and went hither
and thither into the houses, quarrelling and fighting with one another
about the plunder, and the officers and commanders were running about
after the wives and daughters of the Pellenians, on whose heads they
put their own helmets, to mark each man his prize, and prevent another
from seizing it. And in this posture were they when news came that
Aratus was ready to fall upon them. And in the midst of the consternation
likely to ensue in the confusion they were in before all of them heard
of the danger, the outmost of them, engaging at the gates and in the
suburbs with the Achaeans, were already beaten and put to flight,
and as they came headlong back, filled with their panic those who
were collecting and advancing to their assistance. 

In this confusion, one of the captives, daughter of Epigethes, a citizen
of repute, being extremely handsome and tall, happened to be sitting
in the temple of Diana, placed there by the commander of the band
of chosen men, who had taken her and put his crested helmet upon her.
She, hearing the noise, and running out to see what was the matter,
stood in the temple gates, looking down from above upon those that
fought, having the helmet upon her head; in which posture she seemed
to the citizens to be something more than human, and struck fear and
dread into the enemy, who believed it to be a divine apparition; so
that they lost all courage to defend themselves. But the Pellenians
tell us that the image of Diana stands usually untouched, and when
the priestess happens at any time to remove it to some other place,
nobody dares look upon it, but all turn their faces from it; for not
only is the sight of it terrible and hurtful to mankind, but it makes
even the trees, by which it happens to be carried, become barren and
cast fruit. This image, therefore, they say, the priestess produced
at that time, and holding it directly in the faces of the Aetolians,
made them lose their reason and judgment. But Aratus mentions no such
thing in his commentaries, but saying that having put to flight the
Aetolians, and falling in pell-mell with them into the city, he drove
them out by main force, and killed seven hundred of them. And the
action was extolled as one of the most famous exploits, and Timanthes
the painter made a picture of the battle, giving by his composition
a most lively representation of it. 

But many great nations and potentates combining against the Achaeans,
Aratus immediately for friendly arrangements with the Aetolians, and,
making use of the assistance of Pantaleon, the most powerful man amongst
them, he not only made a peace, but an alliance between them and the
Achaeans. But being desirous to free the Athenians, he got into disgrace
and ill-repute among the Achaeans, because, notwithstanding the truce
and suspension of arms made between them and the Macedonians, he had
attempted to take the Piraeus. He denies this fact in his commentaries,
and lays the blame on Erginus, by whose assistance he took Acro-Corinthus,
alleging that he upon his own private account attacked the Piraeus,
and his ladders happening to break, being hotly pursued, he called
out upon Aratus, as if present, by which means deceiving the enemy
he got safely off. This excuse, however, sounds very improbable; for
it is not in any way likely that Erginus, a private man and a Syrian
stranger, should conceive in his mind so great an attempt, without
Aratus at his back, to tell him how and when to make it, and to supply
him with the means. Nor was it twice or thrice, but very often, that,
like an obstinate lover, he repeated his attempts on the Piraeus,
and was so far from being discouraged by his disappointments, that
his missing his hopes but narrowly was an incentive to him to proceed
the more boldly in a new trial. One time amongst the rest, in making
his escape through the Thrasian plain, he put his leg out of joint,
and was forced to submit to many operations with the knife before
he was cured, so that for a long time he was carried in a litter to
the wars. 

And when Antigonus was dead, and Demetrius succeeded him in the kingdom,
he was more bent than ever upon Athens, and in general quite despised
the Macedonians. And so, being overthrown in battle near Phylacia
by Bithys, Demetrius's general, and there being a very strong report
that he was either taken or slain, Diogenes, the governor of the Piraeus,
sent letters to Corinth, commanding the Achaeans to quit that city,
seeing Aratus was dead. When these letters came to Corinth, Aratus
happened to be there in person, so that Diogenes's messengers being
sufficiently mocked and derided, were forced to return to their master.
King Demetrius himself also sent a ship, wherein Aratus was to be
brought to him in chains. And the Athenians, exceeding all possible
fickleness of flattery to the Macedonians, crowned themselves with
garlands upon the first news of his death. And so in anger he went
at once and invaded Attica, and penetrated as far as the Academy,
but then suffering himself to be pacified he did no further act of
hostility. And the Athenians afterwards, coming to a due sense of
his virtue when upon the death of Demetrius they attempted to recover
their liberty, called him to their assistance; although at that time
another person was general of the Achaeans, and he himself had long
kept his bed with a sickness, yet rather than fail the city in a time
of need, he was carried thither in a litter, and helped to persuade
Diogenes the governor to deliver up the Piraeus, Munychia, Salamis,
and Sunium to the Athenians in consideration of a hundred and fifty
talents, of which Aratus himself contributed twenty to the city. Upon
this, the Aeginetans and the Hermionians immediately joined the Achaeans,
and the greatest part of Arcadia entered their confederacy; and the
Macedonians being occupied with various wars upon their own confines
and with their neighbours, the Achaean power, the Aetolians also being
in alliance with them, rose to great height. 

But Aratus, still bent on effecting his old project, and impatient
that tyranny should maintain itself in so near a city as Argos, sent
to Aristomachus to persuade him to restore liberty to that city, and
to associate it to the Achaeans, and that, following Lydiades's example,
he should rather choose to be the general of a great nation, with
esteem and honour, than the tyrant of one city, with continual hatred
and danger. Aristomachus slighted not the message, but desired Aratus
to send him fifty talents, with which he might pay off the soldiers.
In the meantime, whilst the money was providing, Lydiades, being then
general, and extremely ambitious that this advantage might seem to
be of his procuring for the Achaeans, accused Aratus to Aristomachus,
as one that bore an irreconcilable hatred to the tyrants, and, persuading
him to commit the affair to his management, he presented him to the
Achaeans. But there the Achaean council gave a manifest proof of the
great credit Aratus had with them and the good-will they bore him.
For when he, in anger, spoke against Aristomachus's being admitted
into the association, they rejected the proposal, but when he was
afterwards pacified and came himself and spoke in its favour, they
voted everything cheerfully and readily, and decreed that the Argives
and Phliasians should be incorporated into their commonwealth, and
the next year they chose Aristomachus general. He, being in good credit
with the Achaeans, was very desirous to invade Laconia, and for that
purpose sent for Aratus from Athens. Aratus wrote to him to dissuade
him as far as he could from that expedition, being very unwilling
the Achaeans should be engaged in a quarrel with Cleomenes, who was
a daring man, and making extraordinary advances to power. But Aristomachus
resolving to go on, he obeyed and served in person, on which occasion
he hindered Aristomachus from fighting a battle when Cleomenes came
upon them at Pallantium; and for this act was accused by Lydiades,
and, coming to an open conflict with him in a contest for the office
of general, he carried it by the show of hands, and was chosen general
the twelfth time. 

This year, being routed by Cleomenes, near the Lycaeum, he fled, and,
wandering out of the way in the night, was believed to be slain; and
once more it was confidently reported so throughout all Greece. He,
however, having escaped this danger and rallied his forces, was not
content to march off in safety, but making a happy use of the present
conjuncture, when nobody dreamed of any such thing, he fell suddenly
upon the Mantineans, allies of Cleomenes, and, taking the city, put
a garrison into it, and made the stranger inhabitants free of the
city; procuring, by this means, those advantages for the beaten Achaeans,
which being conquerors, they would not easily have obtained. The Lacedaemonians
again invading the Megalopolitan territories, he marched to the assistance
of the city, but refused to give Cleomenes, who did all he could to
provoke him to it, opportunity of engaging him in a battle, nor could
be prevailed upon by the Megalopolitans, who urged him to it extremely.
For besides that by nature he was ill-suited for set battles, he was
then much inferior in numbers, and was to deal with a daring leader,
still in the heat of youth, while he himself, now past the prime of
courage and come to a chastised ambition, felt it his business to
maintain by prudence the glory which he had obtained, and the other
was only aspiring to by forwardness and daring. 

So that though the light-armed soldiers had sallied out and driven
the Lacedaemonians as far as their camp, and had come even to their
tents, yet would not Aratus lead his men forward, but, posting himself
in a hollow water-course in the way thither, stopped and prevented
the citizens from crossing this. Lydiades, extremely vexed at what
was going on, and loading Aratus with reproaches, entreated the horse
that, together with him, they would second them that had the enemy
in chase, and not let a certain victory slip out of their hands, nor
forsake him that was going to venture his life for his country. And
being reinforced with many brave men that turned after him, he charged
the enemy's right wing, and routing it followed the pursuit without
measure or discretion, letting his eagerness and hopes of glory tempt
him on into broken ground, full of planted fruit-trees and cut up
with broad ditches, where, being engaged by Cleomenes, he fell, fighting
gallantly the noblest of battles, at the gate of his country. The
rest, flying back to their main body and troubling the ranks of the
full-armed infantry, put the whole army to the rout. Aratus was extremely
blamed, being suspected to have betrayed Lydiades, and was constrained
by the Achaeans, who withdrew in great anger, to accompany them to
Aegium, where they called a council, and decreed that he should no
longer be furnished with money, nor have any more soldiers hired for
him, but that, if he would make war, he should pay them himself.

This affront he resented so far as to resolve to give up the seal
and lay down the office of general; but upon second thoughts he found
it best to have patience, and presently marched with the Achaeans
to Orchomenus and fought a battle with Megistonus, the stepfather
of Cleomenes, where he got the victory, killing three hundred men
and taking Megistonus prisoner. But whereas he used to be chosen general
every other year, when his turn came and he was called to take upon
him that charge, he declined it, and Timoxenus was chosen in his stead.
The true cause of which was not the pique he was alleged to have taken
at the people, but the ill circumstances of the Achaean affairs. For
Cleomenes did not now invade them gently and tenderly as hitherto,
as one controlled by the civil authorities, but having killed the
Ephors, divided the lands, and made many of the stranger residents
free of the city, he was responsible to no one in his government;
and therefore fell in good earnest upon the Achaeans, and put forward
his claim to the supreme military command. Wherefore Aratus is much
blamed, that in a stormy and tempestuous time, like a cowardly pilot,
he should forsake the helm when it was even perhaps his duty to have
insisted, whether they would or no, on saving them; or if he thought
the Achaean affairs desperate, to have yielded all up to Cleomenes,
and not to have let Peloponnesus fall once again into barbarism with
Macedonian garrisons, and Acro-Corinthus be occupied with Illyric
and Gaulish soldiers, and, under the specious name of confederates,
to have made those masters of the cities whom he had held it his business
by arms and by policy to baffle and defeat, and, in the memoirs he
left behind him, loaded with reproaches and insults. And say that
Cleomenes was arbitrary and tyrannical, yet was he descended from
the Heraclidae, and Sparta was his country, the obscurest citizens
of which deserved to be preferred to the generalship before the best
of the Macedonians by those that had any regard to the honour of Grecian
birth. Besides, Cleomenes sued for that command over the Achaeans
as one that would return the honour of that title with real kindnesses
to the cities; whereas Antigonus, being declared absolute general
by sea and land, would not accept the office unless Acro-Corinthus
were by special agreement put into his hands, following the example
of Aesop's hunter; for he would not get up and ride the Achaeans,
who desired him so to do, and offered their backs to him by embassies
and popular decrees, till, by a garrison and hostages, they had allowed
him to bit and bridle them. Aratus exhausts all his powers of speech
to show the necessity that was upon him. But Polybius writes, that
long before this and before there was any necessity, apprehending
the daring temper of Cleomenes, he communicated secretly with Antigonus,
and that he had beforehand prevailed with the Megalopolitans to press
the Achaeans to crave aid from Antigonus. For they were the most harassed
by the war, Cleomenes continually plundering and ransacking their
country. And so writes also Phylarchus, who, unless seconded by the
testimony of Polybius, would not be altogether credited; for he is
seized with enthusiasm when he so much as speaks a word of Cleomenes,
and as if he were pleading, not writing a history, goes on throughout
defending the one and accusing the other. 

The Achaeans, therefore, lost Mantinea, which was recovered by Cleomenes,
and being beaten in a great fight near Hecatombaeum, so general was
the consternation, that they immediately sent to Cleomenes to desire
him to come to Argos and take the command upon him. But Aratus, as
soon as he understood that he was coming, and was got as far as Lerna
with his troops, fearing the result, sent ambassadors to him, to request
him to come accompanied with three hundred only, as to friends and
confederates, and, if he mistrusted anything, he should receive hostages.
Upon which Cleomenes, saying this was mere mockery and affront, went
away, sending a letter to the Achaeans full of reproaches and accusation
against Aratus. And Aratus also wrote letters against Cleomenes; and
bitter revilings and railleries were current on both hands, not sparing
even their marriages and wives. Hereupon Cleomenes sent a herald to
declare war against the Achaeans, and in the meantime missed very
narrowly of taking Sicyon by treachery. Turning off at a little distance,
he attacked and took Pellene which the Achaean general abandoned,
and not long after took also Pheneus and Penteleum. Then immediately
the Argives voluntarily joined with him, and the Philiasians received
a garrison, and in short nothing among all their new acquisitions
held firm to the Achaeans. Aratus was encompassed on every side with
clamour and confusion; he saw the whole of Peloponnesus shaking hands
around him, and the cities everywhere set in revolt by men desirous
of innovations. 

Indeed no place remained quiet or satisfied with the present condition;
even amongst the Sicyonians and Corinthians themselves, many were
well known to have had private conferences with Cleomenes, who long
since, out of desire to make themselves masters of their several cities,
had been discontented with the present order of things. Aratus, having
absolute power given him to bring these to consign punishment, executed
as many of them as he could find at Sicyon, but going about to find
them out and punish them at Corinth also, he irritated the people,
already unsound in feeling and weary of the Achaean government. So
collecting tumultuously in the temple of Apollo, they sent for Aratus,
having determined to take or kill him before they broke out into open
revolt. He came accordingly, leading his horse in his hand, as if
he suspected nothing. Then several leaping up and accusing and reproaching
him, with mild words and a settled countenance he bade them sit down,
and not stand crying out upon him in a disorderly manner, desiring
also, that those that were about the door might be let in, and saying
so, he stepped out quietly, as if he would give his horse to somebody.
Clearing himself thus of the crowd, and speaking without discomposure
to the Corinthians that he met, commanding them to go to Apollo's
temple, and being now, before they were aware, got near to the citadel,
he leaped upon his horse, and commanding Cleopater, the governor of
the garrison, to have a special care of his charge, he galloped to
Sicyon, followed by thirty of his soldiers, the rest leaving him and
shifting for themselves. And not long after, it being known that he
was fled, the Corinthians pursued him, but not overtaking him, they
immediately sent for Cleomenes and delivered up the city to him, who,
however, thought nothing they could give was so great a gain, as was
the loss of their having let Aratus get away. Nevertheless, being
strengthened by the accession of the people of the Acte, as it is
called, who put their towns into his hands, he proceeded to carry
a palisade and lines of circumvallation around the Acro-Corinthus.

But Aratus being arrived at Sicyon, the body of the Achaeans there
flocked to him, and, in an assembly there held, he was chosen general
with absolute power, and he took about him a guard of his own citizens,
it being now three-and-thirty years since he first took a part in
public affairs among the Achaeans, having in that time been the chief
man in credit and power of all Greece; but he was now deserted on
all hands, helpless and overpowered, drifting about amidst the waves
and danger on the shattered hulk of his native city. For the Aetolians,
whom he applied to, declined to assist him in his distress, and the
Athenians who were well affected to him were diverted from lending
him any succour by the authority of Euclides and Micion. Now whereas
he had a house and property in Corinth, Cleomenes meddled not with
it, nor suffered anybody else to do so, but calling for his friends
and agents, he bade them hold themselves responsible to Aratus for
everything, as to him they would have to render their account; and
privately he sent to him Tripylus, and afterwards Megistonus, his
own stepfather, to offer him, besides several other things, a yearly
pension of twelve talents, which was twice as much as Ptolemy allowed
him, for he gave him six; and all that he demanded was to be declared
commander of the Achaeans, and together with them to have the keeping
of the citadel of Corinth. To which Aratus returning answer that affairs
were not so properly in his power as he was in the power of them,
Cleomenes, believing this a mere evasion, immediately entered the
country of Sicyon, destroying all with fire and sword, and besieged
the city three months, whilst Aratus held firm, and was in dispute
with himself whether he should call in Antigonus upon condition of
delivering up the citadel of Corinth to him; for he would not lend
him assistance upon any other terms. 

In the meantime the Achaeans assembled at Aegium, and called for Aratus;
but it was very hazardous for him to pass thither, while Cleomenes
was encamped before Sicyon; besides, the citizens endeavoured to stop
him by their entreaties, protesting that they would not suffer him
to expose himself to so evident danger, the enemy being so near; the
women, also, and children hung about him, weeping and embracing him
as their common father and defender. But he, having comforted and
encouraged them as well as he could, got on horseback, and being accompanied
with ten of his friends and his son, then a youth, got away to the
seaside, and finding vessels there waiting off the shore, went on
board of them and sailed to Aegium to the assembly; in which it was
decreed that Antigonus should be called in to their aid, and should
have the Acro-Corinthus delivered to him. Aratus also sent his son
to him with the other hostages. The Corinthians, extremely angry at
this proceeding, now plundered his property, and gave his house as
a present to Cleomenes. 

Antigonus being now near at hand with his army, consisting of twenty
thousand Macedonian foot and one thousand three hundred horse, Aratus,
with the members of council, went to meet him by sea, and got, unobserved
by the enemy, to Pegae, having no great confidence either in Antigonus
or the Macedonians. For he was very sensible that his own greatness
had been made out of the losses he had caused them, and that the first
great principle of his public conduct had been hostility to the former
Antigonus. But perceiving the necessity that was now upon him, and
the pressure of the time, that lord and master of those we call rulers,
to be inexorable, he resolved to put all to the venture. So soon,
therefore, as Antigonus was told that Aratus was coming up to him,
he saluted the rest of the company after the ordinary manner, but
him he received at the very first approach with especial honour, and
finding him afterwards to be both good and wise, admitted him to his
nearer familiarity. For Aratus was not only useful to him in the management
of great affairs, but singularly agreeable also as the private companion
of a king in his recreations. And therefore, though Antigonus was
young, yet as soon as he observed the temper of the man to be proper
for a prince's friendship, he made more use of him than of any other,
not only of the Achaeans, but also of the Macedonians that were about
him. So that the thing fell out to him just as the god had foreshown
in a sacrifice. For it is related that, as Aratus was not long before
offering sacrifice, there were found in the liver two gall-bags inclosed
in the same caul of fat; whereupon the soothsayer told him that there
should very soon be the strictest friendship imaginable between him
and his greatest and most mortal enemies; which prediction he at that
time slighted, having in general no great faith in soothsayings and
prognostications, but depending most upon rational deliberation. At
an after time, however, when, things succeeding well in the war, Antigonus
made a great feast at Corinth, to which he invited a great number
of guests, and placed Aratus next above him, and presently calling
for a coverlet, asked him if he did not find it cold, and on Aratus's
answering, "Yes, extremely cold," bade him come nearer, so that when
the servants brought the coverlet, they threw it over them both, then
Aratus, remembering the sacrifice, fell a laughing, and told the king
the sign which had happened to him, and the interpretation of it.
But this fell out a good while after. 

So Aratus and the king, plighting their faith to each other at Pegae,
immediately marched toward the enemy, with whom they had frequent
engagements near the city, Cleomenes maintaining a strong position,
and the Corinthians making a very brisk defence. In the meantime Aristoteles
the Argive, Aratus's friend, sent privately to him to let him know
that he would cause Argos to revolt, if he would come thither in person
with some soldiers. Aratus acquainted Antigonus, and taking fifteen
hundred men with him, sailed in boats along the shore as quickly as
he could from the Isthmus to Epidaurus. But the Argives had not patience
till he could arrive, but, making a sudden insurrection, fell upon
Cleomenes's soldiers, and drove them into the citadel. Cleomenes having
news of this, and fearing lest, if the enemy should possess themselves
of Argos, they might cut off his retreat home, leaves the Acro-Corinthus
and marches away by night to help his men. He got thither first, and
beat off the enemy, but Aratus appearing not long after, and the king
approaching with his forces, he retreated to Mantinea, upon which
all the cities again came over to the Achaeans, and Antigonus took
possession of the Acro-Corinthus. Aratus, being chosen general by
the Argives, persuaded them to make a present to Antigonus of the
property of the tyrants and the traitors. As for Aristomachus, after
having put him to the rack in the town of Cenchreae, they drowned
him in the sea; for which, more than anything else, Aratus was reproached,
that he could suffer a man to be so lawlessly put to death, who was
no bad man, had been one of his long acquaintance, and at his persuasion
had abdicated his power and annexed the city to the Achaeans.

And already the blame of the other things that were done began to
be laid to his account; as that they so lightly gave up Corinth to
Antigonus, as if it had been an inconsiderable village; that they
had suffered him, after first sacking Orchomenus, then to put into
it a Macedonian garrison; that they made a decree that no letters
nor embassy should be sent to any other king without the consent of
Antigonus, that they were forced to furnish pay and provision for
the Macedonian soldiers, and celebrated sacrifices, processions, and
games in honour of Antigonus, Aratus's citizens setting the example
and receiving Antigonus, who was lodged and entertained at Aratus's
house. All these things they treated as his fault, not knowing that
having once put the reins into Antigonus's hands and let himself be
borne by the impetus of regal power, he was no longer master of anything
but one single voice, the liberty of which it was not so very safe
for him to use. For it was very plain that Aratus was much troubled
at several things, as appeared by the business about the statues.
For Antigonus replaced the statues of the tyrants of Argos that had
been thrown down, and on the contrary threw down the statues of all
those that had taken the Acro-Corinthus, except that of Aratus, nor
could Aratus, by all his entreaties, dissuade him. Also, the usage
of the Mantineans by the Achaeans seemed not in accordance with the
Grecian feelings and manners. For being master of their city by the
help of Antigonus, they put to death the chief and most noted men
amongst them; and of the rest, some they sold, others they sent, bound
in fetters, into Macedonia, and made slaves of their wives and children;
and of the money thus raised, a third part they divided among themselves,
and the other two-thirds were distributed among the Macedonians. And
this might seem to have been justified by the law of retaliation;
for although it be a barbarous thing for men of the same nation and
blood thus to deal with one another in their fury, yet necessity makes
it, as Simonides says, sweet and something excusable, being the proper
thing, in the mind's painful and inflamed condition, to give alleviation
and relief. But for what was afterwards done to that city, Aratus
cannot be defended on any ground either of reason or necessity. For
the Argives having had the city bestowed on them by Antigonus, and
resolving to people it, he being then chosen as the new founder, and
being general at that time, decreed that it should no longer be called
Mantinea, but Antigonea, which name it still bears. So that he may
be said to have been the cause that the old memory of the "beautiful
Mantinea" has been wholly extinguished and the city to this day has
the name of the destroyer and slayer of its citizens. 

After this, Cleomenes, being overthrown in a great battle near Sellasia,
forsook Sparta and fled into Egypt, and Antigonus, having shown all
manner of kindness and fair-dealing to Aratus, retired into Macedonia.
There, falling sick, he sent Philip, the heir of the kingdom, into
Peloponnesus, being yet scarce a youth, commanding him to follow above
all the counsel of Aratus, to communicate with the cities through
him, and through him to make acquaintance with the Achaeans; and Aratus,
receiving him accordingly, so managed him as to send him back to Macedon
both well affected to himself and full of desire and ambition to take
an honourable part in the affairs of Greece. 

When Antigonus was dead, the Aetolians, despising the sloth and negligence
of the Achaeans, who having learnt to be defended by other men's valour
and to shelter themselves under the Macedonian arms, lived in ease
and without any discipline, now attempted to interfere in Peloponnesus.
And plundering the land of Patrae and Dyme in their way, they invaded
Messene and ravaged it; at which Aratus being indignant, and finding
that Timoxenus, then general, was hesitating and letting the time
go by, being now on the point of laying down his office, in which
he himself was chosen to succeed him, he anticipated the proper term
by five days, that he might bring relief to the Messenians. And mustering
the Achaeans, who were both in their persons unexercised in arms and
in their minds relaxed and averse to war, he met with a defeat at
Caphyae. Having thus begun the war, as it seemed, with too much heat
and passion, he then ran into the other extreme, cooling again and
desponding so much that he let pass and overlooked many fair opportunities
of advantage given by the Aetolians, and allowed them to run riot,
as it were, throughout all Peloponnesus, with all manner of insolence
and licentiousness. Wherefore, holding forth their hands once more
to the Macedonians, they invited and drew in Philip to intermeddle
in the affairs of Greece, chiefly hoping, because of his affection
and trust that he felt for Aratus, they should find him easy. tempered,
and ready to be managed as they pleased. 

But the king, being now persuaded by Apelles, Megaleas, and other
courtiers, that endeavoured to ruin the credit Aratus had with him,
took the side of the contrary faction and joined them in canvassing
to have Eperatus chosen general by the Achaeans. But he being altogether
scorned by the Achaeans, and, for the want of Aratus to help, all
things going wrong, Philip saw he had quite mistaken his part, and,
turning about and reconciling himself to Aratus, he was wholly his;
and his affairs, now going on favourably both for his power and reputation,
he depended upon him altogether as the author of all his gains in
both respects; Aratus hereby giving a proof to the world that he was
as good a nursing father of a kingdom as he had been of a democracy,
for the actions of the king had in them the touch and colour of his
judgment and character. The moderation which the young man showed
to the Lacedaemonians, who had incurred his displeasure, and his affability
to the Cretans, by which in a few days he brought over the whole island
to his obedience, and his expedition against the Aetolians, so wonderfully
successful, brought Philip reputation for hearkening to good advice,
and to Aratus for giving it; for which things the king's followers
envying him more than ever and finding they could not prevail against
him by their secret practices, began openly to abuse and affront him
at the banquets and over their wine, with every kind of petulance
and impudence; so that once they threw stones at him as he was going
back from supper to his tent. At which Philip being much offended,
immediately fined them twenty talents, and finding afterwards that
they still went on disturbing matters and doing mischief in his affairs,
he put them to death. 

But with his run of good success, prosperity began to puff him up,
and various extravagant desires began to spring and show themselves
in his mind; and his natural bad inclinations breaking through the.
artificial restraints he had put upon them, in a little time laid
open and discovered his true and proper character. In the first place,
he privately injured the younger Aratus in his wife, which was not
known of a good while, because he was lodged and entertained at their
house; then he began to be more rough and untractable in the domestic
politics of Greece, and showed plainly that he was wishing to shake
himself loose of Aratus. This the Messenian affairs first gave occasion
to suspect. For they falling into sedition, and Aratus being just
too late with his succours, Philip, who got into the city one day
before him, at once blew up the flame of contention amongst them,
asking privately, on the one hand, the Messenian generals, if they
had not laws whereby to suppress the insolence of the common people,
and on the other, the leaders of the people, whether they had not
hands to help themselves against their oppressors. Upon which gathering
courage, the officers attempted to lay hands on the heads of the people,
and they on the other side, coming upon the officers with the multitude,
killed them, and very near two hundred persons with them.

Philip having committed this wickedness, and doing his best to set
the Messenians by the ears together more than before, Aratus arrived
there, and both showed plainly that he took it ill himself, and also
he suffered his son bitterly to reproach and revile him. It should
seem that the young man had an attachment for Philip, and so at this
time one of his expressions to him was, that he no longer appeared
to him the handsomest, but the most deformed of all men, after so
foul an action. To all which Philip gave him no answer, though he
seemed so angry as to make it expected he would, and though several
times he cried out aloud while the young man was speaking. But as
for the elder Aratus, seeming to take all that he said in good part,
and as if he were by nature a politic character and had a good command
of himself, he gave him his hand and led him out of the theatre, and
carried him with him to the Ithomatas, to sacrifice there to Jupiter,
and take a view of the place, for it is a post as fortifiable as the
Acro-Corinthus, and, with a garrison in it, quite as strong and as
impregnable to the attacks of all around it. Philip therefore went
up hither, and having offered sacrifice, receiving the entrails of
the ox with both his hands from the priest, he showed them to Aratus
and Demetrius the Pharian, presenting them sometimes to the one and
sometimes to the other, asking them what they judged, by the tokens
in the sacrifice, was to be done with the fort; was he to keep it
for himself, or restore it to the Messenians. Demetrius laughed and
answered, "If you have in you the soul of a soothsayer, you will restore
it, but if of a prince you will hold the ox by both the horns," meaning
to refer to Peloponnesus, which would be wholly in his power and at
his disposal if he added the Ithomatas to the Acro-Corinthus. Aratus
said not a word for a good while; but Philip entreating him to declare
his opinion, he said: "Many and great hills are there in Crete, and
many rocks in Boeotia and Phocis, and many remarkable strongholds
both near the sea and in the midland in Acarnania, and yet all these
people obey your orders, though you have not possessed yourself of
any one of those places. Robbers nest themselves in rocks and precipices;
but the strongest fort a king can have is confidence and affection.
These have opened to you the Cretan sea; these make you master of
Peloponnesus, and by the help of these, young as you are, are you
become captain of the one, and lord of the other." While he was still
speaking, Philip returned the entrails to the priest, and drawing
Aratus to him by the hand, "Come, then," said he, "let us follow the
same course as if he felt himself forced by him, and obliged to give
up the town. 

From this time Aratus began to withdraw from court, and retired by
degrees from Philip's company; when he was preparing to march into
Epirus, and desired him that he would accompany him thither, he excused
himself and stayed at home, apprehending that he should get nothing
but discredit by having anything to do with his actions. But then,
afterwards, having shamefully lost his fleet against the Romans and
miscarried in all his designs, he returned into Peloponnesus, where
he tried once more to beguile the Messenians by his artifices, and
failing in this, began openly to attack them and to ravage their country,
then Aratus fell out with him downright, and utterly renounced his
friendship; for he had begun then to be fully aware of the injuries
done to his son in his wife, which vexed him greatly, though he concealed
them from his son, as he could but know he had been abused, without
having any means to revenge himself. For, indeed, Philip seems to
have been an instance of the greatest and strangest alteration of
character; after being a mild king and modest and chaste youth, he
became a lascivious man and most cruel tyrant; though in reality this
was not a change of his nature, but a bold unmasking, when safe opportunity
came, of the evil inclinations which his fear had for a long time
made him dissemble. 

For that the respect he at the beginning bore to Aratus had a great
alloy of fear and awe appears evidently from what he did to him at
last. For being desirous to put him to death, not thinking himself,
whilst he was alive, to be properly free as a man, much less at liberty
to do his pleasure as king or tyrant, he durst not attempt to do it
by open force, but commanded Taurion, one of his captains and familiars,
to make him away secretly by poison, if possible, in his absence.
Taurion, therefore, made himself intimate with Aratus, and gave him
a dose not of your strong and violent poisons, but such as cause gentle,
feverish heats at first, and a dull cough, and so by degrees bring
on certain death. Aratus perceived what was done to him, but, knowing
that it was in vain to make any words of it, bore it patiently and
with silence, as if it had been some common and usual distemper. Only
once, a friend of his being with him in his chamber, he spat some
blood, which his friend observing and wondering at, "These, O Cephalon,"
said he, "are the wages of a king's love." 

Thus died he in Aegium, in his seventeenth generalship. The Achaeans
were very desirous that he should be buried there with a funeral and
monument suitable to his life, but the Sicyonians treated it as a
calamity to them if he were interred anywhere but in their city, and
prevailed with the Achaeans to grant them the disposal of the body.

But there being an ancient law that no person should be buried within
the walls of their city, and besides the law also a strong religious
feeling about it, they sent to Delphi to ask counsel of the Pythoness,
who returned this answer:- 

"Sicyon, whom oft he rescued, 'Where,' you say, 
'Shall we the relics of Aratus lay?' 
The soil that would not lightly o'er him rest, 
Or to be under him would feel opprest, 
Were in the sight of earth and seas and skies unblest." 

This oracle being brought, all the Achaeans were well pleased at.
it, but especially the Sicyonians, who, changing their mourning into
public joy, immediately fetched the body from Aegium, and in a kind
of solemn procession brought it into the city, being crowned with
garlands, and arrayed in white garments, with singing and dancing,
and, choosing a conspicuous place, they buried him there, as the founder
and saviour of their city. The place is to this day called Aratium,
and there they yearly make two solemn sacrifices to him, the one on
the day he delivered the city from tyranny, being the fifth of the
month Daesius, which the Athenians call Anthesterion, and this sacrifice
they call Soteria; the other in the month of his birth, which is still
remembered. Now the first of these was performed by the priest of
Jupiter Soter, the second by the priest of Aratus, wearing a band
around his head, not pure white, but mingled with purple. Hymns were
sung to the harp by the singers of the feasts of Bacchus; the procession
was led up by the president of the public exercises, with the boys
and young men; these were followed by the councillors wearing garlands,
and other citizens such as pleased. Of these observances, some small
traces, it is still made a point of religion not to omit, on the appointed
days; but the greatest part of the ceremonies have through time and
other intervening accidents been disused. 

And such, as history tells us, was the life and manners of the elder
Aratus. And for the younger, his son, Philip, abominably wicked by
nature and a savage abuser of his power, gave him such poisonous medicines,
as though they did not kill him indeed, yet made him lose his senses,
and run into mild and absurd attempts and desire to do actions and
satisfy appetites that were ridiculous and shameful. So that his death,
which happened to him while he was yet young and in the flower of
his age, cannot be so much esteemed a misfortune as a deliverance
and end of his misery. However Philip paid dearly, all through the
rest of his life, for these impious violations of friendship and hospitality.
For being overcome by the Romans, he was forced to put himself wholly
into their hands, and, being deprived of his other dominions and surrendering
all his ships except five, he had also to pay a fine of a thousand
talents, and to give his son for hostage, and only out of mere pity
he was suffered to keep Macedonia and its dependencies; where continually
putting to death the noblest of his subjects and the nearest relations
he had, he filled the whole kingdom with horror and hatred of him.
And whereas amidst so many misfortunes he had but one good chance,
which was the having a son of great virtue and merit, him, through
jealousy and envy at the honour had for him, he caused to be murdered,
and left his kingdom to Perseus, who, as some say, was not his own
child, but supposititious, born of a sempstress Gnathaenion. This
was he whom Paulus Aemilius led in triumph, and in whom ended the
succession of Antigonus's line and kingdom. But the posterity of Aratus
continued still in our days at Sicyon and Pellene. 



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