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the face of a perfumer, or worn a scarf of Milesian fine wool. For he had, we are told, this peculiar talent and artifice for gaining men's affections, that he could at once comply with and really embrace and enter into their habits and ways of life, and change as often and as fast as the chameleon. One colour indeed they say the chameleon cannot assume; it cannot make itself appear white: but Alcibiades, whether with good men or with bad, could adapt himself to his company, and wear indifferently the appearance of virtue or vice. At Sparta, he was devoted to athletic exercises, was frugal and reserved; in Ionia, luxurious, gay, and careless; in Thrace, always drinking; in Thessaly, ever on horseback; and when he lived with Tissaphernes, the Persian satrap, he exceeded the Persians themselves in magnificence and pomp. Not that his natural disposition changed so easily, nor that his real character was so very variable, but whenever he was sensible that by pursuing his own inclinations he might give offence to those with whom he had occasion to converse, he transformed himself into any shape, and adopted any fashion, that he observed to be most agreeable to them. So that to have seen him at Lacedæmon, a man, judging by the outward appearance, would have said : “ 'Tis not Achilles' son, but he himself, the very man" that Lycurgus designed to form; while his real feelings and acts would have rather provoked the exclamation : “'Tis the same woman

For while king Agis was absent and abroad * "'Tis not Achilles' son, but he himself, the very man," is quoted elsewhere by Plutarch, but is otherwise unknown. “'Tis the same woman still,” is said of Helen by Electra in the

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with the army, he corrupted his wife Timæa, and had a child born by her. Nor did she even deny it, but when she was brought to bed of a son, called him in public Leotychides, but amongst her confidants and attendants, would whisper that his name was Alcibiades. To such a degree was she transported by her passion for him. He on the other side would say, in his vain way, he had not done this thing out of mere wantonness of insult, nor to gratify a passion, but in order that his race might one day be kings over the Lacedæmonians. There were many who told Agis of what was doing : and time itself gave the surest evidence. For Agis, alarmed by an earthquake, had quitted his wife, and for ten months after was never with her; Leotychides therefore being born at the end of those ten months, he would not acknowledge him for his son, which was the reason that afterwards he was not admitted to the siccession.

After the Athenians had suffered their disaster in 24 Sicily, envoys came to Sparta at once from Chios, and Defeat Lesbos, and Cyzicus, to signify their purpose

of revolt- Atheing from Athens. The Bæotians interposed in favour Sicily, of the Lesbians, and Pharnabazus of the Cyzicenes, but

Revolt the Lacedæmonians, at the persuasion of Alcibiades, of Ionia, chose to assist Chios before all others. · He himself also sailed instantly to the spot, procured the immediate revolt of almost all Ionia, and co-operating with the Lacedæmonian generals, did great mischief to the Athenians. But Agis was his enemy, hating him for having Orestes of Euripides (129), when, in making a funeral offering, she had, to save her beauty, cut off only the very ends of her hair.

of the

nians in

B.C. 413.

B.C. 412.

dishonoured his wife, and also impatient of his glory, as almost every enterprise and every success was ascribed to Alcibiades. Others also of the most powerful and ambitious amongst the Spartans were possessed with jealousy of him, and at last prevailed with the magistrates in the city to send orders into Ionia that he should be killed. Alcibiades however quietly obtained intelligence of this, and, in apprehension of the result, while he joined in all the measures of the Lacedæmonians, took care not to put his person in their power; and at last withdrawing for his safety's sake to Tissaphernes, the king of Persia's satrap, immediately became the first and most influential person about him. For this barbarian, not being himself sincere, but a lover of guile and wickedness, admired his address and the wonderful versatility of his talents. And, indeed, the charm of daily familiar intercourse with him was more than


character could resist or any disposition escape. Even those who feared and envied him, could not but take delight, and have a sort of kindness for him, when they saw him and were in his company. So that Tissaphernes, otherwise above all other Persians a hater of the Greeks, was yet so won by the flatteries of Alcibiades, that he set himself even to exceed him in responding to them. The most beautiful of his parks, containing salubrious streams and meadows, where he had built pavilions and places of retirement royally and exquisitely adorned, received by his direction the name of Alcibiades, and was always so called and so spoken of.

Thus Alcibiades, abandoning his hopes with the Spartans, whom he could no longer trust, and because also he


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stood in fear of Agis, set himself henceforth to do them ill offices, and render them odious to Tissaphernes, who by his means was hindered from assisting them vigorously, and from finally ruining the Athenians. For his advice was to furnish the Spartans but sparingly with money, and so wear them out, and consume them insensibly; when both parties had wasted their strength upon one another, they would each become ready to submit to the king. Tissaphernes readily pursued his counsel, and so openly expressed the liking and admiration which he had for him, that Alcibiades was looked up to by the Greeks of both parties, and the Athenians now in their misfortunes repented them of their sentence against him. And he, on the other side, began to be troubled for them, and to fear lest, if Athens were utterly destroyed, he should fall into the hands of the Lacedæmonians, his enemies. At that time pretty nearly the whole strength of the Athenians was in Samos. Their fleet maintained itself here, and from these head-quarters they issued to reduce such as had revolted, and to protect those that had not; in one way or other still contriving to be a match for their enemies at sea. What they stood in fear of, was Tissaphernes and the Phænician fleet, of one hundred and fifty galleys, which was said to be already near at hand; if those came, there remained no further hope for Athens. Understanding this, Alcibiades sent secretly to the chief men of the Athenians at Samos, giving them hopes that he would make Tissaphernes their friend; he was willing, he implied, to do some favour, not to the people, nor in reliance upon them, but to the better citizens, if only, like brave men, they would make the

attempt to put down the insolence of the people, and do their best themselves to save the city from ruin. All of them gave a ready ear to the proposal made by Alcibiades, except only Phrynichus of the township of Dirades, one of the generals, who suspected, as the truth was, that Alcibiades cared not at all whether the government were in the many or the few, but only sought by any means to make way for his own return, and to that end inveighed against the people, to gain the good opinion and assistance of the others. But when he found his counsel rejected and himself become a declared enemy of Alcibiades, he sent secretly a message to Astyochus, the enemy's admiral, cautioning him to beware of Alcibiades, and to seize him as a double-dealer, unaware that one traitor was making discoveries to another. For Astyochus, who was anxious above everything for the favour of Tissaphernes, knowing the credit Alcibiades had with him, revealed to Alcibiades all that Phrynichus had said against him. Alcibiades at once despatched messengers to Samos, to accuse Phrynichus of the treachery. Upon this all the commanders were enraged with Phrynichus, and set themselves against him, and he, seeing no other way to extricate himself from the present danger, attempted to remedy one evil by a greater. He sent to Astyochus to reproach him for betraying him, and to make an offer to him at the same time, to deliver into his hands both the army and the navy of the Athenians. This occasioned no damage to the Athenians, because Astyochus repeated his treachery, and revealed also this proposal to Alcibiades. And this again was foreseen by Phrynichus, who, expecting a second accusation

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