Full Online Books
BOOK CATEGORIES
Authors Authors Short Stories Short Stories Long Stories Long Stories Funny Stories Funny Stories Love Stories Love Stories Stories For Kids Stories For Kids Poems Poems Essays Essays Nonfictions Nonfictions Plays Plays Folktales Folktales Fairy Tales Fairy Tales Fables Fables Learning Kitchen Learning Kitchen
LINKS
Valid XHTML 1.0 Transitional Free Classified Website Without Registration Free Classified Website Daniel Company
Twitter Twitter Add book
donate
Full Online Book HomeLong StoriesPausanias, The Spartan: An Unfinished Historical Romance - Book 4 - Chapter 2
Famous Authors (View All Authors)
Pausanias, The Spartan: An Unfinished Historical Romance - Book 4 - Chapter 2 Post by :cashgalore Category :Long Stories Author :Edward Bulwer-lytton Date :May 2012 Read :1020

Click below to download : Pausanias, The Spartan: An Unfinished Historical Romance - Book 4 - Chapter 2 (Format : PDF)

Pausanias, The Spartan: An Unfinished Historical Romance - Book 4 - Chapter 2

BOOK IV CHAPTER II

The communication of Pausanias had caused an animated discussion in the Council, and led to a strong division of opinion. But the faces of the Ephors, rigid and composed, revealed nothing to guide the sagacity of Lysander, as he re-entered the chamber. He himself, by a strong effort, had recovered the disturbance into which the words of the boy had thrown his mind, and he stood before the Ephors intent upon the object of defending the name, and fulfilling the commands of his chief. So reverent and grateful was the love that he bore to Pausanias, that he scarcely permitted himself even to blame the deviations from Spartan austerity which he secretly mourned in his mind; and as to the grave guilt of treason to the Hellenic cause, he had never suffered the suspicion of it to rest upon an intellect that only failed to be penetrating, where its sight was limited by discipline and affection. He felt that Pausanias had entrusted to him his defence, and though he would fain, in his secret heart, have beheld the Regent once more in Sparta, yet he well knew that it was the duty of obedience and friendship to plead against the sentence of recall which was so dreaded by his chief.

With all his thoughts collected towards that end, he stood before the Ephors, modest in demeanour, vigilant in purpose.

"Lysander," said Periclides, after a short pause, "we know thy affection to the Regent, thy chosen friend; but we know also thy affection for thy native Sparta; where the two may come into conflict, it is, and it must be, thy country which will claim the preference. We charge thee, by virtue of our high powers and authority, to speak the truth on the questions we shall address to thee, without fear or favour."

Lysander bowed his head. "I am in presence of Sparta my mother and Agesilaus my father. They know that I was not reared to lie to either."

"Thou say'st well. Now answer. Is it true that Pausanias wears the robes of the Mede?"

"It is true."

"And has he stated to thee his reasons?

"Not only to me, but to others."

"What are they?"

"That in the mixed and half medised population of Byzantium, splendour of attire has become so associated with the notion of sovereign power, that the Eastern dress and attributes of pomp are essential to authority; and that men bow before his tiara, who might rebel against the helm and the horsehair. Outward signs have a value, O Ephors, according to the notions men are brought up to attach to them."

"Good," said one of the Ephors. "There is in this departure from our habits, be it right or wrong, no sign then of connivance with the Barbarian."

"Connivance is a thing secret and concealed, and shuns all outward signs."

"But," said Periclides, "what say the other Spartan Captains to this vain fashion, which savours not of the Laws of Aegimius?"

"The first law of Aegimius commands us to fight and to die for the king or the chief who has kingly sway. The Ephors may blame, but the soldier must not question."

"Thou speakest boldly for so young a man," said Periclides harshly.

"I was commanded to speak the truth."

"Has Pausanias entrusted the command of Byzantium to Gongylus the Eretrian, who already holds four provinces under Xerxes?"

"He has done so."

"Know you the reason for that selection?"

"Pausanias says that the Eretrian could not more show his faith to Hellas, than by resigning Eastern satrapies so vast."

"Has he resigned them?"

"I know not; but I presume that when the Persian king knows that the Eretrian is leagued against him with the other Captains of Hellas, he will assign the Satrapies to another."

"And is it true that the Persian prisoners, Ariamanes and Datis, have escaped from the custody of Gongylus?"

"It is true. The charge against Gongylus for that error was heard in a council of confederate captains, and no proof against him was brought forward. Cimon was entrusted with the pursuit of the prisoners. Pausanias himself sent forth fifty scouts on Thessalian horses. The prisoners were not discovered."

"Is it true," said Zeuxidamus, "that Pausanias has amassed much plunder at Byzantium?"

"What he has won as a conqueror was assigned to him by common voice, but he has spent largely out of his own resources in securing the Greek sway at Byzantium."

There was a silence. None liked to question the young soldier farther; none liked to put the direct question, whether or not the Ionian Ambassador could have cause for suspecting the descendant of Hercules of harm against the Greeks. At length Agesilaus said:

"I demand the word, and I claim the right to speak plainly. My son is young, but he is of the blood of Hyllus.

"Son--Pausanias is dear to thee. Man soon dies: man's name lives for ever. Dear to thee if Pausanias is, dearer must be his name. In brief, the Ionian Ambassadors complain of his arrogance towards the Confederates; they demand his recall. Cimon has addressed a private letter to the Spartan host, with whom he lodged here, intimating that it may be best for the honour of Pausanias, and for our weight with the allies, to hearken to the Ionian Embassy. It is a grave question, therefore, whether we should recall the Regent or refuse to hear these charges. Thou art fresh from Byzantium; thou must know more of this matter than we. Loose thy tongue, put aside equivocation. Say thy mind, it is for us to decide afterwards what is our duty to the State."

"I thank thee, my father," said Lysander, colouring deeply at a compliment paid rarely to one so young, "and thus I answer thee:

"Pausanias, in seeking to enforce discipline and preserve the Spartan supremacy, was at first somewhat harsh and severe to these Ionians, who had indeed but lately emancipated themselves from the Persian yoke, and who were little accustomed to steady rule. But of late he has been affable and courteous, and no complaint was urged against him for austerity at the time when this embassy was sent to you. Wherefore was it then sent? Partly, it maybe, from motives of private hate, not public zeal, out partly because the Ionian race sees with reluctance and jealousy the Hegemony of Sparta. I would speak plainly. It is not for me to say whether ye will or not that Sparta should retain the maritime supremacy of Hellas, but if ye do will it, ye will not recall Pausanias. No other than the Conqueror of Plataea has a chance of maintaining that authority. Eager would the Ionians be upon any pretext, false or frivolous, to rid themselves of Pausanias. Artfully willing would be the Athenians in especial that ye listened to such pretexts; for, Pausanias gone, Athens remains and rules. On what belongs to the policy of the State it becomes not me to proffer a word, O Ephors. In what I have said I speak what the whole armament thinks and murmurs. But this I may say as soldier to whom the honour of his chief is dear.--The recall of Pausanias may or may not be wise as a public act, but it will be regarded throughout all Hellas as a personal affront to your general; it will lower the royalty of Sparta, it will be an insult to the blood of Hercules. Forgive me, O venerable magistrates. I have fought by the side of Pausanias, and I cannot dare to think that the great Conqueror of Plataea, the man who saved Hellas from the Mede, the man who raised Sparta on that day to a renown which penetrated the farthest corners of the East, will receive from you other return than fame and glory. And fame and glory will surely make that proud spirit doubly Spartan."

Lysander paused, breathing hard and colouring deeply--annoyed with himself for a speech of which both the length and the audacity were much more Ionian than Spartan.

The Ephors looked at each other, and there was again silence.

"Son of Agesilaus," said Periclides, "thou hast proved thy Lacedaemonian virtues too well, and too high and general is thy repute amongst our army, as it is borne to our ears, for us to doubt thy purity and patriotism; otherwise, we might fear that whilst thou speakest in some contempt of Ionian wolves, thou hadst learned the arts of Ionian Agoras. But enough: thou art dismissed. Go to thy home; glad the eyes of thy mother; enjoy the honours thou wilt find awaiting thee amongst thy coevals. Thou wilt learn later whether thou return to Byzantium, or whether a better field for thy valour may not be found in the nearer war with which Arcadia threatens us."

As soon as Lysander left the chamber,

Agesilaus spoke:--

"Ye will pardon me, Ephors, if I bade my son speak thus boldly. I need not say I am no vain, foolish father, desiring to raise the youth above his years. But making allowance for his partiality to the Regent, ye will grant that he is a fair specimen of our young soldiery. Probably, as he speaks, so will our young men think. To recall Pausanias is to disgrace our general. Ye have my mind. If the Regent be guilty of the darker charges insinuated--correspondence with the Persian against Greece--I know but one sentence for him--Death. And it is because I would have ye consider well how dread is such a charge, and how awful such a sentence, that I entreat ye not lightly to entertain the one unless ye are prepared to meditate the other. As for the maritime supremacy of Sparta, I hold, as I have held before, that it is not within our councils to strive for it; it must pass from us. We may surrender it later with dignity; if we recall our general on such complaints, we lose it with humiliation."

"I agree with Agesilaus," said another, "Pausanias is an Heracleid; my vote shall not insult him."

"I agree too with Agesilaus," said a third Ephor; "not because Pausanias is the Heracleid, but because he is the victorious general who demands gratitude and respect from every true Spartan."

"Be it so," said Periclides, who, seeing himself thus outvoted in the council, covered his disappointment with the self-control habitual to his race. "But be we in no hurry to give these Ionian legates their answer to-day. We must deliberate well how to send such a reply as may be most conciliating and prudent. And for the next few days we have an excuse for delay in the religious ceremonials due to the venerable Divinity of Fear, which commence to-morrow. Pass we to the other business before us; there are many whom we have kept waiting. Agesilaus, thou art excused from the public table to-day if thou wouldst sup with thy brave son at home."

"Nay," said Agesilaus, "my son will go to his pheidition and I to mine--as I did on the day when I lost my first-born."

If you like this book please share to your friends :
NEXT BOOKS

Pausanias, The Spartan: An Unfinished Historical Romance - Book 4 - Chapter 3 Pausanias, The Spartan: An Unfinished Historical Romance - Book 4 - Chapter 3

Pausanias, The Spartan: An Unfinished Historical Romance - Book 4 - Chapter 3
BOOK IV CHAPTER IIIOn quitting the Hall of the Ephors, Lysander found himself at once on the Spartan Agora in that Hall was placed. This was situated on the highest of the five hills, over which the unwalled city spread its scattered population, and was popularly called the Tower. Before the eyes of the young Spartan rose the statues, rude and antique, of Latona, the Pythian Apollo, and his sister Artemis;--venerable images to Lysander's early associations. The place which they consecrated was called Chorus; for there, in honour of Apollo, and in the most pompous of all the Spartan festivals, the
PREVIOUS BOOKS

Pausanias, The Spartan: An Unfinished Historical Romance - Book 3 - Chapter 5 Pausanias, The Spartan: An Unfinished Historical Romance - Book 3 - Chapter 5

Pausanias, The Spartan: An Unfinished Historical Romance - Book 3 - Chapter 5
BOOK III CHAPTER VAt the very hour when the Ionian captains were hurrying towards their boats, Pausanias was pacing his decks alone, with irregular strides, and through the cordage and the masts the starshine came fitfully on his troubled features. Long undecided he paused, as the waves sparkled to the stroke of oars, and beheld the boats of the feasters making towards the division of the fleet in which lay the navy of the isles. Farther on, remote and still, anchored the ships of Athens. He clenched his hand, and turned from the sight. "To lose an empire," he muttered, "and
NEXT 10 BOOKS | PREVIOUS 10 BOOKS | RANDOM 10 BOOKS
LEAVE A COMMENT