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fions, the oracle from every suspicion of falsehood.

With the fall of Crofus fell the ancient kingdom of Lydia; and it continued to constitute a part of the Perfian dominions, till the latter were conquered by the Macedonians. -Such is the conftant revolution of empires. The greatest of them flourish but for a time, and then are swallowed up by others, who, in their turn, share the fame fate; all tending, as well as the fluctuating existence of individuals, to prove the unceafing mutability of fortune.


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Laurels may deck the happy Victor's head,
And Fortune on him all her bounties shed;
Yet he, though firmly thus he feems to ftand,
May die an exile in a foreign land.


HEMISTOCLES feems to be the best entitled, among the Greeks of eminence, to a place in this selection of Inftances of the mutability of fortune: his family, according to Plutarch, being too obfcure for him to draw any luftre from thence, or to make the glory he afterwards arrived at, shine the brighter,

During his youth, he was of an impetuous fpirit; but he poffeffed a good understanding, and early discovered a genius fit for

Plutarch's Lives.


action, and the management of public affairs; for he spent not the vacations, and times of recreation from his ftudies, in play or in idlenefs, as other youths generally do, but he would always be compofing or arranging fome oration or declamation, the fubject of which ufually was the accufing or excufing his companions; so that his mafter would often fay to him, "Boy, thou canft never be any thing mean or indifferent, but must at fome time or other prove either a moft heroic, glorious bleffing, or a most destructive plague and ruin to thy country."

He received very flowly and negligently fuch inftructions as were given him, to improve his manners and behaviour, or to teach him a genteel or graceful deportment: but whatever tended to improve him in prudence, or in the management of public affairs, he would apprehend immediately, and understand it beyond one of his years; for in fuch things he followed his natural inclination.

In the first motions of his youth he was not regular nor well poifed, drawing the lines of his affairs according to his own natural fancy, without reafon or inftruction; fo that he frequently made great alteration in

his defigns, and running from one extreme to the other, often determined for the worft; notwithstanding which, he very early fhewed a strong inclination to that honour which is to be obtained by ferving in public employ


But being too earneft to be the first man in the ftate, Themiftocles, at the very beginning of his career, drew upon himself the hatred of the chief and moft powerful perfons in it, especially of Ariftides, who always oppofed him. For, though Ariftides was of a mild nature, and governed all things for the beft, with a due regard to juftice and the public fafety, without ftriving to obtain glory or popular applaufe, yet he was often forced to oppofe Themiftocles, and to ftand up against an increase of his authority; as he often ftrove to make great innovations in the conftitution, and inftigated the people to unallowable attempts.

It is faid, that Themiftocles was fo tranfported with the thoughts of glory, and fo inflamed with the defire of performing great actions, that although he was but young, when the battle of Marathon was fought against the Perfians, and the warlike conduct

of the Grecian general Miltiades was every where spoken of; it was taken notice, that he became thoughtful, often meditated by himfelf, paffed the nights without fleep, and refufed his accustomed recreations; and, being afked his reafon for this change, he gave for answer, That the trophies of Miltiades would not let him fleep.

These were the dawnings of that spirit which afterwards raised him 'to fuch a pitch of glory as procured for him the honour of having his life recorded by Plutarch, among the other great men of his country.

Though many were of opinion that the battle of Marathon would put an end to the Perfian war, Themiftocles, on the contrary, thought that it was only the beginning of greater conflicts; and for these he continually prepared himself when he came into office, exercifing the citizens of Athens, and perfuading them to build fhips for their future defence; by which means they were enabled, after a time, to free themselves from the attacks of Xerxes.

Themistocles is faid by fome to have been very intent upon heaping up riches, that he

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