תמונות בעמוד
PDF
ePub

THE SURRENDER OF CIMON.

DEVOSGE.

MILTIADES, after having preserved the liberty of Greece, at Marathon, where, under his command, 10,000 Greeks defeated the innumerable army of the Persiarrs, was ordered to pursue the advantages of this victory, and to possess himself of the islands that had given assistance to the enemy. Many of them surrendered to his arms, and he was on the point of taking possession of the island of Paros, when, being falsely informed of the arrival of the Persian fleet, he thought it prudent to abandon the enterprize, and to return to Athens. In this expedition he had been wounded; and, upon

his arrival, could not publicly appear. His traducers, availing themselves of this circumstance, accused him of having betrayed the common cause, and sold himself to the enemy. Notwithstanding the impossibility of furnishing any proof of the crime, the people, by an act of the most atrocious injustice, condemned him to the punishment reserved for the greatest criminals. The friends of Miltiades exerted all their influence to soften the rigour of the sentence, and caused it to be commuted for a fine of fifty talents, which the Athenian hero was wholly incapable of paying: As debtor to the state, he was thrown into prison, where he died, a little time after, of the effect of his wounds. By a law of the republic, the remains of any person dying insolvent were to be deprived interment; but Miltiades left behind

[ocr errors]

come

him a son, worthy of his fame. Cimon, who had be

so famous by his victories over the Persians, requested permission of the magistrates, to resume his father's place in prison, in order to be enabled to commit his body to the earth. This tender trait of filial affection appears to have made no impression on the Athenians; for Cimon, after languishing for some time in fetters, only recovered his liberty by the marriage of his sister Elphenea, to Callias, who paid the fifty talents due from Miltiades. It is likewise to be remarked, that Cimon, like his father, was the victim of the ingratitude of his fellow-citizens, who banished him from Athens, notwithstanding the essential services he had rendered them.

The picture of M. Devosge is skilfully composed.Cimon presents himself in the prison where his father lay, at the moment when the two sureties are conveying the body hence. The jailor loads the son with the chains that environed his father's corse. "Elphenea leans upon her brother, and falls into tears at the sight of the fetters with which he is invested. In the back ground, a servant holds a laurel crown, which recalls to mind the glory of Miltiades.

This picture is no less admirable for the happy choice of the subject, than for its execution. The actitudes are simple, and the drawings dignified and correct. It is, however, to be regretted, that the general effect displays more energy than vigour. The figures are of the natural size.

[graphic][ocr errors][ocr errors]
[merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors]

Caïos MARIUS was born of an obscure family, in the territory of Arpinum. In his youth he followed agriculture; but the desire of rendering himself distinguished, made him embrace the profession of arms. It is asserted, that Scipio Africanus, under whom he at first served, discovered his talents, and predicted his future elevation. Marius advanced in regular gradation to the consulate. The defeat of Jugurtha, King of Numidia, was his first exploit. A little time after, an immense horde of northern warriors, known by the names of Ambrones and Teutones, overran Gaul, and threatened Italy. Seconded by his colleague, Catulus, Marius repulsed these barbarians on the plains of Provence. The following year, he destroyed an army of Cimbrians, that advanced to avenge the slaughter of the Teutones. The senate, perceiving the ascendancy that Marius assumed over the public mind, opposed to him Sylla, who was of the Equestrian order, and his most formidable adversary. Sylla, at the head of those troops, who, under his command, had conquered Mithridates, possessed himself of the city of Rome, and of the supreme power.

Marius, compelled to yield to his superiority, concealed himself in the marshes of Minturnæ, in Campania. Being discovered in his retreat, and thrown into prison, his dignified demeanour so much imposed on a Cimbrian captive, sent to destroy him, that he ran away, exclaiming-—"I

[ocr errors]
« הקודםהמשך »