quickly is that you are at choice, always, about what you

time:2023-11-30 02:54:44 source:Forget Your Life author:internet

Clearchus listened to the reasoning, and then he asked the messenger, "How large the country between the Tigris and the canal might be?" "A 21 large district," he replied, "and in it are villages and cities numerous and large." Then it dawned upon them: the barbarians had sent the man with subtlety, in fear lest the Hellenes should cut the bridge and occupy the island territory, with the strong defences of the Tigris on the one side and of the canal on the other; supplying themselves with provisions from the country so included, large and rich as it was, with no lack of hands to till it; in addition to which, a harbour of refuge and asylum would be found for any one, who was minded to do the king a mischief.

quickly is that you are at choice, always, about what you

After this they retired to rest in peace, not, however, neglecting to send a guard to occupy the bridge in spite of all, and there was no attack from any quarter whatsoever; nor did any of the enemy's people approach the bridges: so the guards were able to report next morning. But as soon as it was morning, they proceeded to cross the bridge, which consisted of thirty-seven vessels, and in so doing they used the utmost precaution possible; for reports were brought by some of the Hellenes with Tissaphernes that an attempt was to be made to attack them while crossing. All this turned out to be false, though it is true that while crossing they did catch sight of Glus watching, with some others, to see if they crossed the river; but as soon as he had satisfied himself on that point, he rode off and was gone.

quickly is that you are at choice, always, about what you

From the river Tigris they advanced four stages--twenty parasangs--to the river Physcus, which is a hundred feet broad and spanned by a bridge. Here lay a large and populous city named Opis, close to which the Hellenes were encountered by the natural brother of Cyrus and Artaxerxes, who was leading a large army from Susa and Ecbatana to assist the king. He halted his troops and watched the Helleens march past. Clearchus led them in column two abreast: and from time to time the vanguard came to a standstill, just so often and just so long the effect repeated itself down to the hindmost man: halt! halt! halt! along the whole line: so that even to the Hellenes themselves their army seemed enormous; and the Persian was fairly astonished at the spectacle.

quickly is that you are at choice, always, about what you

From this place they marched through Media six desert stages--thirty 27 parasangs--to the villages of Parysatis, Cyrus's and the king's mother. These Tissaphernes, in mockery of Cyrus, delivered over to the Hellenes to plunder, except that the folk in them were not to be made slaves. They contained much corn, cattle, and other property. From this place they advanced four desert stages--twenty parasangs--keeping the Tigris on the left. On the first of these stages, on the other side of the river, lay a large city; it was a well-to-do place named Caenae, from which the natives used to carry across loaves and cheeses and wine on rafts made of skins.

After this they reached the river Zapatas[1], which is four hundred 1 feet broad, and here they halted three days. During the interval suspicions were rife, though no act of treachery displayed itself. Clearchus accordingly resolved to bring to an end these feelings of mistrust, before they led to war. Consequently, he sent a messenger to the Persian to say that he desired an interview with him; to which the other readily consented. As soon as they were met, Clearchus spoke as follows: "Tissaphernes," he said, "I do not forget that oaths have been exchanged between us, and right hands shaken, in token that we will abstain from mutual injury; but I can see that you watch us narrowly, as if we were foes; and we, seeing this, watch you narrowly in return. But as I fail to discover, after investigation, that you are endeavouring to do us a mischief--and I am quite sure that nothing of the sort has ever entered our heads with regard to you--the best plan seemed to me to come and talk the matter over with you, so that, if possible, we might dispel the mutual distrust on either side. For I have known people ere now, the victims in some cases of calumny, or possibly of mere suspicion, who in apprehension of one another and eager to deal the first blow, have committed irreparable wrong against those who neither intended nor so much as harboured a thought of mischief against them. I have come to you under a conviction that such 6 misunderstandings may best be put a stop to by personal intercourse, and I wish to instruct you plainly that you are wrong in mistrusting us. The first and weightiest reason is that the oaths, which we took in the sight of heaven, are a barrier to mutual hostility. I envy not the man whose conscience tells him that he has disregarded these! For in a war with heaven, by what swiftness of foot can a man escape?--in what quarter find refuge?--in what darkness slink away and be hid?--to what strong fortress scale and be out of reach? Are not all things in all ways subject to the gods? is not their lordship over all alike outspread? As touching the gods, therefore, and our oaths, that is how I view this matter. To their safe keeping we consigned the friendship which we solemnly contracted. But turning to matters human, you I look upon as our greatest blessing in this present time. With you every path is plain to us, every river passable, and of provisions we shall know no stint. But without you, all our way is through darkness; for we known nothing concerning it, every river will be an obstacle, each multitude a terror; but, worst terror of all, the vast wilderness, so full of endless perplexity. Nay, if in a fit of madness we murdered you, what then? in slaying our benefactor should we not have challenged to enter the lists against us a more formidable antagonist in the king himself? Let me tell you, how many high hopes I should rob myself of, were I to take in hand to do you mischief.

[1] The Greater Zab, which flows into the Tigris near a town now called Senn, with which most travellers identify Caenae.

"I coveted the friendship of Cyrus; I believed him to be abler than any man of his day to benefit those whom he chose; but to-day I look and, behold, it is you who are in his place; the power which belonged 11 to Cyrus and his territory are yours now. You have them, and your own satrapy besides, safe and sound; while the king's power, which was a thorn in the side of Cyrus, is your support. This being so, it would be madness not to wish to be your friend. But I will go further and state to you the reasons of my confidence, that you on your side will desire our friendship. I know that the Mysians are a cause of trouble to you, and I flatter myself that with my present force I could render them humbly obedient to you. This applies to the Pisidians also; and I am told there are many other such tribes besides. I think I can deal with them all; they shall cease from being a constant distubance to your peace and prosperity. Then there are the Egyptians[2]. I know your anger against them to-day is very great. Nor can I see what better force you will find to help you in chastising them than this which marches at my back to-day. Again, if you seek the friendship of any of your neighbours round, there shall be no friend so great as you; if any one annoys you, with us as your faithful servitors you shall belord it over him; and such service we will render you, not as hirelings merely for pay's sake, but for the gratitude which we shall rightly feel to you, to whom we owe our lives. As I dwell on these matters, I confess, the idea of your feeling mistrust of us is so astonishing, that I would give much to discover the name of the man, who is so clever of speech that he can persuade you that we harbour designs against you." Clearchus ended, and Tissaphernes responded thus--

[2] We learn from Diodorus Siculus, xiv. 35, that the Egyptians had revolted from the Persians towards the end of the reign of Darius.


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