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tained of the partition, which had never been carried into execution.
Agesilaus saved himself by the assistance of his son, who was universally beloved; and the two kings took sanctuary; Agis in the temple of Minerva, called Chalcioicos, and Cleombrotus in that of Neptune. As Leonidas seemed to be most exasperated against the latter, he left Agis, and advanced at the head of a band of soldiers into the temple, where Cleombrotus had fled for refuge. He then reproached him with great warmth for assuming the regal power, in violation of the ties of affinity between them, and for expelling him from his own country in so ignominious a manner. Cleombrotus, who had nothing to answer to these reproaches, continued seated in a profound silence, and with an aspect that sufficiently testified his confusion. His wife Chelonida stood near, with her two children at her feet. She had been equally unfortunate, as a wife and daughter, but 'was equally faithful in each of those capacities, and had always adhered to the unfortunate. She had accompanied her father Leonidas during his exile, and now returned to her husband, whom she tenderly embraced, and at the same time became a supplicant for him with her father.
All those who were then present, melted into tears at so moving a sight, and were struck with admiration at the virtue and tenderness of Chelonida, and the amiable force of conjugal love. This unfortunate princess pointing to her mourning habit and dishevelled tresses, "Believe me, O my father,' said she," this habit of woe which I now wear, this dejection which appears which appears in my countenance, and these sorrows into which you see me sunk, are not the effects of that compassion I entertain for Cleombrotus; but the sad remains of my affliction for the calamities you have sustained, in your flight from Sparta. On what, alas! shall I now resolve? While you reign for the future in Sparta, and triumph over the enemies who opposed you, shall I
continue to live in the desolate state to which you now see me reduced? Or is it my duty to array myself in robes of royalty and magnificence, when I behold the husband I received from you in the flower of my youth, on the point of perishing by your dagger? Should he be unable to disarm your resentment, and move your soul to compassion, by the tears of his wife and children, permit me to assure you, that he will be punished with more severity for his imprudence, than was even intended by yourself, when he shall see a wife who is so dear to him expiring at his feet; for you are not to think, that in my present condition I will ever consent to survive him. What appearance shall I make among the Spartan ladies, after my inability to inspire my husband with compassion for my father, and to soften my father into pity for my husband? What indeed shall I appear to them, but a daughter and a wife, always afflicted and contemned by her nearest relations!" Chelonida, at the conclusion of these expressions, reclined her cheek on that of Cleombrotus, while with her eyes, that spoke her sorrow in their tears, she cast a languid look on those who were present.
Leonidas, after a few moments' discourse with his friends, ordered Cleombrotus to rise, and immediately quit Sparta; but earnestly importuned his daughter to continue there, and not forsake a father, who gave her such a peculiar proof of tenderness, as to spare the life of her husband. His solicitations were, however, ineffectual, and the moment Cleombrotus rose from his seat, she placed one of her children in his arms, and clasped the other in her own; and, when she had offered up her prayers to the goddess, and kissed her altar, she became a voluntary exile with her husband. How extremely affecting was this spectacle; and how worthy the admiration of all ages is such a model of conjugal love! If the heart of Cleombrotus, says Plutarch, had not been entirely depraved by vain glory, and a boundless ambition to reign, he would
have been sensible, that even banishment itself with so virtuous a companion, was a felicity preferable to the condition of a sovereign.
When Leonidas had expelled Cleombrotus from Sparta; and substituted new Ephori instead of the former, whom he had deposed, he bent all his endeavours to ensnare Agis; and began with persuading him to quit the asylum to which he had retired, and reign in conjunction with himself. In order to which he assured him, that his citizens had pardoned all past proceedings, because they were sensible that his youth and inexperience, with his predominant passion for glory, had laid him open to the insinuations of Agesilaus. But as Agis suspected the sincerity of those expressions, and persisted in his resolution to continue in the temple, Leonidas no longer attempted to deceive him with plausible pretences. Amphares, Demochares, and Arcesilaus, who had frequently visited the young prince, continued their assiduities to him, and sometimes conducted him from the temple to the baths, and from thence conveyed him in safety to the temple; for each of them was his intimate friend.
This fidelity, however, was of no long continuance. Amphares had lately borrowed of Agesistrata, the mother of Agis, several rich suits of tapestry, and a magnificent set of silver plate. These costly ornaments tempted him to betray the king, with his mother and grandmother. It was even said, that he was much more inclinable, than either of his two companions, to listen to the suggestions of Leonidas: and that no one was so industrious as himself to spirit up the Ephori (of whose number he was one) against Agis. As this prince went sometimes from the temple to the bath, they resolved to take that opportunity to surprise him; and when he was one day returning from thence, they advanced up to him, and after they had embraced him with an air of affection, they attended him in his way, and entertained him with their
usual familiarity of conversation. One of the streets, through which they passed, turned off, in one quarter, to the prison, and as soon as they arrived at that passage, Amphares seized Agis with an air of authority, and cried, "Agis I must conduct you to the Ephori, to whom you are to be accountable for your behaviour." At the same instant Demochares, who was tall and strong, threw his mantle round his neck, and dragged him along, while the others pushed him forward, as they had previously agreed, and as no person came to assist him, because there was nobody in the street at that time, they accomplished their design, and threw him into prison.
Leonidas arrived at the same time with a great number of foreign soldiers, and surrounded the prison; the Ephori likewise came thither, and when they had sent for such of the senators as concurred with their opinion, they proceeded to examine Agis, as if he had been arraigned at a competent tribunal, and ordered him to justify himself, with respect to his intended innovations in the republic. One of the Ephori, pretending to have discovered an expedient for disengaging him from this criminal affair, asked him, whether Lysander and Agesilaus had not compelled him to have recourse to those measures; To which Agis replied, That he had not acted in consequence of any compulsion; but that his admiration of Lycurgus, and a sincere desire to imitate his conduct, were his only motives for attempting to restore the city to the same condition in which that legislator had left it. The same officer then demanding of him, if he repented of that proceed. ing? The young prince answered with an air of steadiness," That he never should repent of so virtuous, so noble, and gloirous an undertaking, though death itself were presented to his view in all its terrors." His pretended judges then condemned him to die, and immediately commanded the public officers to carry him to that part of the prison,
where those, on whom the sentence of condemnation had passed, were usually strangled.
When Demochares saw that the officers of justice did not dare to lay their hands on Agis, and that even the foreign soldiers turned their eyes from such a spectacle of horror, and refused to be assistant at so inhuman an execution, he loaded them with threats and reproaches, and with his own hands dragged Agis to the dungeon. The people, who, by this time, were informed of the manner in which he had been seized, crowded to the gates of the the prison, and began to be very tumultuous, The whole street was already illuminated with innumerable tapers; and the mother and grandmother of Agis ran from place to place, filling the air with their cries, and intreating the people that the king of Sparta might at least have an opportunity to defend himself, and be judged by his own citizens. The zeal of the people did but animate the murderers the more to hasten the execution of Agis, lest he should be released by force that very night, if the people should have sufficient time allowed them for assembling together.
As the executioners were leading him to the place where they intended to strangle him, he beheld tears flowing from the eyes of one of them who was touched with his misfortune; upon which he turned to him, and said, Weep not for me, my friend, for, as I am cut off in this manner contrary to all laws and justice, I am much happier, and more to be envied, than those who have condemned me." When he had said these words, he offered his neck to the fatal cord, without the least air of reluctance.
As Amphares came from the prison, at the close of this tragic scene, the first object he beheld was the desolate mother of Agis, who threw herself at his feet: he raised her from the earth, and assured her, that Agis had nothing to fear; intreating her, at the same time, as a proof of his sincerity, to enter the prison and see her son. She then desired