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therefore thought it adviseable to level all the intrenchments around his camp, and cause his whole army to march out in front. The trumpets having sounded a signal for the light-armed troops to retreat from the tract between the two camps, each phalanx advanced with loud shouts, shifting their lances at the same time, and began the charge. The action was very hot. One while the Macedonians fell back before the valour of the Spartans; and these, in their turn, were unable to sustain the weight of the Macedonian phalanx ; till at last the troops of Anti : gonus advancing with their lances lowered and closed, charged the Lacedæmonians with all the impetuosity of a phalanx that had doubled its ranks, and drove them from their intrenchments. The defeat then became general; the Lacedæmonians fell in great numbers, and those who survived, fed from the field of battle in the greatest disorder. Cleomenes, with only a few borse, retreated to Sparta. Plutarch assures us, that most of the for teign troops perished in this battle, and that no more than two hundred Lacedemonians escaped out of six thousand.

It may justly be said, that Antigonus derived his success, in some measure, from the prudence and bravery of the young Philopoemen. His bold resolution to attack the light infantry of the enemy with šo few forces as those of his own troop, contributed to the overthrow of the wing commanded by Euclidas, and that drew on the general defeat. This action, undertaken by a private captain of horse, not only without orders, but in opposition to the superior officers, and even contrary to the command of the general, seems to be a transgression of military discipline; but it ought to be remembered, that the welfare of an army is a circumstance superior to all other considerations. Had the general been pre. sent, he himself would have given directions for that inotion, and the delay even of a single momenty fnight occasion the impossibility of its success. Se

VOL. VI.

is evident that Antigonus judged of the action in this manner; for when the battle was over, he assumed an air of seeming displeasure, and demanded of Alexander, who commanded his cavalry, what his reason could be for beginning the attack before the signal, contrary to the orders he had issued? Alexander then replying, that it was not himself but a young officer of Megalopolis, who had transgressed his commands in that manner: “That

young man," said Antigonus, " in seizing the occasion, behaved like a great general, but you

the general like a young man.

Sparta, on this disaster, showed that ancient steadiness and intrepidity, which seemed to have something of a savage air, and had distinguished her citizens on all occasions. No married woman was seen to mourn for the loss of her husband. The old men celebrated the death of their children; and the children congratulated their fathers who had fallen in battle. Every one deplored the fate which had prevented them from sacrificing their lives to the liberty of their country. They opened their hospitable doors to those who returned covered with wounds from the army; they attended them with peculiar care, and supplied them with all the accommodations they needed. No trouble or confusion was seen through the whole city, and every individual lamented more the public calamity, than any particular loss of their own.

Cleomenes, upon his arrival at Sparta, advised his citizens to receive Antigonus; assuring them, at the same time, that whatever might be his own condition, he would always promote the welfare of his country, with the utmost pleasure, whenever it should happen to be in his power. 'He then retired into his own house, but would neither drink, though very thirsty, nor sit down, though extremely tatigued. Charged as he then was with the weight of his armour, he leaned against a column, with his head reclined on his arm; and after he had delibe

rated with himself for some time on the different measures in his power to take, he suddenly quitted the house, and went with his friends to the port of Gythium, where he embarked in a vessel he had prepared for that purpose, and sailed for Egypt.

A Spartan, having made a lively representation to him of the melancholy consequences that might attend his intended voyage to Egypt, and the indignity a king of Sparta would sustain by crouching in a servile manner to a foreign prince, took that opportunity to exhort him in the strongest manner, to prevent those just reproaches by a voluntary and glorious death, and to vindicate, by that action, those who had sacrificed their lives in the fields of Selasia, for the liberty of Sparta. “You are deceived,” cried Cleomenes, “ if you imagine there is any bravery in confronting death, merely through the apprehension of false shame, or the desire of empty applause: Say rather, that such an action is mean and pusillanimous. The death we may be induced to covet, instead of being the evasion of an action, ought to be an action itself*, since nothing can be more dishonourable than either to live or die, merely for one's self. For my part, I shall endeavour to be useful to my country, to my latest breath; and whenever this hope happens to fail us, it will be easy for us to have recourse to death, if such should be then our inclination."

Cleomenes had scarce set sail, before Antigonus A. M. arrived at Sparta, and made himself master of the 3781.

Ant. J. C. city. He seemed to treat the inhabitants more like

223a friend than a conqueror; and declared to them, that he had not engaged in a war against the Spar

Plut. in Cleom. p. 819. Polyb. 1. ii. p. 155. Justin. 1. xxviii. c. 4:

* The ancients maintained it as a principle, that the death of persons employed in the administration of a state ought neither to be useless or inactive, with respect to the public; but a natural consequence of their ministry, and one of their most important actions. Plut. in Lycurg. p. 57.

tans, but against Cleomenes, whose flight had satisfied and disarmed his resentment. He likes wise added, that it would be glorious to his memory, to have it said by posterity, that Sparta had been preserved by the prince who alone had the good fortune to take it. He reckoned he had saved that city, by abolishing all that the zeal of Cleomenes had accomplished, for the re-establishment of the ancient laws of Lycurgus; though that conduct was the real cause of its ruin. Sparta lost all that was valuable to her, by the overthrow and involuntary retreat of Cleomenes. One fatal battle blotted out that happy dawn of power and glory, and for ever deprived him of the hopes of re-instating his city in her ancient splendour, and original authority, which were incapable of subsisting after the abolition of those ancient laws and customs on which her welfare was founded. Corruption then resumed her former course, and daily gathered strength, till Sparta sunk to her last declension in a very short space of time. It may therefore be justiy said, that the bold views and enterprises of Cleomenes were the last struggles of its expiring liberty.

Antigonus teft Sparta three days after he had entered it; and his departure was occasioned by the intelligence he had received, that a war had broke out in Macedonia, where the Barbarians committed dreadful ravages. If this news had arrived three days sooner, Cleomenes might have been saved. Antigonus was already afflicted with a severe indisposition, which at last ended in a consumption and total defluxion of humours, that carried him off two or three years after. He however would not suffer hinself to be dejected by his ill state of health, and had even spirit enough to engage in new battles in bis own kingdom. It was said, that after he had been victorious over the Illyrians, he was so transported with joy, that he frequently repeated these expressions, “ O the glorious happy battle!"

sence.

And that he uttered this exclamation with so much ardour, that he burst a vein, and lost a large quantity of blood; this symptom was succeeded by a violent fever, which ended his days. Some time before his death, he settled the succession to his dominions in favour of Philip, the son of Demetrius, who was then fourteen years of age; or it may be rather said, that he returned him the sceptre, which had only been deposited in his hand.

Cleomenes, in the mean time, arrived at Alexandria, where he met with a very cold reception from the king, when he was first introduced into his pre

But after he had given that monarch proofs of his adinirable sense, and shewn in his common conversation the generous freedom, openness, and simplicity of the Spartan manners, attended with a graceful politeness, in which there was nothing mean, and even a noble pride that became his birth and dignity, Ptolemy was then sensible of his merit, and esteemed him infinitely more than all those courtiers who were only solicitous to please him by abject flatteries. He was even struck with confusion and remorse for his neglect of so great a man, and for his having abandoned him to Antigonus, who had raised his own reputation, and enlarged his power to an infinite degree, by his victory over that prince. The king of Egypt then endeavoured to A.M. comfort and relieve Cleomenes, by treating him 3782. with the utmost honour, and giving himn repeated Ant. J. C. assurances that he would send him into Greece with such a fleet and a supply of money, as with his other good offices should be sufficient to re-establish hiin on the throne. He also assigned him a yearly pension of twenty-four talents (about twenty thousand pounds sterling) with which he supported himself and his friends, with the utmost frugality, reserving all the remainder of that allowance for the relief of those who retired into Egypt from Greece. Pto. A.M. lemy however died before he could accomplish his 3783. promise to Cleomenes. This prince had reigned Ant. J. C.

222.

221.

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