Extracts from the Life of Alcibiades

  • 1.Description of ALCIBIADES, and anecdotes of his early days. (ALCIBIADES saves the life of SOCRATES in battle, who requites him by saving his life in return.)
  • 2. Anecdotes of the dog and quail. (HYPERBOLUS endeavours to banish ALCIBIADES by ostracism, but is banished himself. Peace is concluded by NICIAS between Athens and Sparta. ALCI BIADES is chosen general of the Athenians.)
  • 3. Wanton behaviour of ALCIBIADES.
  • 4 Interview between ALCIBIADES and TIMON the misanthrope. (ALCIBIADES is accused of mangling the images of HERMES, and of profaning the holy Mysteries. His expedition to Sicily.)
  • 5. He is sent for to answer to the charge of mutilating the images, and condemned. He flies to Sparta. Description of his extreme versatility. (He flies from Sparta to the court of TISAPHERNES.)
  • 6. The Athenians, being afraid of TISAPHERNES, begin to desire the return of ALCIBIADES.
  • 7. He is recalled from exile (His victories at Abydos Cyzicus, and Byzantium.)
  • 8. His honourable return to Athens.
  • 9. Some of his failures were due to lack of money. (ALCIBIADES is accused by THRASYBULUS, and his authority as general is taken from him. Athens is taken by LYSANDER, who appoints thirty tyrants.)
  • 10. Death of ALCIBIADES at a village in Phrygia. His burial by TIMANDRA.


Alcibiades' stock. Alcibiades' beauty. Alcibiades' lisped by nature.
ALCIBIADES, by his father's side, was anciently descended of Eurysaces that was the son of Ajax, and, by his mother's side of Alcmaeon: for his mother Dinomacha was the daughter of Megacles....Now for Alcibiades' beauty, it made no matter if we spake not of it, yet I will a little touch it by the way: for he was wonderful fair, being a child, a boy, and a man, and that at all times, which made him marvellous amiable, and beloved of every man. For where Euripides saith that, of all the fair times of the year, the autumn or latter season is the fairest: that commonly falleth not out true. And yet it proved true in Alcibiades, though in few other: for he was passing fair even to his latter time, and of good temperature of body. They write of him also, that his tongue was somewhat fat, and it did not become him ill, but gave a certain natural pleasant grace in his talk: which Aristophanes mentioneth, mocking one Theorus that did counterfeit a lisping grace with his tongue:
'This Alcibiades, with his fat lisping tongue
Into mine ears, this trusty tale and song full often sung:
Look upon Theolus (quoth he) lo there he bows
Behold his comely crow-bright face with fat and flatling 1 blows.
The son of Clinias would lisp it thus somewhiles,
And sure he lisped never a lie, but rightly hit his wiles.'
And Archippus, another poet also, mocking the son of Alcibiades, saith thus:
'Because he would be like his father every way,
In his long trailing gown he would go jetting day by day,
And counterfeit his speech, his countenance and face:
As though Dame Nature had him given therein a perfect grace
To lisp and look aside, and hold his head awry
Even as his father looked and lisped, so would he prate and pry.'

Alcibiades' ambitions.
For his manners, they altered and changed very oft with time, which is not to be wondered at, seeing his marvellous great prosperity, as also adversity that followed him afterwards. But of all the great desires he had, and that by nature he was most inclined to, was ambition, seeking to have the upper hand in all things, and to be taken for the best person: as appeareth by certain of his deeds, and notable sayings in his youth, extant in writing. One day wrestling with a companion of his, that handled him hardly, and thereby was likely to have given him the fall, he got his fellow's arm in his mouth, and bit so hard, as he would have eaten it off. The other feeling him bite so hard, let go his hold straight, and said unto him: " What, Alcibiades? bitest thou like a woman?" "No, mary, do I not'" quoth he, "but like a lion." Another time, being but a little boy, he played at skails 2 in the midst of the street with other of his companions, and when his turn came about to throw, there came a cart laden by chance that way: Alcibiades prayed the carter to stay awhile, until he had played out his game, because the skails were set right in the highway where the cart should pass over. The carter was a stubborn knave, and would not stay for any request the boy could make, but crave his horse on still, insomuch as other boys gave back to let him go on: but Alcibiades fell flat to the ground before the cart, and bad the carter drive over, and 3 he durst. The carter, being afraid, plucked back his horse to stay them: the neighbours, frighted to see the danger, ran to the boy in all haste, crying out.
Alcibiades' studies.
Afterwards, when he was put to school to learn, he was very obedient to all his masters that taught him anything, saving that he disdained to learn to play on the flute or recorder 4: saying that it was no gentlemanly quality.
A vile thing to play on a flute.
" For," said he, " to play on the viol with a stick cloth not alter man's favour 5, nor disgrace any gentleman: but otherwise, to play on the flute, his countenance altereth and changeth so oft, that his familiar friends can scant 6 know him. Moreover the harp or viol cloth not let 7 him that playeth on them from speaking or singing as he playeth: where 8 he that playeth on the flute holdeth his mouth so hard to it, that it taketh not only his words from him, but his voice. Therefore," said he, " let the children of the Thebans play on the flute, that cannot tell how to speak: as for the Athenians, we have (as our forefathers tell us) for protectors and patrons of our country, the goddess Pallas and the god Apollo: of the which the one in old time (as it is said) brake the flute, and the other pulled his skin over his ears 9 that played upon a flute." Thus Alcibiades alleging these reasons, partly in sport, and partly in good earnest, did not only himself leave 10 to learn to play on the flute, but he turned his companions' minds also quite from it. For these words of Alcibiades ran from boy to boy incontinently 11: "that Alcibiades had reason to despise playing on the flute, and that he mocked all those that learned to play on it." So afterwards, it fell out at Athens, that teaching to play on the flute was put out of the number of honest and liberal exercises, and the flute itself was thought a vile instrument and of no reputation.......


Alcibiades' great dog.
Alcibiades had a marvellous fair great dog, that cost him threescore and ten minas, and he cut off his tail that was his chief beauty. When his friends reproved him, and told him how every man blamed him for it: he fell a-laughing, and told them he had that he sought. "For," saith he, " I would have the Athenians rather prate upon that, than they should say worse of me."

Alcibiades' largess.
Moreover, it is said, the first time that Alcibiades spake openly in the commonweal, and began to deal in matters, was upon a gift of money he gave unto the people, and not of any pretence 12 or former purpose he had to do it. One day as he came through the market-place, hearing the people very loud, he asked what the matter was: they told him it was about money certain men had given to the people. Then Alcibiades went to them, and gave them money out of his own purse. The people were so glad at that, as 13 they fell to shouting and clapping of their hands, in token of thankfulness: and himself was so glad for company, that he forgat 14 a quail he had under his gown, which was so afeard of 15 the noise, that she took her flight away. The people, seeing the quail, made a greater noise than before, and many rose out of their places to run after her: so that in the end, it was taken up by a master of a ship called Antiochus, who brought him the quail again, and for that cause Alcibiades did love him ever after.
Alcibiades' coming into the commonwealth.
Now albeit the nobility of his house, his goods, his worthiness and the great number of his kinsmen and friends, made his way open to take upon him government in the commonweal: yet the only way he desired to win the favour of the common people by was the grace of his eloquence.
Alcibiades marvellous eloquent.
To prove he was eloquent, all the comical 16 poets do testify it: and besides them Demosthenes, the prince of orators, also cloth say, in an oration he made against Medias, that Alcibiades, above all other qualities he had, was most eloquent.
Alcibiades' wit and imperfection.
And if we may believe Theophrastus, the greatest searcher of antiquities, and best historiographer above any other philosopher: he hath written, that Alcibiades had as good a wit to devise and consider what he would say, as any man that was in his time. Howbeit sometimes, studying what he should say, as also to deliver good words, not having them very ready at his tongue's end, he many times took breath by the way, and paused in the middest 17 of his tale, not speaking a word, until he had called it to mind that he would say.

His charge was great, and much spoken of also, for keeping of running horses at games: not only because they were the best and swiftest, but for the number of coaches he had besides.

Alcibiades' victory at the games Olympical.
For never private person, no, nor any prince, did ever send seven so well-appointed coaches in all furniture, unto the games Olympical, as he did: nor that at one course hath borne away the first, the second, and the fourth prise 18, as Thucydides saith: or as Euripides reporteth, the third. For in that game he excelled all men in honour and name, that ever strived for victory therein. For Euripides pronounced his praise, in a song he made of him, as followeth:
O son of Clinias, I will resound thy praise
For thou art bold in martial deeds and overcom'st always.
Thy victories therewith do far exceed the rest
That ever were in Greece ygot 19, therefore I compt 20 them best.
For at th' Olympic games thou hast with chariots won
The first prise 21, second, third, and all which there in race were run
With praise and little pain, thy head hath twice been crowned
With olive boughs for victory, and twice by trumpets' sound
The heralds have proclaim'd thee victor by thy name
Above all those which ran with thee, in hope to get the game.

Howbeit the good affection divers cities did bear him, contending which should gratify him best, did much increase his fame and honour.......


Alcibiades' riot.
Yet with all these goodly deeds and fair words of Alcibiades, and with this great courage and quickness of understanding, he had many great faults and imperfections. For he was too dainty in his fare, wantonly given, riotous in bankets 22, vain and womanish in apparel: he ware 23 ever a long purple gown that swept the market-place as he walked up and down, it had such a train, and was too rich and costly for him to wear. And following these vain pleasures and delights, when he was in his galley, he caused the planks of the poop thereof to be cut and broken up, that he might lie the softer: for his bed was not laid upon the overlop 24, but laid upon girths 25 strained over the hole, cut out and fastened to the sides, and he carried to the wars with him a gilded scutchion 26, wherein he had no cognizance, nor ordinary device of the Athenians, but only had the image of Cupid in it, holding lightning in his hand. The noblemen and best citizens of Athens perceiving this, they hated his fashions and conditions, and were much offended at him, and were afeard 27 withal of his rashness and insolency: he did so contemn the laws and customs of their country, being manifest tokens of a man that aspired to be king, and would subvert and turn all over-hand 28. And as for the goodwill of the common people towards him, the poet Aristophanes cloth plainly express it in these words:
The people most desire what most they hate to have:
And what their mind abhors, even that they seem to crave.
And in another place he said also, aggravating the suspicion they had of him:
For state or commonweal much better should it be,
To keep within the country none such lion's looks as he:
But if they needs will keep a lion to their cost,
Then must they needs obey his will, for he will rule the roast 29.
For to say truly: his courtesies, his liberalities, and noble expenses to shew the people so great pleasure and pastime as nothing could be more: the glorious memory of his ancestors, the grace of his eloquence, the beauty of his person, the strength and valiantness of his body, joined together with his wisdom and experience in martial affairs: were the very causes that made them to bear with him in all things, and that the Athenians did patiently endure all his light parts, and did cover his faults with the best words and teens they could, calling them youthful, and gentlemen's sports.
Alcibiades' dishonesty and wantonness
As when he kept Agartharcus the painter prisoner in his house by force, until he had painted all his walls within: and when he had done, did let him go, and rewarded him very honestly 30 for his pains. Again, when he gave a box on the ear to Taureas, who did pay the whole charges 31 of a company of common players, in spite of him, to carry away the honour of the games....... 4. And on a day as he came from the council and assembly of the city, where he had made an excellent oration, to the great good liking and acceptation of all the hearers, and by means thereof had obtained the thing he desired, and was accompanied with a great train that followed him to his honour: Timon, surnamed Misanthropos (as who would say, loup-grou 32, or the manhater), meeting Alcibiades thus accompanied, did not pass by him, nor gave him way (as he was wont to do all other men), but went straight to him, and took him by the hand, and said: "O, thou cost well, my son, I can 33 thee thank, that thou goest on and climest 34 up still: for if ever thou be in authority, wo be unto those that follow thee, for they are utterly undone'" When they heard these words, those that stood by fell a-laughing: other 35 reviled Timon; other again marked well his words, and thought of them many a time after: such sundry opinions they had of him for the unconstancy of his life, and waywardness of his nature and conditions.......


Alcibiades sent for to answer to his accusations.
Now though the people had no more occasion to occupy their busy heads about the breakers of these images, yet was not their malice thus appeased against Alcibiades, until they sent the galley called Salaminiana, commanding those they sent by a special commission to seek him out, in no case to attempt to take him by force, nor to lay hold on him by violence: but to use him with all the good words and courteous manner that they possibly could, and to will 36 him only to appear in person before the people, to answer to certain accusations put up against him. If otherwise they should have used force, they feared much lest the army would have mutined 37 on his behalf within the country of their enemies, and that there would have grown some sedition amongst their soldiers. This might Alcibiades have easily done, if he had been disposed: for the soldiers were very sorry to see him depart, perceiving that the wars should be drawn out now in length, and be much prolonged under Nicias, seeing Alcibiades was taken from them, who was the only spur that pricked Nicias forward to do any service: and that Lamachus also, though he were a valiant man of his hands, yet he lacked honour and authority in the army, because he was but a mean man born, and poor besides.

Now Alcibiades, for a farewell, disappointed the Athenians of winning the city of Messina: for they having intelligence by certain private persons within the city, that it would yield up into their hand, Alcibiades, knowing them very well by their names, bewrayed 38 them unto those that were the Syracusans' friends: whereupon all this practice 39 was broken utterly. Afterwards when he came to the city of Thuries, so soon as he had landed, he went and hid himself incontinently 40 in such sort, that such as sought for him could not find him. Yet there was one that knew him where he was, and said: "Why, how now, Alcibiades? darest thou not trust the justice of thy country?" "Yes, very well," quoth he, "and 41 it were in another matter: but my life standing upon it, I would not trust mine own mother, fearing lest negligently she should put in the black bean where she should cast in the white :" for, by the first, condemnation of death was signified: and by the other, pardon of life. But afterwards, hearing that the Athenians for malice had condemned him to death: " Well,'' quoth he, " they shall know I am yet alive."

Alcibiades' accusation.
Now the manner of his accusation and indictment framed against him, was found written in this sort: 'Thessalus, the son of Cimon, of the village of Laciades, hath accused and cloth accuse Alcibiades, the son of Clinias, of the village of Scambonides, to have offended against the goddesses, Ceres and Proserpina, counterfeiting in mockery their holy mysteries, and strewing them to his familiar friends in his house, himself apparelled and arrayed in a long vestment or cope, like unto the vestment the priest weareth when he sheweth these holy sacred mysteries: and naming himself the priest, Polytion the torch-bearer, and Theodorus of the village of Phygea the verger, and the other lookers-on brethren and fellow-scorners with them, and all done in manifest contempt and derisien of holy ceremonies and mysteries of the Eumolpides, the religious priests and ministers of the sacred temple of the city of Eleusin 42
Alcibiades condemned being absent.
.' So Alcibiades, for his contempt and not appealing, was condemned, and his goods confiscate 43. Besides this condemnation, they decreed also, that all the religious priests and women should ban 44 and accurse him. But hereunto answered one of the nuns called Theano, the daughter of Menon, of the village of Agraula, saying that she was professed religious, to pray and to bless, not to curse and ban.

After this most grievous sentence and condemnation passed against him, Alcibiades departed out of the city of Thuries, and went into the country of Peloponnesus, where he continued a good season in the city of Argos. But in the end, fearing his enemies, and having no hope to return again to his own country with any safety: he sent unto Sparta to have safe conduct and licence of the Lacedaemonians, that he might come and dwell in their country, promising them he would do to them more good being now their friend, than he ever did them hurt while he was their enemy.

Alcibiades flieth to Sparta.
The Lacedaemonians granted his request, and received him very willingly into their city: where, even upon his first coming, he did three things. The first was: that the Lacedaemonians, by his persuasion and procurement, did determine speedily to send aid to the Syracusans, whom they had long before delayed: and so they sent Gylippus their captain to overthrow the Athenians' army, which they had sent thither. The second thing he did for them, was: that he made them of Greece to begin war upon the Athenians. The third, and greatest matter of importance, was: that he did counsel them to fortify the city of Decelea, which was within the territories of Attica self 45: which consumed and brought the power of the Athenians lower than any other thing whatsoever he could have done. And if he were welcome, and well esteemed in Sparta, for the service he did to the commonwealth: much more he wan 46 the love and goodwills of private men, for that he lived after the Laconian manner. So as they that saw his skin scraped to the flesh, and saw him wash himself in cold water, and how he did eat brown bread, and sup of their black broth, would have doubted (or to say better, never have believed) that such a man had ever kept cook in his house, nor that he ever had seen so much as a perfuming-pan, or had touched cloth of tissue made at Miletum. For among other qualities and properties he had (whereof he was full) this, as they say, was one whereby he most robbed men's hearts: that he could frame 47 altogether with their manners and fashions of life, transforming himself more easily to all manner of shapes than the chameleon.
Alcibiades more changeable than the chameleon.
For it is reported, that the chameleon cannot take white colour: but Alcibiades could put upon him any manners, customs, or fashions, of what nation soever, and could follow, exercise, and counterfeit them when he would, as well the good as the bad. For in Sparta, he was very painful 48, and in continual exercise: he lived sparingly with little, end led a straight 49 life. In Ionia, to the contrary, there he lived daintily and superfluously, and gave himself to all mirth and pleasure. In Thracia, he drank ever, or was always on horseback. If he came to Tisaphernes, lieutenant of the mighty king of Persia, he far exceeded the magnificence of Persia in pomp and sumptuousness. And these things notwithstanding, never altered his natural condition from one fashion to another, neither did his manners (to say truly) receive all sorts of changes. But because peradventure, if he had shewed his natural disposition, he might, in divers places where he came, have offended those whose company he kept, he did with such a vizard 50 and cloke 51 disguise himself, to fit their manners whom he companied with, by transforming himself into their natural countenance, as he that had seen him when he was at Sparta, to have looked upon the outward man, would have said as the common proverb saith:
It is not the son of Achilles, but Achilles self 52
Even so, it is even he whom Lycurgus brought up. But he that had inwardly seen his natural doings and good-will indeed lie naked before him would, contrarily, have used this common saying:
This woman is no changeling......


The inconstancy of the common people.
Then were the Athenians sorry, and repented them when they had received so great loss and hurt, for that they had decreed so severely against Alcibiades, who in like manner was very sorrowful to see them brought to so hard terms, fearing, if the city of Athens came to destruction, that he himself should fall in the end into the hands of the Lacedaemonians, who maliced 53 him to the death. Now about that time, all the power of the Athenians was almost in the ile 54 of Samos, from whence, with their army by sea, they sought to suppress the rebels that were up against them, and to keep all that which yet remained. For they were yet prettily 55 strong to resist the enemies, at the least by sea: but they stood in fear of the power of Tisaphernes, and of the hundred and fifty galleys which were reported to be coming out of their country of Phoenicia to the aid of their enemies, which if they had come, the city of Athens had been utterly spoiled, and for ever without hope of recovery. The which Alcibiades understanding, sent secretly unto the chiefest men that were in the army of the Athenians at Samos, to give them hope he would make Tisaphernes their friend: howbeit not of any desire he had to gratify the people, nor that he trusted to the commonalty of Athens, but only to the honourable and honest citizens, and that conditionally, so as they had the heart and courage to bridle 56 a little the over-licentiousness and insolency of the common people, and that they would take upon them the authority to govern, and to redress their state, and to preserve the city of Athens from final and utter destruction. Upon this advertisement 57, all the heads and chief men did give very good ear unto it: saving only Phrynichus, one of the captains, and of the town of Dirades: who mistrusting (that was true indeed) that Alcibiades cared not which end went forward, nor who had the chief government of Athens, the nobility or the commonalty, and did but seek all the devices and ways he could, to return again if it might be possible, in any manner of sort, and that he did but curry favour with the nobility, blaming and accusing the people, he stood altogether against the motion; whereupon Alcibiades' device was not followed.......

7. Now the common people that remained still in the city, stirred not, but were quiet against their wills, for fear of danger, because there were many of them slain, that boldly took upon them in open presence to resist these four hundred [of the nobility]. But those that were in the camp in the ile 58 of Samos, hearing these news, were so grievously offended, that they resolved to return incontinently 59 again unto the haven of Piraea.

Alcibiades called home from exile.
First of all, they sent for Alcibiades, whom they chose their captain; then they commanded him straightly 60 to lead them against these tyrants, who had usurped the liberty of the people of Athens. But nevertheless he did not herein, as another would have done in this case, seeing himself so suddenly crept again in favour with the common people: for he did not think he should incontinently please and gratify them in all things, though they had made him now their general over all their ships and so great an army; being before but a banished man, a vacabond 61, and a fugitive. But to the contrary, as it became a general worthy of such a charge, he considered with himself that it was his part wisely to stay those who would in a rage and fury carelessly cast themselves away, and not suffer them to do it. And truly Alcibiades was the cause of the preserving of the city of Athens at that time from utter destruction. For if they had suddenly (according to their determination) departed from Samos to go to Athens: the enemies, finding no man to let 62 them, might easily have won all the country of Ionia, of Hellespont, and of all the other iles 63 without stroke striking, whilst the Athenians were busy fighting one against another in civil wars, and within the compass of their own walls. This Alcibiades alone, and no other, did prevent, not only by persuading the whole army, and declaring the inconvenience thereof, which would fall out upon their sudden departure: but also by intreating some particularly 64 apart, and keeping a number back by very force.......


Alcibiades' honourable return into his country.
Now Alcibiades, desirous in the end to see his native country again (to speak more truly, that his country-men should see him) after he had so many times overthrown their enemies in battle, he hoised 65 sail and directed his course towards A hens, bringing with him all the galleys of the Athenians richly furnished and decked all about with skutchines 66 and targets 67, and other armour and weapon gotten amongst the spoils of his enemies. Moreover, he brought with him many other ships which he had won and broken in the wars, besides many ensigns and other ornaments: all which being counted together, one with the other, made up the number of two hundred ships. Furthermore, where Duris Samian writeth (who challengeth 68 that he came of his house) that at his return one Chrysogonus, an excellent player on the flute (that had won certain of the Pythian games) did play such a note, that at the sound thereof the galley-slaves would keep stroke with their oars, and that Callippides, another excellent player of tragedies, playing the part of a comedy, did stir them to row, being in such prayers' garments as every master of such science useth commonly to wear, presenting himself in theatre or stage before the people to shew his art; and that the admiral 69 galley, wherein himself was, entered the haven with a purple sail, as if some maske 70 had come into a man's house after some great banquet made: neither Ephorus, nor Theopompus, nor Xenophon, make any mention of this at all. Furthermore, methinks it should not be true that he (returning from exile after so long a banishment, and having passed over such sorrows and calamities as he had sustained) would so proudly and presumptuously shew himself unto the Athenians. But merely 71 contrary, it is most certain that he returned in great fear and doubt. For when he was arrived in the haven of Piraea, he would not set foot a-land 72, before he first saw his nephew Euryptolemus, and divers other of his friends, from the hatches of his ship, standing upon the sands in the haven's mouth: who were come thither to receive and welcome him, and told him that he might be bold to land, without fear of anything. He was no sooner landed, but all the people ran out of every corner to see him, with so great love and affection, that they took no heed of the other captains that came with him, but clustered all to him only, and cried out for joy to see him. Those that could come near him, did welcome and imbrace 73 him: but all the people wholly followed him. And some that came to him, put garlands of flowers upon his head: and those that could not come near him saw him afar off, and the old folks did point him out to the younger sort. But this common joy was mingled notwithstanding with tears and sorrow, when they came to think upon their former misfortunes and calamities, and to compare them with their present prosperity: waying 74 with themselves also how they had not lost Sicilia, nor their hope in all things else had failed them, if they had delivered themselves and the charge of their army into Alcibiades' hands, when they sent for him to appear in person before them. Considering also how he found the city of Athens in manner put from the segniory 75 and commandment of the sea; and on the other side, how their force by land was brought into such extremity, that Athens scantly 76 could defend her suburbs, the city self 77 being so divided and turmoiled with civil dissension: yet he gathered together those few and small force that remained, and had not only restored Athens to her former power and sovereignty on the sea, but had made her also conqueror by land.

Now the decree for his repair home again passed before by the people, at the instant request of Callias, the son of Callaeschrus, who did prefer 78 it: as he himself did testify in his Elegies, putting Alcibiades in remembrance of the good turn he had done him, saying:

I was the first that moved, in open conference,
The people's voice to call thee home, when thou wert banish'd hence,
So was I eke the first which thereto gave consent
And therefore may I boldly say, by truth of such intent:
I was the only mean 79 to call thee home again
By such request, so rightly made, to move the peoples vain.
And this may serve for pledge, what friendship I thee bear:
Fast sealed with a faithful tongue, as plainly shall appear.
Alcibiades oration to the people.
But notwithstanding, the people being assembled in council, Alcibiades came before them, and made an oration: wherein he first lamented all his mishaps, and found himself grieved a little with the wrongs they had offered him, yet he imputed all in the end to his cursed fortune, and some spiteful god that envied his glory and prosperity. Then he dilated at large the great hope their enemies had to have advantage of them: and therewithal persuaded the people to be of good courage, and afeard 80 of nothing that was to come.
Alcibiades chosen general with sovereign authority.
And to conclude, the people crowned him with crowns of gold, and chose him general again of Athens, with sovereign power and authority both by land and by sea. And at that very instant it was decreed by the people that he should be restored again to his goods, and that the priests Eumolpides should absolve him of all their curses, and that the heralds should with open proclamation revoke the execrations and cursings they had thundered out against him before, by commandment of the people. Whereto they all agreed and were very willing, saving Theodorus the bishop, who said: "I did neither excommunicate him nor curse him, if he hath done no hurt to the commonwealth." Now Alcibiades flourished in his chiefest prosperity, yet were there some notwithstanding that misliked 81 very much the time of his landing, saying it was very unlucky and unfortunate.......

9. For if ever man was overthrown and envied for the estimation they had of his valour and sufficiency, truly Alcibiades was the man. For the notable and sundry services he had done won him such estimation of wisdom and valiantness, that where he slacked 82 in any service whatsoever, he was presently 83 suspected, judging the ill success not in that he could not, but for that he would not: and that where he undertook any enterprise, nothing could withstand or lie in his way. Hereupon the people persuading themselves, that immediately after his departure, they should hear that the ile 84 of Chio was taken, with all the country of Ionia, they were angry they could have no news so suddenly from him as they looked for.

Lack of money, the occasion of the overthrow of the Athenians' army by sea.
Moreover, they did not consider the lack of money he had, and specially making war with such enemies, as were ever relieved with 85 the great king of Persia's aid, and that for necessity's sake he was sundry times driven to leave his camp, to seek money where he could get it, to pay his soldiers and to maintain his army. Now for testimony hereof, the last accusation that was against him was only for this matter. Lysander being sent by the Lacedaemonians for admiral and general of their army by sea, used such policy with Cyrus the king of Persia's brother, that he got into his hands a great sum of money: by means whereof he gave unto his mariners four obols a day for their wages, where before they were wont to have but three, and yet Alcibiades had much ado to furnish his with three only a day......


Alcibiades' dream in Phrygia before his death.
Now was Alcibiades in a certain village of Phrygia, with a concubine of his called Timandra. So he thought he dreamed one night that he had put on his concubine's apparel, and how she, candling him in her arms, had dressed his head, frizzled his hair, and painted his face, as he had been a woman. Other say that he thought Magaeus strake off his head, and made his body to be burnt: and the voice 86 goeth, this vision was but a little before his death. Those that were sent to kill him, durst not enter the house where he was, but set it on fire round about. Alcibiades, spying the fire, got such apparel and hangings as he had, and threw it on the fire, thinking to have put it out: and so, casting his cloke 87 about his left arm, took his naked sword in his other hand, and ran out of the house, himself not once touched with fire, saving his clothes were a little singed.
Alcibiades' death. Timandra buried Alcibiades.
These murderers, so soon as they spied him, drew back and stood asunder, and durst not one of them come near him, to stand and fight with him: but afar off they bestowed so many arrows and darts on him, that they killed him there. Now when they had left him, Timandra went and took his body, which she wrapped up in the best linen she had, and buried him as honourably as she could possible, with such things as she had, and could get together.....

1 The equivocation of these two Greek words κόλαξ and κόραχ is hard to be expressed in English, instead whereof I have set flatling blows, for flattering brows, observing the grace of lisping as near as I could, like to the Latin and French translations; likewise Theolus for Theorus.

2 ninepins.

3 if.

4 a sort of flageolet

5 countenance

6 scarcely.

7 prevent

8 whereas

9 the years of him.

10 cease.

11 immediately

12 intention

13 that

14 forgot

15 frightened by.

16 comic.

17 midst.

18 prize.

19 got, won.

20 count.

21 prize

22 banquets

23 wore

24 orlop.

25 straps

26 escutcheon, shield.

27 afraid

28 upside down

29 be sole master

30 honourably.

31 expenses.

32 werwolf.

33 give.

34 climbest

35 others.

36 desire

37 mutinied

38 betrayed

39 plot

40 immediately.

41 if.

42 Eleusis.

43 confiscated

44 curse.

45 itself

46 won.

47 comply.

48 laborious

49 strait, strict.

50 mask

51 cloak

52 himself.

53 hated.

54 isle

55 fairly

56 restrain

57 notice

58 isle

59 at once.

60 straitly, strictly.

61 vagabond, wanderer.

62 stop.

63 isles.

64 separately.

65 hoisted.

66 escutcheons.

67 shields.

68 claims.

69 admiral's.

70 masque, entertainment.

71 wholly.

72 ashore.

73 embrace

74 weighing.

75 mastery.

76 scarcely.

77 itself.

78 propose.

79 means.

80 afraid.

81 disliked.

82 grew slack.

83 at once.

84 isle.

85 by.

86 rumour

87 cloak.

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