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Cleomenes Is Arrested

Finding then that he was hostile in feeling to Cleomenes, Sosibius persuaded Nicagoras, partly by presents given on the spot and partly by promises for the future, to write a letter accusing Cleomenes, and leave it sealed; that as soon as he had sailed, as he would do in a few days, his servant might bring it to him as though sent by Nicagoras. Nicagoras performed his part in the plot; and after he had sailed, the letter was brought by the servant to Sosibius, who at once took the servant and the letter to the king. The servant stated that Nicagoras had left the letter with orders to deliver it to Sosibius; and the letter declared that it was the intention of Cleomenes, if he failed to secure his despatch from the country with suitable escort and provisions, to stir up a rebellion against the king. Sosibius at once seized the opportunity of urging on the king and his friends to take prompt precautions against Cleomenes and to put him in ward.
Cleomenes put under arrest.
This was at once done, and a very large house was assigned to him in which he lived under guard, differing from other prisoners only in the superior size of his prison. Finding himself in this distressing plight, and with fear of worse for the future, Cleomenes determined to make the most desperate attempts for freedom: not so much because he felt confident of success, —for he had none of the elements of success in such an enterprise on his side,—but rather because he was eager to die nobly, and endure nothing unworthy of the gallantry which he had previously displayed. He must, I think, as is usually the case with men of high courage, have recalled and reflected upon as his model those words of the hero:1— “"Yea, let me die,—but not a coward's death,
Nor all inglorious: let me do one deed,
That children yet unborn may hear and mark!"

1 Homer, Il., 22, 304.

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