ARISTIDES. Aristides the Just always managed his offices
himself, and avoided all political clubs, because power gotten by the assistance of friends was an encouragement to
the unjust. When the Athenians were fully bent to banish
him by an ostracism, an illiterate country fellow came to
him with his shell, and asked him to write in it the name
of Aristides. Friend, said he, do you know Aristides
Not I, said the fellow, but I do not like his surname of
Just. He said no more, but wrote his name in the shell
and gave it him. He was at variance with Themistocles,
who was sent on an embassy with him. Are you content,
said he, Themistocles, to leave our enmity at the borders?
and if you please we will take it up again at our return.
When he levied an assessment upon the Greeks, he returned poorer by so much as he spent in the journey.
Aeschylus wrote these verses on Amphiaraus—
His shield no emblem bears; his generous soul
Wishes to be, not to appear, the best;
While the deep furrows of his noble mind
Harvests of wise and prudent counsel bear.1
And when they were pronounced in the theatre, all turned
their eyes upon Aristides.