138.The king, as is reported, wondered what his purpose might be and commanded him to do as he had said.In this time of respite he learned as much as he could of the language and fashions of the place.
And a year after coming to the court, he was great with the king more than ever had been any Grecian before, both for his former dignity and the hope of Greece which he promised to bring into his subjection, but especially for the trial he gave of his wisdom.
For Themistocles was a man in whom most truly was manifested the strength of natural judgment, wherein he had something worthy admiration different from other men.For by his natural prudence, without the help of instruction before or after, he was both of extemporary matters upon short deliberation the best discerner and also of what for the most part would be their issue the best conjecturer.What he was perfect in he was able also to explicate, and what he was unpractised in he was not to seek how to judge of conveniently.Also he foresaw, no man better, what was best or worst in any case that was doubtful.And (to say all in few words) this man, by the natural goodness of his wit and quickness of deliberation, was the ablest of all men to tell what was fit to be done upon a sudden.
But falling sick he ended his life;some say he died voluntarily by poison because he thought himself unable to perform what he had promised to the king.
His monument is in Magnesia in Asia, in the market place;for he had the government of that country, the king having bestowed upon him Magnesia which yielded him fifty talents by the year for his bread, and Lampsacus for his wine (for this city was in those days thought to have store of wine), and the city of Myus for his meat.
His bones are said by his kindred to have been brought home by his own appointment and buried in Attica unknown to the Athenians, for it was not lawful to bury one there that had fled for treason.These were the ends of Pausanias the Lacedaemonian and Themistocles the Athenian, the most famous men of all the Grecians of their time.
The English works of Thomas Hobbes of Malmesbury. Thucydides. Thomas Hobbes. translator. London. Bohn. 1843.
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