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138. The King is said to have been astonished at the boldness of his character, and told him to wait1 a year as he proposed. In the interval he made himself acquainted, as far as he could, with the Persian language and the manners of the country. [2] When the year was over, he arrived at the court and became a greater man there than any Hellene had ever been before. This was due partly to his previous2 reputation, and partly to the hope which he inspired in the King's mind that he would enslave Hellas to him; above all, his ability had been tried and not found wanting. [3] For Themistocles was a man whose natural force was unmistakable; this was the quality for which he was distinguished above all other men; from his own native acuteness, and without any study either before or at the time, he was the ablest judge of the course to be pursued in a sudden emergency, and could best divine what was likely to happen in the remotest future. Whatever he had in hand he had the power of explaining to others, and even where he had no experience he was quite competent to form a sufficient judgment; no one could foresee with equal clearness the good or evil event which was hidden in the future. In a word, Themistocles, by natural power of mind and with the least preparation, was of all men the best able to extemporise the right thing to be done. [4] A sickness put an end to his life, although some say that he poisoned himself because he felt that he could not accomplish what he had promised to the King. [5] There is a monument of him in the agora of the Asiatic Magnesia, where he was governor—the King assigning to him, for bread, Magnesia, which produced a revenue of fifty talents3 in the year; for wine, Lampsacus, which was considered to be the richest in wine of any district then known; and Myus for meat. [6] His family say that his remains were carried home at his own request and buried in Attica, but secretly; for he had been accused of treason and had fled from his country, and he could not lawfully be interred there. Such was the end of Pausanias the Lacedaemonian, and Themistocles the Athenian, the two most famous Hellenes of their day.

1 Going to the Court of Persia, he acquires the favour of the King and receives great honour, but shortly after dies.

2 The greatness of his character. His natural acuteness and foresight his power of persuasion, his readiness in an emergency.

3 About £10,000

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