Individually, as you already know, I love England not England's fops, but her people; I love the literature of England, I love her memories, I esteem and admire her well-executed laws. The literature of England has been my mental food from boyhood aye, almost from infancy; and her memories, her memories! I think of London as Macaulay must have thought of Athens.
As Socrates was passing through the fair at Athens, and casting his eyes over the shops and customers, "how many things are here," says he, "that I do not want!"
While Athens was still only a small city there lived within its walls a man named Daedalus who was the most skillful worker in wood and stone and metal that had ever been known. It was he who taught the people how to build better houses and how to hang their doors on hinges and how to support the roofs with pillars and posts.
Dispatched to Greece, to arrange the tributes and the treaties of the Grecian princes, Iskander became acquainted with the young Nicæus; and their acquaintance soon matured into friendship. Nicæus was inexperienced; but nature had not intended him for action. The young Prince of Athens would loll by the side of a fountain, and dream of the wonders of old days.
"I do not love Cleon, but as an Athenian I would mourn if he were defeated; therefore I would not rejoice at his overthrow." "You hate Cleon, but you do not wish his overthrow." "On account of Athens no." "But except for that?" "Except for that, Cleon's overthrow would be a blessing for the State, for he has been unjust to Pericles, to Phidias, to all who have done anything great."
But in 394 the Spartan king was called home to avert the dangers which threatened his country in a war that had been fomented by the Persian king in order to save his dominions from the ravages of the Spartans. The King of Persia had supplied Athens with a fleet which defeated the Spartan navy at Cni'dus, and Persian gold rebuilt the walls of Athens.
The Athenians decided to assist Corcyra, and ten ships were sent, under the command of Lacedæmonieus, the son of Cimon. This was considered a breach of faith by the Corinthians, and a war resulted between Corinth and Athens. The Corinthians then invited the Lacedæmonians to join them and make common cause against an aggressive and powerful enemy, that aimed at the supremacy of Greece.
It was not long before the effects of this impolitic breach with Corinth were sensibly felt by Athens.
His years after the peace was broken, his career as a general, his banishment and enforced residence in Thrace, his visit to the countries of the Peloponnesian allies with whom Athens was at war, all these gave him a signal opportunity to gather materials, and to assimilate them in the gathering.
The capture of the island of Cythera in the next summer gave the Athenians a second strong station from which they could constantly menace the Peloponnese. On the other hand, in this year the Sicilians were awakening to the fact that Athens was not playing a disinterested part on behalf of the Ionian states, but was dreaming of a Sicilian empire.