“May it please your Excellency, a deserter.” “A deserter, and how and why here?” “He came to the Nausicaä in a skiff. He swears he has just come from the Barbarians at Phaleron. He demands to see the admiral.” “He is a Barbarian?” “No, a Greek. He affects to speak a kind of Doric dialect.” Themistocles laughed again, and even more lightly. “A deserter, you say.
Whereupon Aristides, the Athenian, led a force in boats from Salamis to the island and put to death every man of the Persian garrison. The Persian ships fled to their base at Phaleron, while the Greeks returned to their base at Salamis. The battle of Salamis was won, but at the moment neither side realized its decisive character.
“Come,” commanded Phormio, pulling upon his arm. “The sun will shine again to-morrow.” Thus the twain went forward, Glaucon saying not a word. He hardly knew how they passed the Itonian Gate and crossed the long stretch of open country betwixt the city and its havens. No pursuit as yet—Glaucon was too perplexed to reason why. At last he knew they entered Phaleron.
Xerxes was at Phaleron reviewing his fleet. The Hellenes’ ships confronted him at Salamis. The Persians had met in council, deliberating one night over their wine, reconsidering the next morning when sober. Their wisdom each time had been to force a battle.
In the following spring, Rosamund and Dion were married, and Dion took Rosamund "to the land of the early morning." They arrived in Greece at the beginning of May, when the rains were over and the heats of summer were at hand. The bed of Ilissus was empty. Dust lay white in the streets of Athens and along the road to Phaleron and the sea.
A scramble over a rocky, ill-marked way led to the top; then before them broke a second view comparable almost to that from the Rock of Athena: at their feet lay the four blue havens of Athens, to the right Phaleron, closer at hand the land-locked bay of Munychia, beyond that Zea, beyond that still a broader sheet—Peiræus, the new war-harbour of Athens.
“Envious dog,” commented Agis; and bitter personalities might have followed had not a bell jangled from an adjacent portico. “Phormio, my brother-in-law, with fresh fish from Phaleron,” announced Polus, drawing a coin from his wonted purse,—his cheek; “quick, friends, we must buy our dinners.”
“That Zeus and Athena were greater than Mazda the Pure and glorious Mithra? To-morrow will prove him wrong. I wonder whether he yet lives,—whether he will ever confess that Persia is irresistible.” “I do not know. From the evening we parted at Phaleron he has faded from our world.” “He was fair as the Amesha-Spentas, was he not? Poor Roxana—she is again in Sardis now.
The people crowded to the water’s edge when the great trireme cast off her pinnace and a well-known figure stepped therein. “Themistocles is with us!” He landed at Phaleron, the thousands greeted him as if he were a god. He seemed their only hope—the Atlas upbearing all the fates of Athens.
It was as if she had the power to put something of herself into everything that he cared for so that he might care for it more, whether it were a golden sunset on the sea over which they drifted in a sailing-boat off the coast of old Phaleron, or a marble figure in a museum.