唯命是从Splendid as the success of the Athenians had been during this year, both on land and at sea, it was easy for them to foresee that the power of their enemies would presently be augmented by the Laced?monians taking the field. Partly on this account,—partly also from the more energetic phase of democracy, and the long-sighted views of Periklês, which were now becoming ascendent in the city,—the Athenians began the stupendous undertaking of connecting Athens with the sea by means of long walls. The idea of this measure had doubtless been first suggested by the recent erection of long walls, though for so much smaller a distance, between Megara and Nis?a: for without such an intermediate stepping-stone, the idea of a wall forty stadia long (equal to four and a half miles) to join Athens with Peir?us, and another wall of thirty-five stadia (equal to about four miles) to join it with Phalêrum, would have appeared extravagant even[p. 325] to the sanguine temper of Athenians,—as it certainly would have seemed a few years earlier to Themistoklês himself. Coming as an immediate sequel of great recent victories, and while ?gina, the great Dorian naval power, was prostrate and under blockade, it excited the utmost alarm among the Peloponnesians,—being regarded as the second great stride, at once conspicuous and of lasting effect, in Athenian ambition, next to the fortification of Peir?us. But besides this feeling in the bosom of enemies, the measure was also interwoven with the formidable contention of political parties then going on at Athens. Kimon had been recently ostracized; and the democratical movement pressed by Periklês and Ephialtês—of which more presently—was in its full tide of success, yet not without a violent and unprincipled opposition on the part of those who supported the existing constitution. Now, the long walls formed a part of the foreign policy of Periklês, continuing on a gigantic scale the plans of Themistoklês when he first schemed the Peir?us. They were framed to render Athens capable of carrying on war against any superiority of landed attack, and of bidding defiance to the united force of Peloponnesus. But though thus calculated for contingencies which a long-sighted man might see gathering in the distance, the new walls were, almost on the same grounds, obnoxious to a considerable number of Athenians: to the party recently headed by Kimon, who were attached to the Laced?monian connection, and desired above all things to maintain peace at home, reserving the energies of the state for anti-Persian enterprise: to many landed proprietors in Attica, whom they seemed to threaten with approaching invasion and destruction of their territorial possessions: to the rich men and aristocrats of Athens, averse to a still closer contact and amalgamation with the maritime multitude in Peir?us: lastly, perhaps, to a certain vein of old Attic feeling, which might look upon the junction of Athens with the separate demes of Peir?us and Phalêrum as effacing the special associations connected with the holy rock of[p. 326] Athênê. When, to all these grounds of opposition, we add, the expense and trouble of the undertaking itself, the interference with private property, the peculiar violence of party which happened then to be raging, and the absence of a large proportion of military citizens in Egypt,—we shall hardly be surprised to find that the projected long walls brought on a risk of the most serious character both for Athens and her democracy. If any farther proof were wanting of the vast importance of these long walls, in the eyes both of friends and of enemies, we might find it in the fact, that their destruction was the prominent mark of Athenian humiliation after the battle of ?gos Potamos, and their restoration the immediate boon of Pharnabazus and Konon after the victory of Knidus.“Fight, I say, or shake hands, or—” Here Jack paused, and his teeth were heard to grate harshly together.“If we only manage to get inside,” said Harold, “we shall do well.”every year she produced a spectacular fund-raising all-star show in a唯命是从
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