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honour; and I charge you to keep it secret from all excepting
Pausanias, if you would not bring me to destruction. Had I not greatly
at heart the common welfare of Greece, I should not have come to
tell you; but I am myself a Greek by descent, and I would not
willingly see Greece exchange freedom for slavery. Know then that
Mardonius and his army cannot obtain favourable omens; had it not been
for this, they would have fought with you long ago. Now, however, they
have determined to let the victims pass unheeded, and, as soon as
day dawns, to engage in battle. Mardonius, I imagine, is afraid
that, if he delays, you will increase in number. Make ready then to
receive him. Should he however still defer the combat, do you abide
where you are; for his provisions will not hold out many more days. If
ye prosper in this war, forget not to do something for my freedom;
consider the risk I have run, out of zeal for the Greek cause, to
acquaint you with what Mardonius intends, and to save you from being
surprised by the barbarians. I am Alexander of Macedon."
As soon as he had said this, Alexander rode back to the camp,
and returned to the station assigned him.
Meanwhile the Athenian generals hastened to the right wing, and
told Pausanias all that they had learnt from Alexander. Hereupon
Pausanias, who no sooner heard the intention of the Persians than he
was struck with fear, addressed the generals, and said,-
"Since the battle is to come with to-morrow's dawn, it were well
that you Athenians should stand opposed to the Persians, and we
Spartans to the Boeotians and the other Greeks; for ye know the
Medes and their manner of fight, since ye have already fought with
them once at Marathon, but we are quite ignorant and without any
experience of their warfare. While, however, there is not a Spartan
here present who has ever fought against a Mede, of the Boeotians
and Thessalians we have had experience. Take then your arms, and march
over to our post upon the right, while we supply your place in the
left wing."
Hereto the Athenians replied- "We, too, long ago, when we saw that
the Persians were drawn up to face you, were minded to suggest to
you the very course which you have now been the first to bring
forward. We feared, however, that perhaps our words might not be
pleasing to you. But, as you have now spoken of these things
yourselves, we gladly give our consent, and are ready to do as ye have
Both sides agreeing hereto, at the dawn of day the Spartans and
Athenians changed places. But the movement was perceived by the
Boeotians, and they gave notice of it to Mardonius; who at once, on
hearing what had been done, made a change in the disposition of his
own forces, and brought the Persians to face the Lacedaemonians.
Then Pausanias, finding that his design was discovered, led back his
Spartans to the right wing; and Mardonius, seeing this, replaced his
Persians upon the left of his army.
When the troops again occupied their former posts, Mardonius
sent a herald to the Spartans, who spoke as follows:-
"Lacedaemonians, in these parts the men say that you are the
bravest of mankind, and admire you because you never turn your backs
in flight nor quit your ranks, but always stand firm, and either die
at your posts or else destroy your adversaries. But in all this
which they say concerning you there is not one word of truth; for
now have we seen you, before battle was joined or our two hosts had
come to blows, flying and leaving your posts, wishing the Athenians to
make the first trial of our arms, and taking your own station
against our slaves. Surely these are not the deeds of brave men.
Much do we find ourselves deceived in you; for we believed the reports
of you that reached our ears, and expected that you would send a
herald with a challenge to us, proposing to fight by yourselves
against our division of native Persians. We for our part were ready to
have agreed to this; but ye have made us no such offer- nay! ye seem
rather to shrink from meeting us. However, as no challenge of this

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