Creon, who, with his sister, had been among the first to find his way to the Agora that morning, rushed forward, and, flinging himself at the ruler’s feet, cried “O Pericles! forgive and save the maid. She is my sister. I am the culprit. The group is the work of my hands, the hands of a slave.”
An intense silence fell upon the multitude, and then went up a mighty shout,—“To the dungeon, to the dungeon with the slave.”
“As I live, no!” said Pericles, rising. “Not to the dungeon, but to my side bring the youth. The highest purpose of the law should be the development of the beautiful. The gods decide by that group that there is something higher in Greece than an unjust law. To the sculptor who fashioned it give the victor’s crown.”
And then, amid the applause of all the people, Aspasia placed the crown of olives on the youth’s brow, and tenderly kissed the devoted sister who had been the right hand of genius.
I. THE FIRST TURNING POINT
David Farragut was acting as cabin boy to his father, who was on his way to New Orleans with the infant navy of the United States. The boy thought he had the qualities that make a man. “I could swear like an old salt,” he says, “could drink as stiff a glass of grog as if I had doubled Cape Horn, and could smoke like a locomotive. I was great at cards, and was fond of gambling in every shape. At the close of dinner one day,” he continues, “my father turned everybody out of the cabin, locked the door, and said to me, ‘David, what do you mean to be?’
“‘I mean to follow the sea,’ I said.
‘"Follow the sea!’ exclaimed father, ’yes, be a poor, miserable, drunken sailor before the mast, kicked and cuffed about the world, and die in some fever hospital in a foreign clime!’
“‘No, father,’ I replied, ’I will tread the quarterdeck, and command as you do.’
“’No, David; no boy ever trod the quarterdeck with such principles as you have and such habits as you exhibit. You will have to change your whole course of life if you ever become a man.’
“My father left me and went on deck. I was stunned by the rebuke, and overwhelmed with mortification. ’A poor, miserable, drunken sailor before the mast, kicked and cuffed about the world, and die in some fever hospital!’ ’That’s my fate, is it? I’ll change my life, and I will change it at once. I will never utter another oath, never drink another drop of intoxicating liquor, never gamble,’ and, as God is my witness,” said the admiral, solemnly, “I have kept these three vows to this hour.”
The event which proved David Glasgow Farragut’s qualities as a leader happened before he was thirteen.