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Greeks with open force, took other measures to ruin them. They endeavoured covertly to excite divisions amongst them, and to foment troubles by considerable sums of money, which they found means to convey sometimes to Athens, and sometimes to Sparta. They applied themselves so successfully to keep up a balance of power between those two republics, that the one could never entirely reduce the other. They granted them only slight aids, that could effect nothing decisive, in order to undermine them insensibly, and exhaust both parties gradually, by weakening them by the means of one another. It is in this kind of conduct, that policy makes the ability of ministers consist; who from the recess of their cabinets, without noise or commotion, without any great expenses, or setting numerous armies on foot, effect the reduction of the states whose power gives them umbrage, either by sowing domestic divisions amongst them, or by promoting the jealousy of their neighbours, in order to set them at variance with each other.

We must confess, however, that this kind of policy gives us no very favourable idea of the kings of Persia. To reduce themselves, powerful as they were, to such mean, obscure, and indirect measures, was to confess their weakness, and their inability, as they believed, to attack their enemies with open force, and to reduce them by honourable means. Besides, is it consistent with justice to employ such methods in regard to people against whom there is no foundation of complaint, who live in peace under the faith of treaties, and whose sole crime is the apprehension of their being one day in a condition to do hurt? Is it lawful by secret corruptions to lay snares for the fidelity of subjects, and to be the accomplice of their treasons, by putting arms into their hands against their native country?

What glory and renown would not the kings of Persia have acquired, if, content with the vast and rich dominions which Providence had given them, they had employed their good offices, power, and even treasures, to reconcile the neighbouring people with each other; to remove their jealousies, to prevent injustice and oppression; and if, feared and honoured by them all, they had made themselves the mediators of their differences, the security of their peace, and the guarantee of their treaties? Can any conquest, however great, be compared with such glory?

Tissapnernes acted upon other principles and had no thought but of preventing the Greeks from being in a condition to attack the Persians, their common enemy. He therefore entered freely into the views of Alcibiades, and at the same time that he declared himself openiy for the Lacedæmonians, did not fail to assist the Athenians underhand, and by a thousand secret methods ; deferring the payment of the Lacedæmonian fleet, and retarding the arrival of the Phænician ships, of which he had long kept them in hopes. He omitted no occasion of giving Alcibiades new marks of his friendship and esteem, which rendered that general equally considerable to both parties. The Athenians, who had sadly experienced the effects of having drawn his anger upon them, were not now to repent their passing sentence of condemnation upon him. Alcibiades also on his side, extremely sorry to see the Athenians in so mournful a situation, began to fear that if the city of Athens were to be entirely ruined, he might fall into the hands of the Spartans, who mortally hated him.

SECT. II. The Return of Alcibiades to Athens negotiated, upon cont

dition of establishing the Aristocratical, in the room of the Democratical, Government. T'issaphernes concludes a New Treaty with the Lacedæmonians.

a The Athenians were intent upon nothing so much as Samos, where they had all their forces. From thence with their fleet they reduced all the cities that had abandoned them under their obedience, kept the rest in their duty, and found themselves still in a condition to make head against their enemies, over whom they had obtained several advantages. But they were afraid of Tissaphernes, and the 150 Phænician ships which he hourly expected; and rightly perceived, that if so powerful a fleet should join the enemy, there was no longer any safety for their city. Alcibiades, who was well informed of all that passed among the Athenians, sent secretly to the principal of them at Samos, to sound their sentiments, and to let them know, that he was not averse to returning to Athens, provided the administration of the republic were put into the hands of the great and powerful, and not left to the populace, who had expelled him. Some of the principal officers went from Samos, with design to concert with him the proper measures for the success of that undertaking. He promised to procure the Athenians not only the favour of Tissaphernes, but of the king himself, upon condition they would abolish the democracy or popular government; because the king would place more confidence in the engagements of the nobility, than upon

those of the inconstant and capricious multitude. The deputies lent a willing ear to these proposals, and conceived great hopes of exonerating themselves from part

Thucyd. 1. viii. p. 579-587. Plat. in Alcit. p. 204-206

of the public impositions, because as they were the richest of the people, the burden lay heaviest upon them, and of making their country triumph after having possessed themselves of the government. At their return, they began by bringing over such as were most proper to share in their design; after which they caused a report to be spread amongst the troops that the king was inclined to declare in favour of the Athenians, and to pay the army, upon condition that Alcibiades were reinstated, and the popular government. abolished. That proposal surprised the soldiers, and was generally rejected at first; but the charm of gain, and the hope of a change to their advantage, soon softened what was harsh and shocking in it, and even made them ardently desire the recall of Alcibiades.

Phrynicus, one of their generals, rightly judging that Alcibiades cared as little for an oligarchy as he did for the democracy, and that in decrying the people's conduct, he had no other view than to acquire the favour and confidence of the nobility for his own re-establishment had the boldness to oppose their resolutions, which were about to take place. He represented, that the change they meditated might very probably excite a civil war to the ruin of the state; that it was very unlikely that the king of Persia would prefer the alliance of the Athenians to that of the Spartans, which was so much more advantageous to him; that this change would not retain the allies in their duty, nor bring over those who had renounced it, as they would persist in preferring their liberty: that the government of a small number of rich and powerful persons would not be more favourable to either the citizens or allies, than that of the people, because ambition was the great cause of all misfortunes in a republic, and the rich were the sole promoters of all troubles for the aggrandizing of themselves; that a state suffered more oppressions and violences under the rule of the nobility, than under that of the people, whose authority kept the former within due bounds, and was the asylum of such as they desired to oppress; that the allies were too well acquainted with these truths from their own experience, to want any lessons upon the subject.

These remonstrances, wise as they were, had no effect Pisander was sent to Athens with some of the same faction, to propose the return of Alcibiades, the alliance of Tissa phérnes, and the abolition of the democracy. They represented, that by changing the government, and recalling Alcibiades, Athens might obtain a powerful aid from the king of Persia, which would be a certain means to triumph over Sparta. Upon this proposal great numbers exclaimed against it, and especially the enemies of Alcibiades, They alleged

amongst other reasons, the imprecations pronounced by the priests, and all the other ministers of religion, against him, and even against such as should propose to recall him. But Pisander, advancing into the midst of the assembly, demanded, whether they knew any other means to save the republic in the deplorable condition to which it was reduced : and as it was admitted there were none, he added, that the preservation of the state was the question, and not the authority of the laws, which might be provided for in the sequel ; but at present there was no other method for the attainment of the king's friendship and that of Tissaphernes. Though this change was very offensive to the people, they gave their consent to it at length, with the hope of re-establishing the democracy hereafter, as Pisander had promised; and they decreed that he should go with ten more deputies to treat with Alcibiades and Tissaphernes, and that in the meantime Phrynicus should be recalled, and another general appointed to command the fleet in his stead.

The deputies did not find Tissaphernes in so good a disposition as they had been made to hope. He was afraid of the Lacedæmonians, but was unwilling to render the Athenians too powerful. It was his policy, by the advice of Alcibiades, to leave the two parties always at war, in order to weaken and consume them by each other. He therefore made great difficulties. He demanded at first, that the Athenians should abandon all Ionia to him, and afterwards insisted upon their adding the neighbouring islands. Those demands being complied with, he further required, in a third interview, permission to fit out a fleet, and to cruise in the Grecian seas; which had been expressly provided against in the celebrated treaty concluded with Artaxerxes. The deputies thereupon broke up the conferences with indignation, and perceived that Alcibiades had imposed upon them.

Tissaphernes, without loss of time, concluded a new treaty with the Lacedæmonians; in which, what had displeased in the two preceding treaties was retrenched. The article, which yielded to Persia the countries in general, that had been in the actual possession of the reigning king Darius, or his predecessors, was limited to the provinces of Asia. The king engaged to defray all expenses, of the Lacedæmonian fleet, in the condition it then was, till the arrival of that of Persia; after which they were to support it themselves; unless they should choose that the king should pay it, to be reimbursed after the conclusion of the war. It was further agreed, that they should unite their forces, and continue the war, or make peace, by common consent. Tissaphernes, to keep his promise, sent for the fleet of Phænicia. "This treaity was made in the eleventh year of Darius, and the twentieth of the Peloponnesian war.

SECT. III. The whole Authority of the Athenian Government having

been vested in four hundred Persons, they make a tyrannical Abuse of their Power, and are deposed. Alcibiades is recalled. After various Accidents, and several considerable Victories, he returns in Triumph to Athens, and is appointed Generalissimo. He causes the great Mysteries to be celebrated, and departs with the Fleet.

a Pisander, at his return to Athens, found the change he had proposed at his setting out much forwarded, to which he soon after put the last hand. To give a form to this new government, he caused 10 commissaries with absolute power to be appointed, who were however at a certain fixed time to give the people an account of what they had done. At the expiration of that term, the general assembly was summoned, wherein their first resolution was, that every one should be admitted to make such proposals as he thought fit, without being liable to any accusation of infringing the law, or penalty in consequence. It was afterwards decreed, that a new council should be formed, with full power to administer the public affairs, and to elect new magistrates. For this purpose five presidents were established, who nominated 100 persons, including themselves. Each of these chose and associated three more at his own pleasure, which made in all the 400, in whom an absolute power was lodged. But to amuse the people, and to console them with a shadow of popular government, whilst they instituted a real oligarchy, it was said that the 400 should call a council of 5,000 citizens, to assist them when they should judge it necessary. The council and assemblies of the people were held as usual;

nothing was done however but by the order of the 400. The people of Athens were deprived in this manner of their liberty, which they had enjoyed almost 100 years, after having abolished the tyranny of the Pisistratidæ.

This decree being passed without opposition, after the separation of the assembly, the 400, armed with daggers, and attended by 120 young men, whom they made use of when any execution required it, entered the senate, and compelled the senators to retire, after having paid them the arrears

their appointments. They elected new magistrates out of their own body, observing the usual ceremonies upon such occasions. They did not think proper to recall those who were banished, lest they should authorize the return of Alcibiades, whose uncontrollable spirit they apprehended, and who would soon have made himself master of the peer

a Thucyd, le Tiii. p. 590—594. Plut, ip Alcib. p. 205. VOL, III

a

due upon

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