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neither acknowledged his authority, nor feared the violent effects of it, paid no regard to so unjust an order.
All the citizens of any consideration in Athens, and who still retained a love of liberty, quitted a place reduced to so harsh and shameful a slavery, and sought elsewhere an asylum and retreat, where they might live in safety. At the head of these was Thrasybulus, a person of extraordinary merit, who beheld with the most lively affliction the miseries of his country. The Lacedæmonians had the inhumanity to endeavour to deprive those unhappy fugitives of this last resource. They published an edict to prohibit the cities of Greece from giving them refuge, decreed that they should be delivered up to the thirty tyrants, and condemned all such as should contravene the execution of this edict, to pay a fine of five talents. Only two cities rejected with disdain so unjust an ordinance, Megara and Thebes; the latter of which made a decree to punish all persons whatsoever, that should see an Athenian attacked by his enemies without doing his utmost to assist him. Lysias, an orator of Syracuse, who had been banished by the Thirty,
raised 500 soldiers at his own expense, and sent them to the aid of the common country of eloquence.
Thrasybulus lost no time. After having taken Phyla, a small fort in Attica, he marched to the Biræus, of which he made himself master. The Thirty flew thither with their troops, and a warm battle ensued. But as the soldiers on one side fought with valour and vigour for their liberty, and on the other with indolence and indifference for the power of others, the success was not doubtful, but followed the better cause. The tyrants were overthrown. Critias was killed upon the spot. And as the rest of the army were taking to flight, Thrasybulus cried out; “Wherefore “ do you fly from me as from a victor, rather than assist
me as the avenger of your liberty? We are not enemies, 6 but fellow-citizens; nor have we declared war against the
city, but against the thirty tyrants.” He continued with bidding them remember, that they had the same origin, country, laws, and religion ; he exhorted them to compassionate their exiled brethren, to restore their country to them, and resume their liberty themselves. This discourse made a due impression. The army, upon their return to Athens, expelled the Thirty, and substituted 10 persons to govern in their room, whose conduct proved no better than that of the former.
It is a matter of surprise, that so sudden, so universal, so tenacious, and so uniform a conspiracy against the public
a Quingentos milites, stipendio suo instructos, in auxilium patriæ comm pnls eloquentia ipisic Justin. 1. v. c. %.
good, should always actuate the several bodies of persons established in the administration of this government. This we have seen in the 400 formerly chosen by Athens ; again in the 30; and now in the 10. And what augments our wonder is, that this passion for tyranny should so immediately possess republicans, born in the bosom of liberty, accustomed to an equality of condition on which it is founded, and nurtured from their earliest infancy in an abhorrence of all subjection and dependency. There must be on the one side in power and authority some violent impulse, to actuate in this manner so many persons, of whom many, no doubt, were not without sentiments of virtue and honour ; and to banish so suddenly the principles and manners natural to them; and on the other an excessive propensity in the mind of man to subject his equals, to rule over them imperiously, to carry him on to the last extremes of oppression and cruelty, and to make him forget at once all laws, nature, and religion.
The Thirty, being fallen from their power and hopes, sent deputies to Lacedæmon to demand aid. It was not Lysander's fault, who was sent to them with troops, that the tyrants were not re-established. But king Pausanius, moved with compassion for the deplorable condition, to which a city, once so flourishing, was reduced, had the generosity to favour the Athenians in secret, and at length obtained a peace for them. It was sealed with the blood of the tyrants, who, having taken arms to reinstate themselves in the government, and being present at a parley for that
. purpose, were all put to the sword, and left Athens in the full possession of its liberty. All the exiles were recalled. Thrasybulus at that time proposed the celebrated amnesty, by which the citizens engaged upon oath that all past transactions should be buried in oblivion. The government was re-established upon its ancient foundation, the laws restored to their pristine vigour, and magistrates elected with the usual forms.
I cannot forbear observing in this place the wisdom and moderation of Thrasybulus, so salutary and essential after so long a continuance of domestic troubles. This is one of the finest events in ancient history, worthy the Athenian lenity and benevolence, and has served as a model to successive ages in good governments.
Never had tyranny been more cruel and bloody than that which the Athenians had just thrown off. Every house was in mourning; every family bewailed the loss of some relation. It had been a series of public robbery and rapine, in which license and impunity had authorized all manner of crimes. The people seemed to have a right to demand the blood of all accomplices in such notorious malversations, and
A Vi dominationis convulsus. Tacit.
even the interest of the state appeared to authorize such a claim, that by exemplary severities such enormous crimes might be prevented for the future. But Thrasybulus rising above those sentiments, from the superiority of his more extensive genius, and the views of a more discerning and profound policy, foresaw, that by acquiescing in the punishment of the guilty, eternal seeds of discord and enmity would remain, to weaken the republic by domestic divisions, which it was necessary to unite against the common enemy, and occasion the loss to the state of a great number of citizens, who might renderit important services with the very view of making amends for past misbehaviour.
Such a conduct after great troubles in a state has always seemed, to the ablest politicians, the most certain and ready means to restore the public peace and tranquillity, a Cicero, when Rome was divided into two factions upon the occasion of Cæsar's death, who had been killed by the conspirators, calling to mind this celebrated amnesty, proposed, after the example of the Athenians, to bury all that had passed in eternal oblivion. 6 Cardinal Mazarin observed to Don Lewis de Haro, prime minister of Spain, that this gentle and humane conduct in France had prevented the troubles and revolts of that kingdom from having any fatal consequences, and that “the king had not lost a foot of land by them to that day;" whereas the inflexible severity of the Spaniards “ was the oc
casion, that the subjects of that monarchy, whenever they “ threw off the mask, never returned to their obedience but
by the force of arms; which sufficiently appears," says he, “ in the example of the Hollanders, who are in the peace“ able possession of many provinces, that not an age ago
were the patrimony of the king of Spain.
Diodorus Siculus takes occasion from the Thirty tyrants of Athens, whose immoderate ambition induced them to treat their country with the most excessive cruelties, to observe how unfortunate it is for c persons in power to want a sense of honour, and to disregard either the present opinion, or the judgment which posterity will form of their conduct: for from the contempt of repu ntion the transition is too common to that of virtue itself, I hey may perhaps, by the dread of their power, suppress for some tinie the public voice, and
a In ædem Telluris convocati sumus ; in quo templo, quantum in me fuit, jeci fundamentum pacis; Atheniensiumque renovavi vetus exemplum, Græcum etiam a verbum usurpavi, quod tum in sedandis discordiis usurpaverat civitas illa ; atque omnein memoriam discordiarum oblivione sempiterna delendam censui. Philip. i. n. 1
b Let. XV. of Card, Maz. c Cætera principibus statim adesse : unum insatiabiliter parandum, prospe ram sui memoriam; nam contempta fama, contemni virtutes-Quo magis socor diam eorum inridere libet, qui præsenti potentia credunt extingui posse etiam sequentis ævi Remoriam-suun cuique decus posteritas rependit. Tacit. Annal. l. iv. e. 30. et 35.
impose a forced silence upon censure: but the more constraint they lay upon it during their lives, the more liberal will it be after their deaths of complaints and reproaches, and the more infamy and imputation will be affixed to their memories. The power of the Thirty, says he, was of a very short duration, but their guilt immortal; their memory will be held in abhorrence throughout all ages, whilst their names will be recorded in history only to render them odious, and to make their crimes detestable. He applies the same reflection to the Lacedæmonians, who, after having made themselves masters of Greece by a wise and moderate conduct, fell from that glory, through the severity, haughtiness, and injustice, with which they treated their allies. There is doubtless no reader, whom their abject and cruel jealousy, in regard to Athens enslaved and humbled, hås not prejudiced against them; nor do we recognize in such behaviour the greatness of mind and noble generosity of ancient Sparta; so much power have the lust of dominion and prosperity over even virtuous,
Diodorus concludes his reflection with a maxim very true, though very little known: “ The greatness and majesty “ of princes,” says he, (and the same may be said of all persons in high authority,)“ can be supported only by humanity " and justice with regard to their subjects; as, on the con
trary, they are ruined and destroyed by a cruel and op
pressive government, which never fails to draw upon them, * the hatred of their people.”
SECT. III. Lysander abuses his power in an extraordinary manner.
He is recalled to Sparta upon the complaint of Pharnaba
a As Lysander had had the greatest share in the celebrated exploits, which had raised the glory of the Lacedæmonians to so high a pitch ; so had he acquired a degree of power and authority, of which there was no example before in Sparta ; but he suffered himself to be carried away by a presumption and vanity still greater than his power. He permitted the Grecian cities to dedicate altars to him as to a god, and to offer sacrifices, and sing hymns and odes in honour of him. The Samians ordained by a public decree, that the feasts celebrated in honour of Juno, and which bore the name of that goddess, should be called “the feast of Lysander." He had always a crowd of poets about him, (who are often a tribe of venal flatterers) that vied with each other in singing his great exploits, for which they were magnificently
a Plut. in Lys. p. 443-445.
paid. Praise is undoubtedly due to noble deeds; but it diminishes their lustre when either extravagant or purchased.
This sort of vanity and ambition, had he stopt there, would have hurt only himself, by exposing him to envy and contempt; but a natural consequence of it was, that through his arrogance and pride, in conjunction with the incessant Hatteries of those around him, he carried the spirit of command and authority to an insupportable excess, and observed no longer any measures either in rewarding or punishing. The absolute goverment of cities with tyrannic power were the fruits of his friendship, or the ties of hospitality with him; and only the death of those he hated, could put an end to his resentment and displeasure, without its being possible to escape his vengeance. What Sylla caused to be inscribed upon his tomb, might
with equal propriety have been engraved upon Lysander's: That no man had ever surpassed him in doing good to his friends, or evil to his enemies.
Treachery and perjury cost him nothing whenever they promoted his designs ; nor was he less cruel than revengeful; of which what he did at Miletus is a sufficient proof. Apprehending that the leaders of the popular party would escape him, he swore not to do them any hurt. Those unfortunate persons gave credit to his oath, and no sooner appeared in public, than they were put to the sword with his consent by the nobility, who killed them all, though no less than 800. The number of those on the side of the people, whom he caused to be massacred in the other cities, is incredible for he did not only destroy to satiate his own resentments, but to serve in all places the enmity, malice, and avarice of his friends, whoin he supported in gratifying their passions by the death of their enemies.
There was no kind of injustice and violence which the people did not suffer under the government of Lysander ; whilst the Lacedæmonians, who were sufficiently informed of his conduct, gave themselves no trouble to correct it. It is too common for those in power to be little affected with the vexations and oppressions laid upon persons of low condition and credit, and to turn a deaf ear to their just complaints, though authority is principally confided to them for the defence of the weak and poor, who have no other protectors. But if such remonstrances are made by a great or powerful person, from whom they may have any thing to hope or fear, the same authority that was slow and drowsy, becomes immediately active and officious; a certain proof that it is not the love of justice that actuates it: this appears here in the conduct of the Lacedæmonian magistrates. Pharnabasus, weary of Lysander's repeated injustices, who ravaged and pillaged the provinces under his command, having sent ambassadors to Sparta to complain