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he might see equal causes of justification, both | trious man, if he is not speedily sent into banin the motives and in the results. The first ishment? Is this the boasted intelligence of was absolutely necessary for the defeat of the the masses? Is this the wisdom which demoaristocratic party, and the removal of restric- cratic institutions bring to bear upon public tions on those energies which instantly found affairs ? Is this the reward which, by a perma-the most glorious vents for action; the second nent law of nature, freedom must ever provide was justified by a similar necessity, that pro- for the most illustrious of its champions? Why duced similar effects. To impartial eyes a is it necessary that great men and beneficent people may be vindicated without traducing statesmen or commanders should invariably
august and compli, driven to oppose. cuser and defendant may be both innocent.” Fox, of Nelson nor Wellington. The Roman
Here then is the key to the hideous ingrati- republic, until the fatal period when the autude of the Athenian people to their two most thority of the aristocracy was overthrown by illustrious benefactors, Aristides and Cimon. the growing encroachments of the plebeians, They obstructed the Movement Party: they held retained all its illustrious citizens, with a few by the constitution, and endeavoured to bring well-known excrptions, in its own bosom: and back a mixed form of government. This the tomb of the Scipios still attests the numheinous offence was, in the eyes of the Athe- ber of that heroic race, who, with the exception nian democracy, and their apologist, Mr. Bul- of the illustrious conqueror of Hannibal, the wer, amply sufficient to justify their banish-victim, like Themistocles, of democratic jeament: a proceeding, he says, which was right, lousy, were gathered to the tomb of their fa even although they were innocent of the charges thers. There is no necessity in a well-regulated laid against them—as if injustice can in any state, where the different powers are duly bacase be vindicated by state necessity, or the lanced, of subjecting the illustrious to the osform of government is to be approved which tracism: good government provides against requires for its maintenance the periodical danger without committing injustice. sacrifice of its noblest and most illustrious Mr. Bulwer has candidly stated the pernicitizens!
cious effect of those most vicious of the many In another place, Mr. Bulwer observes vicious institutions of Athens--the exacting
“ Themistocles was summoned to the ordeal tribute from their conquered and allied states of the ostracism, and condemned by the majo- to the relief of the dominant multitude in the rity of suffrages. Thus, like Aristides, not ruling city; and the fatal devolution to the punished for offences, but paying the honourable whole citizens of the duties and responsibility penalty of rising by genius to that state of eminence, of judicial power. On the first subject he obwhich threatens danger to the equality of republics. serves :
“He departed from Athens, and chose his “Thus at home and abroad, time and forrefuge at Argos, whose hatred to Sparta, his tune, the occurrence of events, and the happy deadliest foe, promised him the securest pro- accident of great men, not only maintained the tection,
present eminence of Athens, but promised, to “Death soon afterwards removed Aristides ordinary foresight, a long duration of her glory from all competitorship with Cimon; accord- and her power. To deeper observers, the picing to the most probable accounts he died at ture might have presented dim, but prophetic Athens; and at the time of Plutarch his monu- shadows. It was clear that the command ment was still to be seen at Phalerum. His Athens had obtained was utterly disproporcountrymen, who, despite all plausible charges, tioned to her natural resources--that her greatwere never ungrateful except where their lib- ness was altogether artificial, and rested partly erties appeared imperilled, (whether rightly or upon moral rather than physical causes, and erroneously our documents are too scanty to partly upon the fears and the weakness of her prove,) erected his monument at the public neighbours. A sterile soil, a limited territory, charge, portioned his three daughters, and a scanty population--all these-the drawbacks awarded to his son Lysimachus a grant of one and disadvantages of nature--the wonderful hundred minæ of silver, a plantation of one energy and confident daring of a free state hundred plethra of land, and a pension of four might conceal in prosperity ; but the first cadrachmæ a day, (double the allowance of an lamity could not fail to expose them to jealous Athenian ambassador.")
and hostile eyes. The empire delegated tc the There can be no doubt that the admission Athenians, they must naturally desire to retain here candidly made by Mr. Bulwer is well- and to increase; and there was every reason founded; and that jealousy of the eminence of to forebode that their ambition would soon extheir great national benefactors, or anxiety to ceed their capacities to sustain it. As the state remove aristocratic barriers to further popular become accustomed to its power, it would learn innovations, was the real cause of that ingra- to abuse it. Increasing civilization, luxury, and titude to their most illustrious benefactors, art, brought with them new expenses, and which has left so dark a stain on the Athenian Athens had already been permitted to indulge character. But can it seriously be argued that with impunity the dangerous passion of ex. that constitution is to be approved, and held acting tribute from her neighbours. Dependence up for imitation, which in this manner re- upon other resources than those of the native quires that national services should almost population has ever been a main cause of the invariably be followed by confiscation and ex- destruction of despotisms, and it cannot fail, ile; and anticipates the overthrow of the public sooner or later, to be equally pernicious to the liberties from the ascendency of every illus- / republics that trust to it. The resources of
taxation confined to freemen and natives, are the old oligarchy was yet so formidable, it aimost incalculable: the resources of tribute might have been difficult to secure justice to wrung from foreigners and dependents, are the poorer classes, while the judges were sesternly limited and terribly precarious--they lected from the wealthier. But justice to all rot away the true spirit of industry in the classes became a yet more capricious uncerpeople that demand the impost--they implant tainty when a court of law resembled a popuineradicable hatred in the states that concede lar hustings. it.”
“If we intrust a wide political suffrage to, There can be no doubt that these observa- the people, the people at least hold no trust for tions are well-founded; and let us beware others than themselves and their posteritylest they become applicable to ourselves. Al- they are not responsible to the public, for they ready in the policy of England has been evinced are the public. But in law, where there are two a sufficient inclination to load colonial industry parties concerned, the plaintiff and defendant, with oppressive duties, to the relief of the do- the judge should not only be incorruptible, but minant island, as the enormous burdens im- strictly responsible. In Athens the people beposed on West India produce, to the entire re- came the judge; and, in offences punishable by lief of the corresponding agricultural produce at fine, were the
very party interested in procuring home, sufficiently demonstrates. And if the pre- condemnation; the numbers of the jury preventsent democratic ascendency in this country ed all responsibility, excused all abuses, and should continue unabated for any considerable made them susceptible of the same shameless time, we venture to prophesy, that if no other and excesses that characterize self-elected corporamore immediate cause of ruin sends the com- tions--from which appeal is idle, and over monwealth to perdition, it will infallibly see which public opinion exercises no control. its colonial empire break off, and consequently These numerous, ignorant, and passionate asits maritime power destroyed, by the injustice semblies, were liable at all times to the heatş done to, or the burdens imposed on, its colo- of party, to the eloquence of individuals nial possessions, by the impatient ruling mul- to the whims, and caprices, the prejudices, the titude at home, who, in any measure calculated impatience, and the turbulence, which must to diminish present burdens on themselves, at ever be the characteristics of a multitude orally whatever cost to their colonial dependencies, addressed. It was evident also that from serwill ever see the most expedient and popular vice in such a court, the wealthy, the eminent, course of policy.*
and the learned, with other occupation or The other enormous evil of the Athenian amusement, would soon seek to absent themconstitution--viz., the exercise of judicial selves. And the final blow to the integrity powers of the highest description by a mob and respectability of the popular judicature of several thousand citizens, is thus described was given at a later period by Pericles, when by our author:
he instituted a salary, just sufficient to tempt “A yet more pernicious evil in the social the poor and to be disdained by the affluent, state of the Athenians was radical in their con- to every dicast or juryman in the ten ordinary stitution,-it was their courts of justice. Pro- courts. Legal science became not the proceeding upon a theory that must have seemed fession of the erudite and the laborious few, specious and plausible to an inexperienced and but the livelihood of the ignorant and idle mulinfant republic, Solon had laid it down as a titude. The canvassing-mthe cajoling-the principle of his code, that as all men were in- bribery-that resulted from this, the most terested in the preservation of law, so all men vicious, institution of the Athenian democracy might exert the privilege of the plaintiff and are but too evident and melancholy tokens
. As society grew more complicated, of the imperfection of human wisdom. Life, the door was thus opened to every species of property, and character, were at the hazard of vexatious charge and frivolous litigation. The a popular election. These evils must have common informer became a most harassing been long in progressive operation; but perand powerful personage, and made one of a haps they were scarcely visible till the fatal fruitful and crowded profession: and in the innovation of Pericles, and the flagrant ex. very capital of liberty there existed the worst cesses that ensued allowed the people themspecies of espionage. But justice was not selves to listen to the branding and terrible thereby facilitated. The informer was regarded satire upon the popular judicature, which is with universal hatred and contempt; and it is still preserved to us in the comedy of Aristoeasy to perceive, from the writings of the phanes. great comic poet, that the sympathies of the “At the same time, certain critics and his. Athenian audience were, as those of the Eng- torians have widely and grossly erred in suplish public at this day, enlisted against the posing that these courts of the sovereign man who brought the inquisition of the law to multitude' were partial to the poor, and hostile the hearth of his neighbour.
to the rich. All testimony proves that the fact "Solon committed a yet more fatal and in- was lamentably the reverse. The defendant curable error when he carried the democratic was accustomed to engage the persons of rank principle into judicial tribunals. He evidently or influence whom he might number as his considered that the very strength and life of friends, to appear in court on his behalf. And his constitution rested in the Heliæa-a court property was employed to procure at the bar the numbers and nature of which have been of justice the suffrages it could command at a already described. Perhaps, at a time when political election. The greatest vice of the How soon has this prophecy been accomplished ? | wealthy could purchase pardon-by interest
democratic Heliæa was, that by a fine the Sept. 5, 1844.
the great could soften law. But the chances Lacedæmon were wont to hold their bacchana. were against the poor man. To him litigation lian orgies, huge fragments rolled into the was indeed cheap, but justice dear. He had suburbs. The greater portion of the city was much the same inequality to struggle against absolutely overthrown; and it is said, probain a suit with a powerful antagonist, that he bly with exaggeration, that only five houses would have had in contesting with him for an wholly escaped the shock. This terrible calaoffice in the administration. In all trials rest- mity did not cease suddenly as it came; its ing on the voice of popular assemblies, it ever concussions were repeated; it buried alike has been and ever will be found, that, cæteris men and treasure: could we credit Diodorus, paribus, the aristocrat will defeat the plebeian.” no less than twenty thousand persons perished
These observations are equally just and lu- in the shock. Thus depopulated, impoverished, minous; and the concluding one in particular, and distressed, the enemies whom the cruelty as to the tendency of a corrupt or corruptible of Sparta nursed within her bosom, resolved judicial multitude to decide in favour of the to seize the moment to execute their venrich aristocrat in preference to the poor ple- geance, and consummate her destruction. Unbeian, in an author of Mr. Bulwer's prepos- der Pausanias, we have seen before, that the sessions, highly creditable. The only surpris- Helots were already ripe for revolt. The death ing thing is how an author, who could see so of that fierce conspirator checked, but did not clearly, and express so well, the total incapa- crush, their designs of freedom. Now was city of a multitude to exercise the functions the moment, when Sparta lay in ruinsof a judge, should not have perceived, that, for now was the rnoment to realize their dreams. the same reason, they are disqualified from From field to field, from village to village, the taking an active part to any good or useful news of the earthquake became the watchword purpose in the formation of laws or practical of revolt. Up rose the Helots--they armed administration of government, except by pre- themselves, they poured on a wild and gather serving a vigilant eye on the conduct of others. ing and relentless multitude resolved to slay, In fact, the temptations to the poor to swerve by the wrath of man, all whom that of nature from the path of rectitude, or conscience, in had yet spared. The earthquake that levelled the case of government appointments or mea- Sparta, rent her chains; nor did the shock sures, are just as much the stronger than in create one chasm so dark and wide as that bethe judgment of individuals, as the subjects tween the master and the slave. requiring investigation are more intricate or “ It is one of the sublimest and most awful difficult, the objects of contention more import- spectacles in history--that city in ruins the ant and glittering, and the wealth which will earth still trembling the grim and dauntless be expended in corruption more abundant. soldiery collected amidst piles of death and And there in truth lies the eternal objection to ruin; and in such a time, and such a scene, democratic institutions, that, by withdrawing the multitude sensible, not of danger, but of the people from their right province-that of wrong, and rising, not to succour, but to rethe censors or controllers of government-and venge:-all that should have disarmed a feevesting in them the perilous powers of actual bler enmity, giving fire to theirs; the dreadest administration or direction of affairs, they ne- calamity their blessing dismay their hope: it cessarily expose them to such a deluge of flat- was as if the Great Mother herself had sumtery or corruption, from the eloquent or wealthy moned her children to vindicate the longcandidates for power, as not merely unfits them abused, the all-inalienable heritage derived for the sober or rational discharge of any pub- from her; and the stir of the angry elements lic duties, but utterly confounds and depraves was but the announcement of an armed and their moral feelings; and induces, before the solemn union between Nature and the Optime when it would naturally arrive, that uni- pressed. versal corruption of opinion which speedily “ Fortunately for Sparta, the danger was not attaches no other test to public actions but altogether unforeseen. After the confusion success, and leads men to consider the exer- and horror of the earthquake, and while the cise of public duties as nothing but the means people, dispersed, were seeking to save their of individual elevation or aggrandizement. effects, Archidamus, who, four years before,
We have given some passages from Mr. had succeeded to the throne of Lacedæmon, Bulwer from which we dissent, or in the prin- ordered the trumpets to sound as to arms. ciples of which we differ. Let us now, in That wonderful superiority of man over matjustice both to his principles and his powers ter which habit and discipline can effect, and of description, give a few others, in which we which was ever so visible amongst the Sparcordially concur, or for which we feel the high- tans, constituted their safety at that hour. est admiration. The first is the description of Forsaking the care of their property, the Sparthe memorable conduct of the Laconian go- tans seized their arms, flocked around their vernment, upon occasion of the dreadful revolt king, and drew up in disciplined array. In of the Helots which followed the great earth- her most imminent crisis, Sparta was thus quake which nearly overthrew Lacedæmon, saved. The Helots approached, wild, disorand rolled the rock of Mount Taygetus into the derly, and tumultuous; they came intent only streets of Sparta
to plunder and to slay; they expected to find “An earthquake, unprecedented in its vio- scattered and affrighted foes—they fouınd a ence, occurred in Sparta. In many places formidable army; their tyrants were still their throughout Laconia, the rocky soil was rent lords. They saw, paused, and fled, scattering asunder. From Mount Taygetus, which over themselves over the country-exciting all they hung the city, and on which the women of met to rebellion, and, soon, joined with the
Messenians, kindred to them by blood and an- the minuteness of ornament all the brilliancy cient reminiscences of heroic struggles, they of colours;—such as in the interior of Italian seized that same Ithomë which their hereditary churches may yet be seen-vitiated, in the last Aristodemus had before occupied with unfor- by a gaudy and barbarous taste. Nor did the gotten valour. This they fortified; and occu- Athenians spare any cost upon the works that pying also the neighbouring lands, declared were, like the tombs and tripods of their heopen war upon their lords. As the Messe- roes, to be the monuments of a nation to disnians were the more worthy enemy, so the tant ages, and to transmit the most irrefragable general insurrection is known by the name of proof that the power of ancient Greece was the Third Messenian War."
not an idle legend. The whole democracy The incident here narrated of the King of were animated with the passion of Pericles; Sparta, amidst the yawning of the earthquake and when Phidias recommended marble as a and the ruin of his capital, sounding the trum- cheaper material than ivory for the great stapets to arms, and the Lacedæmonians assem- tue of Minerva, it was for that reason that bling in disciplined array around him, is one ivory was preferred by the unanimous voice of of the sublimest recorded in history. - The the assembly. Thus, whether it were extravapencil of Martin would there find a fit subject gance or magnificence, the blame in one case, for its noblest efforts. We need not wonder the admiration in another, rests not more with that a people, capable of such conduct in such the minister than the populace. It was, ina moment, and trained by discipline and habit deed, the great characteristic of those works, to such docility in danger, should acquire and that they were entirely the creations of the maintain supreme dominion in Greece. people: without the people, Pericles could not
The next passage with which we shall gra- have built a temple, or engaged a sculptor. tify our readers, is an eloquent eulogium on a The miracles of that day resulted from the marvellous topic-the unrivalled grace and enthusiasm of a population yet young-full
of beauty of the Athenian edifices, erected in the the first ardour for the beautiful-dedicating time of Pericles.
to the state, as to a mistress, the trophies ho“Then rapidly progressed those glorious fa- nourably won, or the treasures injuriously brics which seemed, as Plutarch gracefully extorted—and uniting the resources of a naexpresses it, endowed with the bloom of a tion with the energy of an individual, because perennial youth. Still the houses of private the toil, the cost, were borne by those who citizens remained simple and unadorned; still succeeded to the enjoyment and arrogated the were the streets narrow and irregular; and glory.” even centuries afterwards, a stranger entering This is eloquently said: but in searching Athens would not at first have recognised the for the causes of the Athenian supremacy in claims of the mistress of Grecian art. But to taste and art, especially sculpture and architecthe homeliness of her common thoroughfares ture, we suspect the historic observer must and private mansions, the magnificence of her look for higher and more spiritual causes than public edifices now made a dazzling contrast. the mere energy and feverish excitement of The Acropolis that towered above the homes democratic institutions. For, admitting that and thoroughfares of men-a spot too sacred energy and universal exertion are in every for human habitation-became, to use a pro- age the characteristic of republican states, how verbial phrase, “a city of the gods. The citi- did it happen that, in Athens alone, it took so zen was everywhere to be reminded of the early and decidedly the direction of taste and majesty of the STATEhis patriotism was to art? That is the point which constitutes the be increased by the pride in her beautyhis marvel, as well as the extraordinary perfection taste to be elevated by the spectacle of her which it at once acquired. Many other nations splendour. Thus flocked to Athens all who in ancient and modern times have been rethroughout Greece were eminent in art. Sculp- publican,-Corinth, Tyre, Carthage, Sidon, tors and architects vied with each other in Sardis, Syracuse, Marseilles, Holland, Switzeradorning the young Empress of the Seas; then land, America,--but where shall we find one rose the masterpieces of Phidias, of Callicrates, which produced the Parthenon or the Apollo of Menesicles, which, even either in their Belvidere, the Tragedies of Æschylus or the broken remains, or in the feeble copies of imi- wisdom of Socrates, the thought of Thucydides tators less inspired, still command so intense or the visions of Plato ? How has it happened a wonder, and furnish models so immortal. that those democratic institutions, which in And if, so to speak, their bones and relics ex- modern times are found to be generally as. cite our awe and envy, as testifying of a love-sociated only with vulgar manners, urban dislier and grander race, which the deluge of time cord, or commercial desires, should there have has swept away, what, in that day, must have elevated the nation in a few years to the highbeen their brilliant effect-unmutilated in their est pinnacle of intellectual glory-that, instead fair proportions---fresh in all their lineaments of Dutch ponderosity, or Swiss slowness, of and hues? For their beauty was not limited American ambition, or Florentine discord, re. to the symmetry of arch and column, nor their publicanism on the shores of Attica produced materials confined to the marbles of Pentelli- the fire of Demosthenes, the grace of Euripides, cus and Paros. Even the exterior of the the narrative of Xenophon, the taste of Phidias ? temples glowed with the richest harmony of After the most attentive consideration, we find colours, and was decorated with the purest it impossible to explain this marvel of marvels gold; an atmosphere peculiarly favourable by the agency merely of human causes; and both to the display and the preservation of art, are constrained to ascribe the placing of the permitted to external pediments and friezes all eye of Greece on the shores of Attica to the same invisible hand which has fixed the won- bucklers, waited with a stern patience the ders of vision in the human forehead. There time of their leader and of Heaven. Then feli are certain starts in human progress, and more Callicrates, the stateliest and strongest soldier especially in the advance of art, which it is in the whole army, lamentng, not death, but utterly hopeless to refer to any other cause but that his sword was as yet undrawn against the immediate design and agency of the Al- the invader. mighty. Démocratic institutions afford no sort “And still sacrifice after sacrifice seemed to of explanation of them: we see no Parthenons, forbid the battle, when Pausanias, lifting his nor Sophocles, nor Platos in embryo, either in eyes that streamed with tears, to the temple America since its independence, or France of Juno, that stood hard by, supplicated the during the Revolution, nor England since the tutelary goddess of Cithæron, that if the fates passing of the Reform Bill. When we reflect forbade the Greeks to conquer, they might al that taste, in Athens, in thirty years after the least fall like warriors. And while uttering Persian invasion, had risen up from the in- this prayer, the tokens waited for Lecame fantine rudeness of the Ægina Marbles to the suddenly visible in the victims, and the augurs faultless peristyle and matchless sculpture of announced the promise of coming victory. the Parthenon; that in modern Italy, the art of “ Therewith, the order of battle rang instantpainting rose in the lifetime of a single in- ly through the army, and, to use the poetical dividual, who died at the age of thirty-eight, comparison of Plutarch, the Spartan phalanx from the stiff outline and hard colouring of suddenly stood forth in its strength, like some Pietro Perrugino to the exquisite grace of fierce animal-erecting its bristles and preRaphael: and that it was during an age when paring its vengeance for the foe. The ground the barons to the north of the Alps could nei- broken in many steep and precipitous ridges, ther read nor write, and when rushes were and intersected by the Asopus, whose sluggish strewed on the floors instead of carpets, that stream winds over a broad and rushy bed, was the unrivalled sublimity of Gothic Cathedrals unfavourable to the movements of cavalry, was conceived, and the hitherto unequalled and the Persian foot advanced therefore on skill of their structure attained: we are con- the Greeks. strained to admit that a greater power than “Drawn up in their massive phalanx, the that of man superintends human affairs, and Lacedæmonians presented an almost impenethat, from the rudest and most unpromising trable body--sweeping slowly on, compact and materials, Providence can, at the appointed serried—while the hot and undisciplined vaseason, bring forth the greatest and most ex- lour of the Persians, more fortunate in the alted efforts of human intellect.
skirmish than the battle, broke itself in a As a favourable specimen of our author's thousand waves upon that moving rock. Pourpowers of military description, no unimport-ing on in small numbers at a time, they fell ant quality in an historian, we shall gratify our fast round the progress of the Greeks--their readers by his account of the battle of Platea; armour slight against the strong pikes of the most vital conflict to the fortunes of the Sparta-their courage without skilltheir species which occurred in all antiquity, and numbers without discipline; still they fought which we have never elsewhere read in so gallantly, even when on the ground seizing graphic and animated a form
the pikes with their naked hands, and with the “As the troops of Mardonius advanced, the wonderful agility which still characterizes the rest of the Persian armament, deeming the Oriental swordsmen, springing to their feet, task was now not to fight but to pursue, raised and regaining their arms, when seemingly overtheir standards and poured forward tumultu- come; wresting away their enemy's shields, and ously, without discipline or order.
grappling with them desperately hand to hand. “ Pausanias, pressed by the Persian line, “Foremost of a band of a thousand chosen and if not of a timorous, at least of an irre- Persians, conspicuous by his white charger, solute, temper, lost no time in sending to the and still more by his daring valour, rode MarAthenians for succour. But when the latter donius, directing the attack-fiercer wherever were on their march with the required aid, his armour blazed. Inspired by his presence, they were suddenly intercepted by the auxiliary the Persians fought worthily of their warlike Greeks in the Persian service, and cut off from fame, and, even in falling, thinned the Spartan the rescue of the Spartans.
ranks. At length the rash but gallant leader “The Spartans beheld themselves thus left of the Asiatic armies received a mortal wound unsupported, with considerable alarm. Yet his skull was crushed in by a stone from the their force, including the Tegeans and Helots, hand of a Spartan. His chosen band, the boast was fifty-three thousand men. Committing of the army, fell fighting round him, but his himself to the gods, Pausanias ordained a death was the general signal of defeat and flight. solemn sacrifice, his whole army awaiting the Encumbered by their long robes, and pressed result, while the shafts of the Persian bowmen by the relentless conquerors, the Persians fled poured on them near and fast. But the entrails in disorder towards their camp, which was presented discouraging omens, and the sacri- secured by wooden entrenchments, by gates, fice was again renewed. Meanwhile the Spar- and towers and walls. Here, fortifying thema tans evinced their characteristic fortitude and selves as they best might, they contended sucdiscipline--not one man stirring from his cessfully, and with advantage, against the ranks until the auguries should assume a Lacedæmonians, who were ill skilled in assault more favouring aspect; all harassed, and and siege. some wounded, by the Persian arrows, they “ Meanwhile, the Athenians obtained the yet, seeking protection only beneath their broad / victory on the plains over the Greeks of Mar;