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court at Syracuse, chusing his plots from the Mar. gites, and rejecting the mummeries of the Satyrs, would naturally compose his drama upon a more regular and elaborate plan.

NUMBER CXXVIII.

In the plan, which I have laid down for treating of the literature of the Greeks, and to which I have de. voted part of these papers, I have thought it adviseable for the sake of perspicuity to preface the account with an abstract of the Athenian history, within those separate periods which I mean to review. In conformity to this plan 1 hare already brought down my narration to the death of Pisistratus, and this has been followed with a state of the drama at that period : I now propose to proceed with the history to the battle of Marathon inclusive, beyond which I shall have no occasion to follow it, and shall then resume my account of the literature of the Greeks, which will comprehend all the dramatic authors, both tragic and comic, to the death of Menander.

At the decease of Pisistratus the government of Athens devolved quietly upon Hipparchus, who associated his brother Hippias with him in power. Pisistratus had two other sons by a second wife, who were named Jophon and Thessalus ; the elder died in his father's life-time, and the other, who was of a turbulent and unruly spirit, did not long

survive him,

VOL. XL,

Hipparchus was not less devoted to science and the liberal arts than his father had been : the famous Phæa, who had personated Minerva, shared his throne, and though he communicated with his brother Hippias on matters of government, and imparted to him so great a portion of authority, that they were jointly styled Tyrants of Athens, yet it seems evident that the supreme power was actually vested in Hipparchus; and it is extraordinary, for the space of fourteen years, until his death, his government was updisturbed by any disagreement with his brother or complaint from his subjects.

The most virtuous citizens of Athens, in the freest hours of their republic, look back upon this reign as the most enviable period in their history. Plato himself asserts, that all the fabulous felicity of the golden reign of Saturn was realised under this of Hipparchus: Thucydides gives the same testimony, and says that his government was administered with out envy or reproach : the tradition of the golden days of Hipparchus was delivered down through many generations, and became proverbial with the Athenians. A prince, who had deserved so well of letters, was not likely to be forgotten by poets, hise torians, or philosophers; but such was the public tranquillity under his administration, that the pa. triots and declaimers for freedom in the most popular times have not scrupled to acknowledge and applaud it.

Hipparchus not only augmented the collection of books in the public library, but engaged several eminent authors to reside at Athens : he took Simonides of Ceos into his pay at a very high stipend, and sent a fifty-oared galley for Anacreon to Teos, inviting him with many princely gifts to live at his court: he caused the poems of Homer to be pub.

licly recited at the great assembly of the Panathenæa, and is generally supposed to have suggested the plan of collecting the scattered rhapsodies of the Iliad and Odyssey, so happily executed by his father. His private hours he devoted to the society of men of letters, and on these occasions was accompanied by Simonides the lyric poet, Onomacritus, Anacreon and others. He did not confine his ata tention to the capital of his empire, but took a method, well adapted to the times he lived in, of reforming the understandings of his more distant and less enlightened subjects in the villages, by erecting in conspicuous parts of their streets or market-places statues of the god Mercury, placed upon terms or pedestals, on which he caused to be inscribed some brief sentence or maxim, such as — Know thyself -Love justice Be faithful to thy friend'. and others of the like general utility.

It is not easy to devise a project better calculated for the edification of an ignorant people than these short but comprehensive sentences, so easy to be retained in the memory, and which, being recommended both hy royal and divine authority, claimed universal attention and respect.

This excellent and most amiable prince was as. sassinated by Harmodius and Aristogiton, and a revolution being in the end effected favourable to the popular government of Athens, the assassins were celebrated to all posterity as the assertors of liberty and the deliverers of their country.

Of all the rulers of mankind, who have fallen by the hand of violence, how few have been sacrificed in the public spirit of justice, and how many have fallen by the private stab of revenge! When we contemplate the elder Brutus brandishing the dagger of Lucretia, we cannot help recollecting that Tarquinius Superbus

had murdered his brother. Hipparchus is said to have put an affront upon Harmodius's sister by dismissing her from a religious procession, in which she was walking at the festival of the Panathenæa : Harmodius was the handsomest youth in Attica, and the prince is by the same account charged with having conceived an unnatural passion for him, in which he was repulsed. If this account were to be credited in the whole, it would be an incident of so unmanly a sort on the part of Hipparchus, as to leave an everlasting mark of disgrace upon a cha. racter otherwise meritorious.

The general prevalence of a turpitude, which neither the religion nor the laws of Greece actually prohibited, may

induce our belief of the charge against Hipparchus, as far as concerns Harmodius ; but the supposed insult to the sister is irreconcileable to his character. It were far more natural to suppose his resentment should have been pointed against Aristogiton, who was the favorite of Harmodius: such circumstances as we have now related would have carried their own confutation upon the face of them, even though historians had not greatly varied in their accounts of the transaction; but when so respectable an author as Plato gives the narrative a turn entirely opposite to the above, whilst modern historians have only retailed vulgar errors without examining testimonies of better credit, I hope I may be allowed the equitable office of summing up the evidences in this mysterious transaction, for the purpose of rescuing a most amiable character from misrepresentation.

Plato in his Hipparchus says That the current account above given was not the account believed and adopted by people of the best condition and re. pute; that the insult vulgarly supposed to have been put upon the sister of Harmodius by Hipparchus was ridiculous and incredible upon the face of it ; that Harmodius was the disciple of Aristogiton, a man of ordinary rank and condition ; that there was a mutual affection between the pupil and his más. ter; that they had admitted into their society a young Athenian of distinction, whose name had escaped his memory, of whom they were very fond, and whom they had by their conversation and in. structions impressed with high ideas of their talents and erudition; that this young Athenian having found access to the person of Ilipparchus, attached himself to his society, and began to fall off from his respect for his former preceptors, and even treated their inferiority of understanding with contempt and ridicule; that thereupon they conceived such hatred and resentment against the prince for this preference shewn by their pupil for his company, and for the method he had taken of mortifying their vanity, that they determined upon dispatching Hipparchus by assassination, which they accordingly effected.'

Justin gives a different account and says~ That the affront was put upon the sister of Harmodius, not by Hipparchus but by his brother Diocles; that Ilarmodius with his friend Aristogiton entered into a conspiracy for cutting off all the reigning family at once, and pitched upon the festival of the Pana, thenaa as a convenient time for the execution of their plot, the citizens being then allowed to wear arms; that the complete execution of their design was frustrated by one of their party being observed in earnest discourse with Hippias, which occasioned them to suspect a discovery, and so precipitated their attack before they were ready; that in this attack however they chanced upon Ilipparchus, and put him to death..

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