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as before, still he met the leaders of the various factions privately and endeavoured to arrange their differences and reconcilo them to one another. Peisistratus appeared to pay more attention to him than the others, for he was crafty and pleasant of speech, a protector of the poor, and a man of moderation even in his quarrels. The qualities which he had not, he affected to possess, giving himself out to be a cautious and law-abiding man, who loved evenhanded justice and was enraged at any revolutionary proceedings. Thus ho deceived the people; but Solon soon saw through him, and detected his plans before any ane else. He was not shocked, but endeavoured to turn him from his purpose by advice, saying to him and to others that if his desire to be first and his wish to make himself master could be removed, there would be no more excellent and virtuous citizen than Peisistratus.
At this time Thespis was beginning to introduce the drama, and the novelty of his exhibition attracted many peoplo, although the regular contests were not yet introduced. Solon, who was fond of sceing sights and gaining knowledge, and whoso old ago was spent in leisure and amusements and good fellowship, went to see Thespis, who acted in his own play, as the ancient custom was. After the play was over, he asked him if he was not ashamed to tell so many lies beforo so many people. When Thespis answered that there was no harm in say. ing and doing these things in jest, Solon violently struck the ground with his stick, saying, “ If we praise and approve of such jests as these, we shall soon find people jesting with our business."
XXX. When Peisistratus wounded himself and was driven into the market-place in a cart to excito the people, whom he told that he had been so treated by his enemies because he defended the constitution, and while he was surrounded by a noisy crowd of sympathisers, Solon came near him and said, “Son of Hippokrates, you are dishonourably imitating Homer's Ulysses. You are doing this to deccive your fellow citizens, while he mutilated himself to deceivo the enemy." Upon this, as the people were willing to take up arms on behalf of Peisistratus, they assembled at the Pays, where Ariston proposed that a body-guard of fifty club-bearers should be assigned to Peisistratus. Selon opposed this, urging many arguments, like what we read in his
pocms : “ You liang upon a crafty speaker's words," and again,
" Each alono a fnx in cunning,
You grow stupid when you meet." But as be saw that the poor were eager to serve Peisistratus, while the rich held back from cowardice, he went away, after saying that he was winer than the one class, and braver than the other; wiser, namely, than those who did not understand what was going on, and braver than those who did understand, but did uot daro to oppose the despotism with which they were threatened.
The peoplo carried tho proposal, and would not be so mcan as to make any stipulation with Peisistratus about the number of his body-guard, but permitted him to keep as many as he pleased until he scized the Acropolis. When this took place, the city was convulsed; Megakles and tho other descendants of Alkmeon fled, but Solon, although he was now very old and had no ono to stand by him, nevertheless came into the market-place and addressed the citizens, reproaching them for their folly and xmissness, and urging them to make a final effort to retain their freedom. It was then that he made the memorable remark that, in former days it would have been easier for them to havo prevented despotism from appearing amongst them, but that now it would be more glorious to cut it down, when it had arrived at its full growth. However, as no one listened to him, because of the general terror, he went home, armed himself, and took his post in the street outside his door, saying, “I havo dono all I could for my country and her laws." After this he remained quiet, though his friends urged him to leave Athens. He, how. over, wroto poems reproaching the Athenians
“Through your own cowardice you suffered wrong,
Blu no then yourselves and not the gous for this ;
And rightly do you now your freedom miss.”
despot would surely put him to death, and when they asked him what he trusted to, that he performed such mad freaks, he answered, “ To my age." But Peisistratus, after ho became established as sovereign, showed such marked favour to Solon that he even was advised by him, and received his approval in several cases. For he enforced most of Solon's laws, both observing them himself and obliging his friends to do so. Indeed, when accused of murder before the court of the Areopagus, ho appeared in duo form to stand his trial, but his accuser let the case fall through. He also made other laws himself, one of which is that those who are maimed in war shall be kept at the public expense. Herakleides says that this was dono in imitation of Solon, who had already proposed it in tho caso of Thersippus. But Theophrastus tolls us that it was not Solon, but Pcisistratus, who made tho law about idlences, by means of which he ronderod tho city more quiet, and tho country better cultivatod.
Solon also attempted to write a great poem about the fablo of Atlantis,' which he had learned from the chroniclors of Sais particularly concerned the Athenians, but he did not finish it, not, as Plato says, for want of leisure, but rather because of his advanced age, which made him fcar that the task was too great for him. His own words tell us that he had abundance of leisure
“Old I grow, but over learning," and,
" Venus And Bacchus aro all my care,
And the Muses, that charm the Licarts of men." Plato eagerly took in hand the scheme of the Atlantis,' as though it were a fine site for a palace, which had come to be his by inheritance, still unbuilt on. lIo placed in the beginning of it such splendid entrance-halls and vestibules as we find in no other tale or legond or poem, but, as he began the work too late, he died before he was able to finish it; so that the moro wo enjoy what ho has written, the more we grieve over what is lost. As the temple of Olympio Zeus among the temples of Athens, so the Atlantis” is the only one among Plato's many noble writings that is unfinished.
Solon lived on into the reign of Peisistratus for a long timo, according to Herakleides of Pontus, but lern than two years, according to Phanias of Ercsus. For Peisistratus became despot in the archonship of Komius, and Phanias tells us that Solon died during the archonship of Hegesistratus, Komias' successor. The story that his ashes were scattered round the island of Salamis is legendary and improbable, yet it is confirmed by many trustworthy writon, amongst whom is the philosophez Aristotle
LIFE OF POPLICOLA
I. As a parallel to Solon wo shall take Poplicola, who was honoured with this name by the Romans, his original name having been Publius Valerius, a supposed descendant of that Valerius who in ancient times was especially instrumental in making the Romans and Sabines cease to be enemies and becomo ono people; for it was he who persuaded the two kings to meet and make terms of peace. Valerius, a descendant of this hero, was a man of eminence in Rome, which was then ruled by tho kings, because of his eloquenco and wealth. llo always spoke boldly on tho silo of justice, and assisted the poor and needy with such kindness that it was clear that, in caso of a rovuiation. he would become the first man in the state.
Tarquinius Superbus, the king, had not come to his throne justly, but by wicked and lawless violence, and as he reigned tyrannically and insolently, the people hatod him, and scized the opportunity of the death of Lucretin, after her dishonour, to drive him out. Lucius Brutus, who was determined to change the form of government, applied to Valerius first of all, and with his vigorous assistanco drovo out tho king. After these events Valerius kept quict, as long as it seemed likely that the people would choose a single general to replace their king, because he thought that it was Brutus's right to bo elected, as ho had been the leader of the revolution. Ilowever the people, disgusted with the idea of monarchy, and thinking that they could more easily endure to be ruled by two men, proposed that two consuls should be chosen. Valerius now becano a candidate, hoping that he and Brutus would be elected ; but he was not chosen. Brutus, instead of Valerius, whom he would have preferred, had as * collcaguo Tarquinius Collatinus, the husband of Lucretii,