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observed that, upon the death of Codrus, a magistrate was chosen to succeed, under the title of archon ; this office was continued for nearly three hundred years, when there seemed to be a general desire among the people to be governed by written laws, instead of being subject to the caprice of individuals. For this purpose they pitched upon Draco, as a legislator, a man of tried wisdom and integrity, but whose severity against. human frailties was so great, that his laws were said not to be written with ink but with blood. By his code all crimes were punished with death; and being once questioned as to the justice and propriety of these laws, he replied, “ Small crimes deserve death ; and I have no higher punishment for the greatest.” · The excessive severity of Draco's laws prevented them from being justly administered; sentiments of humanity in the judges, compassion for the accused, and the unwillingness of witnesses to exact so cruel an atonement, conspired to render the laws obsolete before they could be well put into execution. In this manner they counteracted their own purposes, and their excessive rigor paved the way for the most dangerous impunity. · In this distressful state of the commonwealth Solon was applied to for his advice and assistance. His great learning had gained him the reputation of being the first of the seven wise men of Greece, and his known humanity procured him the love and veneration of all his fellow citizens. At the time when Greece had carried the arts of eloquence, poetry, and government, higher than they had been seen among mankind, Solon was considered as one of the foremost in each department. A question was once proposed to the wise men of Greece, which was the most perfect popular government? One replied, that where the laws have no superior. Another, that where the inhabitants are neither too rich nor too poor. A third, that where virtue is honored and vice detested. The fourth, that where dignities are conferred only upon the virtuous. The next, that where the citizens fear blame more than punishment. The sixth, that where the laws are more
regarded than orators. But Solon's opinion seems to have been most respected, viz. that the most perfect popular government was that where an injury done to the meanest subject is an insult upon the whole constitution.
Such was the man to whom the Athenians delegated the power of making a new code of laws. Athens at that time was divided into different parties; but it is said that the rich loved Solon because he was rich, and the poor because he was honest. He was chosen archon with the unanimous consent of all, and then set about giving his countrymen the best constitution they were capable of receiving. He abolished the debts of the poor! repealed all the laws enacted by Draco, except those for murder ; regulated all offices, employ. ments, and magistrates, which he left in the hands of the rich; he distributed the citizens into four classes, according to their incomes; he restored, reformed, and gave dignity to the court of Areopagus, so called from the place where it was held ; and instituted a court superior to this, consisting of four hundred persons who were to judge upon appeals from the Areopagus.
The particular laws instituted by Solon for dispensing justice were numerous and excellent, of which we shall mention a few. He obliged all persons, during public dissensions, to espouse one side or the other, under the penalty of being declared infamous, condemned to perpetual punishment, and to have thei estates confiscated. By this law a spirit of patriotism was encouraged and excited. He permitted every person to espouse the cause of him that was insulted and injured ? thus all virtuous characters became ene mies to the man who did wrong, and the turbulent were overpowered by the number of their opponents.
He abolished the custom of giving portions in marriage with young women, by which he prevented all dishonorable traffic in matrimony, which ought to be encouraged as a connexion calculated for the mutual happiness of both parties, and the advantage of the state. He regulated the rewards to the victors at the Olympic and Isthmian games ; encouraged industry oy discountenancing and punishing idleness. No one was allowed to revile another in public; the magis. trates, who were considered as examples, as well as guardians to the public, were obliged to be very circumspect in their behavior, and it was even death for an archon to be taken drunk.
After Solon had framed these institutions, with many others, he caused transcripts of them to be hung up in the city for all the inhabitants to peruse; and appointed a set of magistrates to revise them carefully, and rehearse them to the people once a year, and then he withdrew from the state.
Not many years after Solon had left Athens, the city became divided into factions, at the head of which were Pisistratus, Megacles, and a person named Ly. curgus; of whom the first by an insinuating behaviour, and by his kindness to the poor, gained the ascendency, and at length seized the government into his own hands. Solon, who had returned to Athens, finding it impossible to stop the public torrent, retired to Cyprus, where he died in the eightieth year of his age.
Pisistratus, though twice deposed, found means to reinstate hiinself, and at his death to transmit the sovereign power to his sons Hippias and Hipparchus. Hipparchus, for an act of private treachery and infamy, was slain in a popular tumult; and Hippias, at length, was obliged to resign all pretensions to sovereign pow. er, and to leave the state in the space of five days.
We cannot, in this sketch, trace the different important changes which happened to the Athenian state during the period of its glory. Its manners and customs were frequently changing ; the genius and learning of its inhabitants were never excelled, perhaps, scarcely ever equalled by the people of any country in the world. Athens was in fact, the school and abode of polite learning, arts, and sciences. The study of poetry, eloquence, philosophy, and mathematics began and arrived almost at perfection in that celebrated city. At length growing vain with too great prosperity at home, or by their success against their enemies, or by that respect and admiration paid them by foreign states, they treated their subjects and allies with insolence, which brought upon themselves the envy and hatred of all Greece. This gave rise to the Peloponnesian war, when the Peloponnesians and others, to tame the insolence of the Athenians, took up arms, under the direction and auspices of the Spartans. The war was carried on with equal fortune for a long time, till at last the Athenians being broken by a great slaughter at the river Ægos, were forced to yield to the Spartan yoke.
We shall close this account with some particulars relating to the Areopagus, which was the senate-house of Athens, and was, as the name denotes, situated on a hill, dedicated to Mars. This court was composed of those persons who had filled the office of archon with dignity and public approbation. It always consisted of men distinguished by the excellence of their character, and the purity of their manners; they determined all causes relating to the civil and religious government of the state ; the custody of the laws, the direction of the public revenues, and the inspection of the morals of the youth were committed to their care ; and so high was the estimation in which this court was held, that Demosthenes asserts, that in his time, they had never passed a judgment that did not satisfy both the plaintiff and defendant. The fame and authority of the Areopagus were so universal, that even foreign states often referred to them the decision of their differences. They usually met three times every month, always in the night, that they might not be interrupted by the business of the day, nor be influenced by objects that excite the passions either of pity or resentment.
YOUNG LADIES, GARLAND.
FEMALE EDUCATION. Female Education is of immense importance, as connected with domestic life. It is at home where man generally passes the greatest portion of his time; where he seeks a refuge from the vexations and em
barrassments of business, an enchanting repose from exertion, a relaxation from care by the interchange of affection; where some of his finest sympathies, tastes, and moral and religious feelings are formed and nourished; where is the treasure of pure disinterested love, such as is seldom found in the busy walks of a selfish and calculating world. Nothing can be more desirable than to make one's domestic abode the highest object of his attachment and satisfaction.
Well ordered home, man's best delight to make,
This be the female dignity and praise. Neither rank nor splendid mansions, nor expensively furnished apartments, nor luxurious repasts can accomplish these actions. They are to be obtained only from the riches of elevated principles, from the nobility of virtue, from the splendor of religious and moral beauty, from the banquet of refined taste, affectionate deportment, and intellectual pleasures. Intelligence and piety throw the brightest sunshine over the dwellings of private life, and these are the results of female education.
Female education is extremely valuable from its imparting an elevated and improved character to domestic intercourse.-Conversation is one of the greatest joys of existence; and the more perfect it is made by the resources of learning, enlarged views of morality, the refinement of taste, the riches of language, and the splendors of imagery, the more exquisite is the joy. It is from education that discourse collects all its original drapery, “its clothing of wrought gold,” its thrilling eloquence, its sweetest music, and all its magical influence over the soul. Intelligence and animated discourse eminently exalts the dignity, and multiplies: the charms of every female that can excel in it.
It is a sacred and homefelt delight,
A sober certainty of waking bliss. She who can sustain an elevated course of conversaVol. I.