Reflections on the Rise and Fall of the Ancient Republicks: Adapted to the Present State of Great Britain
C. P. Wayne, 1806 - 335
Plutarch takes notice of a very remarkable law of Solon's,1 "which declared every man infamous, who, in any sedition or civil dissension in the state, should continue neuter, and refuse to side with either party." Aulus Gellius,2 who gives a more circumstantial detail of this uncommon law, affirms the penalty to be "no less than confiscation of all the effects, and banishment of the delinquent." Cicero mentions the same law to his friend Atticus,3 and even makes the punishment capital, though he resolves at the same time not to conform to it under his present circumstances, unless his friend should advise him to the contrary. Which of these relators has given us the real penalty annexed to this law by Solon, is scarce worth our inquiry. But I cannot help observing, that strange as this law may appear at first sight, yet if we reflect upon the reasons of it, as they are assigned by Plutarch and A. Gellius, it will not appear unworthy of that great legislator.
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able affairs Agis ambition amongst ancient appear arms army Athenians Athens authority body brought carried Carthage Carthaginians cause chief citizens command conduct consequently constitution corruption countrymen dangerous death defeat effects elected enemies equal evident faction fatal force former fortune friends gave give greatest greatly Greece hands Hannibal historians honour hundred immediately interest Italy judged kings lands late least liberty luxury Lycurgus manners master means measures military nature never object observes occasion once opinion opposition ordered party passions Patricians Persians persons Plut Plutarch present preserve prevailed principle proof proper proved publick raised reason received reduced reign remarkable republick respect Romans Rome ruin sect seems senate sent showed soon Spartans success superior Thucyd took universe virtue wealth whilst whole
Strona 261 - The several and various characters he sustained in his life and writings, habituated him to feign and dissemble his opinions. He may be considered as an orator, a statesman, a philosopher, characters all equally personated ; and no one more the real man than the other, but each of them taken up and laid down for the occasion. This appears from the numerous inconsistencies found in him throughout the course of his sustaining them.
Strona vii - To promote the publick good of the community of which we are born members, in proportion to our situation and abilities, is our secondary duty as men and citizens. I judged therefore a close attention to the study of history the most useful way of employing that time which my country recess afforded, as it would...
Strona 185 - ... which extinguishes public virtue, and puts a final period to liberty. Thus the Assyrian empire sunk under the arms of Cyrus with his poor but hardy Persians. The extensive and opulent empire of Persia fell an easy prey to Alexander and a handful of Macedonians. And the Macedonian empire, when enervated by the luxury of Asia, was compelled to receive the yoke of the victorious Romans. The descendants of the heroes, philosophers, orators, and free citizens of Greece are now the slaves of the Grand...
Strona xii - Truth will ever be unpalatable to those who are determined not to relinquish error, but can never give offence to the honest and well-meaning: for the plaindealing remonstrances of a friend differ as widely from the rancour of an enemy, as the friendly probe of a surgeon from the dagger of an assassin.
Strona 335 - ... in his researches after even the vestiges of her ruins. . . . And Rome, the mistress of the universe, which once contained whatever was esteemed great or brilliant in human nature, is now sunk into the ignoble seat of whatever is esteemed mean and infamous. . . . Should Faction again predominate and succeed in its destructive views, and the dastardly maxims of luxury and effeminacy universally prevail amongst us, .... such, too, will be the fate of Britain...
Strona 334 - Let us throw but one glance upon the present situation of these once glorious republicks, and we cannot help reflecting upon the final and direful catastrophe, which will eternally result from the prevalence of ambitious and selfish faction supported by corruption. Greece, once the nurse of arts and sciences, the fruitful mother of philosophers, lawgivers and heroes, now lies prostrate under the iron yoke of ignorance and barbarism .... Carthage, once the mighty sovereign of the ocean, and the centre...