The wiser and more celebrated tyrants were characterized by an extreme modesty of deportment - they assumed no extraordinary pomp, no lofty titles - they left untouched, or rendered yet more popular, the outward forms and institutions of the government - they were not exacting in taxation - they affected to link themselves with the lowest orders, and their ascendency was usually productive of immediate benefit to the working classes, whom they employed in new fortifications or new public buildings; dazzling the citizens by a splendour that seemed less the ostentation of an individual than the prosperity of a state. But the aristocracy still remained their enemies, and it was against them, not against the people, that they directed their acute sagacities and unsparing energies. Every more politic tyrant was a Louis the Eleventh, weakening the nobles, creating a middle class. He effected his former object by violent and unscrupulous means. He swept away by death or banishment all who opposed his authority or excited his fears. He thus left nothing between the state and a democracy but himself; himself removed, democracy ensued naturally and of course. There are times in the history of all nations when liberty is best promoted - when civilization is most rapidly expedited - when the arts are most luxuriantly nourished by a strict concentration of power in the hands of an individual - and when the despot is but the representative of the popular will . At such times did the tyrannies in Greece mostly flourish, and they may almost be said to cease with the necessity which called them forth. The energy of these masters of a revolution opened the intercourse with other states; their interests extended commerce; their policy broke up the sullen barriers of oligarchical prejudice and custom; their fears found perpetual vent for the industry of a population whom they dreaded to leave in indolence; their genius appreciated the arts - their vanity fostered them. Thus they interrupted the course of liberty only to improve, to concentre, to advance its results. Their dynasty never lasted long; the oldest tyranny in Greece endured but a hundred years  - so enduring only from its mildness. The son of the tyrant rarely inherited his father's sagacity and talents: he sought to strengthen his power by severity; discontent ensued, and his fall was sudden and complete. Usually, then, such of the aristocracy as had been banished were recalled, but not invested with their former privileges. The constitution became more or less democratic. It is true that Sparta, who lent her powerful aid in destroying tyrannies, aimed at replacing them by oligarchies - but the effort seldom produced a permanent result: the more the aristocracy was narrowed, the more certain was its fall. If the middle class were powerful - if commerce thrived in the state - the former aristocracy of birth was soon succeeded by an aristocracy of property (called a timocracy), and this was in its nature certain of democratic advances. The moment you widen the suffrage, you may date the commencement of universal suffrage. He who enjoys certain advantages from the possession of ten acres, will excite a party against him in those who have nine; and the arguments that had been used for the franchise of the one are equally valid for the franchise of the other. Limitations of power by property are barriers against a tide which perpetually advances. Timocracy, therefore, almost invariably paved the way to democracy. But still the old aristocratic faction, constantly invaded, remained powerful, stubborn, and resisting, and there was scarcely a state in Greece that did not contain the two parties which we find to-day in England, and in all free states - the party of the movement to the future, and the party of recurrence to the past; I say the past, for in politics there is no present! Wherever party exists, if the one desire fresh innovations, so the other secretly wishes not to preserve what remains, but to restore what has been. This fact it is necessary always to bear in mind in examining the political contests of the Athenians. For in most of their domestic convulsions we find the cause in the efforts of the anti-popular party less to resist new encroachments than to revive departed institutions. But though in most of the Grecian states were two distinct orders, and the Eupatrids, or "Well-born," were a class distinct from, and superior to, that of the commonalty, we should err in supposing that the separate orders made the great political divisions. As in England the more ancient of the nobles are often found in the popular ranks, so in the Grecian states many of the Eupatrids headed the democratic party. And this division among themselves, while it weakened the power of the well-born, contributed to prevent any deadly or ferocious revolutions: for it served greatly to soften the excesses of the predominant faction, and every collision found mediators between the contending parties in some who were at once friends of the people and members of the nobility. Nor should it be forgotten that the triumph of the popular party was always more moderate than that of the antagonist faction - as the history of Athens will hereafter prove.