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fessed by the nobles, and to the custom of not being diftinguithed by family names, which prevented all those cabals that arise from a family spirit, and which are so dangerous to a republic.
The Achenians were the greatest manufacturers and traders of Greece ; but their commerce would have been more profitable, if they had not been neceffitated to supply Athens with grain from foreign markets, which carried vaft fums of money out of their country. As merchants, bonefty does not appear to have been any part of their character; for all the arts and frauds which are known among the modern commercial speculators, were pradised by the ancient Greeks; whose ingenuity was fo fertile in evil, as well as in good, that they rendered it impoffible for posterity to invent either new vices, or new virtues. The merchants, who frequented Athens and the Pyreum, understood the art of diffeminating false reports, in order to raise che price of grain. They imported their corn chiefly from the Taurica Chersonesus, or what is now called the Crimea; and the firft idea of bills of exchange is supposed to have been occafioned by the danger of the seas which they were obliged to navigate, and the depredations of the pirates who frequented them. Ifocrates, in his oration intitled pats STIXOS, informs us, that a stranger having brought a cargo of corn to Athens, gave a merchant there, whose name was Stratocles, a bill of exchange on some place on the coast of the Euxine sea, where money was due to bim. But, as the Greeks placed no great reliance on each other's honefty, Stratocles fecured himself by means of a banker in Achens, who was to reimburse him, if the person on whom the bill was drawn should refuse to pay it. It is uncertain whether the insurance of ships, and their cargoes, againft the dangers of the fea, was ever practised among the Athenians ; but, from an oration of Demosthenes against Zenothemis, it appears that baratry was not unknown to them; that owners of thips borrowed large sums of the bankers, under pretence of purchasing cargoes, and then fraudulently loading their vessels with stones and land, found means to link them at sea,
One of the causes of the flourishing Atate of commerce in Athens, was, that trade was perfectly free; that the state conftantly refused to grant any exclusive privileges, or to favour any individuals by concessions contrary to the political equality of all. Here M. De Pauw takes occasion to make some obfervations on the East Indian companies of England and Holland, the justice of which we shall not dispute ; but we fear that the evil is too deeply rooted, and too universally extended, to be ever redressed, at least while the dictates of natural equity, and of political expediency, are so widely different.
Among the Greeks, the principal banks were held by the priests of Jupiter, Apollo, and Diana, in the temples at Olym
pus, Delphos, and Ephesus. In Rome, the temples of Saturn, of Juno, and of Castor and Pollux, were used for a fimilar purpose. On the ruins of these, M. de Pauw obferves, are now founded the Datery's Office, the Apostolical Chamber, the Bank of the Holy Ghost, and whatever the wit of man can invent to enrich individuals at the expence of the community.
On the constitution of Athens the Inquirer bestows the highest encomiums; but he is not blind either to its inherent vices, or to its incidental inconveniences. He justly diftinguishes between the democracy, as established by the laws, and that turbulent laocracy into which it too often degenerated ; a diftinction much neglected by the partizans of governors, whether monarchical or aristocratical. To urge the confusion and mifery of a laocracy, as an argument against the possibility or ex. pediency of a democracy, is as unfair, as to confound the mo. narchy of Great Britain with that of Turkey, or the political conftitution of the United Provinces with the oppressive aristo. cracy of Venice.
From M. de Pauw's observations on distributive justice, especially in criminal cases, we apprehend that he is unacquainted with this part of the English conftitution; which, though not without some incidental inconveniences, is perhaps as near perfection as any human institution can be ; and much more so than those which he so highly praises : at least we cannot help thinking that juries, under the regulation of our laws, constitute a very competent tribunal, infinitely better adapted to a regular and equitable administration of justice, than the court of fifteen hundred judges by which Demofthenes was tried.
He exposes, with great judgment, the defects of the Amphictyonic council, and concludes his account of it with the following sensible observation : To a want of power in this affembly to enforce its decifions, and to the conclufion of treaties by different states, without its knowlege or sanction, may the ruin of Greece be ascribed; but to this ruin no nation of Greece contributed lo largely as the Lacedemonians, who were consinually in rebellion, ever in arms, and always overbearing. At laft the Greeks expelled them from this assembly ; but this exclusion ought to have taken place several centuries before, from the moment that the Lacedemonians, contrary to every principle of equity and justice, presumed to make war on the Mefscnians, who were a confederate state.
• Warlike nations,' says M. de Pauw, ' are generally the obe jects of the most extravagant admiration ; and historians, who are feldom philosophers, discern nothing in antiquity fo grand, as thel pretended exploits of the Lacedemonians; who, nevertheless, ought to be ranked among the barbarous nations, as they cultivated neither arts nor sciences, and had no knowlege, except that of forging arms to pillage those who were less powerful than themselves; till
they rendered the city of Sparta what Plato calls the Lion's den, in which all the treasures of Greece were amassed. It was easy to trace the paths by which this immense wealth was conveyed thither, but it was imposible to discover any marks of its return.'
M. de Pauw mentions, with great contempt, M. DE GOURCY’s differtation on the Lacedemonians, which, he says, was crowned by the Academy of Inscriptions, much in the fame manner as the tragedies of Dionyfius were crowned at Athens. It is difficult, he adds, to find words fufficiently strong, to expose the folly of his enthusiasm concerning Lycurgus, which betrays a total ignorance of ancient history, in wbich no person was less known than this supposed lawgiver: nor is this astonithing, as his pretended Institutions were never committed to writing; nor have we one of them extant, the authenticity of which is confirmed by such evidence as will stand the teit of sound criticism.
Hellanicus, the most ancient Greek historian, as quoted by Strabo, denies that Lycurgus was the legislator of Sparta. Long before his birth, Lacedemon had been subject to a dyarchy, and the five annual Ephori were not created till 130 years after his death. The Dorians, before they conquered Laconia, had a senate of old men, an institution common to all savage nations, and which, in a state of nature, seems to be pointed out by instinct. The most probable story is, that Lycurgus, baving been in Crete, introduced among his countrymen, fome of the military customs and exercises that he had observed in that island, which was inhabited by a pumber of independent tribes, who were always engaged in war among themselves. These inftitutions were well adapted to the circumstances of the Spartans, who were few in number, and lived in a country wbich they held in subjection, by reducing its ancient inhabitants to a state of slavery; so that they were as much in dread of their slaves, as the Cretan states were of each other. Their treatment of the poor Helotes was too notorious to be mentioned here, and coo inhuman not to be detested.
M. De Pauw shews that the pretended equality of possessions, which has been ascribed to the insticutions of Lycurgus, never did, and never could exift. According to him, all that M. DE MABLY has advanced concerning the Spartans, is deftitute even of probability; and he observes that this mode of writing on subjects, of which little can be determined, with certainty, inHead of contributing to the progress of literature and knowlege, is an obstacle to both; as it tends to substitute chimeras for realicy, and conjecture for fact. We ought, he says, to judge of the nature of political institutions, from the effeds they produce in the country where they are established. Wherever we behold Bries fucceffively falling into poverty and ruin, we may conclude that the government is oppreslive and unjuft; because, instead of creacing, it destroys; and incessantly pafles from one state of devaftation, to another, worse than the preceding. Of this, the descripcion of Laconia affords a striking instance. This country, after having long been under the dominion of the Spartans, instead of flourishing, as when under the ancient Achæans, bore the appearance of a wretched land, depopulated, stained with blood, and covered with the ruins of its cities. Such will ever be the fate of governments purely military ; they rise to sudden greatness by making conquests, and fall as suddenly by losing them. All this happened to Lacedæmon, in consequence of a series of events; an attention to which is sufficient to detect the delusions of both ancients and moderns, on this head.
The'moral character of the Lacedæmonians is here represented in a very unfavourable light, and even their valour is degraded below that of the other nations of Greece. It appears, says the inquirer, that, without reckoning those cases in which their armies were panic-struck, and routed even by women, they lost full as many decisive battles as they won, and, of these, many were gained by corrupting the generals of the enemy. They were what the Greeks called Thrafydeiloi, bold in stratagems and ambuscades; but cowardly in the open field; and were formidable, rather from their ferociry and perfidy, than from any military virtue. They were lo corrupt, that, in whatever cases it was disgraceful to give or to receive money, they gave and received it. Pausanias afferts that they were the first among the Greeks, who rendered victory' venal. It was by corrupting Aristocrates king of Arcadia, that they conquered the Messenians, and by corruption they terminated the Peloponnesian war. Ariftotle, distinguishing the Ephori by the appellation of "SNIOI, or venal, fays, they were destitute of every sense of honour, and in Greece, the Spartans were generally termed A1qpoxspoels, or, greedy of dishoneft gain.
Plato observes, that even the best politicians could not define the government of Lacedæmon: for this, M. de Pauw accounts, by remarking that it was unequal, and varied with regard to the several classes of men who were subject to it. With respect to the Helotes, it must be considered as entirely despotic; they were the most wretched of llaves ; for, beside being forced to till the soil, and serve in the army, they might be murdered with impunity : and with respect to the tributary inhabitants of Laconia, who had no vote in the national assembly, nor any share in the civil government; the constitution of Sparta was an oligarchy, that is, a few oppressed the many, as the nobles of Venice oppress the citizens, and the inhabitants of the continent; but, when considered with regard to the Spartans of the Doric race, who were the predominant nation, the constitution was an imperfect demo: cracy, fettered by the authority of two hereditary generals, under APP, Rev, Vol, LXXIX,
the title of kings. That the government was conftitutionally democratic is evident, because the people alone had the right of giving a sanction to the laws, of making war or peace, of creating senators, and of electing the Ephori. The confusion and misery which resulted from a form of government thus wretchedly constituted, are well illuftrated by a short recapitulation of some of the principal events of their history.
We have been, on the whole, agreeably entertained by the perusal of these volumes; as we have been by the former produd ions of this lively, wild, and fanciful, yet diligent investigator,
* For our account of M. de Pauw's Récherches Philofophiques sur les Americains, & c. see Rev, vol. xlii. p. 515.
ART. XII. Flora Roffica, feu Stirpium Imperii Rofici per Europam et Afiam indige
narum Descriptiones et Icones. Jusu & Aufpiciis CATHARINÆ II. AUGUSTÆ edidit P. S. Pallas. Tomi I. Pars I. Royal Folio.
Petersburgh* FLORA is literally the goddess of lowers ; but by modern
botanists her name is used to signify a book containing descriptions of those plants that are indigenous or natives of certain countries or districts. It cannot therefore be translated but by a periphrafis, although universally received and understood by botanists.
The variety of climate, ficuation, and soil, in the valt extent of the Ruffian empire must neceffarily afford a variety of vegetable productions. The northern provinces contain few plants that are not to be found in other northern parts of Europe ; but the southern provinces, which stretch out toward the Caspian and Euxine seas, and are parched by the sun, produce plants that are not only common to Germany and Hungary, but many, especially in the dry and salt deserts, that are natives of Spain, Asia Minor, and even of Arabia. Toward the eaft, Siberia, occupying the whole of the northern part of Afia, furnishes plants that are peculiar to it ; and in warm situations, such as are common to Tibet and China, and Kamtschatka, the eastern boundary of the empire, contains many vegetables well known in America. Hence the great extent of the vegetable kingdom in the Russian dominions is sufficiently apparent, as is also the magnitude of the work which M. Pallas hath undertaken.
The abilities of this indefatigable naturalist are so well known in Europe, that his name alone ftamps a value on any work to which it may be prefixed. The merit, however, of the superb publication now before us, is intrinsic : and the character of the Author and the value of the book may be said mutually to support each other. * Imported by Mr. Sewell, London,