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And again about the cancellation of debts, and those who were in slavery before but were liberated by the Shaking-off of Burdens:“But what did I leave unachieved, of all
The ends for which I did unite the people?
Whereof before the judgement-seat of Time
The mighty mother of the Olympian gods,
Black Earth, would best bear witness, for 'twas I
Removed her many boundary-posts1 implanted:
Ere then she was a slave, but now is free.
And many sold away I did bring home
To god-built Athens, this one sold unjustly,
That other justly; others that had fled
From dire constraint of need, uttering no more
Their Attic tongue, so widely had they wandered,
And others suffering base slavery
Even here, trembling before their masters' humors,
I did set free. These deeds I make prevail,
Adjusting might and right to fit together,
And did accomplish even as I had promised.
And rules of law alike for base and noble,
Fitting straight justice unto each man's case,
I drafted. Had another than myself
Taken the goad, unwise and covetous,
He'd not have held the people! Had I willed
Now that pleased one of the opposing parties,
And then whatever the other party bade them,
The city had been bereft of many men.
Wherefore I stood at guard on every side,
A wolf at bay among a pack of hounds!

Solon Fr. 36

1 i.e. posts marking mortgaged estates.

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