Treating them as if they stood upon their trial, he began with their past lives; and insisted that Andranodorus and Themistus were the authors of every act of iniquity and impiety which had been perpetrated since the death of Hiero.
“For what,” said he, “did the boy Hieronymus ever do of his own accord? What could he do who had scarce as yet arrived at puberty? His tutors and guardians had ruled, while the odium rested on another. Therefore they ought to have been put to death either before Hieronymus or with him.
Nevertheless those men, deservedly marked out for death, had attempted fresh crimes after the decease of the tyrant; first openly, when, closing the gates of the island, Andranodorus declared himself heir to the throne, and kept that as proprietor which he had held only in the capacity of guardian;
afterwards, when betrayed by those who were in the island and blockaded by the whole body of the citizens who held the Achradina, he endeavoured to obtain, by secret and artful means, that sovereignty which he had in vain attempted openly;
whom not even benefits and honorary distinction could move, for even this conspirator against the liberty of his country was created praetor among her liberators.
But that wives of royal blood had infected them with this thirst for royalty, one having married the daughter of Hiero, the other the daughter of Gelon.”
On hearing these words, a shout arose from every part of the assembly, that “none of these women ought to live, and that not one of the royal family should be left alive.”
Such is the nature of the populace; they are either cringing slaves or haughty tyrants. They know not how with moderation to spurn or to enjoy that liberty which holds the middle place;
nor are there generally wanting ministers, the panders [p. 927]
to their resentment, who incite their eager and intemperate minds to blood and carnage.
Thus, on the present occasion, the praetors instantly proposed the passing of a decree, which was consented to almost before it was proposed, that all the royal family should be put to death;
and persons despatched for the purpose by the praetors, put to death Demarata, the daughter of Hiero, and Harmonia, the daughter of Gelon, the wives of Andranodorus and Themistus.