Such was the state of affairs when Peisander and his colleagues arrived at Athens. They1
immediately set to work and prepared to strike the final blow. First, they called an assembly and proposed the election of ten commissioners, who should be empowered to frame for the city the best constitution which they could devise; this was to be laid before the people on a fixed day.
When the day arrived they2
summoned an assembly to meet in the temple3
of Poseidon at Colonus without the walls, and distant rather more than a mile. But the commissioners only moved that any Athenian should be allowed to propose whatever resolution he pleased—nothing more; threatening at the same time with severe penalties anybody who indicted the proposer for unconstitutional action, or otherwise offered injury to him. The whole scheme now came to light.
A motion was made to abolish all the existing magistracies and the payment of magistrates, and to choose a presiding board of five; these five were to choose a hundred, and each of the hundred was to co-opt three others. The Four Hundred thus selected were to meet in the council-chamber; they were to have absolute authority, and might govern as they deemed best; the Five Thousand were to be summoned by them whenever they chose.