After the Athenians had returned to their own city, Aristides saw that they desired to receive the more popular form of government. He thought the people worthy of consideration because of its sturdy valor, and he saw also that it was no longer easy to be forced out of its desires, since it was powerful in arms, and greatly elated by its victories. So he introduced a decree that the administration of the city be the privilege of all classes, and that the archons be chosen from all the Athenians.
Themistocles once declared to the people that he had devised a certain measure which could not be revealed to them, though it would be helpful and salutary for the city, and they ordered that Aristides alone should hear what it was and pass judgment on it. So Themistocles told Aristides that his purpose was to burn the naval station of the confederate Hellenes, for that in this way the Athenians would be greatest, and lords of all. Then Aristides came before the people and said of the deed which Themistocles purposed to do, that none other could be more advantageous, and none more unjust. On hearing this, the Athenians ordained that Themistocles cease from his purpose.1
So fond of justice was the people, and so loyal and true to the people was Aristides.