These were only pretences intended to look well in the eyes of the people; for the authors of1
the revolution fully meant to retain the new government in their own hands. The popular assembly and the council of five hundred were still convoked; but nothing was brought before them of which the conspirators had not approved; the speakers were of their party and the things to be said had been all arranged by them beforehand.
No one any longer raised his voice against them; for the citizens were afraid when they saw the strength of the conspiracy, and if any one did utter a word, he was put out of the way in some convenient manner. No search was made for the assassins; and though there might be suspicion, no one was brought to trial;
the people were so depressed and afraid to move that he who escaped violence thought himself fortunate, even though he had never said a word. Their minds were cowed by the supposed number of the conspirators, which they greatly exaggerated, having no means of discovering the truth, since the size of the city prevented them from knowing one another.
For the same reason a man2
could not conspire and retaliate3
, because he was unable to express his sorrow or indignation to another; he could not make a confidant of a stranger, and he would not trust his acquaintance.
The members of the popular party all approached one another with suspicion; every one was supposed to have a hand in what was going on. Some were concerned whom no one would ever have thought likely to turn oligarchs; their adhesion created the worst mistrust among the multitude, and by making it impossible for them to rely upon one another, greatly contributed to the security of the few.