THE Syracusan Tyrant: OR, THE LIFE OF AGATHOCLES. With some Reflexions on the practices of our Modern Usurpers.

[...] Arist. Pol. l. 5. c. 10.

The most High ruleth in the Kingdome of men, and giveth it to whomsoever he will, axd set­teth over it the Basest of men. Dan. 4.17.

LONDON, Printed by J. F. for R. Royston, Book-seller to his most Sacred Majesty. MDCLXI.

To the Right Honourable THOMAS Earl of SOUTHAMPTON, Lord High TREASURER of England, Lord WARDEN of the New Forest, Knight of the most noble Order of the Garter, and one of his Majesties most Honourable Privy Council.

My Lord,

TO open the Grave of an Impious Tyrant, and to revive the memory of his detestable Villanies, may be censured as a design to infect the present[Page]Age, and to instruct by an accur­sed Example those who want onely the Arts, not the desires, of do­ing Mischief. But if the unhappy Issues of such perverse Counsels can­not secure this History from such an Effect, (to which even the Sacred Stories and the most wholesome Laws are obnoxious through the Corruptions of men, whereby they imitate that which is proposed to their Hatred, and follow Their Practices whose In­famies they abhorre, and whose Ruines they tremble at;) yet the Compiler hopes by the Dedication of it to Your Honour to free himself from such suspicions. It being not to be supposed, that He intends to teach, but to dis­cover the Impostures of Tyrants, and to warn the Credulous world to arm themselves against those Monsters, who[Page]presumes upon the Patrociny of so great an Assertor of Piety and Ju­stice. For (My Lord) neither the Nobility of Your Family nor the Plenty of Your Fortune have so much commended You to the Admiration of men, as Your inflexible zeal to Righ­teousness and Truth. This was that which drew You forth to follow that court in Persecution and Dan­ger, whose Honours and Pleasures in times of Peace could not allure You from Your Retirements. And Your uncorrupted Faith to that Righ­teous Cause wherein all Just Govern­ment was concerned, I have heard force from the Adversaries of it an Elogie not beneath that which the brave Fabricius by his Vertue wone from his Enemy, that The Sun might sooner forsake his[Page]course then My Lord of Southam­pton depart from Justice. So that when the Popular Fury had over­whelmed the greatest part of our Nobless in contempt, the Chiefs of that Faction testified an Observance almost Religious to You, as to an In­violable Sanctuary of true Nobility and Honour. And they seemed to treat Your Lordship as the Conque­ring Romans did the Captive Gods, whom, even while they chai­ned, they did supplicate with Sa­crifices to remove to their triumphing City: so while they restrained Your Liberty, and invaded Your Rights, they did even then with a sollicitous Reverence court Your approbation of their successful Crimes. But as Your Lordship despised their in­juries, so You slighted their cares­ses. [Page]And though You seemed un­concerned in their Oppressions, yet I have seen Your Indignation then swell'd high, when they profaned Justice by pretensions to it, and blasphemed Religion by imputing their Impieties to the ducts of the Immaculate Spirit and just Provi­dence of God. As these Vertues, My Lord, are Your Glory, so I humbly crave they may be my Pro­tection: And that as I was con­firmed and heightned in a detesta­tion of Unjust Usurpers by Your great Example, so under the shel­ter of Your Honourable Name I may endeavour to render them Odi­ous to others. Since, that the Wick­ed should be exposed to the Publick Hatred, as that the Good should be rewarded with all that affection which[Page]is due to the Benefactors of Man­kind, is equally the Interest of Ver­tue. All whose concernments being so dear to Your Lordship, that God, as well for His own Glory as for the advantages of Good men, may long continue You as a Light in this per­verse Generation, and prosper all Your Counsels, is the constant pray­er of

My Lord,
Your Honours most humble and most faithful Servant, R. P.


THE miseries which Ty­rants usually bring upon that unhappy people who, by impatience of a Just Government, and by their seditious attempts upon their Lawful Prince, have exposed them­selves to the Cheats, and are at last inslaved by the Power of such Ambi­tious Persons, cease not with their Lives, but are extended to the follow­ing Age, and are apt to vex the next Generations. For although the Ra­pines and Murders (which are not the greatest unhappinesses of the Oppres­sed Vassals) may possibly end with[Page]the Empire of the Usurper; yet those debaucheries of the Spirits of Men, and the unquiet principles of Villany (the most ignominious brands of Slavery) which they introduced both to acquire and preserve their Great­ness, survive their Authours, and like Venome infect the blood, when the Viper is kill'd that gave the wound. Hence comes it to pass that such a People, though freed from the Force of their Oppressour, yet tenacious of his Crimes, debauched by impious Habits, and distracted with various Factions, can never conspire to their common Peace and Safety; nor with patience submit to those who would restore them the Benefits of Society and Government. Our Age hath had too fresh an Experience of this: for the Methods of Tyranny having been acted with so much Industry, and continued with so great Success among us, though we are now (through the benignity of Heaven) in the en­joyment of all safe Liberty that is con­sistent with Government, and which[Page]can be hoped for from a Just and Law­ful Prince; yet have not men parted with those Principles of Confusion and Ruine which the Tyrants did im­press, but like Waves that have been tossed with a Tempest, find no Calm, though the wind be down that first raised them.

The method of curing such a distem­pered Multitude is, to shew the Arts of their Impostors, and to discover that what was obtruded upon them as the Oracles of Heaven, or as the generous dictates of Free Souls, were but the accustomed cheats of former Tyrants, newly proposed to an Ignorant and Credulous Generation. No discove­ry comes with more Evidence upon Vulgar spirits (who cannot weigh the force of Reason,) then that which is made by Example: Like the Spartan Discipline, who to preserve their Youth (on whom Philosophical dis­courses would have made but small impression) from Intemperance, pre­sented them with the Indecencies of their drunken Helots. And Menenius [Page]did retrive the Roman Populacy from their Sedition by an Apologue, which is but a fictitious Example. Such (Reader) is the design of publishing this Historical Discourse, (which in the composing was intended but as a private Essay) of the Life of a Ty­rant; which hath such a conformity with the Monster of Our Times, that who reads the actions of the One, cannot but reflect upon the practices of the Other. So that it may seem to confirm the Opinion of those who imagined that All humane affairs had a Circular motion, and that no Age produces any thing so prodigious that may not have its parallel in another. And it would give some credit to the Pythagorean Transmigration: for com­paring the Arts and Success of Both, in rising from an abject condition to most absolute Soveraignty, and how in Both Tyranny was acted to the height of Injustice, one of that School would fancy that the Soul of Agatho­cles, after several peregrinations through the forms of Tigers, Wolves, Foxes,[Page]Harpies and Vultures, with some di­versions in humane shapes, as of Ma­humet, Borgia, and such other ene­mies of Mankind, it had at last vex­ed the world under the name of OL. CR.

It would be too great a distrust of the Reader's Judgement to anticipate his thoughts in drawing a Parallel: the disagreements being but few, and those more properly to be referred to the distant Times and Scenes where­in they acted, (to which Both did ac­commodate their designs) then to any difference in their temper of Spirit or variety of Lusts: Impiety, Perfidious­ness and Inhumanity being the equal delights and exercises of either. So that though they coasted different Countries, yet they sailed by the same Compass, and aimed at the same Port of Power and Greatness. In nothing more doth the Ancient seem to ex­ceed the Modern Tyrant then in his Cruelty: yet even this is not imputa­ble to a more tender sense of Humanity in one then the other, (For he that dares[Page]sometimes be wicked for his advantage, will be alwaies so if his Interest require) but to a fear of losing the emoluments of that more powerful and prosperous cheat, the pretension to Sanctity; which being to be shadowed with a seeming Meekness, would have been too plain­ly discoloured by too frequent effu­sions of blood. But if when we would censure the Crime, we consider not onely the quantity, but the worth of the Blood, the Sicilian will not ap­pear more odious then the other. Since the Blood of a Pious, Just and Lawful KING, spilt with so much dishonour to Religion and contumely to Justice, laies a more heavy guilt in the eyes both of God and Good men then ri­vers of Plebeian gore. Besides, that horrid Parricide inevitably exciting se­veral attempts for Justice, the slaugh­ters of those brave Souls that endea­vour'd it did accumulate the guilt con­tracted by their Soveraigns Blood. So that the cutting those Royal veins ope­ned such Sluces in all the British Em­pire, that the Earth was not more[Page]constantly wet with the showres of Heaven, then it was yearly polluted with the blood of some Loyal person and lover of the People's Rights and Liberties. Blood of this tincture he was observed to drink with a gust; though he was nauseous of that of his own Party: whom, when their divided Interests made them contrive his Ru­ine, or provok'd his spleen, he used as the Romans did their offending Vestals, whose blood, because they were consecrated to the service of their Gods, they never spilt, but in­closed them under ground with some small provisions, that so they might perish without pity and unobserved. So those that had been once conse­crated to the Good Old Cause, it was unnecessary to take away their Lives, which were hateful, because they had administred to his Grandeur: but de­grading them from his trust, and per­mitting to them some remnants of the spoils of Iniquity, he exposed them to perish in want and obscurity.

In these other Crimes whereby U­surpers[Page]make their way to Dominion, the Wickedness of this Last was more transcendent, and such as made our Bondage more ignominious, and our Miseries more lasting. For not to mention those frequent Perjuries, those horrid Blasphemies of referring all the most damnable Projects to the Impul­ses of the Spirit and Returns of pray­er; Religion never received a more fatal Wound then by this Modern Im­postor. For when the Majesty and Reverence of that stood like a strong rampire of Just Authority, and like a mighty stream ran cross to his de­sign; he undermined it by introducing notions agreeable to his Interest, made it contemptible by the basest of the People whom he made Priests, cares­sed every Heresie, raised and increa­sed new Schisms, and so cut it into several chanels and small Rivulets, to make it fordable for his ascent to Do­minion: and by proclaiming a Spi­ritual Liberty, reduced it into so many Atomes, that nothing but what was fortuitous could unite them in a solid[Page]body to oppose him. Not content with these injuries to Religion, he proceeded to extirpate those eternal rules of Right and Wrong, which even Nature had impressed upon the Minds of Men. For by his Instruments new Schemes of Justice were composed, new rules of Obedience and Govern­ment were framed according to the Institutes of Tyranny. The sacred Religion of an Oath, the foundation of Society even in the most barbarous Nations, was among us published no longer obliging then till an inconveni­ence ensued. Thus as Caligula took off the heads of those Images of the Gods that were most worshipped, and set his own upon them, that he might receive the adorations of the people: so did this Usurper pervert those Ora­cles of Life, the Laws of God and Nature, that we might receive onely the Dictates of his Lust and Interest, and be guided by the deceitful Impul­ses of his deluding Spirit.

How far he prevailed by these Arts in vitiating the sense of Religion and[Page]Justice in men, appeared too evident in the servile Flattery of those Addres­ses which were made to his contem­ptible Successour. In which the Com­posers by a prodigious Sacriledge ha­ving rifled all the Sacred Records, and thence took those attributes of Glory with which as Jewels God had ador­ned his choicest Servants, and had gi­ven them as Odours to embalm their Memories to Posterity, applied them to his successful Wickedness. So that they seemed to have forgotten what Vertue and Righteousness were, when they crowned Impiety with the rewards of Goodness.

And how pregnant the Principles he had acted by were of Destruction, by the just Judgement of Heaven was experienced on his Infamous Issue, they being ruined by the same practi­ces by which himself had destroied the lawful Government; the Chil­dren of his Example destroying those of his Blood; the ministers of the Father's Villanies being the Executio­ners of the Son's Empire. Nor was[Page]the mischievousness of his Arts confi­ned within his own Family, but like an infectious Contagion spread it self over the whole Nation. His Exam­ple exciting every bold hand and vio­lent spirit to invade the Government: and his Principles serving to colour the prosperous Invader's Perfidiousness to his supplanted and complaining Pre­decessours. That Power would they to day despoil and vilifie, with whom it was on their Hearts the day before to Live and Die. What they bewai­led yesterday as their Backsliding, to day they would practise as their Saint-like Obedience to the Call of God. So that by reason of these different Actings, sometime as Men, and ano­ther as Saints, like creatures of vari­ous elements, there was no faith among themselves, nor constancy in their Wickedness; but varying their Crimes, and together with their Guilt increa­sing our Miseries, the Sun seldome rose but he saw the ruines of that Govern­ment which he had left at his setting, and the erection of a new. And Peace[Page]and Quietness were set at such a distance from our hopes, that they could not be expected but after a Desolation.

Then which effects though nothing could be more convincing of the de­structiveness of such Principles and Practices, that they neither proceeded from God, who is the Authour of Order and Government, nor agreed with Justice, which is the preserva­tive of Peace: yet because they so im­pudently pretended to an Extract from Heaven, and seemed to be owned by it in an uninterrupted Success against a Lawful Soveraign, and are still impor­tunately urged by Persons of no just hopes, and whose broken Interests are impatient of a calm; they are as yet received by some deluded Souls as O­racles, and as the sober dictates of right Reason; and the mischievous Consequences are reputed the depra­vations of the Actors, not the legiti­mate Issues of the Principles. But as the Divine Records do vindicate the Immaculate Purity of God (from whom nothing proceeds which doth not make[Page]men happy in obedience to it) from having any benigne influence on such destructive counsels, and right Reason doth free Justice from any alliance with such wicked practices: so the History of all Ages will testifie that these have been the artifices of Ambitious per­sons, who seeking a criminal Greatness, have devested themselves of all sense of Vertue, do by these waies delude and distract the minds of men, that so being weakned by their own Factions, and disarmed by vitious habits, they may more easily be oppressed by them. And this History of Agathocles, trans­mitted to posterity by Diodorus Sicu­lus and Justin (from whom it was ga­thered) will evidently shew, That the usual Method of overthrowing an anci­ent Government established by Law, is to slander the actions and counsels of the present Magistrate; That those that have the extremest Tyranny in projection, will be the greatest pretenders of the Publick good, and the most importunate assertors of the People's Rights; That it is the most compendious way of imposing Sla­very,[Page]by raising in the Multitude too ea­ger and passionate desires of Liberty; That in a corrupted and disquiet State, the most Contemptible member of that Community may without the help of a Miracle arise to Soveraignty; That it is not the Indulgence of Heaven to the Usurper, but the Indignation thereof to the People, when Success attends the Ty­rants enterprizes; That Power acqui­red by Fraud or Violence will never be emploied in the exercise of Justice.

These therefore being the onely fruits that are to be expected from the unquiet Principles and deluding hopes which designing Demagogues infect the People with; Wise men have con­stantly advised that even the Vices of Bad Princes are to be born with the like Patience as we endure Dearths and Tempests, and other deviations of Nature from her usual course. And this not to flatter Offending Kings, (who at a most dreadful Tribunal are accountable for their disobediences to their Eternal Superiour) but in affe­ction to mankind, and pity of the de­ceivable[Page]Multititude. Because though Princes, as they are Men, may be Vi­tious, yet as such are not Immortal; and a Pious Successour may repair all the ruines of a former Oppressour. But when the People will usurp the Office of Heaven, whose Prerogative it is to chastise Kings, and to cut off the Fury of Princes, and they themselves will correct their lawful Magistrates, God most severely punishes them by suffe­ring the basest of men to ride over their heads. And the Primitive Chri­stians thought it not onely their Duty, but their Prudence, by praiers and tears onely to seek the deliverance of Hea­ven from the injuries of a Governour, rather then by opposing, their lawful Soveraign to administer to a Tyrants Ambition, who, according to that Ma­xime, of changing all things that were under the former Governour, must de­face Religion to maintain his Power, and on the dishonour of Piety build his Greatness.

We have had experience of the An­ger of Heaven for our Sins, in giving[Page]us over to the delusions of men, who sought and acquired Power by slande­ring a PRINCE whose most Emi­nent Worth we understood not, till our ignorance had made Him and us miserable. Which Power being so im­piously got, was not otherwise used: For the Treasures and Ornaments of many Ages Peace were wasted and con­sumed by their Oppressions in a few years. And we are now under the return of Mercy by a Lawful Sove­raign. Both Conditions may teach us to measure the Benefits and Inconve­niences of Government as they are in their own nature: and not by the si­nister interpretations and seditious Harangues of Unquiet persons, who will calumniate even the justest Ru­lers and the wisest Counsels. And if the discovery of the methods of Ty­ranny, which is made in this History, may contribute any thing to effect a just hatred of such practices, or esta­blish sober Minds in a thankful acqui­escence in that Gracious Providence which hath restored our ancient Go­vernment, [Page]and given us a Prince in­structed both by Affliction and Mer­cy in the best arts of Empire; the Compiler hath attained his chiefest ends.



PAg. 5. l. 23. r. hating. p. 18. l. 5. r. for. p. 89. l. 12. r. for. p. 113. l. 6. r. councils. p. 185. l. 14. r. impress. p. 201. l. 3. r. provoke. p. 234. l. 26. r. Ambicas.

THE General CONTENTS of the several BOOKS.

THE Introduction. The necessity of Government. The causes of the Chan­ges of Government. The Miseries that attend those Changes. Occasions to Usur­pers. The requisites of an Usurper. A Tyrant in Title will be a Tyrant in Ex­ercise. Agathocles an Example of U­surpers. Agathocles's Birth; the pre­diction of his Cruelty and Greatness. The uncertain Original of such Predictions. Agathocles's abject beginnings, baser Youth, and infamous introduction into emploiment. His Seditious practices cause a change of Government at Syra­cuse. His flight from thence, and vain attempts for Tyranny abroad. His return home, and another change of Govern­ment. His exploits in his Command. The[Page]City's Jealousie of him, and his Banish­ment. His War against Syracuse. A­milcar reconciles him to his City, and they revoke his Banishment. He pra­ctices the arts of a Demagogue: gets the office of Praetor, and Keeper of the Li­berty of Syracuse. His plot to get an Army fit for his purpose, by whom he massacres all the Senate and chief Citi­zens. By dissimulation he prevails upon his associates in the Massacre, to force the Principality upon him. The Sicilians confederate against the Tyrant. Acro­tatus, chosen General of the League, by his Vices overthrows the enterprize. A­gathocles designs the Empire of all Si­cily: by fraud seizeth upon Mes­sene. The Exiles send an Embassy to Carthage. The Death of Amilcar. A­gathocles's success against the Exiles.
THE Carthaginian War. Amilcar the son of Gisgo chosen General, who by his wise conduct restores and heals the losses of his shipwreckt Army, and raises up the hopes of the Sicilians to be delivered from Agathocles; who had surprized Gela, and murdered the Citi­zens, and afterward fighting Amilcar is overthrown. His counsel of trans­ferring the War into Africk. His pre­parations for that design. The diffi­culties of getting forth of the Haven. An Eclipse frights his Army, which he dexterously interprets: gets safe to the shore of Africk, where he burns his Ships. The Punick Fleet gather up the beaks of his Vessels, and send them with the news to Carthage, which before was terrified with the affrighted relations of the Afri­cans. They chuse two Generals to oppose the Sicilians. The Reason of such a choice. They fight Agathocles, and are overthrown. The Carthaginians refer[Page]their loss to their angry Gods, whom they endeavour to appease; send for aid from Amilcar, who in vain besieges and as­saults Syracuse when the news came of the Tyrants Victory. Who wins more upon the Carthaginians, while Amilcar intending to storm Syracuse is taken and kill'd. His baffled Army divides, and the Agrigentines aspire at the Empire of the Island. The Tyrant's Army dan­gerously mutinies, which he luckily ap­peases, and turns their fury upon the E­nemy, whom he also follows and beats in Numidia. He invites Ophellas to the War, and basely murders him. Bomil­car attempting the Tyranny at Carthage miscarries, and is crucified. Agatho­cles assumes the title of a King, and ma­sters the Uticenses by an inhumane Stra­tageme.
AGathocles returns to Sicily, to ob­struct the Success of the Free League, against which he thrives, till Dinocrates declares himself for it, who forces the Tyrant to retreat. His fortune declines in Africk; his Army beaten and besieged. Agathocles preparing to re­turn thither gets two Victories: under the pretence of a Thanksgiving for which, he discovers and murders all that he could not confide in at Syracuse. Af­terwards he sails to Africk, where all was desperate. From whence, after some vain attempts, a strange Terrour of his Army, and his own Imprisonment, he basely flies back to Sicily, leaving his two Sons to the fury of his deserted Army: who when they had slain them, make Peace with the Carthaginians. The Tyrant landing in Sicily, destroyes Aegesta; commands another Massacre at Syracuse. Pasiphilus revolts from him; which frights him into a Treaty with[Page] Dinocrates, in which he offers to relin­quish the Tyranny. The Treaty not taking effect, he fights the Army of the League, and by treachery overthrows them, and murders seven thousand that did surren­der upon composition. He receives Di­nocrates into favour, and employes him. He takes away the consecrated Treasure at the Isle of Lipara, invades the Brutii, and is beaten; surprizes Croton; associates with Pirates, and confederates with Demetrius, by whom he is perswaded to renew his War with Carthage. He is prevented by death, through the Conspiracy of Maenon and Archagathus his Grandchild, because he had made his younger Son Agathocles his Successour in the Tyranny. Maenon poisons the Old Tyrant, and Archagathus kills the Young one. His Tortures, End, and Character. The state of Syracuse after his Death.
TYRANNVS. • Perfidia. , and • Crudelitas. 



THE security and comforts of hu­mane life consist in Society. So­ciety cannot be preserved without Order. For although by it men are secured from a forein force, yet in it are they subject to intestine injuries; and when Necessity makes no warre abroad, Am­bition and Covetousness will raise some at home. (These being so impetuous and restless[Page 2]affections in the breasts of men, that they never leave them, even after the largest acquisitions.) For man naturally is greedy of every thing, yet so weak that he can acquire but few: so that the desire being too great for the power of ac­quisition, there arises a dissatisfaction with the present condition, when it is secure, and an endeavour of altering it, though with the ruine of another's fortune. This immoderate de­sire in some men of more then they have, pro­duces a fear in others of losing what they doe enjoy; and from both these arise Jealousies, Enmities and Injuries, which in the issue un­dermine Societie, and render it more dangerous then Solitude, and make Communities of men more obnoxious to ruine then heards of Beasts. Therefore Order must set bounds to some mens Lusts, and fences for the security of others.

Order cannot be observed without Govern­ment, which is the Intrusting some persons with the care and power of maintaining this Order. And that it may the more effectually attain its End, Heaven hath declared it as its own Insti­tution, and impressed upon it the lustre of Di­vine Authority. But as Pearls, though they have their Original from the dew of Heaven, yet must be formed and solidated in the Sea and the wombe of a Shel fish, which as it is more or less disposed by Nature for such a pro­duction,[Page 3]renders the Jewels proportionably great and orient: So Government, though it derives its extract from a Divine Institution, yet because it is to be managed by Men which are subject to Corruption, doth often prove too uncertain a guard for so great a treasure as is the publick good and common safety. Because the Trustees of this power may either through the depravedness of their affections distort it to the satisfaction of their private lusts; or by an imprudent menage, give umbrages of suspici­on that they will pervert it to the common ruine. So that such impotent persons being in Govern­ment, bewitched with the sweetness of Com­mand, and passionate to inlarge or preserve that power in the unlawful exercise thereof, make frequent invasions upon the Liberty of others. And those that are under Government, pinched with the difficulties of obeying such un­equal Commands, and labouring to keep their liberty entire, strive to extend it even to Licence, till it becomes inconsistent with Government. Hence arise Discontents, Jealousies, and Chan­ges of Government, which to sick minds, like the turnings in bed to sick bodies, are hoped for remedies: and what men cannot find un­der one kind of Magistracy, they will seek in another; and therefore do either contract or enlarge the subject of their trust of Power, ac­cording to the sense of their present Grievan­ces.

[Page 4]If a Community at first, either by Choice or Necessity, are united under one Head in a Monarchy, while He or his Successors intend the publick good for which they were design­ed, the memorie of their first Institution and the sense of the present Benefits provoke from their Subjects (not corrupted with too much Felici­ty, nor debauched with the subtle Slanders which Seditious persons cast on their Prince) a Veneration next to that which is due to Hea­ven; an Universal Love and a delight to o­bey being the constant Returns to their Cares and Hazards for the publick Security. But be­cause all worldly things are in a continual Mo­tion, and there is either a progress to perfection in that which is good, or else a precipitate de­clination to evil, and men are most easily cor­rupted in the supremest Fortunes, where Lusts may have the advantage of being armed with Power: such as received the highest Command as a reward of Vertue either in themselves or Ancestors, do sometimes abuse it to license the most horrid Crimes; imagining Rapines, Adul­teries and Capricioes of Power the rewards of Principality, wherein they onely receive but a fading Pleasure, and leave to their Subjects a perpetual sense of Loss and Dishonour. Hence comes it to pass, that those who by Vertuous Practices might have maintained the re­putation of Earthly Gods, by these wicked Courses degenerating beneath the nature of [Page 5]Beasts, become hateful and terrible to man­kinde.

Hate and Fear are alwaies pregnant with Conspiracies. Conspiracies that prove success­full (for otherwise they advantage him whom they design to ruine) are soonest formed and most dexterously managed, not by such as are fearful and weak, but by persons of generous spirits and active Souls, who are most tender­ly sensible of injuries, and most impatient un­der them. These being exalted above the rest of the injured Multitude by the greatness of their Minds, and made more powerful to ac­complish the design by the riches of their Patri­monies, the liberality of their Education, and the Nobility of their Families, become the Chiefs of the Community for Security, and Revenge on their unjust Monarch. He being extinguished, the People translate the Reve­rence which before they were wont to pay to a single Prince, on these persons whom they look upon as their Deliverers.

These having the Government of a single Person, and fearing the return of the same Miseries from another Monarch, or else pleased with the present Adorations of the Multitude, do retain the Government among themselves, which seated in such and so many persons is called Aristocracy. These in their beginnings bound their power with such Laws, as (being[Page 6]made in the fresh memorie of the former Ty­rannie) appear very tender of the Common liberty, and preferre the Publick to the Private Interest. Which administration of Justice, partly through the Novelty, (which alwaies hath much of the People's hopes,) and partly through the Cares of the New Governours (which are commonly most strict in their first undertakings) to manage all concernments with the most exact moderation, is entertained some time with honour and conformable obe­dience. But men seldome use Dignities with the same good arts whereby they acquired them, and assume another heart in the Palace then what they wore in their private families. So that corruption either assaults their very per­sons, or in a short time seizeth upon their Suc­cessors; who unacquainted with the Instability of Fortune, and insensible of the dismal Con­sequences of publick Injuries, grow insolent with their present state, discontent with equa­lity, and forming Factions among themselves, reduce all power into a few hands, and change the Optimacie into an Oligarchie. Thence falling into the debaucheries of the former Tyrant, and their Number making them less tolerable, they incur the same hatred, and meet with the like ruine. For the People haraffed by so many importunate Oppressors, will soon offer its ministery to any bold hand that will offend their detested Governours. Neither will[Page 7]there want unquiet Spirits, that will take advan­tage of the People's anger and assistance, both to ruine them, and raise themselves in the Popular esteem.

When the Oligarchie hath lost that power which they knew not how to use, and the Peo­ple are free to another choice, the memory of injuries by a Prince being not yet dead, and the brands of slavery by more numerous Ty­rants yet fresh, the People are unwilling any more to trust after so many abuses, and there­fore reserve the Government in themselves, which then receives the name of Democracie. This form of Government after it hath spent that stock of Vulgar affection which is used to be given to every thing in its first begin­nings, discovers that they have embraced Li­cence instead of Liberty; and whereas all Go­vernment, should be the preservative of Order, this fills all with Confusion. The body of the Society is torn into several Factions, and of one Community it becomes many. The Laws are neither framed nor executed for the pub­lick Utility, but for the advantage of the seve­ral parties, each by its course in Magistracie en­deavouring to depress the contrary, and ele­vate it self. In this State, as in routed Armies, every one commands, and none obeyes; the most prudent must be directed by those that have no skil to command, and the wisest follow [Page 8]the dictates of the ignorant rabble; those that are fittest to give the safest counsels, must by a simple obedience be the instruments to perform the decrees of ruine. Heroick Vertues and brave Examples are as dangerous here as under the worst of Tyrants, and both the Love and the Hate of the People are equally dangerous. So that this Government lasts no longer then till the universal calamities (which come speedily) dissolve it; or some ambitious Officer takes from the Multitude that Liberty which they could not long keep; or some discreeter Citizen per­swades them to seek for peace and safety in the paths they have forsaken, and to return to Principality again.

These are the usual stages which Govern­ment treads; and as the Persons are qualified in each state, it makes the shorter or longer a­bode. But in every change, as the Sun in his removal to the several Tropicks, leaves the last squallid and deformed with cold and dark­ness, so Government leaves the last intrusted with it in ruine and desolation. And the quick­er the motion is, the more pregnant it is with destruction. For Ambulatorie Government is like the Planets which, observation tells us, both at their rising and setting bring Storms and Tempests: so the ruine of the old, and the erection of a new form, wast and tire those un­happy people that live under them. Bad Go­vernors [Page 9]being like Malignant spirits, which when they are exorcised torture more eagerly the wretches they are to forsake; and these are industrious to ruine all with their fall, and that an universal flame might be kindled by their Funeral Pile. On the other side, new and hopeful frames of Government, though they are as desirable as Children to less-fruitful wombs, yet, like such, come not into the world without pangs and throes, and sometimes be­gin their lives with the death of their Au­thors.

But in nothing are changes and corruptions of Government more noxious to a Communi­ty, then in that they are often inlets and occa­sions to Usurpation, administring opportunities to ambitious spirits of usurping Magistracie a­gainst the Peoples consent, and contrary to the just pretensions which other Persons may have to the same. For from all these several forms of Government declining to a dissolution, do Tyrannical Usurpers, like Prodigies that are generated of Corruption, arise. And when such do prevail and attain to power, that wretch­ed people that are subject to it must expect the worst of miseries which are derived from Impie­ty and Injustice. For Usurpers being the pro­ducts of such, are, as every thing is to be pre­served by its Principles, to be maintained by the same.

[Page 10]To an Usurper no Qualities are more requi­site then to contemn God, vilify Mankind, and hate all Religion and Justice. He must know and dare to be exactly wicked, and never in­tend any good beyond the appearance. He must pretend an affection to Religion, but it must be onely that he may deflower it; not by it to contract a friendship and league with Hea­ven, but that he may more easily cheat, and execute his malice upon men. Faithfulness and Truth must be esteemed by him as the most dan­gerous Rocks on which his Power would ship­wrack; therefore his Oathes and Promises are like those monstrous Chymaera's, whose upper and more visible parts have an humane and beautiful aspect, but in their extremities be­come most noxious Prodigies. He permits the pleasures and lovely names of Mercy and Pi­ty to soft souls and just Princes; but neither time, supplications, or satiety, which use to soften others, can mitigate a Tyrants fury, which is raised by his own jealousies: for he must pu­nish Suspicions as manifest Crimes, and cir­cumvent the Innocency of others to cover his own Guilt. He must injure all he fears, and hate all he hath injured.

To those unhappy people whom he hath en­slaved, he must endeavour to leave no more then the names and shapes of men, and that their humane bodies be but false harbours for[Page 11]brutish Souls. If it be possible, he must rase out those principles of Liberty, Vertue and Reason, which Nature hath impressed on the Spirits of men. For to be Vertuous under a Ty­rant is to undermine his Empire, because good Examples upbraid his Weakness, and rebel against the Customes of his Lusts, which he would have as a Law. And Reason hath more light in it then will suffer a Tyrants arts to be undiscovered; therefore he will murder all those whom he cannot corrupt, lest they should be guides and lights for the recovery of Freedome; and secure himself in the next Ge­neration by introducing a barbarous Ignorance, which shall obstruct the waies to Prudence: and by vexing Vertue with ignominy and danger, (as the Romans punish'd criminal Virgins, first deflouring them by the hang­man, and afterwards strangling them) he ex­tirpates the love of it out of the breasts of men. He interprets Friendship and Love among his vassals as a dangerous Combination, and there­fore breaks all the ligaments of a Community which Religion or Nature have formed in it, that he may twist the cords of Bondage strong­er. Religion, which is the most binding cement of humane affections, he renders weak by its variety: and when the People cannot agree about their Gods, they seldome conspire to any publick benefit, or against a Common Ene­my, as a Tyrant is. Or else he embases it with[Page 12]the alloy of wicked and abject Principles. Men being seldome more generous then the Deities they worship, and their spirits are but level to their Devotions. From the Courts of Usurping Tyrants crept those monstrous Idolatries of Calves, Dogs, Cats and Crocodiles. Their civil and natural unions must be broken also. Pub­lick conventions, where converse creates a fa­miliarity, and that a mutual confidence, as al­so publick Feasts, which are the sinews of ac­quaintance, are either wholly forbidden, or made dangerous by his Spyes, who are to ga­ther up the loose speeches of men made free by wine and excess, and form the simplicity of Table-talk into compacts of Treason; so that by such treacheries an universal diffidence is created, and members of the same City be­come as strange to each other, as if they dwelt under the opposite Poles. Nor can a Tyrant be safe, unless he dissolve the private as well as the publick unions. Therefore Wives are bribed with their own dishonour, a licence for a wandering Lust and assurance of Alimonie, to betray their Husbands. Sons by too early hopes of Patrimony are sollicited to rifle their Fathers cabinets, unlock their secrets, and ex­pose them to the Tyrants bloudie fury. And Servants have a liberty beyond manumission to make their Masters bondmen. For while every house flames with contention, the Usurper may, like Nero, securely sing and play. Their[Page 13]Fortunes must be no better then their Souls; for he must make them poor and needy, that all their cares being employed for necessary subsistence, they may have no leisure to con­trive their Liberty. While his Gabels waste their goods, he must make Warres to consume their multitude, lest the contemplation of their Number produce a confidence in their strength, to break that power which doth oppress them. For Tyrants measure not their power by their own force, but by the weakness of their mise­rable Vassals. His Instruments of slavery must be such that either have no Reason to dispute, or no Conscience to scruple the most impious Commands, whose Fortunes are made by his spoiles of villany, and whose safety onely depends upon his service. Yet when they have performed his work, he uses them as the Roman Aediles did beasts and malefactors in the Theatres, when they would recreate the People in their Spectacula, make them accuse and destroy one the other: so they fall with the publick applause whom before he had ob­jected to the publick hate. For their obsequi­ousness to his lusts cannot secure them from his fury. Because instruments of great crimes do even with their sight upbraid him that emploi­ed them. Or else he fearing that what they have done for him, they may practise a­gainst him, therefore he will serve them as those that killed the Post-horses by which[Page 14]they fled, lest others should use them in their pursuit.

These are the Institutes of Tyrannie, which the practices and dictates of former Usurpers have transmitted as Oracles religiously to be observed by such whose blinded Souls prefer Power to Vertue, and an ignominious Greatness to the Innocency of a Private life. And under such a Magistrate that shall con­ceive these as the Reiglements of Empire and Mysteries of State, what can the People ex­pect, but the greatest miseries a Societie can be subject to? To which kind of punishment incensed Heaven most commonly condemns an unquiet people, who corrupted with Plen­ty, and grown wanton by a long Peace, be­come impatient of Laws, and discontent with lawful Governours; that when they know not how moderately to use a just Li­berty, they might be made sensible of the heaviest Slavery. Usurpers proving to be the most insupportable Tyrants. For although a lawful Prince may possibly degenerate into Tyranny; yet hath he no necessity nor incen­tives to it: because when his own Vertues, or the happy memory of his Ancestors, have com­mended him to the People's Love, and he en­ters upon his Dignity with their Consent, he cannot imagine (unless infatuated to de­struction) any surer basis for his Power then[Page 15]what He first stood upon, the Affections of his Subjects, and the Justice of his Title. But an Usurper that either by force or deceit hath imposed upon them, doth in his very en­trance create causes of Hatred in the People, and of Fears in himself: thence flow the con­trary desires of Revenge and Security in each other, which are not to be satisfied but by mutual Injuries. And he that wrestles with the People's hate, will find himself as born under the Starre of Hercules, who when he had cut off one of the Hydra's heads, had his labours renewed by the sudden production of many more: and while a Tyrant seeks to se­cure himself by injuring one of his suspected Enemies, he will provoke a multitude more eager for his ruine. So that he shall find himself necessitated, if he will keep what he hath wickedly got, to repeat his Crimes, and increase their miseries, till they become un­capable of Liberty, stupid under their cala­mities, and neither desirous nor able to take revenge.

Of the barbarous effects of this kind of Ty­rannie no place was evermore sensible then the Island of Sicily, a Country continually teeming with these Monsters, who endeavou­ring to enslave their Cities, and perpetuate their Dominion, made that Island the Thea­tre [Page 16]of Misery and Villany. And among all those plagues of mankind and disturbers of Society, whose acts Antiquity hath transmit­ted to posterity, none have their memories branded with more eternal marks of Infamy then Agathocles, whose bloody Artifices and execrable practices to raise himself from an ab­ject and base condition to an absolute Sove­raignty, and from being the most contempti­ble part of a Community to arrive at such a power as to trample upon the Liberties of his City, made the Ancient Historians never mention him without the Title of The most Im­pious. And Machiavel, the modern Criuck of Policy and grand Instructor of Tyranny, singles him out of the whole Herd of antique Monsters as the singular Patern of Tyranny, and Example of such that by Injustice and Impiety will acquire Principality: in whose ascent to Greatness he acknowledgeth no ad­vantage by Vertue, nor any favourable assi­stance from Fortune; but that all his Power was the sole product of a monstrous Wicked­ness, which will appear in this History of his Life.

[Page 17] AGATHOCLES the Syracu­san Tyrant was the son of Carcinus, a native of Rhegium, a City in Ita­ly; who being banish'd from thence, had seated himself at Thermae, one of the Ci­ties in Sicily that were then under the Domi­nion of the Carthaginians. Where taking to Wife one of the Citizens daughters, and she having conceived by him, he was continually disquieted in his sleep with horrid dreams concerning the child his Wife was then preg­nant with. To put an end to these terrors, and to be assured from the Gods what the issue should be of what his Dreams did but con­fusedly and imperfectly represent, there was presented to him this opportunity. The Car­thaginian Commander in Sicily was at that time dispatching some Embassadors to the Ora­cle at Delphos, to enquire of the Event of some publick design. These men Carcinus acquaints with his present inquietudes, and desires them to consult the Oracle concern­ing his expected Issue. They satisfied his de­sire, and received from the Oracle this answer; That he which should be born should be a cause of exceeding great miseries both to the Car­thaginians and all Sicily. Which answer allaied not, but increased the disquiets of Carcinus: for he was now tortured betwixt [Page 18]the fear of the Punick wrath, if he should foster their future Enemy, and his Paternal affection, which disswaded him from sacrifi­cing his own Child whom the Gods had de­signed to some great emploiments, (or other­wise he could not cause such troubles:) that he might secure the Carthaginian fears, that were but his imperious Oppressors; and for the quiet of Sicily, which was but his step­dame. But at last his fears, as is usual, prevai­led over his other affections; and therefore left the breeding of his Child should be the cause of both their deaths, he exposed it to perish in publick, and some were appointed to watch its end. But it being impossible to reverse the Decrees of Fate, which though fore­known, are not to be avoided; his life out­lasted the patience of the Watchers, who be­ing tired in their expectation, became more negligent in their charge: which afforded his Mother an opportunity to steal him away by night. But not daring to bring him home, lest she should renew his danger, or consulting the safety of her Husband, she commits him to the care of her Brother Heraclidas, and calls him after her Fathers name, Agatho­cles.

This is the relation of Agathocles's first co­ming into the world; a Birth proper for a Tyrant, wherein he proved terrible and dan­gerous[Page 19]to those that were the Authors of his life. But such Prodigies and Predictions as these are of a dubious credit and uncertain Original. For although the Longanimity of Heaven, that unwillingly punishes the sins of men, may and doth sometimes, by means that seem most proper to its infinite Wisdome, before it strikes, warn the World of those plagues that shall come upon them: yet most of these Oracles which we meet with in History are post-nate, and after the fact invented and published; and that from various beginnings. For some­times the Vulgar, who are more Superstitious then Religious, will either find or frame a Prediction for every great Event: Because they being ignorant of the true Causes of things, and not able to observe the progress of Ef­fects, but considering the Event in its full product, cannot but admire it, and therefore attribute it to that power which onely can work wonders; and so seek or make a Decree of Hea­ven, that should convey the Issues through so many seeming difficulties. Hence also it came to pass that when men of obscure births have performed great actions in the World, their descent not fully appearing, when their actions were full of splendour, they have ima­gined their Vertue was to be their Herald, and so did derive their pedegree from the Gods; as Hercules from Jupiter, and Romulus from Mars. And because the Divine Providence, [Page 20]willing to shew that its sole power, and not the prudence of Men, doth make them great, doth often expose such in their Infancy to great dan­gers, whom in their riper years it intends to ad­vance to mighty Honours; thereby beginning to demonstrate its force, when Prudence can­not pretend to their preservation: the Vulgar likewise fits by their fancies, for those whom with admiration they behold raised from low beginnings to unexpected Greatness, such en­tertainments in the World as must require the care of the Gods for their preservation. Thus the Romans formed the beginnings of their Romulus, and the Persians for their Cy­rus, and the Inhabitants of Spain for their King Habis.

Nor are the rude Multitude the onely authors of such fabulous Miracles, but Tyrants them­selves, which accommodate their designs to the Vulgar fancies, are frequently the very Ora­cles that frame Predictions concerning their own grandeur. For these either designing the change of their Republicks, or being alrea­dy seized of power, do labour to make the world believe that Heaven is of the Plot, and concerned in their preservation: nothing being more prevalent upon the minds of men then Religion, which Tyrants by these Oracles make use of, to produce an awe in their oppressed Vassals, that they should not vainly attempt [Page 21]to break those chains which Fate hath imposed on them, and by their efforts upon their Op­pressors, seem to undertake a fruitless warre, to reverse the Decrees of Providence. Thus Lysander projecting the change of the Go­vernment of Sparta, would engage the Gods in the design, and corrupted the Priests to forge Oracles for the same. Agrippina's ambition to have her Son reign, prompted her to disperse a Miracle to make way for it, that the Gods to preserve him for the Empire, had appointed two Serpents to be the Guardians of his Infancy. Catiline, to inflame Lentulus to burn Rome, fed his ambitious and empty Soul with some dark Oracle out of the Sibyl's leaves. And such who have grasped at great designs, have la­boured to make the world believe that there was alwaies some commerce betwixt the Gods and them. Scipio Africanus would never un­dertake any action, before he had some time sate in the Capitol in the Shrine of Jupiter; from whom he would be conceived to be in­spired with some Heroick airs: so that his Soul­diers with confidence followed that Leader whom they believed the Gods directed. Eu­nus, a Slave in Sicily, pretending inspirations from the Syrian Goddess, soon gathered up an Army of sixty thousand men, who, as if they seemed to follow the commands of the Gods, stoutly assisted this their imaginary King, and overthrew four Roman Praetors with their for­ces.[Page 22] Sandrocot, a Greek Fugitive, having by Art reduced a Lion from his natural fierceness, to come and lick the sweat of his body, perswa­ded the Indians that the Gods had designed him for Empire by subjecting the Beast to his service; and he was readily accepted by them for their Prince, and emploied to recover their Liberty from the Captains of Alexander: who freeing them from that yoke, did oppress them with his own Tyranny. So easily do the multitude follow that choice which they believe Heaven hath made; admiring him whom they fancy the Gods have loved, and fearing to of­fend those who pretend a Deity to be their Guardian. Which natural reverence of Hea­ven and Religious simplicity in the minds of men, the Tyrants make their first advantage to ascend to power. And it is possible that A­gathocles was no less impudent to deceive the people and abuse the Gods this way then he was in his other practices, and had composed this Miracle when he first imagined to com­pass the Tyranny; founding his first hopes of Dominion in a Superstitious fear of the cre­dulous multitude.

The Fate of Sicily and the Carthaginians having thus preserved him that was to be their Scourge, he was brought up by his Uncle He­raclidas, and grew to be of a comely coun­tenance, and lusty frame of body beyond[Page 23]his years. When he came to seven years of age, his Father Carcinus was invited by Hera­clidas to a Sacrifice: where seeing Agathocles playing together with some of his mates, whe­ther through some secret motion of Nature, or by the rarity and pleasantness of the sight, he was much affected with the beauty and vigour of the Boy. His Wife observing it, did im­mediately suggest unto him, that just such an one their Son would have been had he not been so inhumanely exposed. Carcinus profes­sed that he was sorry his fears had transported him beyond natural affection, and to shew his resentment, exceedingly wept. His Wife conceiving his present affections to comport with her design, acquaints him with the whole story, how she had saved the Child, and that this was the same. He was extremely pleased with the relation, and with joy received his Son, whom Providence and the affection of a Mother had so preserved: but doubting lest the receiving of his Son to his own house should quicken the remembrance of the Ora­cle, and so expose them both to the Cartha­ginian Fury, he removed his narrow Family out of their Dominions, and planted himself at Syracuse, the stage on which his Son was to act those various Scenes of Blood and Villany.

Carcinus at his new habitation was so poor and destitute of friends, that to maintain him­self[Page 24]and his Family, he emploi'd himself in making of Pots, and taught his son the same trade, that he might contribute something to his maintenance. Which occupation, being the Embleme of absolute Dominion, did seem to habituate his haughty and aspiring Soul to the practice of a boundless Power; and by composing clay to the forms of his own fancy, he did inure himself to module Societies and Commonwealths to the Ideas of his own Lusts and interest. In this mean trade Car­cinus and his son did onely wrestle with neces­sity and poverty, and could never increase his substance to the Cense of a Citizen; and there­fore a long time lived as a burden, not a mem­ber, of that Community: till such time as Timoleon, the Scourge of Tyrants, having freed Sicily from those Monsters, to replenish Syracuse, which the cruelty and horrid at­tempts of those Usurpers had almost depopu­lated, did grant the priviledges and immuni­ties of the City to all that would come and in­habite there: at which time Agathocles with his Father were inrolled among the Citizens, and did enjoy that Liberty which he was short­ly to ruine.

Carcinus not long after dies, and leaves the care of this young Potter to his surviving Mo­ther: who in a feminine fondness of her Son, would needs set up his Effigies made in stone[Page 25]in one of the Temples of Syracuse. On which a swarm of Bees did one day settle, and made their little Cells of wax betwixt the thighs of it. The Augurs, and such as addicted themselves to the vain curiosity of the future, being consulted concerning this accident, gave this answer; That when her son came to years of maturity, he should arrive to great dignity. A conjecture which, because it was answered in the Event, became an observation, and was transmitted to posterity. Whereas the greatest part of such vain Auguries are buried in oblivion, when the success makes them not authentick.

From these low beginnings did Agathocles arise to a Principality. Thus the Providence of Heaven sometimes, to mock the pride of Princes, and baffle the Insolencies of Great­ness, as also to assert its own absolute over­ruling Power, doth permit the inhabitants of the dunghill to possess the Palaces of Kings, and gives the Kingdomes of the world to the basest of men. He that shall observe and consider the Examples that are in ancient and modern History, will find how much of Mockery there is in all humane affairs, and how short-sighted that which we call Humane Providence is to foresee and prevent future e­vents; for when jealous Cities have provided for their Liberty by the banishment of their most potent Citizens, and the Ostracisme of such[Page 26]who by their noble extracts and descent from imperial Originals are most to be suspected to impose upon the rights of their Country, they have been many times inslaved by some contemptible member of their Community. And frequently in Kingdomes, not those whom Fame or Hope destined to Empire, but whom Providence hath in secret reserved to be the future Prince, have ascended the Throne. And the highest Commands, which men conceive the due reward of all Vertues, and the portion of the best-descended, are yet sometimes given to the vilest persons, and the Majesty of Empire profaned by most ab­ject exercisers of that power, as Slaves, Thieves, Fencers and Shepherds, or such like dregs of the people. This happens not but through the just Indignation of Heaven against an un­quiet and sinful people, when not content­ed to bear the moderate Rule of lawful Prin­ces, they are condemned to serve such reproach­full Lords. The Romans bewailed the malig­nity of their Fortune when they were forced, in preserving their Dignity and defending their Associates, to send forth just Armies a­gainst such theatrical Princes, as if they had been honourable and lawful Kings; and as it were ashamed of their Victory, they thought the majesty of a Triumph would be polluted if it were granted to the subduers of such ima­ginary Commanders. The ignominy there­fore[Page 27]of the Tyrant must needs aggravate the bondage of those that are compelled to serve him. And by how much they are removed from the just hopes of the supreme power, they are so much the more immoderate in their pride and ambition when they arrive unto it; their Souls being, like half-famished stomachs, in­satiable with Dominion. In the exercise where­of they are like Comets, which being but Exhalations of the earth, when they are raised to the height, and kindled to the brightness of a Star, do portend ruine to the greatest persons and the best families. So such con­temptible men elevated to power do rage most against the better and most vertuous parts of a Society, and seek to hide the baseness of their own, by spilling all the nobler blood. And as subterranean fires which first feed upon the roots, and then consume the entrails of great mountains, do from thence spread ashes and ruine upon the adjacent Valleys and neighbouring plains; so do such men, fired with ambition, labour to undermine the Optimacy, which are the supereminent parts of every Community, and then diffuse vassa­lage and misery upon the Populacy. And such did Agathocles prove to be to the miserable Syracusans.

Agathocles's Birth and Childhood, though poor and obscure, were yet more polluted by[Page 28]his vitious Youth and his following conver­sation. For he was more infamous by the course of his life, then for the meanness of his birth; because not the beginnings, but the progress of our lives are the subjects of our choice, and it is that which renders us capable of shame or glory. And as Vertue is not in­tailed upon Patrician families; so by no Decree of Fate or law of Nature is it pro­scribed from Plebeian breasts: but such as can boast no glory of their Ancestors, may yet be admired for their own Heroick actions. And many of those great actions which the world hath wondred at, have been performed by persons who were obscure in their Originall, and had no advantage for Fame from their birth. Vertue wheresoever it is placed, draws the reverence and affection of men; who be­hold Gallant persons as they do fair and great Trees, in which are commended the straight­ness, height and bigness of the Trunk, and the large extent and beauty of the Branches; but seldome is it inquired of the measure and depth of their Roots. Rome never repented the prodigality of her Honours in six Con­sulships to Marius a Plebeian, while she received no less glory and safety from his conduct then from any of her Patrician Con­suls; and while he was contented to receive, not force the people's favour, which is usu­ally most prone and indulgent to new appearers [Page 29]in the State. But when his Ambition made him impatient of rest, and he would ravish, not court, his City's love, and snatch those Ho­nours which she had designed to others, he appeared in his seventh Consulship no less dangerous to his own Citizens in peace, then he was to their Enemies in war. So that not his Birth, but his Vices disgraced his former dignities, and exposed him to the publick hatred.

But Agathocles his Youth was more dis­graceful then his Trade, and continued the ignominy of his Infancy with the dishonour of his riper years: for being of a comely frame and lovely visage, he did allure, and prosti­tute himself as a common Bardacio to every man's Lust who was able to pay the reward of his infamy. And that he might not be unacquainted with any iniquity, he afterwards transferred his Lust from men to women; that as before he injured the Wives by diver­ting the affections of their Husbands, so he would abuse the Husbands with the Dishonour of their Wives. And in these practices he spent his first years, living so contemptibly, that he was without any esteem or regard, as one that had no Fortune to be sollicitous to preserve, nor any Credit or Modesty to be tender of.

But by these baser Arts he at length got in­to [Page 30]favour with Damas one of the wealthiest Syracusans, by becoming his Pathick, and into the affections of his Wife, by being her Gal­lant. This man's favour brought the Potter into the Militia of the City, and in the dis­charge thereof he was so incouraged and as­sisted by him, that he was put into a conditi­on of thriving, and a way to raise his Fortune. For Damas being made Commander in chief of the Syracusan army which they emploied a­gainst the Agrigentines, when one of the Colonels were dead, he preferred Agathocles to that Command, who had before shewed himself not unequal to such an emploiment, being of a vigour and courage fit for great a­ctions. He also had made himself considera­ble among the Vulgar, who alwaies look upon things extraordinary, by accustoming himself in all his military exercises, to use such hea­vy and strong arms as none else could easi­ly manage. But being now made Colonel, he had more advantage to get a popular name and esteem among the Great and eminent, though not among the Good. And his pre­ferment rendred more conspicuous all those his other advantages which he had either by Nature or Art. He was of a comely presence, and a large stature (which to the Vulgar are marks of Rule) an high and immoderate spi­rit. He had a mixture of good and bad Arts. He was as well industrious as he was luxu­rious, [Page 31]not less popular then arrogant, base and infamous in his pleasures when he gave himself to them, but sollicitous and bold when he conceived it expedient; he was hazardous in his attempts, a despiser of dangers, im­pudent and passionate in his harangues, and so usually prevailed upon the Multitude, who are more easily perswaded and moved by what appears, then by what truly is: and he seemed to have all things requisite for Fame, but an honest Soul. To all these at length was ad­ded that other advantage of Wealth and Ri­ches, which are the keys to Greatness, and make the accesses to Honour more easie and open. For Damas dying, and leaving his e­state to his Widow, she became the Wife of Agathocles, and her Dowry put him into the Cense of the richest Citizens, and raised his desires beyond the level of a private person: for having a long time been vexed with Po­verty, and now suddenly grown wealthy, he could not well dissemble the change of his For­tune, but was immoderate in those desires which had by a long Poverty been hitherto suppressed.

The unquiet state of the Commonwealth, either by Factions at home or Wars abroad, gave him frequent opportunities of promoting his designs, and improving his esteem among the Vulgar. For commotions in a State are[Page 32]like Earthquakes, which as they sometimes swallow up pieces of land that have been long inhabited, and much adorned with the arts and Edifices of men, so do they sometimes thrust forth into the world some new pieces of ground, which though barren at first, may be capa­ble of the same ornaments with those which are lost: so in Civil broils many ancient Fa­misies and eminent Persons are overthrown and destroied; and in their stead arise new men to receive the Honours and reverence of the people. No Societies are more subject to such seditious commotions then Democrati­cal Polities, where all things being carried by the rude, ignorant and popular breath, they are often managed by ambitious persons to the shaking of the State, who endeavour to over­whelm others, to raise themselves. In such a Commonwealth did Agathocles live, which was therefore more obnoxious to his Arts; and he neglected no advantage that seemed favou­rable to his design. Therefore the Syracusans having decreed to send an Army to relieve the City Croton, that then was besieged by the Brutii, Agathocles gets himself to be created by the publick suffrage a Colonel in this Expe­dition; but the chief command was intrusted to Sosistratus and Heraclides, men that had a long time lived by oppression, rapine and blood, and had made themselves powerful by excee­ding Crimes. In this service Agathocles having[Page 33]behaved himself stoutly, was notwithstanding, through the Envy of Sosistratus, denied those Honours and rewards which he conceived due to his atchievements.

This injury coming so cross to his designs, as checking his course to popular estimation, he could not digest; but his spirit boiled with an­ger and hatred, that others should have the Glory of that which he thought was the proper effect of his Valour, and that he should be ob­scurely exposed to fruitless dangers: nor was he less grieved at his Enemies Honour then at his own Wrong. Therefore to satisfie his re­venge, and to trie another way to Fame, which was to make himself great by enmities with great men, and for which he was also fitted by Nature, being of a round and smooth discourse, skilfull in raising slanders, and bold enough to prosecute them, powerful at Factions and popular discontents; he leaves the Army and makes hast home, where he challenges the li­berty of a free City, and accuseth Sosistratus and his party (of the greatest Crime in a Po­pular State) as invaders of the common Li­berty, and such as intended a Tyranny. But the Syracusans neglected these accusations; ei­ther because their Commonwealth was defe­ctive in its constitution, as having not provi­ded for a way whereby such accusations e­ven of their most potent Citizens might be[Page 34]throughly examined, (which would have been much for the security of their Liberty, because it would have terrified any consultations and conspiracies against it, and have opened a way and course by Law for Citizens to vent their passions and humours one against another, and not necessitated them to extraordinary waies and private force, which do soon ruine the Commonwealth;) Or Sosistratus his greatness and success had secured him against the force of any impeachment, so that the people were not willing to take notice of that crime which they could not punish, or of that design which they could not prevent. For sometimes trea­sons are with more ease avoided when they are not understood, and are more dangerous in so po­tent a person when known, then when they are onely in design. Or else the credit of Aga­thocles was so low, that he could not raise a belief in any that he could be sollicitous for the publick good; or that this was any thing else but a sally of his factious Spirit. His at­tempts being slighted, he was forced to sup­press his present Accusations.

But Sosistratus returning home victorious from Croton, the Syracusans lost more by the Victory then was sought by the war; for he being proud with his success, and conscious of his own designs, and doubting that the ac­cusations of Agathocles had made him ob­noxious[Page 35]to the peoples jealousie and anger, he changes the form of the Government in­to an Oligarchy, establishing the Supreme power in some few of the Nobless, and ma­king himself the chief of the party: by this way consulting his own safety: it seeming evi­dent to him there could happen nothing more dismal in his enterprise, then what he was to expect in a modest and private condition. This though at first it seemed to secure Sosistratus, yet was it of a pernicious consequence both to himself and the City in the issue of it. For to change the Government and the accustomed Orders of a Society must needs offend many persons; and where there are many malecontents, some wretched accident may be every day fea­red. Besides the Example it gives to others to the same attempts, which will adjust the most horrid practices that are done in imitati­on: for Examples stay not where they began, and though at first they be admitted but in a part, yet at last invade the whole; and when men have once declined from the rule of Ju­stice, they are precipitate to that which is evil: no man conceiving that dishonourable for him, which hath proved beneficial to another. So that this practice of Sosistratus and his party did in some measure honest the future procee­dings of Agathocles against them, and licence his projects for Tyranny.

[Page 36]Yet at present Agathocles, that had sound no Justice from his Enemy when he served under his command in the war, could not now expect sec [...]ity from him in peace, who had the whole power of the City, and was ex­asperated by hi [...] accusations; and as formerly he felt his Envy, so he was now to fear his Revenge, and therefore forsakes the City. And because he was thus obstructed in his courses to Principality at home, he intended to at­tempt it abroad. To this end he gathers up in Sicily a company of such as were accustomed to robberies, by hopes of larger booties and more splendid rapines. These he disposes in­to the species of a just Army, dividing them into several Companies, and marshalling them under distinct Leaders, to be the fitter to re­ceive and execute his commands. With this thievish Army he sails over into Italy, and watches all opportunities for spoil and Ty­ranny. The first that felt his attempts were the Crotoniates, for whose liberty before he had behaved himself stoutly even to envy: and now as if he had repented of his Vertue, or to shew that though he was not willing they should serve others, yet he desired they might be his Slaves, he endeavours to surprize their City. But being discovered and encountred, he was beaten back with great loss of his com­pany. With shame and the rest of his beaten forces he flies to Tarentum, where he with his [Page 37]company were received into pay as mercenary Souldiers for the defence of the City. But his immoderate thirst of Greatness, and his unquiet spirit, which grew more eager by re­pulses, would not let him rest; (So pertinaci­ous is that hope which great desires do con­ceive) that even there he practised to arrive at Principality, and instead of a Servant to become Master of the place. But his designs being divulged, he was cashiered, and with his Faction and party driven out of the City.

Thus everywhere unfortunate abroad, he is presented by Fortune with an opportunity of returning home, and revenge on his adversa­ries. For the Syracusans were about that time in hostility with the City Rhegium, and had sent an Army to besiege it under the Conduct of Sosistratus. Agathocles, that was then maintaining himself and his small party by Robberies, hearing of it, gathers together all the Exiles that were in those parts of Italy, and other Vagabonds and Thieves, and with such forces attempts to raise the siege before Rhegium: and so happily accomplishes it, that he broke the Army of Sosistratus with so great a rout, that he became contemptible to the Syracusans. The contempt of a Magi­strate doth alwaies usher in his ruine. For the people encouraged by his overthrow, and exasperated by the insolency of the Oligar­chy, [Page 38]who had incurred the publick hatred, and animated by some secret practices of Agatho­cles, took up arms, and forced Sosistratus and his party, which were about six hundred, all Instruments or Members of the Oligarchy, to quit the Government and City also: and then retrived their former Democracy, but with the addition of a Senate of six hundred, which should consist of the wealthiest and gravest of the people, who were to debate things of the weightiest concernment. This change open­ed a safe return to Agathocles, and greater hopes to seize upon the power of the Com­monwealth, Sosistratus and his party being re­moved, who were the greatest obstructions to his designs. And because he wanted strength to force the people, he applies himself to cheat them by the arts and waies of a Demagogue, by which Dionysius before him had attained the Principality of that unquiet City. For there being in every Society two several par­ties, the Nobless and the Populacy, they are carried with different and opposite humours. The Grandees still seek after a power to oppress and command the lower and inferiour part of the Community; and the People strive for that liberty that they may neither be comman­ded nor oppressed. And by means of these distant and opposite humours most part of the Tyrannies did arise. He therefore who intends to use the people for his ascent to power, must[Page 39]be frequent in his harangues, flatter the mul­titude, bitterly inveigh against the insolen­cies of the Optimacy, extol the name and be­nefits of Liberty, and make large promises of peace and plenty in the counsels he doth pro­pose: and this is to be a Demagogue. For such an one speedily becomes the leader of the ignorant multitude, who are easily deceived by specious promises, and the accusations of such whom they hate, and conceive him to be very just that favours their desires, which have more of honesty then those of their adversaries; and they do usually give a power into his hands to suppress the contrary Faction, which he after­wards uses to take away their Liberty.

This way, which seemed most safe and ea­sie, did Agathocles upon his return proceed in. Therefore when the news came that the Bandi­ti, Sosistratus and his party, assisted by the Carthaginians, did intend to make warre upon the Syracusans, he was frequent and importu­nate in his Orations to the people, that they would not return again under the yoke of the Oligarchy, but undertake the warre to main­tain their Liberty. Which being managed with the usual arts did prevail upon the Multitude, and they decreed the warre: which continued a long time, and was varied with several O­verthrows and Victories. In this warre Aga­thocles, sometimes as a private person, and some­times[Page 40]as a Commander, did behave himself gallantly, and shewed himself to be a person of good Conduct, close design, apprehensive of all advantages, and speedy in the execution, having alwaies in doubtful cases some cunning Stratagem, either to baffle the enemy, or to se­cure his own party. Amongst which this is re­lated for one. The Syracusans having laid siege to Gela, Agathocles one night with a thousand commanded men gets into the town by sur­prize. Sosistratus, that then was Governour of the place, being alarmed by the surprize, speedily collecting the stoutest and best-disci­plin'd men of the Garrison, sets upon those that had entred, and killing about three hundred of them, put the rest to flight. Who being to make their retreat through very narrow lanes, were in great hazard of being all cut off, having neither room to fight, nor leisure to flie. A­gathocles beyond all hope frees them from this danger; for though he himself had received se­ven wounds, and was weakned with the loss of much blood; yet not fearfully yielding to his present adversity, he gives command to the Trumpetters, that they should go to the oppo­site part of the town-wall, and there sound a Charge: which being speedily performed, the Geloans, that then pressed hard upon Agatho­cles, hearing the Charge given in another place, and through the darkness of the night not be­ing able to discover the truth of the matter, con­ceived [Page 41]the City to be assaulted in another part by another body of the Enemy. This made them slacken their eagerness in assailing Aga­thocles, and to divide themselves to succour the other parts which they imagined were assaul­ted; and by this means suffered him and his party safely to return to their Camp: where he was received with much honour, for having preserved the lives of so many of his own par­ty from an evident ruine.

Had Agathocles abounded with these honest arts, he had trodden the right way to Glory; and would he have been contented with what the Laws and his Country would give, he might have received that as a reward of his Vertue which he laboured to make a spoil of his Vio­lence, and by the common consent have been thought worthy to reign, if he had not sought it too greedily. So Gelo before him, and Hiero after him, received the Empire of Syracuse as a reward of their generous actions, not as the aim of their designs. And Timoleon, though he strove to be a private person, yet was forced to be a Prince. Heroick Vertues being as the Patent of Heaven for Dominion: and men wil­lingly submit to them that receive, not take the Power; and think their Freedome preserved, not infringed, by a just Prince, there being no greater Liberty then to be well governed. But the desire of Greatness was too importunate [Page 42]in Agathocles. For ambitious spirits are not easily contented with what is offered; to whom the present enjoyments seem contemptible, when greater things may be hoped for; and at last they endeavour too hastily to exceed their own hopes: which is the ruine of many, that might have attained to Supremacy, had they not preferred too speedy and dangerous courses to such that are more slow, yet sure, mediums to power. And therefore these arts which would have co­vered moderate crimes in others, made him more suspected by his Citizens, that he was a person of too bold hopes, and no longer fit to dwell in a free City: for he made use of all his Successes and abilities to render himself great in the common fame, and popular among the Souldiers. So that his Vertues, as well as his Vices, made him unfit for that Society. For Industry and Sagacity are no less dange­rous then Vanity and Luxury to a Common­wealth, when they are used to attain a Ty­ranny.

To prevent therefore the ambitious designs of this and other her Citizens, the Common­wealth of Syracuse had invited from Corinth Acestorides, a person of a clear fame and un­questioned Honesty, to take upon him the Government for a time, that he might ballance the several Factions of their State, and give vent to those swelling hopes of her most turbu­lent[Page 43]members, who now were grown too big for a civil and ordinary management; hoping to find him like to Timoleon, that knew how both to conquer Tyrants, and to submit to a civil Government, a rare agreement in one breast: for the nature of man is willing to in­dulge that in himself which he hates in ano­ther. But Acestorides, though he wanted not integrity for his trust, yet failed in courage and resolution to perform it. For finding Agathocles the greatest object at that time of the common jealousie, and that Liberty and he were inconsi­stent in one City, (For that City cannot be ac­counted free, where any one Citizen can terrifie the publick Magistrates,) he did not dare to re­move him by a Trial and course of Justice, but intended to take him off by a secret Conspira­cy: and therefore published an Edict, where­by he banished him from that Commonwealth; and commanding him to leave the City by night, he laid an Ambush in the way that might kill him in his passage, supposing the darkness would conceal the authors of his death, and his Banishment would occasion an uncertainty in all reports that should be divulged, whether he were alive or dead, and so suspend the minds of the Vulgar rabble (to whom his Vices as well as his Vertues had indeared him, and) who would be forward to mutiny in his revenge. Agathocles, that was not unacquainted with any fraudulent practices, did easily suspect the [Page 44]plot: and therefore to prevent it, chuseth out one of his servants that was most like to himself in the outward proportion of body, and har­nasses him with his own armour, mounts him upon his own horse, and sends him out of the City that way which he conceived was forelaid, and he himself disguised with poor and ragged apparel departs in a more unfrequented path. Those that were appointed to dispatch him, con­jecturing by the arms and horse that they had encountred with their designed prey, set upon the Servant and kill him, supposing that they had rid Syracuse of their fears and hate. But Agathocles's following actions soon made them sensible of their errour, and did upbraid the weakness of Acestorides, who did not dare to use the sword of Justice against him whom he thought unworthy to live, and put the security and Liberty of the Commonwealth upon the uncertainty of a Plot.

Agathocles being gone, the unsteady multi­tude grow weary of that warre which he had perswaded them unto against the Banditi, who assisted by the power of Carthage, were able to renew their invasions after many defeats. There­fore they immediately receive them into the Ci­ty again, and conclude a Peace with the Car­thaginians: but revoked not the sentence of Banishment against Agathocles, which now by the return of his enemies he conceived would[Page 45]be irreversible. He therefore hath recourse to his old auxiliaries of Thieves and desperate Va­gabonds, whom necessity and his former con­duct had fitted for any Villany; who readily flocked about him in hopes of more licentious rapines: and to these he gathers all the disban­ded Souldiers, whom the present Peace had made useless, and forming an Army of these, he grew terrible both to the Carthaginians and Syracusans, wasting their Territories, firing their Villages, and plundering the weaker and unfenced Towns and Cities. And that he might colour his outrages with some pretext of Justice, he espoused the quarrels of all those Cities that were either enemies to or emulous of the power of Syracuse; & to this end was made Praetor of the Murgantines, who had an anci­ent hatred against them, and had been his san­ctuary in his Banishment. Under the species of their quarrel he did so eagerly prosecute the warre and his own designs, that he took Leon­tium, and blocked up Syracuse it self. This reduced them to such streights, that they were forced to seek for succour and aid from Amil­car the Carthaginian General. He, either to keep alive those flames wherewith the Sicilians did consume one the other, was willing to adde some fewel to the fire; or else in humanity and of a generous spirit, would assist a noble, though adverse, City, when distressed by her own Ci­tizens; sending thither such a sufficient supply[Page 46]as made Agathocles despair by force to bring it to his subjection. He therefore applies himself to his more safe and secret arts of deceit; and desires Amilcar that he would mediate betwixt him and Syracuse, that he might be restored a­gain to his own City and houshold Gods, and not be necessitated by such unpleasing waies to preserve his life and liberty. But together with these honest pretexts, he made more obliging promises of service and gratitude to Amilcar, if he would be the happy instrument of his re­turn home.

Amilcar undertakes the office, and easily perswades the wretched Syracusans to consent to that which, without his assistance, they should be forced to submit unto upon more un­equal conditions. His restitution therefore was agreed unto by the People, upon some se­turity of their Peace and Liberty; which to give them, he was led into the Temple of Ce­res, the most sacred Deity among the Sicilians, and there solemnly swore, that he would doe nothing contrary to the Democratical Govern­ment of Syracuse. This was the onely secu­rity which they could at that time have from A­gathocles. Which is indeed a sufficient tie upon such souls as are indued with a sense of Vertue, or have any fear of a Deity: but Oaths are too weak fetters to restrain ambitious Spirits, or such as intend a Tyranny. For He that re­solves[Page 47]to be unjust towards men, will slight the testimony and vengeance of Heaven. But though the people had been acquainted with the Arts and impiety of Tyrants, and were not igno­rant of the impious converse of him whom they admitted; (For from the former conversation may be best valued the force of any mans oath) yet were they now in such a condition, that it was as dangerous not to believe as to be deceived: and they chose rather, as conceiving it a relief of their miseries, to be undeservedly abused, then to leave him any colour of justice for his Injuries.

But it was the greater Wonder among the Speculativi, that Amilcar, a person of such experience in humane converse, and by a long Government not unacquainted with the di­stance of aspiring minds from their Oaths and Promises, that he should rely upon the Oath of Agathocles; who likewise swore to him by touching the kindled Tapers, (the form of swearing among the Carthaginians) that he would promote the Punick interest, and obey their commands. For how could he imagine that a Person so faithless to his own Country, would observe any faith with strangers? that he which sought for Dominion in his own Ci­ty, would quietly bear a forein yoke? Yet the Carthaginian might promise to himself ad­vantages to his Republick either from the Perfi­diousness[Page 48]or Observance of the Tyrant. If he were faithful, then the increase of his power over the Syracusuns extended the Dominon of the Africans, and would give some splendour to their yoke, in that they had a King for a mi­nister of slavery. If otherwise he should be false to both, then might Carthage rejoice at his Perjuries, because they would occasion eter­nall hatreds and quarrels among her common enemies, and so make her Victory easie when she should attempt it. And it would be more advantage for the Punick Empire, if Agatho­cles together with infamy and hate should pos­sess the power of Syracuse, then if he had ac­quired it by vertuous actions, and had been seated in it by the people's affections; for so being mutually jealous, they would afflict and weaken each other, that at last the Tyrant would not be able to hold his Usurpation, nor the City to maintain her Liberty: so that in the end it must necessarily fall into their bo­some. These might be the too subtle specula­tions and fine hopes of Amilcar: but they could never be esteemed wise counsels, wherein so many accidents might intervene, as might justly make him doubt of the expected issue. For the Tyrants Cruelty and Fortune eluded all his hopes, and justified the Carthaginian Censure, who for this action condemned their Commander.

[Page 49] Agathocles being returned home, covered his revengeful and ambitious Soul with a dis­sembled Modesty, neither awakening the fears of the people, nor raising the jealousies of his enemies by complaints of his unjust banish­ment, and the unprovoked injuries which he had received; but burying all in silence, as if the love of his Country had defaced all pri­vate animosities, he rendred all secure, and suffered them to embrace that errour, That Malice may be worn out with time, and ap­peased by Benefits. And knowing that the speediest way to overthrow the present Go­vernment was to pretend Liberty, and when the Government was once shaken, it might easily be attempted on; he applies himself to such courses as might render him in the Vul­gar esteem the Patron and assertor of the common Liberty. Therefore in all his harangues he still expressed his great affection to the people. Who being most eager in two desires, one, of having their Liberty, and the other, of taking revenge on those that are the instru­ments of their bondage; he tickles and feeds these two humours in his speeches, pleading the great equity of restoring the Government to the multitude, that every free-man should have his share in the common interest; and then inveighs against those that had been and were in power, accusing their insolencies and mis­carriages in Government, and so forms his dis­courses[Page 50]as one that rather knew how to rule, then desirous of it. For he that accuses would be supposed clear in himself from what he ob­jects to another as a crime, and he is conceived skilful in that wherein he observes anothers er­rours. Thus playing the subtle Demagogue, and doing all things as a Slave, that he might arrive at Rule, with more safety and speed he attains that which open and stout assaies would have rendred difficult. And he that will arise from a private and low condition to the Supre­mest fortune, must use more Art then Force.

The people cheated by these his specious re­presentations of a perfect Liberty, and ca­joled by his reiterated protestations of seeking onely the common utility, soon forgot their former jealousies, and his bold attempts upon their Liberty; (So strong an influence hath a confident assertion even upon distrustful minds, that it works a belief of what they desire, though contrary to the evidence of reason drawn from former experience) and bewitched with the imaginary benefits of Novelty, which the Vulgar are no less desirous of in a well-or­dered then in a corrupted State, did by a pub­lick Decree make him their General, and con­stitute him their Conservator of the Peace, till such time as a form of Government should be framed that might satisfie all parties, and pre­serve Liberty and Unity among all the members[Page 51]of the Commonwealth. For all the Exiles be­ing returned home, the City was distracted with various Factions, and could not agree in any one form of State. Every one, as it is u­sual, projecting several methods conducing to the interest of his own party, and the ruine of the opposite; very little respecting the publick security. And when all would order the Com­monwealth, none could please: for some of their Forms did not please those that were good, and others displeased the wise. In some it was made easie to doe mischief, and in another men could not safely doe that which was good. One left too much authority to the Grandees, and the other made the Populacy tyrannical and ar­bitrary. Therefore the multitude, which are slow in their resolves, unless determined by neces­sity, were now by the variety of proposals more uncertain and dubious to make their choice. In the mean while each Faction striving to ad­vance it self, made an horrid confusion in the Community. And as in a Tempest each wave striving to be highest rides upon the back of that which hasted to the shore before it, and is it self also suppressed by a following: so it hap­pened in this Civil Tempest of the Common­wealth; each party strove to suppress the other, till a third, undiscerned before, assaults and suppresses the Conquerour. And each was made more fierce by their several pretensions to Liberty and the Publick good, which even [Page 52]those that aimed at the severest Tyranny would not neglect: so that all thinking to evidence the goodness of their Cause by their heat for it, filled the whole City with tumult and confu­sion.

The Divisions ran so high, and continued so long, that the soberer part thought it was now expedient, that the afflicted Republick should have some rest, lest the wounds thereof should be made wider by such a tumultuous way of curing. And it appeared that the onely way to attain Order was, to conferre and intrust into some One man's hand power to preserve the peace for a time: for it was evi­dent, that it was almost impossible, in so great a distraction, things could ever come to a set­tlement, unless some One, like a Soul and Mind, should give Order and Method to all the rest. The person chosen for this was A­gathocles, who was still on that party where was the greatest Number, which was likely to be the most ignorant, and which he conceived he could most easily delude. He therefore was made Praetor, and intrusted with more then ordinary power for this great work of settle­ment. Thus was Agathocles presented with the fairest opportunity of true Glory that his Soul could possibly desire. For Heaven can­not give nor any man wish for a fitter occasion for worldly Glory, then to find a City deformed[Page 53]with confusions, and declining to ruine by its corruptions, which he may reform and module with wholesome Laws and generous Constitu­tions, to render it a peaceable habitation, and make it a theatre of Vertue and Justice; to se­cure the Magistrates of their Honour, and eve­ry private person of his Wealth and Safety: for this is to be emulous and a rival of the glo­ry of Heaven, to bring Order out of Confu­sions, to dispense those blessings which render Life comfortable, and hedge up the fortunes and goods of men with a just providence. This captivates the Souls of men to a voluntary subjection, and challenges an un-envied ado­ration.

But Agathocles, who was of the temper of every Tyrant, measuring the benefit of his Power by a licence to doe mischief, & being no less thirsty of Blood then he was of Greatness, perverted these advantages of solid Glory to gratifie his Lusts, consulting his own eternal ignominy in his Countries slavery. And therefore resolved not to let slip this season of erecting his Tyranny, to which all things in the judgement of his Lusts did seem to invite him. The people whom he had to deal with were factious and unquiet, restless as the Sea which did incompass them; whom the plenty of their soil and the riches of Trading had made so wanton, that they were impatient of[Page 54]Laws and Magistrates: and as they were un­willing to endure Slavery, so they were immo­dest in the use of their Liberty; and by these Corruptions were become like so many wild beasts, easie to be taken by any watchful and bold hand that could hope to tame them. Be­sides, the frequent revolutions of Government, and the successive inundations of several Facti­ons, had each in their Order, like the Overflow­ings of Nile, left so many seeds and spawns of monsters that might easily be formed to any design; so many disappointed in their hopes and broken in their fortunes, that they would be contented to be instruments of any change that should make them whole again. The Soul­diers were for the most part mercenary, and without any discipline; for in Civil warres the discord of the Citizens abolishes the severity of discipline: besides, being now to be cashiered, because they were made useless by this Peace, they were envious at the rich Citizens, and did meditate nothing else but the sacking of the Town, the pillage of the Country, and the murdering of their Enemies; and so were fit­ted for any bold corrupter, that would but lead them to their desired prey. But the most invi­ting Occasion was the present unsetledness of the Government, all things being but in mo­tion to composure, not yet established; which is a vast advantage for any wicked enterprise, whose counsels and hopes are built upon trou­bles. [Page 55]All these Occasions promised much ease in the design, and there was nothing that he feared would much impede his ascent to Princi­pality, but the Authority of the Senate of six hundred, which were the wealthiest Syracu­sans, and of greatest credit with the people, which he intends to remove out of the way; not willing any longer to delay, when caution seemed more dangerous then rashness, and fea­ring to lose these Occasions which Modern Ty­rants name the Calls of Providence.

All things therefore seeming fit for his pur­pose, being now Chief Magistrate, no empty name, but of great moment to execute any en­terprise, and having an actual command of all the forces of the Commonwealth, he wanted onely some pretext to draw them together, with as many as he thought fit for his design, which either Fortune presented him with, or he him­self formed. For news was brought to Syra­cuse, that some under their dominion had re­volted from their obedience, and were embodied about Erbita. Upon this the people were sum­moned in great hast, who surprised with this sudden fear, passed a Decreee, that Agathocles should take care of the Commonwealth; and that he might prevent the danger with speed, he might levy what Souldiers he thought fit.

This Commission was as large as his desires, [Page 56]and he presently makes use of it to his purpose: for he sends for the Murgantines, who were his ancient friends, but bitter enemies of the Syracusans; he gathers up out of the in-land Towns such as had been his former comrades in his thievish expeditions; and with these he joins those that had formerly served under him a­gainst the Carthaginians, who he knew were ob­liged to him by former Benefits, fit for whatsoe­ver he dared to command, that were of a perti­nacious faith to him, but enemies to the Se­nate, and haters of the people, because they were forced to obey their commands: which hatred was therefore more fierce, because it was unjust. All these made up a number of three thousand, every one of which were very desirous to ruine the Democracy. To these he adds such of the Citizens as had no honest hopes, whose poverty or fear of punishment for former offences did make them malign and hate those that were in Power, and suggest to them a necessity of becoming greater crimi­nalls, that by the change of Government they might gain security, and in licentious tumults alter their despicable fortunes by the booties and rewards of civil commotions.

These all being fit for his purpose, as if he intended his march towards Erbita, he ap­points to rendezvous at the Tomb of Timoleon; as if he would first trample upon the ashes and [Page 57]memory of him that had been the most Vertu­ous assertor of Liberty to that wretched City, and from thence make his invasion by Blood and Violence. His Army being met, he sends for Peisarchus and Decles, who were the most eminent and leading members of the Senate, as having something to consult with them con­cerning the publick affairs. They coming to him with a train of about forty of their friends, were immediately secured by a guard that he set upon them, as if they had come to execute some Treason against him. Then calling his Souldiers together, and appearing among them with a countenance composed to sadness, he omits nothing that might move either pity to him, or fear, anger, and hate towards the Se­nate. He invokes their faith and compassion of him, and complains of his hard Fate, that it was never safe for him to love the People, and that none was ever an enemy to the Common­wealth, but they would be likewise the contri­vers of his destruction. For do you not hear (saith he) how my execution and your punish­ment is already decreed, and how the Se­nate hath sent these their most subtle Agents to draw me back to the place of slaughter, and to contrive the scene of your massacre? They envy us the honour of dying upon our enemies swords in defence of our Country's Liberty: and we must brutishly fall as sa­crifices to their insolent Lusts, and our blood[Page 58]be spilt to testifie that such Monsters ruled us. In vain do we arm and expose our selves to death to keep off a forein yoke, when such ungrateful wretches devote us to ruine at home. Are we not patient enough in our slavery, when we offer our selves to all the dangers of warre, that they may be secure in their effeminate pleasures, and wantonly lavish that wealth which is the price of our blood? but must we also be basely sent out of the world, that they alone may enjoy it? When will these men know the just bounds of commanding, or we fully apprehend the mi­sery of our ignominious thraldome?

Then pausing, as if he had been interrupted with tears which he shed, the Vulgar rout hin­dered any further progress in his speech, with loud clamour, each one according to the sense of his Interest or Passion, exclaiming against the Vices of the Senators: some charged them with Cruelty, others railed at their Covetous­ness, and another sort did condemn their Pride and Perfidiousness; and therefore they jointly cried out, That he should not wait till such inhumane vipers did return to a love of their own City, but speedily revenge his own and their injuries: that he had already offended enough against his trust, in dealing so gently with such as deserved as little of mercy, as they shewed of justice. Agathocles suffers [Page 59]not their present rage to cool, knowing that wicked attempts are to be done with a sudden fury, though good counsels gather strength by delay: and seeing they understood the causes of hatred, he would likewise quicken them with the hopes of Spoil.

Go, (saith he) and be your own Avengers, make the Tyrants feel what they decreed you should suffer. Let the wealth of Senators that know no modesty in their commands, be the rewards of such generous Souls that can en­dure no Slavery. Leave them no friends or confidents which may bewail or revenge their death, nor children to inherit their Crimes with their Wealth. Then immediately, not to give space to the bad to repent, nor to the good (if there were any there) to consider, and in abhorrency of the fact to unite against him, he commands the Trumpets to sound a charge, as if he were sacking an Enemies Town. The caitiff Army having this full licence to satisfie their revenge, covetousness and lust, soon fell to the execution, and left nothing undone that a conquered City feels from an enraged Ene­my. They guarded all the posts of the City, and shut up the Gates that none might escape their fury: then they slew all the most daring and popular Citizens, who hearing the tumult came forth unarmed into the streets to inquire the cause. Then the houses streamed with the[Page 60]blood of the owners, the Innocent fell with the Guilty, and every one was slain that had something to satisfie the expectation of his mur­derer. He that had no enemy, met with death at the hand of his friend; and a good name was a mark for ruine. The Altars of the Gods were coloured with the blood of those that fled to them for refuge, as Victimes to an incensed Deity. The aged men and ancient matrons were led about in scorn, by their miseries to make up the merrier part of this Tragedy. And that nothing of unhappiness might be unfelt by the miserable Syracusans, Rapes were mingled with Slaughters: he that was the Assassinate of the Husband, would be the Ravisher of the Wife; and he that reeked with the blood of the Father, would quench his flames of lust with the dishonour of the Daughter. Their rage and lust was so high against the people, that at last it grew hot among themselves, and he was accounted an enemy that had got the more precious booty. When any Virgin or Youth, whom beauty made conspicuous, fell into the hands of this barbarous rabble, they were commonly torn in pieces by the violence of those who contended for their first abuse; and then became the quarrel, and armed the Ravishers to their mutual ruine. Others while they hasted away with the gold and silver of the murdered owner, were themselves a prey to a stronger arm. Thus death and ruine reign­ed[Page 61]in Syracuse, and the first day there were no less then four thousand of the most eminent Citizens, that by honest arts had won the affe­ctions of the people, murdered. Some were apprehended and slain at the gates, through which they thought to flie. Others met death from which they fled in climbing over the town wall, by too much fear and hast breaking their necks and limbs. About six thousand escaped, and some of them got safe to Agrigentum and other neighbouring Cities, where the relation of their miseries did move a great deal of pity: but the inhumane Souldiers would yet make them sensible of their fury in their remaining parts, with more contumely ravishing their Wives and Daughters, because they themselves had e­scaped with their lives.

This Cruelty lasted for two daies, Agatho­cles's thirst of blood being not sooner to be quenched; or because his authority was not yet so great as to forbid those crimes which he might with ease command; or he was willing to indulge the lufts of his Army beyond all hopes of pardon, that so they might not expect safety but in the conduct and preservation of him who had authorized their wickedness. But when this base rabble of men did seem to be satiated with villany, as having no more sub­jects to practice on, to conclude the Tragedy, he sends for all those Citizens whom he had[Page 62]secured, and who had been reserved to feed his own eyes with their blood. Of these, such as he had most injured, and whose vertues he might most fear, were slain before him; others less considerable he banished. Onely one Di­nocrates, a bold and faithless person, so like him in vices, that the similitude had been the ground of a former acquaintance, though now he was a stranger to his design, he freely sets at liberty: which was not the effect of Clemen­cy or Friendship, Vertues that Tyrants are not capable of, but to provide a refuge for himself in the future. For even the most bar­barous and bloodiest villains, in diffidence of a change of affairs, will provide some private favour against the publick hatred.

This was Agathocles's first scene of Domi­nion; and by surveying these sacrifices to Em­pire, the state Augurs and prudent Greeks did form a judgement how bloody and cruel would be the process of his Government. For Sove­raignty must be maintained by the same arts by which it is acquired; and an Empire wickedly gotten by crimes, was never exercised by vertue and honesty. And as no good man will seek to be a Prince by wicked practices; so no debau­ched Spirit, that by impiety hath invaded a Principality, will ever think to use it justly.

For either by his wicked practices to attain[Page 63]to it, his Soul will be habituated to mischief; or his desires to keep what he hath usurped will present to him a necessity to continue as he did begin. Because Vices when once they have de­bauched the souls of men, leave no place for moderation: and he that in his projects for Greatness hath a long time meditated vio­lence and cruelty, will be like those ravenous beasts, that having once tasted blood, will be­come unsatiable, and as Lions that having fed upon carcasses, are still searching after the like. And this appetite when it is once ar­med with the supremest power, will some­times, when there is no necessity for preser­vation, frolick with the lives of men, and in a capricious humour, or boast of Greatness, drink humane blood, and sport with mischief. If Habits restrain not an Usurper from just cour­ses, yet the Necessities of State will: and if he were desirous to abound with those acts which adorn men with the titles of Good, yet the injustice of his entrance upon Government will make it exceeding difficult, if not impos­sible; for that will alwaies give him occasions of fear, fear will seek for security, security cannot be had by the affections of those to whom he hath given just cause of hate; there­fore he must make himself safe by more inju­ries, and hence arises increase of hatred: it be­ing impossible that the Injurer and the Injured should ever be cemented by a solid faith, which[Page 64]is the surest basis for a moderate Empire and lasting obedience; and that Government will be alwaies odious and never good, that must be maintained by violence. Besides, Tyrants meet with obstructions to a vertuous use of their power by those that assisted them in the acqui­sition; the instruments of their Greatness will be their obstacles to Goodness: for they being vitious by whom they did arise, they must be no other to gratifie them, and must neglect those ingaging Vertues that become Princes, because they are obliged to such that are not fit to be Subjects. His Vices render him not more hateful to the good, then his Vertues doe to those that have been the ministers of his Ty­ranny, to whom, as well as to his own lusts, he must be ready to prostitute the lives, ho­nours and goods of the best Citizens, and sometimes his choicest friends, as to the authors of his fortune. So that the observation of Ta­citus is very true, Imperium flagitio acquisi­tum nemo unquam bonis artibus exercuit: and it is apparent in the Life of Agathocles, and verified in every Usurper.

Agathocles having laid his foundation by rude cruelty, builds the Superstructures wth dissimula­tion: an art thought so necessary for those whom Ambition makes thirsty or tenacious of Great­ness, that Tiberius, who was well skilled in it, esteemed it among his choicest Vertues; alwaies[Page 65]appearing a modest refuser of what he passio­nately desired; and when all things else died in him, he strove to keep his dissimulation alive. An­dronicus by this onely Art arrived to the Greek Empire, and had found it so prosperous, that he made use of it when the enraged Multitude were in actual revenge of that Imperial and Patrician blood which he had spilt, and as he was led to Execution, continued his feigned Piety, crying out, Break not a bruised reed: as if he thought dissimulation so powerful a charm, that it would calm a tumult, and that anger and fury had left a place for credulity. Lewis the Eleventh of France, a Prince of such an impatient Ambition, that he could not bear with a private condition though in rever­sion to the Crown, while his Father lived, nor defer the jealousies of his own Son, till his age might make him more aspiring and capa­ble of Dominion, had made such use of this artifice, and was so successful in it, as by it onely he ruined his too powerful enemy Charles Duke of Burgundy: and therefore commended it to the Tutors of his Son, as the onely lesson he should learn in Latine, Qui nescit dissimu­lare, nescitOr regnare.vivere. Agathocles was as great an Artist in this as a­ny man, it being as necessary for him as for all those who project wicked designs, and whose abject condition or hainous crimes have set them at a great distance from glorious hopes.[Page 66]For noble actions and just titles have no need of dissimulation, and generous spirits will scorn to use it; because it is an evidence of base­ness, and a conviction of fear. But Tyrants are never nice in any thing that is advantage­ous. Therefore Agathocles, that feared a present and immediate exercise of rule would too soon discover the cheat he had put upon the people, and so make his settlement more difficult, in­tended so to delude them, that they should even force him to take that which he so eagerly thirst­ed for, and bind the yoke of Slavery on their necks by their own Suffrages, and by their own Law give him such a power that should force their obedience. For though the multi­tude may be easily perswaded to any thing, yet it is difficult to keep them constant in that per­swasion without a power over them. Nothing is more unstable then Greatness founded onely upon anothers pleasure; nor are the favours of any more uncertain then those of the Vulgar: therefore though he would be raised by them, yet would he not be built upon them. To bring this about, he veils his designs with a dis­sembled Modesty. A Vertue which when real is an ornament to the greatest fortunes, but most lovely in those who pretend the publick good: for nothing is more acceptable to men, then those that break anothers Tyranny, and modestly ab­stain from the same attempts.

[Page 67]To this purpose he assembles the People and his Souldiers, to whom he remonstrates the miscarriages in Government of the Senate, and objected to them all those Crimes which use to be charged upon those that have been in power. To deliver therefore (saith he) the Commonwealth, the publick grievances, and not any private wrongs, have called me forth: and I could not but compassionate the Good people, though I did not feel their miseries. In the prosecution of which I confess we have used extraordinary and unusual means, but yet such which Necessity and their own arro­gancies do justifie; for we could not crave helps from the Laws, when their power and partisans had obstructed the ordinary course of Judicature. And indeed the Safety of the people is the Supreme Law [...]: nor doth Ju­stice consist in the formality of processes, but in the equality of the punishment to the crime. As for my self, I am content to spend my daies in a perpetual banishment, so that the Commonwealth may enjoy their Liberty and Peace, being unwilling that any concernment of mine should be a fire-brand to new broils, or afford matter to civil dissensions. But if you judge me worthy to partake of the com­mon Liberty, which with the hazard of my Life and Fortunes I have purchased for you, I am resolved to lead a private life, being abundantly satisfied with the glory of this act, [Page 68]that I have recovered the Liberty of so good a people and so noble a City. And therefore I declare you a Free State, and that all the Power is in the People.

To procure some credit to his words, he im­mediately devested himself of his Imperial ha­biliments, the badges of his office; and took the Vulgar habit, thereby declaring himself one of the Multitude, and so offered to depart out of the Assembly. The subtle Fox was secute that he ran no hazard of losing the prey for which he had so long toiled, for he knew that Assembly did consist most of such as were con­scious of so much rapine and blood, that they could not suffer any other Magistrate but him that was equally polluted in the guilt: there­fore all these, and every one that had no un­derstanding of what was good nor care of e­vil, such that were to live by the rewards of wickedness and a ministry to Tyranny, imme­diately cried out, that He should not desert the good people of Syracuse, and that he should protect them in that Liberty of which he had been so glorious an Authour. He stood immovable at their first clamours, as if he were unwilling to part with those imagined delights of his resolved privacy, or were too modest to command; and with an obstinate si­lence provoked their more loud and fierce ac­clamations, that he should not betray them to[Page 69]their enraged enemies, nor think he could be safe in private when the publick was in dan­ger. Seeing his Arts so prosperous, compo­sing himself as if he were wearied with the desires of all, and sollicitous lest his modesty might be dangerous to the publick peace, he doth by degrees yield; not as if he would take the Government, but put an end to his denial and their requests.

I know (saith he) how obnoxious he makes himself to Fortune who stoops to the burden of governing a free people; how easily his best actions and most prudent counsels may be blas­ted by sinister interpretations of licentious Demagogues. For when no man can be suf­ficiently wise concerning the future, and very often the worst counsels have the happier e­vents; he that sincerely intends the publick good, may sometimes fail of his scope, and for his cares and hazards, be rewarded with false accusations and inauspicious surmises, which are very offensive to persons of Integrity who are tender of their fame. But it is most intolerable when a faithful servant of the Commonwealth must bear the envy of their offences who are his partners in Government. Therefore though I despise dangers and con­temn reproach, that I may serve my Country in those honest and just ends of Government; yet am I unwilling to be loaded with the crimes [Page 70]of others, and be accountable for their mis­carriages who prefer their private to the pub­lick good.

His party by this understood the condition of their security, and therefore in the Assembly passed this Decree, That Agathocles should be the Commander in chief of all the Forces of the Commonwealth, and have the sole management of all Publick affairs. This Decree fully answered his desires: therefore seeming to be overcome with the kindness and love of so good a people, he thankfully un­dertakes the Government, and promises much faithfulness in it, and many benefits to the people by it. And from this time he publickly exercised the Tyranny, like an absolute Prince and Lawful Monarch; whenas he was in truth but a Capo di Banditi, a Chief of Thieves and Murderers: and this Decree could not be styled the Consent of the People, which when they are free to give it, is the true founda­tion of the Supreme Power; but a conspiracy of Traitors and publick enemies. For having killed and expelled all those whose right it was to convey, and who had most prudence to judge where to trust Authority, as a reward or guard, for all Vertues; there remained very few but the Associates of his wickedness, great Criminals, that were fitter to suffer by Magi­stracy then to dispose of it, and the dregs of[Page 71]the People, who are the reproach, not legiti­mate parts, of a Community; who rather fear then desire Government, as the great re­straint of their licentious lusts, and therefore are willing it should be conferred on the most corrupted persons, as from whom they expect the most abusive licence. And these likewise Agathocles had cajoled in his Speeches, pro­mising a new Agrarian Law, and more equal division of lands, that all debts and bonds should be cancelled, and that Prisoners upon such obligations should be set at Liberty. Which are the usual tempting promises whereby Usur­pers raise the hopes and get the favour and as­sistance of the debauched rabble: but they take as little care to perform them, as they intended faith when they promised them. And such are the good People which Tyrants so affectio­nately mention, and are the authors of their power and supports of their Empire.

The honester and middle sort of the Citi­zens, whose obscurity and unenvied fortune had secured them in the Massacre, and whose spirits were not so high as to render them ter­rible to the Tyrant, nor so abject as to be for­ward instruments of his Lusts, were so stupi­fied with the horrour of that Cruelty which yet was in their sight, and affrighted into a sluggish patience, that though they abounded with indignation as well as grief for the loss[Page 72]of their Liberty, yet they feared the power and multitude of their enemies, so that they dis­sembled their passions, and deferred their re­venge till a fitter season, thinking it more safe for the present, rather to expect then provoke their fortune. Others preferred present peace and security to glorious attempts with hazard. To secure and quiet these mens minds, he se­verely forbad the murders and rapines of his party, as if he would put an end to all inju­ries. For injuries, though great, yet if per­petrated at once, and not every day renewed, do less affright and offend the minds of men. Then to beget in them a credulity that he would behave himself but as a common Citi­zen, with modesty and civil gravity using that power which he had so barbarously got, he composes himself to all popular courses: he speaks familiarly to all; some he cajols with fair and splendid hopes; others, whom he judged more fit for business, and whose Sla­very he might buy with profit, he prefers to such and such places; and to most he uses pro­per attractives, specious in words, but void of any reality. In himself nothing appeared new or arrogant. He forbore the use of a Crown (unless when he sacrificed, which was as Priest, not as a Prince;) he did not take to himself a select Life-guard, either for Majesty or securi­ty: nor did he affect to make addresses to him difficult, nor delighted in the tedious attendance[Page 73]of petitioners: which are the ceremonies of Greatness, and the pleasures of weaker Ty­rants. But appearing in all the shapes of hu­manity, and presenting these pageants of Li­berty, he bound the yoke of Slavery stronger. For while he neglected these shadows of Roy­alty, he laid a foundation of solid power. He diverted all his care to regulate and augment the publick Exchequer, all the stores he fur­nished, and filled the Magazines with arms and ammunition, and increased the Navy. For he foresaw his new Principality must expect seditions at home, and invasions from abroad: and if Fortune should disperse them, yet would not his provisions be fruitless, for with them he might make some additions to his Dominion, and when Slavery was fastned at home, he might impose it abroad. Which he might easi­ly promise to himself: for The first steps to Power are alwaies the most difficult; but when once that is entred on, there will not be wanting means and instruments to increase and esta­blish it.

By these courses did Agathocles endeavour to draw the minds of men. But to those that knew the Arts of Tyrants, these false Vertues were more terrible, because they did but for a time suppress those Vices which with more fury would afterwards break forth. For in so much pride and cruelty there can never be civility[Page 74]and gentleness without design. It is reckoned among the safer Arts of Tyrants, to imitate a good and lawful Prince. But in every imi­tation there is something which betraies the Vi­olence upon nature, and discovers it not to be genuine: so that notwithstanding all the indu­stry, a Tyrant's bloody thirst, horrid lusts and desires of security and Greatness, will make him break forth into such practices as will up­braid the false colours and shadows of Vertue, and they will soon recoil to actions answera­ble to his principles; as did Agathocles, who in a short time discovered to the whole world that he would not use that power for the benefit of men, which with their so great ruines and miseries he had acquired.

While Agathocles was labouring to take root, the Syracusan fugitives in those Cities of Sicily where they found Sanctuary endeavou­red his overthrow, and to stir up all Sicily a­gainst him. Some out of a desire to return to their native soil & houshold-gods, others to break the yoke under which their City groaned, and some out of hatred of Agathocles's fortune more then his wickedness. It being an innate displeasure in men, to behold the sudden felicity of others, and to complain of the excess of their Fortune whom they have seen in the same level with themselves. From these different princi­ples every one in his place of refuge, but espe­cially[Page 75]at Agrigentum, where their number was greatest, endeavoured by the Demagogues and most popular Citizens to perswade the Cities to a warre against the Tyrant. These still setting before the people in their harangues, the neces­sity of preventing Agathocles with that warre which they were undoubtedly to expect from his ambition and covetousness; the assurance of Victory from the weakness of his begin­nings, and the fresh hatred of his horrid en­trance; the glory of the enterprize, to subdue and extinguish so great a Monster, and restore so many miserable Exiles to their own house­hold-gods; the danger of the Example, if so near a wickedness should pass unpunished. By these motives they easily prevailed upon the people to decree a warre against the Tyrant.

But the greatness of the warre made the un­dertaking slow, which lost the advantages that at first encouraged the enterprize. For doubt­ing their single strength, they entred into con­federacy with Gela and Messene to the same warre: these Trcaties spent time in the mana­ging, and the confidence that did arise from their union did lose more. For then, as not doubting the Victory, they feared that if they should make any one of their own Citizens General of their Army, he might after the overthrow of Agathocles follow his Example, and either make himself Tyrant, or raise his[Page 76]own City above the rest. Therefore they would send some of the Exiles to Sparta, to procure from that City a person fit to be General of all their Forces. For they supposed a stranger would be more just and faithful in his trust, not having the same interests and parties that a Ci­tizen might have; and they hoped to find ano­ther Timoleon, or one that should compose his conduct after his Example. But the fortune of Sicily was not so benigne, for instead of a Deliverer they received an effeminate and stu­pid Oppressor, whose Vices betraied them in­to the enemies power.

For the Agrigentine Agents coming to Sparta, they found Acrotatus the son of Cle­omenes King of that City, who was very de­sirous and importunate for this emploiment. For having incurred the hatred of the Spartan youth, because he opposed the Decree of the Senate to pardon all those that had not stoutly behaved themselves in the warre with Antipa­ter, he was often assaulted by them, who conceived themselves injured by his insolency, and was continually afraid of their plots a­gainst him. He was therefore very sollicitous for some forein emploiment, wherein by his absence he might give vent to their passions, as if he had undergone a voluntary banishment, and by removing the object of their hate, blo [...] out the remembrance of their injuries. This[Page 77]man the Agents accept of, whom nothing but the Nobility of his Family could commend, though his manners were extremely degenerate from the Vertue of the Spartan royal blood. He was insolent and high in his speeches, but base and cowardly in his actions; desirous of fame, but neither skilful nor industrious to de­serve it; prone to evil, and not cunning to conceal it; fierce and severe against anothers Vices, yet indulgent to himself in baser lusts; envious at the Glory of another, as if it were his infamy, and yet a despiser of his own cre­dit. His hatred was heightned by the glorious memory of his Ancestors. For the base de­scendents of worthy Parents, besides the com­mon hate which is inseparable from wickedness, are loaded with another, for that they have de­famed the stock from which they sprung, and tainted that blood which they received pure. This was the Engine wherewith the Sicilians were to demolish the greatness of Agathocles: too loose and weak a hand to dethrone a da­ring, industrious, and subtle Tyrant, and there­fore proved his advantage, rather then his trou­ble.

He having undertaken the emploiment with­out the counsel of the Ephori, who were the Censors of the Royal family in Sparta, with a few ships sails towards Sicily: but by an o­minous Tempest he was forced into the Adria­tick [Page 78]sea near the territories of the Apolloniates; where he trifles away his time in composing a peace betwixt them and Glaucias an Illyrian King, that then did besiege their City. From thence he sails to Tarentum, where to lose time more precious then unnecessary aid could be to the Sicilians, by the credit of his birth and Country he prevails with that City to enter into the Sicilian league, and to send twenty ships against the Syracusan Tyrant. And af­ter so much loss of time which was emploied in these Treaties, he comes to Agrigentum, where with much applause (as is usual to the Glorious assertors of Liberty) and great expe­ctation he did enter upon his command. This expectation and opinion of the people (which wise men esteem prejudicial to any emploiment; because many can never correspond fully unto it, men usually desiring more then can be ac­quired, which doth in time turn to their dis­honour and infamy) this great undertaker did labour to increase by his confident boasts, that he would speedily ruine the Syracusan Pot­ter, and finish that just war. But they soon found how vain were his boasts and their hopes. For they perceived how he neglected all the desirable opportunities of performing his trust, and as if he were forgetful of his enterprize, the Dignity of his Extract, and the Honour of his City, he did endeavour to erect a more heavy Tyranny then that which he was desired[Page 79]to pull down. He was wholly debauched to every Lust, and as it were with the air, he had changed the Laconian Temperance and mode­ration, (eminent Vertues in the highest for­tune) into Lasciviousness and Pride; more like a soft Persian then an hardy Spartan; abusing the plenty and Beauties of Sicily with his Lusts and riots: by which profuse courses and by stealth, he also consumed the common Trea­sure for the war. Nor did he abstain from blood and injuries, as if those who had called him for Liberty, knew nothing of it beyond the empty name. And to perpetuate his Ty­ranny, he resolved to murder Sosistratus, who was the most likely to head the Sicilian fury a­gainst him. For he was the most eminent of the Syracusan Exiles, and had often comman­ded the Armies of his Commonwealth with honour and success, being of the Nobless of that City, of a present courage and resolu­tion, not unacquainted with the Arts and pra­ctices of Tyranny, therefore the more able to ob­serve & oppose such designs. The Spartan having no colour to make him fall by the sword of Ju­stice, nor daring to assault him by open force, uses the fatal caresses of a Tyrant, and in­vites him to a Feast; where when he had dis­armed him by wine and gluttony, he causes him to be murdered.

The news of this Murder being divulged, the[Page 80]whole City was filled with uproar, and the Syracusan Exiles, whose hopes and fortunes were built upon this war, and were therefore the most impatient at every disappointment, were highly inraged at the Death of Sosistra­tus; whom the common Calamity had indea­red to them, and from whose valour and con­duct they hoped for a more speedy return home. These first assault Acrotatus, and by their example many more were drawn to the same attempt. So that the whole City being gathe­red together by this tumult, vote him out of his Office and Command; and to confirm their Decrees, they assault him with such weapons as their present fury administred, as stones and the like, and dealt with him as a common E­nemy never to be reconciled unto. For their offences are most hainous who disappoint the conceived hopes of a soft and just Government; and the minds of men being frustrated in their reasonable expectancies of good, are thereby the more implacable. Acrotatus seeing him­self unequal to the peoples violence, fled out of Agrigentum by night, and with igno­miny hasted to Sparta, leaving behind him a discontented City, and all his broken hopes of Tyranny, of which he was more desirous then capable. For to impose Slavery upon a peo­ple without a force greater then their resistance, requires a dexterous wit to manage all occur­rences to the present advantage, tedious arts,[Page 81]and time to form a party, to get some fame of valour and vertue, and to be esteemed ten­der of the peoples rights. Otherwise, though any one by the advantage of a trust, may as­sume a Principality and Tyranny, yet he can­not long hold it without such foundations. And as things that suddenly spring and grow have the shallower rooting, and are soonest pulled up: so such sudden Tyrants are easily depo­sed. Which was the fortune of Acrotatus, who by rioting and injuries would enjoy the Pleasures of Tyranny, before he had ac­quired the Power. None are more apt to at­tempt upon the Liberty of the people, then such who are vitious and debauched; for they com­monly think Principality but a security of great crimes: yet none are less able to compass their design. For he that will dare to attempt that which no honest man will, must be able to doe such things which none but a prudent and stout man can perform. Cato's observation of Cae­sar, that he was the onely sober person that did endeavour the overthrow of the Common­wealth, was an Augury and fear of his suc­cess in that design. Those that are otherwise qualified, though they may disquiet and ex­pose their Cities to ruine by their vain attempts, yet can never establish themselves in any Grandeur, nor meet with any other issue of their Designs then Destruction or Ignominy; as this Spartan did.

[Page 82]This evil management of Acrotatus was not unknown to Agathocles, & therefore he provo­ked them not to fight, but waits when his ene­mies would fall by their own vices: wherein he was not deceived, for the league was soon bro­ken, and the associated Cities divided their Army, and recalled their forces. For confe­deracies consifting of several communities have several interests; and if they last so long till they have some prosperous success, yet are they then broken by envy and jealousies. But com­monly the first adverse encounter immediately creates a fear that dissolves them; and every one by private counsels will endeavour to pro­vide for their own safety. Whence it comes to pass that the forces of many Confederates are less considerable, though more numerous, then those which one single Power is able to form and raise. And thus it happened with these Confederates: for the Tarentines recal­led home their ships; and the Sicilian Cities not thriving in their first heat against the Ty­rant, would no longer tempt their Fortune, but by the mediation of Amilcar, who was able to force the dissenters and impose an agree­ment, they conclude a peace with the Syra­cusan. The Carthaginian, not intending to diminish the Greatness of Agathocles, as con­ceiving together with his power the envy and hatred of him would be increased, and so at last he would fall as an easie and rich prey to[Page 83]the Punick Empire, and thinking by this Peace he might secure the rights of his own City with­out the hazards of war, concludes a Peace upon these Articles: That Heraclea, Seli­nus and Himera, which were Greek Colonies, should continue as before under the Carthagi­nian Empire; that all the other Cities of Si­cily should be free, and live by their own laws; and that Syracuse should have the chiefest dignity and precedency [...]mong them.

Thus this Tempest, that threatned the ruine of the new Tyrant, being so prosperously cal­med, proved like those winds, which if they are not violent enough to throw down, do advantage trees, by shaking them to a greater fastness at the root. For it setled Agathocles upon his foundations; because it having alar­med him to provide all the means of safety, by so necessary an industry he was enabled for any enterprise. He had gotten together, be­sides his Confederates and the Citizens of Sy­racuse, a choice Army of Mercenaries con­sisting of thirty thousand Foot, and three thousand five hundred Horse, and had stored himself with all kind of Arms. These For­ces, being now no longer necessary for defence, he was resolved, according to the Inftitutes of Tyranny, to employ in fastning his Dominion at home, and increasing it abroad, by invading all the neighbouring and less potent Cities: for[Page 84]if he could bind his yoke upon all the Cities a­bout him, he should remove Liberty out of the ken, and so out of the hopes of Syracuse: besides, he should increase his Revenues and Forces against another storm which he foresaw was coming from Carthage. For from thence he had received Intelligence, that Amilcar's peaceful counsels were branded with sinister interpretations; and although the Senate did not dare publickly to condemn him while he was in Command, yet had they passed their sentences against him, and sealed them up in their Urne, not to be publickly recited till he returned to a private Condition. Agathocles therefore easily concludes what their intentions must needs be towards himself; and therefore to strengthen himself against their invasion, he endeavours to prevent them in the acquisi­tion of as much of Sicily as he could, not despairing in time to grasp the Empire of the whole Island, if not by his own valour, yet he should have no small advantage from his Enemies vices, who he saw could not be una­nimous in their common defence, and when they fought singly for Liberty, they would at last all be Slaves.

To prosecute this resolution, as also to busie his own vassals in resisting provoked Forei­ners, and that they might vent those passions on some common enemy which else would [Page 85]swell against him, he sets upon, and easily ma­sters all his weaker neighbours, and vexes them with his oppressions. For a Tyrant is like that other judgement of incensed Heaven, a contagious Pestilence, which still infects and spreads it self upon all that are near unto it. Ha­ving brought these lesser Cities under his obe­dience, his next design was against Messene, which had refused to be concluded in the for­mer Peace betwixt Agathocles and the other Sicilians, and did still retain her just hatred of the Tyrant, and therefore was become a San­ctuary for the Syracusan Exiles. To deprive them therefore of this harbour, and to make the Messenians repent even of their pity to the miserable, he was resolved to make them as mi­serable as their guests. To this end he sends Pasiphilus, one of his Captains, with a con­siderable party and secret instructions, to in­vade the territories of Messene, not using any publick declaration of hostility, lest he should give them time to prepare for their defence, or leisure to consult of honest means to satisfie his unjust anger; for he sought not Peace with them, but their ruine; nor cared he for their friendship, but intended their slavery. Pasiphi­lus, according to his Commands, unexpectedly falls upon their Country, surprizes many of their Citizens, wastes and plunders all their Villages, and setting forth all his actions with every advantage of terrour, he affrights the[Page 86] Messenians to a Treaty, which under-hand he offered to them by some of his prisoners. When they came to treat, he remonstrates unto them, that the cause of the War was their har­bouring his Master's implacable enemies, the Syracusan Banditi; and declares, that as they were unequal to his Prince as to the prosecu­tion of the war, and so were to fear the most danger, so should they lose nothing by his a­mity, if they were disposed to peace: that they were evil Counsellors to their Commonwealth, who advised them to a Confederacy with the despicable enemies of so potent a Prince.

The Messenians considering the present ter­rors and their own weakness, more then the faith of him with whom they had to doe, and hoping by this overture to end a dangerous war without any hazard to themselves, did im­mediately decree that all the Syracusan. Exiles should forsake their City, and then they set open their gates to receive Agathocles, who was now come to them with his Army. The Tyrant at his first entrance covered his inhu­mane purposes with a crafty modesty; and as if he had had no arms to force his desires, by all seeming Humanity perswades them to re­peal all those publick Acts and Decrees where­by they had banished certain of their lewdest Citizens for notorious crimes, and which were now in his Army, the refuge of every villain.[Page 87]Which when they had done, and received them in, who would be like a Garrison to subject them to the Tyrant, he presently sends for all such whom he knew, there & at Tauromenium, to be less patient of Slavery, and had former­ly expressed their hatred of him; all which being about six hundred he immediately slew: for foreseeing the war he should have with the Carthaginians, he resolved to destroy whomso­ever he could not trust.

Thus the Messenians too late found that there was no Humanity or Equity to be expected from a Tyrant, and when it was in vain, be­wailed their cruel folly in driving out the Sy­racusan Exiles, who would have been an ob­stinate and impregnable guard against the for­ces of their enemy; as also that they had be­traied their best and stoutest Citizens, (for one­ly such hate a Tyrant;) and, which did most of all upbraid their weakness, that they had by their own votes put themselves under the ba­sest and vilest Ministers of Slavery, their con­demned and profligate Banditi. But now no­thing was left but shame and indignation at their own Credulity and the Tyrant's base­ness, who was not at all ashamed, that by such unworthy arts he had compassed his design. For Tyrants that seek after power, and not glory, that thirst for blood more then an honest fame, refuse not the most wicked, if they be also[Page 88]compendious, waies to attain their ends. Where­as Generous Spirits had rather maintain their Greatness by Justice, and esteem that the most evident testimony of Valour and Power to be at once both great and good, and not by inju­ries to ascend to superiority. The Romans de­nied a triumph to those their Consuls, who to overthrow their enemies had polluted their arms with unjust and wicked arts, and never accounted that a Victory which was infamous. Viriathus, they conceived, fell with more ho­nour then he that finished the war with buy­ing his life, and hired his servants to his mur­der: for he seemed to upbraid the Roman weakness, that could not overcome a Spanish Thief by noble waies. And as they hated the unworthy waies of poison and Treason to finish a war; so while they were uncorrupted in their Discipline, they were Religiously scrupu­lous in the beginning of any: for they never sent forth their Armies till they had sought for justice in the tracts of Peace, and after the publick promulgation of their intent. Such also was the Integrity of the Achaeans, before they had fore-warned their enemy to a defence. Machiavel commends the Simplicity of the an­cient Florentines, that enterprized no hostility on their neighbours, till they had by ringing a Bell for the space of a whole moneth admonish­ed their enemy to a peaceable satisfaction, or a brave resistance. But every Tyrant makes his [Page 89]war impious, if not in the cause, yet in the ma­nagement; and more like thieves then Princes, aim onely to deceive, not to conquer their ene­mies.

Agathocles being thus successfully wicked at Messene, designs Agrigentum for his next prey; his false Ambition not suffering him to continue that Peace which his Necessity had forced him to make with them. But the Carthaginian Fleet, consisting of sixty sail of ships, hove­ring upon the coasts of Sicily, diverted his arms from revenge, on the Carthaginian terri­tories, whose Countries he wasted with fire and sword, took some of their Garrisons by force, and others were delivered upon compo­sition. This Hostility betwixt Carthage and Syracuse made Dinocrates, (who since Sosis­tratus's death was become the chief of the Syracusan Exiles) and the other Confederates, hope for the assistance of the Punick arms a­gainst this restless Tyrant. To them therefore they sent an Embassie, with bitter complaints against Amilcar, and invectives against Aga­thocles. The last they set forth as a merciless, perjured, and bloody Tyrant. The other they accused as a Traitor, that by secret compact had delivered up the lives and fortunes of the Carthaginian friends into the hands of a most cruel enemy: and that as the earnest of this Treachery, Syracuse, a potent and rich City, an[Page 90]emulous contender with Carthage for the Em­pire of Sicily, was first betraied into his hands; and under the name of Peace many other con­federate Cities had since been exposed to his rapines. If therefore that Mighty Common­wealth and wise Senate should not be more vi­gorous to punish their treacherous servant, and to quench the Tyrant's thirst of Empire with his own blood, they would soon feel in Africk the dismal effects of their neglect of Sicily.

This Embassie inraged Carthage, and they were more keenly resolved to make Amilcar satiate their anger with an ignominious punish­ment. But either by a natural or a voluntary death he prevented the unjust fury of his own Citizens, who had condemned him before he could plead his innocency. So barbarously ungrateful are most Commonwealths to their chiefest servants: who if they thrive abroad, are ruined at home by Jealousie and Envy; if they are not successful, then the Capricioes of Fortune are accounted the miscarriages of their Generals, and their Unhappinesses esteemed for Crimes. None were more infamous in this way of cruelty then the Carthaginians, who often expiated the dishonour of their o­verthrow with their Commander's head. There­foreAur. vict. de viris illust. Annibal, that commanded the Navy in their first Roman war, being beaten, and losing his Navy, makes[Page 91]hast to Carthage, to prevent any other messenger of his misfortune, and in the Senate declares onely the state of his and the Enemies forces as they were before the fight, and inquires what they would command to be done: they all cried out, he should fight. I have (saith he) and am beaten: and so escaped the punish­ment of the Cross. But this Amilcar was ei­ther a person of a sluggish soul, and so veiled his cowardize under the name of Peace, and vainly thought that specious name would please a people that made war for gain: Or else of more fine counsels then resolute action, and thought the discovery of his mysteries would justifie his practices, that he had laid his designs so deep, that in time they would easily under­mine all the power of the Syracusan Potter, without the cost and hazard of the Punick blood and treasure. But counsels too finely spun are easily broken, and so deep a contrivance agrees not with the impatience of the Vulgar, to whom speedy undertakings seem alwaies most heroick; and slow, yet sure, practices are interpreted by them as the motions of false or base spirits. Or else Amilcar might be too conscious that his coverous soul had been cor­rupted with the bribes and promises of Aga­thocles, a vice which Aristotle taxes in the Car­thaginian Government, and therefore neglect­ed the care of an Apology, which too evident crimes did render vain, and a contempt of death [Page 92]unnecessary. And thus fell Amilcar.

Dinocrates with the other Exiles waited not idly for the effect of their Embassie and the Carthaginian preparations, which they knew would be slow, but were very active for their own restitution. And therefore he sent forth a party under the Command of Nymphodorus to Centorippa, a Garrison of Agathocles, where he held a Correspondence with some of the City, who promised to deliver up the town to him upon condition of restoring their Liberty. The Governour had discovered the plot, yet suffers Nymphodorus to enter the town by night, where he cuts him off with his whole party. Agathocles was not more glad for the defeat of the Exiles, then for the opportunity he now had to seize upon the wealth of the Citi­zens, as being ingaged in a Conspiracy a­gainst him, which he greedily takes from them with their lives, as being too great lovers of Li­berty to breath in the same air with a Tyrant. This loss broke not the courage of Dinocrates, but he having yet about three thousand foot and not less then two thousand horse, possesses him­self of Calaria, whether he was invited by a party of the City; where immediately he drives out the Faction that was for Agathocles, and in­camps before the Town. The Tyrant upon the first intelligence, sent Pasiphilus & Demophilus with a party of five thousand against him. These[Page 93]ingaging with the Exiles commanded by Dino­crates and Philonides, who led the several wings of their Army, the victory was for some time doubtful: but at last the Tyrants fortune prevailed, for Philonides being slain, and his wing routed, Dinocrates was forced to retreat. Pasiphilus in the pursuit kills many of the ene­my, and recovers Calaria. Where, like his Master's servant, he omitted no act of cruelty and extortion upon the miserable Citizens. For the Ministers of a Tyrant are educated by him to the nature of mastives, that they should one­ly fawn upon him that feeds them, and be cru­el and bloody to every one else. Proud with this Victory, Agathocles hastens with all the forces he could make to fight the Carthaginians, that were drawn out into the field, and had incamped on the hill Eonome. But the Afri­cans refusing the battel, as expecting more suc­cours, he returns in triumph to Syracuse, as being the confessed Master of the Field, and with the spoils he had taken from the two wretched Cities, he doth adorn the best of his Ships.

Thus success waited upon the sword of Aga­thocles: his designs being still crowned with an issue greater then his hopes, as if Fortune no less then Syracuse were become his Slave. Had that slavish and prodigious Flattery been then invented, which our age hath heard practised[Page 94]to a prosperous wickedness; he had been called the beloved darling of the Gods, and his creatures would have perswaded the miserable Sicilians, that Heaven had by this success seal­ed a grant of what by blood and perjury he had pre-usurped. But this was too gross a cheat to be imposed even upon the lying Greeks, and flattering Sicilians: who though they should have wanted so much light, as might fully dis­cover that the Patronage of iniquity was in­compatible with a Deity; yet common ob­servation afforded them most clear evidences, that Adversity and Prosperity do not consti­tute the differences of Good and Bad; and that the most uninterrupted Success cannot cal­cine a wicked action to the purity of Vertue, which is the true and proper object of the love of Heaven: so that it would have been an at­tempt to undermine all honesty, and root out Religion, to attribute the love of a Deity, which is the reward and ornament due to ju­stice onely, to impious persons, though never so prosperous. Besides, they daily saw that present successes are never intended by the Su­preme Guider of the world, to be as hosta­ges to secure those which receive them of a perpetual Felicity. So that neither his Love, nor his Laws of Right and Wrong could be read or interpreted by the changeable and un­steady light which is found in Humane affairs. Some of those whose sober breasts were never[Page 95]betraied by a constant prosperity to insolence, but have seriously considered the uncertainties of our mortal condition, have suspected the Prodigality of their own fortunes, and been jealous even of the too much indulgence of Pro­vidence, and like wary Favorites, who doubting lest the effects of their Prince's love should be afterwards the object of his envy, have there­fore professed a satiety in receiving, and offered to resign what they feared they could not keep. So some of those that considered the vicissitudes of humane affairs have been so far from inter­preting their sudden and violent Prosperity for the evidence of the affection of Heaven, that they have doubted, whether by it they were marked out for the mockeries of Fortune, and that they were raised to such an height, from whence there was no descent but by a preci­pice. Some therefore have laboured to prevent their fortune, and leave her before they were left by her, and contemned her embraces, that they might not be sensible of her strokes. O­thers have thought to offer to their evil Genius, and by a voluntary loss or dissembled misfor­tune to satisfie their more adverse destinies. Thus the Samian Tyrant with the loss of his Ring would have bribed his fortune to no more dismal change. And Augustus bounded the Roman greatness, for fear of provoking its o­verthrow; and to divert the envy of his Thun­dering Jupiter, did dissemble a poverty, and [Page 96]yearly begge. But Agathocles grew insolent with his present success, and promised to him­self more gainful fruits of his wickedness then he had as yet received. But fortune that had thus far flattered him, did immediately forsake him, and discovered the hatefulness of his de­signs in a desperate state.


THE Carthaginians about this time awakened with the daily informa­tion of Agathocles success, decreed to prosecute their war in Sicily more seriously, and to be more in­tent upon that glory and interest which they had there so long neglected. For they gave no heed to the sad relations and Embassies of the Syracusan Banditi, because they knew such mens hopes and desires to return home made them believe and relate things far from truth: nor did they value the faith of Exiles, because such when they find other waies of restitution to their Country, do betray the interest of those whom they have before excited to it, and so[Page 97]render all those perils and charges fruitless, which were at first undertaken for their sakes and upon their promises. But when Agatho­cles had through their neglect prevailed so far, as that he could now slight their power and despise their forces, they were more solli­citous to provide for that war. They make Amilcar the son of Gisgo, one of their most eminent Citizens, their General. A Person of a well-tempered courage, in whom the stoutness of a Souldier was mixed with the wis­dome that was requisite for a Commander: he had been seldome unfortunate, but alwaies faithful, of Candour enough to reconcile and assure a doubtful friend, and of sufficient re­solution to force an obstinate enemy. They allow him for this Expedition an hundred and thirty Gallies for service, and send with him two thousand of their own Citizens, among whom were many of their Nobless, ten thou­sand Libyans, one thousand Tuscan mercena­ries, one thousand slingers of the Islands cal­led Baleares, two thousand Chariots, with such a proportion of Mony, Arms and Corn as was thought convenient for the design. The greatness of their Army did almost ascertain them of victory, and therefore they loosed from the Haven with that alacrity and jollity, as if they went to spoil Sicily, and not to con­quer it. But this power that seemed so terrible to the Greeks, became the mockery of the [Page 98]winds: for in a sudden tempest they lost sixty of their Gallies, two hundred Vessels that car­ried the provisions, many of their Nobility, and a great number of their less considerable Souldiers. This news coming to Carthage, caused a publick mourning, which they were used to express by hanging their City walls with blacks.

The remains of this shipwreckt Fleet wea­thered out the Storm, and with much difficulty got into Sicily: where Amilcar by his good conduct and dexterous management did in some sort correct the malignity of their fortune: for comforting and chearing up their spirits that had escaped the wreck, he takes into pay all the mercenary souldiers that he could meet with in the Island, then out of every City un­der the Carthaginian Dominion he collects the choicest youth; all which he joins with those forces of his City that were there before incamped, and inlarges their camp in the same place, having provided all other things neces­sary for the War. By this his exceeding dili­gence, and the fame of a fortunate and stout Commander, he soon raised the hopes of his Confederates, struck a terrour into his Ene­mies, and inspired courage into his own Ar­my, which now consisted of forty thousand foot, and five thousand horse, so that Carthage was scarce sensible of the loss at Sea. So brave[Page 99]Commanders do by wise counsels, as by reme­dies, heal the wounds which their Countries re­ceive from Fortune. And Heaven seemed by the Storm to have onely presented to Amil­car an opportunity to Glory, that his great Vertues might appear in adverse accidents.

On the other side Agathocles was not so much troubled at these great preparations of the Enemy, though they did far exceed his forces, as at the conscience of his own Perfidiousness, which examples he feared would provoke an i­mitation in his own Vassals. For he suspected the revolt of most of the Towns he had gar­rison'd, that they being secured to him by no stronger a bond of subjection then a Fear of his Cruelty, which is but an ill mistress of O­bedience, would soon surrender themselves up to the Carthaginians, and that the injured Ci­ties would embrace this opportunity of Re­venge, and combine with the Enemy. His greatest sollicitude was to secure Gela, of which he was most jealous, and which was likeliest to give the first Example of a Revolt, and might most securely doe it, the Africans being in­camped within their Territories: and the loss of twenty of his Ships together with all their lading, being taken by the Enemy in that har­bour, increased his fears, and made him more sollicitous to secure that City by a Garrison. This he did not dare openly to attempt, lest [Page 100]the Geloans, who watched an opportunity to honest their Revolt, should take this advantage of delivering themselves up to the Carthagi­nians, which would be of great loss to him, and emolument to his Enemies. He therefore attempts them by Stratageme. Some of his most daring Souldiers he habits as Peasants and Ped­lers, that seemed to mind no business less then a surprize: these he sends into the Town by several waies and small companies, with their arms concealed, as coming to traffick, and continues the supply of them, till he conceived them equal to the Cities strength, and able to secure the gates for his entrance. After them he follows with his whole Army, and entring without any resistance, he presently summons the people, and in a fierce and short speech charges them of contracting with the Old Enemy, for the slavery of all the good people of Sicily. Then, not to give them time to prove their Innocence, (for it was not their Faith he desired, but their Mony and their Town) he immediately gives order to his Soul­diers to slay the wealthiest Geloans, which were above four thousand, and makes a Proclama­tion, that whosoever had Mony or Plate, and did not immediately bring it forth to him, should suffer the tortures that were due to the Betrai­ers of their Country. This Slaughter and Terrours furnish'd the Tyrant with a vast sum of Mony, but a greater Hatred: for though [Page 101]by these waies he terrified all his Vassals, yet this was but a weak security for their Allegi­ance, the Sicilians being rather overcome then subdued; and it is easier to make Subjects then to keep them. Men may submit to the force of arms, but they will never obey but a just power. Agathocles himself also did doubt the effects of this Cruelty; therefore that the number of the slain might not be known, he buries the dead bodies in the Town-ditch.

Leaving a Garrison in Gela, he marches to­wards the Enemy, who had incamped on the Hill Ecnome, or the wicked hill: for the Ty­rant Phalaris having formerly there kept his Engine of Torment, the Brazen Bull, he had made the place infamous by his Cruelty; which did now seem to expiate the ignominy, by af­fording ground to those that were ready to pu­nish a bloodier Villain then he that first disho­noured it. Over against them on another hill, that had also been a fortification of Pha­laris, did Agathocles pitch his Tent. Betwixt both Armies ran the River Himera, which ei­ther used for their defence, while they forbore fighting, which was for some time, because the place had struck a terrour into both par­ties; for at that time there was a tradition of an ancient Prophecy, that in that place there should fall a great number of men in battel: and the Prediction not being so clear as to dis­cover[Page 102]on which side the loss should be, both Armies were suspicious of their fortune, and not daring in a full body to pass the River, their Superstition and fear kept them from in­gaging.

At length this accident drew them forth. The Libyans (whose Valour is wholly out of themselves, and their confidence in the swift­ness of their horses) did usually pass the Ri­ver to forage in the Enemies quarters. Aga­thocles not to lie idle, nor betray any fear by his quietness, was tempted to the like, and therefore sends a party upon the same design into the Punick quarters: these having done their business, returning heavy with booty, a party of the Carthaginians issued out of their Trenches to recover the spoil. This the Syra­cusan had foreseen, and therefore had laid an Ambush near the River, who, when the Afri­cans were eager in the pursuit, and had incon­siderately passed the River, suddenly assaulted them, and chased them back to their own Trenches. Agathocles, who had seen all the action, grew insolent with the success of his Stratageme, and thought that now Victory courted him; and intending to take the advan­tage of this disorder of the Enemy, drew forth his whole Army to assault them within their Fortifications. Which being done with extraordinary speed, they had filled up the[Page 103]ditches, broke down the Trenches, and entred the Camp, before the Carthaginians that were surprized could range themselves in order for defence. But confusedly (as it is usual in sud­den assaults) disposing themselves in that place and Order which Fortune and their Courage did present, they stoutly endeavoured to avoid the ignominy of being beaten within their own defences. But the Greeks as eagerly followed their advantages, quickned with the hope of ending the War with this one Conflict; so that their courage and number still increased within the Camp; and the Africans hindred by their own disorders losing ground, they were not far from Victory, until Amilcar ranged and in good order opposed to them the Mercenaries of the Balearick Islands, who slinging stones of above the weight of a Mina, and being exact at the scope which they intend, (it being their onely weapon, and their continual practice from their infancy) poured such a showre of stones upon the Greeks, that forced them to quit their ground and forsake the Trenches. Agathocles notwithstanding despaired not of success, but in another quarter assaults the Camp: and when he had filled up the ditches, and was almost master of the trenches, behold another party of Carthaginians, that were but just then landed, as they drew near to the Camp, hearing the shouts and noise of them that were fighting, made hast, and set upon[Page 104]the Enemies in the back; so striking a terrour greater then their strength upon the Greeks, who were yet stoutly opposed in the Front, that they believed that they were assailed by a bigger Army then they did assault, and therefore sought for safety by flight, as despairing of vi­ctory over so numerous an Enemy. Some ran towards their Camp, who being pursued by the Africans, strewed all the way with their dead bodies. Others fled by the banks of Hi­mera, and met with as certain a death as that they feared from the sword of their Enemies: for thirsty through rage and toil of the Battel, which happened to be at noon in the Dog-daies, they drank so greedily of the brackish water, that they immediately fell down dead; & they were not fewer who were found dead without any wounds all along the banks of the River, then those that were wounded and slain in the rout, Agathocles having lost above seven thou­sand, and the Carthaginians but five hundred. Thus Providence did as it were strive by re-ite­rated strokes to curb the present insolence of this inhumane Tyrant. First, by snatching the Victory almost out of his possession, in such a juncture bringing an unexpected force, that did both confound his orders and break his vigour: upon such uncertain moments does the fortune of Battels and the fate of Kingdomes depend. And secondly, he did increase the loss, and de­stroy the hopes of a second attempt, by cutting[Page 105]off those whose unwounded bodies might have renewed the fight.

Agathocles himself, reserved for a lon­ger plague to mankind, escaped to his Tents, where gathering up the pieces of his broken Army, he burns his Camp, and hastens to Gela, but caused a report to be raised that he was fled to Syracuse: this afforded him an op­portunity of some small Revenge upon three hundred Africans, who being informed by the Prisoners that the Tyrant was retreated to Sy­racuse, securely entred into Gela, as suspecting no enemy in it; but they found him and their destruction there together. He had not shut himself up there because he could not get to Sy­racuse, but upon design to draw the Carthagini­ans to besiege that place, that he might gain time to fortifie and victual Syracuse for the fu­ture events of the war. But Amilcar, that at first had thought to have lain down before Gela, hearing it was well mann'd and sufficiently stored to endure a tedious Siege, changed his resolutions, and applies himself to take in those other Towns which now courted him for acceptance. Camarinae, Leontium, Catana and Tauromenium, upon the first news of the Victory gave themselves up to the Carthagi­nian Commands: a few daies after Messene, Abacaenum, and many other Cities submitted to Amilcar, who courteously treating all, and[Page 106]imposing easie conditions, made them prefer the Punick, a noble, though a forein, bondage, to the ignominious service of an abject Potter: and generally through the whole Island the O­verthrow of Agathocles gave a liberty to all to express their hatred of him. For when people cease to fear those that rule onely by it, they begin to hate them. And it was not so much the loss of one Battel, as his own Perfidious­ness and Cruelty, that tore the yoke from the Sicilians necks. Cruel Empires, though they be absolute, yet are not lasting.

The Tyrant hearing the daily defection of the Cities, and that his own Wickedness and the Punick fortune had left him nothing but Syracuse, he draws out all his forces from Ge­la, and with haft retreats thither, lest the Ex­ample of others and the Terrour of the Ene­my might tempt it to the same faith. There he emploies the remains of his Army to repair and fortifie the Walls, to fetch as much Provision as they could from the adjoining Country, and to fit all things necessary for a long Siege. For his bold and restless soul, that knew not how to live unless a Tyrant, had revolved all things, and perswaded to every trial. For to men that have lost their first hopes any thing that is fu­ture doth seem best. At last he projected to transfer the War from the Island to the Conti­nent; and when he was over-matched with[Page 107]but a part of the Carthaginian force in Sici­ly, he would dare their whole strength in Africk.

This design, which on another Enemy had been rash and dangerous, did now appear safe and easie. For the long Peace and Prosperity of the Africans had softned them to an impa­tience of enduring the toils of War; and the too jealous arts of Empire which the Carthagi­nians used, (as to disarm all their Vassals, and to embase by cruel Oppressions their less potent Confederates) did assure him of but a weak opposition, and that by such an unexpected Invasion he should obtain enough spoil to re­pair all his losses at home, and that the suc­cess of one Battel would force his Enemies to call home their forces to guard their own Ci­ties. Therefore when it was the general ex­pectation that he should submit to the conque­ring fate of Carthage, his Mind seemed to grow greater by his Miseries, and that he would still look Fortune in the face.

To execute this project, he chuses out such of his Souldiers as he thought fittest for the en­terprize, and gave order that the Horsemen should provide themselves onely of Saddles and Bridles, that when he should get some Afri­can horse, they might not want necessaries to mount them: for although in the late over­throw [Page 108]the loss fell most upon the Foot, and he had saved all his Horse; yet he wanted con­venient time and Vessels to transport them. Then to prevent any Treachery in his absence, he made his brother Antander Governour of Syracuse: and to secure him from Seditions and Revolts, he divides every Family, the Chil­dren from the Fathers, and the Brothers one from another, carrying one part along with him as Hostages for their quiet subjection that tarried at home: for he conceived that though their Hate were never so high against him, yet would they forbear any practices, lest he should revenge their efforts upon those their Friends he had with him. Then to increase both his Army and the Garrison, he manumissed all the Slaves, and put them into arms. At home he thought they would be ready to discover the secret coun­sels of their Masters, & so they are often made use of by Tyrants; abroad they would raise an emulation in the free-men to a Military hardiness and bold attempts. His next care was how to get Mony, and to this he forbore no Wickedness that he could imagine profita­ble. He seizeth upon the Stock and goods of young Orphans, forcing it from their Guardi­ans, declaring that he was fitter for that trust then they, and promising that when they came of age, he would restore all again more faith­fully: he forced a Loan from the richest Mer­chants, despoiled the Women of all their gol­den [Page 109]Ornaments, and robbed every Temple of the consecrated Offerings. Then being infor­med of the discontents of many of the rich­est Citizens, who referred all their present Troubles and Dangers to his insatiable appetite of Greatness, he calls an assembly of the Peo­ple, and with a countenance composed to grief and tears he speaks after this manner to them.

That War is alwaies accounted just which is necessary, and then Arms are deemed pi­ous, when they are the last refuge of those that use them. This is that which doth ad­just the proceedings of this Commonwealth against our Old Enemy, the faithless and barbarous Carthaginians, a people made for the plague of the World, and with whom Peace is more dangerous then War. For their Religion is Cruelty, and by a cursed emula­tion they are more bloody then the Gods they worship; being inhumane to their own Chil­dren, and barbaronsly ingrateful to their most faithful Commanders. How miserable then must it needs be to be their Slaves? These, when Africk had nothing left but Sands and Desarts which had not submitted to their vio­lent and perfidious arts, to recreate their wanton thirst of blood and treasure, have in­vaded Sicily, pretending no other cause of war but our generous love of Liberty, and [Page 110]their boundless desire of Tyranny. To whose attempts, had the Gods been pleased to favour our just arms, we had put an issue at the Battel of Himera, and forced them to bound their Insolencies with the Sea. But Fortune, not their Valour, snatched the Vi­ctory frrm us there, and hath now brought them to our Walls: where unless we behave our selves as persons worthy of Liberty, we must endure the heaviest Slavery, and in chains be the abject spectators of the Rapes of our Wives, the Murders of our Children & aged Parents, & see them wanton with that Wealth which hath been the price of our sweat & blood. For how can we expect a tolerable Peace from them, who make War not for Glo­ry, but for Wealth and Lust? And in vain should we expect Faith from them that are the Examples of Perfidy to the whole world. So that the continuance of the War as well as the beginnings are not matter of our choice, but necessity. If any shall imprudently condemn us, that we rather provoked then expected the Punick Arms, they are forgetful of the duty of a wise Prince, who ought to foresee dangers, and not decline a present Hazard to prevent a future Ruine. Nor can that people escape the censure of being imprudent, which is so in love with a present Peace, that they will sit still, untill their Enemie hath by inslaving all their less potent Neighbours made him­self [Page 111]too strong for their resistance. Such re­solutions therefore that are necessary, are not subject to blame or praise; neither are they to be measured by the Event: for many times sage Counsels want that desired Success which often attends those that are indiscreet. And if the approbation of either should depend upon the Issue, men would be incouraged to erre, and disheartned from giving their Country those safe advices which are the resolves of Pru­dence. Since therefore it was neither in our power, nor should it have been our choice, to have avoided the War, and that the Gods would not give Victory as the Merit of our Cause; if we will retain our Liberty (which should be more precious then our Lives) there remains nothing now to doe, but stoutly to wait for the return of our Fortune, and with patience endure the miseries of a Siege, which I doubt will be very great: yet I that have learned to be unhappy, can easily endure, for it is some alleviation of misery to know the greatness of our Misfortune; but my spirit is grieved for those of the Good people that must be shut up with me, and must be neces­sitated to endure those unaccustomed dangers and continual fears. Therefore I require all such as think themselves unequal to so adverse a fortune, to forsake the Town, and secure themselves and their goods where they can hope for most Peace and Safety.

[Page 112] All those that were Rich, whose abundance made them soft, and who feared to hazard their Wealth to maintain the Tyrants Great­ness, and such whose Hate of him made them willing to leave the den of such a Monster, were credulous of what he said, and accepted of this profer'd Liberty. But they soon learnt that a Tyrant is never to be believed, even in his most melting expressions, or lowest condition: for he had appointed his Mercenaries to kill them as they offered to depart, and to seize their goods. Thus by a compendious Villany he delivered himself of sixteen hundred men which he did not dare to trust in the Town, and inriched himself with their Goods, which they were removing farther from him.

Having by these wicked arts provided all things necessary for his purpose, the rest that he could not order he permits to Fate, knowing that something must be ventured, and that ma­ny things which exceed the providence of man, are often by Fortune disposed for the best. These his provisions and Souldiers together with him­self and his Son Archagathus he brings a ship­board, so waiting for an opportunity to get out of the Haven; resolving to take his counsels for that from the accidents of Fortune: for ma­ny times such counsels do discover themselves in working, which in a bare expectation had been for ever lost. The concealment of his Design[Page 113]was no less wonderful then the boldness of it; for he had communicated his intentions to none, either through his natural Pride, or fear of discovery and disappointment, or doubting the contradiction of his Friends and Counsel­lors, which is the common bane of Counsels: For men commonly through opiniastrete dislike and labour to overthrow those designs which, though never so noble, proceeded not from them­selves. Or fearing the discouragement of his Army: For Vulgar spirits are alwaies enemies to difficult undertakings. Therefore for some or all these reasons, he suppressed his Inten­tions, onely giving forth that he had found out a new and safe way of Victory. This great concealment caused several discourses among the Speculativi. ‘Some conceived that this way was to sail into Italy, and there ga­ther up such whom great necessities made ha­zardous, and with them to attempt the for­tune of a second Battel. Others, that his intent was to land his little party in some o­ther places of that Island that were under the African Empire, and so divert the Enemy from the Siege of Syracuse. But all con­cluded those unhappy men as lost and devo­ted to destruction, that were forced to follow the Rashness of such a Commander that seemed infatuated to ruine.’ So they wept over their Friends and Kindred, whose misera­ble departure from among the living seemed[Page 114]to be respited onely by the Carthaginian Fleet that then lay in the mouth of the Haven.

This Obstruction had so long delaied Aga­thocles, that he grew almost mad: to get forth he saw it was impossible, and to stand still was dangerous. Therefore when his restless Mind had presented many plots, and upon the reje­cting of one had suggested another, and none would attain his end; at length Fortune admi­nistred such an advantage, as his own Reason or Power could never have invented or made. For some of the Victualling vessels that had been sent forth to bring Provisions to the City were now returning, and being come somewhat near the shore, were discovered by the Enemy, who presently with their whole Fleet made up to take them, and by this means left the mouth of the Haven open to Agathocles; who not to let slip this joyful season, with a full spred sail made out to Sea. The Carthaginians, that had now almost attaqued the Victuallers, seeing the Greeks coming out with so many Ships, at first thought they intended the rescue of the Vi­ctuallers, and so left off the chace of them, and prepared themselves for fight. But seeing they kept a straight course, and that they had now gotten some distance from them, they then set themselves to the pursuit of Agathocles; and by this means gave opportunity to the Vi­ctuallers, being thus strangely delivered, safely[Page 115]to unlade at Syracuse, and to store that City, which already began to suffer scarcity. And Agathocles incouraging his Sailors to the grea­test diligence of keeping that advantage of di­stance which they had already gotten before the Punick Fleet, was preserved out of their hands all the day, till towards Evening the E­nemy, who were better Sea-men, coming up close, and being almost ready to ingage him, the approaching Night rescued him out of that danger. Thus this bold attempt had as wonder­ful a success: and Heaven intending to humble the Carthaginian Pride by a baffled Enemy, re­moved those obstructions which seemed invin­cible. Hence it was evident, that though men cannot resist Providence, yet they may admini­ster unto it, and may weave the webs though they cannot break the threds thereof: therefore they ought never to abandon themselves, not knowing their end: and though Providence traverseth unknown waies, yet have they rea­son to follow it, and to hope in whatsoever condition they find themselves.

But though they had thus passed over the dread of the Africans, the next day his whole Army was assaulted with a new Terrour. For there happening an exceeding great Eclipse of the Sun, whereby it was so dark that it appea­red like the return of Night, and many Stars did appear, the ruder Souldiers ignorant of[Page 116]the reason, apprehended it as a sad Omen of their present Affairs, and were the more fit for such impressions by the as yet fresh fears of their late dangers. For affrighted spirits are easily moved to Superstition; and that which in Peace had been looked upon as a Chance or the ordinary course of Nature, was now called Fate and the Anger of the Gods. First Reli­gion, then Fear invaded their minds: for they bewailed this as a portent of a most dismal and comfortless issue, and the design was such, as the Sun would not afford light, being con­trary to the minds of the Gods drawn forth to unknown Coasts. Agathocles, though he (as all Tyrants) was not subject to the fears of Heaven, nor capable of any apprehension that looked like Religion, and so was apt to con­temn these affrightments of the Vulgar; yet doubtful how far such might work the fears of the common rout, to a revengeful fury of turn­ing all the mischief of this Prodigy upon his head who exposed them to the dangers, was therefore sollicitous to take off the Terrour by a dexterous Interpretation. For such insigni­ficant signs, which the Vulgar take for the mes­sages of Heaven, may receive contrary com­ments, according to the humour and interest of him that is the Augur: and it is the Event one­ly that gives them the authentickness of an Ora­cle. He therefore himself turns Augur, and expounds this obscure Text to his own advan­tage.[Page 117]For he tells them, that if this Portent had happened before they began their Expedition, then might they justly have feared the sad ef­fects thereof; but it now coming after so fortunate a beginning, it must be conceived to presage all its dangers to those against whom the Ex­pedition is intended. Besides, such defects of the natural Luminaries alwaies note the change of affairs; but a change could not be terrible to them that were beneath the level of Danger, but to the flourishing estate of victo­rious Carthage. And that this Portent did directly strike at them was certain, because they were the Worshippers of the Sun, and the labours of a God did alwaies signifie the ago­nies and ruines of his Idolaters. This Expo­sition did relieve the spirits of his Army, and made them with more chearfulness endure the hazards and toils of six daies & nights continued sailing. For nothing more strongly leads the Mul­titude then Superstition; and when this hath seized on them, they will with more readiness follow their Priests, then their Captains.

On the seventh day in the morning they were within ken of the coast of Africk, and at the same time discovered the Carthaginians not far from them. Thereupon both parties plying their Oars and Sails, strove which should first compass their design. The Carthaginians ho­ped to make this the last act to the conquest of [Page 118] Sicily, all the opposition of which was carried in those Bottomes. Fear quickned the Greeks to avoid most bitter Tortures in themselves, and the Slavery of all that was dear unto them at Syracuse. Therefore each side contended and doubled their diligence, according to their hopes or fears. The Africans had the advantage of Oars and Sails; the Sicilians in the nearest distance to the shore, and the number of fight­ing men aboard. The foremost of the Tyrant's Vessels had attained the shore, and landed some men, when the hindermost were attaqued by the Enemy. But many Greeks having now a firm footing on land, by their Bows and Slings forced back the Punick Fleet, and made them forsake the Vessels they were almost seized of, not having an equal number of men; nor could they so certainly direct their Arrows out of the Ships, as those that had a stable footing.

The Tyrant being got upon the Continent, presently lands all his men at a place called the Quarries, and having raised a slight Trench drew all his Ships aground; which with ano­ther act of boldness answerable to his design he was resolved to burn. For if he would preserve them, he must weaken his small strength by leaving a guard for their defence, otherwise they would fall into the hands of his Enemies. Besides, by this means he should necessitate his Army to a Victory; for when they had lost[Page 119]the means and hopes of a Return, they must either conquer or perish. To perform this, he saw he must proceed by Art, for the Souldi­ers would not easily consent to lose all hopes of return to their Native soil. Therefore he first deals with those Captains and Masters of the Ships he did most confide in, and inviting them to a Sacrifice which he made to Ceres and Proserpina, the Sicilian Goddesses, he acquaints them, and perswades them to further his coun­sels. Then calling the whole Army together, he comes forth amongst them habited with Priestly garments, and a Crown on his head, (which he wore as a Priest, for he had not yet assumed that ensign of Royalty) he acquaints them with his design in coming into Africk, and speaks to this purpose.

Our happy and safe arrival in Africk can­not make either you or me forget the dangers of Syracuse, where we left the good people of that Commonwealth, with all that can make us desirous of life, and sweeten our toils for wealth and glory, besieged by our Old bloody Enemy the Carthaginians. To deliver them and our selves from present Ruine there was no way left, but either by unworthy conditions to lengthen out our lives in Slavery, for which we could have no security from a perfidious Enemy; or to trust to our own swords, and by a brave resistance of our adverse fortune [Page 120]wrest the Victory from our Conquerours. To execute this Heroick resolution was not to suf­fer our selves to be pent up in the walls of a Town, for there we must have fought with Famine no less then with the Enemy, where our wants would have broke our faith: The fears and cries of our Wives and Children would have disarmed us, and quenched our noble heats for Victory, and importuned us to a present, though uncertain, security with Bondage, rather then to continue the dangers of a Siege for Liberty and Glory. But the surest and easiest way is to transport the War int Africk, and carry that flame which would have consumed us in Sicily, to the gates of Carthage. For the advantages in that War which is managed in an Enemies Country are far greater then in that which we are forced to wage at home. In this last we can expect no succours but what that remnant of our wasted Country, which our Enemies will leave unto us, can afford. But abroad you shall see that the Enemy may be overcome by his own strength, through the revolt of their oppressed Vassals, the discontents of their injured Con­federates, (who are continually panting after a forein hand that may help to break their ha­ted yoke.) Besides, we have to doe with an E­nemy whom security hath made weak, and the desires of Profit and Pleasure have drawn away from all defences: For their Towns and [Page 121]Cities have not the fortifications of Art or Nature, neither incompassed with Walls, nor built on Hills; but seated in pleasant fields and champian countries, hedged about with vineyards and retirements of Pleasure, which will rather invite then keep off an Enemy. So that your very sight will make them sensible of their weakness, and the fear of us will perswade their softned spirits to a subjection and compliance with us to the ruine of Car­thage, which shall feel the War to burn hot­ter here then that she hath kindled in Sicily, while every hand conspires to root up that proud City, that hath hitherto born up her Tyranny by an empty name of Greatness, and the cre­dulity of her abject Slaves, then by real Va­lour or solid Strength. Thus shall we gather up that force which we brought not with us. Besides, the suddenness of her Terrours and the bravery of our Courage will facilitate and as­certain our Victory, when she shall tremble at the invasion of that Enemy whom she despised and reputed her Slaves: and she will grow stu­pid, when the flames of her Villages, Castles and pertinacious Towns shall give them light to see, that Destruction hath as easie an access to them as they have made for it to others. This is the art not onely to pull down the Pu­nick greatness, but also to put an end to the miseries of Sicily, where the Enemy will no longer stay to overthrow her Liberty, but [Page 122]hasten to prevent their own Slavery. And as we cannot defire an easier War, so we cannot hope for richer booties; for in the sacking of Carthage we shall plunder all the wealth of Africk, and recover all the spoils that they have stoln from Sicily. Nor will our Glory be less then our Profits, whenas all succeeding Ages shall be taught by the present, that we were the first that invented and bravely pra­ctised the Heroick Art of transferring that War to our Enemies doors, which we were not able to endure at home; that chased our Conquerours, and besieged our Besiegers: so that we shall still live in their imitation. To expedite this easie War, to gather these infi­nite Treasures, and to raise up such a lasting monument for our Fame, the Gods require no more then bold hopes for our selves, and just Piety towards them. For they have assured me of Victory and Successe in the whole War, not onely by auspicious signs in the Sacrifices, but also in hearing my Prayers, and accep­ting my Vows, which I made to Ceres and Proserpina the Patronesses of our beloved Island, that if they should safely conduct you to the shores of Africk, I would burn all my Ships as an offering to them. Therefore since they have made so full a return to my Pray­ers, and have so carefully preserved you to the acquisition of Wealth and Glory, it is fit that I do not provoke their anger to blast this[Page 123]enterprize by a sacrilegious neglect of my Re­ligions Vows.

When he had said thus, one of his Servants puts into his hand a lighted Torch, and he com­manded the like to be delivered to all his Ca­ptains: then invoking Ceres and Proserpina, he set fire to the Praetorian Ship, and all the Officers did the like to theirs; and when the flame had kindled upon the Ships, he orders the Trumpets to sound a charge, and the whole Ar­my gave a shout, & every one praied for an hap­py return home. But this sudden joy was violent & short, too like the flame with which it began and wasted. For the Sicilians, though at first they were bewitched with the speech, and chea­ted with the Arts of the Tyrant, who had cal­led that Religion which was but his Necessity and Design, neither giving time to consult, nor expecting their consent; yet at last, when they turned their eyes from the perishing flames, and look'd upon the Sea, they began to mea­sure in their thoughts the vast distance betwixt them and home; they compared the merciless waves with the dangers on the land, where so small a number were to be exposed to the fury of a mighty Commonwealth: the memory of the Battel of Himera, and the late terrours of the Carthaginian Fleet grew fresh, and appal­led all those sanguine hopes their false Leader had suggested: and when they reflected again[Page 124]upon the ashes of their burnt Ships, and saw all the means of a Return cut off, they cursed their cruel destinies, and their Joy (as it is u­sual with all sudden Passions) expired into Despair and Madness, and had any one dared to begin, they were all disposed to mutiny. Agathocles perceived the change, and feared the effects; and therefore to give vent to that dark and melancholy humour, which like a dismal cloud threatned a Tempest, he led them out to invade the African Empire, that it might spend all its fury upon the Enemy, and not be troublesome to their Commander. So design­ing the first attempt against Megalopolis, he leads them thither with a moderate march: not too slow, lest he should confess a fear by de­laies; nor too hasty, both that he might give leave to Fame to render him stronger then he was, (For distant terrours are alwaies believed greater then they are; and when the truth cannot be discovered, Fear doth conjecture many false dangers) as also that he might permit his Soul­diers to take a full prospect of the Country, which through their whole march appeared so delightful and rich, that it did rather refresh then weary their drooping spirits. For the whole Country abounded with Vineyards, Or­chards of all kind of Fruits, Gardens and pla­ces of Pleasure. The Fields and manured grounds seemed to labour under the burden of the crop, the Pastures with variety of Cattel [Page 125]boasted the riches of the owners; every piece of ground was exactly watered with Rivers and Aqueducts, adorned with stately and ma­gnificent houses, which bragged of as much Riches within as there was plenty without. This being the Country whither the wealthier Car­thaginians made their diversions, when they were wearied with the tumult and business of the City. The happiness of the soil soon raised the hopes of the Sicilians, when they saw there were equal rewards for their labours, and large booties for their Victories. Then all began to praise and commend the prudence of Agathocles, and duty with the love of Obe­dience returned to every breast. So unsteady are the motions of Vulgar souls, whose consi­derations being fastned to the present objects, vary according to their appearances.

Agathocles makes use of this present temper, and therefore giveth a sudden storm to the Ci­ty, which through long Peace had outlived the knowledge of an Enemy and all experience of War, and at this time thought of nothing less then an Invasion, and so was soon master'd by the desperate Greeks; to whom their Leader gave the plunder of the Town, that so he might raise their Courage, and feed their hopes by the booty. From thence he marches to a City cal­led White Tunis, which was about two hun­dred and fifty miles from Carthage, and makes [Page 126]it fall under the same fate as the other did; they being also circumvented by the security of Peace, and mischiefs of War. The Army being now inriched by the spoils of these two Cities, would have them garrison'd as places to deposite their pillage. Agathocles (that knew how destructive this would be to his en­terprize, and that the more hopes they had of a refuge, they would have the less courage to fight) tells them, that the booty which they had as yet got, was but poor and contemptible to those vast treasures one Victory over the Enemy would afford; and that until that were past no place could be secure, but after­wards every Village would be a safe depository to the conquerour. And urging this with such authority as his success had now heightned, he causes them to demolish those two Towns, and incamps in the field, lest the retirements of the City should soften them by Luxury before the encounter which he expected from the E­nemy.

In the mean while the Carthaginian Fleet, that rode about the shore to wait the issue of the Sicilians landing, when they had seen them burn their Ships, did at first triumph, sup­posing that their fears had driven them to such desperate counsels: but when they saw them draw off from the shore, and march up into the neighbouring country, they then conjectu­red[Page 127]at their design, and judged that the flames of those ships would kindle a fire in their Commonwealth, and therefore wish'd they could have quench'd them with the Sicilian blood or their own tears. Thus expressing their fears and sorrows with great lamentations, and hanging the prowes of their Gallies with skins, (which was the ceremony of sadness when any great misfortune befell their City) they gathe­red up the brazen beaks of the burnt ships, and sent them with the Intelligence of what had happened to the Senate. But before this ad­vice came, Carthage was alarmed by the af­frighted Peasants and Fugitives of the sacked Towns, who fled thither for succour and shel­ter from the destructive Greeks; and, as it is usual, they had magnified every thing to the greatest terrour. The whole City was ama­zed with this unexpected Invasion, and could not reconcile this sadder news with the Intel­ligence of their late Victory at Himera, but by supposing their condition worse, and that by the fortune of a second Battel they had lost all their forces both by Sea and Land. For otherwise they conceived Agathocles would ne­ver have dared to assail his Conquerours at their own gates; or could have been so rashly gree­dy, as for some hasty spoils of Africk, to have left Syracuse a prey to the besiegers; nor could he have passed the Sea, had his enemies Fleet been yet unattempted.

[Page 128]These sad apprehensions filled all minds with horrour and confusion. The Senate with fear and hast was gathered into the Piazza, and the people with hideous clamours flocking about them, requiring them maturely to con­sult the safety of their Republick, which see­med now upon the Verge of Ruine. The ex­cess of fear in every Order made them un­dervalue their own strength; and the greater diligence and the more arts every one used to conceal it, made them appear more evidently fearful. They discoursed how that they had no Army of Mercenaries ready to oppose the Enemy; their Nobless was sluggish, luxurious, and by a long Peace softned to effeminacy; their more hopeful Youth were either lost in the Shipwreck, or emploied in the Island; the Populacy were wholly ignorant of arms, and now so terrified, that they would never dare to flesh themselves on an experienced Enemy, hardned with former perils, heightned with spoils, and, as they suspected, with a mighty Victory. Therefore in this doubtful state of affairs, some were of advice to send Commis­sioners to treat with Agathocles concerning Peace, and by that advantage to inform them­selves fully of their Enemies strength: Others were of opinion that they should defer any such Treaty, till they were acquainted with the state of their own Army, and so to manage them­selves accordingly. But while they were distra­cted [Page 129]with these different counsels, the messen­gers from the Admiral arrive at the Haven; who giving them a particular account of what had happened, and shewing them the beaks of their Enemies Ships, did allay their fears, but heightned their indignation against their Sea-Officers, that through baseness or folly had suffered a baffled Enemy to invade Africk; and venting their fury in a censure of them, with more calm spirits they fall to consult of fitting Remedies for the present Mischief.

The knowledge of their own and Agatho­cles's condition made them despise their half-conquered Enemy; therefore scorning to treat with him of Peace, they resolved upon the fi­nishing of the War. To this end, as more jea­lous of their Liberty then doubtful of Victory, (which is seldome obtained by divided Com­mands) they appoint two Generals, Bomilcar and Hanno; Persons of different tempers and opposite Factions. The first cruel, faithless, ambitious and impatient of equality: the o­ther more desirous of Glory then Power; of a civil Modesty, fierce against an Enemy, but ten­der of his own Citizens. Bomilcar was chosen, because his Greatness made it dangerous to pass him by in so honourable an emploiment; but Hanno, to watch over the others actions, which not onely the love of his Country, but also an ancient fewd betwixt their Families, did as­sure[Page 130]them would be with the most exact circum­spection. His Integrity they hoped would so temper his Passions, that he would not to his private Discords sacrifice the Publick Safety in the male-administration of his charge; and his hate of Bomilcar promised a sufficient ballance to his aspiring soul, who was suspected to af­fect the Tyranny, but as yet wanted an oppor­tunity to satisfie his Ambition. Therefore they durst not trust him alone with such an extraor­dinary power, as they must expect onely from his Modesty when he would lay it down.

A Vertue sometimes wanting in the Car­thaginian Nobless, who often attempted upon the Liberty of their Commonwealth. Which some refer to the vitious constitution of their Government, that preferr'd such to the highest trust whose cense was largest, and so made Wealth, not Vertue, the mark for Honour. For they thought the greatness of their interest in their Country would oblige them to a greater industry for its preservation. This indeed is a remedy proper against a forein yoke, but an incitement to domestick Tyranny. For such, as they will be watchful guardians to preserve their City from others, so will they often make attempts upon it themselves. And those that abound with Wealth, when they see Glory and Power are the attendants of it, grow insolent, and esteem the Supreme power but their due:[Page 131]Equality of Honour being not competent with the inequality of Fortune. It was accounted the great preservative of the Roman Liberty, that Riches came into no consideration when they came to chuse the Commanders of their Forces, but they would fetch their Dictators from the plough, and nominate those for Consuls whose estates were so scanty, that the publick stock must defray the charges of their Funerals, and provide portions for their fa­therless Daughters. These men after they sa­tisfied the publick charge, and eminently ser­ved their Commonwealth, hasted home to look after their narrow fortunes and their few acres; when they had yoked the Enemy, returned to doe the like to their Oxen, and to finish the Til­lage they had begun; and so became private persons, and were obedient to the ordinary Magistrates, contented with their turnips, and desiring no more of the spoil of the conquered then a wooden goblet to use in Sacrifices. So that they gave not the least jealousie of Tyran­ny to the people, who still making their choice by the Merit of the persons, had so many Vir­tuosi among them, men glorious with several Victories, that they were a guard for the Pub­lick against each other. Thus spoiling Riches of that glory which is given to it in a corrupt State, they preserved their own Liberty and the Patrician Modesty, till the love of Wealth en­tred; and then followed the desire of Empire.

[Page 132]Others referred this to the base Ingratitude of the People, which is the usual disease of all Democracies, who rewarded their victori­ous Commanders with seditious Accusations, and afterwards with the Cross, and often did too severely punish the mischances of the un­prosperous. So that many that had the chief Command of their forces, have prevented their unjust sentences with a voluntary renunciation of life and emploiment; or to defend their Dignity, sought to extinguish those flames which would have consumed their private houses, with the ruine of the Publick, and pulling down the frame of Government. So that this Ingratitude and Severity did diminish the infamy, and somewhat necessitate such un­dertakings. But this infirmity never fell upon the Roman Commonwealth; for while it was not corrupted by too great an Empire, they were far from such unworthy Jealousies, re­warding the prosperous Valour of their Com­manders with such glorious Triumphs as did both satiate their thirsts of honour, and not force them to seek the shadow of a name by being great Oppressors; and also raised the hopes and spirits of their other Citizens to the like atchievements. Which did both increase their Strength and Empire, and also secure their Liberty by so many rivals of glory. If ever they punished the unsuccessful, it was with much humanity. Such as lost their Armies by[Page 133]any criminal failance, had the light correcti­ons of a pecuniary mulct, and were not for­ced to wash away the ignominy of an Over­throw with their own blood. Such as through Misfortune, Inadvertency, or Ignorance brought wounds upon the Commonwealth, were rather caressed and cheared, then dealt severely with; and had sometimes their char­ges renewed, that they might redeem the Glo­ry they had before lost. He that by a rash and indiscreet desire of Victory, had occasioned that terrible Overthrow at Cannae, when he re­turned home, in stead of a triumph, had the Consuls and the whole Senate met him; who though they could not congratulate his Victo­ry, did yet thank him for his valour, that he had not despaired of the Commonwealth. This proceeding of theirs towards their Generals was upon a good consideration: Because they judged it to be a matter of great importance, that such as were intrusted with affairs of so great moment as managing a Battel, should, when they were to make their resolutions, have their minds free, and without sollicitude of their Cities censure of their actions: and there­fore they would not increase their difficulties; supposing that none could be gallant under the load of so many doubts and fears. And as Carthage wanted this Wisdome of Rome, so did she the Glory and Power, and was after­wards forced to serve her rival of Empire.

[Page 134]The Generals being chosen, they conceived too great dangers in the least delay, and there­fore made too much hast: for they tarried not to levy souldiers from the Confederate Cities, nor to take up such that were hardned with the country labours; but took those of their own City, whom the pleasures and abject arts of the City had made unfit for the toils of war; such also whom the fortune of their Common­wealth and the news of the late Victory in Si­cily had raised to so high a confidence, that they conceived it rather a journy to fetch in Slaves, then an encounter to conquer an Enemy: therefore advising one another to give quarter to as many of the Greeks as were not obstinate to ruine, they carried along with them twen­ty thousand pair of fetters to bind their Ca­ptives. And they seemed to be careful of no­thing more, then lest their delaies would give opportunity to the Enemy to get away out of Africk, and so defeat their hopes of spoil. By this great confidence in themselves and con­tempt of the enemy, (in whom nothing can be safely despised; for a neglectful contempt will alwaies make him stronger) they were preci­pitated to an Overthrow. For they immediate­ly drew out into the Field, being about forty thousand Foot, one thousand Horse, and two thousand Chariots; and pitching upon an Hill not far from the Enemy, they ranged all their Forces for a Battel. Hanno commanded the [Page 135]right Wing, and with him was the Sacred Band of Carthaginians, the Chariots and Horse being placed in the Front; and Bomil­car commanded the left.

Agathocles was glad the Enemy was so for­ward to ingage, and that their Confidence made them neglect those safe counsels, of per­mitting his desperate Army to spend it self in its own fury, and waste by delaies; therefore declines not the fight, but uses his greatest di­ligence in his preparations and orders of this Battel, upon which depended the fortune of Syracuse and all his hopes: knowing that Fear and Confidence have their birth in the first e­vents; and that by the issue of this first en­counter he should administer to Fame, to pre­occupate the minds of men in concluding the fortune of the whole War. He orders his Bat­tel according to the manner of the Enemy. For having learned the temper of the two Ge­nerals, (a necessary part of the arts of a Lea­der, and of which Annibal afterwards made great use in his war in Italy, forming his de­signs according to the humour of him who commanded the Enemies battel) he commits the charge of his right wing to his son Archa­gathus, that was to ingage against Bomilcar, where an insolent, treacherous Captain, and diffident Souldiers, promised the fewest dan­gers, and least opposition: and he himself [Page 136]commands the left, to confront Hanno, where were all things that are to be expected in a good Leader and resolute Souldiers. And be­cause many of his party wanted arms, he sup­plies them with this invention: he causes them to take the coverings of shields, and to distend them with sticks and rods, and to stuff them out in the form of a shield, and gave them to such as wanted, and were in the rear; not as fit for use, but to elude the Enemies sight, who at a distance could not judge them other then real shields. And lest his Souldiers should be discomfited by that terrible prospect of their e­nemies number and horse (For the eyes most commonly are the first that are overcome in every battel) he had another invention to se­cure their minds of Victory: for he caused many Owles, which he had provided for that purpose, to be let flie in several places of the Camp; which flying round about the Army, and alighting sometimes upon the helmets, sometimes upon the shields of the Souldiers, was taken for an auspicious augury, because this kind of bird was consecrated to Minerva a warlike Goddess. And withal he causes it, as an interpretation of the Omen, to be rumou­red that she had assured him of an happy success.

These devices, though they seem trifles and empty projects, yet often prove great moments[Page 137]to wonderful successes; they raising in the spi­rits of an Army great Confidence, and by that Confidence they overcome. For a Confidence that is derived from the conceived care and pro­mises of Heaven, and to which a Deity gives the first Original, is most active and vigorous; because a Prediction doth not onely raise an in­fallible hope, and promise an assistance from Heaven, but also doth, by those hopes, ta­citely admonish to brave resolutions. There­fore the Romans, who could boast of more Vi­ctories then any other Nation, used to raise a Confidence in their Forces by the waies of Religion: for they never would create their Consuls for their Expeditions, levy their Ar­mies, begin their marches, or join in Battel, without their Auguries and Auspicies. And without doing some such thing never did any of their wise and noble Captains attempt any great action; conceiving it difficult to be suc­cessful in it, unless their Souldiers did first ap­prehend that the Gods were on their part. And herein doth this Confidence differ from that which ariseth in an Army from the consi­deration of their own strength, and contempt of the enemy: this commonly is pregnant with neglect of discipline, and too much security; but the former never disarms it self either by negligence or rashness; for the Commanders, who knew the uncertainty of human affairs, and how much vanity there was in such Augu­ries,[Page 138]used them onely to heighten the rude mul­titude, and themselves in the mean while were careful of taking every advantage for Victory.

Agathocles (that had omitted no part of care; for his Army was ready and prepared either to fight or chase, not heavy with luggage, not greedy of spoil, intent upon the commands of their Leader, and observing his very nods, not anxious for safety, nor too presumptive of Victory) soon found the effects of his inven­tion to have raised the confidence of his Soul­diers. For upon the first charge they stoutly repulsed the Punick Chariots upon their own Foot, and bravely receiving their Horse forced them to flight: and when Hanno had brought up his Foot, doing all that the Love of his Country and Glory exacted from him (for he thought to have gotten the Victory by his alone Wing) with many wounds they slew him, be­ing sooner forsaken by Fortune then Valour: and with him fell the courage of the whole par­ty, which were put to flight; onely the Sacred Band did for a while stoutly endeavour to make good the retreat. In the other wing Bo­milcar did but faintly assault the Enemy, and scarce stood upon his own defence, not seeking the Victory, but the Empire of Carthage, which he conceived their overthrow would facilitate, and their low condition impose on his shoul­ders; and then he doubted not with ease to[Page 139]send the Syracusans out of Africk. There­fore as soon as he heard of Hanno's death, he divulges it among his own party, and com­mands them to retreat to a neighbouring Hill: which being very disorderly performed, the Sa­cred Band being now no longer able to sustain the victorious Greeks, they were at last all to­tally routed, every one running the next way to Carthage, and casting away their arms which they had taken for their defence, as if they feared their own assistances.

The Sicilians pursued them not far, but gree­dily returned to the rifling of the Camp; where among the other spoils, they found the prepa­rations not for War, but for Victory, those Fetters which had been provided for their Sla­very. This increased the hatred of the Ene­my, and heightned the joy of the Victory, by the prospect of the dangers they had escaped. For although we rather wish an uninterrupted flou­rishing fortune; yet such doth not affect us with so high a sense of pleasure, as that which Pro­vidence raises us unto from the utmost dangers. This likewise administred occasion of discour­sing and wondering at the Justice of that over­ruling power of the World, that had thus shewed the vanity of humane power and coun­sels, and bound the proud Carthaginians in those fetters which they had provided for a de­spicable Enemy. As also how quick the re­turns[Page 140]of Prosperity may be after the most despe­rate misery. That there is no condition so low, but may have hopes, nor any so high that is without the reach of fears. The Ty­rant while his forces were intire in Sicily, was overthrown by the Carthaginians: yet with the remains of that Army he beats his Conque­rours. Two emulous Cities, Carthage and Syracuse, both at one time Conquerours and conquered, streightned and besieged by their mutual forces. The loss of the Carthaginians in this Battel was very great, but uncertain: for some say it was but one thousand, others relate three, and others six thousand. A­gathocles bought this great Victory with but little blood, for he lost at most but two hun­dred, and others say but two.

The Carthaginians amazed at this unexpect­ed overthrow by so weak an Enemy, referred their misfortune to the anger of their neglect­ed Gods. They conceived Hercules the Patron of their City to be offended with them, because they had long disused to send the Tenths of all their Revenues to that God at Tyre, from whence they were extracted, which they had most reli­giously observed at the first Plantation of their Colony. But when their State was increased by a continued Prosperity, and their Riches grown to a vast height, their Covetousness also inlarging with their Wealth, they envied their[Page 141]Gods so great a summe as their Tenths did then amount unto, and therefore sent little or no­thing: either thinking their Gods would be pleased with the parsimony of their Idolaters, and not delighted in an un-emploied Treasure; or else that by their present Felicity they were now able to stand by themselves without the care of their Gods. Such is the common weakness of humane minds, as to think the present fortune puts them out of a dependance on Heaven; and so great their Ingratitude, that proud with their happiness, they con­ceive themselves the authours of their own fortunes, and neglect the testimonies of acknow­ledging from whose bounty they derived their Blessings. And being thus insolent towards their Gods, they grow injurious to men, and so open all the Avenues to destruction. This Salust observes of his Romans, who in their first beginnings were Magnificent in their De­votions, Parsimonious in their Families, and Faithful to their Friends: but when their Great­ness feared no rival, and their fortune had left no Enemy, first the love of Riches, then Am­bition of Command taught them to neglect their Gods, and be perfidious to men, destroi­ed their Religion, corrupted their Converse, de­bauched their Discipline, and at last overthrew their Commonwealth. For Religion being the Reverence of a Deity, which is supposed able to reward and punish according to the me­rits[Page 142]of the Worshippers, is productive of good Orders. These cement the minds of men, and lay the obligations of a solid faith, which fits them for great actions, by a mutual confidence, which seldome fails of good success. But where Religion is contemned, there the people are not far from ruine, or some heavy scourge; for that being the foundation of Society, when it is once shaken by contempt, the whole fabrick cannot be stable nor lasting.

But Religious rites that are worn out by Pro­sperity, when security makes men more desirous of pleasures then careful of Religion, are reco­vered by Adversity. And Fear, though it does not (as the Atheists say) make Gods, yet it re­vives their worship. For these Carthaginians awakened with the clamours of their Misfor­tunes, sent a great summe of mony with other most precious offerings to Hercules, and Gol­den Shrines for all their other Gods at Tyre, thinking to buy off their fury, and corrupt their Justice. And neglecting no part of their barbarous Superstition, they endeavoured to re­concile their Saturn also, whom they conceived peevish likewise. For whereas of old they were used to sacrifice to him their most beauti­full and hopeful Children, nobly or honestly born, they had of late put him off with com­mon and supposititious births. Therefore by a cursed Superstition which extinguished huma­nity, (such is the fury of a devillish Worship,[Page 143]that when it is most exact it increases their Crimes) they chose two hundred Children of their most eminent Nobless for a publick Sa­crifice. Besides many others that lay under some misfortune, or were affraid of some great accusations, offered their blood for their Cities safety, which were no less then three hundred. All these were consumed in a Sacrifice. For being bound and laid upon the arms of their Idol, which was a great Image of brass with his hands stretch'd downwards to the earth, the unhappy wretches rowled off, and fell into a furnace of fire that was underneath. This cruel Superstition the Carthaginians had brought from Tyre, from whence the Jews also derived their worship of Moloch.

Though they were thus busie in their Reli­gious, yet were they not negligent in their Se­cular provisions: for they sent to Amilcar in Sicily, that he should speedily send them what forces he could spare; and withal they sent to him by the same Messengers the brazen beaks of Agathocles's Ships, which their Ad­miral had brought to Carthage, with instructi­ons how he should use them. Amilcar having received the news, commands the Messengers to suppress the misfortunes of their City, and to divulge in his own Army that Agathocles with his whole party were utterly lost. And some of the same men he sends into Syracuse [Page 144]to move them to a surrender of the Town, which could not now hope for any succours, for A­gathocles was totally overthrown, and his Ships taken and burnt at Carthage; for an e­vidence of which they shewed the brazen beaks which had his mark upon them, and were ge­nerally known to be his. The people through the present miseries of the Siege were the more capable of any, though false, terrours; and such as desired a change of the State were most greedy after news. These thronging about the Punick Messengers and place of the Treaty, had got some inkling of the news: it was soon divulged; for in a publick expectation all were impatient of any great secret, and easily belie­ved. And the Commanders in the Town la­bouring to suppress, did increase the fame of it: for all discourses being forbidden were the more multiplied; and those who, if it had been law­ful, would have related no more then the truth, because it was not safe, did by their ill-suppres­sed fears and secret whisperings make more hea­vy things to be conjectured.

The Governours of the Garrison suspecting some Sedition and Mutinies might be formed by these sad tidings, as soon as ever they had dismissed (which was speedily) the Carthagi­nian Envoies, forced out of the Town all the unprofitable mouths, and all whom they suspe­cted as friends or kindred of the Banditi, which [Page 145]were about eight thousand. This filled the whole City with tears and confusion, and e­very house had something to bewail, either the supposed deaths of Agathocles and their friends that were with him, or else the misery of those that were now to be driven from their City and houshold-gods, and exposed to the cruelty of a besieging Enemy. These sad considera­tions forced many bitter execrations upon am­bitious Tyrants and their hateful ministers. But Amilcar, that was a Generous Enemy, and had a greater sense of humanity then was in the breasts of Agathocles's agents, did safely per­mit those expulsed wretches to remove from the walls of their unhappy City; but did more strictly besiege the Town. And supposing that the want of so many, whom they had turned out, had weakned them as to the defence of their works, and that the terrours of his Mes­sage had abated the obstinacy of the besieged, he sent in another summons, with a tender of good conditions to Antander and the Officers of the Garrison, if they would quickly surren­der. Antander, that was a Coward, and had all his Brothers Vices, but none of his Cou­rage, was for the delivery of the Town, and covered the baseness of his spirit with the honest name of Pity to the people. But Eurymaon an Aetolian, whom Agathocles had left in Commission with his Brother, was of a con­trary judgement, and perswaded all the rest [Page 146]to hold out till they might have some better Intelligence of the state of the Tyrant. For it was a madness to form any counsels upon an information from an Enemy, who for their interest will suggest falshoods for truth, or at least render things worse then in truth they are.

Amilcar understanding how his arts had miscarried, and that the besieged were still ob­stinate, prepares all things to storm the Town. But in the mean while there came into the Ha­ven of Syracuse two Gallies which Agathocles had built after his Victory, and mann'd with the stoutest and most expert Sailors, under the command of Nearchus, one of his Confi­dents, to carry the news of his success to Si­cily. These having a lucky sail, came the fifth day in the evening near to Syracuse; and at break of day the next morning, crowned with garlands, singing, and wanton with all expres­sions of joy, they made towards the City. The Punick Fleet which lay in the mouth of the Haven, upon the first discovery sent out some Vessels to take them; where the flight of the one and the pursuit of the other party made so rare and strong a contest, that it called both the besiegers and besieged to be spectators; each with praiers and wishes favouring his own party, and by a vicissitude of gestures expres­sing their hopes and fears, terrifying and incou­raging,[Page 147]as they imagined cause. Each party did their utmost, and the Gallies were then touching the shore, when the Carthaginians had laid hold on them; and had then carried them away, had not the Syracusans that stood on the shore, with their darts, weapons and stones forced them back, and made them leave the jol­ly messengers to tell their lucky news. Amil­car supposing that season convenient for an as­sault, when the sight at Sea and great expecta­tions had diverted their minds, and drew many of their souldiers off from their guard, did immediately clap his Ladders to the Walls, and had just then possessed them, when discovered by some of the Watch that were going about to settle the Guards, they were stoutly incoun­tred, and the alarm being given to the whole City, the Carthaginians were beaten off, and those killed that had already gotten up. A­milcar vexed by this disappointment slackens the siege, and sent away five thousand of his Army to the defence of Carthage, and permits Syracuse for a time to please it self with the joy­ful news. Where all the discourse now was in extolling the wisdome of Agathocles; and what before seemed to be but capricios and ef­fects of despair, were now by success so ador­ned, that they appeared the Counsels of the Gods, the onely safe resolves that could be made, and the Contriver was magnified to the Heavens, that he could doe more in an Over­throw[Page 148]throw then the Enemy in a Victory. Success is the onely Optick by which the Vulgar survey and judge of Counsels.

While these things were done in Sicily, and Carthage wearied her adverse Gods with inau­spicious Sacrifices, Agathocles makes use of his Victory, which the Punick Pride and Per­fidiousness rendred more advantageous. For that Commonwealth did use to treat their con­quered neighbours as foreiners, and their less potent Confederates like Subjects and Vassals. Which was contrary to the Roman prudence, who the same day had many people both Ene­mies and Citizens, and made not wars nor sought conquests for Tyranny, but for their mutual strength and common safety, and be­ing mingled together by the same customes and affinity, joined also their Interests with their Wealth, and were concerned in a common fate. Those Cities that observed not this me­thod to Greatness, their Empires might be large, yet never strong nor lasting, and they perished at last by their own arts. For no pos­session is durable which the Sword onely gives: but Benefits have a perpetual obligation. So was it with Carthage, when the fame of their overthrow had filled Africk with wonder, how so great an Empire could receive so mortal and sudden a blow by a conquered Enemy; and not finding any more obvious solution, then that[Page 149]that City's Name was greater then her Power, their admiration turned into a contempt of the conquered, and their former Injuries perswa­ded them to an obsequiousness to the fortune of the Conquerour. Therefore many Cities did readily confederate with him, and sent him supplies of Provision and Mony for his Army. He also, to increase the terrour, and give new matter to Fame, marches within five miles of Carthage, and there pitching his Tents, wast­ed and destroied by fire and sword all round about, that they might see the burning Villages from the walls of Carthage. Then resolving to take in all the Maritime Towns that yet were tenacious of their faith to Carthage, and would not comply with him; he fortifies his Camp about Tunis, and marches to Neapolis, which he takes by assault: but, contrary to his nature, he did temporize with his Fortune, and as the reason of War required did use them gently. For the fame of Clemency is profita­ble for those that design the erecting of a new Empire.

His next attempt was to besiege Adryme­tus: during which Siege he enters into Confe­deracy with Elymas, one of the Libyan Prin­ces, that had forsook the Friendship of declining Carthage, and intended as little faith to his new Associate; who received him, though he knew he brought more name then assistance, being [Page 150]of no assured trust. The Carthaginians when they thought the Tyrant so far ingaged at A­drymetus, that he could not with honour leave that enterpize, hoped in the mean while to re­cover Tunis; and therefore sending out their Forces, they soon mastered his Camp, which was before the Town, and then applied them­selves to take the Town it self. Agathocles hearing this, after his usual manner, being sudden in Counsels and happy in the Events, was resolved both to continue the siege at Adry­metus and to relieve Tunis. Therefore taking with him a small party, and leaving enough to make good the Siege, with great diligence and secrecy he possesies himself of an Hill which lay open to the prospect of the Adrymetines, and also to the besiegers of Tunis, and at night caused his Souldiers to make many and great fires. By this slight Stratageme, which was managed onely by the knowledge of the Coun­try, (a necessary part of Military skill) he did deceive his Enemies at both places. For those that lay before Tunis thought he came with his whole Army to raise the Siege, and therefore they quitted it. And the Adrymetines imagi­ned that they were more Forces gathered to strengthen the Siege, or force the Town, and upon that apprehension made an immediate surrender upon composition. After this he as­saults Thapsus, and takes it by force; and by force, and credit of his former Victories, and[Page 151]his other arts, he got the power of no less then two hundred garrison'd places.

Having gathered the spoils of all that Coun­try, he marches up into the Upper Libya, both to increase his plunder, and strengthen himself with new confederacies. Where when he had continued some daies, the Carthaginians in­couraged by the coming of some of their forces from Sicily, renew their hopes and designs to besiege Tunis, having already recovered many of the neighbouring places that had been taken by the Enemy. But Agathocles having recei­ved Intelligence of it, hastes back, and when he was not far from the Enemy, incamps him­self to refesh his wearied Souldiers a while; but commanding them to make no fires, he mar­ches a way by night, and at break of day comes upon the Africans like a clap of thunder, while they were secure, disordered, and di [...]d to forrage. This sudden appearance fill'd them with an immoderate fear, for they were fitter for a journy then a Battel; and while they hasted to take arms, their very hast increased their fears. In this confusion he kills two thou­sand of them, takes no small number, and so broke both the Siege and their spirits, who had before conceived too highly of their own strength by the access of their Veterane Soul­diers from Sicily. Heightned with this Success he sets upon Elymas the Libyan King his Con­federate,[Page 152]who had either broken his League with him, as was not improbable, the Libyans be­ing so unconstant and barbarous that they did not understand Faith or Peace; or else the Ty­rant feigned that he did so, that he might have a pretence for blood and spoil, which is as like­ly. But the ruine of that faithless King did not a little please the Africans, when they saw Per­fidiousness went not unpunished.

But as one blow or favour of Fortune seldome comes without another of the same kind; so the Sicilian affairs followed the predominant fortune in Africk. For Amilcar impatient that Syracuse alone, which was the onely place there left to the Tyrant, should so long stop the course of his Victories, and hinder him from those Triumphs at home which he had de­served abroad, was too eager to snatch at that which in a short time must have fallen into his hands. For having a long while by the Fleet at Sea kept all provision from the Enemy, and by the Siege wasted all that the neighbouring Country could afford; he might well have ex­pected a sudden surrender. But being inconsi­derately desirous of Glory, and deceived by the hopes of a vain Augury, he hastned his own Ruine, and his Countrie's Danger. For the Augurs having considered the entrails of one of the Sacrifices, tell him, that to morrow night he should sup in Syracuse. His desires[Page 153]made him willing to interpret it as his hopes would have it, & the great forces he commanded left no suspition of an unhappy entrance. In so much obscurity are things future hid from the eyes of man; & it being impossible to decline the Destinies, makes the knowledge of the future altogether superfluous. That vain curiosity of seeking after it, is punish'd by being often made the instrument of delivering us over to what we fear, and would avoid.

Amilcar therefore resolving to follow whe­ther the Gods, as he imagined, did call, prepares all things for a storm; and to increase the ter­rour, designs it to be done in the Night. But in all humane actions Danger hath too near union with that which appears good and profitable, in which it seems almos [...] [...]possible for a man to escape one if he intends the other: as it is in assaults by Night, which are no less dangerous for the invader then the invaded, when every little accident or false imagination may con­found and disturb those that are led to the assault, and turn the ruine on themselves. And so it fared with Amilcar. For the Enemy ha­ving notice of his resolutions, sent out in the dark about three thousand Foot and four hun­dred Horse to lie in Ambush at a place near Euryclus, to disturb them in their enterprize, and appall them with those terrours which they intended to others. The Carthaginians that[Page 154]thought to surprize the Town, came on about midnight to the storm, led on by Amilcar him­self with his life-guard; and next to him fol­lowed Dinocrates, that was Lieutenant-Gene­rall of the African Horse. The Army was di­vided into two bodies, one of Africans, the other of the confederate Greeks: after these followed a mixed multitude without any order or discipline, such as were intent upon the ri­fling of the Town, and could be of no advan­tage to the taking of it. These caused a great noise and bustle, which are often the fore­runners of great Overthrows: and the way be­ing also rugged and narrow, those that were to carry the luggage and the scaling-ladders began to disturb one another in the march, and to contend for the way; so that forgetful of the Enemy, they went to fighting and knock­ing among themselves; which making a great noise and confusion, gave those in the Ambush notice of their Enemies approach. Who pre­pared for this opportunity, and having the advantage of the upper ground, fiercely as­saulted them, and did easily increase their dis­orders, cutting off the way to some, and for­cing others to fling themselves down the pre­cipices. Every place was filled with a confu­sed and uncertain clamour, which together with the darkness of the night made them conceive the Syracusan Ambuscade to be far greater then it was. The Carthaginians thus [Page 155]confounded with their own disorders, the sud­den impression of the Enemy, the ignorance and difficulties of their way, could not tell where to charge, nor whom to fight with, and in this amazement began to flie. Some of them that had not space to use their weapons, nor room to flie, were trodden under foot by their own Horse. Others fell foul upon their own party, the night not distinguishing betwixt Friend or Foe. Some were broken in pieces upon the rocks, and others were oppres­sed with the dying carcasses of their Friends and their own luggage: so that there were various seenes of Death, and every species of Destru­ction was there acted. But Amilcar, that had a long time with those about him made a stout resistance, and in vain, among so great confu­sions, incited others to the like, was at last himself taken by the Enemy, and carried Pri­soner into the Town, his whole Army being thus routed and beaten. And Amilcar had been happy howsoever, though in misery, if he had fallen under the same fortune with his Souldiers. But he outlived his Dignity, that with the greater Dishonour he might perish in Syracuse. So uncertain and fallacious are all humane designs, that when Amilcar thought he was invited by the Gods to compleat the conquest of Sicily, and consummate that Glory to which no Carthaginian had hitherto made so near an approach, he should at last[Page 156]conclude his Life and Victories in Slavery, and die at the pleasure of his besieged Enemies.

The observing Greeks had all their wonder raised and excused in the consideration of this overthrow. For they could not sufficiently admire the strange uncertainties of humane Greatness, and sudden changes of conditions. Who may not fear or hope things different from the present, and contrary to what are expected, when Agathocles, who was a stout and subtle Commander, and had a very good Army at the Battel of Himera, was not one­ly defeated, but also lost the choicest of all his Forces; and now those that were besieged, a party of those very men that were then bea­ten, did not onely defeat the Army of the Car­thaginians by an ordinary stratageme, and an advantage of ground, worsting an army of an hundred and twenty thousand Foot and five thousand Horse, but also took their General prisoner? This made them attest that obser­vation, That there are many Vanities in War; That the battel is not to the strong, nor doth Victory accompany the prudence of designs: when a weak accident, a contemptible circum­stance, is able to ruine the best-formed projects, and overthrow the firmest resolutions; and that there was some such power, notwithstanding the impudent cavils and short discourses of A­theistical spirits, that may be justly termed the Lord of Hosts.

[Page 157]The Syracusans having gotten this Victory, more by the darkness of the night and advan­tage of the place then by their own Valour, used it as barbarously as became the slaves of an inhumane Tyrant; who besides the other Miseries that he brings upon his Vassals, doth also impress his Vices as brands of their Slave­ry upon their Souls; his power and their ab­ject minds inclining them to the most abomina­ble flattery of Imitation. For they most in­humanely abused their noble Prisoner: not con­sidering the Dignity or Vertues of the Person, who through the whole War had done nothing unbecoming a Generous Enemy: they despi­sed the majesty of his former Command and Success; forgot humane frailty, how soon it falls from the greatest honours to the lowest miseries; and, which challenges more pity in humane breasts, that what by many labours & tedious vertues hath been attained, may be lost and perish in one moment. Paulus Aemi­lius, when he had overthrown and taken Per­seus the great King of Macedonia, wept over his Prisoner, and gave reverence even to the captived Majesty, and brought his Children to behold the spectacle of humane frailty, nor to triumph in it, with this command, that They should learn from thence what Reve­rence was due to the Ruling Power of the World, that was able to doe such great things. But the souls of so base a Rabble as were the [Page 158]Tyrant's Officers were not capable of so vertu­ous considerations, therefore they exposed A­milcar to all the indignities and injuries that an half-starved multitude would inflict, or the grief for their slain Friends could invent, up­braiding him with his false hopes in the Augu­ry, and objecting that the Gods were faith­full to his ruine, that had brought him to sup that night in Syracuse. They led him bound through the whole City as the mockery of For­tune, and vexing him with horrid torments, they at last killed him; and cutting off his head, sent it with the news to Agathocles into Africk. Thus fell Amilcar, who was before the Terrour of Sicily, but now the scorn of Syracuse; more miserable by the hands he fell into, then by the cause and manner.

This rout had so broken and scattered the Carthaginian Army, that they could scarce meet the next day; and when they did, were as far from Union. Their Overthrow had made them factious, and (as it is the fashion of the Vulgar) each one was ready to charge another with the common Misery, and object their own Crimes to anothers Malice. This was increased by the loss of their General, and they could not agree of a Successor to him. The Africans would have the chief command given to one of their own City, that was next in dignity to their late Commander: but the[Page 159]confederate Greeks with the Exiles contended for Dinocrates to be supreme. And when nei­ther party would recede from their designed choice, they followed their several Leaders, and so divided.

The Agrigentines considering this state of affairs in Sicily, were perswaded that Fortune presented them with a fit opportunity of ob­taining the Empire of that Island. The Car­thaginians they conceived were so broken, that all they could doe, was to defend their own City from Agathocles's invasion: Dinocrates with his Exiles would be contemptible to that power which they should raise: The Syracusans being half-famish'd, would bend all their cares rather for food then dominion; or if they should be yet ambitious to retain their Gran­deur, yet their preparations for it would be so slow, that they could make no considerable attempt before they had rooted their power, and setled their dominion. The speedy growth of which their own arts promised, and the pretext which they would use for their design, which was, to set all the Cities in Sicily at Li­berty: for the hate of Forein yoke, the Ty­ranny of Agathocles, the innate thirst of Free­dome which was in the Greekish blood, would easily make their pretext be credited and complied with.

[Page 160]Swoln with these hopes the Agrigentines make one of their own Citizens, Xenodicus, General, and furnishing him with a sufficient Army send him forth to execute their counsels. He first marches to Gela, where being received by some whom he had before practised with, he enters the Town by night, and becoming master of it, he there gathers up a large summe of Mony, increases his Forces, and part­ly by force, partly by perswasions, draws the Geloans into a Confederacy with the Agrigen­tines. The fame of this plausible design being bruited abroad, all the Cities that were not suppressed by a greater force then their own, greedily embraced this Overture of Liberty, and joined with the Undertakers. The Ennei and the Erbessites being assisted by Xenodicus drove out the African Garrisons. Then he hastens to deliver the Camarinaei and Leontini from the incursions of the Syracusans, who, like thieves broke our of prison, being delive­red from the Siege, were more fierce and bloo­dy, wasting and pillaging all their Neighbours, and had taken Exetla. Thither the Agrigen­tine speeds, drives the Syracusans within their own walls, besieges and takes Exetla, and restores it to its own Democratical Govern­ment. The Syracusans being thus hindred from forraging by land, took advantage of the Punick negligence, whose Fleet seemed to be stupified with the reiterated losses of their Com­monwealth,[Page 161]and so were more negligent in their guards: So that the enemy got in by Sea some Vessels laden with Corn that did for a time supply their great wants. In the mean while the Army of the League, to keep up their growing fame, marches up and down, and de­livers several Towns both from the Syracusan and Carthaginian yoke. Thus while Carthage and the Tyrant contended for the Empire of Sicily, and wasted each other with repeated fights, there arises a third party to take the spoils of both. But the miseries of the Island were still increased by the pretenders to her Preser­vation, and could not fear or suffer much more troubles in Slavery, then what now she must endure for the vain hopes of that Liberty which the next strong Pretender would ravish from her.

While these impetuous designs for Empire and Liberty wasted and almost drowned Sicily in blood and tears, the Tyrant's success in A­frick made him gay and jolly: and when he had received the head of Amilcar, (who living was his greatest terrour) he made use of it to terrifie his own Citizens; for riding so near their Camp as that he might be heard and seen, he shews them the remains of their slain Ge­neral, and makes up the story of his death with all the dreadful passages that might augment their fears. The Africans with tears paid[Page 162]their respects to his unfortunate faith and va­lour, and bowed down to worship that head which was their Enemies scorn; bewailing in the loss of him the unhappiness of Carthage. But the other mischiefs of War which followed did dry up the tears too soon for this their No­ble Captain.

This strange success both in Sicily and A­frick made the Syracusan Potter more proud, so as to perswade himself that he stood above the reach of Danger. But the great Ruler of humane affairs deals sometimes with Tyrants as he hath done with the Lions of Mesopota­mia, whose Fierceness would make that Coun­try desolate and the waies unpassable, had not Nature provided a little sort of Flies, that about the heat of day flying into the eyes of those beasts, either force them into Marishes and Fenny places there to preserve their sight from those enemies, whom smalness makes in­vincible; or else exasperating their revenge to kill them, while they are wounding, make them tear out their own eyes with their claws, and so starve for want of sight and food. So Providence restrains the fury, and curbs the Pride of such Monsters as Tyrants are, by some abject means and inconsiderable circum­stances, forming their Ruine from unsuspected beginnings. Drunkenness and Feasts some­times revenge the oppressed world, & overthrow[Page 163]that power which is unresistible by Arms. Thus Agathocles was almost ruined, when his E­nemies were most weak, by an unexpected Mutiny of his own Army, occasioned by a slight accident which gave beginning to it. And many times small beginnings have great effects, men being more willing to follow a motion then to lead it. The Tyrant jolly in his Success and the obsequiousness of Fortune, invites all his Officers to a Supper; where one of them, named Lyciscus, being drunk, began to rail at him, and upbraided him with his notorious Crimes, uttering such speeches that were not safe in a Tyrant's ears. Whose Maximes are to hate even the liberty of speech, and to suspect those who speak either boldly or gravely, for underminers of Tyranny. Agathocles sup­pressed his Anger, reserving it to grow more beavy in a fit season of Revenge; at the pre­sent he seemed to reverence the man whom he had often proved very valiant, and therefore imputing his Passion to his distemper, replies onely by jeasts and contempt, the soonest way to blot out reproaches. But his Son Archaga­thus (who thought his Father's fortune needed no Patience, and because the drunken speeches had so much of truth that they left too sharp a remembrance) with much fury returns the like language mixed with Threatnings. This heat outlasted the Feast, and every one departs to­wards his Tent. But Archagathus following[Page 164]and pressing upon Lyciscus, he did at last up­braid him also of Incest with his Fathers Wife Alcia. Upon which Archagathus's blood boil­ing as high in choler to have his Crimes divul­ged, as it did before in Lust, and as he was prompt to doe any baseness, so he was equally insolent, and unwilling to hear of it, he snatches a javelin from one of the Guard, and runs Lyciscus quite through the body; who falling down dead was by his Friends conveyed to his Tent. Whither as soon as it was mor­ning were gathered all his acquaintance, and many of the Officers of the Army; who had a respect for him, not onely for his Valour, but also for the bluntness of his discourse, which did seem to have in it a shew of a free Soul. These resenting the injury done to their Friend, and measuring their own danger by what he had suffered, fill the whole Camp with Sedi­tion; which was more inflamed by all the great Officers, who feared the Tyrants wrath for some slight offences. So that at last every one armed themselves to punish the incestuous Murderer, and to appease the angry ghost of their Friend with his enemy's blood; threat­ning that if Agathocles would not deliver him up to Justice, they would satisfie their fury with his head. Then did their anger invent new causes of quarrel, and clamoured out for their arrears; and to shew their intentions for a real satisfaction, they chose them new [Page 165]Leaders, seized upon all the Forts and Gates of Tunis, and set a guard upon the Tyrant and his Son. Thus, as it is the nature of the Multitude either basely to serve, or proudly to domineer, they had in a moment cast off all that fear and reverence of the Tyrant, which so many terrours and so long a Conduct had habituated them unto.

Agathocles all this while, in the conscience of many Wickednesses which every mouth now spoke of, did not dare to appear, to restrain those that were most fierce, or reconcile the doubtful, or animate any of his Confidents; but fearful and sluggish, watched when this hu­mour would spend it self. But the Carthagi­nians, that had intelligence of the Mutiny, laboured to advantage themselves by it, before the love of Obedience or the knowledge of the necessity thereof should return: and there­fore sent some secret instruments to practice them to a Revolt, promising to pay all their arrears, and ample rewards to the Agitators in it, so that many of the Officers undertook the emploiment. Agathocles startled at these practices, thought his life and fortunes were now at the utmost verge, and fearing if he were delivered up to his Enemies, he must with igno­miny and torture end his daies, he conceived it better to commit himself to the fury of his own Army; and since his Life was gone, he[Page 166]would onely provide for the decency of his Death, and withal try whether his old arts of dissembling would still prove lucky. Onely the doubt was how he should proceed: whe­ther he should go and oppose to their Fury the Majesty of a Commander, which might force a reverence, when they saw a Person of so great experience, and that had for a long time been the chief fountain of severity and reward; or whether he should go by such a way of fear and trembling as would conceal all his arts of dissembling and speaking, and so be more pow­erful to mitigate the incensed Rabble. For it is the custome of the Vulgar to be changed by sudden and unusual appearances, and be as prone to pity as they were immoderate in anger. This last way was thought most expedient; and therefore laying aside all his Robes and en­signs of Power, squallid and deformed with fear, with a countenance composed to tears, yet full of Pride and Anger, he comes into the midst of the Souldiers, who were presently moved with the miserable habit of him whom before they enyied. He speaks to this purpose.

Had the Gods exacted my life as a Sacri­fice for my Armies safety, or destin'd me to fall in executing revenge on the Enemies of Syracuse, their Decrees had been but the an­swer of my Praiers, who have already devo­ted my life to yours and my Country's service. [Page 167]But to be sold by those whom I have preser­ved in Liberty and made Lords of Africk, that my death should be their ignominy whom I have led and taught the waies of glory, gives me just canse to complain of their seve­rity. It is not that I fear death, for I need no other witnesses then your selves how often I have provoked it for your emolument. Nor am I frighted to become the mockery of that Enemy on whose Ruines I have already raised such pillars of Glory as cannot be wasted by the malignity of Time, or undermined by the dishonour of my Grave. But your eternal infamy that have sold your Captain, and the Slavery of our Commonwealth, which will lose a most industrious and faithful instru­ment of her preservation, are the greatest terrours my destruction brings. Besides the dismal effects that it will have even upon Ver­tue it self, and be destructive to the society of following generations: for my blood spilt in this mutiny will confirm the licentious in­solence against Magistracy, and discourage the pious zeal of Children for their Fathers honour. It is true indeed, the too much Pie­ty of my Son hath raised this Tumult by more duty then consideration. For dangerous e­vents do follow even honest actions, if Pru­dence do not moderate the course of Justice. But his greatest crime was, that he anticipa­ted your fury, and prevented your revenge[Page 168]of your own injuries. For though the Maje­sty of a Prince and the honour of a Magi­strate were but empty names and vain shadows, yet it is your concernment that He which is your Commander should not be esteemed the worst of men, as that drunken Railer would have rendred me; because that Society is near a dismal dissolution, whose Chief or Prince may be safely defamed. But it is in vain to complain, since the Gods have decreed the end of this glorious Enterprize by my death. For who will dare to lead you to fire the Gates of Carthage, and to find your ar­rears in ransacking her Riches, when you have applauded the dishonour, and conspired the betraying of your most faithful Servant? Or what need the Carthaginians fear your arms, when by these base arts (for by better they cannot) they can ruine your best Officers, and make you bind their yokes upon your own necks? I desire to live no longer to see your Infamy, nor will I experience the Cru­elty or Clemency of any other, but free and satisfied with my own integrity and glory will anticipate all danger. Onely I desire you, that the short time your cruel and faithless Enemy will suffer you to survive me, you will remember Me among the brave Ex­amples, and put me in the number of those that by an honourable end have escaped the publick Miseries.

[Page 169]Having ended his Speech, he drew out his Sword, and put it to his breast, as if he had intended to have killed himself: which was a­cted with so much life, (for he was an excel­lent Mimick) that the rude Multitude, unac­quainted with the arts of Tyrants, and their too much fear of death, thought it was real. Therefore with loud acclamations, and striking their spears upon their shields, which was the way whereby the Greek Souldiers did use to express their desires, they cried out that he should forbear the ruine of himself and them, that they did acquit him of all accusations; and with a shout begged and gave pardon at once, desiring him to re-assume his Royal habi­liments: which while he puts on he weeps, and thanks the changeable Multitude, that so soon was differing from it self, and that before be­ing nothing but Fury, did now become all Pa­tience. For every Multitude is moveable, espe­cially that of Souldiers; so that the remedies of Sedition are as easie as the beginnings of it. The Tyrants Speech having recovered so much pity as served him for Authority, and seeing the return of Obedience, and that the Souldi­ers were now fit to receive commands, he pre­sently turns the remainder of their fury upon the Enemy, who were expecting the issue of their practices, and the Revolt of the whole Army, of which they had received some alrea­dy. Whom when they saw marching out, they[Page 170]conceived to be such as had forsaken the Tyrant, and were coming over to them; for the speed of Agathocles had prevented any news of the change in the City: and when he was come near them, he tells his Souldiers, that now they should expiate their seditious fury, and blot out their treason with the blood of the authours, and turn their crime to their ho­nour. Then sounding a charge, he chaces the Africans to their own tents; who being decei­ved with this surprize, made no resistance, but left many of their fellows dead upon the place, as testimonies of the Sicilians Repen­tance.

Though Agathocles had thus dexterously e­scaped this great danger, and revenged himself on the Africans, without any other loss then of two hundred Authours of the Sedition, that had revolted to the Enemy; yet was his hatred still alive of the whole Army, that had put him to such affrightments: and could he have been safe, he would have contrived their universal ruine. So implacable are the Spirits of Ty­rants. Yet notwithstanding he intends to di­vide them, whom the contemplation of their number often incites to Sedition, and makes them scorn to ask that pay which they see they can force. Therefore leaving the rest of the Army with his Son, to secure Tunis and the ac­quisitions thereabout; he takes with him eight[Page 171]thousand Foot and four hundred Horse, and follows the Carthaginian Forces, who were gone into Numidia to suppress some Insurre­ctions among their revolting Subjects. Where though by their speed they had reduced many to Obedience, and by moderating their com­mands recovered the Affections of others; yet did they not dare to give battel to the Greeks, but incamped themselves on an Hill defensible by nature, and incompassed about with Rivers of a difficult passage. Then they commanded their Numidians that were in arms for them, after their manner of fighting, still to follow the Sicilians, and by many sudden assaults to retard their march. But Agathocles sending out his Slingers and Archers to encounter with them, leads his other Forces forward to find the Enemy; who being certified of his ap­proach, sent out a party to hinder his passage at the River, where they slew many of his men. But the Sicilians, though less in num­ber, yet greater in resolution, and heightned with many Victories, forced their passage, and stoutly maintained the fight with the Cartha­ginians.

In the mean time those Numidians that were on either side, forbore the fight, being of an unsteady Faith, like their sandy soil, neither united among themselves, nor constant adhe­rers unto others; and standing like Spectators[Page 172]of the Combate, and as so many Vultures watching to prey upon the falling Carcasses, they determined to rifle the Camp and luggage of which party soever was worsted. At last the day inclining to Agathocles, he pursued the Africans to their Camp, which being well fortified, they bravely defended, and returned more wounds then they did receive: yet was the Tyrant obstinate to force them within their defences, hoping to compleat the Victory so happily begun. The Numidians seeing the Carthaginians so well preserving their Camp, though they lost the field, immediately turn their hopes upon Agathocles's Tents; where killing those few that were left for the guard of them, they took all the Prisoners and spoil, and, like birds of prey, when they had got the spoil, made no delay, but hasted away. The Tyrant hearing of this, drew off from the Carthaginians to succour his own Camp; but their haste and the approaching Night delivered them from his revenge, and they escaped with the greatest part of the spoil. Agathocles therefore to supply the loss his Army had sus­tained by the Numidians, did equally divide among the Souldiers his own booties, lest they should mutiny. In this Battel were taken a thousand Greeks, whereof five hundred were Syracusans, who in hatred of the Tyrant had served the Carthaginians. These being all im­prisoned in a Garrison, fearing the Cruelty of[Page 173]the Tyrant, by night set upon the guards; but being worsted, retired into a strong place, which they intended to defend till they might have good Articles. Agathocles hearing of it, draws up his whole Army against them, whom the fear of present death made forgetful of the Perfidiousness of the Tyrant, and so they yiel­ded up themselves upon his Oath that he would spare their Lives: which they had no sooner done, but he kills them every man.

Notwithstanding all these Overthrows, the Carthaginians were not broken in their Cou­rage and Resolution for Empire; (which is alwaies the guise of great spirits, not to vary with their fortunes) and therefore did so little repent of their unhappily-defended Liberty, that they chose rather to be overcome then not to attempt at Victory. A temper they retain­ed as long as they had a City. For in their last War with the Romans, before ever they would yield to quit their City, they pulled down their Houses for timber to build a Navy; and when they wanted Iron and Brass, they melted their Gold and Silver for the same uses; and their Matrons cut off their Hair, to make cor­dage for their Engines. This undaunted reso­lution, their sending forth fresh Armies, their wariness of engaging, the hardiness and ex­perience which by their continual Conflicts they had acquired, the difficulties of this last [Page 174]Skirmish, and the much blood the Victory cost him, made the Tyrant see how unequal such a petit Prince as he, and a single City that was blocked up, and could afford him no sup­port for so vast designs, were to so mighty a Commonwealth, that seemed inexhaustible in her Treasures, and store of men, and that at this rate they could longer hold out with their Overthrows, then he with his Victories: for his Forces were worn out with the Successes, and there could be little trust in the Souldiers he gathered from the conquered people. He therefore casts about to get those succours some­where else that he could not expect from home. Among those whom he thought on, none ap­peared so fit for his design as Ophellas, who having been one of the Commanders of A­lexander, in the partage of that Empire had seized upon Cyrene in Libya, and had made himself Prince thereof; with which it was known that he was not contented, and there­fore had many projects to enlarge his Domi­nion, and make himself eminent.

This man Agathocles judged fittest for his purpose, and easiest to be imposed upon. For Ambition infatuates, and while it presents the lustre of Greatness, dazles the Reason, that it cannot see the dangers and difficulties in the ac­quisition, nor look into the practices of those that tempt them. To him therefore the Tyrant [Page 175]sent Ortho a Syracusan as Ambassadour, to ca­jole him into this war, and as a reward of his dangers makes profer of all the acquisitions he had already made, or should hereafter make by their joint Forces in Africk. For he con­ceived Sicily an Empire large enough for his ambition, who modestly thought too great a Command was dangerous, and in great pos­sessions men made themselves too obnoxious to the strokes of Fortune. He had made this war upon the Continent onely to divert the A­fricans from the Island, and to blot out the ignominy of his overthrow at Himera, not to settle a Kingdome there, which was divided by so vast a Sea from his principality of Syracuse. If hereafter his desires should be enlarged with his Fortunes, he had Italy nearer him, a place fitter for his designs, and where he had better pretensions, and there he should exercise his va­lour, and enlarge his Empire; but all Africk he would leave to Ophellas, as fittest for the King of Cyrene.

This wrought the desired effect on Ophellas, who having been long waiting for such an op­portunity, greedily swallowed the bait. For men are more desirous of acquiring that which is anothers, then careful to preserve their own. This made him not reflect upon the party with whom he had to doe: but as one of the lesser birds of prey, who are eager to seize on that[Page 176]which their nature incites them to, but do not look unto a greater fowl which is above them, and seeks to swallow them with their spoil; so he onely considering the Empire of Carthage, did not mind the infamous Perfidy of Agatho­cles, but hastily concludes a League with him, and provides for the Expedition. To this end he sends Mony and Officers to Athens, from whence he had married a Wife of the stock of the famous Miltiades, that by the favour of her Friends they might levy Souldiers there, and gather up some other un-emploied Grecians; who were easily perswaded to this enterprize, for they found Greece a most troublesome place, wasted and harrassed by the several pretensions and wars of Alexander's Commanders, and therefore hoped for a more safe and easie War­fare with richer spoils in Africk, and promi­sed to themselves the pillage of Carthage. With an Army made up of such Ophellas marches from Cyrene with above ten thousand foot, six hundred horse, and a hundred chariots that were furnished with three hundred men; and besides those that were listed there followed a­bove ten thousand with their Wives and Chil­dren in hope of booty and spoil, as if they went to plant Colonies, not fight Battels, in Africk. These travelling through the dry and sandy Desarts of Libya, where they were of­ten in great distress both of water and victuals, and often hurt by those Serpents which are na­tural[Page 177]to that soil, at the end of two months came to the Camp of Agathocles, tired and half famished.

The Tyrant went out to meet Ophellas; whom he entertains at first with prodigal caresses, sends him convenient and seasonable Presents, often entertains him at Feasts, in tenderness perswades him to rest and refresh his Army be­fore he brought them to action, and agrees with him in all the Counsels concerning the management of their Enterprize. One through Fraud, the other through Facility, mutually grant and receive every thing. Ophellas adopts Archagathus for his heir to his hoped King­dome; and Agathocles suppresses for a while his bloody and greedy disposition; which was impatient in society of Command. Yet all the while he had an eye upon his new Guest; and having intelligence about him, when he understood that Ophellas was most secure, and that the greatest part of his Forces were gone forth to forage, he suddenly calls together his own Souldiers, and to them declares, that he had found by experience, how impossible it was that there should be Faith and Concord betwixt two Commanders in chief: for O­phellas, whom he had called to their assis­tance, and invited to a Confederacy in that rich War, had notwithstanding ungrateful practices to cut them and him off; and of [Page 178]this he was assured by the Intelligence he kept about him: that therefore they should advise what course was fittest for their safety. They were soon exasperated by this false accusation, and desired him to lead them out to revenge: Which he presently did, and found Ophellas, suspecting no such usage, without any strength about him, and therefore easily mastered, though he made a stout resistance, till he was killed. When he was dispatched, Agathocles forced and perswaded the rest to lay down their arms, and surrender themselves to his conduct, promising them that they should find better hopes under his Command then was to be conceived from Ophellas: and so wrought over his whole Army. Of which such as were un­fit for Service (together with the Spoils of O­phellas) he ships for Syracuse: but they were all lost by Shipwreck; so that the Tyrant en­joyed not any benefit of his Perfidiousness, ei­ther of what he had sent away or what he kept; for it was not long after that those men whom he had deprived of a Captain, did revenge the injury in the blood of his Son.

At the very time that Agathocles was un­faithful to Ophellas, as if some perfidious in­fluence did then work upon all corrupted minds, did Bomilcar attempt the like upon his own Citizens. Who though he was suspected to have a long time intended the Tyranny, yet [Page 179]was still suffered to continue in the City; ei­ther a more powerful Enemy and greater Fears employing all their thoughts, and so caused a neglect of his practices: or else Carthage, as all Commonwealths, was too slow in their de­terminations, less wary in their proceedings, and much respectful of their greatest Citizens; which make Conspiracies against them more secure in the management, then such as are formed against Princes. He had often sought an opportunity to satisfie his Ambition. But great Crimes are full of Fears, Delaies, and frequent change of Counsels; and that which in the projection seems ful of its reward, when it comes to be acted looks big with danger. There­fore he had long deferred his Enterprize. But now, when the City was dejected by the in­crease of their Enemies in the coming of Ophel­las, and the most eminent of the Nobless were emploied in Numidia to keep their subjects quiet, he thought the afflighted Multitude would tamely submit to him, and that now there was no reason to delay those counsels, which are never praised till they be acted.

Therefore when Agathocles was busied in the murder of Ophellas, he began his enter­prize. And it was for the happiness of either State that these Crimes were acted in the same juncture of time, and that each were ignorant of the others attempts and troubles. For had [Page 180] Agathocles known the practices of Bomilcar, he might have easily wrought him, upon the failure of his attempts, rather to have given up the City into his hands, then trusted himself to the mercy of his incensed Citizens. And had the Carthaginians been acquainted with the Syracusan's perfidious dealing with Ophellas, it had been more possible for them to have drawn that injured Army to their side, then for Aga­thocles, that had provoked them with an un­parallel'd Baseness. But the Wickedness and danger of either Act hated the light, required secrecy, and fastned the attentions of the A­ctors from considering what was done by o­thers.

Bomilcar therefore not seeking for aid a­broad, nor mingling Counsels with Agatho­cles, who he might suspect would be as faith­less as himself, but relying on his own strength, which was five hundred of the baser Citizens, that were easily allured with the hopes of Spoil, and a thousand Mercenaries that he had got­ten, proclaims himself King. Then marching from the place where they at first rendez­vous'd, which was in that part of Carthage which was called the New City, he divided his party into five bodies, and sent them by several avenues into the Piazza, commanding them to kill all they found in the streets, that so he might affright the people, and make his design[Page 181]easier. For if the Multitude be not affrighted, they become terrible; but when they begin to fear, they grow weak to contempt. And accor­dingly the Citizens were at first affrighted, supposing this Tumult was caused by the Ene­my, to whom the City had been betraied; and so fled, and hid themselves. But being at last acquainted with the truth, Hatred and Anger (the two strongest and most sudden Passions) that one of their own City should increase their Misery, and attempt their Bondage, while they were resisting a forein Tyrant, expelled their fears, and armed all the Youth to re­venge. Who gathering together in several bo­dies, led by the wisest Citizens, who would not suffer the consent and first indignation of so great a multitude to languish, set upon the Tyrant in the Piazza, whither he was then arrived. He being bravely assaulted by these, and there being also from the Houses round about the Market-place poured all the instru­ments of death and anger that Women and Children could manage, upon his party; so many of them were killed or wounded, that he was forced to quit his ground, and draw off to the place from whence he at first set forth. But his flight emboldened and increased his Enemies, and in his retreat through the nar­row Lanes many more of his men were much wounded from the Houses; and when he came to the place he intended, they closely besieged[Page 182]him. Bomilcar seeing his design broke, parlies with his besiegers, and with as much Baseness as he had begun with Villany, he puts an end to his ambitious hopes, yielding himself up upon Articles of Impunity.

All the rest that had been his Instruments were pardoned, their Ministery to his Wicked­ness being imputed to their Weakness: and it was not safe now to draw much blood within their walls, when such rivers were spilt without. Onely the Tyrant himself must by his death seal the security of the Commonwealth, and satisfie the publick hatred. For hatred that is raised by danger out-lasts the fear; nor doth the conquered cease to be hated till he cease to be. Therefore notwithstanding the Publick faith for his impunity, he was most cruelly tortured, and afterwards crucified. He shewed himself consentaneous in life and death; for from the Cross, as from a Throne, his Imperious and Proud spirit declamed against the Ingratitude and Cruelty of the Carthaginians: Objecting to them how they murdered Hanno, whom they had falsely accused with the affectation of Tyranny; banished Gisgo, whose Innocency their Wickedness could not endure; basely pas­sed private sentences of death against his Un­cle Amilcar, who wisely endeavoured to make Agathocles rather their Friend then their Ene­my: and in this fury, because he could not re­venge[Page 183]the Crimes he objected, he breathed out his restless soul. Thus Conspiracies, if they do not ruine, yet defame the Magistrate; and when they thrive not against them, are supposed to come from them as inventions to cover their Avarice in seizing upon the Estates of others, or to hide their inhumane thirst of blood. This was the end of Bomilcar, who following the same designs with Agathocles, had yet a dif­ferent issue; for the Cross rewarded his Wick­edness, when Power and Greatness was the price of the others. Not to refer this diffe­rence either to the Justice of Heaven, by con­ceiving one to be more wicked then the other, and that he which thrived was less impious then he that perished in the undertakings; for this would injure that immaculate Justice and Puri­ty of Heaven: nor to ascribe it to the pity of Providence, who would not afflict the misera­ble Carthaginians, that laboured under the fury of a most bloody forein Enemy, with those greater mischiefs that follow a change of Government, and of necessity flow from a Domestick Tyranny. But we may in reason assign this cause, that the different events did arise from those divers Occasions which either took for his Enterprize. The Syracusan found a corrupted State to work upon, (for in none but such do Tyrants arise;) but the African did not: For whereas a State is corrupted ei­ther through a long Prosperity, or variety of[Page 184]Factions in it, both which make the People de­cline from their ancient Constitutions; Car­thage at this time was delivered from both these springs of Corruption; because being pressed with a tedious and cruel War, they were all united against the Common Enemy, and be­ing to fight for their preservation, they could not attend the satisfaction of those Lusts which are most petulant against the established Laws. Which Bomilcar's impotent ambition not con­sidering, nailed him to the Cross, in stead of fixing him on a Throne.

About this time all the Family of Alexan­der the Great was quite extinguished. His Brother Aridaeus with his Wife Eurydice were killed by his Mother Olympias: She afterwards besieged, and by Famine forced to deliver up her self to Cassander, was by him murdered. Roxane his Wife, with her Son the younger Alexander, fell by the same hand; and so also Hercules his Son by Barsine. His Sister Cleopatra was also put to death by the practi­ces of Antigonus. So that there remained no Heir unto that great Troubler of the world. And he that had shed so much blood for an em­pty Name, had nothing but that Name left. His Commanders, who as long as any of these did survive were contented with the portions onely of that Empire, did after their death as­sume the Name and Majesty of Kings. Which [Page 185] Agathocles hearing, the Potter also, who thought himself equal to them in Exploits and Conquests, and not inferiour in Dominion, would also be styled King, and wear a Crown as the Ensign of Majesty, which he had ne­ver before used but as a Priest. But Royalty, which is the reward of Heroick Vertues, may be the Usurpation, yet can never be the Pro­priety of a Tyrant: the Ensigns may be worn by a vitious bloody Villain, but the Majesty never adorns but a Lawful Just Prince. For Crowns do not create, but elicite that Reverence which the Vertues of the wearer first formed in the minds of men: without which umpress Diadems do but provoke the indignation of the beholders, and upbraid, not honour, the baseness of the Usurper.

The assumption of the Royal Title made no alteration in the nature of Agathocles, but in his next enterprize he exceeded his former In­humanity. For intending to reduce Utica that had revolted from him, he suddenly lies down before it, and surprizes three hundred of the Citizens that had emploied themselves in the neighbouring Country. By these men he of­fers oblivion and pardon, if they would re­turn to their Obedience. The Citizens that were sensible of his actions in Africk, that his Faith was to be measured by his Lust; that no greater misery could happen to them then[Page 186]what they should run into if they did expect his Mercy; that they should perish if they were conquered, and they must do so if they sur­rendred; that there was no choice to be made but this, whether they should lose their blood with scorn and contumely, or spend it in a gal­lant defence and revenge; did therefore refuse all Peace with him. When he saw they would not be deluded by false hopes, he endeavours to reduce them by their affections, and would sack the Town by a force upon Nature. For making Engines of wood, on them he hangs the surprized Citizens, under the shelter of whom he sets his own Souldiers, and so brings them close to the Wall: so that whatsoever arms the besieged did direct to kill their Ene­mies, must first wound their dearest Friends. The Uticenses were at first stupified by this in­humane art, and in pity durst not shoot those arrows in their own defence, which would spill the blood of those they desired to save. But the Enemy pressing hard upon them, they pre­ferred Liberty to such a dangerous compassion; and desiring the Gods to impute the Cruelty to their barbarous Enemy, they for a long time stoutly defended themselves. But their adverse Fates suffered them not long to survive their miserable Friends. For the Town was taken by storm; which the Tyrant soon fills with the blood and carcasses of the defendants: some he killed in the heat of blood, many he hanged,[Page 187]he dragged out and murdered those that fled to the Altars of the Gods for refuge, vainly thinking that he might have some Religion that had devested himself of all Humanity. Thus Tyrants manage their Warres not so much a­gainst particular Persons and Cities, as against the Nature of man. Nor did Agathocles think it enough to overcome the Uticenses, unless he had also made them pollute their just arms in the blood of their Friends and Kindred. The Romans bewailed and cursed those Civil Wars which did expose the Father's life to the sword of the Son, and grieved that the Law of Warre did forbid that punishment which the law of Nature required: (He fell with glory like a Sacrifice for the publick safety, that slew him­self when he knew he had killed his Brother) Nor did they more abhorre those vices in their own Citizens, then they did hate them, and scorn to make use of them in their Enemies. For they conceived that no Victory, where Justice and Vertue were not preserved entire. And by their just practices even to their Foes, they overcame those Cities, and subdued those Spirits, which no force of arms could ever have subjected: and one Generous Example of Vertue hath flung open those Gates, which no humane power could have pulled down. Thus Camillus received the Falisci to obedience; Fabritius removed Pyrrhus from Italy; and Scipio's Continency reconciled all Spain to the[Page 188] Roman Empire. Men more willingly submit to those whom, being owners of so great Ver­tues, they esteem it an impiety to overcome.


AGathocles having by those bloody arts, nefarious practices, and force of arms, brought to his obedience al­most all Africa, and left the Ene­my little or nothing but their own City, he neglects the attempting of that, and abuses the obsequiousness of his Fortune in more inconsi­derable designs; infatuated in his counsels, and not considering that the Members do more easi­ly follow the Head, then on the contrary the Head the Members: that if Carthage had been taken, the inferiour Cities must necessari­ly have followed her fortune; but that being left free and intire, she might provide for the cure of her wounds, and watch opportunities for the recovery of her Empire. But either the difficulties of assaulting Carthage, or the neces­sities of Syracuse, did divert him from such an enterprize, and sollicite him to a return into[Page 189] Sicily, where the Free League had confined his Tyranny within the walls of his own City. For Xenodicus had hitherto prospered, and re­stored the Democratical power to many Cities, and raised up the confident hopes of all the Si­cilians to live by their own Laws, which is the true foundation of Liberty.

To stop therefore this current of freedome, Agathocles hastens into Sicily with two thou­sand Souldiers, leaving the command of his affairs on the Continent to his Son Archaga­thus. At his landing he was entertained with the news of a Victory which his Captains Leptines and Demophilus, with eight thousand two hun­dred foot and a thousand two hundred horse, had gotten on Xenodicus, who had lost a thou­sand five hundred of his men, and was forced to shelter himself within the walls of Agrigen­tum. The Tyrant makes use of this Victory, and marches against those Cities that had sha­ken off his yoke, and with the credit of the former Victory reduces Himera, Selinus and Thermae. Then drawing forth before Cento­rippa by night, he was in hope to have surpri­zed it through the practices he had with some of the Citizens: but the plot being discovered, he was forced by the better part of the City, which were not polluted with such infamous Coun­sels, to retreat with the loss of five hundred of his men. Then being sollicited by some persi­dious[Page 190]inhabitants of Apollonia to come and take their City, before he could reach thither the Conspiratours were discovered and apprehen­ded, and he was disappointed for the first day of his expectation. But the next day, not to depart without some attempt, he assaults the Town, and not without exceeding loss of men he takes it; where killing most of the Apollo­niates, he plundered the whole City, and left it as a monument of his Cruelty.

But the desires of Liberty, though overwhel­med with all these Ruines, were like fires less carefully extinguished, which revive with a greater flame. For the universal hatred of the Tyrant and thirst for Liberty moved Dinocrates to be an assertor of the Free League; and he appeared like another Rock to dash in pieces the violent successes, and to be a remora to the Tyrant's Security. To Dinocrates therefore flocked all such as either desired to be free men, or hated the Tyrant; which were so many, as Dinocrates's Army consisted of twenty thou­sand foot & fifteen hundred horse, all Veterane Souldiers, and Actors in the late troubles of Si­cily, accustomed to the discipline & difficulties of Warre, or hardned with the miseries of Banish­ment. With these he pitches his Camp in an open field, and offers battel to the Tyrant: but he knowing himself too weak to engage, retreats to Syracuse, still followed by his da­ring [Page 191]Enemy; who cuts off his rear, and wins upon him without loss of blood. This was a great obstruction to Agathocles's designs: for wars are managed much by fame, and he that retreats is supposed to fly.

Together with this check to his affairs in the Island, his fortune wholly declines on the Con­tinent, and that success which had so importu­nately followed him there, did as suddenly leave him. Where his Army continually wast­ed both in strength and courage: Archagathus either failing in his Father's arts, and the ver­tues of a Leader; (For an Army is to be va­lued at the rate of the Commander, whom they will contemn if he be weak, and ignorant of his charge, and so neglect their duty, and be­come insolent and contumacious) or oppressed with the sins and fates of his Sire; the punish­ment due to wicked Parents being entailed by the Divine Vengeance on their hateful Chil­dren. He soon found his Insolencies under­mined that had been built upon his Father's fortune. His first enterprizes were auspicious, but the issue was full of despair. For having sent out a party under the conduct of Euma­chus, they had mastered many Cities in the up­per Africk with much slaughter, they had de­molished their Walls, captivated and sold the Inhabitants, burnt their Houses, and wasted their Fields, and so proud with Victory and loa­den[Page 192]with Spoils returned to Tunis. But being sent out again, the second Expedition proved not so fortunate: for going beyond the bounds of their former Conquests, and setting upon the City Miltine, they were from thence driven with exceeding loss. Then turning themselves against the Pithecusans, (a kind of people in Africk that have their names from the Apes, whom they worship with the same reverence as the Aegyptians do their Dogs) they took one of their strongest Cities, and the rest yielded. But the Libyans awakened with the continual clamours of their wasted Neighbours, gathe­red into a great body, and forced them with more terrour and less spoil then they had be­fore, to retire towards Archagathus, that was now amazed with Ruines on every side.

For the Carthaginians by their frequent In­counters arriving to more experience and greater hardiness, and by their many Losses learning safer counsels, had wholly changed their arts and customes of fights. They were now more wary in their engagements, forbore forward onsets, and used the arts of a Veterane Army. For many wars that are too violent in their first fury, vanish by delaies: and Armies that can­not charge their Enemies are consumed by their own wants, and wast in their own fury. They likewise resolved no more to venture their whole force in one body, but divided them into three[Page 193]several parties; whereof one was to march by the Sea-coast, the second was appointed to se­cure the In-land Towns, and the third was emploied in the upper Libya. By this counsel they secured their City from the dishonour and molestation of a Siege. For the Enemy would not dare to lie down before it, when so many parties were unconquered in the Field. Nor did they fear a storming of it, wherein there was such a multitude, their walls and fortifi­cations very strong, and the Sea affording much protection by washing the foundations of her rampires. Besides, by sending out these Par­ties they should ease that scarcity of Provision which began to afflict them; all the Country about being wasted by the Warre, and the number of people almost infinite that fled thither for safety from the Cruelty of the Sici­lians. Their Credit also, which is of great moment in all Wars, would be kept up by ha­ving so many Armies in the Field. And last­ly, which was of most advantage, it would necessitate their Enemies to divide into so many small Parties, as would be less considerable and easily baffled. All which Ends they did attain. For their Stores were proportionable to their lesser number: Their Confederates now reve­red that power which could not be spent by so sepeated Losses, and were incouraged in their Fidelity, when they saw so powerful a defence ready to protect their faith; so that many who [Page 194]before were afraid to own any correspondence with them, now freely administred large Suc­cours. And Archagathus, as they expected, to keep up his Fathers fame, was forced to break his Army into as many pieces as might obviate the enterprizes of his Enemies: one whereof was to secure the Sea-coast; another was commanded by Aeschrion; and He him­self, leaving a guard at Tunis, marched with a third.

Thus all Africk was filled with arms, and now raised in expectation of a speedy issue. Hanno, that commanded the Punick Forces in the In-land expedition, meets with Aeschri­on, and drawing him into an Ambuscade routs him, and kills him with four thousand foot and two hundred horse; those that escaped sled five hundred furlongs, till they came to Archagathus. Himilcon, that was sent into the upper Libya, waits at a certain City for Eumachus, who was returning with his Army heavy with plunder. The Greeks no sooner came near the Carthaginian, but they offered him battel. Himilcon refuses not, but know­ing their prosperous greediness had made them proud and unwary, intends to assault them by a stratageme; which proved as happy in the event as it had been in the project. For lea­ving part of his Army in the Town, with or­ders to sally forth when he began to flie, and[Page 195]to charge the Enemy in the rear when they pursued him, with the other part he marches forth, and fights the Greeks near their own Camp; whence after a small opposition be flies, as if he were worsted. Eumachus, as confident of the Victory, (though he could see little reason for the Enemies so speedy flight, and therefore might have suspected some unu­sual arts) without any order follows them. Which being seen by that party which was left in the Town, they immediately issued forth with a great noise, by that giving notice to Himilcon to stop his flight; and so terrified the Sicilians, that they being charged on all sides, and daunted with the surprize, presently fled. But not being able to recover their Camp, the way to it being intercepted by the Africans, they drew up on a neighbouring Hill, where there was no water: where their Enemies besieging them, they were partly by thirst and partly by the sword almost all con­sumed, so that of eight thousand foot, scarce thirty, and of eight hundred horse, not forty escaped to carry the sad news to Archagathus, a Person too insolent in his Prosperity with any equality of mind to bear these great Losses. He having this intelligence, draws back all his forces to Tunis, gathers up the relicks of the beaten Parties, recalls the other that he had sent out, and fortifies himself, till his Father should come to relieve him, to whom he had sent this afflicting news.

[Page 196]These great Losses were more dreadful in the consequences; for most of the Confede­rates that were the friends of the Syracusans Fortune, not of his Cause, soon withdrew themselves, and fled farther from his ruines: onely some few that did more fear the Punick Revenge then affect the Friendship of the Greeks, stai'd till they might reconcile them­selves to the Carthaginians by a more seasona­ble and treacherous Defection. The Enemy also drew up all their forces close to his Camp, both to heighten his necessities and increase his sears. Himilcon besieged him so as he could not forage abroad; and Artabas, that had the charge of the Sea-coast, came up so close, that he cut off all hopes of relief by Sea. So that the Army not being able to break out, nor having Provisions to sustain them within, ra­ged among themselves, and languished by their own force through want of action. Terrour, Famine and Sedition filled the whole Camp; and the baffled Souldiers, as is usual in such distresses, referred their Miseries not to their own Baseness, but to the Vices and Weakness of their Commander. His former Cruelty made him suspected, that he betraied those Soul­diers to the Enemies sword, who would have formerly bathed theirs in his blood for the mur­der of Lyciscus. Afflicted spirits are capable of any jealousie. Though it is probable he had no other guilt then the want of a Commander's [Page 197]Vertues. For by the defects and Vices of a Ruler the most prosperous condition of a Society may be overthrown; as by his Vertues the most oppressed may be easily raised: and there is no­thing either good or bad in a Commonwealth, which may not be altered or alleviated by the Vertues of the Prince.

Agathocles hearing the desperate condition of his Army in Africk, prepares to hasten thither, to apply some Remedies, and there­fore commends his affairs of Sicily, which Di­nocrates's good conduct of the Free League had extremely disturbed, to the care and fortune of Leptines. And having gotten as many Souldi­ers as he could aboard seventeen Vessels, he waited for an opportunity to get out of the Haven, that was then blocked up by thirty Carthaginian Ships: which was made more prosperous and easie then he could have hoped; for at the same time there had gotten into the Haven by night eighteen Ships which he had hired of the Tuscans. Their fortunate coming raised the Tyrant's courage to a resolution of fighting the Enemy. To perform it he com­mands the Tuscans to continue in the Haven, till he had drawn the Africans in pursuit after him. So making out with full Sails, the Car­thaginians made up towards him, and the Tuscans after them. Agathocles, when he saw the Tuscans near the Enemy, turns back[Page 198]his Vessels upon them also: which unexpected assault both behind and before did so break their spirits, that they thought not of fighting, but of flight; five of their Ships being imme­diately taken, and the Admiral also ready to be boarded: who to prevent the ignomi­ny and misery of Captivity, presently kil­led himself. An act more rash then stout. For it is the temper of a brave Soul alwaies to hope: which if he had done, he had escaped, as did his Ship, which a brisk wind brought off from the Enemy without any farther loss.

This success at Sea made the passage to A­frick safe, opened the Trade of Syracuse, which was very sensible of her wants, and so raised the Tyrants hopes in his Fortune, that he de­signs another attempt upon his Enemies at Land. Therefore he commands Leptines forth to wast and forage about all the Regions of those Cities that were at fewd with him, but especially of Agrigentum; where he was in­formed that the late defeat given to Xenodicus had broken no less his credit then his force; his Adversity having heightned the clamours of an opposite Faction against him, which the en­vy of his Prosperity had first formed. If Le­ptines therefore could draw him forth to fight, the Tyrant promised himself an assured Victory over a factious Enemy. For where the Souldiers distrust their General, and he likewise is displea­sed[Page 199]with them, his Orders are disputed, and their Obedience given according to their own counsels: Every one will be ready to command and advise, and none to execute. It is the mu­tual confidence which begets resolution in all par­ties, and draws success along with it. Leptines acts according to his instructions, and by fire and sword wasting the Regions of Agrigen­tum, forces into the Town many sad informa­tions where the Enemy was. Xenodicus, whom his former fortune and the present odium had made more wary, did forbear any attempts to restrain the fury of the provoking Enemy, nor would he lead his forces to another trial of fortune with those that were so lately their Conquerours, preferring safe counsels with Reason, to rash which onely Chance could make prosperous. He would not hazard the Safety and Liberty of his City for the spoil of the Country, nor gratifie his Enemies so far as to satisfie their expectation by accepting of a Battel. For he considered that though the Number of his men were not inferiour to the Enemy, yet their Courage was, and the Soft­ness of men bred on Stalls and Shops, not to be compared with the hardiness and experience of such that were acquainted with the toils of War. But being pressed on by the Factions of his own Citizens, and continual reproaches of Baseness and Treachery from his own Army, which when it hath laid aside the modesty of [Page 200]discipline, is extremely impatient of not fighting, he was forced to be the companion of other men's Rashness; and therefore leading out his Army, he did engage the Enemy, and was as soon routed. For those that were so fierce be­fore the encounter, were fearful in the dangers of it, and being more fit for a Sedition then for a defence of their City, they soon fled, lea­ving behind them of their fellow-Citizens five hundred foot and fifty horse. Xenedicus with the loss of this Battel lost his Country also; for being continually assaulted with the accusa­tions of his Enemies, he was forced to leave his own City, and by a voluntary exile planted himself at Gela.

These two Victories could not yet make the Tyrant secure, but he designs a more base and bloody upon his own Vassals, who he doubt­ed in his absence might open their gates to re­ceive in Dinocrates. Thus wicked men al­waies fear, and expect what they are conscious they do deserve: and though some Tyrants may be safe for a while from the punishment of their Crimes, yet none can ever be secure. To pro­vide therefore against such practices, he pro­jects how he may find out and murder those who were most averse to his Government. In order whereunto he appoints a publick Sacrifice and Feast, in pretence of a Religious gratitude for those two Victories, that so the publick Jol­lity[Page 201]and excess of Wine might take off that guard which the Vassals of a Tyrant should observe and set upon their words; and pro­vokes them to a greater liberty of speech. By this means he should more indear the Rabble unto him, who commonly receive such publick Feasts as the base price of their Slavery, and esteem such Rejoicings among the blessings of Peace, and as the adequate wages for their many years of Bondage. And besides, he should discover the minds of such as had freer souls, and their inclinations towards him. His Preparations were answerable to his Design, and the whole City being resolved into Mirth, to provoke them to a greater freedome of speech, himself laies aside his Imperial Vest­ments, plaies the part of a Mimick, and was profuse in Drollery, jearing some of his com­pany, and acting their most ridiculous po­stures. So that he did tickle the Vulgar rout as much as a Stage-play, or the tricks of Jug­iers. And it was usual with him at other times, to come into the publick Conventions and Assemblies without any guard, and there to provoke the laughter of the people by trivial and plebeian jeasts, and by mocking and per­sonating some of those that were about him. But at this time he made use of all his arts; and the more to excite the petulancy of others, he fell a jearing himself. For taking up in his hands a golden Goblet, he told the people that[Page 202]he left not off his Potter's trade till he found the way of making such Pots as those. Glo­rying thus in his low beginnings, because it boasted the subtilties of him that had raised him­self from such an abject depth to so great an height; or to shew how patient he would be of another's liberty in scoffing him, that did make sport with his own Infamy; or, which is most likely, it was in him as in all that have sinned beyond shame, Ignominy is their last pleasure. So that he was never moved nor did blush at that which was the fortune of his birth, when he gloried in the wickedness of his life: For when he lay at the Siege of a great Town, the Souldiers in the Garrison (as it is usual to ex­timulate their adversaries with reproaches, and the Vulgar wits are pleased with petulant scoffs to vex those whom they cannot strike) would call Agathocles Potter, and Kilneman, and ask him when his trade would furnish him to pay his Souldiers. He would unmoved reply, that he would doe it as soon as he had taken their Town. With such pastime did he enter­tain his guests.

These tricks of the Tyrant were variously in­terpreted, according to the humours of the Spectatours. Some that were of a credulous and slavish temper took them for the evidences of a Popular spirit, and a Civil habit of mind, and comparing him with Dionysius, he seemed [Page 203]more like a just and lawful Prince (whose Right and Innocency is his guard, and who uses the ministry of men for Majesty, not Security) then a Tyrant, to whom Distrust is his grea­test and most singular defence. For Dionysius was so afraid of giving any opportunity to the people's hate for revenge, that he suffered the hair of his head & beard to grow to an indecent length, because he did not dare to trust his throat to the razour of a Barber; and when it came to be troublesome, he singed it off with a Can­dle. But this his Successour did seem to them to have more noble arts and freer waies to se­cure himself and his Empire. Others, who re­membred his former Cruelty and Pride, and were acquainted with the arts of Tyrants, did look upon these present practices as very omi­nous. For Usurpers never seek to please the people but while they are binding the yoke upon their necks, nor are they ever kind but when they are about to kill. And as the Tragical Poets never bring the Gods on the Stage, but to make some dismal Catastrophe; so Princes when they descend so low as to practise upon the people by becoming their mockery, some horrid scene is to be acted by them. They e­steemed not his appearing in publick without a Guard to be any effect of a Vertuous ma­nagement of his Power, but rather an insolent triumph over their Liberty, that it might appear he had so debased their spirits, as that they did[Page 204]not dare to assault a naked Tyrant. By these and the like discourses every one discovered his judgement, which Agathocles either by his own Observation gathered, or by the in­formation of his Spies, persons whose baseness was esteemed beneath caution, whom he had dispersed about among the people, to provoke and watch others to their Ruine. And the number of those in whom he found any foot­steps left of their dying Liberty was about five hundred: whom together with some other of the most eminent Syracusans he invites to ano­ther Feast; and by his Mercenaries murders them, mingling their blood with the wine. Be­sides the deliverance from so many supposed Enemies, and the seisure of their Wealth, the Tyrant supposed he had gotten another advan­tage, that by this means he had raised such a Distrust and Jealousie among the Citizens, (which is one of the most especial Arts of Ty­rants) that they would not dare to trust one a­nother with any secret practice against him; who had such diligent Observers and so exact Informers, that would betray the most simple speeches of a Feast and Mirth to their inhumane Master. By this appears the curse of Heaven upon that miserable people who are subject to an Usurping Tyrant; who, conscious of the greatness of his own Crimes, and that no con­dition can alleviate the publick hatred towards him, will no less in his joyful then sad times pra­ctise[Page 205]their Miseries. To secure that condition which is prosperous as well as to prevent an ap­proaching Ruine, still habituates him to mur­der the innocent and oppress the miserable; ei­ther his Pride or his Fear driving him to inhu­mane courses.

After this bloody Feast the Tyrant together with his Son Heraclidas hastens to Africk, where he finds his Army half famished, all fil­led with confusion and despair, and capable of nothing but fears. To raise up their Spirits, and relieve their Wants, he would have led them out to some action; but there was no way either for Victory or Plenty, but by first break­ing the Punick Forces which had block'd up all passes, in such sure defences as were impossible for so profligated an Army to overcome. He therefore applies himself to all those arts which might tempt the Enemy from their Fortificati­ons to give him Battel in the Field, and presents them with many advantages. But the Cartha­ginians that abounded with whatsoever was necessary, chearful in the fresh remembrance of their late Victories, and faithful among themselves, would not hazard a Battel, to over­come that Enemy who, pressed by wants and weakned with Seditions, would fall by their de­laies. Agathocles when he saw all his attempts made the scorn of his Enemies, that the credit of his Arms was now fallen into contempt, that [Page 206]Victuals did more and more fail in his Camp; to recover his glory and recall the spirits of his Souldiers, he was resolved to try rash counsels, since good advices succeeded not, and he would force the Enemy in their Trenches. Therefore sick with delay, and impatient of hope, he leads out his Army, which consisted of twelve thousand Greeks, as many Gauls and Tuscans, ten thousand Libyans, who were of no setled faith to either party, and with these he assaults the Carthaginian Camp. Though their impa­tience for their wants, and their dejected spi­rits were not to be allaied or raised by any charms of Courage, nor would admit any for­mall speech; yet did he, as briefly as he could, while he drew them out, desire them to Re­member their former and later Victories; that they now stood upon the theatre of their Glory, and trampled upon the ashes and bones of the Punick Armies; therefore now they should go with courage, and for ever cut off that faithless and conquered Enemy, who did confess themselves their vassals, by not daring to look upon them in an open Field. They were now not so much to think of a Battel, as to execute revenge; and that by taking those despicable Prisoners within their own Tents, they did scale the Walls of Carthage, put an end to that tedious War, and reap the harvest of all their toils. With these sick hopes he led them on to the assault, which the Carthagi­nians [Page 207]were prepared to receive; and having the advantages of ground, of their works, and the excess in number, did easily repulse the Sicili­ans, who a long time maintained their Charge and followed their attempt, but all in vain. A­gathocles seeing no hopes, drew off his starved Legions to their own Tents, but was pursued by the Carthaginians, who spent all their fury upon the Greeks and the other Strangers, but spared the Libyans, that by such an indulgence they might be invited to a revolt. They conti­nued the execution as long as the day and their anger lasted, having killed three thousand of the Enemy; the rest with sorrow and fear got safe to their Camp, where they found the same wants they left, but made more intolerable by their wounds and shame. The loss of this day and the terrours of the following night made the Tyrant quite desperate, and drove him out of Africk.

The night following this Battel was unquietly spent in either Camp. The Africans proud of the return of their Fortune gave themselves up to Feasts and Sacrifices, and with Songs and triumphant noises made the Valleys and neigh­bouring Woods to resound their mirth. And, not to provoke their Gods, in an inhumane gratitude they offered up the choicest and come­liest of their Prisoners in a sacrifice to them. While these abominable Victimes were consu­ming[Page 208]on the Altar, a strong wind suddenly ari­ses, and carries the flame to the hangings of their holy Tent, which stood next to the Altar; from thence the flame spread it self to the Gene­rall's Tent, and afterwards catch'd hold of those Tents of the Officers that were nearest to it. This unexpected and violent chance fill'd all with confusion; and many of the Souldiers who endeavoured to quench the flame, or to remove their arms and luggage, were consumed by the fire: for the wind growing higher, had spread it upon the Souldiers huts, which being made of dry earth and thatched with reed, were soon on a flame, so that it became stronger then the Army could master, and many were intercepted in it. Heaven as it were exacting revenge for their Cruelty to the poor Captives, making them perish in those impious flames which they had kindled for others. Those that had gotten out to the sides of the Camp, and from the fire, were incountred with another fear, not so real, but as full of danger. For the Libyans that were of Agathocles's party, being resolved to leave him with his fortune, and were about five thousand, had just at the time that the fire began, forsaken the Camp at Tunis, and were coming to surrender them­selves to the Carthaginians. These being dis­covered by the Scouts and Guards, were con­ceived to be the whole Army of the Enemy co­ming to assault their Camp by night, and in this[Page 209]confusion by the Fire, which their present fears made them imagine he might kindle. This news being spread about the whole Camp, every one thought the Enemy had gotten into the Tren­ches, and that they were all betraied; so that no way of safety was presented unto them, but onely flight: which being done without any order or respect had to their Commanders, was so confused, that some for hast broke their necks down the hill upon which their Camp was pitch'd; others were angry at such as stood in their way, and through the darkness of the night not able to discover whether they were Friends or Foes, fell foul one upon another. In this darkness, amazement and confusion, there were many slain, and more wounded; and the num­ber of those that perished was accounted five thousand. They that had escaped all dangers but their fears got safe to Carthage, and filled the whole City with terrour, relating the Ar­my to be quite broken, and mingling some truth with their affrighted apprehensions, made all things desperate, yet very uncertain. Therefore they set open their Gates to receive their flying Souldiers, yet carefully watching lest the Ene­my should fall into the Town with them. But the day discovered their errours, and mitigated their fears, though it increased their grief and jealou­sies, when they saw the dead bodies of their Friends, and the ashes of their Tents and goods: they could not conceive it a chance, or refer it [Page 210]to Providence, but doubted whether it were not some open Enemy or some false Citizen that had occasioned so much Ruine, it look'd so like a designed Mischief.

On the other side, in the Sicilian Camp the remembrance of the overthrow had composed all to an horrid sorrow, they had weak and faint fires, a silence like to that of Tombs and Charnel-houses, their few words were low, and without any comfort, the groans of the wounded were the loudest noise, their thoughts various and distracted, walking about their Trenches like men that could not sleep, rather then as such that desired to watch. Their very quiet was dreadful, and presently were they deluded with as vain fears as those that had af­frighted the Enemy. For when the revolting Libyans did not dare to venture farther in the surrendring of themselves to the Carthaginians, because they saw the Fire, and heard that con­fused noise in their Camp, they returned back towards their former quarters in the Sicilian Camp. But their motion being discovered by the Centinels and Scouts, who by reason of the darkness of the night could not discern what they were, the terrour of the past day's over­throw suggested that they were the victorious Carthaginians coming to give a Camisade to their Army. This Intelligence was carried to the Tyrant, and the Alarm suddenly passed over[Page 211]the whole Camp. Every one was distracted what course to take. Some were to make good the Works; others were for drawing forth: the most still contradicted the rest, without prescri­bing what else was to be done. And as it hap­pens in unhappy and disturbed counsels, those things seemed best which they had neither time nor conveniency to act; the continual messa­ges of the affrighted Scouts did disturb their re­solutions, and every unusual accident altered and confounded their determinations. By this time the flame of the Carthaginian Tents grew more conspicuous, and the exceeding noise which their fears made conveyed them also to the Sicilian Camp. Who then thought the E­nemy was so near, that it was in vain to deli­berate, but all were set upon flight. So im­petuously rushing out of their Tents, they lea­ped over their Trenches which way soever their blind fear did direct them: the noise which their own hast made did perswade them it was the coming on of the Enemies into the Camp, and this doubled their hast, noise and fears. And each one laying hold upon another, either to force them out of the way, or to help them­selves forward by their neighbours speed, were conceived as apprehending enemies, and pre­sently were killed by their own fellows. Some were so madded with their fears, that they knew not which way they ran, nor which to chuse, and driving upon the returning Libyans, fell to[Page 212]fight with one another as with the Foe. This hurry continued all the night, all which time their terrours and despairs admitted no delibe­ration or counsel; till the day discovered the mockery of Fortune, and that they had lost four thousand men in this confusion.

The Occurrences of this night did upbraid the weakness of an arm of flesh, when two such potent Armies were routed and driven out of their strengths by a vain and empty Fear, and put to flie when none did pursue; and when either party did fear, they were mutually feared. Prudence doth sometimes alleviate the strokes of Fortune, and a wise management may be good Discipline so confirm the minds of an Army, that premeditated designs and projects of terrour may become weak and contempti­ble even to the surprized. But a coincidence of so many various accidents in such a juncture of time neither can the weak sight of Huma­nity foresee, nor possibly prevent.

The next day, though the light had shown the Greeks the vanity of their fears, yet no less confusion remained on their spirits; they were ashamed of their frights, and unwilling to re­turn to the place of their terrour and ignominy, they walked up and down single and heavy, their eyes cast down, weary of company, and afraid to be alone, yet fuller of heaviness then[Page 213]shame. Agathocles perceived this horrour, and thought it no less then madness to oppose such dejected persons to the Carthaginians that were insolent with their Victory, the memory of which did with the day restore them fully from the affrightments of the night. Besides, he found all the Libyans and his confederate A­fricans had left his hungry Tents and declining Fortune. In those that were left he could have no confidence, all being concerned either in the murder of Lyciscus or Ophellas; therefore could not hope that either among themselves, much less with him, they could have any agree­ment, which is the onely comfort and alleviation to the conquered. These things considered, the Tyrant was resolved to temporize with his For­tune, and as he fled from the dangers of Sicily to the coasts of Africk, so now he would save himself in the Island from the dangers of the Continent. But then occurred to his thoughts the impossibility of withdrawing his Army with him. He had neither time nor conveniency of Vessels for so great a charge, nor was the Sea clearer from the triumphs of the Enemy then was the Land. For they had recruited their Navy, and recovered the empire of the Ocean, so that without their good leave he could neither stay nor flie. To make Peace with them in such a low condition of his affairs, was the greater difficulty; for they were so elevated with their present success, that they knew not[Page 214]how to temper their Felicity by reasonable Conditions to the Authour of their Troubles, and had already threatned such examples of Se­verity to the first Invaders of Africk, as should terrifie the future Ages from their imitation.

Wracked and perplexed with these affright­ing considerations, not once entertaining the generous thoughts, that Adversities are born with greater glory then deserted; For such are the comforts of unhappy Vertues and innocent Souls; he at last resolved to shift for himself, and to carry onely with him his Son Heracli­das and some few privado's, ministers of his Lusts, and leave the rest to the malignity of their Destinies and the Cruelty of Carthage. He pitied not his eldest Son Archagathus; for his haughty soul and wicked attempt upon his Fathers Bed, made the old Tyrant jealous lest if he were preserved longer, he might extend his furious Lust to his Throne, and practise up­on his Life. For knowing him to be his own Son, he concluded him no less Ambitious and Perfidious then he was Lustful. Which shews the Inquietude of Tyrants, who when they have murdered all Vertue in others, and by ma­ny Crimes secured themselves from the hatred of strangers, yet want not jealousies of their own Children, and are affrighted with dangers from their own bowels; whose good and bad fame are equally dangerous to their cursed Parents. For[Page 215]if by honest arts they reconcile the affections of the people, they are then esteemed too po­pular to live under a Tyranny. And the de­laies which their Father's lives interpose to their conceived hopes, are judged too importunate to be born by such as are able to cut them off. If the evil dispositions of the Sire are traduced to the Soul of the Son, then do they load the a­ged Tyrant with more publick hatred, or terri­fie him with fears of practising that on him which he hath done on others. And thus was it with Agathocles, who would at once rid himself of his Son and Fears.

Archagathus, that knew his Father's na­ture, and that all Tyrants blot out every impress of Nature, having no affections but for them­selves, was very watchful over his actions, and having some suspitions of the design, he com­municates his Jealousies to some Captains of the Army, and conspires to intercept his slight. The prodigious baseness of the act easily raised indignation enough to hinder it. That a Ge­neral should betray his Army, and surrender them up to a provoked Enemy, was a Crime not to be parallel'd. Archagathus thought the injustice done to him more full of Cruelty, that he who had ventured his life for his Father's Empire, had been a partner in all his Flights and Miseries, should now be left alone to the Dan­ger, whilest his Brother of lesser merits must be[Page 216]the onely companion of Safety. Therefore more angry that he had not his part in the Villany then at the Villany it self, he watched to hinder it, desiring to be saved or perish together. So that neither of these Monsters had any natural affe­ction either of a Father or a Son, but either would have provided for his own Safety, though by the blood and infamy of the other. When the Tyrant was ready to take shipping, his Son gives Intelligence thereof to his complices; who meeting together came all to the Tyrant, Up­braided him of his baese purposes, and charged him not to stir from the place he was in. Then lest he should first practise upon the Souldiers, and perswade them any thing to their own ru­ine, (which is no hard task on an unwary multitude) they presently published and aggra­vated the treachery of the Tyrant, that he would have left his Army without any hopes of succour, order, or means for their safety; whom he had tempted to follow his capricioes, and satisfie his thirst of power, through such numerous Dangers, and objected to so bloody an Enemy, he would now barbarously sell, to redeem himself, neglecting the lives and liber­ties of those whose carcasses, if dead, he was bound to have buried.

The Souldiers when they heard this singular example of Wickedness, and considered the consequences, That none of them should re­turn[Page 217]to his Wife and Children, Country and Friends, but like an headless trunk, having no Commander, without life or name, in a strange Land must be the mockery of their Enemies, were amazed, and trembled no less then if the Camp had been taken, and that they were now under the yoke. But then Indignation called them from that Stupidity, and in a great fury they hasted to seize upon the Tyrant, whom they presently clap'd in chains. Then being with­out any Commander, not knowing whom to chuse or whom to trust, when they had found such Perfidiousness in him whom they had ob­liged by so long and dangerous an obedience, they were distracted with exceeding fears. For a Multitude without a Governour is rash, fear­ful, and mad. These were increased by the ap­proaching night, and by a strange and uncer­tain report, that the Enemy were coming on to assault the Camp. The care of the present Danger renewed the memory of the former, and they were frighted almost to madness, and (as it useth to be in such Confusions) every one ha­stily snatches up his arms, and without any or­der marches out of the Camp distractedly, lea­ving their defences, cursing and railing upon their faithless Leader, the perfidious Aga­thocles. The Guard that was upon the Tyrant, no less amazed then the rest, hearing him na­med, and imagining that the multitude did call upon them to bring their Prisoner forth, did [Page 218]immediately lead him into the midst of the Ar­my loaden with chains. This sudden spectacle did strangely affect the minds of the multitude. Some were moved with Pity and Reverence of him who had so long commanded them. [For great emploiments leave a lustre even upon that person that hath lost them, and Majesty doth accompany those in their distresses whom Fortune hath before proposed to admiration. And some­times, if they be vertuous persons, they, like the Sun, appear greatest at their setting; and the refraction of a moist cloud of tears doth serve to enlarge their Greatness. Marius's glo­ry in his former commands could not be stifled in the Dungeon at Minturnae, but once more overcame the Cimbrian Slave that was appoin­ted to be his Executioner. Mithridates's impri­sonment had not so disarmed him, but that the authority of his looks and the memory of his former Empire did affright the Gaul that was sent to murder him; till by his own hands he confirmed the trembling Slave to execute the wicked commands of his perfidious Son. Though Agathocles had no Vertues that deserved Pity, yet his fortunes did excite a Reverence.] Others moved with the fear of the Enemy, and hope of his Conduct, joined with the rest, and toge­ther cried out, that they should take off his Chains, and set him free.

This unexpected mercy and deliverance, to­gether [Page 219]with the miserable sight of the Army's fears and confusions, would have wrought a commiseration in any breast that had had the least sense of humanity, to have provided for the common safety, or obliged to the same fate. But Perfidiousness acknowledges no Merits, and every Tyrant doth abjure Gratitude and Justice. Therefore Agathocles was no sooner out of his Chains, but while the Army was yet in confu­sion, and none at leisure to observe him, he makes hast to the shore. And because he had before indangered his own preservation by en­deavouring to save one of his Sons, he now hates that natural Affection, and leaves them both to endure the punishments of his Villa­ny, and with some few of his servants gets in­to a Ship, and undiscovered sails away. The Souldiers hearing of his escape, seize upon both his Sons, with their blood to satisfie for their Father's Crimes. Archagathus thought to stop the execution, by asking Arcesilaus, that was the Tyrant's friend, whom grief and in­dignation had now made the forwardest to re­venge, What Agathocles would doe to his Children that should murder his Sons. The Syracusan answered, it was enough for him that his Children did live some time after A­gathocles's were slain. And therefore to reap this comfort, he speedily sheaths his sword in Archagathus's body. Heraclidas was kil­led by those that had been the Souldiers of O­phellas. [Page 220]The Greeks observed in this execution the exact Justice of Heaven, that in the same moneth and on the same day that Agathocles had contrary to all faith and rites of Hospitality murdered Ophellas, and seized upon his Army, did he lose his own Army, and had both his Sons slain. Providence like a just Law-giver exacting double punishment for so great a Crime; for he that had wickedly killed one Friend, had two Sons justly destroied.

Thus having satisfied their Revenge, they provide for their Safety; and therefore chusing new Officers, by them they treat with the Car­thaginians, and conclude a Peace upon these Articles. That the Sicilians should deliver up all those places which had been taken in Africk. That for the surrender they should receive three hundred talents. That such of them as would serve the State of Carthage should be taken into pay. That those who desi­red to return to Sicily should be transported thither, and have houses and places to live in assigned to them at Soluns, which was a City of their Dominion in the Island. This Com­position was faithfully observed to those that did submit unto it; but such as were left in Garrisons, and would not surrender, vainly hoping the deceitful Tyrant would shortly re­lieve them, were soon reduced by force. The Captains whereof they crucified, but yoked[Page 221]the common Souldiers like beasts, to plough that ground, and repair by their labours that Country, which they had wasted by their arms. This was the issue of the African War, which had continued four years; all which time Car­thage with undaunted courage and various suc­cess maintained her Liberty, and laboured to preserve her Empire against a subtle, industrious and bloody Tyrant. And Agathocles had the trial of the vicissitudes of all humane affairs, having a long time been the terrour of Africk: He had broken many Armies, ruined great Cities, depopulated large Countries, moistned the parching Sands with blood, humbled the Pride of Carthage, and scarce left them any thing but their own walls; yet was twice a Prisoner to his own Souldiers, and in danger of death from his own Army; and at last blot­ted out all the honour of his Atchievements by a most cursed Perfidiousness, and too great a desire of Life, deserting a brave Army, be­traying his own Sons, ignominiously flying with one Ship and few attendants, trembling in the memory of his Chains and the terrours of his Enemies; as if he had been designed to be the example not onely of the Crimes, but also of the Punishments of a Tyrant.

Stripped of all his forces, with shame and fury Agathocles lands in Sicily; where, like a dying Viper, his last bites were most fierce:[Page 222] Ruine and destruction of others being the last pleasures of a falling Tyrant. And as if the air and soil of Africk (that is fertile of Mon­sters) had made him more Monster then he was before, that miserable Island felt a sharper fit of Cruelty when he was thus half destroied, then when he was in his more flourishing for­tune. He seemed now not so greedy of the Rewards of Wickedness, as delighted with Wickedness it self; not being more angry that he had lost his own, then that he had not got another's substance, or that every one had not lost as well as he. The first that felt his Inhu­manity was the City of Aegesta, towards which he leads out those Forces he had, and demands a contribution so heavy as would wholly have impoverished the City, though it was great and populous, and had ten thousand families in it. This Injustice did so exasperate the Aegestans, that they often met among themselves to com­plain of such usage. That though they were in Confederacy with him, and so should be willing to relieve the necessities of their As­sociate; yet were they not his Slaves, that he should conceive all their goods to be his own. They acknowledged that a League with a more potent party was but a kind of Subjection; yet were they not so absolutely to obey, as if they had been conquered by him. The Tyrant was not ignorant of these complaints which their Grief made too frequent, and the hopes of[Page 223]Moderation from a Confederate made too bold. For it is safer to resist then to complain of the Injustice of a Tyrant; and it is more dangerous in such counsels to be understood then to attempt.

Therefore while their thoughts and anger languish'd in complaints onely, he thought it was too great a liberty to be grieved at his com­mands; so he pretends that they were forming a Conspiracy against him, and declares that he will be avenged in the Ruine of them and their City. And because he knew them to be inno­cent, according to the practices of Tyrants, he used them more cruelly, that others might con­jecture there was some great Crime by the bit­terness of the Punishment. Those that were the poorest of the people, he leads out to the river Scamander, and upon the very banks, as if he had had a frolick to colour the streams with blood, he cuts all their throats. The poverty of these men made their passage out of life less irksome. But those that were supposed to be rich he kills with most exquisite Tortures, to make them confess what and where their Mony was; and to make the terrour greater, he had his several Engines of Torment. Some he breaks upon the wheel; others he bound upon battering Rams, then forcing them off he dash'd them in pieces; others he makes to die by degrees, and forces death through every member: First he cuts off their Legs, and as[Page 224]their Confessions were slow or quick, or an­swerable to his ravenous expectation, so he pro­ceeds to the rest, pulling off their Hands, put­ting out their Eyes; and every degree to death was the more sharp, that they might feel them­selves dying, and denied them the comfort of a speedy death. Besides, that he might outgoe all examples of Cruelty that ever the world saw before, in imitation of Phalaris's Bull, he made a brazen Bed proportionable to the body of a man, wherein the Wretch that was to be tor­tured being closed with a grate, and having fire under it, was exceedingly tormented: and by this Engine the Tyrant could feed his eyes by beholding the tortures; and it was a great part of the misery of the Sufferer, to be seen, and see such an horrid Villain triumph in their pains, and urge their Torments. It is some modesty in a Tyrant, if he look not upon that wickedness which he commands. As for the Matrons and rich Widows, he broke their Feet with burning Pincers, pulled off their Breasts, and upon the Loins of Women with child laid bricks to force them to cast their birth. Besides those that did die at the will of the Tyrant, who would rather perish by another's wickedness then by their own, there were many others that scorned the ministery of such cursed hands to set at liberty their free Souls. Of which some burnt themselves, Wives and Children, together with their Wealth, that it might not [Page 225]be the prey of the Tyrant. Others embracing the Altars of their Gods, invoking their Justice and Revenge as the last comfort of dying men, did there let out their own blood. And others went and hanged themselves, that they might escape greater miseries. So that by these seve­rall waies there was an end put to that flourish­ing City. The whole face of the Town was ghastly even to the spoilers; but it was impossi­ble for any thing to check their Covetousness, who in the sad Ruines sought for the Wealth of the destroied owners: and to increase the gain of his Crimes, he sold the Children and Youth of either sex to the Italians for Slaves.

The City being thus depopulated, he appoints it as a refuge for such desperate and needy per­sons as should desert his Enemies, and come under his subjection. And lastly, he changes the name of the place from Aegesta to Dicae­opolis, i. e. the City of Justice. This he did ei­ther to profane the sacred name of Justice, and shew his Contempt of those eternal Laws of Right and Wrong, by attributing so glorious a title to so horrid a Crime; which is the last pleasure and delight of those that are prodigi­ously wicked. So Polybius relates of one Di­taearchus an Aetolian, who being made by Phi­lip of Macedonia General in an Expedition to break the League that was between the Islands called Cyclades and the Cities of Hellespont, (a design so apparently abominable, that the Un­dertaker[Page 226]could give no honest account of it) to shew how his soul delighted in the greatest Crimes, and to defie both the Gods and men, before he took shipping, he built two Altars, one to Impiety, and another to Injustice, and sacrificed to them as to his Deities. But the Hi­storian observes, that in those cruel tortures wherewith he ended his daies, he met with the provoked justice both of God and Man. And so also did Agathocles, for from a brand pluck'd out of the fire of this City was he and his whole Family consumed. Or herein the Syracusan in­tended no more then to practise the usual arts of Tyrants, who to divert the Hatred of the present, and the Infamy among future ages, are wont to put the specious names of Religion and Justice upon their most detestable actions. So Tacitus observes of Tiberius, that he would put upon the new Crimes which his Jealousie or Covetousness objected to others, those names which the Laws had appropriated to great Of­fences, and so gild his Cruelty and Rapine with the titles of Justice. And as we have seen our modern Tyrants style their attempts to ruine Piety the Propagation of Religion. Such Cheats indeed do for a time quiet the Vulgar spirits, who more stick upon names then things: yet when discovered, do so much the more increase their Hatred, as they upbraided and abused their Ignorance. And the nobler and more discern­ing minds think their miseries under Tyrants[Page 227]the greater, by the injuries that are done to Ver­tue and Goodness.

The next Tragedy was acted at Syracuse: for while Agathocles was busie in these Butche­ries, he receives the news of the death of his Sons. He grieved not so much for them, who he suspected were too near his rivals of Empire, but feared lest the kindred and friends of the Souldiers whom he had betraied in Africk would be excited by their Example, to attempt that upon the old Wolf, which they had execu­ted upon the Cubs. Therefore by a private messenger he commands his Brother Antander speedily to murder the Friends of all those that had followed him into Africk. Antander, who was of a base temper, and who accounted Cru­elty for Valour, did exactly perform the com­mand, and endeavoured to outvy his Brother in blood. For he gathered together for the slaughter, not onely those of their Kindred who were of an age fit to take revenge, but even their aged Parents, that were so near the grave as that they had long lost their Senses: and the sucking Children, that were not capable to know the difference betwixt Slavery and Free­dome, the Women also, that could not be fea­red to overthrow the Tyranny, yet if they had any relation to those whom they desired to grieve, were all driven to the Sea-shore. Where that promiscuous multitude, (that forced Pity from every eye but those of their Butchers,)[Page 228]while they did expect the stroke of death, did wash that place with their tears first, that after­wards was to be polluted with their blood; and by their cries and supplications drowned both the noise of the City and the Waves. Thus tortured with the expectation of Death, and the horrid spectacle of their murdered Friends who preceded in the execution, they had at last all their Throats cut, and their bodies were thrown into the Sea; which for a great space was coloured with blood, and the marks of the Cruelty were carried to far-distant Coasts. And, which was most inhumane, none dared to bewail the miserable, nor bury those carcas­ses which the waves refused to hide, but cast back on the shore; lest they should be thought of kin to the murdered, and be forced to the same destiny: so that the Commerce of humane Nature was broke, and Cruelty grew the high­er from Commiseration. Upon such actions as these does the security of Usurpers depend; so that those that have had any sense of Vertue or Humanity, do rather chuse to perish in an obscure Privacy, then aim at Power that must be obtained and preserved by so much Impiety, and so great Misery to mankind.

Syracuse and Aegesta being thus made sensi­ble of the Tyrant's return, who like a dismal Plague brought death and destruction where­soever he went; he goes to all the other Cities that were either under his Dominion, or in[Page 229]Confederacy with him, and by extorting Mo­ny from them, taking off the suspected, and re-inforcing his Garisons, he labours to keep them from a Revolt, which either his Wicked­ness or his contemptible Overthrow might ex­cite them unto. But yet he could not prevent the effect of misfortunes, which shakes the faith and cancels the obligations that are between wicked persons. For Pasiphilus, either by the inconstancy of his nature, or fearing his Ma­ster's ruine, and willing therefore to provide for his own safety, did revolt to Dinocrates; and, as a pledge of his faith, delivered up to him all those strong holds and forces which he comman­ded for the Tyrant. This did so strangely affect & in jealous Agathocles, and present to his fan­cy such terrible consequences, that mad with fear lest Pasiphilus might have more Complices, he thought of quitting the Tyranny, and there­fore presently sends to treat with Dinocrates, and propounds to him these conditions of Peace. That he would part with his Kingdome, and restore liberty to the Syracusans; That Dino­crates should return to his own City; That there should be granted to Agathocles for his security the two Garrisons of Thermae and Cephaloedium, with the territories thereunto belonging.

These Articles being divulged, afforded mat­ter of discourse to the Speculativi. Some ap­plauded the Moderation of the man, and attri­buted[Page 230]this prudence of temporizing with his for­tune to his long experience in various successes, which uses to render the great Actors in the world more wary, and suspicious of future E­vents; and the more prosperous they have been, the less will they permit to Chance. That al­though he might hope for a change of his pre­sent low condition, yet he was also to fear a greater fall. On the other side, some required his Constancy, and wondered at his change from himself; that whereas in former Perils he seemed alwaies of a present courage and tenaci­ous of hope, yet now he should be so transpor­ted with fear, that he did not dare to hazard one encounter for that which he had by such difficult Crimes got, and hitherto preserved. And, which was most strange, that he should despise his own advantages, being still Master of Syracuse and many other strong holds, stored with no small Treasure, furnished with a force that was not contemptible in Number, but yet more considerable in Experience and the arts of War. They therefore concluded that he was never endued with true Valour, and that his former resolutions were either but the insolen­cies of a present fortune, or the eager hopes of a future; which were but spurious signs, not genuine effects of a brave Generosity. And as good men prevail by Vertue, so many base persons do sometimes by their Vices. Another sort judged that all these Overtures of Peace[Page 231]were but to conceal more secret practices in his Enemies Army; that Dinocrates had hitherto either basely, or falsely, by various delaies, be­traied the seasons of war to his adversaries, and that this Treaty was but to continue him in that negligence. That the Tyrant knew well e­nough how dangerous it was for a private per­son to have once born the name of a King, and that such when they part with their power, do abjure their safety: for if not the publick Ha­tred, yet private Revenge forbids Security. The memory of Dionysius was yet fresh; who when he had lost Syracuse, and was besieged in his own Works, and did so despond that he offe­red to redeem his life with a voluntary Exile out of Sicily, was yet encouraged to a pertinacy by his friend Eloris, who told him that Tyran­ny was a specious Epitaph; and by his Father in law Megacles, who dictated this Apo­phthegm, that a Tyrant should rather be drawn by the heels out of his Government, then vo­luntarily to recede from it. Which so con­firmed that Tyrant, who was in greater distress then the present, that he retained his power, and weathered out the Storm that threatned his shipwreck. That sure this wily Monster was as far from intending what he did offer, as ever his unfaithful Soul used to keep a distance from his Tongue.

The event gave some credit to this last conje­cture, for it happened that the Treaty came to[Page 232]no effect. For whether Agathocles did seri­ously intend it or no, yet Dinocrates's Ambi­tion made it frustrate. Peace cannot please those whose desires are immoderate or corrupt: and the desire of Greatness where it is, extinguishes all other Affections. Dinocrates was no less desirous to be a Monarch then Agathocles had been, and was as little pleased that the Demo­cracy should be restored at Syracuse, where none that were Great could ever be safe. His present command of twenty thousand foot and three thousand horse, together with the disposal of all the Cities that were of the League, of which he was called the General, but in truth was little less then the Lord, was not to be parted with for the privacy of Peace, which equally obscures the brave and base, and makes no dif­ference betwixt noble and ignoble Spirits. Sy­racuse was indeed his native City, but she would be no better then his Enemy, that would reduce him to the equality of a Private person, make him obnoxious to the harangues of unquiet Demagogues and the censures of the giddy Rabble. Upon these considerations he was as untoward to admit of Peace as he had been negligent in prosecuting the War, and there­fore found out many difficulties in the Treaty. Sometimes he denied the Garisons upon jea­lousie of his future pretensions: sometimes he urged that he should for ever depart from Sicily: and another time he required his Chil­dren[Page 233]for hostages. Agathocles, though he per­ceived the drift of the man, and that he should prevail nothing by this Treaty, but make them more eager in requiring what they knew he would deny, did yet continue his practice, that by his Commissioners he might debauch the Army, buy off the faith of some, raise diffi­dence of their General in others, and stir up Seditions and Factions against him in the seve­ral Cities. He insinuates by his agents, that Dinocrates did not faithfully intend the liberty of Sicily, but sought to have that power in himself which he envied and fought against in another; that he was the great obstruction of the publick Peace and Happiness of every City, by refusing such Articles which a Conquerour would not have denied to the vanquished, and so he neglected the safety of all those Cities whose servant he was.

Whiles he laies these grounds for Victory there, he concludes a Peace with the Carthagi­nians, and delivers up all their Forts and Cities which he had seized upon in Sicily for the summe of three hundred talents and two hundred thou­sand measures of corn. By this composition he was at liberty to employ all his thoughts & for­ces against the Free League, with whom he was resolved to try what his secret arts had done, and offer them a set Battel in the Field, although he had no more then five thousand foot and eight hundred horse, which he did not so much[Page 234]trust to, as he did unto his own practices, and the Vices of the Enemy. The Confederates were well pleased with the Tyrant's confidence, who seemed to offer up his small number to the swords of twenty five thousand foot and three thousand horse, which was their strength. Therefore both parties did willingly engage at a place called Gorgium. The Fight was stoutly maintained on both sides for some time, and the Victory doubtful, whether it should fall where was the greatest Number, or the bravest Courage: but at length the practices of the Ty­rant began to work, for two thousand of Di­nocrates's Army, that were corrupted by the Treaty, in the very heat of the Battel went over to Agathocles's side. Which did both raise the hopes and courage of his party, and so ter­rifie the other with this unexpected Perfidious­ness, that every one doubting whether his next comerade were a friend or foe, they trusted more in their flight then in their companions, and were immediately routed. Agathocles would not pursue his flying Enemies, but by a seeming humanity to spare his deceived Country­men, he sounds a retreat from the slaughter. So that all the horse were gotten safe to Ambicus, many of the foot by the benefit of the approa­ching night escaped quite away; but the great­est part of them that were left in a body toge­ther, had possessed themselves of an hill, which they had fortified for their defence.

[Page 235]To these the Tyrant offers hopes of Pardon and Peace, lest despair might kindle them to a dangerous obstinacy, Necessity many times for­cing men to miraculous acts: therefore by some messengers he desires them to come to a Trea­ty. Which as before he had entertained with them onely out of a desire of Peace, so now he had no other motives, but by that means to put an end to the miseries of his Country. That although his condition were now better then it was then; yet he knew, how it became not just persons and generous spirits to change their honest desires with success. He had never thought any cause of War could be just against the Sicilians, and that therefore he chose rather to maintain their common interest, and to un­dergoe so many dangers for them in Africk, to break the Punick yoke; which he had done, had not some that envied the publick Happi­ness of the Island, distracted him by assault­ing his estate here, while he was faithfully serving them there. That now if they were weary of a tedious and fruitless War, and were desirous to return to the comforts of Peace, and the pleasures of their own homes, laying down their arms, they should find a free and safe passage. But if they preferred the hatred of him to all the blessings of Quiet, and would still retain their hostile affections together with their weapons, they must make their way with the sword; and he would extinguish their[Page 236]hate of him with their own blood: For they had found (by a sadder experience then he could have wished) that there was no hope of success against him, who with so small an handful of men, through the assistance of the Gods, (without whose favour there could be no prosperity,) had overthrown their mighty Army. The poor wretches, though they knew that not any word was true, and had many testimonies that not any Promise he would make, he did intend to keep, yet because they were hopeless of Victory, desirous of Peace, and contented with Safety, were easily delu­ded by their hopes and fears to try once more his faith, and accept what he offered before they desired, a readiness which might justly have moved their suspicion. For Tyrants are never forward to doe an act that becomes a ver­tuous person, but they intend some horrid Impie­ty which would move blushes in a Fury. The credulous Souldiers accepting his Oath for a safe convoy, left their works and arms upon the Hill, and came down to require the perfor­mance. When they had thus parted with all their means of safety, the Tyrant incompasses them about (being to the number of seven thou­sand, others say but four thousand) with his own Souldiers all armed. Then the miserable men perceived themselves cheated to their Ru­ine; when they saw that they were hemm'd in by an Enemy insolent with Victory, and ter­rible [Page 237]with their Arms, and they themselves na­ked, without any instrument either for revenge or defence, they concluded themselves devoted to destruction. Therefore falling upon one a­nother's necks, and shaking one another by the hand, they gave and took the last salutes, each one desiring his Friend and neighbour not to seek a different fortune in a common cause. So invoking Heaven and the injured Gods to revenge their blood, they were in that posture all killed by the command of the perjured Ty­rant.

Thus was the Religion of an Oath used by Agathocles, and constantly practised by all U­surpers, onely to deceive men whom they fear, should their intentions be open, while they contemn that Deity which they invoke and at­test. So that Perjury is the evidence of base spirits and wicked souls, and never falls upon those that fear no enemy, or reverence any God. Regulus shall be for ever memorable, as long as Piety or Vertue are in the world, that would not break his oath, though made to such ene­mies who he knew would punish those Ver­tues which they should have admired, and would reward his reverence of Heaven with such tor­tures as would have been cruel to beasts. And Rome was thought worthy of her Greatness, while she bred up her Citizens in honest arts, and would not suffer the Religion of an Oath to be profaned by any unworthy collusion. For[Page 238]as she needed not such arts of falseness for Em­prie, so would she not permit them to her Citi­zens for Safety. But they justly merit the eternal hatred of mankind, who undermine so­ciety and all humane commerce by violating the sacred obligation of an Oath, either to at­tain at power, or to ruine an Enemy that can­not be overcome by honest courses.

This great Army being onely by the frauds of the Tyrant thus broken and defeated, some few of the Exiles he received to mercy; but they were such as he could not suspect for perillous persons, whom their fears and not courage had herded among the other champions of Liberty, that would be contented only with Life, though it were under Slavery. And to such Tyrants easily permit the enjoyment of their misery. For their safety is founded on the baseness of their vassals; and they are alwaies more in fear of those that are brave and noble, though on their side, then of those that are against them. Onely the great wonder among the Greeks was, that Agatho­cles did admit Dinocrates to a composition, and kept that faith with him which he did with none else: and whereas he was so jealous of all others whom he had wronged, or that had opposed him, that he never permitted them to live, if he had power to put them to death; yet after so long an hostility he admitted Dinocra­tes to places of trust about him, and committed to him the command of some of his forces. And[Page 239]their faith (if the correspondence that is between faithless persons deserve that name) was pre­served inviolable by either to their death. Some thought that the favours and aversions of Prin­ces happened to men, as all other things, by the fate and fortune of their birth. Others conceived that the conformity of their humours, being both ambitious and faithless, had some­thing in their Souls congenial, which might form a friendship, when their interests were not divided. Therefore the Tyrant had dis­missed him safe at the Massacre at Syracuse, and now received him again into his bosome at the Overthrow at Gorgium. For then their Inte­rests did conspire. Dinocrates, that was hated for refusing the Peace when it was offered in the Treaty, and suspected by all Cities of the Free League for betraying their forces in the last Fight, could not hope for security any where but in the Tyrant's protection: And Agathocles doubted not to make use of that man's Courage and Service, whom hatred and suspicions had weakned and disgraced so far as never to be trusted with any designs against him: And using him in all odious enterprizes, he should thereby derive the publick execrations from himself. Dinocrates being thus trusted, because he could hope for no advantage in the deceiving of it, was very industrious to reduce to his new Master's obedience all those places whom the desire of Liberty had yet animated to an en­mity.[Page 240]And first he seizes upon Gela, and there­in takes Pasiphilus, that had revolted to him. A person neither constant in his Faith, nor stout in his Perfidiousness. With his blood Dinocrates assures Agathocles of his unfeign­ed obedience, and comforts the oppressed Sici­lians, when they saw one instrument of Slave­ry had met with his deserts. Afterwards he causes all the Forts and Garisons that had been formerly in his power to be surrendred to the Tyrant's command, and within the space of two years brought under his yoke all the Cities that were disaffected to him.

In the mean while the Tyrant, not to forbear Villany himself, while his Agents were busie in Sicily, looks about for other places to act some mischief in. And considering that the Island of Lipara through a long Peace was rich and weak, and so could not resist his enterprizes, and yet afford him spoils; he sails thither with his Navy, and surprizing them, requires fifty talents of Silver as the price of their Safety. Although they had provoked him by no Inju­ry, nor owed him any Subjection, yet it was enough that they were not able to resist his In­justice, and had something to invite his Cove­tousness. The Islanders paid him as much mo­ny as they had in their private or publick Ex­chequers, and desired a day of paiment for the rest. For although there was enough Treasure in their Temples, that was consecrated to their [Page 241]Gods Aeolus and Vulcan, as would satisfie the Tyrant's demands; yet had they never been guilty of such a Sacrilege, and therefore would not now pollute their private fortunes, by using the consecrated Mony to purchase their Safety, the publick Religion prevailing over their pri­vate Interests. The Tyrant that had no Ju­stice in demanding any, would have no Reli­gion to spare so much, and therefore forced a­way from them and their Gods all the dedicated Treasure that was in their Temples, and carry­ing it aboard, spread his sails for Syracuse. But being overtaken by a great Tempest, he lost e­leven of his Ships, which were those that car­ried the spoils of Sacrilege. The Lypareans were a little comforted that their God Aeolus, which they imagined was the Deity of the Winds, had (as they thought) revenged his own injuries, and suffered not the Syracusan Thief to enjoy the rewards of his Crimes. The Greeks also observed that Vulcan their God of Fire took his part of revenge in the death of the Monster when he was burnt alive.

So odious were alwaies Sacrilegious persons even to those that knew not the true God, that all men did curiously observe and exceedingly rejoice at the Vengeance of Heaven upon such detestable Malefactors, which very often seized on them in the sight of men. The true God seemed careful to preserve Religion among men, by avenging the injuries that ware done even[Page 242]to false Gods by those that worshipped them as true. This he often did in pity to the deceived world. For without Religion Communities would degenerate into bands of Thieves and herds of beasts, each one preying upon another, and keeping no more faith then necessity could inforce. That Religion may affect the minds of men, and draw them to an admiring obe­dience and awful reverence of its dictates, it must have that Majesty and Splendour which may work even upon the Carnal part of man, (which is most predominant in the multitude.) The lustre that is most likely to have influence on such, is that wch is derived from the affluence & greatness of those things the world accounts desirable. Therefore the riches of Consecrations & Anathema's have been thought attractive ex­pedients to this purpose; because they are the testimonies of the munificence of Heaven to its Worshippers, who in gratitude have by these returns acknowledged the fountain of all their Wealth and Happiness. So likewise do such oblations commend the pious Examples and Religious actions of past Ages to Posterity, and provoke them to an imitation. The purity of Religion, though it most respects the Rational part, and seats its Throne in the more Intelle­ctual powers, yet doth not disdain the use of such attractives for the inferiour Affections, re­quiring not onely the Heart, but the Flesh al­so, to praise the Living God. And although [Page 243]it expects exact Obedience onely from the purer Spirits, yet it would prevent the contempt of more polluted souls: like wise Law-givers, who frame not their prescriptions for the publick Safety with respect onely to the Virtuosi, but temper them so as they may allure and invite the observance of the dregs of the people. So great is the interest of Religion in the pre­servation of its dedications, that few or none did ever bare-facedly own this Crime, but endea­voured to elude the peoples zeal, and divert the envy of the sin by some more specious pre­text to Piety. That sacrilegious Tyrant who took away his Jupiter's Golden Coat, and gave him a woollen, did scoffingly pretend the change was for the God's advantage, because the Gold was too heavy for him in the Summer, and the Wool was more warm for the Winter: and those that imitate him want not their pretexts of a more refined knowledge of a Deity; that Heaven hath no need of our Treasure, and is more delighted with a Spiritual Worship. But yet we shall find none guilty of Sacrilege that are not infamous with other Crimes: who when they have exhausted their own Revenues in the satisfaction of their Lusts, invade the treasures of Religion to supply their wants; or be­ing exceeding covetous, make no difference betwixt things Civil and Divine, and when they have oppressed men with Extortions, provoke Heaven with Expilations; which sooner or la­ter [Page 244]takes Vengeance on their Injustice, and in their Ruine recovers the Honour of Religion.

Agathocles having lost the Spoils of his im­pious Voiage, could not rest till he had acted some more prosperous Wickedness. All his thoughts being at present frighted with the sight of the coasts of Africk, he now turns his de­signs to the other shore, and laies his projects for the disturbance of Italy. Which being pub­lickly known, the smaller and maritime Cities of that coast that lay most obnoxious to his Invasion and Power sent Ambassadours to treat a Confederacy with him, that by a pre­sent Friendship they might prevent a future Subjection. The Tyrant receives the Messen­gers with all his usual false Caresses, puts them in hope of Peace, and entertains them with seve­ral diversions, that they might not have leisure to observe his Preparations. Which when they were finished, he invires them to a Supper, and appoints them the next day for Audience. But he that night took shipping, and so transported his Army into Italy, while the Cities were al­together unprepared for a Resistance, because they had received no intelligence from their A­gents. The first that were assai [...]ed were the Brutii, who lost one of their Cities called Ae­thas by the sudden Invasion of the Tyrant; but not discouraged therewith, they with a great power assault him by night, and killing four thousand of his men, force him back to Syracuse.

[Page 245]Not succeeding in his open Force, he tries more close and impious Cheats; for having a design upon the Crotoniates, that he might make them secure, he sends a Messenger to Menedemus, that then was chief Commander there, and had been his ancient Host, to ac­quaint him that he had an intent to accompany his Daughter Lanassa, whom he had married to Pyrrhus King of Epire, as far as Italy on her way. And therefore desires him not to be suspicious of the Navy which he had provi­ded for the safety and honour of the Bride. And while he intended this soft business of Love, he desired that he might not be troubled by them with any attempts of War. They easily believed him, who did desire it should not be otherwise; and by this security they found themselves altogether unprovided for a Defence, when they saw him lay siege to their City: And after he had made a small battery upon their walls, fearing lest a stout and vain opposition might kindle him to a greater Cru­elty, they opened their Gates unto him. Where, as soon as he was entred, he uses the utmost Violence, plundering the whole City, and killing all that were able to bear arms, he sold all the rest for Slaves. Having destroied this flourishing City, he enters into a Confe­deracy with the smaller Towns that were upon those coasts, and which maintained themselves by Piracy, to join with them part of his Ships,[Page 246]and to have his share proportionable in the prizes. Thus he that affected to be a Prince turned Thief, his nature recoiling to the sins of his private condition, when his outward Dignity required nobler practices; as to sup­press the common Enemies, as Pirats are, and to maintain the Commerce of Nations. But a Tyrant doth nothing abhorrent from himself, when he plaies a private Thief that was be­fore a publick, and maintains but his former enmity to the nature of Man and Nations. By his publick and private Robberies having re­cruited himself, he intends a revenge on the Brutii for the late loss he received from them: therefore he invades them again with thirty thousand foot and three thousand horse, and keeps a strong Navy riding upon their Coast. A Tempest broke and scattered his Navy: but his Land-forces had some success for a time, so that he forced the Brutii to articles of Submis­sion; To give six hundred hostages, and to re­ceive his Garrisons into their Cities. But the Tyrant no sooner left the Continent, and departed for Sicily, but they set upon the Ga­risons, kill'd all his Souldiers, and delivered their Hostages, and so shook off his yoke of Slavery, which he was never able to lay upon them again.

Agathocles finding such variety in his single fortune, which sometimes was too liberal, and[Page 247]at other times recall'd all her favours by some great loss, like a tempestuous Sea, when one wave snatches that from the shore, which a former had brought to it; he was resolved to try what he could doe in conjunction with some po­tent Ally, whose fortune was more steady. And therefore he sends his Son the younger Agatho­cles to Demetrius then King of Macedonia, to make a League and Confederacy with him. Demetrius, who was not unacquainted of the falshoods of the Syracusan, and Fame had not yet suffered a silence of the murdered Ophel­las, could not expect any assurance from such a Confederate; who having been so often un­faithful, could not without a Miracle be true to any: yet was notwithstanding willing to follow the Tyrant in his own paths, and ruine him by his own arts. A retaliation so constant to Wickedness, that scarce any one perishes but by the waies he sinn'd. He therefore entertains the young Tyrant with great blandishments, adorns him with the Royal Purple, and sends him home loaded with magnificent promises and great presents, and with him Oxythemis a dexterous Confident of his own; in colour to accommodate the difficulties that might emerge in the Treaty, to project a form of accord, and to keep a good correspondence betwixt his Ma­ster and the Tyrant; but in truth to discover the intrigues of the Syracusan counsels, and to be a Spy upon the affairs of Sicily, to disco­ver [Page 248]the easiest way of invading it, and to pra­ctise the Tyrant to some destructive enterpri­zes. Oxythemis had an handsome reception, and great credit with Agathocles, whose hu­mours and inclinations he soon found, and dexterously moved him to renew his attempts against Carthage, and follow his pretensions in Africk. This he eagerly prosecuted, that so the Tyrant leaving Sicily, his Master with more ease might attack it. This seemed to Agathocles as the counsel of his Fortune; for he was now free from any Troubles in the Island. Syracuse by an open and continued Trade, and some years of Peace, had reco­vered so much Wealth as defaced all the marks of the former War. He was now strength­ned with the new alliance of a powerful Neighbour, whose assistances Oxythemis after the Greek manner did augment and enlarge. He therefore embraced the design, and made preparations answerable unto it. He had pro­vided two hundred Vessels equipped with all necessary furniture for the transporting of his Forces, and had begun Hostility by interce­pting the Carthaginian Ships that carried pro­visions of Corn and other necessaries from Si­cily and Sardinia to Africk. But in the very beginnings of his design that Vengeance of Heaven which had been long due unto him did at last take hold of him, and blasted his counsels with his Ruine, which was thus effe­cted.

[Page 249]The Tyrant being now old, and doubting the chances of War, and the varieties of For­tune, which he had so often experienced, would provide for the Succession in his ill-gotten do­minion before he departed from Sicily. Those whom propinquity of Blood, the affe­ctions of the Tyrant, and the Vulgar report marked out for the Honour, were the youn­ger Agathocles, and Archagathus the Son of that Archagathus that was betraied by his Fa­ther, and slain by the Souldiers in Africk. Both these had great hopes and strong expe­ctations to be the heirs of the Empire. The first built his upon the indulgent Affections of the old Tyrant, which he had gained by a speci­ous observance, & continual presence, accompa­nied with a quiet industry, in all that was commanded, though he were unfit for War, and would wear out daies of action with words of Obedience. Besides, his late Embassie and magnificent reception in Greece had made him more splendid, though they were but the arts of the Enemy, not the effects of his Merits. And it is not to be doubted but that Oxythemis favoured his choice, whom he saw least able to hinder his Projects. On the other side Ar­chagathus founded his pretensions to the Suc­cession because he was General of the Forces, and was now with them about Aetna; he had been in several Expeditions, in which by his boldness and generous meen he had got the[Page 250]esteem of valiant, and the affections of the Souldiery. So that the old Tyrant seemed to hold but a precarious Empire of him, which he could take away at his pleasure. But the obsequiousness of the younger Agathocles did over-balance all these Merits in the judgement of his Father. Therefore when Archagathus was abroad with the Army, the Tyrant com­mends his Son Agathocles to the obedience of the Syracusans, as the future hopes of all their Peace and Safety, and whom he had de­signed for his Throne. And that he might have the like reverence from the Army, he sends him with a Letter to Archagathus, comman­ding him to deliver up the charge of the For­ces into the hands of his Uncle.

Archagathus seeing his hopes deluded, and that all his glorious hazards were fruitless, when the rewards of danger were conferred on him that was never near them; conceives an inexpiable hatred both against his Grand­father and Rival, and resolves to quench it with the blood of both. To this end he sends presently a Messenger to Maenon his Correspon­dent at Court, and with whom he had often treated of dangerous Secrets, and had pre­pared him for any design he should advise him unto, and desires him to poison the Old Tyrant, and he himself would contrive the death of the Younger. This Maenon was a native of[Page 251] Aegesta, where Agathocles had acted those incredible Cruelties, and in the Ruine of the City was taken with the other youth that were appointed to be sold for Slaves. But the come­liness of his Person had preferred him to the Tyrant's own Lust, who used him as a Barda­cio. This he took patiently, and seemed to be well pleased with his emploiment; and to gain the more Credit with the Tyrant and ad­vantage of doing mischief, did glory that he was admitted into the number of his Prince's most beloved Confidents, and professed that the present Benefits had cancell'd the old Injuries. But yet his soul did inwardly burn with a desire of revenge, both for the abuse of his Body, and the destruction of his City, and therefore was watchful and studious of a fit opportunity to accomplish it. Archagathus was not ignorant of his Discontents, and had found him a fit engine for such attempts as his defeated hopes did stand in need of. For to enterprize upon a Tyrant by a secret Con­spiracy, none are more proper instruments then such as have a charge about their Per­sons; because they cannot be easily ruined but by those whom they most trust, and none are fitter to be wrought to this then such as have been abused by their Masters in their bodies. And therefore Aristotle saith, that many of those hateful Beasts have been dis­patch'd out of the world by their forced Pa­thicks. [Page 252]Besides, he that is to perform it must be a person of a firm spirit, made so either by Nature or Passion, and resolved either for Death or Revenge. Maenon had all these re­quisites, and therefore receiving the summons, prepares for his work, and acts it about the same time that his Correspondent had finish'd his.

For Archagathus not shewing any signs of Discontent, but professing a ready submission to the Command of his Old, and the pleasures of his New King, invites his Uncle to a Sacri­fice, (wherein he used his Grandfather's me­thod, of making Religion the preface to Vil­lany) in an Island somewhat distant from the quarters of the Army, and there making him drunk he cuts his throat, and casts his dead bo­dy into the Sea. As if he would appease it for the pollutions of the Old Tyrant, who had often defiled it with the carcasses of murdered innocents. But the waves cast it back to the shore, and it being known to the Inhabitants, was taken up and conveyed to Syracuse, there to vex the eyes and soul of his inhumane Fa­ther, who by this time also felt the approaches of death. For Agathocles being accustomed to pick his teeth after Supper, rising from ta­ble called for his Pick-tooth, which Maenon, whose office it was to provide it, had anointed with a most mortal poison. The Tyrant using[Page 253]it with a great deal of eagerness, had soon rubbed all his gummes with it, and immediately felt those exceeding pains which may be easily imagined were in parts of so tender a sense when infected with poison: while Maenon esca­ped, and got safe to Archagathus.

The Tyrant's Disease every day increased, and his Body suffering more bitter pangs then ever his most sagacious Cruelty could have in­vented for his injured Vassals, his Soul also had its share of torment in the news and sight of the slain body of his beloved Son. Heaven as it were providing tortures for every Faculty and Passion. His Grief was raised in consi­dering the great loss of him in whom he thought to have established his Empire, perpetuated his Name, and who, he conceived, would have been a support to the weaker branches of his Family, that now must all perish and be expo­sed to Ruine. His Indignation swell'd high at the too near imitation of his own Wicked­ness, and that his Grandchild should revenge the mischiefs he had done to his accursed Ge­neration: That all the rewards of his Perjury and Blood, and the fruits of all his Cares and Toils should be snatch'd away from him in a moment, and while he lived to see and hear it. To be taken off also in the midst of those great Designs which he had projected, and die now, though not at the command, yet [Page 254]at the pleasure and desire of all his Enemies, filled him with more Fury then could be ex­pressed. And to all these we may add those horrid tortures which the sage and vertuous Greeks affirmed do arise in every Tyrant's breast, from the memory of their past Crimes, when every Vice makes an incurable and in­sufferable wound, not to be healed or asswa­ged with the softest Pleasures; when the Tri­bunals that remain after this life, though to a constant Felicity they appear but like the vani­ties of a troublesome Dream, yet in the impe­tuous approach of Death are dressed and ar­med with real Terrours. We cannot but judge this Tyrant and all such as imitate him have misery enough in their Ends, to make their ignominious Honours and uncertain Great­ness to be unenvied by the most impotent spi­rits.

Wracked thus in Soul and Body, which were both unequal to such cruel Pangs, and could not last long under the execution, the poisonous humour having invaded every nerve and member, and made an intestine war be­tween life and death; his Mind also torn a pieces with various Lusts and Passions, agree­ing neither with it self nor with the Body, but in common Miseries, and either's pains increa­sed with the other's tortures: he was perplexed with another care, how to secure his two youn­gest [Page 255]Children with their Mother Theagena; a Woman that was venerable no less for her Vertues then for her Beauty, had no other Crime but that she was his Wife, and yet made her self more eminent by this his Fortune. For he well knew that one Wickedness was to be se­cured by another; and that he which had con­spired the death of the Father, would not suf­fer the Children to grow up to a revenge, nor permit the Wife with her tears to keep alive the hatred of her Husbands murderer, but either divert her Grief with her Dishonour, or o­verwhelm it with her Blood. He therefore desires her to secure her self and the common pledges of their love in Aegypt, from whence he had married her, and to take with her all his Riches, the Jewels and ornaments of his for­mer Greatness, and the spoils of oppressed and injured Nations, to be their subsistence in an adverse Fortune, and to leave the prey of his Kingdome as poor as he could to his violent Successour. That the Tyrant might want no vexation, even the Piety of his Wife was a­nother affliction to him, who denied to obey such ungrateful commands, and desired that She might not be divorced from him till death had sealed the bill, that her departure might not be as infamous as was the Parricide of another; for she should seem no less in­humane in leaving her miserable Husband, then he was in murdering his Grandfather. [Page 256]She could not forget the laws of wedlock, though He had rased out the dictates of Na­ture; for She had contracted as well with his adverse as prosperous fortunes. Nor would she be unwilling to perform her last office, of receiving the expiring groans of her dying Husband, and taking care for his honoura­ble Exequies, though she lived no longer to mourn for him, and were buried in the same grave with him. This undeserved Piety, and the tears of his Children, increased the distracting sorrows of him that was forced from longer enjoying so rare an example of Love, and could not express any gratitude for it, but bequeath Misery to Her and her's. This drew an abundance of unfeigned tears to re­pay her last kisses. And when his Children bewailed their tortured Father, he mourns over their unkind Destinies, who being educated in the supremest fortune, were now to be expo­sed to the extremest Dangers. But when for a long time all sought comforts from one ano­ther, and none could give, Necessity separated them, and the Tyrant was left a miserable spectacle to every eye, but to such as had been witnesses of his own Cruelty.

After they were gone, and with them all the comforts of his Life, he sought for some in his Death by revenge. For though all things were consumed in him, yet his Cruelty strived[Page 257]to be immortal. Therefore calling an Assem­bly of the people, his bloody Soul belched forth through his perjured mouth (where almost all the instruments of Speech were cor­rupted by the Poison) some half-formed words of Cruelty and Revenge. Inveighing against the Impiety of Archagathus, he desired the Syracusans not to let such a cursed Example, which might ruine both private Families and Commonwealths, to pass unpunished; and that they might doe this, he restores to them their Liberty, and declares them a free State. A liberality that Tyrants are never guilty of, but when they cannot keep the power in them­selves. Nor did he intend it as a Benefit, but to engage them in Wars; which with all the consequents should force them to those sor­rows after his Death which he knew they would not have for it; and that a continued presence of Miseries might make those seem lighter which were past, and the hatred of a living Enemy might alleviate the infamy of a deceased Oppressor. Besides, the habits of Cruelty contracted by Tyrants do make them so unsatiable of blood, and so delighted in publick Calamities, that as by them their Lives and Greatness were maintained, so would they have their Deaths comforted. He that had made the whole Roman Empire the Stage of his Cruelty, desired that the world might fall[Page 258]together with him. Herod, that had polluted all his Kingdome with Massacres, to temper the people's joy at his Death, would have had some hundreds of the most eminent Jews to be slain at his expiring, that so every Family might have something to be wail, and shed tears at his decease. So Agathocles (for all Ty­rants live and die with the like affections) would have intailed Calamities to the miserable Syracusans.

The Tyrant's Tortures still increasing, and Vengeance pursuing him with so slow a pace, as if it had intended to return his own arts of Cruelty upon himself, he lived for some time Cruelty upon himself, and a loathed burden to all that were about him: and having no Friend to provide for the decency of his de­parture, or by some care to alleviate his Pains, when the tumours of the poisonous humour had hindred his Voice, so that neither his Com­plaints nor Threatnings could be understood, Oxythemis the Macedonian spy, and the Syra­cusan's false Friend, together with his tired Attendants, laid him before he was dead up­on his funeral Pile, and burnt him alive. As soon as he was dead, the Syracusans pulled down and broke all his Statues; seized upon his Goods and sold them, and then did by proclamation declare themselves a free People,[Page 259]and return to their Democratical Government. Thus after he had enslaved his own City twenty eight years, in the seventy second year of his age he came to such a miserable end as his hateful Crimes and Impieties deserved; and not onely the Revenge of Men, but the Justice of Heaven did appear in his Destru­ction.

The lineaments and proportion of his Body are not recorded by Historians, onely by the sins of his youth it appears that it was a mo­ving object of the Lusts of others, and that it was too fair a fabrick for so wicked a Soul. His actions give us the fullest character of the temper of his Mind. He was quick and ap­prehensive of every expedient for his enter­prizes, industrious and bold in the execution; fitted for Glory, if he had minded Vertue; powerful to perswade, but without Faith in his Promises, or Truth in his Asseverations; adapted to reconcile the Affections of men to himself, but not careful to preserve their Love or continue their Friendship any longer then he had an opportunity to injure those that em­braced him; insatiably greedy of Greatness, but a despiser of an honest F [...]e; of such easie and ductile Passions, that he could tem­per and compose them according to the neces­sities of his Designs, and put on whatsoever[Page 260]shape his present Interest required. He was of an obstinate silence to conceal his own Pro­jects, but perspicacious of the counsels of his Enemies. He was not nice of any Sin, nor fearful of any Ignominy. With all the me­thods to Tyranny he was acquainted; and wanted not, in an unquiet City, fortunate opportunities of attaining Power. But his Crimes were greater then his Power, and more prodigious then his Fortune: so that he see­med to be born for the destruction of men and ruine of Cities. For from the time that he be­gan to appear as considerable in the World, that Age and the Scene whereon he acted was horrid with various Miseries, terrible, and wast­ed by many Battels, rent in pieces with diverse Factions, and even in Peace was full of Cru­elty. Desarts were filled with banish'd per­sons, the Sea infected with blood, and the Rocks polluted with the putrifying carcasses of slaugh­tered Innocents: the Cities of Sicily, Africk and Italy defiled with the frequent Murders of their own Citizens, deformed by many Ra­pines and Spoils, and some of them buried in their own Ashes. Nor was his barbarous rage satisfied with the vexations and tortures of men in their Bodies and Fortunes; but being insa­tiable with the Miseries of Mankind, he en­deavoured to deprive them of the comforts of Religion; by murdering the miserable suppli­ants[Page 261]at the Altars of their Gods, rasing down their Temples, and sacrilegiously despoiling the Sacred treasures of the testimonies of the Piety of former Ages, he discouraged the fu­ture from the worship of their God. He did extirpate all sense of Vertue, by imputing it for a capital Crime; and the glorious acquisi­tion of the People's love by honest arts and generous actions was esteemed by him as a mark for Ruine. Treachery and Perfidious­ness were the onely qualities he loved as Vertues in himself, and rewarded in others. He attempted the extinguishing of all Natu­ral affection: To bewail the unhappiness of a tortured Friend was accounted as a design of Revenge and practice of Revolt from the un­just commander. Therefore the tears of pity were mingled with the blood of the compas­sionate; the Children were murdered that the Father might not perish by a single death. He exposed the Son to the arrow of the Father, and offered the Brother to the Brother's sword.

As his life was spent in these hateful Crimes, so was it ended in horrid tortures, and he could not be said to Die, but to be driven out of the world, and forced from among the Li­ving, after he had lived to see his cursed Issue part miserably perish'd, and part exposed to a[Page 262]certain destruction. Two of his Sons he him­self had betraied to the fury of an injured & de­serted Army. His third Son was murdered when he had proposed him to Empire, and his slaugh­tered carcass brought to increase the torments of his Soul. His younger Children, who had lived no longer then to be made sensible of the height from which they had fallen, were forced with their Mother to the dangers of Exile, and to perish in an obscure fortune. Archagathus his grandchild fell, not long af­ter him, by the same Instrument which he had sollicited to his destruction. For Maenon proud with the success of having destroied the Old Tyrant, resolved to kill the Young one also: therefore applying himself to the usual arts and waies of alluring the multitude, which are seldome good, he got such a power in the Army, that he slew Archagathus, assumed his Command, and would have imposed him­self as a Prince upon the People. But the Syracusans, that had under the former Tyrant felt the extremest bondage, and since his death tasted the sweetness of Liberty, were tenaci­ous of it, and hoped to maintain it. They therefore sent out their Praetor Nicetas with an Army to oppose Maenon. Who doubting his own Forces were too weak for those of the People, followed the practices of his Cor­ruptor, and called the Carthaginians to his assis­tance:[Page 263]and so engaged the Syracusans in a series of Wars, till Hiero did become their Prince, who in his private fortune wanted no requisite of a King but a Kingdome, and un­der him they found the benefits of a lawful Government, and that Liberty is best secured under a Just Prince.

Fallitur, egregio quisquis sub Principe credit
Servitium: Nunquam Libertas gratior extat
Quam sub Rege pio—

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