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POLITICAL CHANGES.                        577

one place, offers ^resistance and instantly awakens sympa-
thy and calls for aid jn many otiiers_ Sometimes these sud-
den movements ^spread with such electric energy that they
seem like material phenomena. The Sicilian vespers afford
a fine illustration of this. The cause of insurrection lay in
the atrocious insolence and oppression of the southern Ital-
ians by the French Ululcr Charles of Anjou. Already, by
the efforts of one man, John of Procida, the island had been
prepared for a revolt. 13 ut the immediate cause lay in this,
that the French officials made use of the law against wearing
concealed weapons, to examine ladies on their way towards
a. church outside of Palermo, in a most revolting manner.
The French were cut down by the Sicilian men who accom-
panied ^the dames. Instantly the cry " Down with the
French " flew to the city and over the island ; everywhere
the French were attacked ; the garrison of Messina was mur-
dered by the people. lt is not prob;ihle that the conspiracy
had anything whatever to do with this. The conspiracy of
John of Procida, and the scene at the vespers of the Easter
day, point to one and the same cause. In fact, the outbreak
at Palermo might have frustrated the revolt itself. Aristotle
remarks (vm., or v., 3,^ ^ that « dvil strifcs arise not con.
cermng small things, bnt out of small ^j^ But mcn stri ve
about great things." And hc gives an instance from the
history of Syracuse, which is parallcl in sonie respects with
the Sicilian vespers.

Aristotle's fifth^book of politics (or, as with many I shall
°" revo" °a   ^' ^lc eighth) is wholly taken up with what

. , may bc CaUed revolutions.    The Greek word is
stasis a wider term than revolution, somewhat answering to
the Latin se&tto (;.«.., a ^-^         ^ Qr in a different direc-
ion-a secession).*    Wc *shall use stasis, in referring to Aris-
totle s opinions, as equivalcnt to our revofutian,

the wonl Metastasis, a strife involving change, is
w of the     Jery C0mi"°»-     T)y thi« word is denoted the
of iSS?         S^°« ™™Xu™) at AthenS'
VOL. n.