Thus the restoration continued to govern with
the desires and sentiments of a legitimate aristocracy, and with
the constitution and means of government of a -tyrannis-. Its rule
not only rested on the same bases as that of Gracchus, but it was
equally ill, and in fact still worse, consolidated; it was strong,
when in league with the populace it overthrew serviceable
institutions, but it was utterly powerless, when it had to face the
bands of the streets or the interests of the merchants.
It sat on
the vacated throne with an evil conscience and divided hopes, indignant
at the institutions of the state which it ruled and yet incapable of
even systematically assailing them, vacillating in all its conduct
except where its own material advantage prompted a decision, a picture
of faithlessness towards its own as well as the opposite party, of
inward inconsistency, of the most pitiful impotence, of the meanest
selfishness--an unsurpassed ideal of misrule.