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versy, the author imparts principles of deepest universal importance, concerning freedom of thought, uprightness and straightforwardness, and the evils of mere party. The chapter entitled a Practical Man, in which a certain Cleobulus maintains the desirableness of upholding the religion of Athens as it is, although he does not believe it, is excellent; both as exhibiting the almost universal sentiment of antiquity, and exposing a domineering mischief of later times. We can only extract the following:
“But we began by talking of belief,' said Charmides, smiling : 'it now appears that thou dost not believe any more than Anaxagoras does of the fables told regarding the gods. Why should he he blamed for avowing the same thing that thou thyself dost ?
r. Because he does not, like me, speak it merely among persons capable of understanding it. He teaches the same thing to all; and by thus weakening the faith of the people in the superstitions, if thou wilt have it so, upon whose sanction our government depends, he hazards the upsetting of the good order of the state. This is the point which I wish to ascertain ; for if he confines his teaching merely to his pupils, as other philosophers have done, I do not object to his leading them as far as he pleases ; but if he spreads his doctrines among the lower sort, I think it will be attended with danger, whether they be true or not: perhaps their very truth renders the risk the greater, for they will be the more readily impressed on men's minds. But of this, observe that I speak only hypothetically, for I am not yet convinced that his views are true: I bave not had time to examine them sufficiently.'
"And if, on examination, thou shouldst find them to be true, wouldest thou then oppose the making them public ?'
"Certainly: I have already said that their very truth would increase the hazard. Men's minds would be set afloat after they know not what-and the spirit of change once infused, who can tell where it would stop? Even our slaves might become infected, and begin to talk about the common rights of our nature, if you once persuade them that all men have in them an immortal and divine essence which is individually distinct.'
• They might, certainly,' said Charmides, musing: it was a danger I had not thought of ;—and yet,' added he, with the warmth of a young and ingenuous mind, if they have a common origin, they have those rights.
"Undoubtedly they had,' replied Cleobulus, with the confident and patronising air of a man who, in mercy to a discomfited opponent, will not push his advantages too far: 'undoubtedly they had; but when they bartered away freedom for life, it was their own choice to do so, therefore they have voluntarily abandoned those rights, and have received payment in the maintenance afforded them. But should these new doctrines inflame their minds with the notion that a change in the state of things might cancel their original compact, and give them a chance of recovering their former rights, what would become of all property? The free citizens are not more than in the proportion of one to lour, at the utmost : how could we maintain our position amid so fearful a struggle ? Thou seest, my young friend, that the ques:ion is a more perplexed one than thou badst imagined, and it is better to bear a little wrong, whose extent we know, than to run after novelties which may produce much greater evils.'
Charmides was silent: he thought of the various manual labours executed by slaves ; figured to himself the loss and inconvenience which a servile insurrection might cause, and began to think that the pbilosopher might perhaps be imprudent in his too hasty endeavours for the amelioration of mankind.'-ib. pp. 180—182.
"Whither away, Charmides ?' said Ariphron: what problem hast thou in thy head that puzzles thee? for thou lookest not a little grave and perplexed.'
"We are going to hear Anaxagoras,' replied the son of Pheidias : ' and Cleobulus here has been making so many objections to his plan of teaching the truth publicly, that he has almost staggered me: come with us, and tell us what you think.'
"Willingly; for in fact that was our intention even before we overtook you. We were both so disgusted at Hermippos's supper party the other night, that we determined to mike a trial of philosophy, and see whether it would afford us a little better amusement; so Ariston and I were on our way to enrol ourselves among the pupils of Anaxagoras, and perhaps also of Aspasia, for we are curious to hear her.'
"I do not like this plan of suffering females to appear in public on ordinary occasions,' said Cleobulus: without arguing the question in a moral point of view-for I leave those considerations to those whose especial profession it is—as a statesman I object to it. You see what has been the consequence : women are physically too feeble to protect themselves: they are exposed to outrage as soon as they enter into the haunts of men, and then the state is en. tangled in quarrels, as is the case now with regard to Megara. To maintain our honour we are obliged to take strong measures, and probably a fresh war may be the consequence of the disregard of wholesome customs by two young girls. I do not complain of these things as in themselves wrong-probably no action is in itself either right or wrong ; but I complain of the want of judginent which has attempted changes before society was prepared for them.'
Charmides was again perplexed : he could easily have distinguished the right from the wrong, but this appeal to expediency embarrassed him, and the tone of candour, accompanied by a grave conviction of the force of his own arguments, which distinguished Cleobulus's conversation, made him distrust bimself, and made him long for some one to aid bim in answering pleas which he felt but could not prove to be futile.
"I do not know any more dangerous person,' continued Cleobulus, in the same tone of perfect conviction, 'than this kind of speculatist : without any of the practical knowledge which would enable him to correct his views, he pursues some wild theory which sounds plausible, and entangles himself and his followers in inextri. cable difficulties before he is aware of it. They are forced then to recur to practical men ; but it is generally too late to remedy the evil entirely.''-ib. pp. 183–185.
From the conclusion, we extract one more illustration of the author's sentiments :
• It was not long after this that the streets of Athens saw a very different scene, as a gay party, with dance and song, conducted Aspasia as a bride to the house of her illustrious husband ; and at long tables spread in the Agora, the armourers with Metrodoros at their head, mingled with the other heliastai, sat as guests at the feast which cclebrated the nuptials of the loveliest woman and greatest man of the age, till shout and song broke the silence of the night long after the usual hour for repose.
Never was there a cloud upon that auspicious union, till the hand of death dissolved the tie. From the hour of their marriage, the wedded pair were indeed what they were created to be, and Pericles found in Aspasia the help which his heart sought. With her his political plans were matured, his orations were composed ; in his campaigns she accompanied him ; when engaged in the duties of his office at home, she shared and lightened his cares. Never did he leave his home in the morning without clasping her in a fond embrace, never did he return without a similar greeting. One son, the heir of his father's talents, crowned their union, and the affectionate husband and father lived to receive from the grateful attachment of the Athenian people, as a reparation for the wrong they had done biin in a moment of ill humour, the reversal of the law which forbade foreign marriages : his son was enrolled in his father's ward by the name of Pericles, and Aspasia was received on the footing of an Athenian citizen.
The triumph of this great and good man was stained by no personal revenge; the ostracism, which carried no dishonour to his adversary, removed Thucidides from Alhens; and the conscience of others, rather than any act of Pericles himself, led them to withdraw also ; but no instance of vindictive feeling on his part is recorded. No less god-like in his forgiveness of injuries than in his power of mind, he disdained to remember his wrongs, and his measures had no personal object. Perhaps in his resolution never to leave Aspasia behind him, even when his military duties called him away from Athens, might be traced a recollection of the fate of Pheidias, but that was all.
The record of human life is far more melancholy than its course; the hours of quiet enjoyment are not noted; the thousand graces and happinesses of social life, the loveliness of nature meeting us at every step, the buoyancy of spirit resulting from health and a pure
air, the bright sun, the starry firmament-all that cheers man on his road through his probationary state, that warms the heart and makes life pleasant, is omitted in the narrative, which can only deal with facts; and we read of disappointment, and sickness, and death, and exclaim 'Why is man born to sorrow?' He is not so: years of enjoyment brace the soul for the grief when it comes; and when it does come, it comes mixed with so many alleviating circumstances for those who do not willfully reject all the lesser pleasures which the loving Father of all his works has with so tender a care scattered at our feet, that even the grief is far less in the reality than it appears in the relation.
•The reader has here the record of a part of a man's life, and death must close it; yet the path towards the grave was for nearly fifteen years strewed with abundant flowers, and but few thorns. It is with a feeling of sadness, nevertheless, that after having traced the course of an individual through years of happiness, we stand beside his death-bed, and see the spirit withdraw from the arena where it has struggled and triumphed, even though we know that it withdraws only to receive the victor's crown; and we cannot take a last leave of Pericles without a sigh. It is evident that even the impartial writer who left us his history for an everlasting memorial had some such feeling; for he dwells on the virtues of the great Athenian statesman with the affection of a personal friend ;-indeed, he might bave been such,—and seems to enjoy the thought, that he could hand down to posterity a true character of one so much and so undeservedly maligned by many of his contemporaries.'- vol. ii. pp. 273-275.
We should not do justice to our feelings concerning this • Tale of Athens,' if we did not express our belief that the perusal of it stimulates the noblest and best affections of the heart. It will make the young and thoughtless wiser, and it will freshen up right sentiment and high aspiration in those who already stand on the same level as the writer. In his exculpation of Aspasia, we heartily rejoice; and freely confess that he has opened to us various new and happy trains of thought thereby. Whether she was really and altogether so discerning, so noble, so glorious as his rich fancy has depicted, is difficult for a cautious critic to decide. He himself pretends only to have probably restored, as an artist from the fragments of a building, the history which has come down mutilated and misrepresented : and as such we can thankfully accept it. That the imputations cast by the ancients upon Aspasia are vile inventions of low or malignant minds, would be nearly certain from the fact that Plutarch refers to no authorities but quotations from the gross and false comedians, whose testimony he himself rejects with grave disapproval: while her connexion with Pericles and Anaxagoras ought to be a full vindication of her proceedings. But when we have to lament that even our best writers continue to this day to give historical weight to the malignant grossness of an Aristophanes, we cannot wonder if a Plutarch or a Diodorus are occasionally led astray by like influences. We farther rejoice in the vindication of Euripides, short as it is, in the graceful fiction before us. Some of the great German scholars would seem to have so thrown their hearts into Grecian art and Grecian mythology, as actually to be shocked at Euripides's pulling in pieces the indecent or cruel tales which passed as religion, and exhibiting their ancient heroes and heroines in the weakness of our common nature. Even in Dr. W. Smith's excellent Dictionary of Biography and Mythology, we find a learned writer questioning, 'whether, in the absence of a fixed external standard of morality, it was not most dangerous to tamper with what might supply the place of it, however ineffectually, through the medium of the imagination, &c., &c. This would be plausible, if any high morality had been pretended by the Greek religion, or heroic tales : but the fact is precisely the contrary. As in modern Hindostan, so in ancient Greece, the morality of the people was weighed down by a religion decidedly inferior to the common conscience. How Christians, (in the laxest sense of the word,) can write as they do concerning Greek mythology, often amazes us, when we set side by side the invectives of the Hebrew Prophets against idolatry; who must be mad fanatics, if the Greek worship deserved to be looked at with any equanimity. Yet calm historians bear witness that out of the Hebrew Prophets sprang all the spiritual eminence of the Jewish people; and the same philosophers who palliate the odiousness of Hellenic superstition are often found extolling and justifying the iconoclastic spirit of Mahommed. We cannot but think that the beauty of Greek sculpture has seduced men who otherwise deserve admiration, into a most undue respect for a system, which the more thoughtful part of the Greeks could not respect; and we must repeat our thankfulness to the author before us, that he so manfully tears off the veil, to exhibit the ugliness of this falsely called worship.
In his pages also, Anaxagoras and some earlier philosophers receive a praise seldom awarded them. Modern literati indeed have become aware of the high merit of Anaxagoras, but the facts have not been brought out for popular knowledge. That in the preaching of some of these remarkable men there was a moral power is evidenced by the authentic accounts of profligates arrested in their career, and permanently rescued into a life of virtue; cases which though few, are well attested. The author has skilfully adapted this to the affecting story of the fair