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Glycera; in which also he probes to the bottom, what it is that makes marriage a holy and honorable state; and teaches his readers to look through forms into their substance; and while valuing our own happier political position, not to mistake and despise those who are less favoured.
But the question finally remains : are we to take our historical view of Pericles, from the portrait which the author holds up to us? And here we are forced to say,—that we strive in vain to convince ourselves that he even approximates to the truth. Pericles indeed,-compared with the selfish, profligate or wicked nobility, against whom in his later life he had to struggle, or with the demagogues who succeeded him,- was an excellent and noble person. In this contrast, we believe, Thucydides the historian contemplated him, and inevitably formed a very high estimate of him, intellectually and morally. The breach between Pericles and Cimon had been entirely healed, and Thucydides, a kinsman of Cimon, is not to be reckoned as of the opposite party to Pericles; nor is his evidence, in Pericles's favour, to be regarded as an unwilling concession extorted by truth. On the contrary it seems to us that Thucydides himself is another Pericles; only stript of all eloquence, and therefore probably little fit for public life at Athens. That he most unduly overrates the political wisdom and foresight of Pericles, lies on the surface of his own annals. Many times he comments on the stupidity, languor, selfishness, and even cowardice, which the Lacedæinonians displayed in the Peloponnesian war, and says that they proved, most convenient enemies :' this could not have been foreseen : and had they acted with such vigour as might have been expected ;-had Archidamus or his colleague been a Brasidas or an Agesilaus; -the empire of Athens would have been destroyed in the second year of the war. Yet Thucydides gives Pericles credit for having foreseen that Athens was strong enough, easily to get the better. Again, nothing can be more manifest, from his own account, than that the dreadful plague in the second year which brought the city to the brink of ruin, and (as he says,) permanently corrupted the morals of the nation,—was caused by Pericles himself; who forced the people into war, sorely against their will, and urged upon them, as a necessary result, to migrate promiscuously into the city and its long walls. Yet the historian does not see that this at all takes off from the wisdom of the great statesman !-Again, Pericles held the chief military, as well as civil, rule; and in this character kept down talents superior to his own. It would seem that the bloory battle of Tanagra fought by the Athenians against the Lacedæmonians,-throngh the obstinate folly of the party of Pericles, while Cimon was under ostracism,-had damped his courage as regards all direct conflict with Spartan troops. During the first inroad of the Peloponnesians in the great war which began twenty-six years later, he positively prevented the Athenians from sallying to repel them; and thereby depressed their spirits exceedingly. He had learned that the Athenian heavy-armed soldiers, however great their bravery, were not trained well enough to compete with those of Sparta. True: but was this the only sort of war known to him? Myronides had shockingly massacred a Corinthian battalion, under advantage of ground, by a force of mere slingers; and Pericles had not been long in his grave, ere Demosthenes defeated a powerful Spartan army and brought nearly three hundred alive to Athens, by a superior body of archers and other light troops. Iphicrates aftervards showed that targeteers, (or men with small shields,) could vanquish the cumbrous soldiers of Lycurgus. If Pericles resolved to force his people into war, he ought to have been prepared to fight for the land of Attica: but he was not: and in consequence, nothing but gross mismanagement on the part of Sparta, saved, for a time, her great rival.
But we must slightly recapitulate the life of Pericles. The chronology of many of the events is uncertain, and we are not persuaded by the ingenious author before us that he has brought them into a correct union; while undoubtedly he so arranges them as to give plausibility to his high estimate of the Athenian statesman. So much, however, is clear. Cimon was more of a Greek than of an Athenian. His politics were those of Aristides or Isocrates. He desired to unite Greece against Persia. His measures, and only his, would have kept Athens and Sparta in political amity; while they did not hinder Athens from immeasurably outstepping her competitor. Every year that the good understanding continued, Athens waxed stronger and stronger, but Sparta remained stationary. 'A masterly inactivity,' to borrow a transatlantic phrase, as regards Lacedæmon, was the true policy for Athens : and this, Cimon pursued. And with what result? The opposite party, with whom Pericles acted, though perhaps he was not yet acknowledged as its leader, im. peacbed Cimon for love of the Lacediemonians ! and banished him for ten years. This deed was, in our belief, that which proved fatal to all attempts at Grecian union, and for it Pericles bears a large responsibility. Our author wishes us to believe that the unfortunate jealousy of the Lacedæmonians alone thwarted Pericles in a great scheme of union for Greece. We think he has made more of the scheme than it deserved, especially since he has transposed its place in time by some fifteen or more years; but if otherwise, when to love the Lacedæmo
nians had been made a crime in the most distinguished * gcneral of Athens,when he had been recalled from banishment only after his volunteering to fight in the battle of Tanagra, where one hundred of his comrades fell round his armour,-how could Lacedæmon assent to a scheme which made Athens the centre of Grecian power? Cimon, we think, deserves the credit which our author assigns to Pericles : we could also wish that it had occurred to him to rescue Elpinice, sister of Cimon, from the foul stain which the scandal-lovers poured upon her; if, indeed, all the tales of Cimon's early profligacy are not equally slanders. But to proceed, when Cimon had been ostracized, Pericles acted the part of a thorough demagogue, treating the treasury of the allies as a convenient supply for the poor of Athens, and bribing these out of the public money, since his own fortune would not suffice for it. His great admirer Plutarch distinctly remarks, that (what is equally true of Cæsar) while competing for power he was a lavish demagogue, but that when he had won it, he became highminded and aristocratical in his dealings with the people. The author would attribute this to Aspasia's excellent influence on him, but it has another far more obvious explanation.
We must however here notice a point, in which we think the author has unwittingly been unjust to Pericles. On the authority of Plutarch, he believes that he carried an ex post facto law, which inflicted not only illegitimacy, but slavery, on all Athenian citizens whose mothers were foreigners; and that by it nearly 5000 free persons were actually sold into bondage ! So atrocious a deed is scarcely credible. But, waiving the atrocity of it,— Plutarch tells us (ch. 29) that the three sons of Cimon, named Lacedæmonius, Thessalus andEleius, were born of an Arcadian mother: all these, then, must have been sold into bondage? But no: he himself observes, that Pericles sent Lacedæmo. nius with only ten ships to Corcyra, (so late as B.C. 432), and was thought to have wished to discredit him by giving him so small a force. This was about three years before the imagined repeal of his own law in favour of his son by Aspasia. Tangled as the subject is, we confess that we feel no conviction that fo
* We cannot tell whether the author deliberately holds to the vulgar tale concerning the humiliating peace which Cimon forced Artaxerxes to make. It is rejected (we think justly) by our foremost scholars.
† Since the above was written, we see that Sir E. L. Bulwer and Mr. Clinton reject Plutarch's tale as incredible. The latter wishes to alter Epáonoay, were sold, to årnlainoay, were ejected. Even then, it is difficult to believe in so violent a measure, which must have affected the higher or wealthier classes in large proportion. May not the truth have been, that none but citizens pure of both parents were allowed to partake in the gift of
reign mothers were exposed to any legal disqualification in those times; although spiteful comedians or orators were always glad to fling the name of 'foreigner' or 'bastard' on one whose blood was not purely Athenian. In passing, we cannot help observing how Cimon, by the very names given to his sons, indicated his sympathy with all Greece, and his desire that it should be a single whole.
The war of Pericles against Samos is defended by our author on grounds which do not satisfy us; though we quite allow that they were good enough for common Athenians-good enough, possibly, for Thucydides, who seems to see nothing wrong here, more than in the Peloponnesian war. We merely say, such wars are quite inconsistent with the just and simple-minded views attributed by the author to Pericles. Nor can Athenians have been wanting, who held that which we regard as a sounder judgment; when Elpinice, sister of Cimon-a woman of masculine mind, it seems-publicly reproached Pericles 'for losing the lives of brave citizens in a war, not against Phænicians and Medes, but in subduing an allied and kindred state.' The duty of Athens, as leader of the confederacy, was to stop private and civil wars, to mediate between fierce factions, and to enforce reasonableness on both. But Pericles acted towards Samos as our political Protestants have tried to act towards Ireland ; viz., to set up as masters what they regard as the English party, and depress, eject, or slaughter the opponents. According to Thirlwall, the result of this war was, that Athens used the treasure of the allies as her own: if so, now must have commenced the vast expenditure on public buildings at Athens, which our author puts somewhat earlier. Be that as it may, we cannot but believe that these buildings were a moral curse to Athens. These, and not the much calumniated 'sophists' or philosophers, debauched the conscience of the nation. To enrich themselves with Persian gold, taken by open war, hurt no man's conscience. The barbarian was believed to be prey, as lawful to a Greek as the game of the mountains or the feathered fowl. But all felt that Greeks had rights towaris Greeks, and especially that the money of allies, at first freely contributed, could not be justly exacted by compulsion, and then used for the aggrandisement of the leading state. No Athenian could become proud of the buildings of Pericles without imbibing a crooked morality; and this is observable throughout the dialogues of Plato, where those who maintain that might makes right habitually refer to the example of the city herself, as an unanswerable argument; since otherwise it would be requisite to condemn her as a public robber.
Lastly, none can pretend that the circumstances of the times
forced Pericles into the fatal war with Sparta, which wrecked for ever the hopes of permanent good in Greece. All parties but he were averse to it. Sparta was strongly indisposed : the Athenian people dreaded it exceedingly. He, and he alone, is responsible for the unjust attack on Potidæa, and the unjust interference between Corcyra and Corinth. He it was who refused the least concession to Megara, on grounds which ought never to be used, except by a state which is purely and perfectly in the right; viz., that if a little were yielded, more would be asked. By such false patriotism, and fatal obstinacy, this accomplished, able, and in many respects virtuous man, gave the most fatal of all blows ever given to the happiness of rising Greece: nevertheless, on his deathbed he took credit to himself, for having never caused an Athenian citizen to wear mourning! So vain was he of his unenterprising generalship, and so blind to the sanguinary tendencies of his statesmanship.
But we have written enough. In conclusion, we must observe that our author's English is pure and racy-not like that of some fashionable novelists--and remains equally simple and natural, through the many brilliant passages with which it abounds.
Art. IV.-1. A History of the British Freshwater Alga, including descrip
tions of the Desmidea and Diatomacea, with upwards of one hundred plates, illustruting the various species. By Arthur Hill Hassall.
In 2 vols. pp. 462. London : Higl.ley. 1845. 2. Phycologia Brittannica ; or, a History of British Sea-weeds By Wil
liam Henry Harvey, M.D., M.R. I.A. No. 1. London: Reeve.
1846. This is a seasonable book; and the author has not only set about his task in a right spirit, but carried it through with commendable diligence. It appears at a time when, after much loose and scattered observation, mixed with a fair proportion of critical and scientific research, it has become expedient to gather up the fragments, to test theories, and to bring both experiments and generalizations so completely into one view, as to gain an advantageous position, both for ascertaining the actual state of cryptogamic science in one of its most intricate departments, and for taking a fresh start in progressive discovery. In works of this kind, made up of much and minute detail, it can, however, hardly be otherwise than that a severe and searching criticism must detect errors both circumstantial