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world and events with their proper face on, all seems so commonplace and easy; yet if one turns back but a little bit of the curtain which hides the realities of the mingled lives which make up the world, everything appears different and complicated.”
“Dr. Doldy,” said Coventry, turning to him, “ Minerva Medica is puzzling her brains too much. I prescribe an immediate holiday for her. Make her give up attempting to think out the problems of this world. Women ought not to think, you know.”
“At all events,” said Ernestine, with a smile, “it is a mistake to think too much, from a hygienic point of view. One reaches a stage every now and then when one should give up thinking and take to living. And perhaps, too, the experiences of life do more to solve the problems of existence than too much thought.”
“Let us all go for a holiday," said Dr. Doldy. “Suppose we hire a barge and go down the river.”
“Or a gipsy caravan!” cried Dorothy.
Mr. Lingen rose, to take his departure. The proposed delights were slightly out of his line ; a skiff above Windsor, or a four-in-hand to Brighton, might have attracted him.
“When you discuss such idling as that,” he said, “it is time for me to go. Such men as I are not made for dreamy holidays. We are plunged so rapidly from one series of complications into another -our minds are so filled with a succession of romances, crimes, secrets, intrigues—our brains are required to work so incessantly, that such a holiday would be maddening in its quiet.” This is what he said, and it sounded very well indeed; it does not do for a busy lawyer to convey the idea that he even knows how to unbend.
“I suppose,” said Coventry, “ your plan is to rattle half over the world in an express train, thirty-six hours at a stretch. Yours is an essentially modern life. I believe I belong to a bygone age; I like to be idle.” .
So saying he stretched himself in his hammock. His kittens, who were asleep in it, aroused themselves to purr over him. Mr. Lingen departed; and the others gathered round Coventry to “babble of green fields.” And Coventry, with his eyes on Ernestine's sweet face, from which the cloud was passing, murmured snatches of verse full of buttercups and children's laughter.
THEISM AND ETHICS IN ANCIENT GREECE.
So much more attention is paid in favour to say such unpleasant the schools to the poetry, mytho. truths as : logy, and history of Greece than Approach ye genuine philosophic few, to her gnomists and ethical philo. The Pythagorio life belongs to you ; sophers, that one falls into the
But far, far off ye vulgar herd profane, habit of regarding Hellenic glory
For Wisdom's voice is heard by you in
vain : as the embodiment of consummate And you, Mind's lowest link, and dark. art and exquisite Pagan life, and some end, of doubting whether it can be made Good Rulers, Customs, Laws, alone can to present on the spectrum of the mend. mind any of the deep colour of re- Messrs. Moody and Sankey iigious thought. Of Plato it is could prophesy smoother things true, with his wealth of ideal than this to anyone that would suggestions, his quasi-Christian- throw in his lot with them. ism, something indeed is known, as Even in respect of Plato, if we of Aristotle ; but to the most dis- put out of sight the comparatively tinctly ethical remains of the few men of culture, and take into Hellenic sages less attention is paid view the great reading masses, we than to the amours of the popu. might almost repeat the words of larised Jupiter, the brave battles Jerome, now nearly a millennium with the Persians, or the political and a half old : history of Athens.
“Who is it that now reads Perhaps there has been, too, a Aristotle? How many people tinge of unworthy jealousy of know Plato's books, or even his sublime thought when found to name ? Perhaps in a corner some antedate the Christian era.
vacuous old man may be conning It was convenient for sectarian him over. But of our rustics, our purposes to regard the heathen fishermen, the whole orb is speak. world as benighted in darkness, and ing, with them the entire world remote from love of God or con resounds.” sciousness of immortality. Marcus The cause of this prejudice no Aurelius has been welcomed, but doubt has been in the past, that Pythagoras almost ignored; Plu. we had derived, through another tarch has been preferred to Solon. channel, our main stream of such
Or perhaps it is that the door of spiritual wisdom as we had made the ancient philosophy has been our own. The cause of the comtoo rudely and sharply closed parative neglect of the higher Greek against cram. No way into it has ethics at the present day, when been widened and made easy for philosophic studies are becoming the multitude, so that the empty broadened, perhaps lies in the fact nominalist should enjoy the free-' that it is being discovered that the dom of the shrine. It is the characteristics of the inmost Helreverse of a clever bid for popular lenic thought are rather drawn from
foreign sources than originating in muse of choric dancing; to another a national inspiration. In speak of Hermes, and the muse of the ing of inmost thought we refer azure robe; and the invention of to the ethics of life, the faith the rhythm of verse and melody of as to God and man, and omit con- music is ascribed to him. Hercules, sideration of the phases of intellec blind Thamyris, and Orpheus are tual scepticism, or the progress of said to have been among his physical science.
disciples. He is reputed to have But there is a reason why we written in Pelasgian characters, should do well to turn more lov. which Herodotus calls a barbarous, ingly to the Greek thinkers, from or extra-Hellenic, language. The the Gnomic Poet to the Stoic Sage; probable date of the Pelasgian and that is, that what they do think epoch is about seventeen centuries they think clearly, so that their ex before our era, a time when Egypt pression is like the perfect carving was in the height of her glory, and of a statue— firm, full, and artistic just changing from an Asiatic to in form.
a national dynastic line, when India In case of question as to the ne- was at its Vedic period, and Moses glect referred to, it may be sufficient was not yet born. The Pelasgian to point to the fact that there is no tribe (rovers, wandering storks,' modern text, and no recent trans- as the name probably implies) is lation whatever, published in this acknowledged to have brought into country of the literary remains rude Greece a religious system and of the school of Pythagoras; that theology, to have established the the works of a voluminous Eng. Dodona oracle, and instituted the lish Platonist of a former genera. Cabeiric mysteries, which seem to tion are scarce in the book market, have had a Phænician origin. because when they emerge from old The primitive character of the libraries they are demanded for time is shown by the remains of America. That it is only within a its massy walls, formed of polyyear or two that Epictetus has ap- gonal blocks of stone, roughly peared in the series of translations wrought rather by friction than by that includes most of the works of chisel. the dramatists, the historians, and Though Linus himself is named the orators of Greek-speaking in Homer and Herodotus, we only tribes; that of the remains of Hera- have fragments of his poems on clitus, Empedocles, Menander, the doubtful authority of collectors Epicurus, Cleanthes—to take names of fifteen to twenty-two centuries aimost at random-there is no Eng. after his time; so that, although it lish version to be found; while would be pleasant to note with Anacreon and Theocritus, as repre what optimism philosophy begins senting the gayest poetry of pagan in the land that bore so much of ism pure and simple, have, not- beauty, we must doubt whether withstanding the anomaly in a we have any evidence of the fact, professedly anti-pagan land, en or whether the following are veritjoyed a considerable currency. able words of Linus :
Linus is the name of the most ancient Greek poet, and is men
“In all things we must hope ; for tioned in the “Iliad.” Not prose, but
nothing at all is hopeless. poetry only, was literature in Greece All things are easy unto God to in his day: and the poet was the
perfect, and nothing is vain. thinker. He is, according to one Mark how all by struggle is legend, son of Apollo and of the controlled throughout.
Never arrives an end, while always mysteries of the mother goddess of having ends.
earthly plenty, Demeter, of which What sort of source had this that he becomes hierophant. Of the is as it is ?
family of Eumolpus, whose descenImmortal death so wraps all with dants presided over the spiritualmortality
istic mysteries and claimed from All corruptible dies, and what sub- father to son the prophetic gift, sists doth alter its guise,
was Musæus the bard, placed at With shows in circles of change 1426 B.C. in the Arundel marbles. and fashions of form
From him, the servant of the That veiled is the sight of the muses, comes our word“ museum."
whole: it will be incorruptible. His words come down to us that And ever-during, insomuch as it for mortals of brief span of life has reached what it is
the sweetest refuge is to sing.. The seventh day is of the good, How often from heroic times,
the seventh is the birthday : when life is heartily enjoyed, comes Of the first things is the seventh, that undertone of lament for its the seventh the consummation.” shortness, and consciousness of
necessity of a sturdy cheerfulness. Tradition carries ‘on his name as In periods when the flower of that of a song or lay, sung by a boy national life seems overblown, to the cithara, while the vintagers the days are too full of surfeit for are at work. As the name has either young or old to cry so been found in Phænicia, Cyprus, eagerly for more of them. and Egypt, perhaps Linus is only The following are among the a tradition of music; an embodi. fragments of Musæus : ment of a soft, simple, plaintive melody. The Greek word ailinos
“For ever Art than Strength is which represents a crooning dirge,
better far.” is said to be derived from a cry In this single line, so trite in the signifying Ah for me Linos. midst of civilisation, we see the
In our word “linen” perhaps we progress of a young community. have the clue to the origin of at The following is more significant least the name “Linus," in the of an ethical bent: flaxen string of the cithara.
Early Greek history is a singular “Like as the fruitful earth procompound of the poetically mythic duceth leaveswith probable facts. Inachus from Some on the ash tree die while Phoenicia, who builds Argos, and others growCecrops from Egypt, who institutes Leaves of the race of men, they the Areopagus, stand in the list e ddy too." of early kings with Amphictyon,
And the following shows the who is the offspring of a sort of belief in an encompassing clouds Greek Noah. Cadmus introduces the alphabet
spiritual vicegerents of God as from Phænicia, havi
having to do with the direction Danaus brings a colony from
of men, or perhaps marks the Egypt, Minos brings from Crete laws that lasted a thousand years,
position held by the oracle in the and side by side with them is
religious idea of the time: Eumolpus, reputed the son of “Gladly to hear what the immortal Poseidon, the sea god. He migrates ones from Thrace to Attica, and is To men assigned, from cow initiated into the Eleusinian marks the brave.'
It is significant how in times of were the production of Cecrops the simplicity of life, when men are in Pythagorean; and the Peplus and the perfection of physical health, the Physics of Brontinus." This and, on a materialistic hypothesis, account is very hearsay to us, since there would seem no reason to a very large number of the books expect an under-current of mystery, which Clement cites are lostthe problem of life with its spiritual probably having perished in the solution is yet ever present. library in which he wrote. But Musæus, though a priest, is a the confused rumours point at least believer; it is a most arrogant and to an Orphic traditional lore which absurd assumption that the pro- was familiar to Pythagoras. phetic leaders of men were always Plato refers to “what is called laughing in their sleeves, and the Orphic life” as a discipline practising deceits for a wage. A including among its tenets the servant of the oracle, he proclaims doctrine of abstinence from all that to live in blind revel of animal things that had life, which would existence is cowardly; to open the point to a brotherhood of the eyes and ears, and face what gleams Indian order, where bodily purifiand whispers of destiny may be cation is an essential. The story caught from the undying world in of Triptolemus, the minister of the its relation with men, is the clearest goddess Demeter, to whom Plato sign that marks a noble and brave refers also as representing that man.
period, is a legend showing a The name of Orpheus has so familiarity with speculation upon much allied with it, that we may the relation of body and soul. fairly imagine it to have been Triptolemus is so favoured by the borne by a line of hierophants, earth-mother, on a special ground and to have been made to of gratitude, that she feeds him stand for the mystical legends of with her own milk and places him a cycle. Clement of Alexandria on burning coals during the night records the opinions of his time to destroy the particles of mortality about the legend : “Onomacritus he had received from his parents. the Athenian, who is said to have The natural mother, giver of that been the author of the poems body which is being transformed, inscribed to Orpheus, is ascertained so marvels at the unearthly growth to have lived in the reign of the of her son, that she spies on Pisistratidæ, about the fiftieth Demeter and the process is disOlympiad [the early part of the turbed. 6th century B.C.]; and Orpheus, Of Orpheus the best known who sailed with Hercules, was the story is that of his descent into pupil of Musæus. Amphion pre. Hades. Having lost his wife, he cedes the Trojan war by two gene gains, through the music of a lyre rations. ... the Crateres of received from Apollo, an admission Orpheus are said to be the pro to the under-world, soothing even duction of Zopyrus of Heraclea, Cerberus, the dog-guardian of and The Descent to Hades that of Hades, with his strain. The deities Prodicus of Samos. Ion of Chios of that region consent to restore relates . . . . that Pythagoras his lost bride, provided that on ascribed certain works of his own departing he forbears looking beto Orpheus. Epigenes, in his book hind him until he exchanges their respecting The Poetry ascribed to borders for those of earth. He Orpheus, says that The Descent to promises, but either curiosity as to Hades and the Sacred Discourse the process of the re-incarnation, or