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summed up: A peasant proprietor does not live half so well as the English labourer, and works twice as hard.'
Benjamin Franklin, most democratic of republicans, pronounced, above a hundred years ago, that: "He who tries to persuade the workman that he can arrive at fortune otherwise than by industry and thrift is a liar and a criminal.' A true and wise maxim,' says a French economist, which ought now to be laid to heart.' The schemes now proposed, such as the compulsory supply of allotments, which already exist so largely-systems of public works and public wages, which are now carried out to such an extent in France, and are ruining her finances, the supply of which must, moreover, be exhausted ere long, so as only to afford temporary relief-ateliers nationaux, which brought on the destruction of the French republic of 1848, or for taking the land and not paying either its rent or its price '—the substitution of small needy farmer owners for the landlords in Ireland, where the possession of land seems hitherto to be chiefly valued as giving an opportunity for borrowing, and the security of tenure given. by Mr. Gladstone's Land Bill of 1870 was the signal for the appearance of the 'gombeen man,' the local usurer, whose tyranny is described as now so great among Irish tenant farmers-these can be of no avail. They may seriously injure the country, but cannot really benefit the people.
The present distress, agricultural and commercial, extends all over the world; it is as great or greater in France, the most democratic country in existence; and in the United States, governed by the people in the widest sense. All classes are suffering; and it is only by the union of classes, not by setting one against the other, that the crisis can be met. Wrecking shops will not help the town workmen, nor will the agricultural labourer be benefited by the compulsory expropriation of the owners of land for allotments, which have already been provided to so large an extent by the ordinary course of supply and demand since the beginning of the century.
In a book by Mr. Wren Hoskyns, sanctioned by the Cobden Club, and quoted by Mr. Druce, he says:
Laws cannot decide as to large or small holdings, no result of argument can bring this within the proper sphere of legislation, which can do no more than remove every obstruction to the wholesome operation of that spontaneous action which regulates the distribution of land by laws as inflexible as those that govern the tides. . . . King Canute (he goes on to say) might well have reversed his chair and spoken also of the littleness of human power when it attempts to govern the laws that govern the land.
F. P. VERNEY.
In Cobbett's Rides, 1820, the productive and well-cultivated gardens round the cottages are mentioned as the distinguishing feature of England.
GREEK HOME ACCORDING TO HOMER.
In a note at the end of the English translation of the Odyssey of Homer done by S. H. Butcher and A. Lang (p. 413) is an attempt to plan the house or hall of Odysseus.
The note is nominally on book xix.; but, as references are to be found in Homer to an architectural arrangement that seems to have been much the same whether the site were placed in Ithaca or elsewhere, I shall only take the home of Penelope as one among other illustrations.
The authors of the note in question endeavour to get at the plan of the house of the hero by following his movements, somewhat in this fashion: He stands by Argos, the dog which lies before the doors that open either from the public way to the court or from the court to the hall. He follows the swineherd into the house and sits down on the ashen threshold within the doors; there Telemachus sees him and, add our translators, sends him food from the high table at the other or upper end. Behind this high table doors open on passages leading to the women's rooms and to the store chamber. On the day of the slaughter the hero is called by Telemachus to this, the upper end of the hall. Here he places Odysseus, who thence slays the wooers. The translators, it is only fair to say, see the difficulty of this arrangement and the impossibility of reconciling with it the speech of Melanthius (xxii. 136). I would venture to add that the speech of Eurymachus is rendered equally unintelligible, for indeed the whole effort of the wooers (after a time) was to drive the unconquerable slayer from the entrance doorway, so that some might pass him and go through the city to raise the cry.
Now, before we attempt anything like a plan of the Homeric house, let us look first at the descriptions given in the poem of houses other than that of Odysseus. In Nestor's house (book iii.) we find a gateway, an echoing corridor (all Homer's corridors are echoing 1) in which jointed bedsteads are set up for his unwed son and distinguished bachelor guests. Nestor himself sleeps within the inmost chamber of the lofty house, and at dawn we see him seated on two polished, white, glistening stones before the lofty doors.
In the house of Menelaus (book iv.) we have again the bedsteads 1 Loud-sounding—¿pídovπos.
set out beneath the corridor. There are stalls for the horses, but no coach-house, for we find the inlaid car or chariot tilted against the shining faces (the broad stone piers) of the gateway.
Most of the house is covered with plates of silver, gold, bronze, amber, and ivory, so that the place gleams with the light as it were of sun or moon. There is a treasure chamber, to which descend both Menelaus and Helen, whose bed is in the inmost chamber of the lofty house, and this chamber is vaulted and scented.2
The palace of King Alcinous (books vi. and vii.) reveals a courtyard, the usual corridor, a great, high-roofed, columned chamber or hall, passing through which, we reach the pillared inner room, where the thrones are, and where the queen sits weaving in the light of the fire, and beyond this is the king's bedroom. The floor of the hall is of bronze; the walls are brazen and surmounted with a dark frieze; the doors and the door hooks are golden, the lintel and door posts of silver set on a brazen threshold. Against the walls are seats where the chieftains sit to eat and drink. Outside the courtyard, close by the gate, is a great garden of tall fruit trees hedged on either side, and there we find two fountains, one for the garden and the other for the palace, for, after running beneath the threshold of the courtyard, it issues by the lofty house whither the people come to draw water.
The house of Circe (book x.) is built of polished stone, has shining doors, a great hall and a flat house-top, without parapet, reached by a ladder.
The farmhouse of Laertes (book xxiv.) is surrounded by the huts wherein the thralls dwell, eat and sleep.
Here and there are isolated references that have a bearing on the subject; thus (book iv.) we have a watch tower in Agamemnon's palace. Round the city of King Alcinous is a high wall with towers (book vi.), and in the house of Æolus folk sit on the threshold by the pillars of the door (book x.)
Now let us turn to the house of Odysseus. Here, as in the others, we have an outer courtyard, a corridor, a lofty house containing a hall and inner rooms, but the inmost room is curiously built round a tree, and there are upper chambers, among which are a treasury and armoury (two store-rooms), as well as a vaulted treasure house and a tholos, translated by our authors kitchen dome,' but which was possibly a family mausoleum, as the cooking seems to have been done in the hall.
This general arrangement, which Homer, as we have seen, constantly gives, appears to have been not unlike some of the Egyptian temples that of Talmis, for instance, founded by Amenophis the Second and restored under the Ptolemies, a plain, simple example, the study of which will help us in forming an idea of the Homeric palace. - The world-renowned house at Ithaca is described in scattered
2 Fragrant or scented chambers were probably so called from having cedar wood used in their construction. See Iliad, xxiv. 191.
detail through many books of the Odyssey. Gathering these descriptions together and keeping before us the accounts already given of
other Homeric houses, we shall arrive, I trust, at a ground plan and view that will bear at least the stamp of likelihood. First, then at the hall feasted-accepting the poet literally-108 princely wooers besides strangers; the household included fifty maids, twelve mill women, and ten serving men, to say nothing of the many other attendants necessary, and the host of unnecessary hangers-on; when besides all this we have to make room for an enormous live stock of poultry, mules, goats, and kine-although I do not know Ithaca nor whether any foundations remain of this famed palace— I think that we should not be doing justice to its dimensions if we put down the enclosure at anything much less than 200 by 400 feet. This enclosure was fenced by a lofty, well-built stone wall surmounted by a battlement (xvii.) The great courtyard probably occupied about one-half the site; the entrance to this was by folding doors in the centre of the end wall, and the three sides of the court formed by the outer walls-perhaps also the side against the house— were occupied by a corridor covered possibly by a flat roof, serving on three sides as a walk behind the battlements and reached by a postern gate from the hall. This corridor would towards the court present the appearance of a series of pillars and lintels enclosed by skins or thick curtains when the beds were set up. Fenced in by hurdles or whitethorn, the live stock would be tethered in those portions of the corridor nearest the gateway. Here too, taking up their lodging with the beasts, would be found the herdsmen, the labourer and the old Greek equivalent to the modern frequenter of the tap room and stable. Such a corridor would possibly be from ten to twelve feet wide, and from eight to twelve feet high.
The great gateway does not appear to have been large enough to drive a chariot through, for we have seen that even in the luxurious palace of Menelaus the chariot was tilted like an Irish car against the piers of the gateway.
The doors, we are told, were folding or double, and for the general form of the outer entrance we may well accept the gate of the lions at Mycena. Outside this gate, piled against the walls, were heaps of manure and house refuse, and on one side or in front of the gate-on the other side of the road so to speak-was an open green sward where the wooers took their pleasure in outdoor games, and when wearied retired to the cool shelter of corridor or awning, where they played at draughts, sitting on hides of oxen spread on the great threshold. This threshold of the hall or inner entrance was no doubt large and well paved, and the gates turned on pivots, but the rest of the floor of the court and corridors, except under the altar, was only of earth.
The usual threshold of an Irish cabin is an enormous slab of stone with a good fall outwards. The Greek word oudós in Homer means something more than a mere door-cill, as the word threshold in its modern usage implies. I take it to mean the whole of the floor or paved space in the doorway or passage whereon the door is set. Thus the oudós of the gate of the lions at Mycenae is about 10 feet by 8.