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CYCLOPÆDIA

OF

ENGLISH LITERATURE.

EIGHTH PERIOD.

(1830–1876.)

REIGNS OF GEORGE IV. WILLIAM IV. AND QILEN

VICTORIA.

(Continued.)

BISHOP THIRLWALL-MR. GROTE-GEO. FINLAY-COLONEL MURE

MR. GLADSTONE, ETC. DR. CONNOP THIRLWALL contributed to · Lardner's Cyclopædia’ a History of Greece,' which extended to eight volumes, and has been enlarged and reprinted, 1845–52, and again reprinted in 1855 in eight volumes. It is a learned and philosophical work, evincing a thor. ough knowledge of Greek literature and of the German commentators. Dr. Thirlwall was born in 1797, at Stepney, Middlesex, son of the rector of Bowers-Gifford, Essex. The latter published, in 1809, Primitiæ, or Essays and Poems on Various Subjects, Religious, Moral, and Entertaining, by Connop Thirlwall, eleven years of age.' The future historian of Greece must ther be considered the most precocious of English authors, eclipsing even (nwley and Pope. But the son, probably, did not thank the father for thrusting his childish crudities before the world. Connop Thirlwall stuuied at Cambridge, and carried off high academical honours at Trinity Co;lege. He intended following the profession of the law, and, afte keeping his terms, was called to the bar at Lincoln's Inn in 1822 Three years' experience seems to have disgusted him with the leta, profession; he entered the church, obtained a rectory in Yorkshire, Then became dean of Brecon, and in 1840 was promoted to the see of St. Davids. In 1874 he resigned his bishopric, in consequence of the increasing infirmities of age. He died in 1875. Mr. Grote says that,

had Dr. Thirlwall's History of Greece' appeared a few years earlier, lie would probably never have conceived the design of writing his more elaborate work.

The • History of Greece' by MR. GEORGE GROTE was hailed as a truly philosophical history. It commences with the earliest or legendary history of Greece, and closes with the generation contemporary with Alexander the Great. This work extends to twelve volumes. The first two were published in 1846 ; lout it appears from a letter of Niebuhr, addressed to Professor Lieber, that so early as 1827 Mr. Grote was engaged on the work. The primitive period of Grecian history—the expedition of the Argonauis and the wars of Thebes and Troy-he treats as merely poetical inventions. On the subject of the Homeric poems, he holds that the Odyssey' is an original unity, `a premeditated structure and a concentration of interest upon one prime hero under well-defined circumstances.' The

Iliad,' he says, produces on his mind an impression totally different; it ‘presents the appearance of a house built upon plan comparatively narrow, and subsequently enlarged by successive additions.' He conceives that both poems are about the same age, and that age a very early one, anterior to the First Olympiad. Passing to authentic history, Mr. Grote endeavours to realize the views and feelings of the Greeks, and not to judge of them by an English standard. Our idea of a limited monarchy, for example, was unknown even to the most learned of the Athenians.

Early Greek History not to be Judged by Modern Feeling. The theory of a constitutional king, especially as it exists in England, would have appeared to Aristotle impracticable: to establish a king who will reign without governing-in whose name all government is carried on, yet whose personal will is in practice of little or no effect--exempt from all responsibility, without making use of the exemption-receiving from every one timeasured demonstrations of homage, which are never translated into act, except within the bounds of a known law-surrounded with all the paraphernalia of power, yet acting as a passive instrument in the hands of ministers marked ont for his choice by indications which he is not at liberty to resist. This remarkable combination of the fiction of superhuman grandeur and license with the reality visible etrait-waistcoat. is what an Englisbman has in his mind when he speaks of a constitutional king. When the Greeks thought of a man exempt from legal responsibility, they conceived him as renlly and tr:lly such, in deed as well as in name, with a defenceless community exposed to his oppressions; and their fear and listed of him was measured by their reverence for a government of equal law and free speech, with the ascendency of which their whole hopes of security were associated in the democracy of Athens more. perhaps, than in any other portion of Greece. And this feeling. 'as it was one of the best in the Greek mind, so it was also one of the most widely spread, a point of unanimity highly valuable amidst so many points of dissension. We canvot construe or criticise it by reference to the feelings of modern Enrope. still Jees to the very peculiar feelings of England respecting kingshin: and it is the application. sometimes explicit and some times tacit. of this unsuitable standard which reuders Mr. Mitford's appreciatiou of Gavek politica so often incorrect and unfair.

The grea obiect of the historian is to penetrate the inner life of the Greeks, and w portray their social, moral, and religious condi. tion. He traces with elavurata minuteness the rise and progress of

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the Athenian democracy, of which he is an ardent admirer ; and some of the Athenian institutions previously condemned, he warmly defends. The institution of ostracism, or banishment without accusation or trial, he conceives to have been necessary for the purpose of thwarting the efforts of ambitious leaders. With this view it was devised by Olisthenes, * and it was guarded from abuse by various precautions, the most important of which was, that the concurrence of one-fourth of all the citizens was required, and that those citizens voted by ballot. The two classes of demagogues and sophists he also vindicates, comparing the former to our popular leaders of the Opposition in parliament, and the latter to our teachers and professors. Even Cleon, the greatest of the demagogues, he thinks has been unfairly traduced by Thucydides and Aristophanes, particularly the latter, who indulged in all the license of a comic satirist. “No man,' says Mr. Grote, “thirks of judging Sir Robert Walpole, or Mr. Fox, or Mirabeau from the numerous lampoons put in circulation against them; no man will take measure of a political Englishman from "Punch' or of a Frenchman from Charivari.' The four stages of Athenian democracy represented by Solon, Clisthenes, Aristides, and Pericles are carefully described and discriininated by Mr. Grote; he gives also an admirable account of the Greek colonies ; and his narrative of the Peloponnesian War—which fills two volumes-contains novel and striking views of events, as well as of the characters of Pericles, Alcibiades, Lysander, &c. Even the Retreat of the Ten Thousand, which apparently had been exhausted by Xenophon, is told by Mr. Grote with a spirit and freshness, and so much new illustration as to render it a deeply interesting portion of his History. The following will give an idea of Mr. Grote's style of narrative: Xenophon's Address to the Army after the betrayed Grecian Generals had

been Slain by the Persians. While their camp thus remained unmolested. every man within it was a prey to the most agonizing apprehensions. Ruin appeared impending and inevitable, ihongh Do one could tell in what precise forin it would come. of a hostile country, ten thousand stadia from home, surrounded by enemies, blocked ap by impassable mountains and rivers, without guides, without provisions. without cavalry to aid their retreat, without generals to give orders. A stupor of sorrow and courcious helplessness seized upon all; few came to the evening muster; few lighted fires to cook their suppers; every man lay down to rest where he was; yet no nan could sleep, for fear, anguish and yearning after relatives whom he was never again to behold.

Amidst the many caneer of despondency which weighed down this forlorn army, th' re was done more serious than ihe fact, that not a single man among them had Dow either anthority to commond, or obligation to take the initiative. Nor was ony ambitious candidate likely to volunteer his pretentions, at a moment wben the post

• One peculiarity of Mr. Grote was, spelling the Greek names after the German fashion: Clisthenes ig . Kleisthenos ; Socrates is “Sokrat ;' Alcibiades, • Alkibiadds ;' Aristides, ‘Aristeidée :' &c. All this appears annecessary, and is a sort of pedantic triding anworthy of a gre.t historian.

The Greeks were in the midst

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pro'nised nothing but the miximum of difficulty as well as of hazard. A new, selfkindled light. and self-originated stimulus, was required to vivify the embers of the g'ispended hope and action in a mass paralysed for the moment, but every way capaol: of effort; and the inspiration now tell, happily for the army, upou oue in whom a fall mea-ure of soldierly str ngth and courage was combined with the education of ai Athenian, a democrat, and a phiusopher.

Xenopron had equipped him-eli in his finest military costume at this his first oficial appearan 'e before the army, when the scales seemed to tremble between life and death Taxing up the protest of Kle:nor agaiust the treachery of the Persians, h, in sisted that any attempt to enter iuto convention or trust wito such liars would be atter ruin; but that, if energetic resolut on were taken to (ieal with them only at the point of the sword, and punish their misdeeds, there was good hope of the favour of the gods and of ultiinals preservation. As he propouuced this last word ove of the soldiers near him happened to sneeze : immediately the whole army around shouted with one accord the accustom:1 invocation to Zeus the Preserver; and X 'nophon, taking up the accid ·nt, coutingel: 'Since, gentlemen, this omen from Zeus ihe Preserver has appeared at the instaut when we were talking about preservation, let us here vow to offer the preserving sacrifice to that god, ind it the same time to sacrifice to the remzining gods as well as we can, in the first friendly country which we may reach. Let every inan who ugrees with me bold up his hand.' All held up their hands: all then joined in th: vow, and shouted the pæan.

This accident, so dexteriously turned to profit by the rhetorical skill of Xenophon, Wis eminently b:neficial iu raising the army out of the depression which weighed them down, and in disposing them to listen to his animating appeal. Repeating his fasurances that the gods were on their side, and hostile to their perjured enemy, he recalled to their memory the great invasions of Greece by Darius and Xerxes-how the vast hosts of Persia had been disgracefully repelled. The army had shewn themselves on the feld of Kiinaxa worthy of such forefathers; and they would, for the future, be yet bolder, knowing by that hattle, of what stuff the Persians were made. As for Arizus and his troops, alike traitors and cowards, their desertion was rather a grin than a loss. The ene ny were superior in horsemen: but men on horseback were, after all, only men, half occupied in the fear of lo-ing, their seats. incapable of prevailing against infint y firın on the ground, and only better able to run away. Now that the gatrap refused to furnish them with provision to buy, they on their side were released from their covenant. und would take provisions without buying Then as to th: rivers ; those were indeed dim cult to b: crossed in the middle of their course; but th: army would mirch up to their sonrc :5, and could then pass them without wetting the kuce. Or, inded the Greeks might renounce the idea of retreat, and establish themselves pirmanently in the king's own conntry defying all his force, like the Mysians and Pisicians. ** If, said Xenophon, we plant ourselves here at our else in a rich country, with these tall, stately, and beautiful Median and Persian wo mon for our coinpwions, we shall be only too ready, like the Lotopbagi. to forget our way home. We ougat first to go back to Greece, and tell our cuntrymen that if they remain poor, it is their own fault, when there are rich settlement in this comutry awiting all who choose to come, and who have courage to seize them. Lt 11- burn our baggage-wilgons and tents, and carry with us nothing, but what is of the strictest necessity. Above all things, let os maintain order. disciplive, and obedience to the commanders, upon which our entire hope of safety depends. Let every man promise to lend his hand to the commanders in punishing any disobedient individuals; and let us thus shew the enemy that we have ten thonsand persons like Klearchus, instead of that one whom they have so perfidiously seized. "Now is the time for action. If any man, however obscure, has anything better to suggest let him come forward and state it; for we have all but one objeci-the common sufety.'

It appears that no one else desired to buy a word, aud that the speech of Xeno phon gave unqua ified satisfaction; for when Cheirisophus put the question, that the meeting should sanction his recommendations, and finally elect the new generals proposed-every mau held up his hand. Xenophon tben moved that the army should break up immediately, and march to come well-stored villages, rather more than two miles distant; that the march should be in a hollow oblong. with the bag. gage in the centre; bat C risop

Lacedæmonian, should lead the an ; while Kleanor and the other senior officers would command on each Nauk; and himBelf with Timasion, as the two youngest of the generals, would lead the rear-guard.

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