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LIFE OF PERIKLES.
I. One day in Rome, Cæsar, seeing some rich foreigners nursing and petting young lapdogs and monkeys, enquired whether in their parts of tho world the women boro no children: a truly imperial reproof to thoso who waste on animals the affection which they onght to bestow upon mankind. May we not equally blamo thoso who wasto the curiosity and love of knowledgo which belongs to human nature, by directing it to worthless, not to useful objects? It is indeed unavoidable that external objects, whether good or bad, should produco somo effect upon our senses ; but every man is able, if ho chooses, to concentrate his mind upon any subject he may plcase. For this reason we ought to scek virtue, not merely in order to contemplato it, but that we may ourselves derive somo benefit from so doing. Just as those colours whose blooming and pleasant hucs refresh our sight are grateful to tho eyes, so wo ought by our studies to delight in that which is useful for our own lives; and this is to be found in the acts of good men, which when narrated incito us to imitato them. Tho effect does not tako place in other cases, for we frequently admire what wo do not wish to produce; indeed we often are charmed with the work, but despise tho workman, as in tho caso of dyes and perfumery which we take pleasure in, although wo regard dyers and perfumers as vulgar artizans. That was a clever saying of Antisthenes, who answered, when he heard that Ismenias was a capital fluto.playor, “ But ho must be a worthless man, for if he were not, he would not be such a capital flute-player!" and King Philip of Macedon, when his son played brilliantly and agreeably on the harp at az. entertainment, said to him, " Are you not ashamed, to play 80 well?"
It is enongh for a king, if he sometimes employs bis leisure in listening to musicians, and it is quite a sufficient tribute from him to the Muses, if he is present at the porformances of other persons.
II. If a man dovotes himself to these trisling arts, the timo which ho wastes upon them proves that he is incapablo of higher things. No well nurtured youth, on scoing the statue of Jupiter Olympins at Pisa, wishes that he wero a l'hcidias, or that ho were a Polykleitus OD seeing the statue of Juno at Argos, nor yot whilo ho takes pleasure in poctry, docs ho wish that ho were an Anakreon, à Philetas, or an Archilochus; for it does not necessarily follow that we estcem tho workman because we are pleased with tho work. For this reason men are not bonefited by any spectaclo which docs not encourage the to imitation, and whero reflection upon what they have observed does not mako them also wish to do likewise ; whereas we both admire the deeds to which virtue incitcs, and long to emulato the docrs of them.
We enjoy tho good things which we owe to fortune, but we admiro virtuous actions; and while we wish to roccive the former, wo wish ourselves to benefit others by the latter. That which is in itself admirable kindles in us a desire of emulation, whether we sro noble deeds presented before us, or read of them in history. It was with this purpose that I havo engaged in writip & biography, and have arranged this tenth book to contain the lives of Perikles and of Fabius Maximus, who fought against Hannibal, men who especially resombled one ano other in the gontleness and justice of their dispositio D: and who were both of tho greatest service to their native countries, because they were able to endure with patienco the follics of their governments and colleagues. Of my success, the reader of tho following pages will be able to judgo for themself.
III. lerikles was of the tribo Akamantis, and of the township of Cholargos, and was desconded from the noblest families in Athens, on both his father's and mother's side. His father, Xanthippus, defeated the Persian generals Mykalé, whilo his mother, Agariste, was a descendant of Kleisthones, who drove the sons of Peisistratus out
Athens, put an end to their despotic rule, and cstablished a new constitution admirably calculated to reconcile all partics and savo tho country. She dreamed that she had brought forth a lion, and a few days afterwards was delivered of Perikles. Ilis body was symmetrical, but his head was long out of all proportion ; for which reason in nearly all his statues ho is represented wearing a helmet, as the sculptors did not wish, I suppose, to reproach him with this blemish. The Attic poets called him squillo head, and the comic poet, Kratinus, in his play. Chcironos,' Bays,
" From Kronos old and faction,
Is sprung a tyrant lrenil,
Thu mon-compelling biail.'
" Comc, hospitable Zeus, with lofty bcad." Telekleides, too, speaks of him as sitting
“ Bowed down
Until at last,
From his head 80 vast,
His ideas burst forth in a tlırong." And Eupolis, in his play of Demoi,' asking questions about each of the great orators as they come up from the other world one after the other, whon at last Perikles ascends, says,
" The great headpicoo of those below." IV. Most writers tell us that his tutor in music was Damon, whose name they say should be pronounced with the first syllablo, short. Aristotle, however, says that he studied under Pythokleides. This Damon, it seems, was & sophist of the highest order, who uscd the name of musío to conceal this accomplishment from the world, but who really trained Perikles for his political contests just as a trainer prepares an athlete for tho games. However, Damon's aro of musio as a pretext did not impose upon the Athenians, who banished him by ostracism, as a busy.
body and lover of despotism. He was ridiculed by the comic poets; thus Plato represents some one as addressing him,
" Answer me this, I humbly do beseecli,
For thou, liko Cheiron, Perikles did'st teach." Perikles also attended the lectures of Zeno, of Elea, on natural philosophy, in which that philosopher followed the method of Parmenides. Zouo morcover had made an especial study of how to reduce any man to silence who questioned him, and how to encloso him between the horns of a dilemma, which is alluded to by Timon of Pulius in the following verses :
“ Nor weak the strength of him of two-edged tongue,
Zeno that carps at all.” But it was Anaxagoras of Klazomena who had most to do with forming Periklus's stylo, teaching him an clever tion and sublimity of oxpression beyond that of ordinary popular speakers, and altogether purifying and ennobling his mind. This Anaxagoras was called Nous, or Intelligence, by the men of that day, either because they ailmired his own intellect, or becauso he taught that an abstract intelligence is to be traced in all the concrete fornis of matter, and that to this, and not to chance, the universo owes its origin.
V. Perikles greatly admired Anaxagoras, and became deeply interested in these grand speculations, which gavo him a haughty spirit and a lofty stylo of oratory far removed from vulgarity and low buffoonery, and also an importurbablo gravity of countenance, and a calmness of domeanour and appearance which no incident oould disturb as he was speaking, while the tone of his voice never showed that he heeded any interruption. These advantages greatly impressed the people. Once he sat quietly all day in the market-placo despatching some pressing business, reviled in the foulest terms all the while by some low worthless fellow. Towards evening he walked home, the man following him and heaping abuse upon him. When about to enter hi own door, as it was dark, ho ordered one of his servants to take a torch and light the man home. The poet Ion, however, says that Perikles
was overbearing and insolent in conversation, and that his pride had in it a great deal of conte:apt for others; whilo he praises Kimon's civil, sensible, and polished address. But we may disregard Ion, as a mere dramatio poet who always secs in great men something upon which to exercise his satiric vein; whereas Zeno used to invito those who called the haughtiness of Perikles a mere courting of popularity and affectation of grandeur, to court popularity themselves in tho samo fashion, since tho acting of such a part might insensibly mould their dispositions until they resembled that of their model.
VI. Theso wero not tho only arlvantages which Perikles gained from his intimacy with Anaxagoras, but he seems to have lcarner to despiso those superstitious fears which the common phenomena of tho hcavens produco in thoso who, ignorant of their cause, and knowing nothing about them, refer them all to tho immediate action of tho gods. Knowledge of physical scienco, while it puts an end to superstitious terrors, replaces them by a sound basis of picty. It is said that once a ram with ono horn was sent from the country as a present to Periklus, and that Lampon the prophet, as soon as ho saw this strong horni growing out of the middlo of the creature's forehead, said that as there were two parties in the state, that of Thucydides and that of Perikles, ho who possessed this mystic animal would unite the two into one. Anaxagoras cut open the beast's skull, and pointed out that its brain did not fill the whole space, but was sunken into tho shape of an egg, and all collected at that part from which the horn grew. At the time all men looked with admiration on Anaxagoras, but afterwards, when Thucydides had fallen, and all the state had become united under Perikles, they admired Lampon equally.
There is, I imagine, no reason why both the prophet and the natural philosopher should not liave been right, the one discovering the cause, and the other the meaning. The one considered why the horn grew so, and for what reason; the other declared what it meant by growing so, and for what end it took place. Those who вау
that when the cause of a portent is found out the portent is explained wway, do not reflect that the same reasoning which explains