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the Odyssey. When Ulysses hears from Circe (K 496) what sufferings he has yet to undergo, he tells us himself: So she spake, but my spirit was broken within me, and I sat crying on the couch, and I felt no more desire to live and see the light of the sun. This was natural enough, but very different from the courage, not only of the mediæval knight, but of the modern gentleman. Still worse, when the hero is telling Achilles in the shades of the valour of his son Neoptolemus, he says that as the chiefs entered the wooden horse, though they were the best of the Greeks, yet 'the other leaders of the Danai wiped tears from their eyes, and the limbs of each trembled beneath him, but Neoptolemus alone neither grew pale nor wept 1.'

These hints in an ideal description, professing to tell of the highest possible heroism, indicate plainly that the Greeks of the heroic age were no extraordinary heroes, and that they were not superior in the quality of courage to the Greeks of history. In this respect, then, the Achæan chiefs were indeed but the forerunners of their descendants. The same combination of warlike ardour, but of alternating valour, meets us all through Greek history. The Athenians, the brave people who first ventured to look the barbarians in the face, whether at Sardis, or at Marathon, as Herodotus says—these brave Athenians are frequently seized with panics, and run for their lives. The same may be said of all the Greeks, except the Spartans, who succeeded in curing their national defect by a very strict and complete discipline. But this discipline controlled all their lives, and sacrificed all higher objects to that of making them stand firm in their ranks. I conclude this discipline to have been unnatural and strained, from the fact that no other Greek city, much as they all admired Spartan organisation, ever attempted to imitate it. When we now-a-days see the German armies better disciplined than our own, we forthwith propose to reform ourselves on their model. No such attempt ever occurs in Greek history. This could hardly have been so, but for the reason just assigned. The Spartan training was so oppressive that not even the certainty of victory in battle could induce other Greek politicians to recommend it, or other Greek citizens to adopt it. Thucydides hints

1 Cp. 1 524 sq.

ένθ' άλλοι Δαναών ηγήτορες ήδε μέδοντες
δάκρυά τ' ώμόργνυντο τρέμον θ' υπό γυία εκάστου
κείνον δ' ούπoτε πάμπαν έγών ίδoν οφθαλμοίσιν
ούτ' ώχρήσαντα χρόα κάλλιμον ούτε παρειών

δάκρυόμορξάμενον. See also k 198 sq. where the weeping of Ulysses and his men is almost ludicrous. I may as well at once cite an historical parallel to show the unity of Greek sentiment at every epoch. At the conclusion of the 21st oration in our remains of Lysias (the åmoloyía dwpodokias) the speaker says, ".Whenever I was about to run a risk in the naval battles, I never lamented or wept, or kept talking about my wife and children, and saying what a dreadful thing it would be, if I dying for my country were to leave them orphans and desolate. Thus the speaker takes special credit to himself as an exception to a general rule.

1 Thus in a curious passage of Plato's Gorgias (Jowett, iii. 94) Callicles, in answer to Socrates, tells us that brave men and cowards are equally pained at the approach of the enemy, and equally pleased at their departure. He does not contemplate that bravery which delights in danger, and seeks it out.

at this very plainly, and, in the mouth of Pericles, shows that, even with inferior military training, the real advantages are on the side of wider culture. Aristotle supports the same view in stronger and more explicit terms. I cite these authorities to show how artificial and fictitious a thing the Spartan valour was, and how different from the spirit of the Viking, the Baron, and the Yeoman. We know too how even the Spartan valour collapsed as soon as Epaminondas met them with superior tactics, and how little idea they had, either at Leuctra or Sphacteria, of resisting to the death. The Greeks, then, though a very warlike, were not a very courageous people, and we may affirm of them, in a lesser degree indeed, what Tacitus says of the Britons: 'In deposcendis periculis eadem audacia, et ubi advenere, in detrectandis eadem formido.'

The reasons of this curious combination are obvious enough, and worth a moment's digression. In the first place, the Greeks, from Homer's day downward, were an exceedingly sensitive people. Evidences of this feature crowd upon us in the Iliad and Odyssey. The delicate tact with which unpleasant subjects are evaded in conversation shows how easily men were hurt by them, and how perfectly the speaker could foretell it by his own feelings. In fact, so keenly alive are the Homeric Greeks to this great principle of politeness, that it seriously interferes with their truthfulness, just, as in the present day, the Irish peasant, with the same lively imagination and the same sensitiveness, will instinctively avoid disagreeable things, even if true, and prophesy smooth things' when he desires especially to please. He is not less reluctant to be the bearer of bad news than the typical messenger in Greek tragedy, who complains, in regular stock phrases, of the hard and ungrateful duty thrust upon him by untoward circumstances.

To this mental sensitiveness there was doubtless joined a corresponding bodily sensitiveness. An acute sense of pain and of pleasure, delicate nerves of taste and touch-these gifts were necessary for the artistic products in which the Greeks excelled. We know how important a place was held in historical times by cooks, and how keenly the Greeks enjoyed the more refined pleasures of the table. So we shall find Plato's contemporaries disputing in music on the difference of notes almost identical, showing that they appreciated dissonances which we consider unimportant.

I cannot parallel these facts in Homer, except by a curious case of sensitiveness in smell. When Menelaus is windbound off the coast of Egypt, and at his wit's end, a goddess (Eidothea) explains to him how to catch and interrogate Proteus, and engages to place him in ambush, which she does by concealing him with three comrades under fresh sealskins (8 440 sqq.) These men were in danger of their lives, and were engaged on the perilous errand of doing violence to a marine god. Yet the point which left its mark most strongly on Menelaus' mind was the bad smell of the sealskins ! • That would have been a most dreadful ambush; for a most deadly smell of sea-nourished seals galled us dreadfully. For who would lie down beside a sea-monster? But the goddess saved us, and devised a great boon. She brought and put very sweetsmelling ambrosia under each of our noses, and it . destroyed (counteracted) the smell of the seal.'

If we combine with this great delicacy of sensibility the gloomy and hopeless views which the Homeric Greeks held concerning a future life, we shall see good reason for their dread of death. For although Homer distinctly admits an after life, and even introduces us to it in the Odyssey, he represents the greatest kings and heroes in wcakness and in misery, without hope or enjoyment, save in hearing the vague and scanty rumours that reached them from the world of mortal men. The blessed islands of the West were indeed even then a home for the dead (8 564 sqq.), but they had not yet been opened to moral worth, as in the days of Pindar'. They were reserved for those who, like Menelaus, had the good fortune of being nearly related to the gods by marriage or family connections. From this aristocratic heaven therefore even Agamemnon, Achilles, and Ajax were excluded, and wandered forlorn in the doleful mcadow of asphodel.

There will be less controversy as to the low sense of truth among Homeric Greeks. At no period did the nation ever attain that high standard which is the great feature in Germanic civilisation. Even the Romans, with all their coarseness and vulgarity, stood higher in this respect. But neither in Iliad nor Odyssey is there, except in phrases, any reprobation of deceit as such. To deceive an enemy is meritorious, to deceive a stranger innocent, to deceive even a friend perfectly

Cp. Ol. ii. 57 sqq., and the famous frag. of his Opavos.


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