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Thus in Plato's Phædrus (Jowett i. p. 577) the 'haunts of sailors' are spoken of as a place where good manners are unknown. Even the merchant ship-captains are spoken of in another place (Laws, iv. p. 165) as of low social standing, and on a level with retail shopkeepers. Later on in the same dialogue (p. 226) there is a striking passage on the character of sea towns, which, as I believe Plato had the Peiræus before his mind, I shall here quote. Had you been on the sea, and well provided with harbours, and an importing rather than a producing country, some mighty saviour would have been needed, and lawgivers more than mortal, if you were to have a chance of preserving your state from degeneracy and discordance of manners. ... The sea is pleasant enough as a daily companion, but has also a bitter and brackish quality, filling the streets with merchants and shopkeepers, and begetting in the souls of men uncertain and unfaithful ways— making the state unfriendly and unfaithful both to her own citizens, and also to other nations.'

To this description may be added the striking passage in the Critias, where the din and noise of the harbour in his Utopia is evidently borrowed from the sea-port he knew so well. The entire area was densely crowded with habitations, and the canal and the largest of the harbours were full of vessels and of merchants coming from all parts, who, from their numbers, kept up a multitudinous sound of human voices and din of all sorts night and day.' Aristophanes describes with great vigour the Peiræus when an expedition was ordered out (Acharn. 54 sqq.); the

whole town is full of confusion with soldiers, and clamour about the election of captains, about pay, and rations being served out, about the burnishing of figure heads, about the buying of corn, of onions, leeks and figs; full of wreaths, anchovies, flute-girls, blackened eyes; and the dockyard resounds with hammering of oars, fitting of rowlocks, boatswains' pipes, fifes and whistling'.

I think this accident, as I call it, of Athens being situated some miles from the sea, which is rather the consequence of its being a very ancient site, when men were as yet afraid to venture down from the hill forts to the sea board, for fear of piracy-this feature was of great importance in keeping the society of Athens pure and refined. No doubt there was constant intercourse with the port, there was always business-traffic, there were often shows and processions which brought crowds from either town to the other, rich men possessed houses in each, nay the road between the long walls was so recognised a promenade for Athenians, that Plato speaks of it (Symp. Jowett i. 490) as 'made for conversation.' Yet, notwithstanding,

1 Among the various characters that thronged the quays, Heracleides Ponticus (Athen. xii. 5, § 2) speaks of a certain Axoneus,' who was subject to this peculiar madness, that he thought all the ships that came into the Peiræus were his own, and so he wrote down their names, and sent them out, and directed them, and hailed them when they arrived with all the joy of a man who was possessed of all this wealth Of those that were lost he took no account, while he delighted in those that came in safe, and so he lived in great contentment. But when his brother Crito, having come over on a visit from Sicily, brought him to a physician, and had him cured, he used to say he had never spent a happier time, for he had felt no troubles, but an excess of pleasures.'

the populations were evidently quite distinct; there were even distinct boards of magistrates for the Peiræus, as we can see from the fragments of Aristotle's Politeiai; there was a distinct tone of life, and probably a distinct society. So then a certain aristocratic flavour must have ever dwelt about the Athenian, and led to a general feeling of selectness and refinement.

Acting in unison with this special feature, was that other general one, which applies to all Greek towns-I mean the existence of a large class of slaves to do all the drudgery of life, and to leave the dominant class free for higher pursuits and higher amusements. Thus it is that the Athenian people had such leisure to pursue politics, and when their empire diminished, to pursue art and literature. The characters in Plato's Dialogues always seem to have time at their disposal, they seem to spend but little care upon any professional or private concerns, they are in fact wholly devoted to conversation and society. It must not be forgotten that Socrates was specially, and I believe justly, criticised by his contemporaries1 for encouraging among young men these vices of talking and of idleness, λέσχης τέρπνον κακόν, as Euripides calls it. Yet he could never have created this peculiarity, and had he attempted his peremptory Ancient Mariner' habits of stopping men in a really busy place, such as our modern Liverpool or Manchester, he would doubtless have been rudely thrust aside, even by intellectual merchants.


1 Cp. Meineke, i. p. 287, and among the middle comic poets Amphis (iii. 301), Ephippus (p. 332), Epicrates and Alexis perpetually. In the old Comedy cp. Arist. Ran., 1410, and Eupolis (Mein. ii. 553).

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But one of the leading features in Attic culture was the contempt of trade', or indeed of any occupation which so absorbed a man as to deprive him of ample leisure. In Plato's Gorgias we have even so intellectual a trade as that of an engineer despised, and in Aristotle's Politics (p. 1340) we find the philosopher with deeper wisdom censuring the habit of aiming at perfection in instrumental music, as lowering to the mind, and turning the free gentleman into a slavish handicraftsman. Possibly we may have this feeling rather strongly represented by aristocratic writers, like Plato and Aristophanes, who felt hurt at tradesmen coming forward prominently in politics; but the tone of Athenian life is too marked in this respect, to let us mistake the fact?. Hence came the favour and indulgence shown to handsome aristocrats,

1 This feeling was of course even more strongly developed in the aristocratic cities of Greece. It was a law at Thebes, says Aristotle (Pol. vi. 4) that a man could not hold office for ten years after he had been in trade (ảπ€σxμévov tîs ảyopâs). The Thessalians went farther, and had an ¿λevoépa åyopà, a free meeting place, where no mechanic (Bávavσov) or field labourer (ye∞pyov) could enter without being specially summoned by the magistrates. In Plato's Phædrus (Jowett i. 582) there is a scale of professions, which shows his opinion clearly: (1) philosophers, artists and musicians; (2) kings and warriors; (3) politicians, economists and traders; (4) gymnasts and physicians; (5) prophets and hierophants, (6) poets and imitators; (7) artizans and husbandmen; (8) and (9) are classes whom he personally hates. In the Laws he classes retail traders, and captains of merchantmen together.

2 Mr. Strübing (Aristoph. und die Kritik p. 235) shows that a wealthy middle class could not arise till the trade of Athens developed on sea. Hence these people were despised by the old landed gentry. Plato repeatedly speaks of the captains of merchant ships as a low class.

like Alcibiades, hence too the excesses of men like Demosthenes' opponent Meidias, who evidently trusted to this sentiment, which, though distinctly repressed by the strict impartiality of Athenian law, yet swayed the juries, and often retarded or mitigated a just sentence.

Considering then this leisure, and considering the selectness of Athenian society-which was not only free from the vulgar and turbulent classes, but was not burdened with an aristocracy of mere birth, overriding that of intellect-we have before us in Plato's Dialogues, and in the numerous fragments of the Middle and New Comedy, a life not a whit inferior to the best society of our own day. The instances of delicate tact and of graceful refinement in Plato's Dialogues, especially, are so numerous that there is great difficulty in making choice among them. Thus as to deportment, in the Lysis, and indeed elsewhere, we find it held impolite either to whisper or to monopolise attention in company1. On the other hand loud talking or hurried walking was thought equally improper-I need only mention the frequent apology of the Messengers in the Tragedies, that they had important reasons for coming θάσσον ἢ μ' ἐχρῆν. Of course rudeness and violence in conversation were not less censured than in outward demeanour, and nothing pleases us more in the Platonic

1 E. g: Soph. (iii. 476): 'I feel ashamed, Socrates, upon coming into a new society, instead of quietly conversing, to be spinning out a long oration, which even if adapted to another, would seem a kind of display.' 2 Thus Sophoc. fr. 234 b (ed. Dind.):

Ως νῦν τάχος στείχωμεν, οὐ γὰρ ἔσθ' ὅπως
σπουδῆς δικαίας μῶμος ἅψεταί ποτε.

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