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urged him to train, he asked whether athletic training would at all interfere with his condition for military purposes.' Being told that it would, he not only avoided it altogether and ridiculed it, but afterwards when commanding punished all such training with disgrace and even insult.' But he rather feared physical results. Plato sees the mental consequences more plainly.
The want of game, as I have said, in Attica, stood greatly in the way of this part of education, and so the high-spirited youths who could not bear to keep talking all day, were obliged to vary their gymnastics with lower amusements — dice-playing, drinking and debauchery-which are much complained of by Isocrates (ii. p. 169).
What I have said hitherto refers only to boys of some age, who were approaching the age of puberty, and had arrived at such a mental stage, as was suited for philosophical discussion. As to little children we have but scanty advice, and apparently not much sympathy among the philosophers. It was in fact mainly the intellect which attracted the attention of these speculators. The only educator who seems to me to have had a really deep sympathy with the temptations of his pupils was Socrates, and he did not seem to concern himself with little children, but only with boys old enough to inspire him with passion.
I fear Plato was an old bachelor, and estimated children accordingly. 'Of all animals,' he says in the Laws (iv. 322) 'the boy is the most unmanageable, he is the most insidious, sharpwitted, and insubordinate.' He notices in the sequel how peculiarly the Egyptians
excelled in the education of children, thereby implying inferiority in the Greeks. He proposes indeed to have two or three stout nurses to carry about each child in his ideal State, chiefly to obviate their roaring, in which he contrasts them unfavourably with the lower animals; but this very advice, and the reason for it, speaks plainly the unsympathetic doctrinaire. So Aristotle, too, when he recommends for little children toys, that they may not break the household furniture,' shows himself both a bad observer, and a bad adviser. Toys are most injurious to the peace of mind and the good temper of children; they will by no means save the furniture, and it is certain that intelligent children will exercise both their minds and bodies far better by inventing plays and games, as they all do, than by struggling for the possession of a new toy, which is broken and forgotten within a few hours.
I fancy, though we have little evidence, that the average Greek parents were harsher than we are. Lysis (Plato, i. p. 49) says he would be beaten if he touched his mother's spinning gear. He would be called in at once if they wanted reading or writing done—an allusion which leads us to suspect that the older generation were not very perfectly educated. But in spite of the repressive system of education described in this interesting passage of Plato, we know from Plutarch's anecdote (above, p. 218) about Alcibiades, that boys even of high family played in the street, and in the cartway.
I am persuaded by other hints, that the streets of
Athens were not at all more fit for respectable boys to play in than the streets of modern towns. I have mentioned people opening their doors, and shouting forw (stand aside) to the passers by, before they threw out dirty water, as they do in the lanes of London and Dublin. We hear of no strict supervision of the streets-nothing that I know of save one allusion in Aristophanes to men being arrested as intoxicated, if they went out without a walking-stick (Bakτýpιov), and one in Hypereides that women who misconducted themselves in the streets were fined 1000 drachmæ-an enormous fine. Nevertheless, though in theory hurried walking, or laughter, or noise of any kind was thought vulgar the ordinary Athenian public did not live up to an ideal level. Old gentlemen often went along whistling, as Aristophanes tells us. Crowds too would gather in the streets, not only to run after a groom who was leading a splendid horse1, as Xenophon tells us, but also to hear and join in an altercation.
A very amusing account of such a street brawl is given in one of Lysias' speeches. It was concerning the possession of a boy whom the speaker endeavoured to rescue from a drunken party attempting to carry him off by violence. They had rushed into a fuller's shop, where the boy had taken refuge and concealed
1 Cp. also Lysias, p. 178 on the other side. We see how ordinary hacks were so common, that a very poor man could borrow one to ride about on business, instead of doing the more comfortable thing and driving. Isæus (p. 53) corroborates this inference, when he tells us that one could be had for three minæ (£13), apparently the lowest price.
himself. The boy was dragged out screaming and bawling; and many people having come up and crying out shame, the party gave them no heed, but knocked down the fuller and others who tried to rescue the boy. The speaker then came up, and as the boy was his special favourite, he forthwith joins in the fight. He and the boy both take to throwing stones, and being helped by the by-standers, there was a general mêlée. In this row we all had our heads broken 1.' He says that there were presently 200 people present.
The men who had been drunk and had assaulted the speaker came afterwards and apologised, which was the gentlemanly thing to do, as the penalties for assault and battery were at Athens very severe, and would be enforced if the matter should come into court. Probably for the same season, we are told (Lysias, p. 98) that actions for abusive language were thought disreputable. But I must reserve the legal peculiarities of the Athenian state for a special discussion. I have here only sought to show that while the theories of Plato were most advanced and philosophical on education, there was probably as great a difference between his speculations and ordinary Athenian practice, as there is between our theory and our practice in education. I hold it therefore uncritical to quote Plato's Dialogues as evidences of Athenian education, except where he alludes to the ordinary practice directly, and often as differing from his views. Most of his theories were peculiar to himself, or to the select few brought up in the higher atmosphere of Socratic teaching.
' ἐν τούτῳ τῷ θορύβῳ συντριβόμεθα τὰς κεφαλὰς ἅπαντες (p. 31).
RELIGIOUS FEELING IN THE ATTIC AGE.
THE common theory as to the religion of the Greeks assumes that in Homeric days men believed faithfully in the acts and adventures of the Gods, as they were collected and recited by the Epic poets. In these primitive days the personification of natural powers was universally admitted as the only reasonable explanation of the action and order of nature; and it seemed not only impious but absurd to the early Greek to regard his Helios as no longer a great god driving his chariot daily, and casting an eye of desire upon the fair things of this world, but a mere lump of whitened metal suspended in the sky, and moved at the beck of some unseen and spiritual agency. In this sense the saying of Herodotus is often quoted, that Homer and Hesiod 'made the theology of the Greeks ;' in other words, these widely-spread and popular poems gave some connected view of the various scattered local beliefs concerning the Gods and their relations to
Mr. Grote has shown with great ability and force, in his celebrated xvith chapter, how this simple unreasoning faith began to fade out under the light of