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hearers of Solon, nay even from the hearers of later lyric poets, like Pindar and Simonides. There is a depth and a condensation of thought in Æschylus which would have made him perfectly unintelligible to men who appreciated the stupid saws of Hesiod and Solon, even when obscured or polished by Pindar and Simonides. The fact that Æschylus was appreciated proves that Athens had attained the intellectual culture fit for a great democracy. I believe that she owed this culture mainly to her tyrants.

But of course the tyrants had their bad effect on literary men, even while they promoted culture. For their position and their policy led them to encourage smoothness and elegance rather than originality and vigour. Archilochus and Aristophanes could not have been tolerated among them, and there were certain species of poetry, like the comedy of the latter, which though born, lay dormant till their control had passed away. So then the lyric poets, who have been divided in numerous cross divisions, as regards dialect, metre, country, and subjects, may be divided for our present purpose into the poets of free states, and the poets at the courts of tyrants.

The characteristics of the former are sufficiently obvious from the foregoing remarks, as well as the value of the evidence they respectively afford us. I

1 In corroboration of this view of the literary influence of the tyrants, I may quote the curious case of Magna Græcia, where the Achæan confederation, which excluded tyrants, also exhibited no literary genius, though Tarentum and Rhegium and the Sicilian cities bore their full share, often under tyrants. (Cf. Mommsen's Rom. Hist. i. 143, Eng. Trans.)

shall only here call attention among the latter to the attitude of Pindar, who appears from his poems to have been more a courtier than an honest man. I take his moral reflections, and those of Simonides, to be far less sincere than those of Solon or Theognis. But unfortunately, the high moral standing of the earlier gnomists made it impossible to keep their works pure and undefiled. Later moral teachers added to the reflections of the older new saws and maxims, and these, especially when they were of high merit, took refuge under the name of Hesiod, or of Solon, or of Theognis, even where they seem to us in direct contradiction to these authors' opinions. Accordingly there is no more hopeless task then the critical establishment of such texts. The interpolations are often as old as the circulation of the poems, and usually of equal merit as to thought and diction. These additions are flagrantly obvious in our ,extant remains of Theognis, and have been there since the fourth century B.C., at all events, for Plato criticises them in his Meno (vol. i. p. 286, ed. Jowett)

1 This consideration shows the folly of a very common procedure among the German critics, of determining by their own taste (generally a very capricious one) what lines are of inferior merit, and excluding them as unworthy of the genuine poet. The supposed defect in the suspected passage often arises from a want of comprehension on the part of the critic.

Choice specimens of this sort of restitution may be seen in Steitz' otherwise valuable book on Hesiod, and still better in Lucian Müller's papers on some of Ovid's Heroides in the twentythird vol. of the Rhein. Museum. In Gnomic poetry at all events, neither commonplace nor disconnection are sufficient proof of spuriousness, and again no line is more likely to be foisted in than a really good and striking line. There is indeed no reason why the interpolated lines should not te superior to the original poem.

as part of the received text. The curious saltus from subject to subject, the constant and direct inconsistencies, the total absence of continuity in the fragments, teli but too plainly the history of their text.

It is beyond the scope of a general sketch to attempt a notice of all the individual peculiarities scattered through the widely severed fragments of the lyric poets. Where the germ was developed in later Greek society we shall notice it in our more special consideration of the Attic age. But there are a few general features, repeated in many of the fragments, despite of contrasts in time and place, in metre and in dialect. These must here occupy us for a brief space.

There is, for example, a peculiar uniformity in many of them as to their religious views—I mean their views of Divine Justice and Benevolence, of Providence and of Fate. Solon and Theognis, Archilochus and the earlier Simonides, the later Simonides and his contemporary Pindar, all agree in their general theory of life. They were led by bitter experience to assert, what had never been dared by Homer and only hinted by Hesiod, that goodness and justice among men were often without reward, and that the wicked did flourish as a green bay tree; and yet, for all that, they never advanced even to the most distant hint of atheism, or to a denial that the gods could and did interfere in human affairs. Had such a notion been within their horizon, it must have come into sight when we find such almost comic appeals as this of Theognis :— Dear Zeus, I wonder at thee: for thou rulest over all, having in thine own hands honour and great power, and of men


thou knowest well the beart and mind of each, and thy strength is over all, O king! How is it then that thy mind can tolerate to hold transgressors and the just in the same lot?' And so the conclusion appears briefly in the succeeding lines, “There is nothing decided for mortals as regards the Deity, nor what path he must tread to please the immortal gods. This is their common attitude. They feel the presence of the Deity; they believe that human happiness and misery are bestowed by him; but though their deepest instinct tells them that virtue must be his law, and justice his principle, they cannot reconcile with it the facts of common life. They conclude, therefore, that the ways of God are inscrutable, and his paths past finding out. Thus Solon, in the most famous of his fragments (No. 13, ed. Bergk), where he tells us the results of his deepest reflections on human life, after asserting in the strongest terms a ruling Providence, which, though often tardy, yet never fails to seek out and punish vice, it may be in the sinner himself, it may be by visitations upon the third and fourth generation—after this dogmatic teaching, Solon goes on to show how men are carried about, each by his own vanity and his peculiar ambition, and how not one of them can see what dangers and what successes are before him. In the words of another fragment (17), Πάντη δ' αθανάτων αφανής νόος ανθρώποισιν.

The lines of Theognis (vv. 133 sq.) are still stronger:No one, Cyrnus, is himself the cause of his misfortune or his gain, but the gods are the givers of them both; nor does any man work with a sure knowledge whether the result will be good or evil. For often when he thinks he is producing evil, he produces good, and thinking to produce good he has produced evil. Nor does any man attain his expectations, for the limits of hard impossibility restrain him (ίσχει γαρ χαλεπής πείραταμηχανίης). For we men form idle opinions, ' ).

, knowing nothing, but the gods accomplish all according to their own mind. But it must be observed that, by way of antidote, the succeeding lines tell that he who deceives a stranger, or a suppliant, never escapes the immortal gods. The gloomy lines of Archilochus (fr. 56), and Simonides of Amorgos (fr. I), of Simonides of Ceos (fr. 5), and of Pindar's twelfth Olympian Ode, repeat the same disappointment and the same despair; even in language so similar to that of Solon and Theognis, that they seem but evident repetitions of the common wisdom of the day, couched in the tritest and most homely words 1.

It is worthy of remark that these poets were far too philosophic to account for their difficulties, as Homer would do, by the conflicting passions of independent deities. This vulgar polytheism had long passed away from educated minds, and the poets speak

1 I quote the words of Pindar instar omnium :

σύμβολον δ' ού πώ τις επιχθονίων
πιστόν αμφί πράξιος εσσομένας εύρεν θεόθεν
των δε μελλόντων τετύφλωνται φραδαί.
πολλά δ' ανθρώποις παρά γνώμαν έπεσεν,
έμπαλιν μεν τέρψιος, οι δ' ανιαραίς
αντικύρσαντες ζάλαις εσλόν βαθύ πήματος εν μικρό πεδάμειψαν.

xpóvq.' Ol. xii. 7-12.
These poets add nothing to Hesiod, "Epy. 193 sqq.

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