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tered here with envy and chagrin in known. So long as the Greek and Latin your heart, humiliated at not getting classics continue to fill, as they do fill, your allowance paid you from home; and the chief place in your school-work, the you sit with your mind full, in the inter- gainsayer is implacable and sticks to his vals of the lecture, of how your father sentence : “When the boy does learn, behaves to you, and how your brother. he learns nothing that is worth knowWhat are the people down at home say. ing." ing about me ?—They are thinking : Amidst all this disparagement, one Now he is getting on ! they are saying: may well ask oneself nervously what is He will come home a walking diction- . really to be said on behalf of studies ary !— Yes, and I should like to go home over which so much of our time is spent, a walking dictionary ; but then there is and for which we have, many of us, cona deal of work required, and nobody tracted a fondness. And after much sends me anything, and the bathing here consideration I have arrived at certain at Nicopolis is dirty and nasty ; things conclusions, which for my own use I are all bad at home, and all bad here." find sufficient, but which are of such
Nobody can say that the bathing at extreme simplicity that one ought to Eton is dirty and nasty. But at Eton, hesitate, perhaps, before one produces as at Nicopolis, the moral disposition in them to other people. However, such which the pupil arrives at school, the as they are, I have been led to bring thoughts and habits which he brings them out more than once, and I will with him from home and from the social very briefly rehearse them now. It order in which he moves, must necessa- seems to me that what a man seeks rily affect his power of profiting by what through his education is to get to know his schoolmasters have to teach him. himself and the world ; that for this This necessity is common to all school- knowledge it is before all things necesing. You cannot escape from it here, sary that he acquaint himself with the no more could they at Nicopolis. Epic- best which has been thought and said in tetus, however, was fully persuaded that the world ; finally, that of this best the what he had to teach was valuable if the classics of Greece and Rome form a mental and moral frame of his pupils very chief portion, and the portion most were but healthy enough to permit them entirely satisfactory. With these concluto profit by it. I hope the Eton mas- sions lodged safe'in one's mind, one is ters have the same conviction as to the staunch on the side of the humanities. native value of what they teach. But And in the same spirit of simplicity in you know how many doubters and de- which these conclusions have been reachniers of the value of a classical education ed, I proceed further. People complain we nowadays meet with. Let us put that the significance of the classics which aside all that is said of the idleness, ex- we read at school is not enough brought travagance, and self-indulgence of the out, that the whole order and sense of schoolboy : this may pair off with the that world from which they issue is not complaint of Epictetus about the unsat- seized and held up to view. Well, but isfactory moral state of his pupil. But the best, in literature, has the quality of with us there are many people who go being in itself formative-silently formaon and say : “And when the school- tive; of bringing out its own signifiboy, in our public schools, does learn, cance as we read it. It is better to read he learns nothing that is worth know- a masterpiece much, even if one does ing." It is not of the Eton schoolboy that only, than to read it a little and to only that this is said, but of the public be told a great deal about its signifischoolboy generally. We are all in the cance and about the development and same boat, all of us in whose schooling sense of the world from which it issues. the Greek and Latin classics fill the Sometimes what one is told about the principal place. And it avails nothing significance of a work, and about the that you try and appease the gainsayer development of a world, is extremely by now acquainting yourselves with the questionable. At any rate, a schoolboy, · diameter of the sun and moon, and with who, as they did in the times of ignoall sorts of matters which to us of an rance at Eton, read his Homer and earlier and ruder generation were un- Horace through, and then read them through again, and so went on until he then, as I listened to him, I felt emotion knew them by heart, is not, in my opin- at hearing of the place of Herodotus in ion, so very much to be pitied.
literary history. Yes, not only to be Still that sounding phrase, the order able to read the admirable works of and sense of a world,” sends a kind of classical literature, but to conceive also thrill through us when we hear it, espe- that Græco-Roman world, which is so cially when the world spoken of is a mighty a factor in our own world, our thing so great and so interesting as the own life, to conceive it as a whole of Græco-Roman world of antiquity. If which we can trace the sequence and we are not deluded by it into thinking the sense and the connection with ourthat to read fine talk about our classical selves, this does undoubtedly also belong documents is as good as to read the doc- to a classical education, rightly underuments themselves, the phrase is one stood. which we may with advantage lay to But even here, too, a plain person can heart. I remember being struck, long proceed, if he likes, with great simplicago, with a remark on the Greek poet ity. As Goethe says of life: Strike Theognis by Goethe, who did not know into it anywhere, lay hold of it any. Greek well and had to pick out its where, it is always powerful and interestmeaning by the help of a Latin transla- ing-so one may almost say of classical tion, but who brought to everything he literature. Strike into it where you like, read his powerful habits of thought and lay hold of it where you like, you can criticism. “When I first read Theog- nearly always find a thread which will nis,' says Goethe, in substance, “I lead you, if you follow it, to large and thought him querulous and morbid, and instructive results. Let us to-night foldisliked him. But when I came to low a single Greek word in this fashion, know how entirely his poetry proceeded and try to compensate ourselves, howfrom the real circumstances of his life, ever imperfectly, for having to divert from the situation of parties in Megara, our thoughts, just for one lecture, from his native city, and from the effects of that the diameter of the sun and moon. situation upon himself and his friends, then I read him with quite another feel- The word I will take is the word ing." How very little do any of us eutrapelos, eutrapelia. Let us consider it treat the poetry of Theognis in that first as it occurs in the famous funeral fashion ! was my thought after reading oration put by Thucydides into the Goethe's criticism. And earlier still I mouth of Pericles. The word stands remember being struck at hearing a there for one of the chief of those qualischoolfellow, who had left the sixth ties which have made Athens, says Periform at Rugby for Cambridge, and who cles, “the school of Greece "; for a had fallen in somewhere with one of quality by which Athens is eminently Bunsen's sons, who is now a member of representative of what is called Hellenthe German Parliament-at hearing this ism : the quality of flexibility. schoolfellow contrast the training of happy and gracious flexibility,” Pericles George Bunsen, as we then called him, calls this quality of the Athenians; and with our own. Perhaps you think that it is no doubt a charming gift. Lucidity at Rugby, which is often spoken of, of thought, clearness and propriety of though quite erroneously, as a sort of language, freedom from prejudice, freeopposition establishment to Eton, we dom from stiffness, openness of mind, treated the classics in a high philosoph- amiability of manners, all these seem to ical way, and traced the sequence of go along with a certain happy flexibility things in ancient literature, when you at of nature, and to depend upon it. Nor Eton professed nothing of the kind. does this suppleness and flexibility of But hear the criticism of my old school- nature at all necessarily imply, as we fellow. “It is wonderful,” said he; English are apt to suppose, a relaxed “not only can George Bunsen construe moral fibre and weakness. In the Athehis Herodotus, but he has a view of the nian of the best time it did not. “In place of Herodotus in literary history, a the Athenians," says Professor Curtius, thing none of us ever thought about.” “the sense of energy abhorred every My friend spoke the truth; but even kind of waste of time, their sense of
measure abhorred bombast and redun- Russia the advance in civilisation dancy, and their clear intelligence every- amongst the Asiatics is indeed slow and thing partaking of obscurity or vague- inconsiderable, but steady, and suitable ness; it was their habit in all things to to their natural capacities and the disadvance directly and resolutely to the position of their race. On the other goal. Their dialect is characterised by hand, they remain indifferent to British a superior seriousness, manliness, and civilisation, which is absolutely incomvigor of language."
prehensible to them.” There is no sign of relaxation of Our word “flexibility” has here carmoral fibre here ; and yet, at the same ried us a long way, carried us to Turtime, the Athenians were eminent for a kestan and the valleys of the Jaxartes happy and gracious flexibility. That and Oxus. Let us get back to Greece, quality, as we all know, is not a charac- at any rate. The generation of Pericles teristic quality of the Germanic nations, is succeeded by the generation of Plato to which we ourselves belong. Men are and Aristotle. Still the charming and educable, and when we read of the ab- Athenian quality of eutrapelia continues horrence of the Attic mind for redun- to be held in high esteem. Only the dancy and obscurity of expression, its word comes to stand more particularly love for direct and telling speech, and for flexibility and felicity in the givethen think of modern German, we may and-take of gay and light social intersay with satisfaction that the circum
With Aristotle it is one of the stances of our life have at any rate edu- virtues ; the virtue of him who in this cated us into the use of straightforward pleasant sort of intercourse, so relished and vigorous forms of language. But by the Greeks, manages exactly to hit they have not educated us into flexibil- the happy and right mean, the virtue ity. All around us we may observe opposed to buffoonery on the one side, proofs of it. The state of Ireland is a and to morose rusticity, or clownishness, proof of it. We are rivals with Russia on the other. It is in especial the virtue in Central Asia, and at this moment it of the young, and is akin to the grace is particularly interesting to note how and charm of youth. When old men try the want of just this one Athenian qual- to adapt themselves to the young, says ity of flexibility seems to tell against us Plato, they betake themselves, in imitain our Asiatic rivalry with Russia. tion of the young, to eutrapelia and
Russia," observes one who is perhaps pleasantry. the first of living geographers—an Aus- Four hundred years pass, and we trian, Herr von Hellwald—“possesses come to the date of the Epistle to the far more shrewdness, flexibility, and Ephesians. The word eutrapelia rises congeniality than England ; qualities in the mind of the writer of that Epistle. adapted to make the Asiatic more tracta- It rises to St. Paul's mind, and he utters ble.” And again : There can be no it ; but in how different a sense from dispute which of the two, England or the praising and admiring sense in which Russia, is the more civilized nation. we have seen the word used by ThucydiBut it is just as certain that the highly- des and Aristotle ! Eutrapelia, which civilized English understand but in- once stood for that eminently Athenian differently how to raise their Asiatic and Hellenic virtue of happy and grasubjects to their own standard of civili- cious flexibility, now conveys this favorasation, whilst the Russians attain, with ble sense no longer, but is ranked with their much lower standard of civilisa- filthiness and foolish talking among tion, far greater results amongst the Asi- things which are not convenient. Like atic tribes, whom they know how to as- these, it is not to be once named among similate in the most remarkable manner. the followers of God : neither filthiOf course they can only bring them to ness, nor foolish talking, nor jesting the same level which they have reached (eutrapelia), which are not convenient. themselves ; but the little which they This is an extraordinary change, you can and do communicate to them counts will say. But now, as we have descendactually for much more than the greated four hundred years from Aristotle to boons which the English do not know St. Paul, let us ascend, not four hunhow to impart. Under the auspices of dred, not quite even one hundred years,
from Thucydides to Pindar. The re- aim, and held fast to it, by the instinct of ligious Theban poet, we shall see and self-preservation in humanity. the thing is surely very remarkable), The ideal of human life being such as speaks of the quality of eutrapelia in the it is, all these great and diverse powers same disapproving and austere way as the to the attainment of which our instincts, writer of the Epistle to the Ephesians. as we have seen, impel us, hang togethThe young and noble Jason appears at er ; cannot be truly possessed and emIolcos, and being questioned about him- ployed in isolation. Yet it is convenself by Pelias, he answers that he has ient, owing to the way in which we find been trained in the nurture and admoni- them actually exhibiting themselves in tion of the old and just Centaur, Chiron. human life and in history, to treat them “From his cave I come, from Chariclo separately, and to make distinctions of and Philyra, his stainless daughters, who rank amongst them. In this view, we there nursed me. These twenty years may say that the power of conduct is am I with them, and there hath been the greatest of all the powers now found in me neither deed nor word that named ; that it is three-fourths of life. is not convenient; and now, behold, I And wherever much is founded amongst am come home, that I may recover my men, there the power of conduct has father's kingdom.” The adjective eu- surely been present and at work, altrapelos, as it is here used in connection though of course there may be and are, with its two nouns, means exactly a along with it, other powers too. word or deed, in Biblical phrase, of vain Now, then, let us look at the beginlightness, a word or deed such as is not nings of that Greece to which we owe so convenient.
much, and which we may almost, so far There you have the history of the as our intellectual life is concerned, call varying use of the words eutrapelos, eu- the mother of us all. “So well has she trapelia. And now see how this varying done her part,” as the Athenian Isocuse gives us a clue to the order and rates truly says of her, " that the name sense, as we say, of all that Greek world, of Greeks seems no longer to stand for so nearly and wonderfully connected a race, but to stand for intelligence itwith us, so profoundly interesting for self, and they who share in Hellenic cul. us, so full of precious lessons.
ture are called Greeks even before those We must begin with generalities, but who are merely of Hellenic blood.” we will try not to lose ourselves in The beginnings of this wonderful them, and not to remain amongst them Greece, what are they? long. Human life and human society Greek history begins for us, as I have arise, we know, out of the presence in more than once had occasion to say, man of certain needs, certain instincts, with the sanctuaries of Tempe and Deland out of the constant endeavor of phi, and with the Apolline worship and these instincts to satisfy and develop priesthood which in those sanctuaries themselves. We may briefly sum them under Olympus and Parnassus establishup, these needs or instincts, as being, ed themselves. The northern sanctuary first and foremost, a general instinct of of Tempe soon yielded to Delphi as the expansion ; then, as being instincts fol- centre of national Hellenic life and of lowing diverse great lines, which may be Apolline religion. We are accustomed conveniently designated as the lines of to think of Apollo as the awakener and conduct, of intellect and knowledge, of nourisher of what is called genius. And beauty, of social life and manners. Some so from the very first the Greeks, too, lines are more in view and more in considered him. But in those earliest honor at one time, some at another. days of Hellas, and at Delphi, where Some men and some nations are more the hardy and serious tribes of the eminent on one line, some on another. Dorian highlands made their influence But the final aim, of making our own and felt, Apollo was not only the nourisher of harmoniously combining the powers of genius, he was also the author of to be reached on each and all of these every higher moral effort. He was the great lines, is the ideal of human life. prophet of his father Zeus, in the highAnd our race is for ever recalled to this est view of Zeus, as the source of the
NEW SERIES.- VOL. XXX., No. I
ideas of moral order and of right. For The Athenians were Ionians. But to this higher significance had the names they were Ionians transplanted to Helof Zeus and Phæbus-names originally las, and who had breathed, as a Hellenic derived from sun and air-gradually state, the air of Delphi, that bracing atrisen. They had come to designate a mosphere of the ideas of moral order Father, the source of the ideas of moral and of right. In this atmosphere the order nd of right; and a Son, his Athenians, Ionian as they were, imbibed prophet purifying and inspiring the soul influences of character and steadiness with these ideas, and also with the idea which for a long while balanced their of intellectual beauty.
native vivacity and mobility, distinguishNow the ideas of moral order and of ed them profoundly from the Ionians of right which are in human nature, and Asia, and gave them men like Aristeides. which are, indeed, a main part of human Still, the Athenians were Ionians. life, were especially, we are told, a treas. They had the Ionian quickness and ure possessed by the less gay and more flexibility, the Ionian turn for gaiety, solitary tribes in the mountains of North- wit, and fearless thinking, the Ionian ern Greece. These Dorian tribes were impatience of restraint. This nature of Delphi's first pupils. And the graver theirs asserted itself, first of all, as an view of life, the thoughts which give impatience of false restraint. It assertdepth and solemnity to man's conscious- ed itself in opposition to the real faults ness, the moral ideas, in short, of con- of the Dorian spirit, faults which beduct and righteousness, were the governo came more and more manifest as time ing elements in the manner of spirit went on; to the unprogressiveness of propagated from Delphi. The words this spirit, to its stiffness, hardness, narwritten up on the temple there called all rowness, prejudice, want of insight, want comers to soberness and righteousness. of amiability. And in real truth, by the The Doric and Æolic Pindar felt pro- time of Pericles, Delphi, the great creafoundly this severe influence of Delphi. tion of the Dorian spirit, had broken It is not to be considered as an influence down, and was a witness to that spirit's at war with the idea of intellectual lack of a real power of life and growth. beauty-to mention the name of Pindar Bribes had discredited the sanctity of is in itself sufficient to show how little Delphi ; seriousness and vital power had this was, or could be, the case. But it left it. It had come to be little more was above all an influence charged with than a name, and what continued to the ideas of moral order and of right. exist there was merely a number of And there were confronting these Do- forms. rian founders of Hellas, and well known Now, then, was the turn of the Atheto them, and connected with them in nians. With the idea of conduct, so manifold ways, other Greeks of a very little grasped by the Ionians of Asia, still different spiritual type ; the Asiatic deeply inipressed on their soul, they Greeks of Ionia, full of brilliancy and freely and joyfully called forth also that mobility, but over whom the ideas of pleasure in life, that love of clear thinkmoral order and of right had too little ing, and of fearless discussion, that gay power, and who could never succeed in social temper, that ease and lightness, founding among themselves a serious that gracious flexibility, which were in and powerful state. It was evident that their nature. These were their gifts, the great source of the incapacity which and they did well to bring them forth; accompanied, in these Ionians of Asia, the gifts are in themselves gifts of great so much brilliancy, that the great enemy price, like those other gifts contributed in them to the Halt, as Goethe calls it, by the primitive and serious Dorian the steadiness, which moral natures so tribes, their rivals. Man has to adhighly prize, was their extreme mobility vance, we have seen, along several lines, of spirit, their gay lightness, their eutra- and he does well to advance along them. pelia. For Pindar, therefore, the word “In the morning sow thy seed, and in eutrapelos, expressing easy flexibility and the evening withhold not thine hand; for mobility, becomes a word of stern op- thou knowest not whether shall prosper, probrium, and conveys the reproach of either this or that, or whether they both vain folly.
shall be alike good.'