תמונות בעמוד

And at this moment Thucydides, a the writer goes on after the words which man in whom the old virtue and the new I quoted. He proceeds thus : “ Truly reason were in just balance, has put the light is sweet, and a pleasant thing into the mouth of Pericles, another man it is for the eyes to behold the sun ; of the same kind, an encomium on the yea, if a man live many years, let him modern spirit, as we may call it, of rejoice in them all ; and let him rememwhich Athens was the representative. ber the days of darkness, for they shall By the mouth of Pericles, Thucydides be many. All that is to come is vanity. condemned old-fashioned narrowness Rejoice, O young man, in thy youth, and illiberality. He applauded enjoy- and let thy heart cheer thee in the days ment of life. He applauded freedom of thy youth, and walk in the ways of from restraint. He applauded clear and thine heart and in the sight of thine fearless thinking ; the resolute bringing eyes ; but know thou that for all these of our actions to the rule of reason. things God will bring thee into judgHis expressions on this point greatly re- ment.' The old rigid order breaks mind me of the fine saying of one of your down, a new power appears on the own worthies, “the ever memorable Mr. scene ; it is the Athenian genius, with John Hales, of Eton College.I its freedom from restraint, its flexibilicomprise it all," says Hales," in two

in two ty, its bold reason, its keen enjoyment words : what and wherefore. That part of life. Well, let it try what it can do. of your burden which contains what, Up to a certain point it is clearly in the you willingly take up. But that other, right; possibly it may be in the right which comprehends why, that is either altogether. Let it have free play, and too hot or too heavy; you dare not show what it can do. “In the morning meddle with it. But I must add that sow thy seed, and in the evening withalso to your burden, or else I must leave hoid not thine hand; for thou knowest you for idle persons ; for without the not whether shall prosper, either this or knowledge of why, of the grounds or that, or whether they both shall be alike reasons of things, there is no possibility good.” Whether the old line is good, of not being deceived." It seems to me or the new line, or whether they are probable that Hales had here in his both of them good, and must both of mind the words of the Funeral Oration : them be used, cannot be known without “We do not esteem discussion a hurt to trying. Let the Athenians try, thereaction; what we consider mischievous is fore, and let their genius have full rather the setting oneself to work with. swing. “Rejoice ; walk in the ways of out first getting the guidance of reason.' thine heart and in the sight of thine Finally, Thucydides applauded the eyes ; but know thou that for all these quality of nature which above all others things God will bring thee into judg. made the Athenians the men for the new ment.” In other words : Your enjoyera, and he used the word eutrapelos in ment of life, your freedom from reits proper and natural sense, to denote straint, your clear and bold reason, your the quality of happy and gracious flexi- flexibility, are natural and excellent · bility. Somewhat narrowed, so as to but on condition that you know how to mean especially flexibility and adroitness live with them, that you make a real sucin light social intercourse, but still em- cess of them. ployed in its natural and favorable And a man like Pericles or Phidias sense, the word descends, as we saw, seemed to afford promise that Athens to Plato and Aristotle. Isocrates speaks would know how to make a real success of the quality as one which the old of her qualities, and that an alliance beschool regarded with alarm and disap- tween the old morality and the new freeproval ; but nevertheless, for him too dom might be, through the admirable the word has evidently, in itself, just the Athenian genius, happily established. same natural and favorable sense which And with such promise before his eyes. it has for Aristotle and Plato.

a serious man like Thucydides might I quoted, just now, some words from well give to the new freedom the high the Book of Ecclesiastes, one of the and warm praise which we see given to wisest and one of the worst understood it in the Funeral Oration. books in the Bible. Let us hear how But it soon became evident that the balance between the old morality and meet the wants of the age. Mediators the new freedom was not to be main- in this sense appeared in the persons of tained, and that the Atheniars had the the great poets of Athens.” Yes, they defects, as the saying is, of their quali- appeared ; but the current was setting ties. Their minds were full of other too strongly another way. Poetry itself, things than those ideas of moral order after the death of Sophocles, was and of right on which primitive Hellas seized,” says Professor Curtius,“ by had formed itself, and of which they the same current which dissolved the themselves had, in the shadow of the foundations of the people's life, and Parnassian sanctuary, once deeply felt which swept away the soil wherein the the power. These ideas lost their pre- emotions of the classical period had dominance. The predominance for been rooted. The old perished ; but Athens-and, indeed, for Hellas at large the modern age, with all its readiness in ---of a national religion of righteousness, thought and speech, was incapable of of grave ideas of conduct and moral creating a new art as a support to its order, outweighing all other ideas, dis- children." appeared with the decline of Delphi, Socrates was so penetrated with the never to return. Not only did these new intellectual spirit that was called a ideas lose exclusive predominance, they sophist. But the great effort of Socrates lost all due weight. Still, indeed, they was to recover that firm foundation for inspired poetry; and after inspiring the human life which a misuse of the new ingreat Attic poets, Æschylus and Sopho- tellectual spirit was rendering impossicles, they inspired the great Attic pli- ble. He effected much more for after losophers, Socrates and Plato. But the times, and for the world,, than for his Attic nation, the Hellenic people, could own people. His amount of success not manage to keep its mind bent suffi- with Alcibiades may probably be taken ciently upon them. The Attic nation as giving us well enough the measure of had its mind set on other things. It his success with the Athenian people at threw itself ardently upon other lines, large. As to the susceptibility of Alwhich man, indeed, has to follow, which cibiades," we are toid, "Socrates had had not been enough followed, of which not come too late, for he still found in it strongly felt the attraction, and on him a youthful soul, susceptible of high which it had rare gifts for excelling. It inspirations. But to effect in him a pergave its heart to those powers which we manent reaction, and a lasting and fixed have designated, for the sake of brevity change of mind, was beyond the power and convenience, as those of expansion, even of a Socrates.' Alcibiades oscilintellect, beauty, social life and man- ated and fell away, and the Athenian ners. It allowed itself to be diverted people, too, oscillated and fell away. and distracted from attention to con- So it came to pass, that after Æschyduct, and to the ideas which inspire lus had sadly raised his voice to depconduct.

recate unblessed freedom from reIt was not that the old religious be- straint,” and after complaints had been liefs of Greece, to which the ideas that heard, again and again, of the loss of inspire conduct tad attached them- "the ancient morality and piety," of selves, did not require to be transform- “the old elements of Hellas, reflexion ed by the new spirit. They did. The and moderation, discipline and social greatest and best Hellenic souls, Anaxa- morality," it came to pass that finally, goras, Pericles, Phidias, Sophocles, Soc- at the end of the Peloponnesian war, rates, Plato, felt, and rightly felt, that one result,” the historian tells us, they did. The judicious historian of one result alone admitted of no doubt ; Greece, whom I have already quoted, and that was, the horribly rapid progress Professor Curtius, says expressly : of the demoralisation of the Hellenic “The popular faith was everywhere nation." shaken, and a life resting simply on the Years and centuries rolled on, and the traditionary notions was no longer pos- Hellenic genius issued forth invading sible. A dangerous rupture was at and vanquishing with Alexander; and hand, unless the ancient faith were purg- then, when Rome had afterwards coned and elevated in such a manner as to quered Greece, conquered the conquer

[ocr errors]

ors, and overspread the civilised world. bend itself to the moral ideas which are And still, joined to all the gifts and so large a part of life.

so large a part of life. Here, I say, is graces which that admirable genius the true moral : that man has to make brought with it, there went, as a kind of progress along diverse lines, in obedifatal accompaniment, moral inadequacy. ence to a diversity of aspirations and And if one asked why this was so, it powers, the sum of which is truly his seemed as if it could only be because nature ; and that he fails and falls short the power of seriousness, of tenacious until he learns to advance upon them grasp upon grave and moral ideas, was all, and to advance upon them harmo. wanting. And this again seemed as if niously. it could only have for its cause, that Yes, this is the moral, and we all these Hellenic natures were, in respect need it, and no people more than ours. to their impressionability, mobility, We so easily think that life is all on one, flexibility, under the spell of a grace- line ! Our nation, for instance, is ful but dangerous faity, who would above all things a political nation, and not let it be otherwise. “Lest thou is apt to make far too much of politics. shouldst ponder the path of life," says Many of us—though not many, I supthe Wise Man, her ways are move- pose,' of you here-are Liberals, and able, that thou canst not know them. think that that is quite enough for a Then the new and reforming spirit, man. Probably you will have no diffiwhich was rising in the world, turned culty in believing, that to be a Liberal sternly upon this gracious flexibility, is not alone enough for a man, is not changed the sense of its name, branded saving. One might even take-and it with infamy, and classed it, along with your notions it would probably be with "filthiness and foolish talking, a great treat for you—one might take among “ things which are not conven- the last century of Athens, and show ient.

you a society dying of the triumph Now, there you have the historical of the Liberal party. And then, again, course of our words eutrapelos, eutrape- as the young are generous, you might lia, and a specimen of the range, back- like to give the discomfited Liberals a wards and forwards, which a single respite, to let the other side have its phrase in one of our Greek or Latin turn ; and you might consent to be classics may have.

shown, as you could be shown in the And I might go yet further, and might age of Trajan and of the Antonines, a show you, in the mediæval world, eutra- society dying of the triumph of the Conpelia, or flexibility, quite banished, clear servative party. They were excellent straightforward Attic thinking quite people, the Conservative Roman aristoclost; restraint, stoppage, and preju- racy of that epoch-excellent, most redice regnant. And coming down to spectable people, like the Conservatives our own times, I might show you fear- of our own acquaintance. Only Conless thinking and flexibility once more, servatism, like Liberalism, taken alone, after many vicissitudes, coming into is not sufficient, is not of itself saving. honor ; and again, perhaps, not without But you have had enough for one their accompaniment of danger. And evening. And besides, the tendencies the moral from all this-apart from the of the present day in education being moral that in our classical studies we what they are, before you proceed to may everywhere find clues which will have more of this sort of thing, you lead us a long way-the moral is, not ought certainly to hear a great many that flexibility is a bad thing, but that scientific lectures, and to busy yourthe Greek flexibility was really not flex- selves considerably with the diameter of ible enough, because it could not enough the sun and moon.—Cornhill Magazine


BY EDWARD B. TYLOR, LL. D. BEFORE examining some groups of the be well to test by a few examples the higher orders of games, with the view of principles on which we may reason as to tracing their course in the world, it will their origin and migrations. An intel

[ocr errors]

ligent traveller among the Kalmuks, no- sport even of grown-up men, who fight ticing that they play a kind of chess re- their kites by making theme cut one ansembling ours, would not for a moment other's strings, and fly birds and monentertain the idea of such an invention sters of the most fantastic shapes and having been made more than once, but colors, especially in China, where old would feel satisfied that we and they and gentlemen may be seen taking their all chess-players must have had the evening stroll, kite-string in hand, as game from one original source. In this though they were leading pet dogs. The example lies the gist of the ethnological English boy's kite appears thus an inargument from artificial games, that stance, not of spontaneous play-instinct, when any such appears in two districts but of the migration of an artificial it must have travelled from one to the game from a distant centre. Nor is other, or to both from a common cen- this all it proves in the history of civilitre. Of course this argument does not sation. Within a century, Europeans apply to all games. Some are so simple becoming acquainted with the South and natural that, for all we can tell, Sea Islanders found them down to New they may often have sprung up of them. Zealand adepts at flying kites, which selves, such as tossing a ball or wrest- they made of leaves or bark cloth, and ling; while children everywhere imitate called mánu, or“ bird,” flying them in in play the serious work of grown-up solemn form with accompaniment of life, from spearing an enemy down to traditional chants. It looks as though moulding an earthen pot. The distinct- the toy reached Polynesia through the ly artificial sports we are concerned with Malay region, thus belonging to that here are marked by some peculiar trick drift of Asiatic culture which is evident or combination not so likely to have in many other points of South Sea Islbeen hit upon twice. Not only complex and life. The geography of another of games like chess and tennis, but even our childish div

sions may be noticed many childish sports, seem well-defined as matching with this. Mr. Wallace reformations, of which the spread may be lates that being one wet day in a Dayak traced on the map much as the botanist house in Borneo, he thought to amuse traces his plants from their geographical the lads by taking a piece of string to centres. It may give us confidence in show them cat's-cradle, but to his surthis way of looking at the subject if we prise he found that they knew more put the opposite view to the test of his- about it than he did, going off into figtory and geography to see where it ures that quite puzzled him. Other fails. Travellers, observing the like- Polynesians are skilled in this nursery ness of children's games in Europe and art, especially the Maoris of New ZeaAsia, have sometimes explained it on land, who call it maui from the name of this wise : that the human mind being their national hero, by whom, according alike everywhere, the same games are to their tradition, it was invented ; its naturally found in different lands, chil- various patterns represent canoes, dren taking to hockey, tops, stilts, kites, houses, people, and even episodes in and so on, each at its proper season. Maui's life, such as his fishing up New But if so, why is it that in outlying bar- Zealand from the bottom of the sea. barous countries one hardly finds a game In fact, they have their pictorial history without finding also that there is a civil. in cat's-cradle, and whatever their traised nation within reach from whom it ditions may be worth, they stand good may have been learnt. And what is to show that the game was of the time more, how is it that European children of their forefathers, not lately picked up knew nothing till a few centuries ago of from the Europeans. In the Sandwich some of their now most popular sports ? Islands and New Zealand it is on record For instance, they had no battledore- that the natives were found playing a and-shuttlecock and never flew kites till kind of draughts which was 'not the Euthese games came across from Asia, ropean game, and which can hardly be when they took root at once and be accounted for but as another result of came naturalised over Europe. The the drift of Asiatic civilisation down inorigin of kite-flying seems to lie some- to the Pacific. where in South-east Asia, where it is a Once started, a game may last on al


most indefinitely. Among the children's and-even series, so that Europeans have sports of the present day are some which even had to furnish their languages with may be traced back toward the limits of words for these ideas. I asked myself historical antiquity, and, for all we the question whether the ancient Aryans know, may have been old then. distinguished odd from even, and curiAmong the pictures of ancient Egyptian ously enough found that an answer had games in the tombs of Beni Hassan, one been preserved by the unbroken tradishows a player with his head down so tion not of Greek arithmeticians, but of that he cannot see what the others are boys at play. A scholiast on the Ploudoing with their clenched fists above his tos of Aristophanes, where the game is back. Here is obviously the game call- mentioned, happens to remark that it ed in English hot-cockles, in French was also known as Svyà ñ ášvya, “yokes main-chaude, and better described by its or not-yokes." Now this matches so mediæval name of qui fery? or “who closely in form and sense with the Sanstruck ?''-the blindman having to skrit terms for even and odd numbers, guess by whom he was hit, or with yuj and ayuj, as to be fair evidence that which hand. It was the Greek kollabis both Hindus and Greeks inherited arithmos, or buffet-ganie, and carries with it metical ideas and words familiar to their a tragical association in those passages Aryan ancestors. in the Gospels which show it turned to Following up the clues that join the mockery by the Roman soldiers : “And play-life of the ancient and modern when they had blindfolded him

worlds, let us now look at the ball-play, they buffeted him

· saying, which has always held its place among Prophesy unto us, Christ, Who is he sports. Beyond mere tossing and catchthat smote thee?". (Luke xxii. 64; ing, the simplest kind of ball-play is Matt. xxvi. 67 ; Mark xiv. 65.)

where a ring of players send the ball Another of the Egyptian pictures from hand to hand.' This gentle pasplainly represents the game we know by time has its well-marked place in hisits Italian name of morra, the Latin tory. Thus the ancient Greeks, whose micatio, or flashing of the fingers, which secret of life was to do even trivial has thus lasted on in the Mediterranean things with artistic perfection, delighted districts over three thousand years, in the game of Nausikaa, and on their handed down through a hundred suc- vases is painted many a scene where cessive generations who did not improve ball-play, dance, and song unite in one it, for from the first it was perfect in its graceful sport. The ball-dance is now fitting into one little niche in human na- scarcely to be found but as an out-ofture. It is the game of guessing ad- the-way relic of old custom ; yet it has dition, the players both at once throw- left curious traces in European laning out fingers and in the same moment guages, where the ball (Low Latin balla) shouting their guesses at the total. has given its name to the dance it went Morra is the pastime of the drinking with (Italian ballare, ballo, French bal, shop in China as in Italy, and may, per- English ball), and even to the song that haps, be reckoned among the items of accompanied the dance (Italian ballata, culture which the Chinese have bor- French ballade, English, ballad). The rowed from the Western barbarians. passion of ball-play begins not with this Though so ancient, morra has in it no friendly graceful delivery of the ball into touch of prehistoric rudeness, but must the next hand, but when two hostile owe its origin to a period when arithme- players or parties are striving each to tic had risen quite above the savage take or send it away from the other. level. The same is true of the other old Thus, on the one hand, there comes inarithmetical game, odd-and-even, which to existence the group of games reprethe poet couples with riding on a stick sented by the Greek harpaston, or seizas the most childish of diversions, ing-game, where the two sides struggled “Ludere par impar, equitare in arun- to carry off the ball. In Brittany this dine longå.” But the child playing it has been played till modern times with must be of a civilised nation, not of a the hay-stuffed soule or sun-ball, as big low barbaric tribe, where no one would as a football, fought for by two comthink of classing numbers into the odd- munes, each striving to carry it home

« הקודםהמשך »