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“ Adown thine wooded walls inwrought
“'T was vastness, even as a sea
'Twas like the dim edge of death is,
'T was hades, hell, eternity.” It abounds, besides, in exaggeration, incoherence, repetition, absurdity, and a species of boastful, false morality; much of it sounds like a capital parody of his own style. There is, however, a picturesqueness and freshness belonging to the unhackneyed scenes and modes of life which supply his imagery, a rough strength and vigor in character with the existence which he describes. There are some exceedingly striking passages, one especially on the march of the pioneers of 1869:
“ What stony, uncommon men were these,
The description of the plains and camps, day and night in the desert, and the emigrant trains with long processions of cattle, is even finer, but too long for an extract; these cantos, twelve and thirteen, just fall short of grandeur; unfortunately they are weakened by repetition. If this were the literature of a new language and a new race, if it were really the beginning of another era of thought and speech, we should judge it very differently; but time does not develop the frontier type, it destroys it: men and conditions, such as are celebrated above, and the very words in which they are praised are fortuitous, transient, born of brief circumstance, not to be renewed. The West, like the East, inherits the long line of English poets, and American ones to boot, and therefore we cannot consider Mr. Miller as the bard of a new dispensation more than any ignorant man any. where, who has missed the benefit of knowing his predecessors. Portions of his productions excite admiration, but serious consideration or criticism of them would be out of place.
When the Duke of Argyle published his “Reign of Law,” some quiet scoffers said that it was very good science for a duke. The English public, at least, will accept “Guido and Lita” as good enough poetry for a marquis, and the son-in-law of their Queen. The Academy says that Lord Lorne's poem is like a prize poem (by which every English reader understands the best sort of school-boy verses), and in saying that it says everything. The story is romantic, and so is the setting ; the descriptions are exact; the chiming couplets fall upon the ear with the soft, steady cadence of a spring rain or a purling brook; there is a total absence of spirit, interest, life. It is not bad, but so monotonously mediocre, that there is nothing to quote above the rest, except the following passage, which, although ending with perhaps the worst line in the whole poem, has the power of truth :
“The wind increases; the flotilla strown
And by the staggering ship pass shrieking by.” Yet a man must have a great turn for versification who can round and rhyme nearly twenty-five hundred lines smoothly, musically, without a serious flaw in melody or measure, nor is such finish attained without conscientious pains. There is no eking out the measure with words like “every” and “sovereign” by giving them false quantity. Some of the born geniuses on both sides the Atlantic might take a lesson in this from Lord Lorne.
8.—The Age of Pericles: A History of the Politics and Arts of Greece from the Persian to the Peloponnesian War. By WILLIAM WATKISS LLOYD. London. Macmillan & Co. 1875. 2 vols. pp. xviii. 390 ; xiv. 416.
Though the Past, regarded as merely past, has no existence, and therefore does not change, any portion of it viewed in the Present will change its relations and proportions as the common boundary of the two eternities moves forward and alters men's level. Hence it will always be necessary to write and rewrite histories of past periods, in order to adjust them to the proportions of the larger-growing whole, whereof they will become larger or smaller fractions according to their evident measure of influence upon the Present. Especially is this true of that period which was familiarly known to the later Greeks as the Pentekontaëtia, and which, without any great abuse of language, may be called the Age of Pericles. For the last four hundred years, in spite of the inexorable direction of time, we seem to have been approaching that era, so much have its visible proportions been continually increasing. The Roman and mediæval mists, through which its brilliancy had to be tempered for eyes less eaglelike than those of the Hellenes, are gradually clearing away, and leaving an excellent opportunity to write a new history, for any one who has scaled the loftiest peaks of the Present. Whether Mr. Lloyd has done this, and so seized the opportunity, is the question which we shall now attempt to answer.
As regards the general scope of the work : To give a complete picture of the Age of Pericles, comprehending all those interwoven institutions through which humanity realizes itself as a spiritual essence, — religion, art, polity in its three grades of family, society, and state, and the education of the individual to a rational participation in these, - is something that Mr. Lloyd has not undertaken. What he has undertaken suffers in consequence. The political and artistic sides of Hellenic life, to which he professedly confines himself, are treated in a fragmentary way, and leave no sense of unity in the mind, such as one feels after reading Mommsen or Curtius. Mr. Lloyd is a member of the Society of Dilettanti, and probably would not feel aggrieved, if we should say that he has written this work in that capacity. It is not the work of one who, with impartial mind, has endeavored to absorb all the results of modern investigation and insight, careless of what man or. people first arrived at them, but of one who, with strong leanings to art, and very settled political
views of a one-sided, French kind, writes very much for his own pleasure. The result, in this instance, is a popular work, which will doubtless be widely read, and for many reasons ought to be.
Though undertaking to write the artistic and political history of the Pentekontaëtia only, he has devoted one hundred and thirty-eight pages of the first volume to an account of the Persian wars, which is certainly a good deal of an "overlap” (Vol. I. p. 1). Moreover, he has given us three chapters on religion and its observances, two on philosophy, and one on Hellenic ethnology, all of which would properly enough have found a place in a work of larger scope. The chapter on the Eleusinian Mysteries is such as one might expect, if Lobeck had never written Aglaophamus. But Lobeck was a German, and Mr. Lloyd has a strong prejudice against everything German, including scholarship and politics. This crops out very frequently : for example, Vol. II. p. 231, where he alludes to “the confident expositions of ancient music by Boeckh and his successors," from which he says he has “always risen, wherever the fault may be, with a sense of sorrowful disappointment and stupor”; Vol. I. p. 402, where there is a very gratuitous and senseless Aling at the German Empire, etc. Mr. Lloyd, however, pays dearly enough, in narrowness, for this prejudice, but for which his book would have been much better than it is.
Mr. Lloyd's forte is Greek art, more especially the material or socalled apotelestic arts, architecture, etc., in which he has elsewhere done some very valuable work. His prejudices against things German have, in some points, left him behind the times. For instance, he still speaks of the so-called Theseion as certainly the heroön of Theseus, whereas it is quite certain that it was not a heroön at all, being in all probability a temple of Hercules. The passage in Plutarch (Theseus, 35), cited to prove that " at Athens the Theseia and Heracleia were interchangeable," proves, if anything, the very opposite (όσα υπήρχε τεμένη πρότερον αυτώ, της πόλεως έξελούσης, άπαντα καθιέρωσε το “Ηρακλεί και προσηγόρευσεν αντί θησείων Ηράκλεια, πλήν τεσσάρων, ás Dióxopos fotópnker). Cp. Wachsmuth, Die Stadt Athen im Alterthum, Vol. I. pp. 357, et seq. There is nothing new or original in Mr. Lloyd's account of Greek art; but he has written popularly about it, and what he has said will meet the needs of a large public, upon whom his genuine enthusiasm cannot fail to have a most salutary and inspiring effect.
In the practical or immaterial arts, poetry, etc., our author is not so strong, although his enthusiasm is equally genuine. He has evidently read the Greek classics lovingly and appreciatively, as liter
ature which is to be felt and enjoyed, not merely dissected. He has, however, following some French critics, - M. Taine, etc., — erred in endeavoring to find explanations or occasions for some of the masterpieces of Greek tragedy in contemporary political events and personages. In doing so, he has assigned to some of them purely arbitrary dates, for example, to the Suppliants of Æschylus, not to say that he has forced upon them meanings which the text in no way sustains. This attempt to weave the tragic poetry of Athens into her political history must be regarded as the most fanciful and weakest part of the book. If there be anything that Greek art and all true art eschews, it is just such allusions to the historical as such, to the merely ephemeral. To have made the grand myth of Prometheus a vehicle for the sorrows of Themistocles would have seemed to the Greek, with his exquisite sense of the befitting, and with his religious consciousness, hardly less outrageous than it would seem to us, if a dramatist should employ the story of the Crucifixion to impress upon is the fate of John Brown. It must be admitted that Mr. Lloyd's acquaintance with Greek literature, extensive as it is, is not that of a profound critic gifted with philosophic insight, or that of an accurate scholar; but rather that of a dilettante. He never penetrates into the principle, the idea, that lies at the base of all Greek mimetic art, the effort to present a deed in its entirety. His lack of accurate scholarship frequently manifests itself; for example, Vol. I. p. 132, he speaks of the "promontory of Lectos," instead of Lecton or Lectum (TÒ Aéktov, Athenæus, Deipn., III. 88 F.); p. 233, of the “exarchon, the leader of the chorus," instead of exarchos (@apxes); II. p. 298, he makes the atoms of Democritus differ in “figure and form” (oxõua and cidos). How figure differs from form we cannot say; but Aristotle, who is our authority on the subject, tells us that these atoms were supposed to difer ρυσμό και διαβιγή και τρόπο, , words which he renders into his own terminology by σχήματα και τάξει kai déget. (Meph., I. 4.) Page 167, he implies that Kpóvos and xpóvos were originally identical, Kronos being merely a personification of time. This notion has long since been exploded. (Vid. Curtius, Grundzüge, p. 159; Studien, Vol. V. p. 148 .) Page 375, he tells us that “the connections of some of the preserved plays of Sophocles 80 I have convinced myself — may be established as satisfactorily" as the fact that the Oresteia of Æschylus forms a trilogy. The
here can, of course, refer only to the Theban tragedies, the two Edipuses and the Antigone; and these, as has been sufficiently shown by Leopold Schmidt in Symbola Philologorum Bonnensium, pp. 219, et seq., do not form a trilogy.
In writing this work Mr. Lloyd has relied mainly on the original