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come of them.— <Thucyd. 1. 4, n. 80, Diod, 1. |2.)

The treachery and cruelty of the X^cjedemonians werje equally
evinced in their conduct to the Athenians, over whom they obtained a
temporary superiority during the Feloponnesian war. It was by trea^
chery that they, at that time, procured the death of Alcibiades, the
Athenian general, the^i an exile in Persia. When they had rendered
themselves masters of Athens, they gave an unbounded scope to their
revepge and ferocity. They put to death, says Xenophon, more per-
sons in eight months of peace than th^ enemy had killed in thirty years
of war. — ^(Hellen. 1.2.) Thp^ of the Athenians, who had it in their
power, fled for an asylum^ to foreign lands; but the Lacedjemoaians
had the inhumanity to endeavour to deprive them of this last refiige.
They forbade, by a public edict, the cities of Greece to aflbrd them
shelter, and conunanded them, under the penalty of a fine, to deliver ^
up the fiigitives to the thirty tyrants who then ravaged Athens.—
(Diod.h 14. Plut. in Lysand.)

If we contemplate the Spartans in their private and domestic rela-
tions, we ^hajl not find them more worthy of esteem, than in their
public conduct. The absurd practice of separating children frcmi their
parents, immediately after their birth, tended effectually to counteract
the principles of parental and filial aflfection, and at the same time to
weaken all the ties of domestic union. In fact, conjugal fidelity was
in no repute at ^par^a, and was violated even with the sanction of the
laws. It was customary for an old man, who had a young and hand-
some wife, to allow of hier having intercourse with a robust and well-
ipade youth, apd to |>ring up the offspring of this adultery as his own*
Nor was this all ; a stout and handsome young man might at any time
demand admissiou to the wife of j^iother, uncter pretence of -supplying
t|2^>(ate ^Ith able*bodied citiz^eus. I|i short, milder this p^^acc^ tte

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the Diveriity of Him^m Charmter. 3 13

JLacedemonians mutually lenttheir wives without any breach lOf .da>»
coram, and thought all was well if the strength of the commonweajth
was supported. — (Xenoph. de rep, Lac. Plut. in Lye.)

This relaxation of mor^s was perjEectly agreeable to the institutions
of Lycurgus, by whicl;i it was enjoined^ tliat the public baths shoul4
be common both to men and women, and that on certain solemnities
t}ie young persons of both sexes should dance and fight naked promis-
cuously with each other. — (Plut. in Lye.) The consequences of such
practices were what might naturally be expected; and all ancient
writers agree, that the Lacedemonian women were immodest and dis-!
solute in excess; they dressed in a very indelicate manner, so that the
form of their limbs was discovered at every step. They made no scruple
of satisfying their appetites whenever they thought fit, insomuch, that
Euripides calls them * Aili^^uutui, virorumcupidisswice^ (Androm. v. 595)
and. Aristotle complains that all the disorders at Sparta sprung from,
the irregular conduct of the women. — ^De rep. 1. 1, c. 9). Yet these
women possessed a great ascendancy over their husbands, for which
they were probably indebted to their personal charms, which^ accord*
ing to Athenaeus, were very remarkable, (1. 13) anJ to their resolution
and undaunted fortitude in encountering danger.

To sum up at once the character of the Lacedemonians, they were
a martial, brave, and enterprising people, steady and politic in their
designs, and patiently submitting to the greatest hardships in order to
accomplish them. But at the same time they were crafty^ deceitful^
haughty, cruel, and. perfidious ; capable of sacrificing every thing to
their interest and ambition, and holding in contempt the liberal an4
elegant arts, and even the common decencies and moralities of life.
After the victories of Lysander, they degenerated from the austere and
rigid discipline of Lycurgus, and lost even that semblarice of virtue
which they derived from their temperate diet and hardy manner of
life. The use of gold and silver was tlien introduced into Sparta, and
brought along with it all the excesses of luxury and sensuality.

Let us contrast with this ferocious and dissolute people the refinedt
the accomplished, the amiable and generous Athenians. The most
distant states can hardly exhibit more opposite dispositions and pur-
suits than were discernible in these two neighbouring commonwealths ;
nor can the force of positive institutions be in any manner more plain*
ly evinced than as exhibited in the effects of the different systems of
regulations adopted by the two most eminent legislators of antiquity,
Lycurgus and Solon.

In the system of Lycurgus every thing is rigid and constrained, un-
less where constraint was peculiarly requisite, the article of morality.
In the system of Solon all was left free, unless the power of injuring
otliers. An Athenian might feed, clothe, and lodge himself as he
thought proper. He was at liberty to cultivate any art or science for
which he had a taste, and to make choice of that profession for which
he felt a preference* Lycurgus enjoined idleness to the citizens of
Sparta ; but Solon, on the contrary, ordained punishments for such as
h^4 uo nifUiner of employment } and it was the business of tl|e Areo^

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SI 4 Inquiry into the Causes of

p^gus to guard against the prevalence of slotfa, and to take cognisance
oif the means which individuals employed for dieir subsistence* — (Hut^
in Sol.)

The effects of this wise policy were» that at Athens all the arts and
sciences greatly florished ; it was there that commerce, navigation*
manufactures, architecture, sculpture, painting, literature, philosophy*
eloquence, and, in fact, every kind of knowlec^e that can exalt or dis^
tingaish a nation arose to the most remarkable eminence. There were
found die most ingenious artists, the profoundest philosophers, the most
pleasing poets, and the most persuasive orators of all antiquity. Nor
did these elegant pursuits at all impair the military ardor or patriotic
enthusiasm of the citizens of Athens. The Lacedemonians themselves
were not more distinguished for martial achievements ; and if they
had to boast of the contest at Thermopylae, and their victories during
the Peloponnesian war, the Athenians derived no less honor from th^
hard won battles of Marathon, Salamis, Plataca^ and Mycale* Ac-
cording to a remark of Athensus, the Athenians were perhaps the
only nation of the universe who, clothed in purple, and decked in aH
the ornaments of dress, have dispersed and vanquished formidable ar«-
mies.— ^Lib. 12.)

It must be confessed that the love of splendor and the taste for plea««-
sure were carried to a blameable excess in Athens. The tables of the
rich were served with exquisite luxury. The extensive commerce of
die Athenians enabled them, as Xenophon remarks, to live voluptu-
ously, and to procure all the delicacies which foreign countries could
then supply. — (De rep. Ath.) The youth delighted m expensive equi-r
pages, in rare dogs, in fine and nimierous horses, and in keeping female-
dancers and courtezans. Their houses were fitted for all the purposes
of luxurious enjoyment } they contained spacious banqueting rooms,,
furnished with the finest pictures, statues, and vases ; they had bathing
apartments, supplied with every thing necessary for refining upon that
pleasure; and spacious gardens within their wails, disposed in the most
commodious manner for every kind of amusement — (Xenopb* de rep.

But the luxury of the Athenians was always tempered by decorum
imd good taste. Although their women were remarkably studious of
their dress and external appearance, they never were reproached with
indecency, or that depravity of manners so prevalent at Sparta. They
were remarkable for their attention to domestic affairs, and seldom ap*
peared in public, or mingled in the society of the men. Even the
courtezans preserved a considerable degree of external decorum, and
were no less studious to please by the charms of their conversadon
than the attractions of their persons. At the banquets of the Athe-
nians, one of the principal gratifications consisted in a flow of sprightly,
learned, and polite conversation ; of which we have very pleasing spe-
cimens in the banquets of Plato and Xenophon. To this they added
the charms of music, poetry, and dancing. Drunkenness, at least if
publicly exposed, was considered as a very heavy reproach. A cid-
xen> who had been seen ^to enter a tavern to eat and dirink, was disb<K

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the diversity of Human Character. 315

nored for ever. No more than this was necessary to cause a senator
to be banished from the Areopagus*— ^Athen. 1. 12.) An archoa
convicted of being drunk, was, for the first time, condemned to a
heavy fine; and, m case of a relapse, was punished with death*—
(Diog. Laert. in Sol. 1. 1.)

Thus the Athenians were refined and elegant even in their pleasures ;
they took great delight in conversation, even when not at table, and
were generally allowed to be the most polite and polished people of all
antiquity. The Atticism distinguished them as remarkably as the Ur-
banity afterwards characterized the inhabitants of Rome. Yet, if we
were to judge of their politeness by a modem standard, we should not
be disposed to estimate it highly. In the comedies of Aristophanes,
which were highly applauded at Athens, we meet with the grossest
obscenities; and we find the accomplished orators, Demosthenes and
^schines, heaping upon one another the foulest abuse. But it ought
to be remembered, that modest women were not admitted to the pub-
lic spectacles, and that the unlimited freedom of the Athenian govern-
ment was thought to require and warrant an uncontrolled license of

In no respect was there a greater contrast between the Athenians
and Lacedemonians than in the usage of their slaves. At Athens
these unfortunate beings were treated with an uncommon degree of
humanity. They might prosecute their masters for any act of out-
l^ge or oppression. If the fact was proved, the master was obliged
to sell his $lave, who, while the process depended, might retire into an
asylum destined to secure him from all violence.— (Phit. de superst. 8c
in Thes.) It was not uncommon for a master to reward a faithful
slave with his liberty; and if the slave had amassed a certain sum, the
law allowed him at any time to purchase his freedom. The humanity
of the Athenians was extended even to brutes, of which Plutarch has
furnished us with a remarkable example. When the temple called
Hecatonpedon was completed, the Athenians ordained, that all the
beasts of burden which had been employed in that work should be set
at liberty, and suflFered, for the rest of their lives, to feed at large in
the best pastures. Sometime after, a mule, which was among the
immber of these franchised animals, presented itself of its own accord
to work, and headed tliose which drew the carriages to the citadeL
The people, charmed with this action, made a decree that this mule
should be particularly attended, and plentifully fed at the public ex-
pense. — (De solert, anim.)

It appears, then, that the Athenians were as remarkably charac-
terised by humane generosity and refinement of manners, as the Lace-
demonians were by harshness, cruelty, and rusticity. They were at
the same time a valiant and a courteous people, proficient in science,
and adepts in the elegant accomplishments of life. The most unfa-
vorable part of their character was their extreme fickleness and ca-
price, by which they were often led into actions of the greatest injus-
tice and ingratitude. Their conduct to many of their most successful
^nerals, as Miltiadesi Themi$tocleS| and Alcibiadesi and abore allt

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Sl6 Auafyse du premier volume

dieir sentencing to death the virtuons and inoffnm^e Socrates, prate
too fuUj the justice of this reproach ; and cast a veil over the splen-
4or of their most illustrious actions.

I shall now assume it as fully proved^ that great as the influence of
physical causes doubtless is in determinmg uie characters of men,
there are otlier circumstances, besides mere climate and geographical
mtuation, upon which much of this important eflPect depends. It will
be' the object of the remaining part of this work to point out what the
most remarkable of these circumstances, or moral causes which influ«
ence human character are, to illustrate their operation by die details of
history, and to deduce the practical inferences to which such Ulustra*
tions may naturally give rise*




Ol ^ous les prosateurs grecs qui ont echappe au ravage des temps,
devaient ^tre an^antis pour jamais, k Texception d'un seul qu'il fid
Bermis de choisir, le pbilosophe hcsiterait entre Anstote et Platon ;
rhistorien entre H^odote et Thuevdide ; lliomme d'etat s^emparerait
dc Poly be ; ]'orateur, de Demosthenes ; le glographe, de jStrabon ;
mais Tartiste et, peut-^tre^ i'antiquairc ne balanceraient pas k cboisir

Pausanias est, en elTet, la source priucipale ou les modernes ont
puis^ leurs idees 6ur I'art chez les aucieus. Les reuseignenieiis qu'ii
renferme, ^clairds par letude approfondie des mouumens, imagei
^core vivantes du genie des Grecs, ont servi de base pour fixer I'^tat
^es beaux arts chez le peuple le mieux organist qui ait paru surla sur-
£ice du globe.

Pausanias voyage»it en Gr^ce, sous Tempire d' Adrien^ k F^poque
hik cette l*elle cootree, qui n'existait plus depuis long-temps comme
i§tat politique, ^tait encore la plus interessante du monde connu, par
les moDumens dc tons genres dont ellc ^tait coUverte. On juge dc
quel inter^t doit ^tre la description de ce pays, par un boiiime pro-
fend^ment iostruit de la lang^ie et des usages des Grecs, de leurs tra-
ditions et de leur mythologie, et qui joignait k ces connaisances celle
de rbistoire de I'art depuis sou origiue.

Aussi Fouvrage qu'il nous a laisbe ne contient pas seulement le
catalogue raisonn^ et la description de tous les objets qu'il a vus

I S«e aslMtft notice of this work in CUm^Jwrn. No. XX. p. 353.

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du¥emmnim de M. Clmner. 31 f

Ani» son voyage ; mats, corame il a su enttetn^ler ce r^cit db digtes^
99003 sur I'histoire, on y trouve une mine abondante de ttaditions pr6*-
Reuses qu'on chercheratt vainement ailleurs.

L» mant^re de Pairsanias est simple et sans art, il raconte ce qu'if
Tok : observateur soigiieux, rien d'un pen important ne lui ^chappe ;■
homme instruit, il rattaclie a Tindication d-une statue ou d'un tableau,.
une foule de souvenirs interessans pour nous-; ses digressions* sont
lOngues, souvent 6traHg^res an sujet; mais nous aurions mauvaise^
grl^oe de nous en plaindre ; un peu plus de soin de sa part; pour le'
public, nous e^t ravi plusieurs de ces digressions- dont la perte seraif
irreparable. Quoique Pausanias mette parfbis assez d'ordre dans se«'
r^oits, il lui arrive souvcnt de vous transporter, sans^ vous en pr6venir,
bien loin du lieu oh il vous avait laiss6; II entte duns les vilies etr
dtiRs les temples; il en sort, et ne prend pas tt)U jours la peine de vous'
€n avertir ; le lecteur, d^sorient^, a besoin d'un peu de temps et'd'at-
ttntion pour pouvoir se reconnaitre.

£n g^n^ral, un modeme aurait mienx arrange sa narration ; il y eftV
mis plus de nettet6, de precision et d'ensemble ; il aurait t^ch6 que^
ks objets se succ^assent dans Tordre convenabl^. C'est k quoi Pau-
sanias songe rarement; et, quand'on a voyag6 soi-m^e, on recon-
aalt4a le voyageur, qui, presse de satisfeire son active curiosit^^ va^
vient, court d'un lieu 4 Tautre, sans ordre et quelquefois sans but";
attir^ par mille objets divers, il examine tout ce qui Tint^rcsse, et ne
s'inquiete gueres si ce qu'il voit au jourd'hui ne scrait pas- un peu loiiT
de ce qii'il a vu la veille. Ainsi Pausanias s'^carte souvent de sa
route ; il se livre au plaisir de decrire tout ce quil trouve, etde rap*
porter tout ce qu'il entend dire : plus occnpc de ses souvenirs que de*
son lecteur, il a Tair de raconter pour lui-m^e plut6t que pour les

On s'aper9oit bien ce|)endant qu'il songe quelquefois au public ;
mais I'on voudrait qu'il VeM toujours oubii6 : nous poss^derions main-
ttoant des notions ^ternellenient regrettables ; car, s'il s'attache k
decrire longuement les lieux peu fr6quent^s des voyageurs et pax con-
•^quent pt^u connus; par la m^e raison, il ne dit rien de tout ce
qu il suppose bien connu des <jrecs ; c'est cette attention pouss^e trop '
Idin, qui nous a prives de la description du temple de Delphes ; de
celui de Tnes^e k A thanes ; du Parthenon, et de tant d^autres monti-
mens qui faisaient Tomement de la Gr^e.

Quant au style de Pausanias, on ne doit y chercher ni la simplicity*
^l^gante de X6nophon, ni la naivete gracieuse d'Hdrodote: il eat
simple, sans doute, mais non ^l^gant ; tant6t precis, tant6t diffus»
rarement tres clair, souvent incorrect. Pausanias ne trouve pas ton-
jours Texpressiou propre ; il recherche les anciennes tournures.' Ses*
phrases, courtes et seches, deviennent embarrass^es et charg6es de '
parentlieses, quand il veut les rendre plus longues.

On ne cherchera pas non plus dans sa narration le genre d'int^r^t
qu'offrirait Touvrage d'un n\odeme, qui aurait vu les memes objets, et

* Uemsterh. ad Lucian. Somn.; t. i; p. 4*

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dl8 Andy it du premier 'oohime^

^nt le go&t serait Makk on par la pratique des arts, ou par qoelquiii
meditations sor la th^rie do beau. Supposes, ^ la place de Pausa-
ntas, UD Winckelman, un Viscooti ou ud Lessing» un Reynolds, un
Mengs ou un Quatrem^re de Quincy, alors que de rapprochemens
, curieux, que de jugemens d^licats sur les beaut^s et les d^iauts des
tableaux ou des statues, que de details int^ressans sur les proc^d^ de
Tart ! Mais, il faut en convenir aussi, leur critique sdv^re n'aurait pas
fiiit gr&ce k beaucoup de traditions qui leur auraient paru pu^riles ;
leur goiHt ^clair^ aurait rejet6 bien des petites discussions dont il 6tail
difficile de dcviner Timportance pour I'avenir ; nous aurions gagn^ des
aper^us, des reflexions judicieuses ; roais nous aurions perdu des faits^
Ainsi, nous devons peut-4tre nous f^liciter encore de ce que Pausanias
aimait k dire tout ce qu'il savait, de ce quil etait plut6t un voyageur
curieux qu'un critique fin et habile, et de ce qu'il poss^dait plus d'^ru-
dition que de lumi^res.

On doit s'etonner qu*un outrage historique aussi important ait kik
en general assez n^glig^ par les helienistes. 11 est k regretter que les
philologues aient pr6fere de d^ployer toute leur Erudition sur des
auteurs du second ordre, leb qu' Ellen, par exemple, dont la rapsodie
mal dig^r^e n'a pas m^nie le merite d'etre passablement 6crite, plut6t
que de cherclier k r^pandre la lumi^re sur le texte et la narration de

L'edition de Sylburge (Francfort, 1583) est la premiere Edition cri-
tique de cet auteur. Eile fut reimprimee, eu l6l3, k Hanau, niais
sans aucune augmentation. L'6dition de Leipsick, 1696, n'en est

3u*une r6impression dont fut charge le savant Kuhnius, et h. laquelle
ajouta de fort bonnes notes, mais sans y travailler ex prof esse ^ et
sans avoir consuUe aucun manuscrit. Enfiu la demi^re edition (Leip-
sick, 1796, 4 vol. in 8vo.) n'est encore qu'une entreprise de librairie.
L'editeur, M. Facius, presse par le temps, n'a pu faire tout ce qu'on
devait attendre de lui : il a cependant eu la collation de deux manu-
scrits : mais cette collation ne parait pas avoir ete bien faite. £n sorte
que, sur trots editions critiques, il n'y en a vraiment qu'uue seule,
celle de Sylburge, k laquelle un pbilologue ait voulu consacrer des
soins particuliers.

La traduction fran9aise de Gedoyn doit etre comptee pour riea
sous le rapport de la critique. Gedoyn, homme d'esprit, et ecrivant
assez bien sa langue, savait tr^s pen le grec et n'entendait absolu-
ment rien aux antiquites. II s'est done bien garde de jeter les yeux
sur le texte original ; il a traduit le latin d'Amasee ; et s'il s'ecarte
quelquefois de son guide, c'est, de sa part, oubliy distraction ou negli-
gence, mais point du tout esprit de revoke. Aussi, dans tons les en-
droits difticiltis, sa traduction est-elle un peu plus obscure que la ver-
sion latiue, qui Test eUe-meme un peu plus que le texte grec.

Le monde savant roanquait done encore d'uu texte correct de Pau-
sanias, et Botre litterature en particulier avait besoin d'une bonne tra-
duction de cet auteur, faite avec le meme soin, le m^me scrupule et
dans ie merae esprit que celle d'Herodote, par le respectable Larcher.
Mais ce double travail exigeait la reunion de bleu des connaissauces ;

Digitized by


du Pamanias de M. Clavier. Sid

n fidlait un homme k la fois profond dans la langue et vers6 dant
presque toutes les branches de Tantiquit^, un bomme qui poss^d&t
egalement bien la science des mots et celle des choses.

On dut s'applaudir de voir que M. Clavier se cbargeait de remplir
les voeux des litterateurs. Peu de savans ^taient en etat de parcourlr
avec autant de succ^s cette carriere longue et p^nible, mais glorieuse.
Sa traduction d'Apollodore et les notes qui I'accompagnent Tavaient
d6j^ fait connaitre comme un habile heI16niste et comme Tun des
faommes de FEurope qui avaient le plus approfondi les mythes et
les traditions anciennes des Grecs ; son histoire des premiers tempt
de la Grece, qu'il publia ensuite, ne fit qu'augmenter le desir de voir
enfin paraitre sa traduction et son commentaire de Pausanias.

L'impression de cet important ouvrage, retard^e par les circon*
stances, est commenc6e et se continue sans rel^che. Le premier
volume vient de paraitre ; il renferme le texte et la traduction des
deux premiers livres, intitules les Attiques et les Corinthiaques, Le
second volume est sous presse et contiendra> outre les deux livres
suivans (les Laconiques et les Messcniques), les notes critiques sur
les quatre premiers livres. L'ouvrage entier aura six volumes dont
ud de Tables.

On Irouvera peut4tre qu'avant de parler en detail de cet ouvrage,
il aurait fallu attendre la publication du second volume, oh se
trouveront les notes critiques ; mais il nous a sembl^ qu'il n'^tait
pas necessaire de voir le second volume pour juger du syst^me
3ulvi et du plan adopts par M. Clavier, relativement k la critique
du texte et k la traduction, II vaut mieux, d'ailleurs, donner d^s
k present au public une idee de la mani^re dont tout Touvrage sera

Un travail, du genre de celui-ci, doit se recommander par deux ,
tit]:es priucipaux : la correction du texte et la fid^lit6 de la version.
Ce sont ces deux genres de merite qui distinguent ^minemment
Touvrage de M. Clavier. Nous parlerons d'abord de tout ce qu'il
a fait pour parvenir k nous donner un texte moins alt^r6 que dans
les Editions pr^c^dentes.

pour arriver k donner au texte d'un auteur toute la correction dont
il est susceptible, d'apr^s le nombre ou la bont6 des nianuscrits qu'on
poss^de, il faut collationner attentivement les manuscrits et noter les
variantes. Mais ce n'est pas tout ; si Ton se bomait k niettre au bas
des pages les nouvelles lemons recueillies, on aurait 6bauche plut6t.
qu*acheve une Edition ; on doit encore discuter chacune de ces vari-
antes, examiner ^i elleconvieut davantage au sens, k Tid^e de rauteur»
k sa mani^re habituelle, au g^uie de la langue, et decider eqsuite si
elle merite de passer dans le texte. Or, cette t^clie penible, qui sem-
ble ne demander qu'uu merite secondaire, n'eu est pts moins tr^s
ditlicile et tres delicate ; car elle suppose une gran e sArcte <le cri-
tique, la conuai*»3ance piridite de ia matiere, uo senthnetii pmfond de
la langue en general ei du atyle de i auteur e^ particulu i

Sous ce rapport, le texte doune par M. Clavier es* .'uae perfection
tr^s remarquable. Les excellentes lemons qu'il y a iu^etees sont trfes

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S20 Analyse du premitr vohime

iibmbreases : j'en ai compt^ plus de ceot cinquaiite pour le Ilv^
premier. II a mis k contribution les variantes defs deux mknu^
tcrits de Facius, celles des manuscrits de la Bibliotb^que royale»
et jusques aux corrections de Sylburge, de Kuhnius, quil a fait passer
d^ns le texte, quand elles lui ont sembl^ certairies. En cela il n'a
£ut que suivre Texemple des autres ^diteurs ; mais il y a mis beali-

Online LibraryAugust Ferdinand MehrenThe Classical journal .. → online text (page 33 of 50)