John Henry Wright.

Masterpieces of Greek literature; Homer: Tyrtaeus: Archilochus: Callistratus: Alcaeus: Sappho: Anacreon: Pindar: Aeschylus: Sophocles: Euripides Aristophanes: Herodotus: Thucydides: Xenophon: Plato: Theocritus: Lucian, with biographical sketches and notes; online

. (page 23 of 29)
Online LibraryJohn Henry WrightMasterpieces of Greek literature; Homer: Tyrtaeus: Archilochus: Callistratus: Alcaeus: Sappho: Anacreon: Pindar: Aeschylus: Sophocles: Euripides Aristophanes: Herodotus: Thucydides: Xenophon: Plato: Theocritus: Lucian, with biographical sketches and notes; → online text (page 23 of 29)
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those two paths he should pursue ; and as he sat there
musing, there appeared to him two women of great
stature, which drew nigh to him. The one was fair
to look upon, frank and free by gift of nature, her
limbs adorned with purity and her eyes with bashful-
ness ; sobriety set the rhythm of her gait, and she
was clad in white apparel. The other was of a differ-
ent type; the fleshy softness of her limbs betrayed


her nurture, while the complexion of her shin was
embellished, that she might appear whiter and rosier
than she really was, and her figure, that she might
seem taller than nature made her : she stared with
wide-open eyes, and the raiment wherewith she was
clad served but to reveal the ripeness of her bloom.
With frequent glances she surveyed her person, or
looked to see if others noticed her; while ever and
anon she fixed her gaze upon the shadow of herself

" Now when these two had drawn nearer to Hera-
cles, she who was first named advanced at an even
pace toward him, but the other, in her eagerness to
outstrip her, ran forward to the youth, exclaiming,
'I see you, Heracles, in doubt and difficulty what
path of life to choose ; make me your friend, and I
will lead you to the pleasantest road and easiest. This
I promise you : you shall taste all of life's sweets and
escape all bitters. In the first place, you shall not
trouble your brain with war or business ; other topics
shall engage your mind ; your only speculation, what
meat or drink you shall find agreeable to your palate ;
what delight of ear or eye ; what pleasure of smell or
touch ; how you shall pillow your limbs in softest
slumber ; how cull each individual pleasure without
alloy of pain; and if ever the suspicion steal upon
you that the stream of joys will one day dwindle,
trust me I will not lead you where you shall replenish
the store by toil of body and trouble of soul. No !
others shall labor, but you shall reap the fruit of their
labors ; you shall withhold your hand from nought
which shall bring you gain. For to all my followers
I give authority and power to help themselves freely
from every side.'


" Heracles, hearing tliese words, made answer :
' What, O lady, is the name you bear ? ' To which
she ; ' Know that my friends call me Happiness, but
they that hate me have their own nicknames for me,
Vice and Naughtiness.'

" But just then the other of those fair women ap-
proached, and spoke : ' Heracles, I too am come to
you, seeing that your parents are well known to me,
and in your nurture I have gauged your nature ;
wherefore I entertain good hope that if you choose
the path which leads to me, you shall greatly bestir
yourself to be the doer of many a doughty deed of
noble emprise ; and that I too shall be held in even
higher honor for your sake, lit with the lustre shed
by valorous deeds. I will not cheat you with prelud-
ings of pleasure, but I will relate to you the things
that are according to the ordinances of God in very
truth. Know then that among things that are lovely
and of good report, not one have the Gods bestowed
upon mortal man apart from toil and pains. Would
you obtain the favor of the gods, then must you pay
these same gods service ; would you be loved by your
friends, you must benefit these friends ; do you desire
to be honored by the state, you must give the state
your aid ; do you claim admiration for your virtue
from all Hellas, you must strive to do some good to
Hellas ; do you wish earth to yield her fruits to you
abundantly, to earth must you pay your court ; do
you seek to amass riches from your flocks and herds,
on them must you bestow your labor ; or is it your
ambition to be potent as a warrior, able to save your
friends and to subdue your foes, then must you learn
the arts of war from those who have the knowledoe,
and practice their application in the field when learned ;


or would you e'en be powerful of limb and body, then
must you habituate limbs and body to obey the mind,
and exercise yourself with toil and sweat.'

" At this point (as Prodicus relates), Vice broke
in, exclaiming : ' See you, Heracles, how hard and
long the road is by which yonder woman would escort
you to her festal joys. But I will guide you by a
short and easy road to happiness.'

" Then spoke Virtue : ' Nay, wretched one, what
good thing hast thou? or what sweet thing art thou
acquainted with — that wilt stir neither hand nor foot
to gain it? Thou, that mayest not even await the
desire of pleasure, but, or ever that desire springs up,
art already satiated: eating before thou hungerest,
and drinking before thou thirstest ; who to eke out
an appetite must invent an army of cooks and con-
fectioners ; and to whet thy thirst must lay down
costliest wines, and run up and down in search of ice
in summer-time ; to help thy slumbers soft coverlets
suffice not, but couches and feather-beds must be pre-
pared thee, and rockers to rock thee to rest; since
desire for sleep in thy case springs not from toil, but
from vacuity and nothing in the world to do. Thus
thou educatest thy friends : with insult in the night
season, and drowse of slumber during the precious
hours of the day. Immortal, thou art cast forth from
the company of gods, and by good men art dishonored ;
that sweetest sound of all, the voice of praise, has
never thrilled thine ears ; and the fairest of all fair
visions is hidden from thine eyes that have never be-
held one bounteous deed wrought by thine own hand.
If thou openest thy lips in speech, who will believe
thy words ? If thou hast need of aught, none shall
satisfy thee. What sane man will venture to join


thy rabble rout ? Ill indeed are thy revellers to look
upon, young men impotent in body, and old men wit-
less in mind : in the heyday of life they batten in
sleek idleness, and wearily do they drag through an
age of wrinkled wretchedness : and why ? they blush
with shame at the thought of deeds done in the past,
and groan for weariness at what is left to do. Dur-
ing their youth they ran riot through their sweet
things, and laid up for themselves large store of bit-
terness against the time of eld. But my compan-
ionship is with the gods ; and with the good among
men my conversation ; no bounteous deed, divine or
human, is wrought without my aid. Therefore am I
honored in Heaven preeminently, and upon earth
among men whose right it is to honor me ; as a be-
loved fellow-worker of all craftsmen ; a faithful guard-
ian of house and lands, whom the owners bless ; a
kindly helpmeet of servants ; a brave assistant in the
labors of peace ; an unflinching ally in the deeds of
war ; a sharer in all friendships indispensable. To
my friends is given an enjoyment of meats and drinks,
which is sweet in itself and devoid of trouble, in that
they can endure until desire ripens, and sleep more
delicious visits them than those who toil not. Yet
they are not pained to part with it ; nor for the sake
of slumber do they let slip the performance of their
duties. Among my followers the youth delights in
the praises of his elders, and the old man glories in
the honor of the young ; with joy they call to memory
their deeds of old, and in to-day's well-doing are well
pleased. For my sake are they dear in the sight of
God, beloved of their friends and honored by the
country of their birth. When the appointed goal is
reached they lie not down in oblivion with dishonor.


but bloom afresh — tlieir praise resounded on the lips
of men forever. Toils like these, O son of noble par-
ents, Heracles, it is yours to meet with, and having
endured, to enter into the heritage assured you of
transcendent happiness.' "


From the Memorabilia, Book II. iii. §§ 1-19.

At another time the differences between two bro-
thers named Chaerephon and Chaerecrates, both well
known to him, had drawn his attention ; and on see-
ing the younger of the two he thus addressed him : —

Socrates. Tell me, Chaerecrates, you are not, I
take it, one of those strange people who believe that
goods are better and more precious than a brother ;
and that, too, although the former are but senseless
chattels which need protection, the latter a sensitive
and sensible being who can afford it ; and what is
more, he is himself alone, whilst as for them their
name is legion. And here again is a marvellous
thing: that a man should count his brother a loss,
because the goods of his brother are not his ; but he
does not count his fellow-citizens loss, and yet their
possessions are not his ; only it seems in their case he
has wits to see that to dwell securely with many and
have enough is better than to own the whole wealth
of a community and to live in dangerous isolation ;
but this same doctrine as applied to brothers they
ignore. Again, if a man have the means, he will
purchase domestic slaves, because he wants assistants
in his work ; he will acquire friends, because he
needs their support ; but this brother of his — who


cares about brothers ? It seems a friend may be dis-
covered in an ordinary citizen, but not in a blood rela-
tion who is also a brother. And yet it is a great van-
tage-ground toward friendship to have sprung from
the same loins and to have been suckled at the same
breasts, since even among beasts a certain natural
craving and sympathy springs up between creatures
reared together. Added to which, a man who has
brothers commands more respect from the rest of the
world than the man who has none, and who must fight
his own battles.

Chaerecrates. I dare say, Socrates, where the differ-
ences are not profound, reason would a man should
bear with his brother, and not avoid him for some
mere trifle's sake, for a brother of the right sort is, as
you say, a blessing ; but if he be the very antithesis
of that, why should a man lay to his hand to achieve
the impossible ?

Socrates. Well now, tell me, is there nobody whom
Chaerephon can please any more than he can please
yourself ; or do some people find him agreeable
enough ?

Chaerecrates. Nay, there you hit it. That is just
why I have a right to detest him. He can be pleas-
ing enough to others, but to me, whenever he appears
on the scene, he is not a blessing — no ! but by every
manner of means the reverse.

Socrates. May it not happen that just as a horse is
no gain to the inexpert rider who essays to handle
him, so in like manner, if a man tries to deal with his
brother after an ignorant fashion, this same brother
will kick ?

Chaerecrates. But is it likely now? How should I
be ignorant of the art of dealing with my brother if I


know the art of repaying kind words and good deeds
in kind ? But a man who tries all he can to annoy
me by word and deed, I can neither bless nor benefit,
and, what is more, I will not try.

Socrates. Well, now, that is a marvellous state-
ment, Chaerecrates. Your dog, the serviceable guard-
ian of your flocks, who will fawn and lick the hand
of your shepherd, when you come near him can only
growl and show his teeth. Well, you take no notice
of the dog's ill-temper, you try to propitiate him by
kindness ; but your brother ? If your brother were
what he ought to be, he would be a great blessing to
you — that you admit ; and, as you further confess,
you know the secret of kind acts and words, yet you
will not set yourself to apply means to make him your
best of friends ?

Chaerecrates. I am afraid, Socrates, that I have no
wisdom or cunning to make Chaerephon bear himself
towards me as he should.

Socrates. Yet there is no need to apply any recon-
dite or novel machinery. Only bait your hook in the
way best known to yourself, and you will capture him,
whereupon he will become your devoted friend.

Chaerecrates. If you are aware that I know some
love-charm, Socrates, of which I am the happy but un-
conscious possessor, pray make haste and enlighten me.

Socrates. Answer me, then. Suppose you wanted
to get some acquaintance to invite you to dinner when
he next keeps holy day, what steps would you take ?

Chaerecrates. No doubt I should set him a good
example by inviting him myself on a like occasion.

Socrates. And if you wanted to induce some friend
to look after your affairs during your absence abroad,
how would you achieve your purpose ?


CJiaerecrates. No doubt I should present a prece-
dent in undertaking to look after his in like circum-

Socrates. And if you wished to get some foreign
friend to take you under his roof while visiting his
country, what would you do ?

CJiaerecrates. No doubt I should begin by offering
him the shelter of my own roof when he came to Ath-
ens, in order to enlist his zeal in furthering the objects
of my visit ; it is plain I should first show my readi-
ness to do as much for him in a like case.

Socrates. Why, it seems you are an adept after all
in all the philtres known to man, only you chose to
conceal your knowledge all the while ; or is it that
you shrink from taking the first step because of the
scandal you will cause by kindly advances to your
brother ? And yet it is commonly held to redound to
a man's praise to have outstripped an enemy in mis-
chief or a friend in kindness. Now if it seemed to
me that Chaerephon were better fitted to lead the
way towards this friendship, I should have tried to
persuade him to take the first step in winning your
affection, but now I am persuaded the first move be-
longs to you, and to you the final victory.

CJiaerecrates. A startling announcement, Socrates,
from your lips, and most unlike you, to bid me the
younger take precedence of my elder brother. Why,
it is contrary to the universal custom of mankind,
who look to the elder to take the lead in everything,
whether as a speaker or an actor.

Socrates. How so? Is it not the custom every-
where for the younger to step aside when he meets
his elder in the street, and to give him place? Is he
not expected to get up and offer him his seat, to pay


him the honor of a soft couch, to yield him precedence
in argument ?

My good fellow, do not stand shilly-shallying, but
put out your hand caressingly, and you will see the
worthy soul will respond with alacrity. Do you not
note your brother's character, proud and frank and
sensitive to honor? He is not a mean and sorry ras-
cal to be caught by a bribe — no better way indeed
for such riff-raff. No ! gentle natures need a finer
treatment. You can best hope to work on them by

CJiaefecrates. But suppose I do, and suppose that,
for all my attempts, he shows no change for the
better ?

Socrates. At the worst you will have shown your-
self to be a good, honest, brotherly man, and he will
appear as a sorry creature on whom kindness is wasted.
But nothing of the sort is going to happen, as I con-
jecture. My belief is that as soon as he hears your
challenge he will embrace the contest ; pricked on by
emulous pride, he will insist upon getting the better
of you in kindness of word and deed.

At present you two are in the condition of two
hands formed by God to help each other, but which
have let go their business, and have turned to hinder-
ing one another all they can. You are a pair of feet
fashioned on the Divine plan to work together, but
which have neglected this in order to trammel each
other's gait. Now is it not insensate stupidity to use
for injury what was meant for advantage ? And yet
in fashioning two brothers God intends them, me-
thinks, to be of more benefit to one another than
either two hands or two feet or two eyes, or any other
of those pairs which belong to man from his birth.


Consider how powerless these hands of ours if called
upon to combine their action at two points more than
a single fathom's length apart ; and these feet could
not stretch asunder even a bare fathom ; and these
eyes, for all the wide-reaching range we claim for
them, are incapable of seeing simultaneously the back
and front of an object at even closer quarters. But
a pair of brothers, linked in bonds of amity, can work
each for the other's good, though seas divide them.


From the Anabasis, Book I. viii. §§ 14-29.

At this time the barbarian army was evenly advan-
cing, and the Hellenic division was still riveted to the
spot, completing its formation as the various contin-
gents came up. Cyrus, riding past at some distance
from the lines, glanced his eye first in one direction
and then in the other, so as to take a complete survey
of friends and foes ; when Xenophon the Athenian,
seeing him, rode up from the Hellenic quarter to
meet him, asking whether he had any orders to give.
Cyrus, pulling up his horse, begged him to make
the announcement generally known that the omens
from the victims, internal and external, were good.
While he was still speaking he heard a confused mur-
mur passing through the ranks, and asked what it
meant. The other replied that it was the watchword
being passed down for the second time. Cyrus won-
dered who had given the order, and asked what the
watchword was. On being told it was " Zeus our
Saviour and Victory," he replied, " I accept it ; so
let it be," and with that remark rode away to his own


position. And now the two battle lines were no more
than three or four furlongs apart, when the Hellenes
began chanting the paean, and at the same time ad-
vanced against the enemy.

But with the forward movement a certain portion
of the line curved onwards in advance, with wave-like
sinuosity, and the portion left behind quickened to a
run ; and simultaneously a thrilling cry burst from
all lips, like that in honor of the war-god — eleleu !
eleleu ! and the running became general. Some say
they clashed their shields and spears, thereby causing
terror to the horses ; and before they had got within
arrowshot the barbarians swerved and took to flight.
And now the Hellenes gave chase with might and
main, checked only by shouts to one another not to
race, but to keep their ranks. The enemy's chariots,
reft of their charioteers, swept onwards, some through
the enemy themselves, others past the Hellenes. They,
as they saw them coming, opened a gap and let them
pass. One fellow, like some dumfounded mortal on
a race-course, was caught by the heels, but even he,
they said, received no hurt; nor indeed, with the
single exception of some one on the left wing who
was said to have been wounded by an arrow, did any
Hellene in this battle suffer a single hurt.

Cyrus, seeing the Hellenes conquering, as far as
they at any rate were concerned, and in hot pursuit,
was well content ; but in spite of his joy and the salu-
tations offered him at that moment by those about him,
as though he were already king, he was not led away
to join in the pursuit, but keeping his squadron of six
hundred horsemen in close order, waited and watched
to see what the king himself would do. The king, he
knew, held the centre of the Persian army. Indeed it


is the fashion for the Asiatic monarch to occupy that
position during action, for this twofold reason : he
holds the safest place, with his troops on either side
of him, while, if he has occasion to despatch any ne-
cessary order along the lines, his troops will receive
the message in half the time. The king accordingly
on this occasion held the centre of his army, but for
all that, he was outside Cyrus' left wing; and seeing
that no one offered him battle in front, nor yet the
troops in front of him, he wheeled as if to encircle
the enemy. It was then that Cyrus, in apprehension
lest the king might get round to the rear and cut to
pieces the Hellenic body, charged to meet him. At-
tacking with his six hundred, he mastered the line of
troops in front of the king, and put to flight the six
thousand, cutting down, as is said, with his own hand
their general, Artagerses.

But as soon as the rout commenced, Cyrus's own
six hundred themselves, in the ardor of pursuit, were
scattered, with the exception of a handful who were
left with Cyrus himself — chiefly his table compan-
ions, so-called. Left alone with these, he caught
sight of the king and the close throng about him.
Unable longer to contain himself, with a cry, " I see
the man," he rushed at him and dealt a blow at his
chest, wounding him through the corselet. This ac-
cording to the statement of Ctesias the surgeon, who
further states that he himself healed the wound. As
Cyrus delivered the blow, some one struck him with a
javelin under the eye severely ; and in the struggle
which then ensued between the king and Cyrus and
those about them to protect one or other, we have the
statement of Ctesias as to the number slain on the
king's side, for he was by his side. On the other,


Cyrus himself fell, and eight of his bravest compan-
ions lay on the top of him. The story says that Ar»
tapates, the trustiest esquire among his wand-bearers,
when he saw that Cyrus had fallen to the ground,
leapt from his horse and threw his arms about him.,
Then, as one account says, the king bade one slay
him as a worthy victim to his brother ; others say that
Artapates drew his scimitar and slew himself by his
own hand. A golden scimitar it is true he had ; he
wore also a collar and bracelets and the other orna-
ments such as the noblest Persians wear; for his
kindliness and fidelity had won him honors at the
hand of Cyrus.

So died Cyrus — a man the kingliest and most
worthy to rule of all the Persians who have lived since
the elder Cyrus, according to the concurrent testimony
of all who are reputed to have known him intimately.


From the Anabasis, Book IV. vii. §§ 19-27.

Passing on from thence in four stages of twenty
parasangs, they reached a large and prosperous well-
populated city, which went by the name of Gymnias,
from which the governor of the country sent them a
guide to lead them through a district hostile to his
own. This guide told them that within ^wq days he
would lead them to a place from which they would
see the sea, " and," he added, " if I fail of my word,
you are free to take my life." Accordingly he put
himself at their head ; but he no sooner set foot in
the country hostile to himself than he fell to encour-
aging them to burn and harry the land ; indeed his
exhortations were so earnest, it was plain that it was


for this he had come, and not out of the good-will he
bore the Hellenes.

On the fifth day they reached the mountain, the
name of which was Theches. No sooner had the men
in front ascended it and caught sight of the sea than
a great cry arose, and Xenophon, with the rearguard,
catching the sound of it, conjectured that another set
of enemies must surely be attacking in front ; for they
were followed by the inhabitants of the country, which
was all aflame ; indeed the rearguard had killed some
and captured others alive by laying an ambuscade ;
they had taken also about twenty wicker shields, cov-
ered with the raw hides of shaggy oxen.

But as the shout became louder and nearer, and
those who from time to time came up began racing
at the top of their speed towards the shouters, and the
shouting continually recommenced with yet greater
volume as the numbers increased, Xenophon settled
in his mind that something extraordinary must have
happened, so he mounted his horse, and taking with
him Lycius and the cavalry, he galloped to the rescue.
Presently they could hear the soldiers shouting and
passing on the joyful word. The sea ! the sea 1

Thereupon they began running, rearguard and all,
and the baggage animals and horses came galloping
up. But when they had reached the summit, then in-
deed they fell to embracing one another, — generals
and officers and all, — and the tears trickled down
their cheeks. And on a sudden, some one, whoever it
was, having passed down the order, the soldiers began
bringing stones and erecting a great cairn, whereon
they dedicated a host of untanned skins, and staves,
and captured wicker shields, and with his own hand
the guide hacked the shields to pieces, inviting the


rest to follow his example. After this the Hellenes
dismissed the guide with a present raised from the
common store, to wit, a horse, a silver bowl, a Persian
dress, and ten darics ; but what he most begged to

Online LibraryJohn Henry WrightMasterpieces of Greek literature; Homer: Tyrtaeus: Archilochus: Callistratus: Alcaeus: Sappho: Anacreon: Pindar: Aeschylus: Sophocles: Euripides Aristophanes: Herodotus: Thucydides: Xenophon: Plato: Theocritus: Lucian, with biographical sketches and notes; → online text (page 23 of 29)