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lovely, because more endowed. The scene where she first entreats her father for dear life, then, rising above the weakness of her youth and flesh, accepts her doom with that grand submission to the inevitable which arises from the highest kind of courage, is almost unique in its sacred tones of pathos. Look on me! Give me one parting look, one kiss, that when I die I may remember thee!" she says to her miserable, heart-stricken father. Her presentation of her infant brother, asking his innocence to plead for her; her last agony of supplication :
"Have pity on me, father! spare my life!
'Tis sweet to gaze upon the blessed light; The grave is naught! The fool resigns his breath;
The sorriest life is better than the noblest
death !" *
And then the last abandonment of hope, and with hope of self-consideration-forbidding her mother to revile her father-forbidding Achilles to act on her behalf-not suffering her household to put on mourning-saying that she dies by the will of the gods and for her country-where can we find anything more pure, more beautiful, more honorable to the ideal of womanhood? Add to this most exquisite presentation that other, almost as lovely, of Polyxena, as the maiden sacrifice, and to these join that of Alcestis as the wifely-the one forced and patiently submitted to, the other voluntary and nobly undertakenand the many minor and yet sweet and lovely female characters of his other plays, and Euripides may stand excused from the charge of reviling the sex he delighted to paint in such splendor of moral coloring. Of the character of Alcestis and her farewell to life, all words of praise are faint, all tribute is inadequate. Her prayer to Hestia as she stands, nobly-clad, before the hearth; her pious care of the gods, decking every altar in the house, " stripstripping the myrtle-foliage from the boughs, without a tear, without a groan ;" then
*So said Achilles in that sorrowful land when "holy Persephone had scattered this way and that the spirits of the women-folk." "Rather would I live on ground, as the hireling of another, with a landless man who had o great livelihood, than bear sway among all the dead that be departed."
her passionate embrace of her marriagebed, and bitter foreboding of her rival that woman who will be truer-no! but of better fortune;" her last kisses to her children clustered weeping round her knees, her last hand-clasp to her servants; and then her faring forth from the inner sanctuary of the gynæceum to the atrium to die that he whom she loved might live-ah! true as is all beauty, and deathless as true love is this scene, this character-as fresh now as when it was written more than two thousand years ago; the material circumstances only changed, but ever the same gem, differently set according to customs and beliefs. And when Admetus refuses the veiled stranger for love and constancy to the memory of her who died for him, Euripides strikes a nobler chord than our Shakespeare sounds when Claudio accepts with tears of gratitude" the unknown spouse bestowed on him to replace the Hero he had so basely shamed and so unmanfully destroyed. Say that the whole story is a fable, no truer than the island of Calypso, the incantations of Circe, the phantom of Helen, the vengeance of Medea-or, if not a fable, then a story of which the bare prosaic elements have been heightened by romance to the sublimest poetry-still, the presentation is real for the women created by the poetic Logos are as much facts as if they stood clothed in the flesh before us. They live in the mind, and the mind is the sole mirror of reality. That Homer should have painted Andromache and Nausicaa; that Eschylus should have given us that exquisite picture of the bound and sacrificed Iphigeneia; that Sophocles should have created Antigone, Ismene, and gentlehearted Tecmessa; Euripides-Alcestis, Iphigeneia, Polyxena, and those many minor others; that all this golden glory of renown and sweet savor of immortal love should be as the bride-veils round the gracious head of womanhood, show us in what esteem the sex was held by the Greeks, despite the sneers of Aristophanes and the coarser satires of Archilochus and Simonides.
Woman has her place, too, in the heroic history of the olden times, and certain feminine names and deeds are emblazoned forever in the annals of ancient Greece, side by side with those of
her bravest and noblest men. Chelonis, faithful to misfortune, who left her husband to share her father's exile, and her father to share her husband's, so that, had not Cleombrotus been corrupted with the love of false glory, he must have thought exile with such a woman a greater happiness than a kingdom without it;"gistrata, who, after she had seen her son slaughtered and her mother hanged, rose up to meet her fate, and said, with a sigh for her country: May all this be for the good of Sparta!" Panthea, that Smyrnaian and more constant Bathsheba, where Cyrus was a nobler and more continent David, if Abradates was not more fortunate than Uriah; Cratesiclea, brave and devoted; and, above all, that naineless wife of Panteus, that heroine of heroines, calm, faithful, courageous, noble as none else ever was, more careful of her modesty after death than of her pain in dying, and mainly solicitous to help those of her sisters who were less brave than she ;-these, only a few of the many, attest the quality of the womanhood of ancient Greece, and put to shame the lampooners.
All the same, women were set in the lower place, and taught that humility and submission were their chief virtues and their first duties. Woman, know that silence is woman's noblest part,"
says Aias, better known as Ajax, to his well-beloved Tecmessa, when she seeks to control his mad and Quixote-like fury-mistaking beeves and herds for enemies. If it be objected to this that Ajax in life was notorious for his haughtiness, and in death wandered apart, too proud to consort with the other phantoms haunting Hades; that, rather than become again a man with the chance of a second time losing the arms of an Achilles to another Odysseus, he chose-so said Erus, the son of Armenius, as vouched for by Plato-to become a lion; and that he therefore would be apter than most men to forbid utterance to even the best-beloved among women-still, others of as great renown as Ajax, and of as splendid genius as Euripides, have said the same thing. From Solomon to Shakespeare, from Otway to Wordsworth and onward to Keats, the supreme value of woman has been found in her virtues; and her virtues have ever been those of the stiller, gentler, more patient and more self-sacrificing kind. This the old Greek dramatists knew and showed, despite the strength and splendid criminality of Clytemnestra, Medea, Electra, and the like. And on this base-line the Grecian woman's life was planned, with such practical outcome as we see in art and learn by history.-Fortnightly Review.
LONDON AND THE COUNTIES.
THE magnetic attractions of London have been revolutionizing English society all through the Victorian era. Necessarily that has been partly for good and partly for evil; but it is certain that the effects have been felt in the remotest districts of the islands. The provincial towns have been changing their character; they have been left more to the leading of the wealthy middle classes who are bound down to residence by professional or industrial occupations. Look at the capitals of Scotland and Ireland. It is true that even sixty years ago, in his Life of Scott, Lockhart wrote that the nobility had deserted Edinburgh. There were There were only two or three peers, and those among the poorest, who still spent the
winters in their ancestral mansions. Or, as Sydney Smith puts it, the Scotch pack had been shuffled, and all the Court cards had slipped out. Yet even then Edinburgh was the regular resort of the country gentlemen with long pedigrees and fair rent-rolls who represented the proud lesser barons of an earlier age.
Doubtless the tone of society was still strongly tinctured by the legal element; and Lockhart remarks that after-dinner conversation was marred by those logical and philosophical tours de force in which Johnson delighted. But the reason was very obvious. In Scotland, which had borrowed many of the customs of France, there had always been a distinguished noblesse of the robe. Scott, in the prelude to his Chronicles of
the Canongate, tells us why in nineteen cases out of twenty every Scotchman of good fortune and family was bred to the bar. If he were a cadet of ability, with small means and expectations, the way was smoothed for him by his birth and connections to the most lucrative legal appointments; while his elder brother proposed to attend the law lectures, in the prospect of intelligently superintending the management of his estates. The noblemen might have their residence in London; adventurers of exceptional talent and audacity might seek their fortunes in the South; youths with friends in the Court of Directors were already crowding into the Indian services; but Edinburgh was still the rallying centre for Scotchmen of blood and breeding. There was a sufficiency of money in circulation; hospitality was freely practised, and the Bordeaux, for which Leith has always been famous, went round swiftly after dinner. The dancing assemblies were as fashionable and as exclusive in their way as the more aristocratic gatherings at Almack's; and Scottish matrons with marriageable daughters found any number of eligible partis in those happy Northern hunting-grounds. In short, for well-born natives with tolerably wellfilled purses Edinburgh was an extremely agreeable place, and they had little inducement to go further, where they were pretty certain to fare worse. The laird, who was a big man among his own belongings, would have been lost altogether in London, even as London was then. As for the Dublin of 1836, it was gayer and far more rollicking than the maiden city. A Scotchman may lose his head in a reel or a strathspey, or he may become affectionately expansive at the close of a convivial evening, when singing "Auld Lang Syne" toward the small hours. But, as a rule, he is cautious and self-contained; and, even in the midst of his conviviality, he considers the main chance. As for the Irishman of fifty years ago, he held with heart and soul to the Sybarite's maxim of carpe diem, and took slight thought for the morrow. He spent his money like a man, however he came by it; and, if he were hopelessly over head and ears in debt, he only strained his credit the more recklessly. Whether it were on
account of St. George's Channel, or the inveterate brogue, or the reflected splendor of a Lord-Lieutenant's Court, Irishmen of all ranks were more homekeeping than Scotchmen. Dublin was still the place of residence of many of the Irish nobility, and the Club in Kildare Street was a local White's, though there was little to look out on in the dull thoroughfare below the windows. The balances had barely been struck which threw so much rack-rented land into the Encumbered Estates Court. The middlemen and squireens were still to the fore, relieving the landlords of much worry and responsibility. The many-storied mansions in Stephen's Green and Merryon Square, occupied by the landed gentry and lawyers in large practice, were the scenes of exuberant festivity. Those were the days when Lever's dashing heroes-captains in crack cavalry corps, or lady-killing aides-de-camp to his Excellency-found Dublin an earthly paradise, though they might sneer at the provincial manners. What with the routs and the dances, with the reviews in the Phoenix, where the fashionables paraded in carriages and cars; with picnics at Dunleary and race-meetings at the Curragh, the ball was kept continually rolling. Now Dublin seems a silent city of the dead, save among the pawnshops and publichouses in the crowded back slums; the rents in the once favorite quarters have been falling with the rents of the Western farms; a showy equipage in the streets is a phenomenon; and even the pick of the blood-horses in which the gilded and stable-minded youth used to delight are bought and exported by English dealers. Edinburgh, although at least as respectable as ever, is become, perhaps, duller and more provincial, though it has been thriving and growing
The irresistible attraction of London has been exercising much influence on the country parishes and the petty towns. Formerly the country gentleman stayed at home, contenting himself with the friendship of his neighbors and dependents. It was a tedious and expensive journey to the metropolis, and unless he were member for the shire or sat for a borough, he knew next to nobody when he got there. It was im
possible to carry the ladies by coach, and posting, with his hotel expenses, cost, as the case might be, from 1ool, to 150l. Even when the steamers with their cheap fares were introduced, the sorrows of the rough coasting voyage were a serious objection. Consequently his interests and pleasures were concentrated in his own locality, as those of his father had been before. He shot or hunted and coursed; he filled his house with his county associates, who entertained him in their turn. It was an excitement to drive into the nearest town of a market-day, to gossip with the tradesmen who had always supplied his family, to drop in at the Crown and Sceptre" or the "King's Arms," or to condescend to lunch at the farmers' ordinary, where they discussed the prices of cattle and stock. As they were all agriculturists getting their living from the land, the universal talk was of crops and bullocks. Foreign politics scarcely affected them, except so far as a war raised the taxes with the prices of their produce. Nor did they concern themselves much more with domestic questions beyond the rating and the road bills, unless deeply-rooted prejudices were brought into play, as when it was a question of perpetuating Catholic disabilities. The belated newspapers that were dear and scarce were passed on from hand to hand, but the columns of "domestic' in the provincial journals were all the country gentlemen really cared for. And if they took so little interest in public affairs, it may be conceived that literature had few charms for them. Scott remarked about 1825, looking down on the many comfortable mansions which had been rising in the valley of the Tweed, that he did not be lieve one of those well-to-do gentlemen spent so much as ten pounds per annum upon books, although they never grudged money for their claret. Yet they were men who loved and appreciated the great magician, and who had been living within the charmed circle of his conversation and cultivated tastes. But that hereditary Philistinism, if the phrase is not too harsh, had its social advantages and its kindly side. Despite the associations and reminiscences of a generally neglected classical education, the squire and the laird were on something of a
level with the farmer and even with the peasant. The rich, being in constant and more familiar relations with the poor, could sympathize with their feelings and understand their needs. If the rich did not more fully realize their responsibilities than the generation that has succeeded them, more of the sentiment of friendship entered into their intercourse with their dependents. The force of local opinion was felt, and harsh landlords were the exception. Moreover, whether he were good or bad, extravagant or parsimonious, the landlord spent and saved in the county. What he bestowed in charity was given in his parish or to local institutions; what he spent in pleasure was spent in the provincial towns. The races and the assizes, a cattle show or a concert, were events that were always welcomed in his household. Rooms had been engaged in the county hotel long before, and the services of the local milliners were called into requisition. London exquisites might smile superciliously at the manners at these meetings, and ridicule the talk as they laughed at the costumes. But the unsophisticated company thoroughly enjoyed itself, and when the gentlefolks drove home with lightened purses, they knew they had left goodwill and gratitude behind.
Now London has been exercising its fascinations on the landed gentry from boyhood upward. The baby in the cradle is entered for a fashionable public school, to be sent up in due time to one of the universities. He forms those youthful friendships that hold fast, and the affections of nine-tenths of his companions are fixed in London. The less affluent he is, and more especially if his connections be in no way distinguished, the more likely he is to give himself over to social aspirations which can only be gratified in London. It is in London that he must seek the entry to the best society; and if he is to hold his own with the "bigger wigs" of his neighborhood, he must meet them in some good London drawing-rooms during the sea
Or if the ambitious youth be anything beyond a mere trifler, he will feel the magnetic influence of London all the more. Johnson declared long ago, although in other words, that it was the only place worth living in. Whether
you turn toward politics, or have a taste for letters or the arts, you meet at every corner, if you are fairly launched, celebrities in their several lines, or the politicians who contribute something toward making history. Even if you do not enjoy the privilege of intimacy with Cabinet Ministers and statesmen, you at least hear the flying rumors which have the charm of apparent credibility, and you may listen in the smoking 100ms of political clubs to the oracular utterances of the Tapers and the Tadpoles. A political crisis brings pleasure that can never be forgotten, when the country in convulsions is on the brink of a catastrophe, and patriots and pessimists are despairing of its safety. Or you are excited by suggestive whispers and shrewd speculations over the authorship of some remarkable work; or you assist at the first representation of the play for which the critics are predicting an unparalleled run; or you go the round of the most famous studios on the eve of the opening of the Academy, in company of a candid friend" of the great masters. Nay even in the world of the sports, strange as it would once have seemed, London is become the natural headquarters. Of course the racing man finds the capital a convenient starting point for Doncaster or Chester, Stockbridge or Goodwood, while spiderlike he may sit spinning his webs for the unwary in the centre of a complicated telegraph system.
hunting man may easily send on horses by train to any one of a dozen different packs; and, if he has his stables at Melton or elsewhere in the shires, it is in London he naturally seeks refuge when forced to strike work through the frosts. For the crack shot with many acquaintances who loves the battue, London is the only place to pick up invitations or to be picked up personally at the eleventh hour when some other gun has given up; Lord's and the Oval are the favorite resorts of the critical connoisseur in cricket; while amateurs of the pigeon-trap, the oar, and the racquet have equally exceptional opportunities of gratifying their respective inclinations. It is clear enough that indulgences of the kind must demoralize men and women likewise-for the comparative insipidity and monotony of existence elsewhere. To quote our old friend Dr. Johnson again, “The man who is tired of London must be tired of life.' The craving for keen excitements at first hand necessarily grows with its gratification; and, although excess must often breed satiety, the intelligent man who has become blasé in London knows well that he will fare far worse anywhere else, and sadly resigns himself to his fate. If he has drained the Circean cup to the dregs, he can only regret that it has palsied his appetite for pleasures without steeping his senses in oblivion. -Saturday Review.
RISE AND EARLY CONSTITUTION OF UNIVERSITIES, WITH A SURVEY OF MEDIEVAL EDUCATION. By S. S. Laurie, LL.D., Professor of the Institutes and History of Education in the University of Edinburgh. New York: D. Appleton & Co.
The student of educational history finds in the rise and organization of universities one of the most important topics in the whole range of this line of study. Dr. Laurie has brought together, and thoroughly sifted out, a great mass of important facts in this direction, and his views appear to be sound and thoroughly digested. He begins with the ancient school,
and shows how, in many ways, it had in it the germ of the university of to-day. In its first beginnings at Athens, Alexandria, and Rome it presented the aspect of a great collection of scholars drawn together from different parts of the world, and listening daily to the lectures and teachings of the most eminent scholars. Kingsley has drawn a vivid picture of the Alexandrian method in his great novel of "Hypatia," which all readers of culture will quickly recall. Here under the Ptolemaic dynasties, and afterward under the Roman dominion, had been accumulated the machinery of education in a degree of completeness which astonishes the mind. At the other minor intellectual centres