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verse there is so much idolatry and mythology, and so much sentiment born of these, which we either cannot understand at all, or, understanding, have to reject with reprobation, or what, for the matter of æsthetic enjoyment, is almost worse, with pity and contempt-in short, there is such a wide margin of allowance to be made for differences of standards between them and us, differences in which we cannot but feel our own superiority to them, that we are compelled to force our judgment somewhat, or wait to acquire a taste not natural to us, before we can say from our hearts that we thoroughly relish the Greeks in their poetry. But what a testimony it is to the genius of this people that, though what we have now said is true, the names of Ho'mer, of He'siod, of Pindar, of Sappho (Saf'fo), of Æs'chylus, and Soph'ocles, and Eurip'ides, of sweet-flowing Theoc'ritus, are yet such charms to our imaginations! Alien to us as, in so many ways, these poets were, they were one with us in nature, they possessed the secret of genius, and we cannot wholly escape their thrall.
In history we find less to check our admiration of the Greeks. Herod'otus fascinates us with his artfully artless, simple, fuent, wonder-loving, yet truth-telling narrative ; Thucyd'ides puts us willing pupils to school to learn from him how philosophical history should be written; and Xen'ophon contents and delights us with picturesque journals of march and fight, irreproachably well conceived and composed-all without our needing to lose much from our pleasure, or to abate much from our applause, for any reason of difference between the ancient and the modern, the heathen and the Christian. The heathenism of the Greeks was too humane, or the Christianity of Christians is too far from perfect, to make the contrast of tone and treatment between Thucydides and Macaulay very painfully broad and striking.
In eloquence, and in the literature of rhetoric, of taste, and of criticism—that is, the literature concerning literature, we not merely have not to make allowance for the Greeks in admiring them, but we have without reserve to acknowledge their supremacy. Demosthenes is a synonym for eloquence, and what critic or rhetorician is not a grateful learner at the feet of Aristotle, or, to make a long skip forward in time, of Longi'nus?
The golden age of Greek literature, as of Greek art and Greek arms, was the age of Pericles. But there was in Demosthenes a fit of splendid revival from later decline, and the decline that afterward proceeded again was splendid and gradual and long. Chrys'ostom, in an early Christian age, who still wielded at will that “fierce democratie " that used to muster by thousands to hear and to applaud with tumultuary cheers their favorite preacher, in the basilicas of Antioch and Constantinople, was no unworthy successor, in a lineage of eloquence that included the names of Pericles, Isoc'rates, Æschines, and Demosthenes. The newspapers of yesterday and to-day contain literary tidings from modern Greece that seem to foretoken close at hand a signal renascence of Greek literature among the proudest monuments of its ancient glory, and on the very spot of its origin.
For the study of Greek literature in the original text, Xenophon, as prose writer, and Homer, as poet, furnish the works that are almost universally first read. This fact may
' be taken to constitute a sufficient reason for the course which we adopt, in these two instances, in disregarding chronological order and beginning here ourselves with the same authors.
The “Anabasis" of Xenophon is a monograph in history, possessing no very serious importance in itself alone, yet highly interesting, first, as a specimen of literary art, and,
nice K.m. Steeves - Aug 3-1916.
This volume belongs to a series of books, now four in number, devoted to a presentation in English of various foreign literatures, ancient and modern. The primary design of the series is to enable persons born to the use of English speech and precluded from accomplishing a course of school and college training in the foreign languages in which the literatures concerned were originally written, to enjoy an advantage as nearly as possible equivalent through the medium of their native tongue.
These books are, none of them, histories of the literatures treated. They are those literatures themselves, in specimen, presented through translation, with accompaniment of such comment, historical, biographical, critical, and explanatory, as was judged necessary to make them, in the highest degree possible within very narrow limits, effectively known. They are, it is believed, somewhat different in purpose and in method from any other books existing.
The present volume is the result of selection and abridgment from two earlier volumes, each of about the same size with this, entitled, respectively, “ Preparatory Greek Course in English ” and “College Greek Course in English." These fuller volumes are still kept in print for such readers as may desire to go a little more thoroughly into the study of Greek literature,