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Neitor at Pylos, the office of washing and clothing him was assigned to the beautiful Polycaste, the virgin-daughter of the venerable monarch. When Ulysses appeared as an unknown ftranger in his own palace, the queen Penelope, uninformed who or what he was, merely in pursuance of the common rights of hospitality, directed her young maids to attend him to the bath. Ulysses refused the ho nour, and desired an old woman ; but the poet seems to have thought it necessary, that he should apologize very particularly for such a fingularity. Repugnant as these circumstances appear to common notions of eastern jealousy, yet customs not absolutely dissimilar are still found among the Arabs. Indeed the general sentiments of the Turks toward the female sex are a strange compound of the groffest sensuality wlth the most scrupulous decency. For the credit of Homer, however, and of his age, it should be observed that, among all his variety of pictures of human paffion, not a hint occurs of that unnatural sensuality which afterward so difgraced Grecian manners.
• It was customary in the heroic age, as indeed at all times in Greece, for ladies of the highest rank to employ themselves in spinning and needlework, and in at least directing the bufiness of the loom; which was caarried on, as till lately in the Highlands of Scotland, for every family within itself. It was praise equally for a llave and a princess to be skilful in works of this kind. In Homer's time washing also was an employment for ladies. The princefs Nausicaay the young and beautiful daughter of the opulent king of Phæacia, a country famed more for luxury than industry, went with her maids, in a carriage drawn by mules, to a fountain in a fequeftered spot at some distance from the city; to walh the clothes of the family.
• It is matter of no small curiosity to compare the manners and principles of the heroic age of Greece with those of our Teutonic ancestors. There are strong lines of resemblance, and there are at the same time strong characteristical touches by which they stand distinguished. Greece was a country holding out to its professors every delight of which humanity is capable; but where, through the inefficiency of law, the instability of governments, and the character of the times, happiness was extremely precarious, and the change frequent from the height of bliss to the depth of misery. Hence, rather than from his natural temper, Homer seems to have derived a melancholy tinge widely diffused over his poems. He frequently adverts, in general reflections, to the miseries of mankind. That earth nourishes no animal more miserable than man, is a remark which he puts into the mouth of Jupiter himself. His common epithet for war and battle is tearful.' With the northern bards, on the contrary, war and battle were subjects of highest joy and merriments and this idea was supported in fact, we are well affured, to a most extraordinary degree. Yet there was more generofity and less cruelty in the Gothic fpirit of war than in the Grecian. Whence this aròfe; what circumftences gave the weaker sex lo much more consequence among the Teutonic nations than among the Greeks ; how the spirit of gallantry, so little known to this elegant and polished people, should arise and gain such univerfal influence among the fierce unlettered favages of the North ; that gallantry which, with many fantastical and soine mischievous
effects, has produced many so highly salutary and honorable to mans kind, will brobably ever remain equally a mystery in the history of man, as why perfection in the sciences and every elegant art should be confined to the little territory of Greece, and to those nations which have derived it thence.'
It has been common for some philosophers to degrade the condition of women in the earlier ages of society; but in this they consulted their coldness or spleen ; and it is a fatisfaction to us that our author, who is remarkable for candour, has found it right to take the opposite side, and to vindicate the respectful ceremony with which women were treated in the early periods of Greece, as well as in other infant communities.
But while we commend on this subject, his candour and his penetration, we are surprised that he should hold it to be mysterious that the Teutonic tribes should have been more gallant and polished in their intercourse with the fex® than even the elegant Greeks. The topick, no doubt, has something in it that is furprising on a first or a superficial view.. But if he had taken the trouble to enter into it, every idea of mystery would foon. have disappeared. If he had looked into the instructive Treatise of Tacitus on the manners of the Germans, he would immediately have discovered why the Tentonic tribes excelled all nations in their tender admiration of the sex, and would have been able to trace the sources in consequence of which the fantastic notions of chivalry spread with such rapidity over Europe. We know from Tacitus that arins, gallantry, and devotion were the leading characteristics of the ancient Germans; and when these nations rushed from their woods to make conquests, these principles found the fullest scope, and gradually gave form and Shape to those institutions and manners, the rise of which appears to our author to be fo dark and obseure as to be inexplicable*. : In his fourth chapter Mr. Mitford affords a clear narration of the History of Greece, from the Trojan war to the return of the Heracleids ; and he treats with a happy precision of the Grecian oracles, the Council of the Amphictyons, and the Olympian games. To this chapter he has added an Appendix in which he reasons concerning the chronology of the Grecian history. This delicate subject he manages with the 1kill of a great mafier ; and, from the result of his enquiries, which we beg to submit to our readers, they will perceive that he has the merit of an original writer, and is not afraid to think for himself.
* See Stuart's View of Society in Europe. Book I.
* The refult then,' says he, of such enquiry as I have been able to make on this dark and intricate subject, leads me to the toilowing conclutions. I have not the least dificulty with Newton to reject, as fictitious, that personage whom chronologers have interted in their catalogue of kings of Crete by the name of the firit Minos ; because his existence is not only unwarranted, but in fact contradicted by what remains to us f.om Hefiod, Homer, Herodotus, Thucydides, Plato, Aristotle, and Strabo, concerning the only Minos ; whom those authors appear to have known. With scarcely more doubt and upon fimilar grounds I join in the rejection of Erichthonius, together with the second Cecrops and the second Pandion, from the list of the kings of Athens. I cannot, however, hold with the great phiJosopher that Gelanor king of Argos, and Danaus the leader of the Egyptian colony, were contemporary with Euty itheus, king of Mycenæ ; because the suppofition is not only unsupported but contradicted by testimony equal to any concerning thofe times; indeed by the whole tenor of early historical tradition. We come next to that period which Homer has illustrated ; and concerning this, confidered by itself, the difference among authors has- been comparatively
In proceeding then to the dark ages which follow, I have no doubt in shortening the period from the return of the Heracleids to the institution of the Olympian festival by Iphitus. The number of years that pafled can bé calculated only upon conjectural grounds; but Newton's conjecture, if not perfectly unexceptionable, appears to far the most probable as it is molt confiltent with historical tradition, and even with what I hold to be the best chronological authorities, those of Strabo and Pausanias. For the period then of 108 years, between the institution of the festival by Iphitus and the first Olympiad, or that in which Coræbus won, I look upon it as merely imaginary; its existence being strongly contradicted by Strabo and Pausanias, and supported by no comparable authority. I am less able to determine my belief concerning the dates of the Mefienian wars ; nor can I satisfy myself concerning those of Attick or Corinthian history. In the former cases the busineis was only to detect fallehood; here we have the nicer talk to ascertain truth. Upon the whole, however, Newton appears to have strong reason on his side throughout. He seems indeed to have allowed too little interval between the legillarion of Draco and that of Soion; and perhaps this is not the only instance in which his illortening iystem has been carried rather to an extreme : but where centuries are in dispute, we must not make difficulties about a few years. It would be of some importunce, if it were pollible, to determine the age of that remarkable tyrant of Argos, Pheidon, the most powerful Grecian prince of his time, the first who coined silver in Peloponnesus, the first who established a standard for the weights and measures used over the whole peninsula, and who, as head of the Heracleid families, and legal heir of Hercules, claimed, and by the prevalence of his power assumed, the presidency of the Olympian festival. This last circumStance, if the Olympic register was perfect, Mould have put his age beyond question : yet authors who pofleised the best means of infor. mation are not to be reconciled concerning it. Pausanias says that Phcidon presided in the eighth Olympiad. But according to Strabo A 3
the Eleians presided without interruption to the twenty-fixth ; and if the copies of Herodotus are faithful, Pheidon must have lived towards the fifteenth Olympiad, where Newton would fix him. But the copies of Herodotus are not without appearance of defect where Pheidon is mentioned. The chronologers have been desirous of imputing error to those of Strabo, which assert that Pheidon was tenth in descent from Temenus; they would have him but tenth from Hercules ; and thus they would make Strabo agree with Paưı sanias and with the marbles. But this does not complete their business. Strabo will still contradict the prefidency of Pheidon in the eighth Olympiad. Moreover that writer, as his copies now stand, is confiftent with himself; and upon Newton's system, consistent with Herodotus. It can scarcely be said that Pausanias, as his copies stand, is consistent with himself: at least he is
very deficient where it was clearly his desire to give fall information. I am therefore inclined, with Newton, to suppose an error in the date which stands afligned, as on his authority, for the presidency of Pheidon. But when precisely Pheidon did preside, it should seem Strabo could not learn to his fatisfaction ; otherwile he would probably have named the Olympiad, and not have dated merely by the pedigree.
In the fifth chapter Mr. Mitford furnishes a circumstantial account of the southern provinces of Greece, from the Teturn of the Heracleids to the completion of the conquest of Messenia by the Lacedæmonians. This portion of his work is very
luminous ; and he unfolds some political points which are of high curiosity.
The common divisions of government have a reference to republics, monarchies, and despotisms. But, according to our author, the Greeks were in the habit of diftinguithing not less than fix simple forms of administration. Of these, four were of acknowledged legality, and two were suspicious and supported by violence. The legal modes of government were monarchy, a guarded oligarchy, aristocracy, and democracy, The illegal were tyranny and an unguarded oligarchy. It is remarkable, and it has not escaped our historian, that the British conftitution is, in fact, a compofition of the four Jegal forms acknowledged by the Greeks, of monarchy, oligarchy, aristocracy, and democracy.
• Monarchy with us,' says Mr. Mitford, perfectly accords with the Grecian sense of the term. The Lords form the Oligarchal part of the constitution ; and the House of Commons properly the Aristocratical; being composed of perfons elected by the people to Legislative Authority for Merit real or supposed.' The Democratical Principle, Equal Law, or, in the Greek 'term, Isonomy, fingularly pervades the whole; the privileges of the peer extending in no degree to his family, and the descendants even of the Blood Royal being People, subject to the same laws, the fame hurdens, and the same judicature with the meanest citizen. Rights of Election, Trial by Jury, and parish and rything Officers, together with the Right of Addressing and Petitioning either the executive or any branch of the
legislature, form a large Democratical Power, more wisely given, and more wisely bounded, notwithstanding fome defe&ts, than in any other government that ever existed.'
We should now proceed in our criticism ; but as what we have farther to advance will run into considerable length, we are under the necessity of delaying it till the next number of Our Review.
"[To be continued in our next.]
Art. II. Sermons preached before the University of Oxford, in the
Year 1784, at the Lecture founded by the Rev. John Bampton, M. A. a late Canon of Salisbury. By Joseph White, B. D. Fellow of Wadham College, and Laudian Profetior of Arabic. 8vo. 6s.
Oxford, Prince. London, Robinson. 1984. THE author of this volume is already advantageously
known to the world by different publications, and the performance before us is, in our opinion, rather calculated to extend and substantiate, than to diminish his fame,
The constitution of Mr. Bampton's lecture is, we believe, in: 'the recollection of most of our readers *; and, after having spoken in general of the benefit that has accrued to national. religion and the cause of Christianity from similar foundations, its inftitutor receives particular applaufe from Mr. White, for the very extensive field he has opened to the divines who Thall be called to fulfil his intention. Such is nearly the analysis of the first sermon of nine, of which the volume is composed, and which is entirely introductory. In the close of the discourse le goes on to propose his own particular fubject, " a comparison of Mahometism (why not Mahometanism?) and Christianity.” It is impoffible not to commend the principle upon which this selection is made.
• If therefore I prefume not,' fays Mr. White, in the following discourses, to produce any testimonies unheard of, or arguments hitherto unknown, in support of our faith; yet I hope I Thall be entitled to your indulgence, if I in some degree deviate from the more common track of speculation, and apply iny atten. tion to a species of difcuffion, which has, perhaps from the remoteness of that sort of learning on which it depends, been handled with less minuteness of investigation than its importance seems to demand.
• It may be presumed, that those topics are best understood by us, to which we have devoted the greatest share of application. On this ground I may flatter myself with the hopes of your candid at. tention, while I am more immediately treating those subjects, to which the course of studies pursued from my own choice, and the nature of an accademical enployment conferred by your kindness, * See our Review for November 1783, vol. 14. p. 388.