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the Education of Cyrus the Great, who founded the Persian Empire; but this is more a romance than a history. The facts differ considerably from those given by Herodotus, and he actually attributes to his Persian hero rites and practices which were unquestionably Grecian. He tells us that in Persia only those who were above the necessity of manual labour were educated, and that there were classes, under the control of presidents, for boys, youths, men, and elders. The boys' time was chiefly occupied in trying offences arising amongst themselves, that they might learn justice, and in shooting with the bow, and throwing the javelin, their diet consisting of bread and cresses. The youths were taught patrol-duty and hunting, as a training for war, and to refrain from spitting or blowing their noses. Thus was Cyrus educated, and, being obliged to give a reason for whatever he did, and also very eager for knowledge, he acquired a habit of loquacity and readiness in answering. He also became a bold rider, and at the age of fifteen took part in a raid against the Assyrians. Soon afterwards he was appointed to a command in the army, and Xenophon introduces several entertaining episodes concerning him, especially one in which he relates the tragic end of Abradates and Panthea. The taking of Babylon is next described, aud then the measures of Cyrus for consolidating his rule over the conquered nations, and his maxims of government. His first care was the choice of faithful attendants, whom he selected from the most despised class, preferring those who had the fewest family ties. In arranging his state affairs, he kept every department under his superintendence by communicating with a few persons only, and thus secured leisure for moulding the characters of the upper ranks of society. He trained his courtiers for war by inuring them to hardy habits and long fasts, himself setting the example, and thus evincing the courage of his opinion, that no man has any right to govern who is not himself better than those whom he governs.' His policy with his dependencies was to conciliate the nobles, in order to secure their friendship, and to divide his empire into satrapies. Having revisited his home, and obtained the throne of Media as a dowry with his wife, he was now the

most powerful monarch in the world. At last, when advanced in years, he was warned in a vision of his approaching end, and having assembled his sons and his chief men, he told them to think of him when he was gone as one who had lived a happy life. Having divided his kingdom between his sons, he discoursed on the immortality of the soul, asserting his belief that when separated from the body it becomes more pure and bright, just as in sleep it seems to gain the power of seeing into futurity. Finally, he said, remember this," By doing good to your friends you will gain the power of punishing your enemies.'

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All Xenophon's other works have been preserved, and they contain much general information concerning the manners and customs of the Greeks during the latter part of the fifth, and the first half of the fourth century B.C. the Hellenica' he attempts a contemporary history of his country, which has been rather severely criticised; and his 'Life of Agesilaus,' King of Sparta, is considered deficient in talent for personal description. In his essay on 'Hiero,' the King of Syracuse, he draws a gloomy picture of the life of a tyrant, or absolute monarch, who, he says, can never be sure of the affection of his subjects; for he fears lest men of courage should make a bold attempt for liberty, or that men of abilities may be conspirators, and men of virtue, lest the multitude should desire to be governed by them. From his paper on 'The Revenues of Athens,' it would appear that the number of free citizens in his day did not exceed 20,000; and he was, therefore, anxious to encourage foreign settlers for the sake of taxing them. He also proposed a plan for working the celebrated silver mines at Larion, from which the state should derive advan tage. In a treatise on 'Housekeeping,' his first point is that the wife must take part in the household work, and, renouncing painting and rouging, occupy herself in looking after her slaves. Respecting farming, he maintains that it is easy to learn, and only needs care and diligence to make it successful. In his work on 'Horses,' amongst other very precise directions, he recommends that the stable-yard should be paved with round stones to harden the horses'

feet, and that the growth of the mane should be encouraged to assist in mounting, neither shoes nor stirrups having then been invented. In his manual on 'Cavalry,' he gives no very exact ideas on their action in the battle-field, but suggests that they should imitate beasts and birds of prey by attacking whatever is left unguarded, and strongly enjoins temperance, the endurance of fatigue, and manly energy. His work on 'Hunting' embodies his own experience in his favourite recreation, and contains many useful hints for sportsmen of the present day. His description of a run with the harriers is full of life, even to the cries, and the modulations of voice in managing the dogs; and he seems to have been equally fond of a boar-hunt. He also tells how other beasts of prey, such as lions and bears, were pursued and caught; and, in conclusion, moralises on the value of toilsome pursuits in general, and of that of virtue in particular, which leads him on to a rhetorical harangue against the sophists, whom he denounces as 'the hunters for rich young men,' as well as against political placehunters.

Neither the purity of style, nor the elegance of diction, of which his works are the most perfect specimens in the Greek language, can be gathered from any translations of them; but it is because of their value in these respects, as much as for the general information they contain, that they have always been held in such high esteem amongst the ancient Classics.

PLATO.

DIED B.C. 347.

B

JORN of a noble Athenian family, Plato underwent the usual educational course in being taught to repeat long passages from the poets, to understand harmony and rhythm, to exercise his mental powers with mathematics, to study the works of the old philosophers, and to develop his physique at the Isthmian games. In his early manhood he was probably a citizen-soldier; and, being the nephew of Critias, he avowed himself a partisan of the Thirty Tyrants, until their intolerance and cruelties induced him to withdraw from public life, and to become the pupil of Socrates. He also travelled in Egypt, as well as to Sicily, where he was introduced by the Pythagoreans to Dionysius, the Tyrant of Syracuse. On returning to Athens he commenced his celebrated lectures, to which, for twenty years, students from all parts of Greece were attracted. He was then persuaded to revisit Syracuse, as the adviser of the Tyrant's son and successor; but the jealousy of the Sicilian courtiers was aroused against him, and he resumed his classes at Athens. He now began writing his philosophical Dialogues, in order to convey a just idea of the Socratic method, and, by this form of teaching, to avoid the imputation of dogmatism. brilliancy of these compositions earned for him the title of the 'Attic Bee;' and it was said that if Jove had spoken Greek, he would have spoken it like Plato. There is an canecdote, however, that, easily as his sentences seem to

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flow, as many as thirteen different versions of one of them were found in his handwriting. He makes no pretence of following any rules or system, and, therefore, an epitome of his works must necessarily consist of a very fragmentary selection from the thoughts and ideas with which they abound.

Philosophy, he says, begins in wonder.

The Greeks

attributed every object and operation in the physical world to a deity. Poets embodied these myths in a system, and thus philosophy springs from poetry. Then came the sayings of the seven wise men, but little is known of their theories beyond their aphorisms. Others followed with their symbols of abstract ideas; and after them was Pythagoras, who maintained that number was the principle by which the world was regulated; whilst Democritus held that by some law countless atoms had moved together in the void of space, and produced a universe. Lastly, the Eleatics conceived the idea of one eternal and absolute Being who alone exists. This doctrine was set forth by Parmenides, of whom Plato speaks as more honoured than all the rest of the philosophers, and introduces him into one of his Dialogues as an old man, in company with Zeno, discussing with Socrates, a youth of twenty, the doctrine of Ideas, which was the key-stone of Plato's philosophy. It was thus he conceived another world of pure and perfect forms, each separate and everlasting, and answering to some visible object to which it imparts its essence, as the sun gives light to nature.

The Sophists are next introduced, as the professors of universal knowledge applied to the practical requirements of life. They taught rhetoric, and how to make the worse appear the better reason, holding that there was no fixed standard of morality, but that each might do what seemed good in his own eyes; doctrines which Plato unsparingly condemns.

The succeeding dialogue is supposed to take place between Socrates and Protagoras, who undertook to teach virtue generally, and the argument is, whether there is one virtue or many.

Another professor whom he introduces is Gorgias, whose

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