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men to check the advances, and revenge the age gressions, of Philip 'of Macedon, who was both a crafty and powerful enemy, his orations equally proved their degenerate manners, and his own fublime genius.' And what must have been the commanding power of his delivery, to which even Æschynes, his great and able rival, according to his own candid acknowledgment, could not do justice! The energy of his manner, the modulation of his voice, and the dignity of his action, corresponded with the force and the compass of his reasoning, and combined to form the orator, to whom is deservedly assigned the foremost place in the records of eloquence..
To the Greeks we owe the improvement, if not the invention of grammar; logic, criticism, metaphysics, music, geometry, medicine, and astronomy; and many of the terms peculiar to each of these arts and sciences, which are adopted in modern languages, clearly point out the country from which they are derived. The refined invention of architećts embellished their cities with those regular, well-proportioned, and elegant buildings, which displayed the various forms of the Doric, the Ionic, and the Corinthian orders. Athens was filled with temples; theatres, porticos, and vertibules, of matchless fymmetry and grandeur; and the pencils of Zeuxis, Parrhafius, and Polygnotus ; and the chisels of Alcamenes, Phideas, and Polycletus, decorated them with the most beautiful pictures, busts, and statues. These artists ani
mated the Parian marble, and gave spirit and paffion to the glowing canvass. The pagan religion was peculiarly favourable to their exertions, and the facrifices, assemblies, and processions, were equally well adapted to painting and sculpture, The continual view of the human figure in the baths, and at the public games, familiarised them lo the contemplation of forms the most elegant, and attitudes the most graceful. They copied the fairest appearances of nature, and by combining the scattered beauties of various persons in one fubject, gave no very inadequate reprefentation of that ideal excellence, which filled their refined imaginations. Theirs likewise was that exquisite judgment, the companion of genius, which instantly selecting from art or nature whatever was excellent, gave to their works an irresistible charm. Such indeed was the general prevalence of taste, that even the common people of Athens, by constantly surveying the finest fpecimens of painting and sculpture, and hearing the most finished compofitions recited in the theatres, and public affemblies, became qualified to appreciate, with correctnefs, the various productions of their countrymen.
The Subject continued.
THE preceding digression can require no apology, as the Philofophy, the Literature, and the Arts of the Greeks in their meridian glory are the subjects of it. We return to the account of their history by noticing the particulars of the Peloponnesian war. Its immediate cause was the part which the Athenians took in the quarrel between the people of Corcyra and the Corinthians, who had founded the colony there. The Corinthians complained of this interference, not only as a breach of the treaty then subfifting between Athens and Sparta, but as the infringement of a general rule, that no foreign power ought to interfere between a colony and its mother country. The Spartans were apprehensive that the Athenians, who had made encroachments not only upon the Corinthians but the Megareans, would extend their sovereignty over all Peloponnesus. Deputies from Athens to the public affembly at Sparta, endeavoured to palliate, but. could not justify, the conduct of their countrymen. Pericles, who at that time ruled Athens with supreme sway, imputed infidious designs to Sparta, and exhorted the Athenians to maintain their preeminence over the states of Greece, a preeminence
which they merited for having stood foremost in the ranks of danger, when Greece was threatened with the yoke of Persia. He drew a flattering picture of their superior resources, contrasted the riches of Athens with the poverty of Sparta, described their great maritime power, and flattered them with complete success in the event of a war. The Spartans loft no time in commencing hostilities, and making an irruption into Attica ; and the Athenian fleets retaliated by ravaging the shores of Peloponnesus. In the second year of the war, Athens was afflicted by a peftilential fever, which defied the fkill of physicians, and the application of remedies'. So depressed was the public mind by the numbers that fell victims to this calamity, that overtures of peace were made; but as the Athenians became humble, their enemies rose in their demands, and the negociation failed. Alcibiades, then confpicuous upon the theatre of public life, persuaded the Athenians to assist the states of Sicily against the tyrannical power of Syracuse. To accomplish this object, the most splendid and powerful fleet that ever left the harbour of Athens failed to the coast of Syracuse. Becoming unpopular for want of success, Alcibiades was condemned to death, and not venturing to confront his accusers, he deserted to the Spartans. By his advice they fent a reinforcement to the Syracufans, and the storm of their
* The Poets have shewn their approbation of the affecting description of the plague of Athens, by adopting many of its circumstances into similar descriptions. Lucretius, Book vi. ver. 1136, &c. Virgil Georg. iii. ver. 478, and Æneid iii. ver. 137.
united vengeance fell heavy upon the Athenians; not a lingle ship returned home, and very few of their foldiers or failors escaped Navery or death, For a detail of these events, we are indebted to Thucydides, who holding the rank of a General at the beginning of the war, was hiinself an eye-witness of many of the transactions he has related. To his nervous defcriptions he has added specimens of the abilities of the distinguished orators, and particularly of Pericles. The oration he pronounced in praise of those soldiers, who had fallen in the battles of their country, and were on that account honoured with a public funeral, is a model of eloquence, and for noble and appropriate fentiments conveyed with energy peculiar to the Greek language, it is scarcely, if at all, to be equalled.
Pericles appears to have been a person of pre-eminent abilities as a General, a Staterman, and an Orator. He was never defeated in battle, and yet he never obtained a brilliant victory. It was his anxious endeavour to avoid the unnecessary facrifice of the lives of his foldiers, and scarcely any general ever obtained to many trophies with so. little bloodshed. The irresistible force of thunder, and the vivid fashes of lightning, were the figurative allusions uted by his conteinporaries to convey ideas expressive of his cloquence. His talents raised him to the adminiftra. tion of public affairs, and he ruled a capricious people for fifteen years. The engine of his popularity was corruption; with the public money, vol. I,