Full Text Archive logoFull Text Archive — Books, poems, drama…

Greek Studies: A Series of Essays by Walter Horatio Pater

Part 4 out of 4

Adobe PDF icon
Download this document as a .pdf
File size: 0.4 MB
What's this? light bulb idea Many people prefer to read off-line or to print out text and read from the real printed page. Others want to carry documents around with them on their mobile phones and read while they are on the move. We have created .pdf files of all out documents to accommodate all these groups of people. We recommend that you download .pdfs onto your mobile phone when it is connected to a WiFi connection for reading off-line.

a caricature, or is at least untouched by any higher ideal. To that
Asiatic tradition, then, with its perfect craftsmanship, its
consummate skill in design, its power of hand, the Dorian, the
European, the true Hellenic influence brought a revelation of the
soul and body of man.

And we come at last in the marbles of Aegina to a monument, which
bears upon it the full expression of this humanism,--to a work, in
which the presence of man, realised with complete mastery of hand,
and with clear apprehension of how he actually is and moves and
looks, [257] is touched with the freshest sense of that new-found,
inward value; the energy of worthy passions purifying, the light of
his reason shining through, bodily forms and motions, solemnised,
attractive, pathetic. We have reached an extant work, real and
visible, of an importance out of all proportion to anything actually
remaining of earlier art, and justifying, by its direct interest and
charm, our long prelude on the beginnings of Greek sculpture, while
there was still almost nothing actually to see.

These fifteen figures of Parian marble, of about two-thirds the size
of life, forming, with some deficiencies, the east and west gables of
a temple of Athene, the ruins of which still stand on a hill-side by
the sea-shore, in a remote part of the island of Aegina, were
discovered in the year 1811, and having been purchased by the Crown
Prince, afterwards King Louis I., of Bavaria, are now the great
ornament of the Glyptothek, or Museum of Sculpture, at Munich. The
group in each gable consisted of eleven figures; and of the fifteen
larger figures discovered, five belong to the eastern, ten to the
western gable, so that the western gable is complete with the
exception of one figure, which should stand in the place to which, as
the groups are arranged at Munich, the beautiful figure, bending down
towards the fallen leader, has been actually transferred from the
eastern gable; certain fragments showing that the lost figure [258]
corresponded essentially to this, which has therefore been removed
hither from its place in the less complete group to which it properly
belongs. For there are two legitimate views or motives in the
restoration of ancient sculpture, the antiquarian and the aesthetic,
as they may be termed respectively; the former limiting itself to the
bare presentation of what actually remains of the ancient work,
braving all shock to living eyes from the mutilated nose or chin;
while the latter, the aesthetic method, requires that, with the least
possible addition or interference, by the most skilful living hand
procurable, the object shall be made to please, or at least content
the living eye seeking enjoyment and not a bare fact of science, in
the spectacle of ancient art. This latter way of restoration,--the
aesthetic way,--followed by the famous connoisseurs of the
Renaissance, has been followed here; and the visitor to Munich
actually sees the marbles of Aegina, as restored after a model by the
tasteful hand of Thorwaldsen.

Different views have, however, been maintained as to the right
grouping of the figures; but the composition of the two groups was
apparently similar, not only in general character but in a certain
degree of correspondence of all the figures, each to each. And in
both the subject is a combat,--a combat between Greeks and Asiatics
concerning the body of a Greek hero, fallen among the foemen,--an
incident so characteristic [259] of the poetry of the heroic wars.
In both cases, Athene, whose temple this sculpture was designed to
decorate, intervenes, her image being complete in the western gable,
the head and some other fragments remaining of that in the eastern.
The incidents represented were probably chosen with reference to the
traditions of Aegina in connexion with the Trojan war. Greek legend
is ever deeply coloured by local interest and sentiment, and this
monument probably celebrates Telamon, and Ajax his son, the heroes
who established the fame of Aegina, and whom the united Greeks, on
the morning of the battle of Salamis, in which the Aeginetans were
distinguished above all other Greeks in bravery, invited as their
peculiar, spiritual allies from that island.

Accordingly, antiquarians are, for the most part, of opinion that the
eastern gable represents the combat of Hercules (Hercules being the
only figure among the warriors certainly to be identified), and of
his comrade Telamon, against Laomedon of Troy, in which, properly,
Hercules was leader, but here, as squire and archer, is made to give
the first place to Telamon, as the titular hero of the place.
Opinion is not so definite regarding the subject of the western
gable, which, however, probably represents the combat between the
Greeks and Trojans over the body of Patroclus. In both cases an
Aeginetan hero, in the eastern gable Telamon, in the western [260]
his son Ajax, is represented in the extreme crisis of battle, such a
crisis as, according to the deep religiousness of the Greeks of that
age, was a motive for the visible intervention of the goddess in
favour of her chosen people.

Opinion as to the date of the work, based mainly on the
characteristics of the work itself, has varied within a period
ranging from the middle of the sixtieth to the middle of the
seventieth Olympiad, inclining on the whole to the later date, in the
period of the Ionian revolt against Persia, and a few years earlier
than the battle of Marathon.

In this monument, then, we have a revelation in the sphere of art, of
the temper which made the victories of Marathon and Salamis possible,
of the true spirit of Greek chivalry as displayed in the Persian war,
and in the highly ideal conception of its events, expressed in
Herodotus and approving itself minutely to the minds of the Greeks,
as a series of affairs in which the gods and heroes of old time
personally intervened, and that not as mere shadows. It was natural
that the high-pitched temper, the stress of thought and feeling,
which ended in the final conflict of Greek liberty with Asiatic
barbarism, should stimulate quite a new interest in the poetic
legends of the earlier conflict between them in the heroic age. As
the events of the Crusades and the chivalrous spirit of that period,
leading men's minds back to ponder over the deeds of [261]
Charlemagne and his paladins, gave birth to the composition of the
Song of Roland, just so this Aeginetan sculpture displays the Greeks
of a later age feeding their enthusiasm on the legend of a distant
past, and is a link between Herodotus and Homer. In those ideal
figures, pensive a little from the first, we may suppose, with the
shadowiness of a past age, we may yet see how Greeks of the time of
Themistocles really conceived of Homeric knight and squire.

Some other fragments of art, also discovered in Aegina, and supposed
to be contemporary with the temple of Athene, tend, by their
roughness and immaturity, to show that this small building, so united
in its effect, so complete in its simplicity, in the symmetry of its
two main groups of sculpture, was the perfect artistic flower of its
time and place. Yet within the limits of this simple unity, so
important an element in the charm and impressiveness of the place, a
certain inequality of design and execution may be detected; the hand
of a slightly earlier master, probably, having worked in the western
gable, while the master of the eastern gable has gone some steps
farther than he in fineness and power of expression; the stooping
figure of the supposed Ajax,--belonging to the western group in the
present arrangement, but really borrowed, as I said, from the
eastern,--which has in it something above the type of the figures
grouped round it, being this later sculptor's work. Yet Overbeck,
[262] who has elaborated the points of this distinction of styles,
commends without reserve the technical excellence of the whole work,
executed, as he says, "with an application of all known instruments
of sculpture; the delicate calculation of weight in the composition
of the several parts, allowing the artist to dispense with all
artificial supports, and to set his figures, with all their complex
motions, and yet with plinths only three inches thick, into the basis
of the gable; the bold use of the chisel, which wrought the shield,
on the freely-held arm, down to a thickness of scarcely three inches;
the fineness of the execution even in parts of the work invisible to
an ordinary spectator, in the diligent finishing of which the only
motive of the artist was to satisfy his own conviction as to the
nature of good sculpture."

It was the Dorian cities, Plato tells us, which first shook off the
false Asiatic shame, and stripped off their clothing for purposes of
exercise and training in the gymnasium; and it was part of the Dorian
or European influence to assert the value in art of the unveiled and
healthy human form. And here the artists of Aegina, notwithstanding
Homer's description of Greek armour, glowing like the sun itself,
have displayed the Greek warriors--Greek and Trojan alike--not in the
equipments they would really have worn, but naked,--flesh fairer than
that golden armour, though more subdued and tranquil [263] in effect
on the spectator, the undraped form of man coming like an embodiment
of the Hellenic spirit, and as an element of temperance, into the
somewhat gaudy spectacle of Asiatic, or archaic art. Paris alone
bears his dainty trappings, characteristically,--a coat of golden
scale-work, the scales set on a lining of canvas or leather, shifting
deftly over the delicate body beneath, and represented on the gable
by the gilding, or perhaps by real gilt metal.

It was characteristic also of that more truly Hellenic art--another
element of its temperance--to adopt the use of marble in its works;
and the material of these figures is the white marble of Paros.
Traces of colour have, however, been found on certain parts of them.
The outer surfaces of the shields and helmets have been blue; their
inner parts and the crests of the helmets, red; the hem of the
drapery of Athene, the edges of her sandals, the plinths on which the
figures stand, also red; one quiver red, another blue; the eyes and
lips, too, coloured; perhaps, the hair. There was just a limited and
conventionalised use of colour, in effect, upon the marble.

And although the actual material of these figures is marble, its
coolness and massiveness suiting the growing severity of Greek
thought, yet they have their reminiscences of work in bronze, in a
certain slimness and tenuity, a certain dainty lightness of poise in
their grouping, which [264] remains in the memory as a peculiar note
of their style; the possibility of such easy and graceful balancing
being one of the privileges or opportunities of statuary in cast
metal, of that hollow casting in which the whole weight of the work
is so much less than that of a work of equal size in marble, and
which permits so much wider and freer a disposition of the parts
about its centre of gravity. In Aegina the tradition of metal-work
seems to have been strong, and Onatas, whose name is closely
connected with Aegina, and who is contemporary with the presumably
later portion of this monument, was above all a worker in bronze.
Here again, in this lurking spirit of metal-work, we have a new
element of complexity in the character of these precious remains.
And then, to compass the whole work in our imagination, we must
conceive yet another element in the conjoint effect; metal being
actually mingled with the marble, brought thus to its daintiest point
of refinement, as the little holes indicate, bored into the marble
figures for the attachment of certain accessories in bronze,--lances,
swords, bows, the Medusa's head on the aegis of Athene, and its
fringe of little snakes.

And as there was no adequate consciousness and recognition of the
essentials of man's nature in the older, oriental art, so there is no
pathos, no humanity in the more special sense, but a kind of hardness
and cruelty rather, in those oft-repeated, long, matter-of-fact
processions, on the [265] marbles of Nineveh, of slave-like soldiers
on their way to battle mechanically, or of captives on their way to
slavery or death, for the satisfaction of the Great King. These
Greek marbles, on the contrary, with that figure yearning forward so
graciously to the fallen leader, are deeply impressed with a natural
pathetic effect--the true reflexion again of the temper of Homer in
speaking of war. Ares, the god of war himself, we must remember, is,
according to his original import, the god of storms, of winter raging
among the forests of the Thracian mountains, a brother of the north
wind. It is only afterwards that, surviving many minor gods of war,
he becomes a leader of hosts, a sort of divine knight and patron of
knighthood; and, through the old intricate connexion of love and war,
and that amorousness which is the universally conceded privilege of
the soldier's life, he comes to be very near Aphrodite,--the paramour
of the goddess of physical beauty. So that the idea of a sort of
soft dalliance mingles, in his character, so unlike that of the
Christian leader, Saint George, with the idea of savage, warlike
impulses; the fair, soft creature suddenly raging like a storm, to
which, in its various wild incidents, war is constantly likened in
Homer; the effects of delicate youth and of tempest blending, in
Ares, into one expression, not without that cruelty which mingles
also, like the influence of some malign fate upon him, with the finer
[266] characteristics of Achilles, who is a kind of merely human
double of Ares. And in Homer's impressions of war the same elements
are blent,--the delicacy, the beauty of youth, especially, which
makes it so fit for purposes of love, spoiled and wasted by the
random flood and fire of a violent tempest; the glittering beauty of
the Greek "war-men," expressed in so many brilliant figures, and the
splendour of their equipments, in collision with the miserable
accidents of battle, and the grotesque indignities of death in it,
brought home to our fancy by a hundred pathetic incidents,--the sword
hot with slaughter, the stifling blood in the throat, the spoiling of
the body in every member severally. He thinks of, and records, at
his early ending, the distant home from which the boy came, who goes
stumbling now, just stricken so wretchedly, his bowels in his hands.
He pushes the expression of this contrast to the macabre even,
suggesting the approach of those lower forms of life which await to-
morrow the fair bodies of the heroes, who strive and fall to-day like
these in the Aeginetan gables. For it is just that two-fold
sentiment which this sculpture has embodied. The seemingly stronger
hand which wrought the eastern gable has shown itself strongest in
the rigid expression of the truth of pain, in the mouth of the famous
recumbent figure on the extreme left, the lips just open at the
corner, and in the hard-shut lips of Hercules. Otherwise, [267]
these figures all smile faintly, almost like the monumental effigies
of the Middle Age, with a smile which, even if it be but a result of
the mere conventionality of an art still somewhat immature, has just
the pathetic effect of Homer's conventional epithet "tender," when he
speaks of the flesh of his heroes.

And together with this touching power there is also in this work the
effect of an early simplicity, the charm of its limitations. For as
art which has passed its prime has sometimes the charm of an absolute
refinement in taste and workmanship, so immature art also, as we now
see, has its own attractiveness in the navet, the freshness of
spirit, which finds power and interest in simple motives of feeling,
and in the freshness of hand, which has a sense of enjoyment in
mechanical processes still performed unmechanically, in the spending
of care and intelligence on every touch. As regards Italian art, the
sculpture and paintings of the earlier Renaissance, the aesthetic
value of this navet is now well understood; but it has its value in
Greek sculpture also. There, too, is a succession of phases through
which the artistic power and purpose grew to maturity, with the
enduring charm of an unconventional, unsophisticated freshness, in
that very early stage of it illustrated by these marbles of Aegina,
not less than in the work of Verrocchio and Mino of Fiesole. Effects
of this we may note in that sculpture [268] of Aegina, not merely in
the simplicity, or monotony even, of the whole composition, and in
the exact and formal correspondence of one gable to the other, but in
the simple readiness with which the designer makes the two second
spearmen kneel, against the probability of the thing, so as just to
fill the space he has to compose in. The profiles are still not yet
of the fully developed Greek type, but have a somewhat sharp
prominence of nose and chin, as in Etrurian design, in the early
sculpture of Cyprus, and in the earlier Greek vases; and the general
proportions of the body in relation to the shoulders are still
somewhat archaically slim. But then the workman is at work in dry
earnestness, with a sort of hard strength in detail, a scrupulousness
verging on stiffness, like that of an early Flemish painter; he
communicates to us his still youthful sense of pleasure in the
experience of the first rudimentary difficulties of his art overcome.
And withal, these figures have in them a true expression of life, of
animation. In this monument of Greek chivalry, pensive and visionary
as it may seem, those old Greek knights live with a truth like that
of Homer or Chaucer. In a sort of stiff grace, combined with a sense
of things bright or sorrowful directly felt, the Aeginetan workman is
as it were the Chaucer of Greek sculpture.

THE AGE OF ATHLETIC PRIZEMEN:
A CHAPTER IN GREEK ART

[269] IT is pleasant when, looking at medieval sculpture, we are
reminded of that of Greece; pleasant likewise, conversely, in the
study of Greek work to be put on thoughts of the Middle Age. To the
refined intelligence, it would seem, there is something attractive in
complex expression as such. The Marbles of Aegina, then, may remind
us of the Middle Age where it passes into the early Renaissance, of
its most tenderly finished warrior-tombs at Westminster or in
Florence. A less mature phase of medieval art is recalled to our
fancy by a primitive Greek work in the Museum of Athens, Hermes,
bearing a ram, a little one, upon his shoulders. He bears it thus,
had borne it round the walls of Tanagra, as its citizens told, by way
of purifying that place from the plague, and brings to mind, of
course, later images of the "Good Shepherd." It is not the subject
of the work, however, but its style, that sets us down in thought
before some gothic [270] cathedral front. Suppose the Hermes
Kriophorus lifted into one of those empty niches, and the
archaeologist will inform you rightly, as at Auxerre or Wells, of
Italian influence, perhaps of Italian workmen, and along with them
indirect old Greek influence coming northwards; while the connoisseur
assures us that all good art, at its respective stages of
development, is in essential qualities everywhere alike. It is
observed, as a note of imperfect skill, that in that carved block of
stone the animal is insufficiently detached from the shoulders of its
bearer. Again, how precisely gothic is the effect! Its very
limitation as sculpture emphasises the function of the thing as an
architectural ornament. And the student of the Middle Age, if it
came within his range, would be right in so esteeming it. Hieratic,
stiff and formal, if you will, there is a knowledge of the human body
in it nevertheless, of the body, and of the purely animal soul
therein, full of the promise of what is coming in that chapter of
Greek art which may properly be entitled, "The Age of Athletic
Prizemen."

That rude image, a work perhaps of Calamis of shadowy fame, belongs
to a phase of art still in grave-clothes or swaddling-bands, still
strictly subordinate to religious or other purposes not immediately
its own. It had scarcely to wait for the next generation to be
superseded, and we need not wonder that but little of it remains.
But that it was a widely active phase of art, with [271] all the
vigour of local varieties, is attested by another famous archaic
monument, too full of a kind of sacred poetry to be passed by. The
reader does not need to be reminded that the Greeks, vivid as was
their consciousness of this life, cared much always for the graves of
the dead; that to be cared for, to be honoured, in one's grave, to
have tymbos amphipolos,+ a frequented tomb, as Pindar says, was a
considerable motive with them, even among the young. In the study of
its funeral monuments we might indeed follow closely enough the
general development of art in Greece from beginning to end. The
carved slab of the ancient shepherd of Orchomenus, with his dog and
rustic staff, the stl of the ancient man-at-arms signed
"Aristocles," rich originally with colour and gold and fittings of
bronze, are among the few still visible pictures, or portraits, it
may be, of the earliest Greek life. Compare them, compare their
expression, for a moment, with the deeply incised tombstones of the
Brethren of St. Francis and their clients, which still roughen the
pavement of Santa Croce at Florence, and recall the varnished
polychrome decoration of those Greek monuments in connexion with the
worn-out blazonry of the funeral brasses of England and Flanders.
The Shepherd, the Hoplite, begin a series continuous to the era of
full Attic mastery in its gentlest mood, with a large and varied
store of memorials of the dead, which, not so strangely as it may
[272] seem at first sight, are like selected pages from daily
domestic life. See, for instance, at the British Museum, Trypho,--
"the son of Eutychus," one of the very pleasantest human likenesses
there, though it came from a cemetery--a son it was hard to leave in
it at nineteen or twenty. With all the suppleness, the delicate
muscularity, of the flower of his youth, his handsome face sweetened
by a kind and simple heart, in motion, surely, he steps forth from
some shadowy chamber, strigil in hand, as of old, and with his coarse
towel or cloak of monumental drapery over one shoulder. But whither
precisely, you may ask, and as what, is he moving there in the
doorway? Well! in effect, certainly, it is the memory of the dead
lad, emerging thus from his tomb,--the still active soul, or
permanent thought, of him, as he most liked to be.

The Harpy Tomb, so called from its mysterious winged creatures with
human faces, carrying the little shrouded souls of the dead, is a
work many generations earlier than that graceful monument of Trypho.
It was from an ancient cemetery at Xanthus in Lycia that it came to
the British Museum. The Lycians were not a Greek people; but, as
happened even with "barbarians" dwelling on the coast of Asia Minor,
they became lovers of the Hellenic culture, and Xanthus, their
capital, as may be judged from the beauty of its ruins, managed to
have a considerable portion in Greek art, though infusing it [273]
with a certain Asiatic colour. The frugally designed frieze of the
Harpy Tomb, in the lowest possible relief, might fairly be placed
between the monuments of Assyria and those primitive Greek works
among which it now actually stands. The stiffly ranged figures in
any other than strictly archaic work would seem affected. But what
an undercurrent of refined sentiment, presumably not Asiatic, not
"barbaric," lifting those who felt thus about death so early into the
main stream of Greek humanity, and to a level of visible refinement
in execution duly expressive of it!

In that old burial-place of Xanthus, then, a now nameless family, or
a single bereaved member of it, represented there as a diminutive
figure crouching on the earth in sorrow, erected this monument, so
full of family sentiment, and of so much value as illustrating what
is for us a somewhat empty period in the history of Greek art,
strictly so called. Like the less conspicuously adorned tombs around
it, like the tombs in Homer, it had the form of a tower--a square
tower about twenty-four feet high, hollowed at the top into a small
chamber, for the reception, through a little doorway, of the urned
ashes of the dead. Four sculptured slabs were placed at this level
on the four sides of the tower in the manner of a frieze. I said
that the winged creatures with human faces carry the little souls of
the dead. The interpretation of these mystic [274] imageries is, in
truth, debated. But in face of them, and remembering how the
sculptors and glass-painters of the Middle Age constantly represented
the souls of the dead as tiny bodies, one can hardly doubt as to the
meaning of these particular details which, repeated on every side,
seem to give the key-note of the whole composition.* Those infernal,
or celestial, birds, indeed, are not true to what is understood to be
the harpy form. Call them sirens, rather. People, and not only old
people, as you know, appear sometimes to have been quite charmed away
by what dismays most of us. The tiny shrouded figures which the
sirens carry are carried very tenderly, and seem to yearn in their
turn towards those kindly nurses as they pass on their way to a new
world. Their small stature, as I said, does not prove them infants,
but only new-born into that other life, and contrasts their
helplessness with the powers, the great presences, now around them.
A cow, far enough from Myron's famous illusive animal, suckles her
calf. She is [275] one of almost any number of artistic symbols of
new-birth, of the renewal of life, drawn from a world which is, after
all, so full of it. On one side sits enthroned, as some have
thought, the Goddess of Death; on the opposite side the Goddess of
Life, with her flowers and fruit. Towards her three young maidens
are advancing--were they still alive thus, graceful, virginal, with
their long, plaited hair, and long, delicately-folded tunics, looking
forward to carry on their race into the future? Presented severally,
on the other sides of the dark hollow within, three male persons--a
young man, an old man, and a boy--seem to be bringing home, somewhat
wearily, to their "long home," the young man, his armour, the boy,
and the old man, like old Socrates, the mortuary cock, as they
approach some shadowy, ancient deity of the tomb, or it may be the
throned impersonation of their "fathers of old." The marble surface
was coloured, at least in part, with fixtures of metal here and
there. The designer, whoever he may have been, was possessed
certainly of some tranquillising second thoughts concerning death,
which may well have had their value for mourners; and he has
expressed those thoughts, if lispingly, yet with no faults of
commission, with a befitting grace, and, in truth, at some points,
with something already of a really Hellenic definition and vigour.
He really speaks to us in his work, through his symbolic and [276]
imitative figures,--speaks to our intelligence persuasively. The
surviving thought of the lad Trypho, returning from his tomb to the
living, was of athletic character; how he was and looked when in the
flower of his strength. And it is not of the dead but of the living,
who look and are as he, that the artistic genius of this period is
full. It is a period, truly, not of battles, such as those
commemorated in the Marbles of Aegina, but of more peaceful contests-
-at Olympia, at the Isthmus, at Delphi--the glories of which Pindar
sang in language suggestive of a sort of metallic beauty, firmly cut
and embossed, like crowns of wild olive, of parsley and bay, in crisp
gold. First, however, it had been necessary that Greece should win
its liberty, political standing-ground, and a really social air to
breathe in, with development of the youthful limbs. Of this process
Athens was the chief scene; and the earliest notable presentment of
humanity by Athenian art was in celebration of those who had
vindicated liberty with their lives--two youths again, in a real
incident, which had, however, the quality of a poetic invention,
turning, as it did, on that ideal or romantic friendship which was
characteristic of the Greeks.

With something, perhaps, of hieratic convention, yet presented as
they really were, as friends and admirers loved to think of them,
[277] Harmodius and Aristogeiton stood, then, soon after their heroic
death, side by side in bronze, the work of Antenor, in a way not to
be forgotten, when, thirty years afterwards, a foreign tyrant,
Xerxes, carried them away to Persia. Kritios and Nesistes were,
therefore, employed for a reproduction of them, which would naturally
be somewhat more advanced in style. In its turn this also
disappeared. The more curious student, however, would still fancy he
saw the trace of it--of that copy, or of the original, afterwards
restored to Athens--here or there, on vase or coin. But in fact the
very images of the heroic youths were become but ghosts, haunting the
story of Greek art, till they found or seemed to find a body once
more when, not many years since, an acute observer detected, as he
thought, in a remarkable pair of statues in the Museum of Naples, if
freed from incorrect restorations and rightly set together, a
veritable descendant from the original work of Antenor. With all
their truth to physical form and movement, with a conscious mastery
of delineation, they were, nevertheless, in certain details, in the
hair, for instance, archaic, or rather archaistic--designedly
archaic, as from the hand of a workman, for whom, in this subject,
archaism, the very touch of the ancient master, had a sentimental or
even a religious value. And unmistakeably they were young assassins,
moving, with more than fraternal unity, the younger in advance of and
covering [278] the elder, according to the account given by
Herodotus, straight to their purpose;--against two wicked brothers,
as you remember, two good friends, on behalf of the dishonoured
sister of one of them.

Archaeologists have loved to adjust them tentatively, with various
hypotheses as to the precise manner in which they thus went together.
Meantime they have figured plausibly as representative of Attic
sculpture at the end of its first period, still immature indeed, but
with a just claim to take breath, so to speak, having now
accomplished some stades of the journey. Those young heroes of
Athenian democracy, then, indicate already what place Athens and
Attica will occupy in the supreme age of art soon to come; indicate
also the subject from which that age will draw the main stream of its
inspiration--living youth, "iconic" in its exact portraiture, or
"heroic" as idealised in various degrees under the influence of great
thoughts about it--youth in its self-denying contention towards great
effects; great intrinsically, as at Marathon, or when Harmodius and
Aristogeiton fell, or magnified by the force and splendour of Greek
imagination with the stimulus of the national games. For the most
part, indeed, it is not with youth taxed spasmodically, like that of
Harmodius and Aristogeiton, and the "necessity" that was upon it,
that the Athenian mind and heart are now busied; but with youth [279]
in its voluntary labours, its habitual and measured discipline,
labour for its own sake, or in wholly friendly contest for prizes
which in reality borrow all their value from the quality of the
receiver.

We are with Pindar, you see, in this athletic age of Greek sculpture.
It is the period no longer of battle against a foreign foe, recalling
the Homeric ideal, nor against the tyrant at home, fixing a dubious
ideal for the future, but of peaceful combat as a fine art--pulvis
Olympicus. Anticipating the arts, poetry, a generation before Myron
and Polycleitus, had drawn already from the youthful combatants in
the great national games the motives of those Odes, the bracing words
of which, as I said, are like work in fine bronze, or, as Pindar
himself suggests, in ivory and gold. Sung in the victor's supper-
room, or at the door of his abode, or with the lyre and the pipe as
they took him home in procession through the streets, or commemorated
the happy day, or in a temple where he laid up his crown, Pindar's
songs bear witness to the pride of family or township in the physical
perfection of son or citizen, and his consequent success in the long
or the short foot-race, or the foot-race in armour, or the
pentathlon, or any part of it. "Now on one, now on another," as the
poet tells, "doth the grace that quickeneth (quickeneth, literally,
on the race-course) look favourably." Ariston hydr+ he declares
indeed, and the actual prize, as we know, was in itself of little or
no worth--a [280] cloak, in the Athenian games, but at the greater
games a mere handful of parsley, a few sprigs of pine or wild olive.
The prize has, so to say, only an intellectual or moral value. Yet
actually Pindar's own verse is all of gold and wine and flowers, is
itself avowedly a flower, or "liquid nectar," or "the sweet fruit of
his soul to men that are winners in the games." "As when from a
wealthy hand one lifting a cup, made glad within with the dew of the
vine, maketh gift thereof to a youth":--the keynote of Pindar's verse
is there! This brilliant living youth of his day, of the actual
time, for whom, as he says, he "awakes the clear-toned gale of song"-
-epen hoimon ligyn+--that song mingles sometimes with the splendours
of a recorded ancient lineage, or with the legendary greatness of a
remoter past, its gods and heroes, patrons or ancestors, it might be,
of the famous young man of the hour, or with the glory and solemnity
of the immortals themselves taking a share in mortal contests. On
such pretext he will tell a new story, or bring to its last
perfection by his manner of telling it, his pregnancy and studied
beauty of expression, an old one. The tale of Castor and Polydeukes,
the appropriate patrons of virginal yet virile youth, starred and
mounted, he tells in all its human interest.

"Ample is the glory stored up for Olympian winners." And what
Pindar's contemporaries asked of him for the due appreciation, the
[281] consciousness, of it, by way of song, that the next generation
sought, by way of sculptural memorial in marble, and above all, as it
seems, in bronze. The keen demand for athletic statuary, the honour
attached to the artist employed to make his statue at Olympia, or at
home, bear witness again to the pride with which a Greek town, the
pathos, it might be, with which a family, looked back to the victory
of one of its members. In the courts of Olympia a whole population
in marble and bronze gathered quickly,--a world of portraits, out of
which, as the purged and perfected essence, the ideal soul, of them,
emerged the Diadumenus, for instance, the Discobolus, the so-called
Jason of the Louvre. Olympia was in truth, as Pindar says again, a
mother of gold-crowned contests, the mother of a large offspring.
All over Greece the enthusiasm for gymnastic, for the life of the
gymnasia, prevailed. It was a gymnastic which, under the happy
conditions of that time, was already surely what Plato pleads for,
already one half music, mousik,+ a matter, partly, of character and
of the soul, of the fair proportion between soul and body, of the
soul with itself. Who can doubt it who sees and considers the still
irresistible grace, the contagious pleasantness, of the Discobolus,
the Diadumenus, and a few other precious survivals from the athletic
age which immediately preceded the manhood of Pheidias, between the
Persian and the Peloponnesian wars?

[282] Now, this predominance of youth, of the youthful form, in art,
of bodily gymnastic promoting natural advantages to the utmost, of
the physical perfection developed thereby, is a sign that essential
mastery has been achieved by the artist--the power, that is to say,
of a full and free realisation. For such youth, in its very essence,
is a matter properly within the limits of the visible, the empirical,
world; and in the presentment of it there will be no place for
symbolic hint, none of that reliance on the helpful imagination of
the spectator, the legitimate scope of which is a large one, when art
is dealing with religious objects, with what in the fulness of its
own nature is not really expressible at all. In any passable
representation of the Greek discobolus, as in any passable
representation of an English cricketer, there can be no successful
evasion of the natural difficulties of the thing to be done--the
difficulties of competing with nature itself, or its maker, in that
marvellous combination of motion and rest, of inward mechanism with
the so smoothly finished surface and outline--finished ad unguem--
which enfold it.

Of the gradual development of such mastery of natural detail, a
veritable counterfeit of nature, the veritable rhythmus of the
runner, for example--twinkling heel and ivory shoulder--we have hints
and traces in the historians of art. One had attained the very turn
and texture of the [283] crisp locks, another the very feel of the
tense nerve and full-flushed vein, while with another you saw the
bosom of Ladas expand, the lips part, as if for a last breath ere he
reached the goal. It was like a child finding little by little the
use of its limbs, the testimony of its senses, at a definite moment.
With all its poetic impulse, it is an age clearly of faithful
observation, of what we call realism, alike in its iconic and heroic
work; alike in portraiture, that is to say, and in the presentment of
divine or abstract types. Its workmen are close students now of the
living form as such; aim with success at an ever larger and more
various expression of its details; or replace a conventional
statement of them by a real and lively one. That it was thus is
attested indirectly by the fact that they busied themselves,
seemingly by way of a tour de force, and with no essential interest
in such subject, alien as it was from the pride of health which is
characteristic of the gymnastic life, with the expression of physical
pain, in Philoctetes, for instance. The adroit, the swift, the
strong, in full and free exercise of their gifts, to the delight of
others and of themselves, though their sculptural record has for the
most part perished, are specified in ancient literary notices as the
sculptor's favourite subjects, repeated, remodelled, over and over
again, for the adornment of the actual scene of athletic success, or
the market-place at home of the distant Northern or Sicilian town
[284] whence the prizeman had come.--A countless series of popular
illustrations to Pindar's Odes! And if art was still to minister to
the religious sense, it could only be by clothing celestial spirits
also as nearly as possible in the bodily semblance of the various
athletic combatants, whose patrons respectively they were supposed to
be.

The age to which we are come in the story of Greek art presents to us
indeed only a chapter of scattered fragments, of names that are
little more, with but surmise of their original significance, and
mere reasonings as to the sort of art that may have occupied what are
really empty spaces. Two names, however, connect themselves
gloriously with certain extant works of art; copies, it is true, at
various removes, yet copies of what is still found delightful through
them, and by copyists who for the most part were themselves masters.
Through the variations of the copyist, the restorer, the mere
imitator, these works are reducible to two famous original types--the
Discobolus or quoit-player, of Myron, the beau idal (we may use that
term for once justly) of athletic motion; and the Diadumenus of
Polycleitus, as, binding the fillet or crown of victory upon his
head, he presents the beau idal of athletic repose, and almost
begins to think.

Myron was a native of Eleutherae, and a pupil of Ageladas of Argos.
There is nothing more to tell by way of positive detail of this so
famous [285] artist, save that the main scene of his activity was
Athens, now become the centre of the artistic as of all other modes
of life in Greece. Multiplicasse veritatem videtur, says Pliny. He
was in fact an earnest realist or naturalist, and rose to central
perfection in the portraiture, the idealised portraiture, of athletic
youth, from a mastery first of all in the delineation of inferior
objects, of little lifeless or living things. Think, however, for a
moment, how winning such objects are still, as presented on Greek
coins;--the ear of corn, for instance, on those of Metapontum; the
microscopic cockle-shell, the dolphins, on the coins of Syracuse.
Myron, then, passes from pleasant truth of that kind to the
delineation of the worthier sorts of animal life,--the ox, the dog--
to nothing short of illusion in the treatment of them, as ancient
connoisseurs would have you understand. It is said that there are
thirty-six extant epigrams on his brazen cow. That animal has her
gentle place in Greek art, from the Siren tomb, suckling her young
there, as the type of eternal rejuvenescence, onwards to the
procession of the Elgin frieze, where, still breathing deliciously of
the distant pastures, she is led to the altar. We feel sorry for
her, as we look, so lifelike is the carved marble. The sculptor who
worked there, whoever he may have been, had profited doubtless by the
study of Myron's famous work. For what purpose he made it, does not
appear;--as [286] an architectural ornament; or a votive offering;
perhaps only because he liked making it. In hyperbolic epigram, at
any rate, the animal breathes, explaining sufficiently the point of
Pliny's phrase regarding Myron--Corporum curiosus. And when he came
to his main business with the quoit-player, the wrestler, the runner,
he did not for a moment forget that they too were animals, young
animals, delighting in natural motion, in free course through the
yielding air, over uninterrupted space, according to Aristotle's
definition of pleasure: "the unhindered exercise of one's natural
force." Corporum tenus curiosus:--he was a "curious workman" as far
as the living body is concerned. Pliny goes on to qualify that
phrase by saying that he did not express the sensations of the mind--
animi sensus. But just there, in fact, precisely in such limitation,
we find what authenticates Myron's peculiar value in the evolution of
Greek art. It is of the essence of the athletic prizeman, involved
in the very ideal of the quoit-player, the cricketer, not to give
expression to mind, in any antagonism to, or invasion of, the body;
to mind as anything more than a function of the body, whose healthful
balance of functions it may so easily perturb;--to disavow that
insidious enemy of the fairness of the bodily soul as such.

Yet if the art of Myron was but little occupied with the reasonable
soul (animus), with those mental situations the expression of which,
though [287] it may have a pathos and a beauty of its own, is for the
most part adverse to the proper expression of youth, to the beauty of
youth, by causing it to be no longer youthful, he was certainly a
master of the animal or physical soul there (anima); how it is, how
it displays itself, as illustrated, for instance, in the Discobolus.
Of voluntary animal motion the very soul is undoubtedly there. We
have but translations into marble of the original in bronze. In
that, it was as if a blast of cool wind had congealed the metal, or
the living youth, fixed him imperishably in that moment of rest which
lies between two opposed motions, the backward swing of the right
arm, the movement forwards on which the left foot is in the very act
of starting. The matter of the thing, the stately bronze or marble,
thus rests indeed; but the artistic form of it, in truth, scarcely
more, even to the eye, than the rolling ball or disk, may be said to
rest, at every moment of its course,--just metaphysically, you know.

This mystery of combined motion and rest, of rest in motion, had
involved, of course, on the part of the sculptor who had mastered its
secret, long and intricate consideration. Archaic as it is,
primitive still in some respects, full of the primitive youth it
celebrates, it is, in fact, a learned work, and suggested to a great
analyst of literary style, singular as it may seem, the "elaborate"
or "contorted" manner in literature [288] of the later Latin
writers, which, however, he finds "laudable" for its purpose. Yet
with all its learned involution, thus so oddly characterised by
Quintilian, so entirely is this quality subordinated to the proper
purpose of the Discobolus as a work of art, a thing to be looked at
rather than to think about, that it makes one exclaim still, with the
poet of athletes,--The natural is ever best!"--to de phya hapan
kratiston.+ Perhaps that triumphant, unimpeachable naturalness is
after all the reason why, on seeing it for the first time, it
suggests no new view of the beauty of human form, or point of view
for the regarding of it; is acceptable rather as embodying (say, in
one perfect flower) all one has ever fancied or seen, in old Greece
or on Thames' side, of the unspoiled body of youth, thus delighting
itself and others, at that perfect, because unconscious, point of
good-fortune, as it moves or rests just there for a moment, between
the animal and spiritual worlds. "Grant them," you pray in Pindar's
own words, grant them with feet so light to pass through life!"

The face of the young man, as you see him in the British Museum for
instance, with fittingly inexpressive expression, (look into, look at
the curves of, the blossom-like cavity of the opened mouth) is
beautiful, but not altogether virile. The eyes, the facial lines
which they gather into one, seem ready to follow the coming motion of
the discus as those of an onlooker might be; [289] but that head does
not really belong to the discobolus. To be assured of this you have
but to compare with that version in the British Museum the most
authentic of all derivations from the original, preserved till lately
at the Palazzo Massimi in Rome. Here, the vigorous head also, with
the face, smooth enough, but spare, and tightly drawn over muscle and
bone, is sympathetic with, yields itself to, the concentration, in
the most literal sense, of all beside;--is itself, in very truth, the
steady centre of the discus, which begins to spin; as the source of
will, the source of the motion with which the discus is already on
the wing,--that, and the entire form. The Discobolus of the Massimi
Palace presents, moreover, in the hair, for instance, those survivals
of primitive manner which would mark legitimately Myron's actual pre-
Pheidiac standpoint; as they are congruous also with a certain
archaic, a more than merely athletic, spareness of form generally--
delightful touches of unreality in this realist of a great time, and
of a sort of conventionalism that has an attraction in itself.

Was it a portrait? That one can so much as ask the question is a
proof how far the master, in spite of his lingering archaism, is come
already from the antique marbles of Aegina. Was it the portrait of
one much-admired youth, or rather the type, the rectified essence, of
many such, at the most pregnant, the essential, moment, of the [290]
exercise of their natural powers, of what they really were? Have we
here, in short, the sculptor Myron's reasoned memory of many a quoit-
player, of a long flight of quoit-players; as, were he here, he might
have given us the cricketer, the passing generation of cricketers,
sub specie eternitatis, under the eternal form of art?

Was it in that case a commemorative or votive statue, such as
Pausanias found scattered throughout Greece? Was it, again, designed
to be part only of some larger decorative scheme, as some have
supposed of the Venus of Melos, or a work of genre as we say, a thing
intended merely to interest, to gratify the taste, with no further
purpose? In either case it may have represented some legendary
quoit-player--Perseus at play with Acrisius fatally, as one has
suggested; or Apollo with Hyacinthus, as Ovid describes him in a work
of poetic genre.

And if the Discobolus is, after all, a work of genre--a work merely
imitative of the detail of actual life--for the adornment of a room
in a private house, it would be only one of many such produced in
Myron's day. It would be, in fact, one of the pristae directly
attributed to him by Pliny, little congruous as they may seem with
the grandiose motions of his more characteristic work. The pristae,
the sawyers,--a celebrated creation of the kind,--is supposed to have
given its name to the whole class of like things. No [291] age,
indeed, since the rudiments of art were mastered, can have been
without such reproductions of the pedestrian incidents of every day,
for the mere pleasant exercise at once of the curiosity of the
spectator and the imitative instinct of the producer. The Terra-
Cotta Rooms of the Louvre and the British Museum are a proof of it.
One such work indeed there is, delightful in itself, technically
exquisite, most interesting by its history, which properly finds its
place beside the larger, the full-grown, physical perfection of the
Discobolus, one of whose alert younger brethren he may be,--the
Spinario namely, the boy drawing a thorn from his foot, preserved in
the so rare, veritable antique bronze at Rome, in the Museum of the
Capitol, and well known in a host of ancient and modern
reproductions.

There, or elsewhere in Rome, tolerated in the general destruction of
ancient sculpture--like the "Wolf of the Capitol," allowed by way of
heraldic sign, as in modern Siena, or like the equestrian figure of
Marcus Aurelius doing duty as Charlemagne,--like those, but like very
few other works of the kind, the Spinario remained, well-known and in
honour, throughout the Middle Age. Stories like that of Ladas the
famous runner, who died as he reached the goal in a glorious foot-
race of boys, the subject of a famous work by Myron himself, (the
"last breath," as you saw, was on the boy's lips) were told of the
half-grown bronze lad at the Capitol. [292] Of necessity, but
fatally, he must pause for a few moments in his course; or the course
is at length over, or the breathless journey with some all-important
tidings; and now, not till now, he thinks of resting to draw from the
sole of his foot the cruel thorn, driven into it as he ran. In any
case, there he still sits for a moment, for ever, amid the smiling
admiration of centuries, in the agility, in the perfect navet also
as thus occupied, of his sixteenth year, to which the somewhat
lengthy or attenuated structure of the limbs is conformable. And
then, in this attenuation, in the almost Egyptian proportions, in the
shallowness of the chest and shoulders especially, in the Phoenician
or old Greek sharpness and length of profile, and the long,
conventional, wire-drawn hair of the boy, arching formally over the
forehead and round the neck, there is something of archaism, of that
archaism which survives, truly, in Myron's own work, blending with
the grace and power of well-nigh the maturity of Greek art. The
blending of interests, of artistic alliances, is certainly
delightful.

Polycleitus, the other famous name of this period, and with a fame
justified by work we may still study, at least in its immediate
derivatives, had also tried his hand with success in such subjects.
In the Astragalizontes, for instance, well known to antiquity in
countless reproductions, he had treated an incident of the every-day
life of every age, which Plato sketches by the way.

[293] Myron, by patience of genius, had mastered the secret of the
expression of movement, had plucked out the very heart of its
mystery. Polycleitus, on the other hand, is above all the master of
rest, of the expression of rest after toil, in the victorious and
crowned athlete, Diadumenus. In many slightly varying forms, marble
versions of the original in bronze of Delos, the Diadumenus,
indifferently, mechanically, is binding round his head a ribbon or
fillet. In the Vaison copy at the British Museum it was of silver.
That simple fillet is, in fact, a diadem, a crown, and he assumes it
as a victor; but, as I said, mechanically, and, prize in hand, might
be asking himself whether after all it had been worth while. For the
active beauty of the Agonistes of which Myron's art is full, we have
here, then, the passive beauty of the victor. But the later
incident, the realisation of rest, is actually in affinity with a
certain earliness, so to call it, in the temper and work of
Polycleitus. He is already something of a reactionary; or pauses,
rather, to enjoy, to convey enjoyably to others, the full savour of a
particular moment in the development of his craft, the moment of the
perfecting of restful form, before the mere consciousness of
technical mastery in delineation urges forward the art of sculpture
to a bewildering infinitude of motion. In opposition to the ease,
the freedom, of others, his aim is, by a voluntary restraint in the
exercise of such technical mastery, [294] to achieve nothing less
than the impeccable, within certain narrow limits. He still
hesitates, is self-exacting, seems even to have checked a growing
readiness of hand in the artists about him. He was renowned as a
graver, found much to do with the chisel, introducing many a fine
after-thought, when the rough-casting of his work was over. He
studied human form under such conditions as would bring out its
natural features, its static laws, in their entirety, their harmony;
and in an academic work, so to speak, no longer to be clearly
identified in what may be derivations from it, he claimed to have
fixed the canon, the common measure, of perfect man. Yet with
Polycleitus certainly the measure of man was not yet "the measure of
an angel," but still only that of mortal youth; of youth, however, in
that scrupulous and uncontaminate purity of form which recommended
itself even to the Greeks as befitting messengers from the gods, if
such messengers should come.

And yet a large part of Myron's contemporary fame depended on his
religious work--on his statue of Here, for instance, in ivory and
gold--that too, doubtless, expressive, as appropriately to its
subject as to himself, of a passive beauty. We see it still,
perhaps, in the coins of Argos. And has not the crowned victor, too,
in that mechanic action, in his demure attitude, something which
reminds us of the religious significance of the Greek athletic
service? It was a [295] sort of worship, you know--that department
of public life; such worship as Greece, still in its superficial
youth, found itself best capable of. At least those solemn contests
began and ended with prayer and sacrifice. Their most honoured
prizes were a kind of religiously symbolical objects. The athletic
life certainly breathes of abstinence, of rule and the keeping under
of one's self. And here in the Diadumenus we have one of its
priests, a priest of the religion whose central motive was what has
been called "the worship of the body,"--its modest priest.

The so-called Jason at the Louvre, the, Apoxyomenus, and a certain
number of others you will meet with from time to time--whatever be
the age and derivation of the actual marble which reproduced for
Rome, for Africa, or Gaul, types that can have had their first origin
in one only time and place--belong, at least aesthetically, to this
group, together with the Adorante of Berlin, Winckelmann's antique
favourite, who with uplifted face and hands seems to be indeed in
prayer, looks immaculate enough to be interceding for others. As to
the Jason of the Louvre, one asks at first sight of him, as he stoops
to make fast the sandal on his foot, whether the young man can be
already so marked a personage. Is he already the approved hero, bent
on some great act of his famous epope; or mere youth only, again,
arraying itself mechanically, but alert in eye and soul, prompt to be
roused to any [296] great action whatever? The vaguely opened lips
certainly suggest the latter view; if indeed the body and the head
(in a different sort of marble) really belong to one another. Ah!
the more closely you consider the fragments of antiquity, those stray
letters of the old Greek aesthetic alphabet, the less positive will
your conclusions become, because less conclusive the data regarding
artistic origin and purpose. Set here also, however, to the end that
in a congruous atmosphere, in a real perspective, they may assume
their full moral and aesthetic expression, whatever of like spirit
you may come upon in Greek or any other work, remembering that in
England also, in Oxford, we have still, for any master of such art
that may be given us, subjects truly "made to his hand."

As with these, so with their prototypes at Olympia, or at the
Isthmus, above all perhaps in the Diadumenus of Polycleitus, a
certain melancholy (a pagan melancholy, it may be rightly called,
even when we detect it in our English youth) is blent with the final
impression we retain of them. They are at play indeed, in the sun;
but a little cloud passes over it now and then; and just because of
them, because they are there, the whole aspect of the place is
chilled suddenly, beyond what one could have thought possible, into
what seems, nevertheless, to be the proper and permanent light of
day. For though they pass on from age to age the [297] type of what
is pleasantest to look on, which, as type, is indeed eternal, it is,
of course, but for an hour that it rests with any one of them
individually. Assuredly they have no maladies of soul any more than
of the body--Animi sensus non expressit. But if they are not yet
thinking, there is the capacity of thought, of painful thought, in
them, as they seem to be aware wistfully. In the Diadumenus of
Polycleitus this expression allies itself to the long-drawn facial
type of his preference, to be found also in another very different
subject, the ideal of which he fixed in Greek sculpture--the would-be
virile Amazon, in exquisite pain, alike of body and soul--the
"Wounded Amazon." We may be reminded that in the first mention of
athletic contests in Greek literature--in the twenty-third book of
the Iliad--they form part of the funeral rites of the hero Patroclus.
It is thus, though but in the faintest degree, even with the
veritable prince of that world of antique bronze and marble, the
Discobolus at Rest of the Vatican, which might well be set where
Winckelmann set the Adorante, representing as it probably does, the
original of Alcamenes, in whom, a generation after Pheidias, an
earlier and more earnest spirit still survived. Although the crisply
trimmed head may seem a little too small to our, perhaps not quite
rightful, eyes, we might accept him for that canon, or measure, of
the perfect human form, which [298] Polycleitus had proposed. He is
neither the victor at rest, as with Polycleitus, nor the combatant
already in motion, as with Myron; but, as if stepping backward from
Myron's precise point ofinterest, and with the heavydiscusstill in
the left hand, he is preparing for his venture, taking stand
carefully on the right foot. Eye and mind concentre, loyally,
entirely, upon the business in hand. The very finger is reckoning
while he watches, intent upon the cast of another, as the metal
glides to the goal. Take him, to lead you forth quite out of the
narrow limits of the Greek world. You have pure humanity there, with
a glowing, yet restrained joy and delight in itself, but without
vanity; and it is pure. There is nothing certainly supersensual in
that fair, round head, any more than in the long, agile limbs; but
also no impediment, natural or acquired. To have achieved just that,
was the Greek's truest claim for furtherance in the main line of
human development. He had been faithful, we cannot help saying, as
we pass from that youthful company, in what comparatively is perhaps
little--in the culture, the administration, of the visible world; and
he merited, so we might go on to say--he merited Revelation,
something which should solace his heart in the inevitable fading of
that. We are reminded of those strange prophetic words of the
Wisdom, the Logos, by whom God made the world, in one of [299] the
sapiential, half-Platonic books of the Hebrew Scriptures:--"I was by
him, as one brought up with him; rejoicing in the habitable parts of
the earth. My delights were with the sons of men."+

NOTES

271. +Transliteration: tymbos amphipolos. Translation: "a much
frequented tomb."

274. In some fine reliefs of the thirteenth century, Jesus himself
draws near to the deathbed of his Mother. The soul has already
quitted her body, and is seated, a tiny crowned figure, on his left
arm (as she had carried Him) to be taken to heaven. In the beautiful
early fourteenth century monument of Aymer de Valence at Westminster,
the soul of the deceased, "a small figure wrapped in a mantle," is
supported by two angels at the head of the tomb. Among many similar
instances may be mentioned the soul of the beggar, Lazarus, on a
carved capital at Vzlay; and the same subject in a coloured window
at Bourges. The clean, white little creature seems glad to escape
from the body, tattooed all over with its sores in a regular pattern.

279. +Transliteration: Ariston hydr. Translation: "Water is best..."
The ode goes on to praise the Olympic contests. Pindar, Odes,
Book O, poem 1, line 1. The Odes of Pindar including the Principal
Fragments with an Introduction and an English Translation by Sir John
Sandys, Litt.D., FBA. Sir John Sandys. Cambridge, MA., Harvard
University Press; London, William Heinemann Ltd. 1937.

280. +Transliteration: epen hoimon ligyn. Translation: "the clear
strain of words [i.e. song]." Pindar, Odes, Book O., poem 9, line
47. See page 279 note for reference.

281. +Transliteration: mousik. Liddell and Scott definition: "any
art over which the Muses presided, esp. music or lyric poetry set and
sung to music...."

288. +Transliteration: to de phya hapan kratiston. Pater's translation:
"The natural is ever best!" Pindar, Odes, Book O., poem 9, line 100.
See See page 279 note for reference.

299. +Proverbs 8.30-31.

THE END

Book of the day: