Imatges de pÓgina


"shall be seven weeks; and threescore and two Longim. weeks the street shall be built again, and the wall, $6 even in troublous times. And after threescore "and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not

for himself: And the people of the prince that "shall come, shall destroy the city and the sanctu26 ary, and the end thereof shall be with a flood; "and unto the end of the war desolations are deter"mined. And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week; and in the midst of the week " he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, "and for the overspreading of abominations, he "shall make it desolate, even until the consumma❝tion, and that determined shall be poured upon "the desolate."


When Esdras was in power, as his chief view was to restore religion to its ancient purity, he disposed the books of scripture into their proper order, revised them all very carefully, and collected the incidents relating to the people of God in ancient times; in order to compose out of them the two books of Chronicles, to which he added the history of his own times, which was finished by Nehemiah. It is their books that end the long history which Moses had begun, and which the writers who came after them continued in a direct series, till the repairing of Jerusalem. The rest of the sacred history is not written in that uninterrupted order. Whilst Esdras and Nehemiah were compiling the latter part of that great work, Herodotus, whom prophane authors call the father of history, began to write. Thus we find that the latest authors of the books of scripture flourished about the same time with the first authors of the Grecian history; and when it began, that of God's people, to compute only from Abraham, included already fifteen centuries. Herodotus made no mention of the Jews in his history; for the Greeks desired to be informed of such na,

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tions only, as were famous for their wars, their com- Artax. merce and grandeur; so that as Judea was then but Longim. just rising from its ruins, it did not excite the attention of that people.

SECT. VII. Character of Pericles. The methods em-
ployed by him to gain the affection of the people.
I NOW return to Greece. From the banishment
of Themistocles, and the death of Aristides, (the ex-
act time of which is not known) two citizens, Cimon
and Pericles, divided all credit and authority in
Athens. Pericles was much younger than Cimon,
and of a quite different character. As he will make
a very considerable figure in the following history, it
is importance to the reader to know who he was,
in what manner he had been educated, and his
scheme and method of government.

n Pericles was descended, by the mother's as well as father's side, from the greatest and most illustrious families of Athens. His father Xanthippus, who defeated at Mycale the king of Persia's lieute nants, married Agarista, niece to Clysthenes, who expelled the Pisistratides, descendants of Pisistratus the tyrant, and established a popular government in Athens. Pericles had long prepared himself for the design he formed of engaging in state-affairs.

He was brought up under the most learned men of his age, and particularly Anaxagoras of Clazomene, surnamed the Intelligence, from his being the first, as we are told, who ascribed human events, as well as the formation and government of the uni verse, not to chance, as some philosophers, nor to a fatal necessity, but to a superior intelligence, who disposed and governed all things with wisdom, This tenet or opinion subsisted long before his time, but he perhaps set it in a stronger light than all others had done, and taught it methodically and from principles. Anaxagoras instructed his pupil Plut. in vit. Pericl. p. 153-156.

Artax. perfectly in the part of philosophy that relates to Longim, nature, and which is therefore called * physicks. This study gave him a strength and greatness of soul which raised him above an infinite number of vul gar prejudices, and vain practices generally observed In his time; and which, in affairs of government and military enterprizes, either disconcerted often the wisest and most necessary measures, or defeated them by scrupulous delays, authorized and covered with the specious veil of religion. These were sometimes dreams or auguries, at other times dreadful phænomena, as eclipses of the sun or moon, or else omens and presages; not to mention the wild chimeras of judiciary astrology. The knowledge of nature, free from the groveling and weak supersti tions to which ignorance gives birth, inspired him, says Plutarch, with a well-grounded piety towards the gods, attended with a strength of mind that was immoveable, and a calm hope of the blessings to be expected from them. Although he found infinite charms in this study, he did not however devote himself to it as a philosopher, but as a statesman ; and he had so much power over himself (a very difficult thing) as to prescribe himself limits in the pursuit of knowledge.

But the talent he cultivated with the greatest care, because he looked upon it as the most necessary instrument to all who are desirous of conducting and governing the people, was eloquence. And indeed, those who possessed this talei.t, in a free state like that of Athens, were sure of reigning in the assemblies, engrossing suffrages, determining affairs, and exercising a kind of absolute power over the hearts and minds of the people. He therefore made this his chief object, and the mark to which all his other improvements, as well as the several sciences

*The ancients, under this name, comprehended what we call physicks and metaphysicks; that is, the knowledge of spiritual things, as God and spirits; and that of bodies.

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he had learnt from Anaxagoras, * were directed; Artax.
exalting, to borrow Plutarch's expression, the study Longim.
of philosophy with the dye of rhetorick; the mean.
ing of which is, that Pericles, to embellish and adorn
his discourse, heightened the strength and solidity
of reasoning, with the colouring and graces of elo-


He had no cause to repent his having bestowed so much time in this study, for his success far exceeded his utmost hopes. The poets, his contemporaries, used to say, that his eloquence was so powerful, that he lightned, thundred, and agitated all Grecce. It had those piercing and lively strokes, that reach the inmost soul; and his discourse left always an irresistible incentive, a kind of spur behind it in the minds of his auditors. He had the art of uniting beauty with strength; and Cicero observes, that at the very time he opposed, with the greatest tenaci ousness, the inclinations and desires of the Atheni ans, he had the art to make even severity itself, and the kind of cruelty with which he spoke against the flatterers of the people, popular. There was no re sisting the solidity of his arguments, or the sweetness of his words, whence it was said, that the god dess of persuasion, with all her graces, resided on his lips, And indeed, as Thucydides §, his rival and adversary, was one day asked, whether he or Pericles was the best wrestler; "Whenever, says he, "I have given him a fall, he affirms the contrary,

in such strong and forcible terms, that he per

* Βαφῇ τῇ ρητορικῇ τὴν φυσιολογίαν ὁποχείμενο,

Ab Aristophane poeta fulgurare, tonare, permiscere Graciam dictus est. Cic. in Orat, n. 29.

Quid Pericles? De cujus dicendi copia sic accepimus, ut, cum contra voluntatem Atheniensium loqueretur pro salute patriæ, severius tamen id ipsum, quod ille contra populares bomines diceret, populare omnibus jucundum videretur; cujus in labris veteres comici-leporem habitasse dixerunt: tantamque vim in eo fuisse, ut in eorum mentibus, qui audissent, quasi aculeos quosdam relinqueret. Cic. lib. iii. de Orat, n. 138..

Not the historian.

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"suades all the spectators that I did not throw him, Longim. though they themselves saw him on the ground. Nor was he less prudent and reserved than strong and vehement in his speeches; and it is related, that he never spoke in publick, till after he had besought the gods not to suffer any expression to drop from him, either incongruous to his subject, or offensive to the people. • Whenever he went into the assembly, before he came out of his house he used to say to himself; Remember, Pericles, that thou art going to speak to men born in the arms of liberty; to Greeks, to Athenians.

The uncommon endeavours which Pericles, according to historians, used, in order to improve his mind in knowledge, and to attain to a perfection in eloquence, are an excellent lesson to such persons as are one day to fill the important offices of state; and a just censure of those, who, disregarding whatever is called study and learning, bring into those employments, (upon which they enter without knowledge or experience,) nothing but a ridiculous self sufficiency, and a rash boldness in deciding.


Plutarch, in a treatise where he shews, that it is to statesmen that a philosopher ought chiefly to attach himself, preferably to any other class of men; (because in instructing them he, at the same time, teaches whole cities and republicks) verifies his assertion from the example of the greatest men both of Greece and Italy, who derived this help from philo sophy. Pericles, of whom we now write, was taught by Anaxagoras; Dionysius of Syracuse by Plato; many princes of Italy by Pythagoras; Cato, the famous censor, travelled to the place where Athenodorus lived for the same purpose; and lastly, the. famous Scipio, the destroyer of Carthage, always kept Panetius the philosopher near his person.

Plut. in Symp. lib. i. p. 610 P Plut. in Symp. lib. i. p. 777. . Nunc contrà plerique ad honores adipiscendos, & ad remp. gerendam, nudi veniunt & inermes, nulla cognatione rerum, nulla scientia ornati. Cic: lib. iii. de Orat. n. 136.

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