102 Moo/cyst

Plutarclfs has the least approach to historical accu- racy ; but the meeting of the Seven ll iise Masters is a charming portraiture of ancient manners and discourse, and is as clear as tl1e voice of a fife, and entertaining as a French novel. Xenophoifs de- lineation of ‘Athenian manners is an accessory t0 Plato, and supplies traits of Socrates; whilst Plato’s has merits of every’ kind, —being a repertory of the wisdom of the illlClQlltS on the subject of love ; a picture of a feast of wits, not less (lescriptive than Aristophanes; and, lastly, containing that iron- ical eulogy of Socrates which is the source from which all the portraits of that philosopher current in Europe have been (lrawn.

Of course a certain outline should be obtained of Greek history, i11 which the important moments and persons can be rightly set down; but the short- est is the best, and if one lacks stomach for Mr. Groteis vohuninous annals, the old slight and pop- ular summary of Goldsmith or of Gillies will serve. The valuable part is the age of Pericles and the next generation. And here We must read the Clouds of Aristophanes, and what more of that master we gain appetite for, to learn our way in the streets of Athens, and t0 know the tyranny of Aristophanes, requiring more genius and some- times not less cruelty than belonged to the official

connnanders. Aristophanes is now very accessible,