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337 PERSIA-MANNERS AND CUSTOMS.

if such a word as education may be properly used of the training systems of antiquity-with

great care. For the first five years the child was left with the mother and her woman

attendants. From that time forth his discipline began. Before dawn he must arise and

present himself in a certain place before his master. Here the lad was exercised for a

certain number of hours in running and jumping, in shooting with the bow, in slinging

stones and hurling the javelin. After two years of this preparatory work he was promoted

to the horse. Him he must mount and ride. On his back he must go to the hills and join in

the hunt. He must jump on and off while his steed is running. He must discharge his arrows

and darts while galloping at full speed. He must heed nor heat nor cold. He must sleep

outdoors at night. He must appease the insatiable stomach of boyhood with one meal in two

days. Sometimes he must go to the woods and fill himself as best he may with acorns and

wild pears. All stimulating and luxurious food was withheld. Whatever conduced to

hardihood, to bodily vigor, to endurance, was sedulously inculcated. In the way of

ornamental branches he was taught to read. His teachers also gave him a modicum of morals;

for he must hear recited some old poems recounting the character and exploits of certain

gods and heroes, whom he must revere and imitate. Thus for fifteen years the lad was put

through the discipline appointed tO youth, and then graduated a horseman and sol- dier.

For such was the aim of life. Indeed for five years before his graduation the Persian

stripling had already been enrolled in the army and was liable to the call of the king.

The subjects of the Achaemenians seem to have looked with as much contempt on commercial

pursuits as did the feudal lords of the Middle Ages on common industry. They would none of

it. Such pursuits

tended to effeminate the mind. Artisans and traders were of no reputation. Shops and

stores were driven from the respectable parts of towns and cities. Merchants were regarded

as intriguers and liars. Manufacturers had no character. True men- valorous and daring-did

not degrade themselves by toiling at those miserable crafts by the practice of which the

servile tribes enriched themselves at the expense of their manhood. Such were the dogmas

of industrial morality.

In the later times of the Empire, luxury came in like a flood--and folly came also.

Personal vanity learned to display itself in the immemorial way. The lower eyelids must be

stained, so that the eyes should appear large and lustrous. Eunuchs must wear false beards

and mustaches, and the hair of the dead must supplement the scanty work of nature on the

vainglorious skulls of fools. It was high time for the appearance of the Macedonian

phalanx.

The penal code of the Persians was on a par with the statutes of many modern countries-the

dominant idea being to kill. The fangs of barbarism have their last roots in the law-books

of the world. They are the only thing never reformed except by revolution. The theory of

the barbaric age is that the cure for crime is punishment. The theory of civilization is

that penal measures are among the smallest and least salutary of all the influences to be

employed in the eradication of criminal passions and practices. In Persia the penalty of

death was recklessly inflicted. Great crimes and small misdemeanors and mere accidents of

conduct were all indiscriminately visited with the extreme penalty. To this was added

cruelty of execution. Sometimes the head of the criminal was laid on a flat stone and

crushed with another. Sometimes crucifixion was employed. Sometimes the condemned was

buried alive. The soul of the age was cruelty, and the heart of justice a stone.