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460 UNIVERSAL HISTORY-THE ANCIENT WORLD.

The climate of Greece, free from extremes of heat and cold, cooperated with the habits of

the people to produce perfect symmetry of form and feature. Solon, speaking with pride of

the youth of his country, says: "They have a manly look, are full of spirit, fire, and

vigor; neither dry and withered, nor heavy and unwieldy, but of a form at once graceful

and strong. They have worked and sweated off all superfluous flesh, and only retained what

is pure, firm, and healthy. This perfection they could not attain without those physical

exercises and the regimen that accompanies them."

The men of Greece, though not above the medium height, were graceful and vigorous. Their

chests were arched, their limbs straight, their carriage erect and indicative of great

agility. Their complexion was fair, but not white; for the Eastern origin of the race,

combining in influence with the constant outdoor exercise and the free exposure of their

bodies to the air and sun gave a tinge of bronze to the person which was admired rather

than avoided. The heck was round and beautifully molded, and on this was set a head which

for symmetry and proportion has never been equaled. The nose descended in a straight line

with the forehead, and the lips were full of expression. The chin was strong and round,

but not unduly prominent. The whole form and features glowed with an intellectual and

spiritual life-an ideal expressiveness which shone upon the beholder like the sunlight.

The female face and figure were still more elevated and refined. Here nature surpassed all

art and gave to the world an imperishable ideal. The hands and feet of Greek women were

modeled to the finest proportions of which conception or fancy are capable. The face was

full of grace and modesty. The original type was a dark-blonde, the hair auburn, the eyes

blue; and this type was maintained until intercourse with surrounding nations and the

intermixture of foreigners from every city of the civilized world modified the features

and complexion and brought into favor other styles of beauty. It was the Greek maiden and

mother, with their native charms and graces, that gave to the art of ancient Europe those

classic models which have been, and are likely ever to remain, the inspiration and the

despair of the chisels and brushes of the modern world. Not only the men and women of

Athens thus surpassed in strength and loveliness of person, but the people of the other

Greek states as well entered into the rivalry of beauty. The girls of Boeotia were as much

praised for their comely grace as were those of Attica; and for the women of Thebes

artists and poets alike were wont to claim a superiority of loveliness over all the

daughters of Hellen. Nor should failure be made to mention the maidens of Ionia, who,

alike in the royal courts of the East and in the free vales of the West, were regarded as

bearing from an easy contest the palm of matchless beauty.

In mental qualities the Hellenes were still more strongly discriminated from the other

peoples of antiquity. They had courage of the highest order. Nothing could daunt or

dispirit the Greek. When aroused he went to war. Perhaps the cause was not worthy of the

combat, but being offended, he fought. Arming himself with the best implements of war

which an unscientific age could afford, besought his enemy to slay or be slain. When a

Greek fled the law of nature was suddenly reversed, and the clouds smiled at a caprice so

exceptional as to be ridiculous! As a general rule his courage in battle was a thing so

business-like and matter-of-course as to appear natural and inevitable. Before the career

of his race was half run the enemy who stood before him in fight expected to be killed out

of the nature of the thing. In the midst of the struggle his valor was first sublime and

then savage; rarely cruel. To be brave was to be Grecian, and not to fight when insulted

or wronged, even in trifles, was so little Greek as to be regarded a stigma in any son of

Hellen who thus shamed his race.

In intellectual qualities, properly so-called, the Greek had an easy precedence of any and

all competitors in the ancient world. If the word man be really derived from the Sanskrit

root to think, then indeed was the Greek the highest order of man. He could think,

combine, reason. He