462 UNIVERSAL HISTORY- THE ANCIENT WORLD.
became Apollo, and his dream was transformed into Psyche.
From the concurrence of such faculties as those possessed by the Greeks, certain kinds of
activity were inevitable. Native energy would lead to vigorous achievement. From the first
the Hellenes were adventurous. They tempted both land and sea. The voyage from one Cyclade
to another fed a hunger and nurtured an ambition. The ocean was something to be overcome.
Others, as well as they, desired possession. Hence war, struggle, victory, peace,
commerce, the .city, the state. Here the Greek found food. He planted himself in his
peninsula and islands. He made enterprise. He took advantage of the adventure of others.
He made nature his confederate. He filled his sails with her winds. He went abroad and
colonized. He sought the world's extreme. He established his dominion in another peninsula
in the Western seas, and called it Great Greece, as distinguished from his own. He
undertook the carrying-trade for the nations, and spoke his musical accents in the marts
of Babylon and Memphis and Carthage. He hired himself for gain to oriental despots whom he
despised, and transported their armies in his fleet. He became a cosmopolite, and learned
among the swarming millions of foreign lands the lesson of fearlessness. He believed--and
not without good reason-that a Greek spear and a Greek stratagem were more than Egyptian
cohorts, more than the hosts of Persia. He became self-confident in his activities,
arrogant in success, reckless even when his capital was in ashes and his family in exile.
He was dauntless, imperturbable, courageous even to the doors of desperation and death.
As to moral qualities, the Greeks were not so greatly preeminent above the other peoples
of antiquity. They had, like the Assyrians and the Romans, many of the robust virtues, but
it can not be said that the moral perceptions of the race were, in delicacy of discernment
between right and wrong, equal to the keenness of their intellectual faculties. The
morality of Greek social life was as high, perhaps higher than the age. Woman was still a
slave, but her condition in Greece was greatly preferable to that exhibited in any Eastern
civilization. The conditions of her life were much improved by the influence of Greek
institutions, and Greek motherhood and sisterhood were esteemed at something like their
true valuation. Nor was it possible in a country where freedom was the rule that love
should be absent or its fruit despised. The Hellenic family was maintained more by the
action of natural laws than by the influence of the commonwealth, and the altar of
domestic affection received its gifts from the hand of preference rather than from the
enforcement of duty. Still, this natural freedom was by no means destructive of sacred
ties, and although it was productive of much social immorality and abandonment, yet it
gave birth to such an array of genius within given limits of population as can not be
paralleled elsewhere in history.
Turning to the domain of ethics proper, and considering what may in general terms be
called the fountain of right, namely, adherence to truth and principle, the Greeks were by
no means above reproach. They had in this regard fewer of the heroic virtues than did the
Romans of the Republic. With the average Greek the rule was that the end justified the
means, and the majority adopted this rule without compunction. The natural disposition to
adopt intrigue and deception as legitimate instruments for the accomplishment of certain
results encroached in practice upon the better principles of action, to the extent of
making treachery in private life and perfidy in public affairs much too common for the
honor and reputation of the race. While, however, such was in general the ethical code of
the Greeks there were among them not a few philosophers and teachers who alike in their
instructions and examples were without doubt the best exponents of morality and personal
worth that the world has ever produced. The greatness of Socrates stands unchallenged. The
beauty and sublimity of his teachings have never been assailed except by bigots. The
luster of his life and the heroism of his death have cast a mellow light through the
centuries, and his steady belief in immortality has remained as the greatest protest of