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463 GREECE-THE PEOPLE.

world against the notion of the extinction of the human soul. While it is true that the

Athenians on an important state occasion gave as a formal reason for the breaking of a

treaty the statement that it was no longer to their advantage to keep it, and while in

multiplied instances the pages of Grecian history are stained with the record of deeds

perfidious, it is also true that the disks of Socrates and Plato shine above the fogs of

this depravity with an immortal brightness.

Nor should there be failure to mention the redemptive virtue of Greek patriotism. It may

be 'true, as has been urged by some philanthropists, that those local attachments of man

to his own hill, his own province, his own country, which in the aggregate pass by the

name of patriotism, are in the nature of a vice which will be extinguished in the higher

developments of civilization. But such a proposition can not be established out of the

history of the past, nor is it likely to be established in the immediate future. In

general, the progress of mankind, as well as the average happiness of the world, has been

fostered and sustained by the devotion of patriotism; and even in the present condition of

the world, patriotism remains a fact and internationality a dream.

The Greeks were patriotic. Their land was of such a character as to nurture and stimulate

local attachment. There seems to be more principle involved in fighting for a hill than

for a brickyard. The human race fits to inequality of surface. It is difficult to be moved

from such a situation. Beauty, sublimity, variety, every element which draws forth from

man an affectionate regard for nature fired the Greek with enthusiasm for his country, his

altars, his hearthstones, his gods. The masterful struggles at Marathon, Plataea, and

Salamis are but the attestation of the vigor and invincible force of the patriotism of the

Greeks.

They loved liberty. Freedom had her birth among the hills of Greece. Here it was that

political rights were first debated, and the duties of government limited by statute.

There was something in the Greek mind which could not tolerate the exactions of arbitrary

authority. What they could not consent to they resisted. They quaffed freedom as from a

cup. Their patriotic, impulses led to the acceptance of the doctrine that the man existed

for the state; but the spirit of liberty made it dangerous to be the state. Hellas was an

arena. Contention, party strife, the conflict of opinion, the counter currents of

interest, the inebriety of the demagogue, the factious outcry, the excited assembly, the

uproar, the ostracism-all these were but the concomitants of that wonderful agitation in

the painful throes of which were born the liberties of the people. With the growth of the

Grecian commonwealths popular consent became more and more the necessary antecedent of

action. The voice of the newborn fact called political freedom cried in the streets. There

was a clamor, not wise but loud. It: was as a sound in the treetops-the voice of

democracy-a voice never to be stilled unto the shores of time and the ends of the earth.

In thought and action the Greeks were the best individualized of all the peoples of

antiquity. The nations of the East were masses. Egypt was a mass. Babylon was a mass.

Assyria, Media, Persia, Lydia-what were they but vast aggregates of humanity

undistinguishable in member or part? But the Greek was differentiated. He passed out of

the nebulous condition and became stellar. He counted one. Every other Greek counted one.

The units stood apart. The nebulae of antiquity broke into stars in the sky of Greece. A

new force was' felt henceforth among the nations of the earth. The lessons of

individuality and freedom reflected from almost every page of Grecian literature were

caught here and there by the brighter intellects of antiquity. The far- reaching gleam

shot its arrow of light even