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and disobedient, which led to their ruin. He tells us, elsewhere, that Eneas, one of the most sensible of the Trojans, being in that state, began to boast of his valour, and to deride the Greeks; when exposing himself to the impetuosity of Achilles, he had well nigh paid for it with his life."


"Homer makes Agamemnon ingenuously confess, that he had erred, and brought upon himself his misfortunes, by pernicious judgment, or be'cause he was intoxicated, or made insane by the anger of the gods.'

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"Thus putting drunkenness and madness upon the same level; for so the passage is read by Dioscorides, the disciple of Isocrates."

"Amongst other reproaches which Achilles makes to Agamemnon, he calls him drunkard, and as having dog's eyes."

« Οινοβαρες, κυνος όμματ' έχων.”Α "Philemon mentions, that the antients made four meals, angarirov, the breakfast; as, the dinner; igua, the collation, or lunchion; and, dvor, the supper.

"In Homer, the guests eat sitting. Some critics have supposed that each had his particular table, because a well-polished table is placed for Mentor when he came to visit Telemachus, all the other tables being already occupied. Such a conclusion is by no means warranted by the passage, as it may be inferred, that Mentor, or Minerva, ate at the same table with Telemachus."

daira, from darida to divide; for, in fact, every thing was distributed in portions, even the wine. Upon these occasions the cook was called dugos, because, after having dressed the supper, he divided it into equal portions."

"The guests in Homer never take away with them what remains of the entertainment, it being left with the person who gives the repast. This the female servant takes charge of, and locks up, that if an unexpected guest should arrive, there may be something ready to lay before him."


"Homer allows that the people of his time ate birds and fish. companions of Ulysses, when in Sicily, took birds, and likewise fish, with hooks. These hooks were not fabricated in Sicily, but brought with them in their ships. This shows that they understood the art of fishing, and employed themselves in it. The poet compares the companions of Ulysses, who were taken by Scylla, to fish taken with a long line, and drawn out of the water. Homer, indeed, speaks of the art of fishing with more knowledge than many authors who had written poems and treatises expressly on the subject.'


"Homer says, that before each guest was placed naviov naı ṛgatiga, nas as, a basket, a table, and a cup.

"An extraordinary distinction was paid to particular persons. Diomede had a greater quantity of food, and more cups to drink out of. Ajax had a chine of beef entirely to himself; which, according to the simplicity of "Bread was handed about to the the times, was a dish reserved for guests in baskets."§

"The supper was usually divided into as many portions as there were guests; and, for this reason, it had the name of tires, or equal, given to it, from the equality of the portions. These repasts were likewise called

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They had also a peculiar manner of drinking to each other. Ulysses drank to Achilles, presenting the cup to him with his right hand. It was likewise customary for the guests to send certain portions from the table. Thus Ulysses sends a part of the chine of beef to Demodocus."

"Musicians and dancers usually attended great entertainments. These musicians were men of some consideration and consequence. Agamemnon left one of them with his wife, Clytemnestra, when he went to the siege of Troy, to protect and advise her. Men of this sort, by reciting the praises of virtuous women, excited a desire to imitate good examples; and at times, by holding out an innocent amusement to the mind, excluded evil



thoughts from possessing it. Egisthus was not able to corrupt the virtue of Clytemnestra till he had removed from her this faithful guardian."

66 Equally respectable was the musician whom the suitors of Penelope obliged to sing at their repasts, notwithstanding the imprecations he uttered against them. For this reason, says Homer, the Muses particularly honoured the minstrels, and bestowed

on them the talent of music."

"Demodocus sung to the Pheacians the amours of Mars and Venus; not as approving of such irregularities; but, knowing them to be a voluptuous people, he wished, by exposing the consequences of vices so like their own, to inspire them with the love of virtue, and to turn them from the immoderate pursuit and gratification of their licentious passions.'

"Phemius sung to the suitors of Penelope the return of the Greeks."

"The Sirens sung to Ulysses what they knew would give him the greatest pleasure; and, by increasing his knowledge, excite in his mind a desire to excel, and to obtain glory."

"The dances that are mentioned by Homer, are those of the tumblers, and others performed with a ball, the invention of which is ascribed by Agallis of Corcyra, to Nausicaa, in honour of a princess of her country. Dicæarchus, however, gives the invention to the Sicyonians, and Hippasus to the Lacedemonians, who certainly excelled in this exercise. Nausicaa is the only one among the heroines of Homer, who had any skill in this dance with the ball.

66 The game of ball, which used to be called panda, now takes the name of agrasov*. It is of all others that which is the most agreeable to me, from the violence of the exercise, and the skill and agility necessary to prevent missing the ball; as likewise, that from the continual exertion of the muscles of the neck, it contributes greatly to strengthen that part of the bodyt."

Agrasov genus pilæ grandius φαινιδα genus ludendi pila a φαινω ostendo.

The game which Galen extols so much, under the name of the small ball, μinga opaiga, bears a great resemblance to tennis. Hygiene, by Hallé, from Encyclopedie Methodique.


66 They who played at this game were particularly careful that all their motions should be attended with a graceful display of their persons. is thus described by Demoxenus: "A youth of Cos, of about seventeen years, Display'd his skill at tennis, (for this isle Produces youth like gods, and such he seem'd.)

First eyeing the spectators, he began;
And whether he receiv'd, or serv'd the ball,
He said or did, there was such polish'd
'Twas follow'd by a general shout. In all


Such perfect harmony of voice and action, That I ne'er saw or heard of such perfection. The more I gaz'd, the more I was delighted, And the remembrance of it charms me still."

"The philosopher Ctesibius, of Chalcedon, was an elegant performer at this game. Many of the courtiers of Antigonus were much pleased to exercise themselves with him. Timocrates, the Lacedemonian, composed a treatise on the subject."

The author proceeds to give some account of the Thracian and Persian modes of dancing.

"After supper, when the guests were about to depart, they made libations to Mercury; and not, as at a subsequent period, to Jupiter, ríos, or the all-perfect. This honour was paid to Mercury, because he was said to preside over sleep. They likewise made libations over the tongues, which were burnt out of respect to him, when they rose from table. Tongues were sacred to him, as the interpreter of the gods."

"The custom of using a variety of food was known to Homer; and the magnificence which distinguishes the present times was almost exceeded. The palace of Menelaus was very splendid. Polybius describes the palace of the king of Iberia, of great extent and sumptuous grandeur, as he imitated the splendid luxury of the Pheasians. In the middle of it were placed vessels of gold and silver, filled with a wine made of barley. In de

Demoxenus was an Athenian born, and seems to have been a voluminous writer. He was the author of a play called Heautontimorumenos, or the Self-tormentor.

Demoxenus poeta comicus, cum ait mox de Co insula, θέως γαρ φαινεθ ̓ ἡ νῆσος φερειν, videtur deos appellare homines Coos, qui virtute sua cœlum sibi aperuerunt. Sic propter Bacchum et Herculem dictæ olim Theba 98s giv.--Casauboni Animad. in Athen. p. 24.

scribing the palace of Calypso, Homer represents Mercury as astonished at its magnificence.'

"Speaking of the Pheacians, Homer


"The friendly banquet, and the cheerful harp,

Are ever theirs—————"

"The suitors being 108, they placed the same number of pieces, equally divided, in opposition to each other, leaving a space between them. In this interval was placed another piece, which was called Penelope, or the queen. To obtain this, was the great object of the contest. They drew lots who should

"Eratosthenes reads thus the fol- have the first throw or move. lowing passage in Homer:

"In my opinion, life has not to boast

A greater bliss, than when, reclin'd at ease, And free from worldly cares, the guests are charm'd

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With the sweet warblings of the poet's lyre."

"In the text he has xaxoTnTOS ATOVONS; all malice or wickedness apart: but the word here means only excess or extravagance of any kind; as the Pheacians, according to Nausicratus, were greatly beloved by the gods, and could not be otherwise than sober and discreet.'

"The suitors of Penelope entertain themselves by playing at a game (somewhat similar to chess) before the court of the palace. They were certainly not instructed in this by Diodorus of Megolopolis, the capital of Arcadia, nor Leo of Mitylene, originally of Athens, who, according to Phanias, was not to be conquered at this game."

66 Appian of Alexandria says, that Cteso of Ithaca had informed him particularly of the game which was played by the suitors, which he thus describes :

Clarke has the following note on this reading of Eratosthenes, κακοτητος άπούσης pro κατα δήμον απαντα : “ Eratosthenes apud Athenæum, 1. i. c. 14, legendum vult κακότητος απουσης, sed male, uti notant Barnesius et Casaubonus in Annotationibus ad hunc Athenæi locum."

Pope (for he was the translator of this book) omits the music, and gives the passage in a very tame insipid manner, thus: "How goodly seems it ever to employ Man's social days in union and in joy, The plenteous board high heap'd with cates divine,

And o'er the foaming bowl, the laughing


Cowper, more in the spirit of Homer, gives it thus:

"The world, in my account, no sight affords More gratifying, than a people blest With cheerfulness and peace; a palace throng'd

With guests in order rang'd, listening to sounds Melodious."

If any

one struck the queen, so as to remove her, his piece was to take the place which she had occupied, and she continued in that to which she had been driven. He then launches a second piece; and if he strikes her again, without touching any of the other pieces, he wins the game; and from this circumstance conceives the hope of obtaining Penelope."


Eurymachus, who had often conquered his rivals at this game, flattered himself that he should succeed in the marriage. The suitors were in general so enervated by luxurious habits, that none of them had strength to bend the bow of Ulysses. Their very slaves were equally weak and ef◄ feminate."

"Homer was not unacquainted with the luxury of soft beds. Arete orders such a one to be prepared for Ulysses: and Nestor, speaking to Telemachus, boasts of the number he possessed."


Eschylus is censured for the indelicacy of his descriptions, in representing the Greeks in such a state of intoxication, as to throw urinals at each other.'

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Sophocles, in the banquet of the Greeks, exceeds the filthiness of Æschylus on this subject.

By a fragment of Eupolis, Palamedes appears to have been the inventor of urinals.

"When the chiefs in Homer are entertained by Agamemnon, though Achilles and Ulysses dispute, they still preserve a certain decorum, and are guilty of no breach of good manners. The object of their contention was useful. It was to determine whether Troy should be taken by open force or by stratagem. Even the suitors of Penelope, though they are represented

*Fuit ille Græcorum sanè quàm turpis et defædus mos quem tangit auctor hisce verbis, ws και τας αμίδας αλληλοις, &c. Aderant illis convivantibus, inter alia instrumenta perditi luxus, etiam matulæ, has sæpe, ubi incaluissent, in capita invicem sibi illidebant.Casauboni Animad, in loeum, p. 26.

as riotous and drunken, do not proceed to the vulgarity we read of in Eschylus and Sophocles, with an exception only, that one of them throws the foot of an ox Toda Boerov at the head of Ulysses."

"The heroes sat at table, and were not reclined on couches, as Douris represents to have been the custom in the time of Alexander the Great. This prince, giving an entertainment to four hundred officers of his army, made them sit on chairs and couches of silver, covered with purple cushions. Tegesander writes, that it was not the custom for any one in Macedonia to recline on couches at their meals, who had not killed a wild boar beyond the toils; and that Cassander, though he was thirty-five years old, always sat at his father's table, because he had not achieved this exploit, notwithstanding his skill and agility in hunting.”

"Homer, always attentive to decorum, makes his heroes dress their own food. Ulysses was an excellent carver, and unrivalled in the art of making a fire; Patroclus and Achilles put their hands to every thing. At the feast by Menelaus for Megapenthes, the young bridegroom pours out the wine for the guests.

"But we are so fallen off from these good old customs, that we luxuriously recline upon our couches."

"Baths, too, are become common, whereas formerly they were not permitted within the precincts of the city."


Homer, who knew well the nature of perfumes, does not allow them to any of his heroes, except Paris."

"It is to be observed, that in the Odyssey, Ulysses washes his hands before he eats. This the heroes of the Iliad never do. The Odyssey is the quiet picture of the private life of persons, whom peace had accustomed to luxurious indulgence."



The Life of Sir Thomas More; by his Son-in-Law, WILLIAM ROPER, Esq. Chiswick, Whittingham. 1817.

MR SINGER, already well known, by many excellent works, to the students


of our ancient literature, has lately published, at Chiswick, a truly exquisite reprint of what he himself justly calls one of the most beautifully simple and impressive specimens of biographical writingt o be found in our own or any other language."

We know not that there is any fea ture in the literary character of the age which delights us more heartily, than the returning affection manifested in every direction by our educated countrymen for those old English books, which, although utterly neglected and despised by our literati of the last century, cannot fail to go down to the most distant generations, and to be prized, wherever they shall be read, by wise and good men, as containing the portraits, and opinions, and histories, of the most truly venerable and noble set of worthies which Christian Europe has ever had the glory to produce. Of these worthies, one of the chief was that Thomas More, the memory of whose genius and virtue can never die, so long as England deserves to keep her name. His "angelicall witt," as his son-in-law calls it, has embodied itself in works not much to the taste of our time. it would be indeed a bad sign of this, or of any age, to contemplate, otherwise than with an ardent and reverent interest, the memorials of his personal character-the simplicity-the innocent cheerfulness-the manly unbending integrity-the piety, pure and primitive, scarcely deformed by its small tincture of Catholic superstition-the heroic death, finally, of this martyr to principle, 66 cui pectus," as his friend Erasmus has expressed it, " erat omni nive candidius."


The only objection we have to make to the present edition of Roper's Life of this great and good man, arises out of its extreme beauty, and consequent high price. It would perhaps be too much to blame the elegant scholar, to whom we are indebted for the book, for having done every thing he thought most likely to make the book acceptable to that portion of the public for whom almost all books are in our time published. But we wish, on many accounts, that some person or persons, disposed to confer a benefit upon a yet more extensive circle of readers, would give another reprint of the same work in a form as simple and cheap as possible. Books like this

should not be allowed to remain in the hands of those alone, who can afford to pay a large price for a small pocket volume. They should be circulated as widely as coarse paper and plain types can enable them to be. They should be the manuals of youth; they could not fail to be the comfort and delight of the pious and the aged.

It is not, we confess, without some emotions of pain, that we observe into what miserable direction a great portion of the charity of this country has fallen, we allude, in particular, to those institutions whose professed purpose it is to promote the moral and religious welfare of our own poorer countrymen by the distribution of tracts. The active management of the funds of these institutions has, it would appear, fallen, in a vast number of instances, into the hands of a set of persons, who, however good may be their intentions, are in no respect qualified to be the instructors, or to superintend the instruction of others. These good people inundate the country with a vast quantity of the most execrable trash that ever disgraced the press of any enlightened land, under the name of cheap tracts. Whether it be that the conceit of the directors of these institutions commonly leads them to suppose that it is their duty to write as well as to distribute, we know not; but it is certain, that the works they do distribute are the most abominable outrages upon good taste and good sense, and, in not a few instances, upon sound religion also, which have ever happened to come under our inspection. Vulgar, drivelling, absurd histories of the imaginary conversions of unreal milkmaids, boatswains, drummers, pedlars, and pickpockets;-drawling, nauseous narratives of the gossipings and whinings of religious midwives and nurses, and of children two or three years old already under concern"-sickening hymns composed by blacksmiths and brewers, in whom poetry and piety have been twin-births;-horrible and blasphemous stories of sudden judgments upon card-players and beerdrinkers, &c. &c. &c.;-such are the greater part of the mystic leaves which those doting sybils, the tract societies, are perpetually dispersing over the surface of a justly thankless land.-When we reflect on the vast body of most interesting and instructive


biographical sketches contained in the works of our old English authors, particularly the church historians and other ecclesiastical writers, we cannot, without sorrow, and some little anger too, see funds which might do so much good, condemned to do so little. We speak, in this matter, more with an eye to England than Scotland; for here so universally is education diffused, so intimately are our peasantry acquainted with the Pilgrim's Progress, and the rude but striking histories of the covenanting period,-but, above all, so intensely familiar are they with the Bible, that they cannot endure to see the ore of religion served up with the base alloy of these tract-mongers. They keep to their old manuals, and allow the flimsy presents of the itinerant illuminators to blow where they list.

But to return to our text.

The main incidents in Sir Thomas More's life are so well known, that those who read the present tract for the first time, need not expect to acquire much new information in regard to them. But they may expect something much more valuable,- -a complete view of the detail of his life,-a domestic and intimate acquaintance with the manners of the man. The book is written by the son-in-law of More, who seems, according to the primitive fashion of the times, not to have withdrawn his wife, on his marriage, from her father's house, but to have established himself there with her as an additional inmate of that patriarchal dwelling. We have no intention to analyze his narrative, but we shall enrich our pages with a few of the most interesting passages. The exquisite beauty of the style may be felt; it is not capable of being described, any more than it is of being imitated, by a writer of these degenerate days. Our language, rich and powerful as it is, has lost at least as much as it has gained within the last two centuries.

"At this Parliament Cardinall Wolsey founde himselfe muche greived with the Burgesses thearof for that nothinge was soe soone donne or spoken thearin but that it was immediatelye blowne abroad in everie alehouse. It fortuned at that Parliament a verie great subsidie to be demanded, which Common house determined for the furtherthe Cardinall fearinge would not passe the ance thearof to be personallie theare himselfe. Before whose comminge after longe debatinge theare, whither it weare better but

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