The Ancient Library

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which induced Socrates to prefer death to life. It is not a first-rate performance ; and because they do not consider it worthy of Xenophon, some critics would deny that he is the author ; but this is an inconclusive reason. Laertius states that Xenophon wrote an Apologia, and the original is as likely to have come down to us as a forgery.

In the Symposium (^,vfjur6(riov\ or Banquet of Philosophers, Xenophon delineates the character of Socrates. The speakers are supposed to meet at the house of Callias, a rich Athenian, at the cele­bration of the great Panathenaea. Socrates, Cra-tibulus, Antisthenes, Charmides, and others are the speakers. The accessories of the entertainment are managed with skill, and the piece is interesting as a picture of an Athenian drinking party, and of the amusement and conversation with which it was diversified. The nature of love and friendship is discussed. Some critics think that the Sym­posium is a juvenile performance, and that the Symposium of Plato was written after that of Xe­nophon ; but it is an old tradition that the Sympo­sium of Plato was written before that of Xenophon. The Symposium was translated into English by James Wellwood, 1710, reprinted 1750.

The Hiero ('lepcoz/ $ TvpavviKos) is a dialogue between king Hiero and Simonides, in which the king speaks of the dangers and difficulties incident to an exalted station, and the superior happiness of a private man. The poet, on the other hand, enumerates the advantages which the possession of power gives, and the means which it offers of oblig­ing and doing services. Hiero speaks of the burden of power, and answers Simonides, who wonders why a man should keep that which is so trouble­some, by saying that power is a thing which a man cannot safely lay down. Simonides offers some suggestions as to the best use of power, and the way of employing it for the public interest. It is suggested by Letronne that Xenophon may have been led to write this treatise by what he saw at the court of Dionysius ; and, as already stated, there is a story of his having visited Sicily in the lifetime of the tyrant of Syracuse. A trans­lation of this piece, which is attributed to Elizabeth, queen of England, first appeared in an octavo vo­lume, published in 1743, entitled " Miscellaneous Correspondence." It was also translated, in 1793, 8vo., by the Rev. James Graves, the translator of the Meditations of Marcus Aurelius.

The Oeconomicus (oikoj/o/u.ikos) is a dialogue between Socrates and Critqbulus, in which Socrates begins by showing that there is an art called Oeco-nomic, which relates to the administration of a household and of a man's property. Socrates (c. 4), when speaking in praise of agriculture, quotes the instance of the younger Cyrus, who was fond of horticulture, and once showed to the Spartan Lysander the gardens which he had planned and the trees which he had planted with his own hands. Cicero copies this passage, in his treatise on Old Age (de Senectute, c. 17). Xenophon gives the same character of Cyrus, in this passage of the Oeconomicus, which he gives in the Anabasis (i. 8, 9), which tends to confirm his being the author of the Anabasis, if it needs confirmation. In answer to the praises of agriculture, Critobulus speaks of the losses to which the husbandman is exposed from hail, frost, drought, and other causes. The answer of Socrates is that the husbandman must trust in heaven, and worship the gods. The


seventh chapter is on the duty of a good wife, ns exemplified in the case of the wife of Ischomachus, The wife's duty is to look after the interior of the household: the husband labours out of doors and pro­duces that which the wife must use with frugality. The wife's duty is to stay at home, and not to gad abroad. It is an excellent chapter, abundant in good things, worthy of a woman's careful perusal, and adapted to practice. A wife who is perpetually leaving her home, is not the wife that Xenophon would have. It is a notion which one sees in some modern writers, that the attachment of husband and wife, independent of the sexual passion, and their permanent love after both have grown old, is a characteristic of modern society, and that the men of Greece and Rome were not susceptible of that affection which survives the decay of a woman's youth and beauty. The notion is too absurd to need confutation. The duties of a wife, says Ischomachus, give her great opportunities, by ex­ercising which she will not have to fear " that as she grows older she will receive less respect in the household, but may be assured that as she advances in life, the better companion she becomes to her husband and the better guardian of her children, the more respect she will receive." This is one of the best treatises of Xenophon. It has been several times translated into English. The last translation appears to be by R. Bradley, London, 3727, 8vo.

A man's character cannot be entirely derived from his writings, especially if they treat of exact science. Yet a man's writings are some index of his character, and when they are of a popular and varied kind, not a bad index. Xenophon, as we know him from his writings, was a humane man, at least for his age, a man of good understanding and strong religious feelings : we might call him superstitious, if the name superstition had a well-defined meaning. Some modern critics, who can judge of matters of antiquity with as much positive-ness as if all the evidence that exists were un­doubted evidence, and as if they had all the evi­dence that is required, find much to object to in Xenophon's conduct as a citizen. He did not like Athenian institutions altogether ; but a man is under no moral or political obligation to like the government under which he is born. His duty is to conform to it, or to withdraw himself. There is no evidence that Xenophon, after his banishment, acted against his native country, even at the battle of Coroneia. If we admit that his banishment was merited, and that is more than can be proved, there is no evidence that he did any thing after his ba­nishment for which an exile can be blamed. If his preference of Spartan to Athenian institutions is matter for blame, he is blameable indeed. If we may form a conjecture of the man, he would have made an excellent citizen and a good administrator under a constitutional monarchy ; but he was not fitted for the turbulence of an Athenian democracy, which, during a great part of his lifetime, was not more to the taste of a quiet man than France under the Convention. All antiquity and all modern writers agree in allowing Xenophon great merit as a writer of a plain, simple, perspicuous, and un­affected style. His mind was not adapted for pure philosophical speculation: he looked to the practical in all things ; and the basis of his philosophy was a strong belief in a divine mediation in the govern­ment of the world. His belief only requires a

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