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idle opinion? Do not you know,” said he, “ that Jupiter is represented to have Justice and Law on each hand of him, to signify that all the actions of a conqueror are lawful and just?” With these and the like speeches, Anaxarchus indeed allayed the king's grief, but withal corrupted his character, rendering him more audacious and lawless than he had been.
ALEXANDER'S FEAST; OR THE POWER OF
AN ODE ON ST. CECILIA'S DAY.
BY JOHN DRYDEN.
[John Dryden: An English poet; born August 9, 1631 ; educated under Dr. Busby at Westminster School, and at Trinity College, Cambridge. The son of a Puritan, he wrote eulogistic stanzas on the death of Cromwell ; but his versatile intellect could assume any phase of feeling, and he wrote equally glowing ones on the Restoration of 1860. His “Annus Mirabilis” appeared in 1667, and in 1668 he was made poet laureate. His “Essay on Dramatic Poesy” is excellent ; but as a dramatist, though voluminous, he has left nothing which lives. His satire “ Absalom and Achitophel" is famous; and his “Ode for St. Cecilia's Day” is considered the finest in the language.]
'Twas at the royal feast, for Persia won,
On his imperial throne:
So should desert in arms be crowned.
Happy, happy, happy pair !
Timotheus placed on high
Amid the tuneful quire,
With flying fingers touched the lyre:
The song began from Jove;
When he to fair Olympia pressed,
And stamped an image of himself, a sovereign of the world.
With ravished ears,
Affects to nod,
The praise of Bacchus then the sweet musician sung;
Of Bacchus ever fair, and ever young;
Now give the hautboys breath. He comes, he comes !
Bacchus, ever fair and young,
Bacchus' blessings are a treasure,
Rich the treasure,
Sweet the pleasure; Sweet is pleasure after pain.
Soothed with the sound the king grew vain;
Fought all his battles o’er again;
The master saw the madness rise;
He chose a mournful muse
Fallen, fallen, fallen, fallen,
And weltering in his blood:
With downcast look the joyless victor sat,
Revolving in his altered soul
And now and then a sigh he stole;
The mighty master smiled, to see
Softly sweet in Lydian measures,
Never ending, still beginning,
If the world be worth thy winning,
Lovely Thais sits beside thee,
Tako the good the gods provide thee. The many rend the skies with loud applause; So love was crowned, but music won the cause. The prince, unable to conceal his pain,
Gazed on the fair,
Who caused his care,
Sighed and looked, and sighed again :
Now strike the golden lyre again;
Has raised up his head ;
As awaked from the dead,
Revenge! revenge! Timotheus cries,
See the furies arise !
How they hiss in their hair !
Behold a ghastly band,
Each a torch in his hand !
And unburied remain
To the valiant crew.
How they point to the Persian abodes,
The princes applaud, with a furious joy ; And the king seized a flambeau, with zeal to destroy ;
Thais led the
To light him to his prey,
Thus, long ago,
And sounding lyre,
At last divine Cecilia came,
Inventress of the vocal frame;
Enlarged the former narrow bounds,
And added length to solemn sounds,
Let old Timotheus yield the prize,
ALEXANDER THE GREAT."
By J. P. MAHAFFY.
(From "Greek Life and Thought.")
[JOHN PENTLAND MAHAFFY: Irish classical scholar and historian; born at Chapponnaire, Switzerland, February 26, 1839. In 1871 he became professor of ancient history at Trinity College, Dublin. He has published “Social Life in Greece,” “Rambles and Studies in Greece,” “Greek Life and Thought," “Greece under Roman Sway,” “ History of Greek Classical Literature," “ The Empire of the Ptolemies," and other historical works, nearly all of which have gone through several editions. ]
THERE was no king throughout all the Eastern world in the third century B.C. who did not set before him Alexander as the ideal of what a monarch ought to be. His transcendent figure so dominates the imagination of his own and the following age, that from studying his character we can draw all the materials for the present chapter. For this purpose the brilliant sketch of Plutarch, who explicitly professes to write the life and not the history of the king, is on the whole more instructive than the detailed chronicle of Arrian. From both we draw much that is doubtful and even fabulous, but much also which is certain and of unparalleled interest, as giving us a picture of the most extraordinary man that ever lived. The astonishing appearance of this lad of twenty, hurried to the throne by his father's death, in the midst of turmoil within and foes without, surrounded by doubtful friends and timid advisers, without treasury, without allies - and yet at once and without hesitation asserting his military genius, defeating his bravest enemies, cowing his disloyal subjects, crushing sedition, and then starting to conquer Asia, and to weld together two continents by a new policy — this wonder was indeed likely to fascinate the world, and if his successors aped the leftward inclination of his head and the leonine sit of his hair, they were sure enough to try to imitate what was easier and harder -- the ways of his court and the policy of his kingdom.
Quite apart from his genius, which was unique, his position in Greece was perfectly novel, in that he combined Hellenic training, language, and ideas with a totally un-Hellenic thing
- royalty. For generations, the Macedonian kings had been trying to assert themselves as real Greeks. They had suc
* By permission of the publishers, Macmillan & Co., Ltd.