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not marked by that strictness in the social relations of the sexes which had place at a later period. In the herioc ages of Greece, women were not kept in such strict seclusion, nor was their restriction to their own part of the house so rigidly euforced as afterwards. From the circumstances under which Iothales and her brother had been brought up, such conventional limitations as characterised the times were likely to be interpreted with the utmost laxity that was consistent with propriety, and Philokalos who had been accustomed to the almost uninterrupted society of his sister, saw no reason why she should now be deprived of it, or why she should be condemned to solitude, because of the presence of a guest who was likely to be his friend and companion in arms. Iothales, therefore, was much in the society of her brother and his friend ; she accompanied them in such rambles as were within the limits of her powers, and together with them she would share the pleasures of conversation, of music, and of song.
The manner and demeanour of Philokalos could not escape the observant eye of his sister, although she was totally unable to fathom
She could neither fail to notice the general depression and melancholy which seemed to have fastened upon him, nor yet the occasional outbursts of merriment which seemed too forced and too different from his usual manner, to be the genuine products of lightness and gaiety of heart.
She remarked in particular that he never now broke out into any enthusiastic expressions concerning the anticipated glories and achievements of the Trojan war, and she feared that he had some secret cause of sorrow or anxiety on his mind which he would not impart to her. In conversation Philokalos, while he still seemed fond of relating or listening to tales of heroic achievement, yet did so without his former animation and enthusiasm, and if ever he accompanied the lyre in song, his strain was of a pensive and tender character, which seemed rather to befit one to whom the strife and glories of battle fields had ceased to present any personal interest, than a young chief burning to signalise his first essay in
The character of Philokalos seemed quite incomprehensible to Iphitus. The pensive dreaminess and the uncertainty of purpose, which were so conspicuous in his young host, were things which he could not account for, and he would not always have been able to repress a feeling of contempt at what seemed to him mere weakness, but for the proofs which Philokalos gave him on their hunting excursions, that he was by no means deficient in courage and physical energy, and in their conversations, that he possessed a considerable share of ready wit and acuteness, when the occasion was such as to stimulate him to their exercise. The growing feeling too of desire for the society of Iothales, induced Iphitus to think as favourably as possible of the failings, as he deemed them, of her brother ; and so it happened that the three went on enjoying each other's society, and apparently so well pleased with their present condition, that none of them seemed in haste to change it, although the Trojan expedition was still assumed in all their conversations as a definite and understood arrangement.
But it was clear that of the three, Iphitus was the one who was likely to tire the soonest of their present mode of life, and to long for some fresh excitement and adventure. It seemed probable that when he had exhausted the sports and recreations of the island, he would run to the Trojan war as an outlet for his restless energy, and sometimes he already began to give utterance to remarks purporting that, in his opinion, they had already d-ferred their expedition sufficiently long.
"I think, Philokalos, that there must be something in the air of this island of yours that disposes a man to laziness. I have been already here more than twice the time I intended, and those knaves of mine seem scarcely to do a day's work in a week, so slowly do they get on with the repairs of the ship. You, yourself, who have imbibed your native breezes all your life, are as prone to gazing on the sea and the stars as if all the Trojans were already knocked on the head. I tell you that after this hunt is over, we must begin to think of our voyage, or the city will be taken before we get there."
This remark was made by Iphitus after a pause which ensued upon a discussion which had taken place between them, concerning a boar hunt, which had been arranged to take place on the following day. The young men were sitting, or rather reclining on a scat in the inner court of the house, where they could enjoy the luxury of the balmy summer evening's air, rendered cool and refreshing by the fountain which played in the centre of the court, and filled with the pleasant sound of its music.
Philokalos paused before replying, and Iphitus continued :
" For one who can sing and converse so well of wars and warlike actions, I cannot help thinking you strangely apathetic about our expedition. By Hercules ! When I think of the grand combat that is taking place, I long to be trying the temper of my steel on Trojan casques, instead of wasting my time here in shooting arrows at sea fowl.”
“Our sport to-morrow will not be of quite so tame a character," replied Philokalos, evading the point in question.
“No," said Iphitus, “a boar of the right sort may give tolerable amusement in the absence of anything better, but Hector or Æneas would be better game."
“ After all," replied Philokalos, “it may be doubtful whether the best part of this war, which gives employment to so many bards and poets, does not lie in the songs which celebrate it. The poet gives what colouring he pleases to his theme, but in reality, Hector thinks himself fighting for the right as much as Menelaus, and when one brave warrior falls by the hand of another, the victor may well feel more compunction at his deed than when he has transfixed a wild animal with his spear.”
“Nay,” rejoined Iphitus, "if you are going to philosophise in that strain, I have done. It is enough for me that the pleasure of killing the fiercest boar in your island could never compare, in my opinion, with a good hand-to-hand combat with some warrior like Hector or Sarpedon. But it seems to me that your distaste for the war does not arise from your fondness for hunting, which indeed would rather lead you to a desire for the reality of which it is only an imitation, but rather from a love of the beauties of nature, and I sometimes doubt whether you were not made for a poet rather than a warrior, which I say without fearing to give any offence, for the office of the bard has ever been held in high veneration, and the influence of song has often increased my ardour for warlike fame.”
“ Nay,” replied Philokalos, “I do not know that you have reason for thinking me apathetic about the war ; but to come to the point you have raised, which, think you, is the highest pleasure--to gaze upon the beauty and the glory which nature in her munificence presents to us, or to deface the loveliness with blood and carnage ?”
“I know which is most to my taste," replied Iphitus, " but I am not going to argue the point with you. Give me a brush with the Trojans, and you may look at the sea until I come back. Here comes your sister, and I will appeal to her as to which of us will be better employed.”
As he spoke, Iothales entered with that freedom from embarrassment which their familiar intercourse had by this time produced, and quietly took her seat by the side of her brother.
“ Iphitus thinks, Iothales," said Philokalos to his sister, “ that the love of fighting is much nobler than the love of beauty ; what say you ?”
"I will not attempt,” said she, “ to decide a question of that sort among warriors ; but I suppose no one will defend the love of fighting for its own sake.”
“ An ambiguous answer, fair Iothales,” said Iphitus, “and one which I will venture to wrest to my own side. Of course when I cross swords with Hector, I shall think solely of the wrong done by Paris, and the injury sustained by Menelaus. But come Philokalos, to avoid philosophy, which I do not much care for, will not you or your sister take the lyre and express your opinions, if it so please you, in song, so that we may substitute music for controversy.”
“I shall think you more than half a convert to the opinion of my brother," said Iothales, “since you prefer the beauty of music to a war of words. But cannot you throw some of your martial ardour into a song, which may have more weight with us than your arguments ? "
"I will do my best," replied he, “but I will not begin. Let Philokalos sing first, and then I will take my turn; and after that your song shall reward us both."
After a little persuasion Philokalos took the lyre, and began slowly and negligently to touch its strings, while he appeared to be engaged in a somewhat melancholy train of thought. At length, after eliciting some sorrowful sounding preliminary notes, he commenced singing
Why, Beauty, lay thy golden spell on me?
Have I not set before my earnest eyes,
The battle's tumult and the hero's prize ?
Throughout the armed chambers of my soul,
Of'music-making waves that softly roll.
All warlike hopes are sunk in glory's grave;
Destined henceforth thy worshipper and slave.
Poured from dark eyes, and glossed on braided hair ;
Content to die, so I may worship there.
From shame the soul that sinks beneath thy spell ;
Hide him of whom fame had no tale to tell.
He ceased, and so melancholy was the strain, that the ensuing silence was unbroken for some moments. Iothales had been conscious for some time that her brother's mind was disturbed by some secret cause which she was not allowed to know, and his present melancholy frame of mind and the sorrowful character of his song had such an effect upon her, that she had to turn aside to hide a tear. Iphitus himself looked grave,
but feeling as if it was incumbent on him to break the spell of salness which the song of Philokalos had produced, he was the first to shake it off, and said,
“I fear the genius of despondency has got possession of your muse this evening ; but before you condemn yourself to the inglorious grave you talk of, let me see if I cannot rouse you by a strain of war, even though it savours of what your sister calls a love of fighting for its own sake." Then seizing the harp, he begau to sing without further preliminary
Awake, Oh, bard! and let the trembling string
Produce a longer and a louder strain;
And marked exultingly the destined plain?
Oh! who can utter half the fierce delight,
That shoots like liquid fire through every vein,
And battle's tumult rages on the plain?
to bear me o'er the field !
The passage, left amidst the reeling crowd,
The war recoils around some champion proud ;
To him, like festal song, is each alarm;
Invade my sinews, and unstring my arm.
Beneath the stroke of some heroic hand;
My failing fingers on the broken brand ;
ENGLISH NAVAL POWER AND ENGLISH COLONIES.
What are the considerations which properly enter into any just estimate of a people's naval power ?
In the first place, this certainly is a vital question: Are the people themselves in any true sense naval in their tastes, habits, and training ? Do they love the sea ? Is it a home to them? Have they that fertility of resources and expedients which the emergencies of sea-life make so essential, and which can come only from a long and fearless familiarity with old Ocean in all his aspects of beauty and all his aspects of terror ? Or are they essentially landsmen, landsmen just as much on the deck of a frigate as when marshalled on a battle-field ? This is a test question. For if a nation has not sailors, men who smack of the salt sea, then vain are
fleets and strong armaments. am satisfied that the
ordinary explanation of that naval superiority which England has generally maintained over France is the true explanation. Certainly never were there stouter ships than those which France sent forth to fight her battles at the Nile and Trafalgar. Never braver men trod the deck than there laid down their lives rather than abase their country's flag. Yet they were beaten. The very nation which, on land, fighting against banded Europe, kept the balance for more than a generation at equipoise, on the water was beaten by the ships of one little isle of the sea. In the statement itself you have the explanation. The ships were from an isle of the sea. The men who manned them were born within sight of the ocean. In their childhood they sported with its waves. At twelve, they were cabin boys. At twenty, thorough seamen. Against the skill born of such an experience, of what avail was mere courage, however fiery? There is a second question, equally important. What is a nation's
. capacity for naval production? What ship-yards has it? What docks ? What machine-shops ? What stores of timber, iron, and hemp? And what skilled workmen to make these resources available? A nation is not strong simply because it has a hundred ships complete and armed floating on its waters. “Iron and steel will bend and break," runs the old nursery tale. And practice shows that iron and steel wrought into ships have no better fortune, and that the stoutest barks will strand and founder, or else decay, and, amid the sharp exigencies of war, with wonderful rapidity. Not what a nation has, then, but how soon it can fill up these gaps of war, how great is its capacity to produce and reproduce, tells the story of its naval power.
When Louis Napoleon completed that triumph of skill and labour, the port of Cherbourg, England trembled more than if he had launched fifty frigates. And well she might. For what is Cherbourg ? Nothing less than an immense permanent addition to the French power of naval production. Here, protected from the sea by a breakwater miles in extent, and which might have been the work of the Titans, and girdled by almost impregnable fortifications, is more than a safe harbour for all