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But the result of the struggle was that the idea of his life-the idea on which depended, as he thought, the welfare of Athens and of Greece had become practicable. Isocrates cannot have destroyed himself because Philip had won. The conduct of Philip to Athens after Chæronea was studiously temperate and conciliatory; there was nothing in it to estrange Isocrates from his ideal Panhellenic chief, who, having struck one necessary blow, was now bent on healing the discords of Greece. It is more conceivable that Isocrates should have destroyed himself because he saw Athens still resolved to resist, and because he dreaded the conflict, when Philip should be at the walls, between his duty to Athens and his duty to Greece. If the tradition of the suicide is considered too strong to be set aside, this seems the most reasonable account of it.' (Vol. ii. p.
33.) Possibly on the very day that Isocrates sat down to write to Philip the last words which his hand was ever to trace, another Athenian, Leocrates, fled from the city to seek a refuge at Rhodes, and there to announce that Athens had been already taken. Isocrates, by staying at home, escaped the charge of treason, on which Leocrates was brought before the bar of his country. A casting-vote alone saved the latter from the penalty invoked by the indignant eloquence of Lycurgus, an orator in integrity of purpose and intensity of earnestness second only to Demosthenes.
From the political aspects of a career which closed at the age of ninety-eight, we may turn with some reluctance to the technical merits of Isocrates as a rhetorician; and we are free to confess, as we have confessed already, that, excellent beyond doubt and instructive as is Mr. Jebb's criticism generally, it employs a number of terms which will probably fail to convey the same idea to different minds. When, for instance, he speaks of his purity and correctness of idiom (ü. 58), when he tells us that Lysias prefers common words, but that Isocrates, though he can distinguish on occasions, has a general bent towards grandeur (ii. 59), it is hard to shake off the feeling that we are walking among quagmires. We tread on firmer ground when we read that, while the orators of the austere school relied mainly on words, Isocrates relied almost wholly on composition, and may thus be regarded as having developed, · though he did not originate, the idea of a literary prose
rhythm' (ii, 60). Above all, the manner of Isocrates was smooth and tranquil. On this special characteristic Mr. Jebb has some excellent remarks ; nor need we say any more than that it was well for the world that Demosthenes had something higher to care for. We must resist the temptation to follow Mr. Jebb through the pages in which he treats of the life-long labours of the great rhetorician. . The reader will find entertainment and instruction everywhere, and not least in the passages which notice the three classes of Sophists with whom Isocrates had his quarrel, on grounds which, so far as we may see, were perfectly legitimate and solid.
The one remaining orator whose life and work fall directly within the scope of Mr. Jebb's volumes is Isæus; and the position of Isæus marks a change which for Demosthenes would have been only an omen of doom. 6. Let the ekklesia ““ be the care of the statesmen-my profession is to write for Co the courts." This is what the life of Isæus, by the fact ' that it is almost hidden, declares. That change has set in • which is to lead, without a break, from the old life of the ' republic to a cosmopolitan Hellenism, and thence to the
modern world '(ii. 262). The impulse thus given led Isæus to confine himself not merely to the professional calling of a speech writer, but to the composition of speeches for private causes, and these too of a class which Isocrates regarded with special contempt-claims, namely, to property or money between man and man. This avocation drew towards him one who was to leave behind him a name for all time; and the connexion and contrast between Isæus and Demosthenes are drawn out by Mr. Jebb with a fulness and freshness at once interesting and delightful. The fact of the connexion cannot be questioned. Afterwards, when that relative obscurity in
• • which the critics left the elder orator was hardly broken save .by this strong gleam from the glory of the younger, friendly
biographers naturally welcomed everything that could add • brightness to the borrowed ray' (ii. 267). On the strength of this tradition Professor Curtius has framed the picture of an intellectual armed alliance in which, like the heroes of ancient mythology, these two orators went forth to fight with the men who had desolated the home of the younger. But the speeches against Aphobos and Onetor, Mr. Jebb remarks decisively, * shatter this vision of Isæus as a Pylades divided by nothing * but, perhaps, thirty-six years from his young partner in the * chastisement of a triple Ægisthus' (ii. 268). These earliest speeches of Demosthenes, he adds, have a stamp of their own as marked as it is original; and we have no warrant for supposing that the intercourse between him and Isæus (as teacher and
learner can have been either very intimate or of very long
duration'(ü. 269). In truth, the course which Demosthenes marked out for himself rendered any other result impossible. Isæus resolved to follow the calling of Antiphon and Lysias. Demosthenes, in Mr. Jebb's words, instead of refining on the art which hides itself, determined to wield the art which
triumphs and commands (ii. 303). Like
(ii. 303). Like Antiphon and Lysias, Isæus was content to forego the honours and perils of political eminence; and like the former, but unlike the latter, he gained a sinister reputation for cleverness ó in elaborating • pleas for the worse part.' But here the resemblance ended. The name of Isæus was not to be linked, like that of Antiphon, with a long catalogue of secret murders. Subtle and patient, but not passionate, he 'was congenially placed in days when an Athenian had ceased to be primarily a citizen. The early application of rhetorical art to politics
-so natural, even so necessary, yet so crude—had long given place to a conception of the rhetorical province in which politics made only one department. With this department Isæus recognised-probably with the indifference of the time-that he had nothing to do; the intel. lectual ardour which he clearly had was of a kind that his tasks at once satisfied and limited—making it enough for him to live and die the laborious, successful, rather unpopular master of Attic Law; not the first at Athens who had followed a calling, but perhaps the earliest Athenian type of a professional man.' (Vol. ii. p. 271.)
This choice, determined manifestly by a genius only of the second rank, made his career a compromise ; and he remains • the first advocate who was at once morally persuasive and logically powerful, without either entrancing by the grace of his ethical charm or constraining by the imperious brilliancy of his art; one from whom Demosthenes learned the best technical lessons that Antiphon or Thucydides could teach, in a form at once strict and animated, serviceable under conditions which they had not known; a contributor, by these means, to the success of Demosthenes both in the forensic and in other fields, but no more the author of his victories than he is the kindler of his enthusiasm; yet for the modern world, not the less, but the more, a man who speaks with his own voice and stands for his own work—the earliest master of forensic controversy.' (Vol. ii. p. 310.)
From Isæus and Isocrates we turn with feelings of reverence not unmingled with awe to the undying work of Demosthenes. The charm of Mr. Jebb's pages has tempted us already to indulge in large quotation; from the glowing chapters which he devotes to the matured civil eloquence of Athens it is difficult indeed to resist the temptation of quoting far more largely. Throughout, the great orator stands before us, mighty because clothed in the armour of righteousness, unapproachable in the majesty of his art because resting on the strong foundation of truth, and victorious over his great rival from the fearlessness imparted by absolute sincerity of the very intensity of his eloquence seem oppressive, we must
remember, Mr. Jebb informs us, that things stronger than blood * gave him his affinity with Jeremiah and Ezekiel' (ii. 417), and with the great preacher who with something like the
same gifts, stood in something like the mental attitude of • Demosthenes, and this in the city which of all cities has most
resembled his own.' For all these there was the same mission, to be read out of a book full of lamentation and mourning and woe, yet sealed to all eyes save their own. The Athenian orator, the Florentine monk, toiled on, each to the end, because, while they spoke, there was yet time to heed their warning, although they uttered it hoping against hope ; and well indeed may Mr. Jebb say that the soul of Demosthenes was among men when in the Dome of Florence, above the sobs and wailings of a great multitude, the anguish of Savonarola • went forth on words that were as flame (ii. 418).*
Grateful as we are to Mr. Jebb for a picture the truth of which must touch every heart, we cannot but regret that his criticism of Æschines should have a few of those jarring chords which mar his criticism of Antiphon. He may, indeed, be thought to depreciate Æschines unduly when he speaks of the great contest with Demosthenes as one in which art allied ' with genius wins the day against clever empiricism (ii. 398). Æschines had not been systematically trained as a rhetorician, and his experience as an actor and a scribe may not have been altogether to his advantage. But his natural powers were so great, and these powers were so aided by a splendid voice under perfect musical control, that nothing but the moral superiority of his adversary can account for his defeat. We may be doing him an injustice in speaking of the vulgarity of his soul as counteracting his wonderful gift of eloquence (ii. 396), unless we have good reason for thinking that this vulgarity was innate. He may, again, in his peroration have passed at a bound to the most tremendous failure that ever • followed so close upon a triumph,' because, having reached his true climax, he felt the pressure of the Attic rule that the storm must be laid in a final harmony (ii. 407); but we have scarcely completed the picture until we add that Demosthenes could afford and dared to disregard this rule, because he knew that he was in the right and that his enemy was in the wrong. It
* A recent translation of the celebrated Oration for the Crown' by Sir Robert Collier does credit to his scholarship and good taste; and we observe that this version has been used, as preferable to many others, in the volume devoted to Demosthenes in Mr. Blackwood's series of Classical Authors.
is indisputably true, as Mr. Jebb insists, that Æschines had not • dared to show his colours. He had not dared to say, “I ““ maintain that it was expedient to be friendly with Macedon, «« and therefore I deny that Demosthenes was a patriot.” He had tried to save appearances. He had dealt in abuse and in charges of corruption. But he had left the essence of the Demosthenic policy absolutely untouched' (ii. 487). Had Mr. Jebb substituted right for expediency as the test of patriotic conduct, and had he said that Æschines dreaded to show his true colours because he knew that he had received the wages of a traitor and that his life had been for years a lie, we should have been amply satisfied. But in spite of this fatal weakness, the skill of Æschines in the use of words was so consummate, and his enthusiasm in an evil cause so great, as to make his speech well worthy of the trial in which the theory
of Greek eloquence had its final and most splendid illustra* tion' (ii. 398). Fifty years later the Athenian public could take delight in the jerky magniloquence 'of Hegesias (ii. 443). Of the revival which after this pitiable downfall shed its glory on the Rome of Hortensius and Cicero we must not say more than that it is treated by Mr. Jebb with the same wealth of learning and the same refinement of taste which impart to his work as a whole a singular and delightful charm.