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every thing fond of novelty, and delighted to excess in foreign communication.-' a government of a strictly aristocratical cha'racter, the animating soul of which was the Doric spirit of fear and respect for ancient and established laws, and the judgment of older men ;' the spirit of implicit obedience towards the state ' and the constituted authorities, strict discipline, and a wise re'striction of actions;' 'an austere and aristocratical polity;'' a very serious character;' 'a certain loftiness and severity of character;' to draw in with greater closeness the iron bond of cus'tom, and to maintain the government of the wise against the dominion of the unrestrained multitude:' these expressions, and the like, point out the species of government which Müller deems the most desirable,—an unmixed and Doric aristocracy.' It would be easy, of course, to cite many passages which prove his aversion to democracy; his want of sympathy with the spirit of ' times which aim at great liberty and excitement-the very contrary of the settled composure of the Dorians.' It would be equally easy also to show, in the same manner, that he abhors not less than ochlocracy-than the arbitrary will of a turbulent populace-the despotism of a tyrant, which springs out of the bosom of anarchy. He is, moreover, the enemy of unmixed democracy, chiefly through an intense dread and hatred of tyranny; for he says of Clearchus, Instead of protecting the dignity of those who had called him in, he became a leader of the people, and what in fact he is already, who sets the blind fury and physical force of the multitude in action against justice and good order-a tyrant.'
The pure aristocracy,' however, for which Müller so strenuously contends, does not signify, for such is the sense which is now ordinarily attached to the term, an oligarchy, the uncontrolled dominion of the privileged few; a form of government not less unjust than the rule of an absolute monarch, or of the insensate rabble: he desires that a few should wield the powers of state, but adhering strictly to the etymology of the word, aristocracy, he stipulates that these few should be the wisest and the best. That the wise and good should possess exclusive sway over every department of civil polity, is undoubtedly desirable, and it is unfortunately but too certain, that the number of such persons will always be small. It would be highly expedient to intrust power to the hands of no others than true philosophers; but if we enquire into what is practicable, not what is merely to be wished, this favourite project of Plato and of antiquity, will appear to be altogether Utopian. Quis custodiet ipsos custodes? what philosopher will nominate the philosophers? what eminently wise and good man will select the wisest and
the best, who are to form the Platonic cabinet, the Socratic administration, or rather the supreme authority of the state, which, notwithstanding, would not be supreme, for it would be subordinate to that paramount piece of perfection, that monster of wisdom and virtue, in whom the power of selection was vested? If some superior being, some angel, or spirit, would appear at convenient seasons, and choose those who ought to govern the world, and would compel mankind to acquiesce in the supernatural decision; the true Doric aristocracy might be established, otherwise it will prevail only in the ingenious lucubrations of German professors.
Since health is so precious, and the injudicious treatment of disease so mischievous, and sometimes fatal, would it not be advantageous that none, save the wisest and the best, should exercise the art of healing? If Esculapius would name in person such of his sons as he may deem qualified to practise for the benefit of the community-if the Dorian Apollo would grant licenses to the philosophical physicians alone, and would fall upon the unlicensed and unphilosophical interlopers, and would kill them off with his mild arrows, the sanitary praxis would be restored to a state of perfect health. But will a select and irresponsible body ever cease to want honesty? will the uninstructed multitude ever possess understanding? If a small college, whether composed of Dorians or Ionians, or perhaps even of Eolians, were authorized to permit those to heal, or rather to attempt to heal, the sick of whom they should approve, and were enabled absolutely and effectually to prevent all other citizens from endeavouring to cure, and even from curing maladies, is it certain that the incorporated licensers would never bestow a share in the gainful monopoly, on account of favour or consanguinity, or for a bribe; that it would always be fairly granted or withheld? If, on the other hand, the populace were permitted to choose their own Machaons, might not the enlightened citizen of a free state, in culling a saviour, sometimes unconsciously pluck an executioner? If the appointment of apothecaries rested solely with the virtuous rabble, even if their choice were guarded, as certain well-meaning, but mistaught and mistaken writers recommend in cases of greater difficulty, by universal suffrage and the ballot, would not those impostors who acquire notoriety by chalking their praises upon the walls, and by less respectable arts, be esteemed by their constituents precisely in the ratio of the chalk consumed, and the infamy incurred, and be uniformly preferred to men of worth, of learning, and of experience? If it be impossible, in the
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government and regulation of that most beautiful art of medicine, (to be fully sensible of its beauties, we ought to contemplate the end proposed, and not that which is commonly attained, or the means of attaining it,) to form and maintain an aristocracy of the wisest and best, we may fear that, in the entire government and regulation of a state, it would be still more impracticable. But our limits will not permit us to discuss the many important and curious questions respecting the science of government, to which this learned work invites attention.
In the language of ardent admiration, Müller describes very amply the celebrated and singular institutions of Sparta; but if he does not annihilate their renowned founder, by reducing him to the hero of a fable, of a fiction possessing the spirit of ' a moral tale,' he maintains at least, that he only restored and renewed the ancient Doric polity, which was founded upon immemorial custom, so that the legislator had little opportunity for fresh enactments. 'Lycurgus, of whose real or imaginary 'existence we have already spoken, must, at the time of Herodotus, have been considered a mythological personage, as he had a temple, annual sacrifices, and in fact a regular worship. Now, it is the tendency of mythological narration to ' represent accordant actions of many minds at different times, under the name of one person; consequently, the mere name ' of an institution of Lycurgus says very little respecting its 'real origin and author. The curious will find the discussions respecting the real or imaginary existence' of this illustrious lawgiver in the first book, (chapter vii.); and, having examined the arguments that are adduced on the subject, they will possibly anticipate that posterity may hereafter be employed in speculating, in like manner, about the real or mythological existence of Professor C. O. Müller, and whether his truly learned work be really the composition of that author, or represents the accordant contributions of many minds at different times, under the name of one person.
The Indian institution of castes subsisted in some degree in Lacedemon; almost all trades and occupations were hereditary, and the hereditary transmission of employments greatly favoured the maintenance of ancient customs. One inheritance was very singular;-the art and mystery of cooking were hereditary. The notion of employing a cook, who took his trade by descent, is certainly not very palatable, but the excellent Müller is in the humour to be pleased. In fact, Sparta would not have so long remained contented with her black broth, either if her cooks had not learnt the art of dressing it from their youth upwards,
' and continued to exercise their craft after the manner of their 'fathers, or if this office could have been assigned at will to 'those who were able by their art to gratify the palate.' He decides, however, afterwards, that it is not probable that any of these cooks in tail-male were of Doric origin.
Their severity towards the unhappy, degraded Helots, is the darkest shade of Spartan story; and the ingenious advocate for Lacedemon endeavours, with much zeal and ability, to lighten the heavy reproach. He complains, on behalf of his clients, that the rhetorical spirit with which later historians have ' embellished their philanthropic views, joined to our own 'ignorance, has been productive of much confusion and miscon'ception;' and he labours to explain away the specific and distinct charges that have been brought against them. But are we not labouring in vain,' the historian asks, to soften this 'bad impression, since the fearful word crypteia is of itself 'sufficient to show the unhappy fate of the Helots, and the 'cruelty of their masters? By this word is generally understood a chase of the Helots, annually undertaken at a fixed time by 'the youth of Sparta, who either assassinated them by night, or massacred them formally in open day, in order to lessen their 'numbers and weaken their power. It was a regularly legalized 'massacre, and the more barbarous, as its periodical arrival 'could be foreseen by the unhappy victims.' Such is the accusation; for the defence we must refer to the third chapter of the third book. Notwithstanding the skilful reasoning or sophistry of generous partisans, historical verity constrains us to declare, that however beneficial the pure Doric aristocracy might be for the aristocrats themselves, the behaviour of the Spartans, during a long period, towards the Helots and Perioci, whom they had subdued, reminds us forcibly of the treatment which the English experienced at the hands of the Normans, during the century that followed the conquest. It must be conceded, nevertheless, that if the Spartans demeaned themselves somewhat harshly towards their vanquished enemies, they are entitled to the signal and rare credit of usually treating their friends as friends; an obvious rule of policy that is seldom observed, and upon which the stability and health of all states and parties mainly depends; yet blind vanity, and an inordinate self-conceit, mislead the prosperous, and, believing that they have risen, and can maintain themselves by their own unaided exertions, they soon find, that in their solitary might it is easy at least to fall alone.
The tenth chapter contains some curious information respecting the public or political economy of the Doric states. In the
following passage, we find a currency analogous to paper-money. In Sparta, the state was the sole possessor of the precious 'metals, at least in the shape of coin, which it used in the inter⚫ course with foreign nations. The individual citizens, however, 'who were without the pale of this intercourse, only required and possessed iron coin, in a manner precisely similar to that proposed by Plato in the laws; viz. that the money generally current should be at the disposal of the state, and should 'be given out by the magistrates for the purposes of war and foreign travel; and that within the country should be circu'lated a coinage in itself worthless, which derived its value from public ordinance.' It is plain, therefore, that the worthless iron coinage which the Spartans used, and Plato proposed, was very like our bank notes in its effects, and that these worthy Dorians were in the full perception of all the benefits, whatever they may be, which result to the commerce and industry of a country from displacing those costly and inconvenient instruments of exchange, the precious metals, by a cheap and commodious substitute, and from sending abroad a great part of the gold and silver.
The eleventh chapter treats of the laws of the Doric states. The laws,' it is said, exhibit strong marks of the early time ' at which they originated, and it is impossible not to recognise in them a certain loftiness and severity of character.' The ingenious professor is less hostile to our English common law, to judge-made law, and appears to anticipate less salutary effects. from a complete code of written laws, than certain autoschediastic teachers of a science, which they have not yet learnt themselves. To later politicians,' he asserts, it appeared still more dangerous that the councillors of Sparta acted upon their own 'judgment, and not according to written laws; but only because they did not take into account the power of custom and of ancient habit, which have an absolute sway, so long as the internal unity of a people is not separated and destroyed. Upon unwritten laws, which were fixed in the hearts of the 'citizens, and were there implanted by education, the whole 'public and legal transactions of the Spartans depended and these were, doubtless, most correctly delivered through the 'mouths of the experienced old men, whom the community had ' voluntarily selected as its best citizens. Thousands of written laws always leave open a door for the entrance of arbitrary decision, if they have not by their mutual connexion a com'plete power of supplying what is deficient; this power, how6 ever, is alone possessed by the law, connate with the people, 'which in the ancient simple times, when national habits are