« ZurückWeiter »
T were an unpardonable neglect to dismiss
the foregoing pages without recommending the entire work from whence the Sentences were selected, as one of the finest productions of Antiquity, and as highly deserving to be attentively studied, not merely in juvenile, but in more advanced
From the many passages in which the Author evidently alludes to the Tenets of ŞoCRATES, as delivered in his MEMORABILIA, the CYROPÆDIA plainly appears to have been written with a design to fhew what kind of a Prince one would be, who should be educated in the Socratic School, and should regulate his life consistently with his education. The principal historical facts are probably grounded on the accounts of Cyrus the Great, which were extant among the Greeks; but the Dramatic and Philosophic Manner in which the work is admirably conducted, is XENOPHON's own.
There is so much invention in the plan ; such discernment of what endowments are requisite towards constituting an illustrious and good Character, in the attributes ascribed to CYRUS ; so much propriety in the words and actions of the several personages introduced ; so many exquisite strokes of true politeness ; fo much Attic festivity in the Sympofiac parts ; and so much Civil, Military, Political, and Religious Wisdom in the more serious Dialogues, that for genius and useful knowledge and instruction, the CYROPÆDIA perhaps is superior to any work whatever either of PLATo or ARISTOTLE.
But finely as the Character of Cyrus may have been drawn by Xenophon, it is still more an imaginary than a real Character. A model of Perfect goodness and pure fanctity in the life and actions of a GODLIKE MAN who actually did exist, is to be found only in the Gospels, of which Writings it may be justly faid, that “Unadorned * Truth hath fomething greater in it, than all the Artifice, and all the Pomp of Eloquence.”
* See THOUGHTS OF THE FATHERS BY BOHOURS,
Τ Η Ε
E N D.