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to his consciousness than any realities, which gives the logical thoroughness to his system that is sometimes called Jesuitical. See his notable assertion of the doctrine that the end justifies the means :
“ Alone by God's preferment man is wise :
Nothing is vile of all the Gods suggest. M. Arnold's phrase is perfectly true: that he “saw life whole.” His serenity feels equally the vanity of human wishes and human fears (Fr., 62). Few more pessimistic things have ever been said than—
ουδέν γαρ άλγος οίον η πολλή ζωή.
And yet he is not a pessimist. Only the almost sentimental turn for melancholy which marks the Ionian is strong in him, as in all natures which are hyperæsthetic both of pains and pleasures.
In no respect is he more purely a Greek than this: his morality is imaginative. Morality inculcated apart from religion is simply unmeaning to such minds; for them there are the two alternatives of piety rendered with enthusiasm as service to a personal deity regarded with imaginative love and awe-or pure hedonism. There is no reason to doubt the stories which report sensuousness of Sophocles: we expect it of one so richly gifted with the power of visualising, one who thinks in images. The words related by old Cephalus in the opening of the Republic, ώσπερ άγριον και λυτTôvta detotņu, are in the same key with Dante's confession and Michelangiolo : we could match them in “The expense of spirit in a waste of shame.” In the splendid fragment
1 Fr., 227
2 Aj., 125; 0. C., 1211; Fr., 12; Fr., 103; Fr., 860.
δεινόν το της Πειθούς πρόσωπονI suspect it is Peithô, the handmaid of Aphrodite. The fragment from Lovers of Achilles is very noteworthy:
« Sickness of love's a mischief fugitive:
Shall them to do and not to do require.” ?
i Fr., 780.
2 Fr., 154.
3 Fr., 757
in the same context falls to be considered the longer passage : ώ παίδες ή του
Κυπρίς ου Κύπρις μόνον. He is extremely sensitive to horrors which shock the imagination : his mastery of language enables him to use such delicacy of euphemism in Edipus Rex and Edipus Coloneus that his subject is never repulsive. Shelley matches him in the Cenci. Ford's handling in 'Tis pity, &c., is deliberately different, as his plot requires.
And yet on occasion he was no Puritan to shirk calling a spade a spade (Fr., 441); the same undignified domestic object plays a part in a fragment of the 'Axaiw Súdoyos.” Ovid speaks of his in obscaenos deflexa tragoedia risus.
He kept his idealism for ideal spheres. He did not dislike the national aptitude for roguery and cunning ; his partiality for the hero of ingenuity-Odysseus, whom his enemies called a bastard of Sisyphus—is evident. In Ajax it is Odysseus who represents evßovlía; in Philoctetes he is contrasted, but not unkindly, with the chivalrous temper of Neoptolemus ; the sentiment in Phil. 97 would come home to every Greek hearer as national. So, too, the argument
i Fr., 856.
2 Fr., 141.
3 Trist. Ü., 409.
of Orestes, δοκώ μεν ουδέν ρημα συν κέρδει κακόν, and the exclamation
ουδέν γαρ ανθρώποισιν οίον άργυρος 2 2
κακόν νόμισμα έβλαστε, , is put into the unsympathetic mouth of the doctrinaire Creon.
Fr. 25 is an anticipation of virtus laudatur et alget, but not satirically spoken
συ δ' αύτος ώσπερ οι σοφοί τα μεν
δίκαι επαίνει, του δέ κερδάινειν έχου, which Athenaeus deprecates as πονηρώς ειρημένον. . The praises of money are the theme also of tà xpýuat' dv@púrol1, &c. Fr. 325 gives a casuist defence of justifiable untruth: so does 327. The didactic Plutarch quotes and disapproves the line
το κέρδος ηδυ κάν από ψευδών ίη. 4
There are several recorded instances, and doubtless our own experience furnishes more; sometimes it shows as a racial characteristic--of minds which combined an intensely idealist or mystic disposition with a keen business sense : S. Teresa and Mr. Gladstone, to cite no others. And so in Sophocles the two parts of wise man of the world and idealist permeated with 1 El., 61.
2 Ant., 296. 3 Fr., 86.
4 Fr., 749.
mystical consciousness were doubled without incongruity.
There is one more aspect of his mysticism which I wish to elaborate before leaving this topic. It is his conception of Time. Time, either universally personified, or personified severally in its divisions, presented itself to Sophocles' imagination not as a mere “withinwhich,” a setting, a condition, but as an agent effecting those things which take place within its duration. We have quasi personifying expressions for portions of time, as when we say, “that day was the author of many troubles,” “that year saw Queen Victoria's death;
but the picturesque value of the language in these is dead; they are rhetorical variations. With Sophocles the personification is bold and lively, and of frequent recurrence
χρόνος γαρ εύμαρης θεός. (See Wilamowitz' note on Hercules, 557.) It is again xpóvos universally in
ο πάς αν πρέπoι παρών εννεπείν
τάδε δίκα χρόνος. 2 Notice the boldness of the figure when Clytemnestra describes her anxious life
και προστατων χρόνος, &c.3 “ Time, in whose protection I stood, led me the life of one ever awaiting death."
1 El., 179.
2 El., 1255.
3 El., 781.