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A G A M EM NON
TRANSLATED LITERALLY AND RHYTHMICALLY,
W. SEWELL, B.D.
FELLOW AND TUTOR OF EXETER COLLEGE, OXFORD.
A PREFACE AND NOTES.
It is a maxim of sound education, that the young should be brought up from their childhood surrounded by an atmosphere of all that is good, beautiful and true; that they should have constantly before them objects intrinsically excellent, whether or not they are at first agreeable to their imperfect nature. Not that this mere presence of external good is sufficient to make man good; but to a certain degree it moulds and colours the mind : to a still greater degree it excludes the presence of evil.” And thus, when evil does come, it will come under a greater contrast, and with more of repulsiveness. To be able to distinguish evil instinctively by its mere discordance with previous associations and prejudices is no slight advantage. And in the mean while there is scope for imbuing the mind with a deeper and more critical knowledge of its real nature and relations, so far as they can ever require to be known.
It is not uncommon at present to cast ridicule on our old system of education, which has taken classical literature as its basis, and especially endeavours to familiarize the mind with the dramatic poetry of the Greeks. And the answer to the cavil is to be found in the trite general principle assumed above; the same principle by