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all perished; and their features have been suffered to pass away from the memories of men. Perhaps no artist Tas found competent to the task of embodying in marble the outward form and expression of such new and incomprehensible psychological developments. Wicked themselves, and corruptors of other men, they have passed away, and no living being cherishes their memory. As in the case of individual men, when they have departed from among us, we recount their virtues and forget their rices, so with an entire age: the good are always embalmed in our memories, while we gladly suffer all thoughts of the bad to fade away from our recollection. The very oblivion, therefore, which broods over the half-forgotten Sophists is another indication of their monstrous perversity.
The honor of calling particular atten. tion to the grounds of these foregone conclasions belongs to Mr. Grote. One of his most striking characteristics as a historian, not less even than of the great Niebuhr, is his constant examination of the reasons of our historic faith; and the remarkable skill with which he conduets the process of examination rigidly pushing aside all time-honored prejudices, and with the hand of a most expert anatomist dissecting the varied combinations of truth and falsehood, of probability and improbability—this constitutes a leading excellence of his great Fork. It is by no means to be expected that all scholars will agree with him in all his deductions; but all scholars will be tanght a wholesome lesson of manly self-reliance by his example, and will be animated to renewed and more search. ing investigation of all the phenomena of ancient history. That strange problem, the origin and existence of a class of men in all respects so anomalous as the Sophists, lies directly in the path of a Greek historian. From the examination of this problem Mr. Grote does not shrink; and pursuing his usual method,
be first investigates the question of fact, was there at Athens, in the time of Socrates and afterwards, a class of men possessing the attributes usually ascribed to the Sophists? He does not, like Ritter and Brandis and Mitford, and indeed most other writers, with facile be. lief accept the fact and then proceed merely to describe it, or perhaps, with a more philosophical air, to account for it; but he begins at a much more important point. Before describing or ac. counting for a fact, he wishes to know, and wishes all his readers to know, what is the basis on which the alleged fact rests — what are the reasons for accepting it at all as a fact. Such are the elements which he casts into his powerful crucible; and we can imagine that even Mr. Grote himself may have been somewhat surprised, when the process was completed, to discover the results. Certain it is, at least, that many others have been surprised.
It becomes apparent, on a more careful investigation, that the opinions which have hitherto extensively prevailed respecting the Athenian Sophists have been derived mainly from their pronounced enemies. Nay, more: that the bitterest invective of Aristophanes, or of Plato, stimulated possibly by jealousy and personal hatred, were it all to be accepted as unqualified testimony, would not warrant the ordinary description of the Sophists in modern writers. The discussion of Mr. Grote goes mainly to establish two points: first, that there actually existed at Athens no distinct class of persons, exclusive of the phi. losophers and orators, who were then called Sophists; and, secondly, that those persons who are now commonly recog. nized as the leading Sophists, and consequently as types of their class, by no means taught those immoral doctrines which have commonly been attributed to them. In proof of the first point, Mr. Grote refers to the proper signification of the word Sophist, which means
a teacher of wisdom, and which conse- means to be charged on all who were quently would be applicable to all phi- called by the same general name. losophers, rhetoricians and instructors Such, in brief, are the points in the of every class. He shows also that the reasoning of Grote. It is not necessary word was actually thus understood and in this connection to present his reasonapplied through the whole period of ing more fully. It is scarcely to be Grecian history. It was used as an supposed that all his conclusions are inepithet of Solon, Pythagoras, Socrates, controvertible; but it has not yet been Plato, Aristotle, and of Isocrates; nor shown, and will probably with difficulty were there at that time any persons who ever be shown, that his main positions especially claimed or repudiated this are incorrect. title. Both Isocrates and Quinctilian, Granting, then, that the name Sophist, while they accept the name as applica- in the time of Socrates and Plato, did ble to themselves, attempt to divest it not call up the same associations as it of the odium which the writings of Plato now does — that many of our former had cast upon it. If we except the dia- ideas on this subject may have been logues of Plato, we seek in vain for the quite erroneous — the inquiry may still evidence that any separate class of men, arise, were there not men in Athens distinct from the philosophers and rhe- whose general character and whose protoricians, was recognized in antiquity as fessions may have warranted some of Sophists; nor will the intelligent reader the opinions which have prevailed reof Plato, who understands thoroughly specting them in modern times ? Who, the history of the age, arrive at the con- in fact, were the Sophists, and what clusion which has been so extensively were they? Grote in his discussion has adopted in modern times.
shown chiefly what they were notOn the second point, that the so-called what they did not do, and did not teach. Sophists were not immoral in their teach. It will perhaps not be unprofitable if we ings, the reasoning of Mr. Grote is still can point out some characteristics not more striking and cogent. Even Plato, merely negative, but positive — espethe principal antagonist of his contem- cially if in so doing we may discover porary teachers, the so-called Sophists, some types of character which have does not directly accuse them of im- been reproduced in our own day, and moral doctrines, and the terrible satire which are still exerting substantially the of Aristophanes, in the “Comedy of the same influence as formerly. Clouds," which has commonly been un. But it may be said, just here, if Mr. derstood as directed against the Sophists, Grote has shown incontrovertibly that is in reality aimed at Socrates and those there did not exist a distinct class of whom we should now call the philoso. men recognized as Sophists, how can we phers of that age. Nearly all extant institute any inquiry respecting them ? reports of the lectures of the Sophists We certainly cannot define the characinculcate excellent lessons of morality. ters of men who never lived. Without The “Choice of Hercules," which was charging any inconsistency on Mr. Grote, the favorite discourse of Prodicus, as it and allowing his main position to be is reported in the Memorabilia of Xeno- correct, it may still be said that a classiphon, contains a beautiful moral lesson, fication which was not recognized in the worthy of a place in the best school. time of Socrates and Plato has been books of this Christian age. If some made since then, and seems to be almost questionable doctrines may have escaped unconsciously recognized by Mr. Grote from the lips of some of the Sophists himself. The names of Gorgias, Prodi. corrupt teaching in general is by no cus, Protagoras, Hippias, Callicles and
Thrasymachus are commonly associated other and distant lands are often extogether, and are thought to represent ceedingly delicious to our taste and concharacters possessing certain common ducive to our health, may we not look traits. To ascertain and define some for some corresponding pleasure and of the more prominent of these traits, , benefit, if we will only ponder aright the to inquire whether they have been re- lessons which experience has already produced in our own age and our own written out in other and distant times ? land, and to indicate the tendencies of Well will it be for us if, in our fancied these traits in all times, not less among improvements and progress, we stop now us than among the old Athenians, will and then to inquire whether the experibe oar object in one or more essays ments which we are now making have hereafter.
not already been made, and what have If the fruits which have ripened in been the results.
BY A. G. BRACKETT.
A TRIP on the steamship down the N mountainous coast soon carries us to the harbor of San Pedro, and thence it is eighteen miles to Los Angeles, the most beautiful town of Southern California. The harbor of San Pedro is Dot & very good one, being in fact an open roadstead, with Catalina Islands Iring off some miles in front, its dark outline half hidden in mist and fleecy clouds. From the steamer we are taken on a small light-draft steam-tug and car. ried up the narrow and winding stream which leads to Wilmington, two miles distant, and are there landed. Old San Pedro is on the main shore near the harbor, and at present contains only some three or four houses, the business of the town having been moved to Wil. mington, or, as it is sometimes called, New San Pedro. This is a little village among the sand hills, and does not seem to have a very vigorous growth. In this barbor Commodore Stockton's fleet lay during a portion of the Mexican War, and here, on the then far-off Pacific, events transpired by which an empire was established. Dead-man's Island is a pile of rocks which lies at the entrance
of the harbor, on which there is a fish. erman's hut and a few bunches of pricklypears. Many sharks are taken here during the year by fishermen who wish to obtain oil; this, too, was once the resort of whalers, and now whales are occasionally seen and captured near by. Seals abound, and mother seals with baby seals on their backs move about in the water. The shore is low and swampy, with here and there a fisherman's cabin. Away off to the east rise the snow-capped mountains of the Coast Range, while summer reigns supreme near by.
From the wharf a stage takes us up through the little village away on the plains, and we are in a dreamy land a land where peace seems to reign and we think of “Araby the Blest." The plain, which stretches from the shores of the blue Pacific to the base of the mountains, is broken by gently-rolling bills, on which herds of cattle and horses graze during the whole year. In the winter and spring-time the ponds, called here lagoons, which dot the plain are covered with myriads of wild ducks, wild geese, sand-hill cranes, suipe, and
so forth. It is the paradise of the sportsman! Ranches are seen at intervals, and here the native Californians live lives of peaceful enjoyment, and are kind and gentle to strangers. In no land are there more seeming blessings, and in no land is there more quiet where life passes away calmly under & clear sky. No climate can be more delightful, no streams more clear and lovely, no evenings more truly blissful and delicious, and no moonlight more enchanting. This is one of the loveliest spots in the Union. Here is matchless vegetation, with no dank fens to breed corruption, and no fevers to dry up the blood. All is serene and fair.
Here is a world of beauty which is dear to every lover of nature. Here the Spaniards have been living for many years, and here they were found enjoy ing all the blessings of life, health, peace and plenty when the Americans invaded the country in 1846. The stage rolls along merrily, and the landscape is gradually unfolded to us, and on the plains as yet we note but few trees. We frighten the sand-hill cranes that are feeding by the roadside, and lazily they sail away, filling the air with their discordant cries. Once between Wilmington and Los Angeles we change horses at a station on the road, and all the new-comers are making remarks, some complimentary and some quite the reverse, on the character of the country and the various objects which meet our view. A railroad is now in process of completion between Wilmington and Los Angeles.
On these plains, if anywhere on this continent, one feels the sense of abso · lute freedom and that elasticity of spirits
which it is impossible to describe. Immense herds of animals move about from place to place, living on the rich verdure. Near the town are found wide vineyards and fields fenced with willows, the fields containing sugar-cane and cotton. Here grow peaches, oranges,
apples, citrons, dates and olives, delicious grapes, figs, almonds and English walnuts; here are lemons and strawberries, and in fact almost every fruit that it is possible to raise anywhere. Irrigating ditches have been cut surrounding the neat plantations, and agriculture is car. ried on in the most perfect manner.
The town of Los Angeles, built on both sides of a small river of the same name, is an old settlement, and it is a question whether any happier community than this existed in America previous to the war with Mexico. Here isolated it may be the settlers lived quietly, dancing in the moonlight to the tinkling of guitars, and worshipping in their neat Catholic churches on Sundays.
It is a town of about six thousand inhabitants, being the fourth in point of population in California. It has several well-built streets, and the upper portion is decidedly Mexican in its character and architecture. On Sunday evenings there is a fair theatrical performance, and here may be seen some Spanish beauties who are distinguished for their politeness and high respectability. Before the conquest of California by the Americans, this was the residence of the Gov. ernor-general, and the capital of Upper and Lower California, and contained several very worthy Spanish families. To this place the invalid comes in search of health, and certainly, if it can be found anywhere, this must be its chosen spot. The air is pure and dry and laden with perfumes, though but few trees are seen except those which have been planted for shade and fruit.
The name of the town in full is Cuidad de los Angeles, or City of the Angels, and it has an elder sister, the beautiful city of Puebla, or Puebla de los Angeles, in the republic of Mexico, about ninety miles from the capital. They are both deserving of the great praise which has been bestowed upon them. Both are celebrated alike for their agricultural productions and the fine scenery which
surrounds them, and both are built near the bases of mountains. The missions in the neighborhood of Los Angeles, and in fact throughout Southern California, have no steeples, and do not show as well as the missions of Texas in the neighborhood of San Antonio, some of which are very fine and noted for their architectural beauty and splendid steeples. The churches of Mexico are some of them magnificent edifices.
The people of this place are of a social disposition, and are fond of balls, fairs, picnics and the like. They live in a happy country, and seem to be determined to be happy themselves. .
It will be a long time before the influence exerted by the descendants of the Spanish in this section will cease to be felt, and it is a question whether or not this ought to be desired. As a class they are far superior to the Mexicans generally, and seem to affiliate at once with the Americans. Many of the native California ladies have married Ameri. cans, and there is little, if any, jealousy on account of nationality among them. American enterprise has done much toward developing the resources of this magnificent country, though the natives are not behind-hand in everything that pertains to agriculture. They are truly identified with the interests of the Union, and during the late rebellion a battalion of four companies composed entirely of Dative Californians was made up and served until the close of the war in the United States army. They make good soldiers, and on several occasions during the Mexican War proved a match for the regular United States troops.
They enter readily into the political questions of the day, and some of them have proved shrewd enough for certain Americans who had been trained in the political schools of the Eastern States. Several of them have been elected to offices of great responsibility, and have on all occasions acquitted themselves creditably, and given satisfaction to their
constituents. In some districts of the State these men are regularly sent to the Legislature, where they are fully equal to the Americans in a knowledge of the wants of the country and what will most conduce to its prosperity. They feel satisfied at the turn things have taken, and there is no desire to return to their allegiance to Mexico.
It is claimed that the native Californians are the best riders in the world. This is a good deal to say about any class of men; but, this much is certain, they are excellent riders, and being accustomed to be on horseback from youth to manhood, become very expert. The California horses, or mustangs, are considerably smaller than the American horses, are capable of enduring great fatigue, but are vicious and given to “ bucking.” They are cheap, and the California style of riding always at a gallop soon uses them up. Most of the natives are herders, and use the lasso with great dexterity in catching wild horses and cattle. In old times the number of cattle and horses owned by individuals was immense, and were they to be stated in full would scarcely be credited. In fact, but a few years ago the only sources of wealth were from the herds, and nearly the only commerce carried on was in hides and tallow. Thousands and thousands of cattle were slaughtered for their skins alone.
The farm-houses of these people are long, and low, and narrow, with walls of great thickness, and built of sun-dried bricks, or adobes. They are generally built on four sides of a square enclosing & court-yard, are kept darkened, and are delightfully cool during the summer months. The furniture in old times was very simple, but the rising generation of young ladies have got fashionable notions, and now nothing is more common than to see fine pianos and furniture in them. They are sometimes plastered on the outside and painted white, and then with green blinds present a