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a question whether the prophet were a false prophet, or the doctor a false doctor. However, in such a case, it is something to have a collision of opinions - a prophet against a doctor. But, behold, it soon transpired that there was no collision at all. It was the Jerusalem chamber, occupied by the king as a bed-room, to which the prophet had alluded. Upon which his majesty reconciled himself at once to the ugly necessity at hand
"In that Jerusalem shall Harry die.”
The last case that of oracular establishments turning out to be accomplices of thieves-is one which occurred in Egypt on a scale of some extent; and is noticed by Herodotus. This degradation argued great poverty in the particular temples: and it is not at all improbable that, amongst a hundred Grecian Oracles, some, under a similar temptation, would fall into a similar disgrace.
But now, as regards even this lowest extremity of infamy, much more as regards the qualified sort of disrepute attending the three minor cases, one single distinction puts all to rights. The Greeks never confounded the temple, and household of officers attached to the temple service, with the dark functions of the presiding god. In Delphi, besides the Pythia and priests, with their train of subordinate ministers directly billeted on the temple, there were two orders of men outside, Delphic citizens, one styled Agises, the other styled 'Ooo,-a sort of honorary members, whose duty was probably inter alia, to attach themselves to persons of corresponding rank in the retinues of the envoys or consulting
clients, and doubtless to collect from them, in convivial moments, all the secrets or general information which the temple required for satisfactory answers. If they personally went too far in their intrigues or stratagems of decoy, the disgrace no more recoiled on the god, than, in modern times, the vices or crimes of a priest can affect the pure religion at whose altars he officiates.
Meantime, through these outside ministersthough unaffected by their follies or errors as trepanners - the Oracle of Delphi drew that vast and comprehensive information, from every local nook or recess of Greece, which made it in the end a blessing to the land. The great error is, to suppose the majority of cases laid before the Delphic Oracle strictly questions for prophetic functions. Ninetynine in a hundred respected marriages, state-treaties, sales, purchases, founding of towns or colonies, &c., which demanded no faculty whatever of divination, but the nobler faculty (though unpresumptuous) of sagacity, that calculates the natural consequences of human acts, coöperating with elaborate investigation of the local circumstances. If, in any paper on the general civilization of Greece (that great mother of civilization for all the world), we should ever attempt to trace this element of Oracles, it will not be difficult to prove that Delphi discharged the office of a central bureau d'administration, a general dépôt of political information, an organ of universal combination for the counsels of the whole Grecian race. And that which caused the declension of the Oracles was the loss of political independence and autonomy. After Alexander, still more after the Roman con
quest, each separate state, having no powers and no motive for asking counsel on state measures, naturally confined itself more and more to its humbler local interests of police, or even at last to its family arrangements.